Thursday, 25 November 2010

Friday, 19 November 2010

Golf GTI Edition 30 REVO Stage 1 miles per gallon update: 343 miles @ 29MPG

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

mmmm less than expected, but with the cold weather Im using the heated seats much more.
Time will tell if this is the 'norm' with REVO software

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Nexus One from FRG83 to FRG83B

forums indicated new firmware available

forced checkin using dialpad


voila new system update available, its only 1.3MB , its not Gingerbread but maybe some kind of preamble to it :-)

installed no issues (other than needing sywpe reinstalled again)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Goldeneye Wii Walkthrough + videos

Goldeneye Wii Walkthrough Playlist by Walkthrublazer

Video Games Blogger Walkthrough

Level 1 – Arkhangelsk: Dam
Level 2 – Arkhangelsk: Facility
Level 3 – Arkhangelsk: Airfield
Level 4 – Barcelona: Nightclub
Level 5 – Dubai: Carrier
Level 6 – Severnaya: Outpost
Level 7 – Severnaya: Bunker
Level 8 – St. Petersburg: Archives
Level 9 – St. Petersburg: Tank
Level 10 – St. Petersburg: Station
Level 11 – St. Petersburg: Memorial Park
Level 12 – Nigeria: Jungle
Level 13 – Nigeria: Solar
Level 14 – Nigeria: Cradle & Ending

Fancy Widget / great battery life

2 quick pics

changed to fancy widgets for time/weather icon.

and a pic to show how good my battery life is after moving to FRG83.
that 1day 17hrs with 30% left! I now get at least 2 days from a charge, superb

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Golf GTI Edition 30 REVO Stage 1 remap review

For a long time I have been running APR Stage 1 on my 57 plate manual Edition 30
My original Edition 30 : APR Stage 1 review has all the info for that decision.

At the time I decided that the combination of APR and AwesomeGTI suited my needs best using some factors I think you should consider for a map/tuner :

Customer base (size)
customer feedback
type of customer profile
distance from you
development time and resource to produce product
are they VW specific or other makes too?
time in business for this specific car make
dyno plots (both from company and from forums , they differ greatly). shape is as, if not more important than ultimate numbers
AirFuelRatio data, EGR temp data etc
ability and type of switching , stock vs mapped mode

all well and good, I was happy until October 2010 when the folllowing bombshell dropped from AwesomeGTI HQ

"For nearly 10 years, Awesome have been responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of all APR software and hardware products in the UK. Over a number of years, Awesome have suffered due to 'internal politics' at APR and we have decided to terminate our business relations. As from 3 PM on Tuesday 12th October 2010, Awesome terminated its partnership with APR LLC and signed contracts with Revo Technik as an approved dealer. "

full AwesomeGTI press release

and heres the carrot.....

28 Day Amnesty starting Monday the 18th of October.
This will allow any existing APR software equipped vehicle to be re flashed to REVO software with no charge

as you can imagine I was over the moon at this :happy2:

Now this puts any Awesome supplied APR owner in a quandry.

3 choices
a) move onto REVO software to ensure continued support.
b) keep APR but have no idea where to get support from or indeed how far away from your location it will be.
c) flash back to stock

For me it was actually very easy, and confirmed that backup and support is worth more than ultimate bhp/map name.
Even if Awesome had moved to Id probably have gone with that to keep the support.
But as we all know REVO is the main player in the UK so to be honest it was a no brainer.
Others I'm sure had slightly different decisions, but for me going to REVO on a K04 is not a worry, but theres lots of other maps out there (K03, early 1.8T cars etc)

Offering free changeover was a masterstroke by AwesomeGTI to keep the customer base. Im sure if it had cost then a much larger % would just have said 'fine,Ill keep APR and do without support'.
Not withstanding that Im sure more than a few SPS units have been sold to go with the 'free' remap ;-)

So here I am full circle, originally considering APR vs REVO, choosing APR, then by a quirk of fate moving onto REVO.

