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  1. #161
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yabi View Post
    Hi Jezek! Thanks for the compliment. I plan to do a full write up on this but I'll quickly address your comment. While I am sure it would make it easier to remove the wheel and the fender liner, I didn't do either. I simply turned the wheel to one side and unscrewed a couple of the fender liner screws so I could access the reflector. The first reflector took me about an hour, the second about 20 minutes. The extra time on the first one has a lot of do with figuring our what to do and how to do it without damaging the paint. Once I had success I knew what to do for the second one. Regardless of knowledge, the OEM reflectors are really stuck on to the car. It takes a lot of effort to unglue them - add that to tight working space and it can easily become an overwhelming experience for those that are impatient. In fact, there was a point when I was about 30-40 minutes into the first removal I almost gave up... then I took a different approach and achieved success.

    I'll have more details including my method soon. But thanks again for your comments and if you're on the fence about it - as long as you are a man of patience, go for it.
    Hey Yabi thanks for the reply! I enjoy working on my own cars and have the patience...I just fear damaging something haha I wonder if I were to use a hairdryer to warm up the glue if that would make it easier to remove? Either way I look forward to your how-to and plan to use it on my own car 😎👍🏼

  2. #162
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
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    2011 Toyota Prius 5
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    Tag Motorsports Painted Side Reflectors

    Since I first read about Tag Motorsports Painted Side Reflectors on the forums I've never been able to conclude if the install was easy or hard; the forums seemed to have swayed either way with no real consensus on a result. Regardless, the one thing that I was certain on was that they looked cool. Now I'll admit, the orange side reflectors never bothered me until I saw photos with them swapped out or vinyled over to match the rest of the car's color - once I saw my first converted reflector I knew that one day I'll have to do the same. What stopped me until now did you ask? Well, the same that is stopping you;

    a) how difficult is this install and do I really need to take off my bumper and/or remove the wheels?
    b) is it really worth the $170 - isn't there cheaper solutions?

    Hang on, we'll address both of those questions in a moment.

    Installation
    Let me immediately start off by answering the big question and the show stopper for the most of you that may be interested in this mod, do I really need to take off my bumper and/or remove the wheels? The answer is, no. You can install the reflectors with your wheels and bumper on, all you need is a little patience and creativity. Here's how I did mine;

    What you'll need
    Trim removal tool
    Torx screw driver
    Optionally a hairdryer (more on this later)
    Patience - this is key!

    Start off by turning your wheel to one side. You'll start with whatever side the front of your wheel is turned towards the front bumper. Get your tools and get comfortable as you're about to be here for a while.



    Next, locate and remove the four screws on your fender liner. I've identified the suspects in the photo below. Once they are removed, carefully pull back the liner and reveal a fifth screw to undo (picture shows screw removed). Move the liner so your hand can reach in and touch the inside of the side reflector. Note, while I didn't feel anything sharp when I was working with my hand inside the car, I still recommend being careful as it's a tight spot.




    What you just created is your working space. This is all you'll have to maneuver so if you are uncomfortable in any way then you might want to consider alternative options such as completely removing the wheel and fender liner or the bumper. For others, it's time to press on.... no seriously, start pressing on the OEM reflector. Here's my method that seemed to work well;

    Start with the corner closest to you and start pressing the reflector inwards with one hand while supporting your bumper with your other hand (inside of the fender liner). This will take strong thumbs and some time, so be patient and rest your hands if they start to feel sore. Through persistence you'll start to see the reflector give in.



    Keep working at the corner until you start to have a decent enough gap to slide your trim removal in. Honestly, this is more challenging then it sounds so here are some tips that worked for me;
    1. Don't focus all your efforts in a single location. Remember the reflector is surrounded by industrial strength sticky tape/glue all the way around it's outside. It helps to work different parts of the reflector near the corner to help weaken its support.
    2. You can use a hairdryer to help, but focus the heat from the opposite side of the reflector. This will allow the glue to get loose yet not soften your paint on the outside. (I'll touch more on the hairdryer later)
    3. If your fingers get tired you can use your trim tool as a support, just be very careful not to slip when pressing as you can damage your surrounding paint
    4. Have patience... seriously... It took me almost 30 minutes to remove the OEM reflector on my first attempt and I almost threw in the towel



    Once you have your tool inside, you'll want to position it in an angle that doesn't scrap around the side reflector cutout. Slowly slide the trim tool around the outside of the reflector... remember, you are essentially removing the glue that's keeping the reflector on the bumper thus in certain areas, such as corners, you'll need to slide the tool in deeper. You can use your other hand to hold the reflector away from the bumper so it doesn't reseal. Work at this slowly until eventually the reflector is detached from the bumper. Carefully remove the reflector from the fender liner area.




    Next you'll want to remove any excess glue that didn't come off with the reflector. If you skip this step your new painted reflector will not sit flush. I used the missing glue parts on the OEM reflector as a guide on where the glue still remains on the bumper. To remove I simply used my fingers to rub it loose until I could peel it off in sections. Once all the glue is removed you are ready to install your new reflectors.



    Before I attempted to install the new reflector I practiced my positioning and placement skills with the OEM reflector. This was an important step for me as I didn't want to mess up the new reflector's glue; I also didn't want to scrap up or chip the paint. What I found was sliding the reflector in from the outside then using my other hand from to grab it and turn it into position from the inside worked the best. Once the process was down, I peeled most of the glue protector off - keeping some on so it didn't stick to my fingers when sliding the reflector into position - and went for the install, peeling off the rest of the glue protector just as I started to secure the reflector in place.




    Before


    After


    That's it! Well, at least for one side... now you have to do the next side. The good news is you now know what you have to do and the process will most likely go a lot faster. When I first did mine my first reflector took about an hour from start-to-finish while the second one was done in 20 minutes. I will also share that I felt the driver's side had more room to work with than the passenger side. This could also have something to do with me being right handed... but I really do think it was tighter on the passenger side.

    When you are finished installing both use which ever detailer spray you prefer to clean up any fingerprints, sit back, and enjoy your hard work - you deserve it!

