Can You Hear Me Now? – 04.20.016

As per usual, it’s been a long time off.  I wouldn’t say a lot has changed.  If anything there’s been some smaller tweaks and mild upgrades.  Beware of ramblings and digressions…

Diving straight into it, I had been toying with the idea of making my wheels pop a bit more.  So I picked up a some small sheets of metallic red vinyl.  I heated them up and worked them over my centercaps and reinstalled them.  While it does add a good bit of color to the body, the UV rays from the sun have beat the bloody-hell out of the drivers side vinyls.  Being that its only been a few months, it was a nice ‘fad’ but by no means was it long term, which was fine.  At this point, I’m about ready to remove them and either find yet another set of wheels or do something different.  And I haven’t figured out which direction I could go, while spending the least amount of money.

In my off-time I was poking around and looking into small, slim subwoofers.  I happened to come across a few and after a week or two of researching, I had finally pulled the trigger on a really good deal for a Rockford Fosgate PS-8.  A small 300w, powered 8″ subwoofer.  It measures at 13″x9″x3.3″.  I still needed a few components to run this, as I was given an RCD-510 (chinese) head unit from a good friend of mine.  In lieu of that, I needed to pick up a newer CANbus control module to prevent the plagued battery drain issue, from the newer RCD-510 units.  I had also started to develop a rattle on startup, coming from the passenger footwell.  Turns out, it was the circulation vent flap motor that was going bad.  While it was only audible through startup, it was becoming annoying.  Seeking out the part, I put in a batch order for everything needed and set out to pull apart the interior and hammer these installs in one day.

While waiting for all the miscellaneous parts to arrive, I was also looking into doing some sound deadening in the trunk/rear seat-pan area.  I had looked over countless reviews and materials and finally settled on 25 sq.ft. of SecondSkin Damplifier Pro.  It had a great review and the black finish (opposed to Dynamat’s metallic finish) was another selling point for me.  Once it arrived, I set aside some time to pull my trunk lining apart.  I was planning on deadening the trunk floor pan, part of the wheelwells, most of the spare tub-well and as much as I could get of the rear seat-pan.  It laid out nicely and was a very straight-forward install.  Fast forwarding a few weeks, I also lined the rear parcel tray.  Doing this made a dramatic decrease in compressor-on/air-our exhaust noise reduction.  Overall, I’m really happy with the noise that was blocked out by the Damplifier Pro.  It’s thick but manageable.  On the road, it reduces road noise and exhaust drone.

The time finally came where I had all the pieces and I finally had the time so I set out to install the vent flap motor, RCD-510, CANbus controller, and the PS-8 sub.  Everything went as planned, though the CANbus seems to be wonky, so I do need to further troubleshoot that.  But the sub sounds great!  Really picks up the bottom end and for such a small unit, it packs a punch.  My intention wasn’t to thump around town, but rather fill in the bottom end and this little monster sure does that.  For the price and the output, its really not a bad way to spend $180.  Originally installed it in the trunk and after testing it out behind the drivers seat, it fills out so much better, in cab than in the trunk, so I think for now thats where it will sit.  I’m not so worried about being a passenger obstacle as about 90% of the time its just me in the car.  And in the rare cases where I have passengers, I never have more than 3 people in car, total.  The RCD-510 is great!  Seems to be much louder than the previous Semting unit I had in.  Though I do find myself driving with the radio much louder than before so that could also be a factor.  Vent flap motor is also fixed and no more noise on start up.  The only thing left to wire up is the Bluetooh module (9W2) for bluetooth streaming audio and phone calls.

I will also note that I’ve finally got my front dampers adjusted.  After months of thinking they were frozen, I reached out the VWVortex technical forums and found that there is an inner shaft a bit deeper than you can see at first glance.  Currently testing different settings and love it that much more.

Decided to switch up the Flash-to-Pass/High Beam bulbs to Noyka yellow 2500k bulbs and so far I’m happy with them.

For now the only things up next will be a Satin black vinyl roof with matching windshield bar, bluetooth module, clear the airbag light (finally going to VW), rocker vinyl and at some point, respray and clearbra my front bumper, as well as respray my grille.  The past 15k havent been too kind to them.  Maybe some interior bits.  I think thats it. For now…


932Vinyl inserts for the centercaps


934Installed.  Now it makes me need new lugs

935Christmas Eve around midnight.  Decided to park on the deserted freeway.

936A few days later after a late night run in the hills, another dead stop on the freeway.  Just cause I could.

937Someone came close to dying that night.

938My roommate had blown struts.  What better way than to mock her.

939Everlasting bass

940In the friendzone.  My buddies Dinan 335IS



943Pulling the trunk apart in prep for the sound deadening.


945Fully stripped out

946Installing the first few sheets of SecondSkin Damplifier Pro









955All finished

956Pictures of the frame notch, just cause I forgot to take them months ago.


958No glovebox, no problem.

959When this goes out, its annoying.


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