I feel pretty lucky as given the cost of a remap, few of us switch between tuners, we mostly make an informed decision then stick with it.
Having had a few discussions it seems that the support just wasnt there from APR, I have experienced this after having misfire issues, where it became patently obvious that Awesome were spending vast amounts of time logging my car (not at my expense I hasten to add) to eventually find an APR map fault.
I also believe that theres an issue with APR stg1 ED30 file and high flow intakes (Forge Twintake/ITG Maxogen) that APR have no inclination to resolve.

however I digress.

For over 30000 miles I have thoroughly enjoyed the APR stg1 K04 ED30 map, but circumstance means Im now REVO...

timeline for maps on my car
0 - 12,000 miles : OE std map
12000 - 31000 miles : APR stage 1 flash
31000 - 42000 miles : APR stage 1 v2.2 update
42000 - to date : REVO stage 1

well that would be from AwesomeGTI, Manchester

REVO quote the following figures/gains and costs
2.0T FSI 230bhp/221lbsft 300bhp/310lbsft trial=yes £499 (stage1) £549(stage2) £599(stage2+)

for stage 1 the relative gains are 2.0TFSi +35-60 bhp +50-80 lbft torque
if you have stage 1 its £50 to upgrade to stage2

for me the map and logging/setup itself was free under Awesomes offer.

If you are the tweaking kind or want the ability to switch to stock , or want to activate the antitheft feature you also need the SPS switch which is £99.
With APR I could switch maps using the cruise control stalk. With that no longer available I needed to buy the SPS unit to perform the same function
(and allow me to 'play' with the settings)
Best have a look at what the SPS can do

Simples, turn up reflash and some on road logging to set the Boost/Timing/Fuel parameters (which are set initially but you can then alter with the SPS)
As it turned out I'd filled with BP Ultimate 97RON which isnt good enough for the usual timing settings.
So mine was pegged back to B6T3F9 (normal on 99RON would be something like B7/T5/F9)
I did not request dyno runs, which I'll get done later once I've tweaked the settings with VCDS AND fitted my new THS engine mounts(now fitted see my other review)

Heres a sample APR vs REVO graph for an Edition 30 (stage 2 I think) that awesome had in recently

plenty of choice, just do the research first
APR (lol)

Ok, so in the morning I drive in on APR , in the afternoon I drive out on REVO (B6T3F9).
Immediately I notice the idle is better, and dont push the car too hard. First impressions are good
I subsequently pottered about and got a full tank of Shell VPower in and SPS'd the settings on Performance Map1 to B7T4F9.
Now for some fun, the throttle modulation feels different much more progressive.
APR improved the throttle control when I got the updated v2.2 map, allowed much better control but REVO improves it even further.
You can actually hold for example a small level of boost e.g. 5psi consistently whilst accelerating (this is actually quite hard on APR)
Acceleration feels 'clean and crisp' is the best way to describe it. The engine inertia feels lighter as if flywheel has been lightened.
I have a DEFi boost guage which has been invaluable for comparison (without which my assumptions and feelings would have been wrong...), I can cross reference butt dyno feel with actual psi.
(yes, I know psi isnt everything but its a reasonable bencmark here)
For a while my APR software had a peak of 20psi (early files had a higher peak) but dropped quickly to 16psi then back up as revs rise
(this is due to APR reducing boost from 3.5 - 4.5krpm for surge they believe occurs),
ironically this means that APR 'feels' faster than REVO but isnt by a long way.
REVO software peaks higher initially (23+psi) AND then holds it higher for a longer rev range.

There are 2 areas where they differ the most
1) 3500-4500 rpm boost levels : APR dips REVO stays put
2) 4500rpm to redline boost levels : APR boost is much lower with an ever increasing psi gap to the redline wrt REVO

in short they are NIGHT AND DAY, when driving the car it feels different but the boost guage also tells a story.
Driving cars back to back you would think "REVO more linear and pulls harder top end", but if you look at the boost levels the gap is even wider than it feels.