    Conclusion
    The overall installation wasn't hard from a physical standpoint but more so from a strategy stand point. I had no idea on how to remove the OEM reflectors and felt that initially pushing on them didn't even phase them - it was persistence and patience that got me there. Speaking of this, I must give kudos to the quality of craftsmanship from Audi as they really mounted the reflectors on good. After completing the install I definitely feel more confident if I had to do it again. My second reflector took me a fraction of the time and I believe that I could most likely do both reflectors in about 45-minutes with the experience I have now. So it's not difficult once you understand what you are doing and how to do it.

    Going back to our beginning I hope this addresses the first question regarding how difficult the install is and if you need to disassemble your ride for the install. But what about the second question, is it worth $170? Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words so I'll let you be the first judge;




    I hate to be clichť, but the pictures do not do it justice (old iPhone ). From an in person perspective, there is an overall cleanliness to the front that feels striking. The Daytona Grey accented with the chrome along with a touch of black and carbon looks amazing and totally uninterrupted by bright orange. It's amazing how subtle changes can often improve one's appearance. Frankly, I am very happy with the final product. The color match is nearly identical. The reflector has a slightly darker appearance to it that tends to disappear depending on how the light is hitting the car - which makes me wonder if it's truly not a color different but a surface area to light reflection difference that causes the reflector to look darker in certain situations. I'm not sure if what I am trying to describe is coming off clear, but without garage lights everything looks as one color, the same in the bright sun, yet I do see a small shade difference in the garage with the lights on. Regardless, it's worlds better than the orange and the quality of the product is OEM-like. In fact, it's an OEM part that's perfectly painted over.

    So, is it worth $170? In my opinion, yes. I really love the results and will do the same on the next Audi we purchase. Will everyone fill the same? Maybe not, but I'm not everyone - if I was, Tag would be rich from all the reflector orders I'd place

    Lessons Learned
    On the first reflector I attempted to use the hairdryer to help loosen the glue on the OEM reflector. The problem I had with this method was the hairdryer seemed to make everything hot and the paint on the bumper soft, yet it didn't really help my glue situation. All it did was make it more sticky which in a way made it harder to remove especially during the glue removal step. On the second reflector I opted not to use the hairdryer and I felt like I had better results and easier removal of the glue.

    Be sure to press firmly around your new painted reflector once it's installed. Take special care to make sure the reflector lines up smoothly with the bumper especially around the corners.






    So that's it... now, what about you? Isn't it time to mask the orange?
    Last edited by Yabi; 11-04-2018 at 05:46 PM.

  3. #163
    Stage 2 Banner Advertiser Four Rings Mops@Nemesis's Avatar
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    Well done Louis. Your write-ups are fantastic! We appreciate your time and efforts.

    They look awesome. 👍🏼

    While we're at it, I recommend everyone pick up a set of plastic trim tools. They're quite handy! I use these - https://www.harborfreight.com/nylon-...-pc-63594.html
    034Motorsport | Advan | AG | Akrapovič | AWE | BBS | BC Forged | Brembo | Capristo | Deval | Forgeline | H&R | KW | Milltek | OZ | Rotiform | Sparco | Stoptech | TSW | Unitronic | Volk | Vorsteiner | Work | and many more


  4. #164
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Great write up thanks!

  5. #165
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
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    2011 Toyota Prius 5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mops@Nemesis View Post
    Well done Louis. Your write-ups are fantastic! We appreciate your time and efforts.

    They look awesome. 👍🏼

    While we're at it, I recommend everyone pick up a set of plastic trim tools. They're quite handy! I use these - https://www.harborfreight.com/nylon-...-pc-63594.html
    Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to read the write up. I agree with picking up trim tools - they come in very handy and have been a priceless addition to my tool box.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jezek View Post
    Great write up thanks!
    Thanks for reading! Let us know if you end up going for it. The install is not as bad as it seems.

  6. #166
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Thanks for the great write up! The install doesn't look too bad, but I can see it's definitely a patience thing.

  7. #167
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diokhan View Post
    Thanks for the great write up! The install doesn't look too bad, but I can see it's definitely a patience thing.
    Sure thing, Diokhan, It's definitely an install that requires patience. I can see that the initial perception is that it should be simple and easy, but the OEM reflectors are really mounted well with no easy way to undo them except for working at it a little at a time. Otherwise it's a fairly easy install with striking results.

  8. #168
    Veteran Member Four Rings CreoSTi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mops@Nemesis View Post
    While we're at it, I recommend everyone pick up a set of plastic trim tools. They're quite handy! I use these - https://www.harborfreight.com/nylon-...-pc-63594.html
    ^this!

    After spending about 30 minutes in a 90+ degree garage on the first side, once I got most of one corner/side loose, I decided to just use a trim tool between the bumper cover and the reflector to "cut through" the double-sided tape on the OEM reflector. No damage to the paint, and it only took me another 10 minutes or so to get the opposite side off.
    -Mike- : 2001 S4 → 2011 S4 → 2014 S6 → 2018 S4
    Draper & Kramer Mortgage Corp.

  9. #169
    Stage 2 Banner Advertiser Four Rings Mops@Nemesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreoSTi View Post
    ^this!

    After spending about 30 minutes in a 90+ degree garage on the first side, once I got most of one corner/side loose, I decided to just use a trim tool between the bumper cover and the reflector to "cut through" the double-sided tape on the OEM reflector. No damage to the paint, and it only took me another 10 minutes or so to get the opposite side off.
    I use them to remove BBS rim guards. They can be quite a life saver!
    034Motorsport | Advan | AG | Akrapovič | AWE | BBS | BC Forged | Brembo | Capristo | Deval | Forgeline | H&R | KW | Milltek | OZ | Rotiform | Sparco | Stoptech | TSW | Unitronic | Volk | Vorsteiner | Work | and many more


  10. #170
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yabi View Post
    DTUK Pedal Box

    There's seems to be two types of S4 drivers, drivers that feel like the car has lag and drivers that think they are crazy. I will officially admit, I am with the crazies. In my own driving experience there have been many times where I felt like I was hitting the gas but the car did not accelerate to match how much I pressed down on the pedal. In situations like this I felt that I had to press the pedal further for the vehicle to respond the way I wanted it to which caused it to 'spring' into action. For me, that's where the sensation of lag comes in - it's the attempt to accelerate the car and not feeling like it's moving as you anticipate, only to accelerate more which causing the car to launch forward. That delay in not moving to moving makes it feel like the car suffers from lag. In reality, this is likely the ECU controlling the vehicle's fuel efficiency and our ability to keep the car under control. This was more noticeable in Comfort D mode which I would expect given that Audi has a lot of ingenuity invested to make Comfort D a comfortable driving experience. However, one can not always predict the road ahead when they'll need a more responsive experience on demand. Even when I could predict what's next, like making a left hand turn onto a street between opposing cars, I felt the sensation of "no go... oh, you want to go? then GO!" too many times.

