cccmanhattan wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:17 pm
So step 1 and 2 complete. Wheels, tires and seats.
First, just want to clarify my goals. I know this is not for everyone and even with my goals clearly states, some will say I'm wasting my money or ruining the car, but I want to cut a few concerns off a the pass.
First, I'm hyper sensitive to things that look good, but actually make the car worse. As part of my business, I have the extreme privilege to drive some of the worlds most desirable cars and have an unusually high amount of time behind the wheel to understand what makes cars truly good. So, I like suspension that's appropriately compliant an keeps the tires connected to the road, not stanced to look a certain way or stiff to the point where the tires go airborne on the slights irregularity. I understand that if you look at a race car, they fit the smallest wheel they can get over the brake caliper and use tires with meaty sidewalls for compliance and grip. I also truly appreciate this car for what it is, i geek out on the range and am trying to enhance the visceral feel and driving enjoyment without totally throwing range and efficiency out the window.
Lastly, If I was going to dump a bunch of money into it, I'd just go buy a Tesla, but that would defeat the purpose. The goal is to have a fun, zero emissions commuter and not tie up a bunch of money. That's also why I started with a used car and scoured to find a good price so I'm not taking something brand new and throwing a bunch of it's value out the window modifying it. The aim is to get it where I want it to be for less than $20k.
Here's where I'm at now on that goal:
- Car: 2015 eGolf SEL with 16k miles: $12,525, including fees. I have dealers license so am able to purchase at Manheim wholesale auctions. This turned out to be a good thing since the lionshare of the used market is off lease cars in CA being sold by VW at auction
- Shipping from CA $1,249 (shipping wiped out any wholesale value I had in the car, but I really wanted an SEL, was running out of time and couldn't find much on the east coast)
- Wheels and Tires: $1,241.07
- Seats: $734.48 shipped
$15,749.55 so far
For the wheels and tires, I wanted to improve handling and grip without totally killing range. It seems the biggest detriment to range in the wheel tire category is weight since rotational mass causes a big parasitic loss which not only hurts range, but saps power and acceleration which would defeat the purpose not only on range, but performance. I also know that going with really wide tires would sap range and acceleration and have diminishing returns on handling. So I wanted light wheels and grippy, but reasonable tires and while it doesn't add to performance, i wanted them to look purposeful, like the eTrophy race cars which actually runs 18" wheels and 245 width tires. In the end i settled on 17" wheels to keep the weight down, but with the right offset to maximize the track width and 225 width wheels to provide some extra grip without too much added rolling resistance. I landed 17x8 et35 Advanti DST Storm S1 wheels which are not the lightest at 17.5lbs, but only 1lb more than the lighter and much more expensive options. Tires 225/45ZR-17 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. I know a high performance, high grip tire like the Pilot 4S is costing me some range, I've run these tires on other cars and they're just too good to pass up. Great grip and predictability in wet and dry, compliant and smooth and theel great in all conditions, even when they're cold. I don't need the range so I figure I should indulge and use my favorite tire when I'm driving in warm enough weather for it. I tortured myself trying to find the best performance/low rolling resistance option, but I just couldn't pass up the Michelins in the end.
As for how it all works? They're great. The car feels faster and I'm not sure if there's any truth to that or if the grip and visceral feel just gives me more encouragement to mash on the accelerator. It also has a much more confident command on the road. On center steering is sharper and there's no more squealing the tires on crosswalk paint when trying to get out of the way quickly at an intersection. While I don't have loads of data to go off of, I would say I've lost less than 10% on range and efficiency. Before the wheel and tire swap, I was showing 4.5miles/kwh, now I'm averaging 4.1-4.2miles/kwh. My drive is 15 miles back and forth to NYC from suburban NJ to Manhattan. It's 300 feet of elevation change, but mostly downhill on the way in to work and while I typically can manipulate my schedule to avoid the heaviest traffic, it sill probably 10 miles of light to moderate traffic highway cruising averaging 50mph and 4 miles of coasting through the tunnel or stop and go city traffic. One thing on range (and I'm sure someone here knows the science behind this) is that like wind resistance, the rolling resistance has a compounding impact as you go faster. So the loss in range and efficiency drops much further if I'm heading home late, have no traffic and can boot along at 70mph for most of the drive when compared to my normally moderate highway and traffic driving. All in all though, a great improvement in performance ane for d feel with only a minimal impact on range.
I also got the GTi seats in. They bolt right up and since they were from a MK7 Gti, the connectors plug in. I just need a VAG/COM computer to I can reset the airbag and seatbelt codes. Fro me this is a massive improvement as I've really become spoiled by sports cars with high bolstered seats to hold you in. It feels more purposful and sporty, but I find the bolsters to be more comfortable too. (BTW, if anyone in the NY Metro area wants my leatherette seats , they're for the taking)
Next up will be springs. Tried for Eibach, but they were on backorder. I have a set of H&R springs now that will be going in soon.