And so we get onto hardware protection mapping, basically VW's effort to protect your engine.
Failsafes exist in the OE map, if the exhaust gas temperature levels get too high or maybe the airfuel ratio gets too lean then the ecu overrides any requests and tries to put more fuel in.
Much debate has ensued on various forums with it now into urban myth status, last time I saw any meaningful data was that both APR and REVO have protection mapping still present.
(some early REVO tunes may not but i cant substantiate that)

APR put a lot of emphasis on playing smarter by getting similar power to other tuners but also keeping within AFR and EGT limits.
Whilst I believe them, you also have to balance this with how many REVO cars are out there and havent had issues.
(Also consider that whats relevant in other countries isnt necessarily relevant here, fuel type/RON , climate conditions etc ALL effect a tuners ethos and the results)
REVO have also had issues with some tunes (misfires on certain cars), so neither is whiter then white.
I try to be unbiased.

TODO additional data links
some notes from Arin@APR about tuning philosphy

Plus Points (compared to APR)
software settings are optimised and can be adjusted for each individual car.
idle quality seems better
the way the car revs 'feel' different and almost lightened if that makes sense. throttle response modulation has altered
car seems to spool earlier but ramp rate is reduced (probably effected by the boost setting in SPS)
boost builds then holds in a linear fashion there much less of a torque spike, this also helps the tyres keep grip and doesnt shock them loose as much.
tunable upgrade path to suit your mods
complimentary DSG software is available should you wish it

Minus Points (compared to APR)
you need an external SPS switch to swap maps (as opposed to cruise stalk for APR)
clutch was marginal on APR, on REVO its quite clearly on borrowed time! (although you could argue that linear delivery although higher stresses the plates less than a peaky lower delivery)
fuel economy is slightly worse

I have ran APR stage 1 ED30 software for 30,000 miles with no issues (few early teething troubles aside!) and good economy to boot.
I would have no hesitation recommending APR again where the individual wants support over ultimate hp for a local APR tuner.
Bottom line is, Ive tried it and it runs well and i loved it, and my car never broke.
(If Awesome switched back to APR I would quite happily switch back for the support aspect and acknowledge I'd lost some performance)

moving onto REVO, I love the new found ability to tweak the settings via the SPS.
I prefer the delivery style and the sheer increase in acceleration, its a great product, my feelings seem to echo just about every other REVO user Ive spoken too.
Is REVO running at safe boost and AFR values? I dont know, I hope so.
Is REVO running so far above safe levels that APR indicate? I doubt it otherwise we would have seen more failures.

My advice at the moment would be

If you want ultimate performance : get REVO
If you live close to a trusted garage that supplies APR : get APR and be happy you have a good tune
If you like to be 'safe' and worry about crossing the road at night : get APR

I'm no REVO or APR fanboi and i hate the forum rubbish that I regularly see spouted about both companies.
Do the research and make your own mind up. Its more likely that some other factor will ruin your car (poor quality oil/low oil/ dont let it warm up etc)

I was happy before, and I'm even happier now.
Based on my experience REVO is a faster, linear tune for a UK ED30 stg1 than APR in the same environment on the same fuel (UK 99RON Shell VPower)
If for some reason it goes bang or REVO is proved to be unsafe in the future this statement would be untrue and APR would have been proved to be right.

you pays your money, you takes your chance ................

thanks for reading :happy2:

future stuff
TODO : add logging new settings
TODO : add actual dyno plots of my own car

[EDIT : Nov 2015 car on 88000 miles : still running REVO Stage1 after all these years, BTF settings slightly reduced to keep the torque ramp up lower to make the clutch last as long as possible.
I have not updated the map version, nor got the 'linear settings' maybe at some point. Still love it, car runs great]

Monday, 8 November 2010

THS Replacement FR3 Engine Mounts Golf GTI Edition 30 : Review


well Im sure most of you already know Ive been incrementally trying to decrease the amount of engine movement I feel my car has had from day 1.
So my cars manual Ed30 'timeline' of incremental actions Ive researched and subsequently tried has been :

0 miles : car delivered with OE mounts
12,000 miles : ECS Lower Mount Insert review
26,000 miles : VWR 'Fast Road' Engine Mount + Powerflex Insert Bush - Review (Note : this replaces the ECS insert with a complete new mount)
44,900 miles : THS side mounts fitted : this review (Note : VWR Lower Mount + Powerflex bush still remain)