    At the end of the day, if you're one with the "drivers of lag" then you already understand; and if your not, please feel free to skip this write up (unless you are completely bored)!

    Now, when I first sought out to destroy this lag monster I tried to do it by adding raw power - the DTUK Tuner. In it's own right, the tuner is an amazing piggy that changes the driving experience and almost virtually eliminates the lag mentioned above. Yet there seemed to be something left to be desired in Comfort D that drove me mad. While I was beating the lag monster in the head with a power stick, it would keep popping back up just to let me know that I haven't won yet. Speaking with Aaron at DT Power about my experiences, he insisted that adding a Pedal Box would resolve what frustrated me and gave me a gaurentee that if I didn't have noticeable improvement within 14-days I could send it back for a refund. Feeling like I had nothing to lose, I charged ahead and decided to make purchase.

    The Pedal Box arrived in about three business days and I immediately cracked the box open to marvel at the controllers simplicity. Essentially, the Pedal Box is a wired remote control that has three buttons and LED indicators. The buttons are used to change the different modes of the box which include a circle button (for changing modes) and two additional buttons (plus, minus). The Pedal Box has four base modes; OEM, City, Sport, and Sport+. Each mode becomes more responsive to how quickly the car accelerates based on how hard you touch the pedal. In addition, each mode has the ability to be more aggressive by pressing the plus button or less aggressive by pressing the minus button (both up to three times). To share an example, if you want the vehicle to launch into high speed without mashing the gas, set the box to Sport+/+3 and you'll be lightning in a bottle. In stop and go traffic? That's where the City mode comes in. You can change modes while driving and can experiment with each setting to find one that you like. For me, Sport/0 gave me everything I was looking for in a way that felt comfortable for every day driving. Want to compare your new setting with your pedal response prior to the pedal box? No problem, that's where the OEM option comes in. Switch to it to recall what the stock pedal experience is like then switch back to your new setting and compare the difference. Trust me, you'll notice.

    To determine what mode you are at use the following cheat sheet;

    OEM = White Circle
    City = Green Circle
    Sport = Orange Circle
    Sport+ = Red Circle

    Easy way to remember, the more aggressive the mode the more aggressive the color.


    Installation

    On the opposite end of the remote there are two plugs; one to connect into your driver's pedal and one to connect in place of the driver's pedal. The plug for the driver's pedal is next to the acceleration pedal (near the top of the pedal). The biggest challenge of installing the Pedal Box is disconnecting the OEM plug and inserting the new plug in its place. The reason or this is that there is a stiff plastic trim that sits almost on top of the OEM port where the plugs connect to. It took me about 15-minutes to finagle the OEM plug out and put the Pedal Box plug into it's place. It required a lot of patience and carefully pushing the plastic out of the way while trying to seat the plug in a tight spot with almost no room to maneuver. If you take your time and keep at it you'll eventually get it. Just remember, the OEM plug has a little gray clip that needs to be released before you can disconnect it. It's the same style locking clip that the boost plugs have in the engine bay. They need to be pulled back and pressed in (down) to release the plug.

    Once you have the cable connected, you need to connect the pedal's cable into the pedal box. This is a trivial exercise which needs no explanation. The rest is up to you on how you want to route the cable and where you want the Pedal Box to reside. Manufacture's recommendation is to mount the remote to the right of the steering wheel on the open space to the right of your dashboard. They provide two-way non-abrasive tape and a remote holder which you install first and then simply slide the remote into the holder. For me, I opted for an alternative install. I ran the cables down the side of the center console and brought the remote up by the side of my driver's seat. To allow the remote to stay without using two-sided tape on the plastic trim, I used magnets. By putting 3M adhesive on the magnet, I slid a magnet up the inside of the plastic trim and stuck it in place. On the remote, I used the same adhesive and adhered a magnet on the back of the remote. To prevent scratching I used a piece of velcro that I adhered to the magnet to give it a soft touch to the plastic when it "clicks" into place. Eventually I'd like to clean up the back of the remote but I haven't determined how I am going to tackle it yet. In the end, I have what I would call a "stealth" install of the Pedal Box. The magnet works great as I can easily access the remote while driving and "snap" it back to place without taking my eyes off the road. For visuals, check out the picture below.

    Conclusion

    Aaron was right. There is something beautiful that happens when you complement the S4 with the Pedal Box. I feel like my foot, the accelerator, and the engine are one. If I want power, I have it. If I want to let it up a bit, it does it. If I say jump it doesn't say "how high", it jumps before I finish given the command. It's almost like the car and I are connected. It knows what I want, when I want it, and it never says no. While the Tune Box brought the S4 to a whole different level of driving experience, the Pedal Box cleaned everything up and made it the perfect car. Honestly, I can't imagine wanting a different experience then what I feel with the two boxes combined. In summary, I would say that the Tune Box makes the car faster while the Pedal Box makes the car feel faster - and together they are an amazing combination of pure driving brilliance.

    For those of you wanting a little more, try the Pedal Box by it's self. I've experimented with disabling the Tune Box and the car was still very responsive (just not as fast with the piggy off). As for the purchase, I'd do it again and I kick myself for waiting as long as I did. Honestly, I didn't believe it would make much of a difference and it certainly did. I am glad to say that not only am I crazy, but I was wrong.

    Lessons learned:
    Do not start out in Sport or Sport+ mode until you experience City mode. My recommendation is to drive with the OEM mode and switch to City for a while. Try upping City to +2 and get comfortable with it before going to more aggressive settings.
    Seriously take your time with disconnecting and connecting the OEM pedal cable. It's very easy to cut or pinch yourself with the close quarters between the plug and the hard plastic trim.
    Finally, your cell phone's camera light works as a great flashlight when installing the pedal box. It rests nicely behind the break and gas pedals and can be positioned to shine light exactly where you need it to be. Plus it takes up little space in what is already a cramped area to work in.








