Members > Member of the Month

November 2005 - Eric (Eric18T)



Well MOTM.. Humm I didn't really expect it. I have been here with the site for about 2 years, but I have never owned a VW B5 so I could never really be a full fledged member.

So here's my story:

Started getting really involved with cars in college when I got my Mazda Protege stuck in the snow up in Killington, VT. It wasn't stuck because I was on ice, it was stuck because I didn't have enough clearance. Humm.. What can I do about that? In came CorkSport. They were able to secure me some springs from Australia and a longer stroke matched strut that raised my suspension by 1.5". The setup was used, but being on a college budget it was perfect for me. The
car looked bad ass and handled better too since the OEM suspension had 80K+ miles on it. Shortly there after a set of round PIAA off road lights were added to the front bumper 'Ala Rally Style', steel skid plates for protection and studded snows were added to the OEM steel wheels. The car was ready for winter and with the Rocket Box filled on the roof filled with skis and gear I could safely get to the mountain every weekend.

The following winter I moved to Bozeman, Montana where I saw more snow that I had ever dreamed of, It was great! The car rallied up Bridger Canyon 6 days a week to go skiing and it never let me down. That winter I skied over 150 days and never once did the Mazda get stuck. Now with well over 100k miles it was time to look for a new car. Living in a town that had snow and ice on the road 5 months a year I visited the Subaru and Audi dealership. I looked at an A4 Quattro, but on my pay and with going to school an Audi was out of my budget. :cry: So I bought the next best thing, a Subaru. It was only $19k and was brand new and came with a warranty. 2 days later i drove home in my Rally Blue Impreza RS. It was the first one in town and was 1 of 4 in the whole state. The following week my roommate drove to Seattle to buy a Black Impreza RS.

At this point there were very few places in the US to get parts for these cars. So we formed R&E Motorsports. We operated out of a storage unit next to the UPS shipping depot and started selling parts online. We would take deposits from other RS enthusiasts and order in parts every 6 weeks or so from a friend of ours who's brother lived in Japan and worked for UPS. About 6 months later we became very good friends with a guy from DynoJet. From here we worked with several enthusiasts to dyno tune custom turbo and supercharger setups. We setup about 20 cars from the NW, but after the time and effort for what we were charging we were losing money every time. So we slowly worked our way out of that market.

We started working on suspension setups for Auto-x'ing for Subaru's since we were both avid auto-xers and were doing quite well on the local and region courses. We were working with a Engineer in Puerto Rico to design a new sway bar link that were both adjustable and incredibly stiff. We received prototypes and had several enthusiasts testing them and they were getting rave reviews (6 months of test time). So we went to a manufacturer in Wisconsin (sway bar company) to make the part for us for resale. While we were working on the details of the quantity of the order we were served with a Patent Infringement Lawsuit. This didn't make sense. It turned out that one of the enthusiasts that was testing gave the sway link to his local shop and the since we had never patent the product he went and applied for a patent. After several months of discussion about it with our 'unpaid' legal (lawyer that was still trying to pass the bar exam) counsel we had no money and nothing we could do but to deal with the demands that the other company. That closed the doors on R&E Motorsports. We were only ever mentioned in the magazines once, and even know we sold more Stromung exhausts than any other dealer in the country we still had no money in the end. It was a sad day, but I learned alot about business. :cry:

So a year later in comes the new VW Wolfsburg Edition Jetta 1.8T. I saw it and I had to have it. So out goes the Subaru and those memories and in comes the VW.

6 weeks after buying it I was off to Shine Racing Service for a suspension package. Man did that car handle, but damn did it look awful. The ride height was setup funny (per SRS) and rode rock hard. So out went the Shine suspension and in came the APR Suspension, while it was in the shop I had the APR chip added, GHL 2.5" down pipe and a Autotech 2.5" exhaust added installed. This was just the opposite, Damn did it look good, but wow did it handle poorly. Especially with the new power.. So 2 months later I was back getting that suspension taken out and the new Autotech Clubsport suspension added. Now we were talking. This was a great combination, looked good and had nice stiff springs w/ matched dampers. While the new suspension was being added we also installed a K04 turbo. This was one of the first installed on the Jetta 1.8T. Now this thing ripped. About 1k miles later a little problem came up. All the power went away..

Turns out when the shop installed the new turbo they kinked the oil return line and the proper flow was not getting to the turbo. Ok turbo's toast and the stock KO3 sport goes back on.

I learned to live with the reduced power and all was good. Fast forward 2 more years.

I am driving to Golden down Colfax Ave and i see a Dolphin Grey A4 sitting in the lot at Prestige Motors..

2 days later the Jetta is stripped of its parts and the A4 is parked in the garage.

So now what do I do with a new car.. It is quiet, has a soft ride and lacks power. Not good.

So I find the local APR dealer, which is Mark up at SCR in Loveland and 5 days after picking up the car it is getting chipped. I order up the whole thing. Stock mode, 91oct, 93oct, 100oct, fault code erase, throttle body alignment and security lockout. The drive home was much better.

I wanted some lighter and nicer wheels.. So 17” OZ Superleggara’s w/ Toyo T1-S’s were order up.

Next I wanted some sound and some more pwoer. So back on the phone with Randy and he gets me a Milltek exhaust. I was going to get an APR exhaust but that was kind of an issue. So Milltek here we come. It has just the right sound and fills up the exhaust cut outs just right. Exactly what I was looking for.

Well it needed suspension now so I call up Randy again and bug the hell out of him and he orders up some STaSIS Street Sport coilovers for me. Ryan at STaSIS also recommended the H-Sport rear sway bar, so we got that too. After adjusting the ride height twice it is finally at the proper ride height and looks good.

So far so good. The A4 has been a great car and will continue to be a great car for what I need. It does how ever lack decent brakes. So hopefully come spring we will add some Stoptechs or Alcons to fix that problem. I owe props to Randy and Mark for getting the A4 project off the ground and keeping it running well. You guys will continue to get my business and I just wish you added APR to the list of APS products.

For the future: The APR 2+ Software and Injectors will also be added in spring. Either a Euro dual side mount intercooler system or a upgraded side mount intercooler will be fitted. If the new APR/Carbonio Intake has some decent results I will probably add one of those once my OEM filter gets dirty and needs replacement. If the turbo dies in the next couple years a K04 will be fitted with the appropriate software. Other than that once all the kinks get worked out I hope to hit a couple Auto-x’s and hit a drivers school or two. But right now there are a few kinks that need to me smoothed out first.


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