I strongly recommend you take a look at the VWR Lower mount review above as it also outlines lots of general detail about the TFSI engine mounts Im not going to repeat here. (as well as links to RedRobins other engine mount reviews)

For a long time now I have endured a broken oil cap / engine cover due to excessive movement that the dealer refuses to agree is a problem! (Note : I am now out of warranty)
Each time I have made changes the situation has improved to a varying degree, but over time either the new modification has 'softened' and/or the other mounts have continued to deteriorate.
This means unless you do a replacement of all items at once, theres a knock on effect.
I definitely felt that fitting the lower VWR mount hastened the demise of the side mounts (or maybe its just the way the OE mounts age past a certain amount of 'flexibility')

So I got to a point where I could face it no longer, my daughter would have to have a few less toys so that daddy can buy some engine mounts (lol).
The horrendous wheel hop and gradually returned and was painful, so much so I rarely 'pushed on'. As well as that deactivating the cruise control resulted in a jolt as the mounts rocked back and forth, very annoying. I have spent

best part of 6 months driving around the inadequacies of my engine mounts.

Having researched all the choices (see below) , and SteveP kindly setting up a very well timed
THS Engine Mount Group Buy, I jumped at the THS side mounts
(remember I already have a VWR lower mount which is the same as the THS lower version to all extents).

Why THS ?
I believe this represents a good halfway house between OE mounts and fully reworked mountings (BSH/VWR etc)
My previous experience with VWR lower mount showed me just how much a small difference can alter the NVH within the car, combined with stokeballons review on BSH mounts
, and the fact he removed them, prudence was required and I knew some compliance would still be required in the mounting system.
I like the concept of taking the OE design and improving it as well. (Although longer term this may also mean the mounts 'age' just like OE, but VWR/BSH mounts may not)
And lastly the price point is appealing, especially as theres a chance I dont like them!


THS Performance

"2005-Present (MK5/6 Platform VAG cars)
THS Performance have developed a new engine mounting system for the 1.8T FSI and 2.0T FSI MK5 and MK6 type application.
The outer casing of the mounting system maintains stock appearance, whilst the internal rubber has been carefully re-engineered by means of shape and stiffness to reduce engine/drive train movement. The rubber is 30% stiffer than standard but becasue of the re-engineered shape the engine movement is reduced by over 50% without transmitting any serious engine vibration back into the vehicle unlike polyurethane mounts.
The extra control over the engine and drive train makes for a much more precise power transmission to the road both on 2wd and 4wd applications.
Significantly reducing wheel hop on 2wd cars. Other benefits are reduced stress on the exhaust system."

cost was £160 (£200 normally) via the forums group buy.


It looks scary but in reality its not that bad, as long as you take your time and have the right tools.
I was quoted by Awesome GTi Manchester around 1.5 to 2 hours labour (£82.50 to £110), but decided to attempt it myself.
SteveP quotes around an hour, it took me around 2.

(install guide copied from SteveP's notes)
Tools Needs: -
19 (maybe 18 mm lol), 13 & 10mm Sockets
16mm deep Socket
Couple of medium and long extension bars
T20 Torx Screwdriver
Jack and a wooden block to support the engine
Also found a magnetic pick up tool very helpful :grin:

On the drivers side mount I removed the bolts/screws for the washer filler neck, charcoal cannister and expansion tank, then unbolted the side support bracket.
Then you can get at the mount, that's unbolted by removing the2 x 16mm bolts and 2 x 19mm bolts.