    Thank you for the write up!

  11. #171
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgtripleog View Post
    Thank you for the write up!
    Absolutely! I hope you found it beneficial in the decision-making process.

  12. #172
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
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    ECS Tuning Carbon Fiber Antenna Cover

    Admittedly this modification serves no functional purpose except for satisfying your thirst for carbon fiber.... which I apparently have. The ECS Tuning Carbon Fiber Antenna Cover is one of the most simplest modifications you can purchase for your vehicle. The cover is exactly what it sounds, it covers your existing shark fin antenna with a carbon fiber shell that adheres by 3M sticky tape.

    Why cover your antenna with carbon fiber you ask? Great question! Besides my love things in carbon fiber, this modification is more of a staging modification for the future. As of now, I have a decent amount of carbon fiber in the front of the vehicle and a touch of it on the back thanks to the rear spoiler and a license plate frame. The future plans is to replace the OE rear diffuser with the upcoming aftermarket Deval Carbon Fiber Diffuser that will be sold by Mops @ Nemesis (I got my reserve in!). Part of my planning for the rear diffuser is to pull some of the carbon fiber from the front to the rear and the antenna seemed like a simple and easy way to aid my mission.


    Installation

    The installation couldn't be easier for this mod. The cover comes double wrapped in a hard box that was nested in a much larger box with packaging material. Once unwrapped you are presented with a very light and simple piece of carbon fiber that's perfectly designed to nest snuggly on top of your existing antenna.







    To install, clean your antenna with Isopropyl Alcohol, remove the 3M tape, and carefully slide the cover over your existing antenna. Conclude the installation by pressing down on the cover allowing the tape to completely adhere and finish by polishing off any finger prints with your favorite detail spray. Note, spray onto a towel and wipe to avoid getting under the cover wet while the tape is curing.

    Once installed, sit back and enjoy the results.









    Conclusion

    Overall I am happy with the install and the final results. I will admit it will take some getting used to. The cover does enlarge the antenna slightly so there's an adjustment there; but, I really like the contrast with the carbon fiber against the Daytona Grey. The fit looks factory and the cover matched up perfectly thanks to the craftsmanship over at ECS Tuning. For $50, this was one of the simplest, quickest, affordable, and noticeable modifications I've done and I'm happy to have done it.

    Final verdict: if you have a carbon fiber addiction, this is a perfect purchase to feed the addiction... others might find it unnecessary. This is truly an opinionated mod - I can see those who will love it and those who say "why?". Personally I like it and will hopefully love it once the final vision of the car is reached.

    Lessons learned:

    There are no lessons learned on this one except that on certain forums I've read people have experienced weaker satellite radio frequencies once installed. Since I am not a satellite radio subscriber I wasn't worried on such an impact. Based on my post-install experience the FM radio worked fine which is all I listen to outside my own streaming music. If you're a Sirius subscriber you might take this potential impact on service a little more... serious.

    I hope you enjoyed this write up! If this article helped you in anyway be sure to share your own experiences on this or any product I've written on. Until then, happy modding!

  13. #173
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
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    2011 Toyota Prius 5
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    ECS Tuning Carbon Fiber Radiator Support Cover - Limited Release

    Engine dress up is one of those arts that only car guys (and gals) or those really in love with their ride can appreciate. There's a certain pride that you get popping open your hood and sharing what's underneath. For some they can't wait to show, for others it's a special treat. Regardless if you're a streaker or if you only let a select few see your goods, I believe the level of pride is the same as there are no other words to describe the countless hours, and in certain cases money, that goes with engine detailing which so little amount of people ever see.

    For me the pride comes from my father, a life-long mechanic that taught me early on that a clean engine has two impacts; how mechanics treat your car during services and how easy it is to sell the car later. Scratching deeper into his philosophy my father believed that a clean engine meant that a mechanic would take additional care with your car knowing that you are someone who takes pride in their vehicle and spends a lot of time under the hood. He also felt that the first thing people look at when they are buying a used car is its engine... and if the engine looked well maintained - cleaned - then it would be easier to sell the car and potentially for even more money. Whether any of this holds merit is beyond me, but it's always made sense and I've always been one to spend the time keeping my engines cleaned and detailed. Such is the case with our 100k+ mile Prius that still looks like it hasn't driven 50 miles under the hood.... but I digress.

    Getting back into my lane, when it comes to sportier cars I've always enjoyed dressing them up and the S4 has been no exception. To accompany the carbon fiber ECU cover I decided to take the plunge and purchase the limited release ECU Tuning Carbon Fiber Radiator Support Cover. I felt that it would not only dress up the engine a bit, but also compliment the ECU cover and the future AWE AirGate (if it ever ships). I was a little hesitant purchasing a limited release product, but receiving reassurance from ECU that they'd make good on it if the product ever fails in anyway made pulling the trigger a little bit easier.





    Installation

    Pleasantly, this install requires no tools and only takes a few minutes. The OE radiator support cover is held into place by three key areas; it's slid under the core support, clips against the grill, and held down by the hood release lever.

    To remove the OE radiator cover you'll want to start by removing the hood release lever. There is a rectangular button on the top of the lever that, when pressed, allows you to lift off the lever without fuss.




    The next step is to release the OE cover from the grill. This is a fairly simple process that can be done with your hands - no trim tools required. Simply pull up on left side until the cover is loose. Then mindfully move across the front of the cover unlatching all the clips, freeing the cover from the grill.



    Once the cover is free, simply slide the cover towards you (away from the engine) and remove it's constraint from the main support.



    Reversing the steps allows you to install the new cover; slide it under the support, press down on the front of the cover to "snap" it into place, and finally, put back the hood release lever.




    The final result? A clean touch of carbon fiber that not only dresses up the engine but also adds a bit of sportiness to it.



    Before



    Conclusion

    The carbon fiber lays down a pleasant entrance to the car's core power, like a red carpet leading into the main event. It's subtle at first, but yet captivating. The ECS branding is a little touch that quietly goes unnoticed yet screams customization - silently informing visitors that not all is as it may seem. There's secrets, little hidden gems to be found if you only take but a moment and soak it all in. It's a subtle, yet impactful addition.

    While my masterpiece is far from complete, this little piece of finished perfection definitely shows itself and stands out boldly. Oddly, it feels that simply by adding this piece everything else stands out more - the 034 struts, the ECU cover, and the DTUK Tuner. All I can do now is anxiously await the arrival of my AWE AirGate to see how it will all mesh together. Overall I am happy with it. I wish it were a tab bit longer as it doesn't go as far down as the OE cover did on the grill. This leaves some of the grill's plastic mold lines exposed in the corners, but only enough that those with a keen sense of noticing details would take note. The real test will be how well this holds up overtime to the engine heat and how well the reactions are when I expose my goods to others.







    Lessons learned:

    With such a simple install there aren't really any sharp edges. One lessons I did take is that there is a lot of dirt that gets captured between the radiator support cover and the grill. Since it's so easy to pop off the cover, I plan to keep the area clean and would have built it into my normal routine if I would have known previously. Check this out for yourself if you are a clean freak.

    I hope you enjoyed this write up! If this article helped you in anyway be sure to share your own experiences on this or any product I've written on. Until then, happy modding!
    Last edited by Yabi; 11-11-2018 at 09:56 AM.

  14. #174
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    Nice little mod for sure! What products do you use to clean and coat your other plastic parts with? They look super black and even in color which some products cause high and lows making the plastic look uneven and crappy.

  15. #175
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -LoneStar- View Post
    Nice little mod for sure! What products do you use to clean and coat your other plastic parts with? They look super black and even in color which some products cause high and lows making the plastic look uneven and crappy.
    Thanks LoneStar, I appreciate the remarks! I have a rather extensive detailing selection. For plastics I use nextzett's Plastic Deep Cleaner to clean the plastic from any contaminants then top it off with 303's UV Protectant. I apply both using a sponge to make sure it's applied evenly and avoid any spotting. For carbon fiber, I apply layers of Zaino when I detail the car: Z-5, Z-2, Z-CS, & Z-8 and use Z-6 for regular maintenance. It might sound like a lot of work, but in reality it's not bad. It doesn't take much time to hit the carbon fiber when you are waxing in layers and for regular shine maintenance it's a simple spray on (sponge of course) and polish off process. In short, cleaner and layers during normal waxing, Z-6 and 303 for regular maintenance.

    Hope this helps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yabi View Post
    Thanks LoneStar, I appreciate the remarks! I have a rather extensive detailing selection. For plastics I use nextzett's Plastic Deep Cleaner to clean the plastic from any contaminants then top it off with 303's UV Protectant. I apply both using a sponge to make sure it's applied evenly and avoid any spotting. For carbon fiber, I apply layers of Zaino when I detail the car: Z-5, Z-2, Z-CS, & Z-8 and use Z-6 for regular maintenance. It might sound like a lot of work, but in reality it's not bad. It doesn't take much time to hit the carbon fiber when you are waxing in layers and for regular shine maintenance it's a simple spray on (sponge of course) and polish off process. In short, cleaner and layers during normal waxing, Z-6 and 303 for regular maintenance.

    Hope this helps!
    Yes helps a lot! I actually have both Nextzette and 303 in my collection. I actually use the Cockpit Premium on the interior plastics and screens frequently. I haven't used 303 in a long time but will bust those back out for sure. Thanks for the tips!

  17. #177
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -LoneStar- View Post
    Yes helps a lot! I actually have both Nextzette and 303 in my collection. I actually use the Cockpit Premium on the interior plastics and screens frequently. I haven't used 303 in a long time but will bust those back out for sure. Thanks for the tips!
    Anytime. I hope that it helps!

  18. #178
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    Something is in the mail thanks to Brandon@G-Werke!


  19. #179
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    Yabi, your front carbon cover looks really good. I was wondering - is the "ECS" a decal (removable) or a silkscreen (not)?

  20. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diokhan View Post
    Yabi, your front carbon cover looks really good. I was wondering - is the "ECS" a decal (removable) or a silkscreen (not)?
    Great question! It's silkscreen. The logo appears to be over the carbon fiber and under the clear coat. It's smooth to the touch and protected so it will not get scratched or scraped off. Personally, I was hesitant to purchase it because of the non-removable logo... I wasn't excited to have a big blaring "ECS Tuning" logo shouting out under my hood. Post-install I think it's subtle enough that it doesn't take away from anything, yet silently tells others to look closer - this is not OEM. IDK, maybe it's grown on me but I like it. HTH!

  21. #181
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    New toy installed. Full write up coming once I have a chance to play around with it. Thanks Griffin Motorwerke!

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    Those are so sweet! I've always wanted one.
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  23. #183
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    Nice! I see you have the track pack. I'm looking forward to your write up and thoughts about those additional features.

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    Great write up and information


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diokhan View Post
    Nice! I see you have the track pack. I'm looking forward to your write up and thoughts about those additional features.
    Thanks! Looking forward to writing this one up!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by minho80 View Post
    Great write up and information


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine
    Thanks mate!

  26. #186
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    Successfully completed TSB to resolve the 360 camera glitch. So far itís working great! Total time at the dealership was about an hour.

    Service record indicates the following was completed:
    TSB# 2053028/1 found related to issue. New software to correct view switch. SVM code input performed and software updated per TSB. Verified top view now stays on camera when vehicle put in reserve.


    Last edited by Yabi; 12-17-2018 at 08:32 AM.

  27. #187
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    I'm subscribing to this thread! Great write ups from the ECS CF antenna installation I just read and everything else seems just as detailed. Going to go through all of this later tonight!

    I got the antenna cover too and I'm glad you confirm that some are experiencing weaker signal. I wasnt sure how much of a big deal it can be on signal weakness

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Audizine mobile app

  28. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by skirch View Post
    I'm subscribing to this thread! Great write ups from the ECS CF antenna installation I just read and everything else seems just as detailed. Going to go through all of this later tonight!