Pics of the driver side mount: -

This side done: -

For the passenger side mount, the battery and battery tray (3 x 13mm bolts) need to be removed, then unclip the wiring loom tray the rest on top of the mount.
Then unbolt the three 19mm bolts on the engine side of the mount and the 4 x 19mm.
Pics of the Passenger side: -

This side done

my comments
I reused my original bolts
Use a torque wrench! +1/4 turn is a lot.
keep bolts in removal position order by punching holes in boxes new mounts come in to store bolts
fit bolts to chassis side first THEN engine side, if it feels wrong dont force or risk a cross thread!
use a jack to support the engine (THIS IS A MUST), once you see how much it all moves with a mount removed youll wonder why the OE mounts arent twice the size they are.
If you have a map e.g. REVO theres a chance the settings may get lost so have an SPS switch handy

other data
comments as fitted by Gaz
original mounts query thread by me

torque specs

Bolt numbers and approximate costs should you wish to buy replacements

Engine Mount =
2 x N 019 502 13 - M8x25 (£0.51 each)
1 x N 905 969 06 - M10x55x32 (£4.11 each)
2 x N 105 524 02 - M12x1,5x70 (£2.35 each)
1 x N 910 296 02 - AM10x55/M6x12 (£3.94 each)

Gearbox Mount =
4 x N 905 969 06 - M10x55x32 (£4.11 each)
2 x N 105 524 02 - M12x1,5x70 (£2.35 each)

Lower Mount =
1 x N 911 671 01 - M10x75 (£1.65 each)
1 x N 910 661 01 - M10x35 (£1.65 each)

All prices are inc VAT and as a guide only (part list from ETKA for a 2008 Golf).

TODO : describe old mounts
TODO : add pic of old mounts

Alternative engine mounts to consider

Theres a considerable amount of choice out there for engine mount replacements, its just a question of how far you want to go, and how much NVH you are willing to put up with.

BSH mounts
(non OE appearance but stealth like , poly bushing , inc new bolts) 78a durometer bushings
BSH speedshop
stokeballons review
vortex review
golfmkv review

VWR mounts
(non OE appearance, poly bushing)
VWR Racing
RR's lower mount review
my review of lower mount
RR's full set review

VF Engineering
(look the same as BSH version)
VF Engineering

BlackForestIndustries (US)
supply inserts (passengers side) , preassembled or full items (drivers side) , 3 levels of hardness from 1 to 3
"Stage1 65a poly inserts vs. the stock (45a)inserts are 50% stiffer than stack. Will increase some vibration in cabin - especially during certain rpm ranges"
they have a useful diagram of the collapsed OE mount .....

Use OE new mounts and fill as per TeutonicTamer
TT's thread on modded engine mounts
My only concern is that its still 2 different types of material that may seperate and age differently. Not entirely convinced it will last for very long.

I remember jonnyc also filled some engine mounts for his S3

Specific noise data

Im trying to compare to how I previously reported when the VWR lower was fitted. Now bear in mind that this got quieter over time as both it and other mounts have softened further

idle or idle+aircon
in a previous review I complained that a vibration was existent with air con on once the VWR lower had been fitted, ironically with the 2 side mounts fitted AND new REVO software this is now gone! something has meant the harmonics have changed out of this range. At idle my car is now quieter than it was before.

clutch biting point
I always have moaned that the DMFlywheel and clutch on the GTI is pants. feel is non existent. Immediately after fitting I felt the noise at the biting point was worse, but almost straight away this went, now the

noise at takeup has gone as feels much less harsh (ironic when you consider the NVH increases in all other phases, I would theorise the mounts 'settled' post installation, or maybe Im just deaf from the Grr...)

acceleration mild : feels coarse/harsh, +50% NVH increase. level increases as revs rise

deceleration : feels coarse/harsh, +50% NVH increase. level increases as revs rise

acceleration full : wtf! way more noise, easily +100% or more, when I spoke to Gaz I mentioned its more like an old mk2escort on twin 45DCOE carbs at full chat!
its intake/gearbox + just about any noise you can think of lol. Sounds like I have an intake fitted when I dont.not for the faint hearted or the paranoid.

You can modulate some of the sound with load applied but some still remains even on a flat throttle.
however cruising at 70-80mph is almost identical to before. Definitely lower speeds you notice the noises more.

now that sounds bad but it isnt really. I have now completed over 200 miles and already the noises are improving.
But in reality the car is no longer the paragon of smoothness you hoped for, but for me the benefits FAR outweigh the disadvantages of fitting.
I find it hard to imagine what the full BSH/VWR mounts sound like, if this is the halfway house.