    I got the antenna cover too and I'm glad you confirm that some are experiencing weaker signal. I wasnt sure how much of a big deal it can be on signal weakness

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Audizine mobile app

    Thanks for the comments and support mate!

  29. #189
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    P3 Gauges ODB2 Multi-Gauge with Track Pack

    P3 Gauges are arguably a track enthusiast must-have. For the uninitiated, a P3 Multi-Gauge uses ODB2 data to read and display coolant temp, intake air temp, exhaust gas temp, throttle plate, vehicle speed, RPM, shift-light, battery voltage, 0-60 timers, boost, vacuum and more all with life and peak recall functions. There's even optional connections for an 80psi analog sensor. Finally, it can read and clear OBD2 codes. The Track Pack extends the P3 Gauges software features to include air/fuel ratio throughput, 0-100, 60-130, 60-0, and 100-0 timers.

    The unit comes in two flares, with or without being pre-installed in an OEM vent. If you choose to have the unit pre-installed, you will receive an OEM Audi vent with the unit already installed. This simplifies one of the hardest parts of the installation and allows you to keep your original vent un-altered. Note: there is no physical alteration required for the OEM vent - more on this later. If you go with the unit without the OEM vent you are simply sent the digital display along with a wire harness and control box.

    Prefix
    While I am not a tracker I always thought the P3 Gauges look cool and add some nice features to a sports car. I also felt that the gauge adds back some of the functionality that comes standard with an RS model but is lost on the S. While there is no G-meter, being able to record and recall 0-60 timings directly from the vehicle just feels like a nice feature to have for any enthusiast regardless if thier car ever hits the track.

    My purchase of the P3 Gauge was part of the G-Werkes S4 part out and did not come with the original packing materials so unfortunately I cannot share the unboxing experience.









    Installation
    There are a couple tools youíll need before you begin your installation;
    - T20 Torx driver
    - 20mm socket wrench with extension
    - Trim removal kit
    - (optional) portable light




    On the P3 Gauges website they recommend the following video for installing the gauge: https://youtu.be/zPyQksCXJFA The video is made by ECS Tuning and does a great job walking you through the install - however - the video misses a step in the install process. (more on this later).

    Step 1:
    Remove the fuse box trim cover using your trim tool. Note, there is a little groove cut out that looks like it would be used to pop off the cover, however, I had to go further up the side with the trim tool to have it release.



    Step 2:
    There are five 20mm bolts you must undo so the bottom trim piece can come out. There is one on the side where you removed the fuse box cover, two in the driverís storage bin, and two on the bottom of the trim. While I kept all the screws in order they did look all the same. Youíll need your wrench extension for the bolts inside of the driverís storage bin.





    Step 3:
    The easiest way to remove the bottom trim piece is to pull back on it with a little force. I recommend watching the video linked above to get a sense of what I mean. When I first pull the trim piece out it came with a little force and a loud noise. I was concerned that I broke something such as a clip but after thorough inspection I noticed no damage.



    Step 4:
    On the bottom of the light switch there is a T20 screw. Remove the screw and grab your trim tool kit.



    Step 5:
    Use your trim tools to remove the switch. Be careful once the piece is remove, itís connect via a wire with a clip connector. The wire has short service slack so do not yank the switch away from the dashboard until you disconnect the wire.




    Step 6:
    Removing the switch exposes another 20mm bolt thatís in addition to an already exposed 20mm bold near the rear of the steering wheel. Remove both of these bolts with care- they are close to other trim work and of course the steering wheel.



  30. #190
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    Step 7:
    Now itís time to remove the air vent trim piece from the vehicle. Youíll want to remove with care since the trim lays underneath a connecting trim piece. There is a small clip that keeps the two pieces of trim connected so you do not want to simply yank on the trim without conscious. How I tackled it was to start by removing the clips on the fuse box side which freed up the trim piece except for where it was connected to the remaining trim. Using my fingers, I disconnect the trim by popping it out - use one your index finger to hold the remaining trim in place and on the air vent trim use your thumb to press, creating opposing pressure. Watch the video above for a visual representation and know that this will make more sense once you are at this point.

    Additionally, the vent is connected with another wire with a clip. Be sure to disconnect the wire before you pull the trim away from the dashboard. This connector was a little tough to disconnect, but with some patience it came right out.





    Step 8:
    There is a wire that is connected to the vent and is clipped down on the trim piece which holds the wire in place. Remove the wire from the trim clips so it is only connected to the air vent.



    Step 9:
    There are four clips that hold the air vent to the trim. To release them, start with the side that you have the most room to work with. The idea here is pull pack on the vent while using a trim tool to release the clip. Basically, these clips are pressing against the air vent so they need to be lifted away from the vent and the vent needs to shift a little backwards so they donít snap back into place when you remove your tool. This takes a little time to get just right, however, once you free up one side the other side comes a bit easier. Use the same method on the other side to completely free the air vent.




    Step 10:
    Now itís time to pop out the horizontal vents. There is one side thatís designed for them to pop out and the other is designed to hold them in place. Be sure you are trying to release them on the correct side which would be the side that has the adjustment knob.

    I had to use a trim tool to pop the vents out as I couldnít get enough force with my fingers. This was another case where when they popped out I thought something broke due to the noise. Everything checked out ok - they are just really seated in there tight.




    Step 11:
    Snap the P3 Gauge in place making sure that the wire goes out the bottom of the vent on the same side of the rear slant. This will make it easier for you to run the wire down the side of the car to the OBD2 port and will allow you keep the ability to close the vent.




    Note: The ECS Tuning video skips a step of the install. At this point you are suppose to re-add the top and bottom horizontal vents. Unfortunately I missed this during my install since I was following the video as a guide. Eventually I took everything a part again and re-added them. The following are the steps to re-use the horizontal vents;

    Each horizontal piece is marked with a little plastic notch. In the following photo you can see one has a single notch and the other has three notches. This indicates the top piece, one notch, and the bottom piece, three notches. To install, slide one side into the circle mount on the P3 Gauge and snap the other side down into the trim. For ease of install, I recommend pre-seating both pieces into the P3 Gauge and then snapping the entire unit in at one time.





    Additional Note: The following video demonstrates how to re-use the horizontal vents in addition to some modifications you can made to keep the wire in place and maximize your vent controls functionality. I opted not to make any modifications to the vent but did feel that they were easy enough to handle if I chose to do them: https://youtu.be/jidZG22NhsM


    Step 12:
    Snap the vent back into the trim by lining up the clips and pressing down on them securely. Once the vent is reconnected to trim piece, rerun the wire under the trim clips. I found it easier to re-clip the connector end first then slide the remaining wire back into its place.





    Step 13:
    Run the P3 Gauge wire behind the dashboard and have it come out above the driverís storage bin. Weíll be placing the connector box on top of the storage bin so we only need the cable to go this far. Once your wire is ran, snap the trim back into place not forgetting to reconnect the air vent cable.

    Reminder: be careful with the connecting trim piece. The air vent trim must go underneath the remaining trim before the air vent trim can be properly put back.

    Re-bolt once in place.






    Last edited by Yabi; 12-21-2018 at 12:57 PM.

  31. #191
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    Step 14:
    Now youíll want to use the 3M take and mount the connector box to the top of the glove box. Before you do so, be sure to wrap or wire manage the additional wires that come with the unit if you will not be using them. Mount the box a little to the left of the glove box as the bottom trim piece has a plastic support arm that slides on top of the box to the right. How you run the cable from the connector box to the ODB port is up to you. I took my time to run the wire so it would be completely hidden, leaving just enough slack to unplug the OBD connector for servicing. Once you are happy with the wires clean up any extra slack.



    Step 15:
    Reconnect the light gauge wire and snap the component back into place. Be sure to re-screw the T20.




    Step 16:
    Now itís time to re-insert the bottom trim piece. Be sure to have patience and make sure that everything is aligned properly before you full snap the piece into place. You may need to adjust where you mounted your P3 connector box if you feel any resistance. Youíll want to make sure that the bottom trim goes into place properly so the screws inside the driverís storage bin line up properly. This took me more time then I thought it should, but ultimately itís good to do it right and not force it back into place.

    Once you have the unit lined up and snapped back in, re-bolt it and re-snap the fuse box cover. Youíre done!




    Conclusion
    First impressions is that the P3 Gauge is a really cool device that presents so much information about whatís going on with your vehicle. (For a full list, check out the Operational Guide: http://www.p3gauges.com/install/#Operation_Details)

    Initially, I was slightly disappointed in the over all quality of the finished product. The reason is because I felt the unit was very flimsy and that it could snap in half if I pressed too hard. This was before I re-added the horizontal trim pieces. Adding the additional pieces really helped secure the unit in place and gave the overall install a much more clean and OEM look.




    If I could pluck out some dislikes is that the unit limits the functionality of the air vent. There is no way to control the vertical vents since the OEM center control arm has been replaced with the unit. Secondly, even if you could control the vent the wire that runs through the vents would interfere with the adjustment unless you physically modded the air vent. Additional, connecting the Auto Dimmer requires splicing into factory wiring which is not something I wanted to risk. Instead, I manually configured the unit to always start in dim mode.

    If I had a wish it would be that one of the analog inputs could connect to a G-Meter since thatís all that appears to be missing from what you get out of the advance options on a RS model. Also, I wish the auto dimmer wire could somehow connect to a fuse or didnít require splicing factory wires.

    Overall I am happy with the unit and itís already become a talking point with car enthusiast. I spent 15-minutes with an Audi tech just discussing the gauge itself when I went in for TSB service. There is a coolness factor with this toy and I have a lot of time to figure out what I will use it mostly for. Right now I have it defaulted to showing me boost but Iím not sure if thatís where Iíd keep it in the long run.

    The biggest question will be a year from now; will I still be using it or will it be a light on the dash I ignore? Only time will tell.

    Final thoughts: The P3 Gauge is a must-have for any track or performance enthusiast.

    Lessons Learned
    The biggest lesson learned was addressing the horizontal slats. They added much needed stability to the unit and provided a much better OEM appearance to the install. Also, be sure to read through the configuration manual and how to access the advanced features of the Track Pack if you choose to get the module. I went a few days trying to figure it out on my own with no success and it only took a few minutes to read through the manual. So if youíre a guy like meÖ RTFM!

    Also, the unit turns off when the engine turns off during auto start/stop. This makes it a little difficult to change the settings while at a stop light. Be sure to disable auto stop/start if you plan to make adjustments while your car is stopped during your drive - never adjust while driving!!!
    Last edited by Yabi; 12-21-2018 at 07:08 PM.

  32. #192
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    Excellent write up!!

    I did try to spice the dimmer wire in mine, but it isn't making good contact and doesn't auto dim. I'm not messing with opening everything up again just for that. I actually found the dim setting to be bright enough during the day so I leave it in that mode all the time.

    I usually leave mine in boost display too, but on the rare occasion I'm first at the light on the highway by work I'll flip it over to 0-60 to have some fun. I'm looking forward to the time you post your 1-100 time!

  33. #193
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    Louis you're truly an asset to the B9 community. Well done!

    See you in a couple of weeks! 😄
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  34. #194
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diokhan View Post
    Excellent write up!!

    I did try to spice the dimmer wire in mine, but it isn't making good contact and doesn't auto dim. I'm not messing with opening everything up again just for that. I actually found the dim setting to be bright enough during the day so I leave it in that mode all the time.

    I usually leave mine in boost display too, but on the rare occasion I'm first at the light on the highway by work I'll flip it over to 0-60 to have some fun. I'm looking forward to the time you post your 1-100 time!
    Thanks for the comments! I agree that the dim mode on the gauge works great during the day and is pleasant to the eyes at night. Thanks for sharing your defaults. Iím curious on what others are displaying for their daily drive. Iím also curious on what your best 0-60 time has been!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Mops@Nemesis View Post
    Louis you're truly an asset to the B9 community. Well done!

    See you in a couple of weeks! 😄

    Thanks bud! Looking forward to our meet as well. Good things to come!

  35. #195
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    034Motorsport Billet Aluminum Front Strut Brace

    034Motorsportís Billet Aluminum Front Strut Brace replaces the factory brace to improve the vehicle's steering feel and performance handling. The desired outcome for performing an upgrade such as this to have a more connected driving experience, to feel one with the car and not simply an object inside being tossed about.