Plus Points

OE look. OE design but better.
Fits just like OE
Warranty friendly
Its an easy to fit modification that looks daunting but isnt (but could be if you get it wrong)
Depending on how they last, I would say good value.
Engine no longer moves at all. Engine Cover/Oil Filler cap are now safe (as are aftermarket intakes if you have one installed re: forge snapping bracket)
Aural improvement if thats your thing. Grrrrr TM according to RedRobin
adds some intake like type noise even with stock engine cover
wheelhop is gone (finally)
clutch bitepoint noise has improved significantly.
THS Performance support seems to so far have been top notch with questions answered quickly and even torque settings supplied.

Minus Points

NVH. not really in keeping with the GTI fast but refined ethos. coming from very worn OE mounts they are a vast difference.
Long term resilience as yet unproven.
May impact if you planned to sell the car, prospective buyer will just compare to OE sounds and reckon your gearbox/engine is fkd
The lower mount (which I didnt fit , as I have a VWR one) is much less of a DIY proposition.

Until someone creates adaptive engine mounts that can be retrofitted to mk5/mk6 golfs the whole area is a compromise of
reduced engine movement VS Noise/Vibration/Harshness levels.
These can be effected by design and nature of the components used to build the engine mounts (contact surface area ,durometer of rubber/poly used etc)

The OE mount does a fantastic job at keeping noise levels low but allows significant engine movement even when new (and gets % wise far worse as they wear more).
I guess if you could get them cheap enough, replacing the OE mounts with new OE mounts every 5-10k miles could be an option but thats not for me, besides even when new they arent that great.

So if like me you can sacrifice some comfort for a fully restrained engine you will have to fit aftermarket mounts using one of the options I listed above.

My advice after doing this incrementally (assuming you place engine restraint over noise levels) would be to

IDEAL SCENARIO : fit all 3 mounts (2 x side + lower) at the same time so that the loads are spread evenly across all stress points.
Doing it incrementally I believe, has greatly shortened the life of my OE side mounts as well as my newer lower mount. all at once or nothing.

less effective (but more cost efficient) maybe to consider 2 x side with the dogbone insert, that way you can fit it all at home without the need for a press.
(I do however feel this is suboptimal and may not last as long as in combination with a 'good' lower mount), I havent tried it but the noise levels maybe reduced too.

fit lower VWR/THS mount and 2 new OE mounts, and replace the OE mounts frequently. that way noise is significantly reduced, OE mounts arent left to age to any great extent.

Its a double edged sword as you want them to hold the engine tight but at the same time soften to reduce noise levels.

At this stage 200 miles since fitting, I am very happy with the THS side mounts and Im quite happy to give them 1000 miles or more to bed in. :happy2:
Ill be sure to update this review as the miles progress........

thanks to everyone for their help and input on all aspects of providing data etc of this review. :happy2:

Monday, 1 November 2010

Nexus One : from VF FRF91 to FRG33 and beyond (FRG83)

I currently own a Nexus One mobile phone bought off ebay second hand, what I didnt realise was that it has a custom vodafone firmware! which means you always wait ages for vodafone to 'agree' a release.
This was kindof ok for a while , as Froyo was delivered quite quickly.

But recently Ive been unable to upgrade the YouTube app , and I wanted to be ready for Gingerbread 2.3 when its released :-)

So I decided to upgrade to free me from the VF shackles.
Its detailed in the post below but basically I went from

VF FRF91 -> stock FRG33 (full -> stock FRG83 (

All seemed to go well, although Ive had to load all apps again. (i used Astro to backup prior to upgrade, then reinstalled using Astro)
LauncherPro allows you to save config which is nice :-)
all stuff on sd card is of course untouched.
Swype needs fully reinstalled.

So far phone seems fab, battery life has improved which i suspect is mostly down to 3G changes.
It now seems to only show '3G' when theres a decent enough signal, most of the time its 2g! round my area.

Now eagerly awai ting Gingerbread :-)