    Why sink money into parts like this? As we continue to push our vehicles with tuners and mods that increase performance we often over look mods that increase our ability to handle the vehicle. With bolt-on parts, increase handling is easy to address - all you need are the parts, some time, and some tools. Besides, making the car easier to drive by increasing its handling should be reason enough.

    Unboxing
    The Front Strut Brace from 034Motorsport comes tightly packaged in a white box with each component wrapped in protective foam.



    To unwrap the brace either pull the foam on both ends or carefully cut the wrap. I choose carefully cutting the wrap where there was a groove in the brace. This created a large enough slit in the wrap that I could peel away and remove the protective packaging.





    Installation
    Once unwrapped youíll want to follow the install process published on 034Motorsportís website.

    Before you begin youíll need some tools to help get the job done.
    - 13mm socket
    - ratchet driver
    - extension for ratchet
    - 5mm allen socket
    - torque wrench



    Make sure your torque wrench supports Nm (Newton Meters). If it only has Foot Pounds, youíll need the following conversions:

    35 Nm -> 25.8 FP
    20 Nm -> 14.75 FP
    25 Nm -> 18.4 FP

    Please note: the above conversions are rounded to the nearest decimal and are not exact conversions.

    1. Allow the engine to completely cool before installing
    2. Remove the engine cover and the rubber weatherstripping from the cowl and set aside
    3. Locate the two (2) rear factory strut mounting nuts under the plastic cowl
    4. Using the 13mm socket, ratchet, and extension, remove both nuts and be careful not to drop them - youíll need them later
    5. Using the same socket, remove the front mounting bolt for the passenger side strut brace, then the right
    6. Carefully remove the factory struts by lifting vertically to free the factory brace from the chassis
    7. Transfer the plastic brace from the factory struts to the new 034Motorsport struts
    8. Identify the side markings and seat (do not screw) the driver side brace, marked 603-0013 first. Be sure to line up the plastic brace level with the plastic trim of the firewall
    9. Seat the passenger side brace, marked 603-0014
    10. Loosely install both factory mounting nuts, again being careful not to drop them. This will hold the brace in place for the next step
    11. Insert the cross brace into the slots of the driver and passenger side strut brace. In addition to the mounting holes aligning, the 034 logo should be center with equal distance on both sides from the firewall
    12. Insert the included M8 flathead screws to hold the cross brace in place. The screws should be able to be inserted the majority of the way simply by hand. There should be no resistance when securing the cross brace in place. Once they are tighten by hand as much as possible, use your torque wrench and 5mm allen socket to tighten both screws to 35 Nm.
    13. Switch sockets and tighten the factory nuts to 20 Nm
    14. As done previously, locate the remaining two M8 screws to tighten both strut braces to the strut tower by end. Finish the mounting process by switch your sockets again and torquing both screws to 25 Nm.
    15. Reinstall the rubber weatherstripping across the firewall ensuring it secures the plastic cowl and reinstall the engine cover

    Installerís note: in the event that the cowl has shifted be sure to reposition making sure you do not have any gaps from where your windshield meets the plastic











    Comparison
    The first notable difference youíll experience is the staggering contrast in the quality of the materials from the factory struts compared to 034ís. The factory struts are extremely light weight and feel almost flimsy while the craftsmanship of the 034 is solid and sturdy. The 034 cross brace adds additional support that isnít available with the factory struts.

    As for the driving experience, there is a very noticeable improvement when taking sharp turns. The car feels more planted on the road and there is less movement felt in the driverís seat. This improvement was less noticeable while navigating traffic on a freeway (overtaking a vehicle, lane change, etc.) but extremely present when navigating city streets. Overall there is less flex and roll felt in the front of the vehicle which offers the driver a much more planted and stable driving experience.

    Cosmetically the front strut brace from 034Motorsport spruces up the engine bay with its attractive design, flawless finish, and 034 etched logos. While this is based on opinion, I feel the 034 brace brings a certain level of sexiness to the engine bay. The billet aluminum compliments the rest of the bay so well it's a pleasure to look at.

    Overall: Highly recommend for the performance enthusiast, daily driver, and track user. Iíve enjoyed this modification so much that I am picking up the full suite of 034Motorsport enhancements in two weeks.

    Special thanks to Mops at Nemesis as well as Bradd, Samuel, and James from 034.



    Last edited by Yabi; 12-23-2018 at 05:48 PM.

  36. #196
    Established Member Two Rings BrockDM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 21 2018
    AZ Member #
    412780
    Location
    Frankfort, IL

    Right when I tell myself I don't need more car parts... I stumble upon your strut brace review lol!

    +1 for such detailed write ups too. Keep up the great work Yabi

  37. #197
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 10 2017
    AZ Member #
    402560
    Location
    CT

    Lol I was just thinking the same thing. Wasnít even on my radar. Darn you!! 😂

  38. #198
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 30 2018
    AZ Member #
    416322
    My Garage
    2011 Toyota Prius 5
    Location
    Cary, NC

    Thanks Brock and Jezek, glad you enjoyed the write up! Highly recommend the strut brace. Treat yourselves to a holiday gift and hit Mops up for an order

  39. #199
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Jan 08 2018
    AZ Member #
    412179
    My Garage
    18 S4, 18 Q5
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN

    Another well done write up! I'm looking forward to your write ups about the other 034 parts. Does the full suite mean every part that fits? I'll be looking forward to your rear sway bar write up. That's going to be a planned addition for me once spring gets closer.

  40. #200
    Established Member Three Rings Yabi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 30 2018
    AZ Member #
    416322
    My Garage
    2011 Toyota Prius 5
    Location
    Cary, NC

    Thanks Diokhan! I am glad you enjoyed the write up. What I have upcoming from 034 Motorsport is:

    Rear Sway Bar
    Transmission Mount Insert
    Rear Subframe Mount Kit
    Sway Bar End Link, Front
    Sway Bar End Link, Rear

    I will most likely have these installed by a local shop at the same time. While I do plan to make a write up it may be on the complete experience and not necessarily the individual components. I'll have to see how to tackle this once I have the parts and a shop to install them.

    Hope this helps!

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