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Friday, December 31, 2010

Snow Drift(ing)

Forecast calls for snow this week in Southern New Mexico! After being in NJ during their recent blizzard, I was seriously missing my Treg and its chunky tires with all-wheel-drive and low-range gearbox.  I had to make due with a F-150 with no frills and 2WD.  Some power over-steering was fun, but when I got to my in-laws' yet-to-be-plowed street, I had to park the truck up the road at a school and trudge my way down the road.  I know that if I'd had the Treg right there, I could have made it up the road and kept the cuffs of my pants from being frozen and subsequently soaked.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Europlate

One of the best front-end features of my R32 was the europlate.  I loved the contrast of the white/blue on the red bumper.  Though it won't "pop" as much on my bland white TReg, I'm considering a couple of custom plates.  Any comments are welcome.  See below:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Towing with the TReg

This post is about a month overdue, but getting used to a new job, base and house has kept me quite busy the last 30+ days.  In moving from from FL to NM, I had originally bought the Touareg for just this endeavor.  I wanted to tow one of our vehicles cross-country so that the driving could be split between the Wife and I.  I ended up doing 100% of the driving since the Wife wasn't comfortable at all driving with a trailer on the back.  I decided to spring for the car trailer from U-Haul instead of the tow dolly because our Jetta TDI was going to be heavily loaded with odds and ends that were packed up at the last minute.

The TReg did a great job with the extra 5,000lbs on the back.  U-Haul recommends a 55mph speed limit, but after several hours of driving and the rate I saw other trailers being towed, I was eventually comfortable with a higher speed.  Despite the extra weight and having a thirsty V8 under the hood, I still managed 10.7mpg overall on the 1800mi trip.  The only point at which I wished I didn't have a 5,000lb trailer behind me was when we hit the Rockies.  Without a brake controller, mine were working overtime on the descent and eventually wore to the brake sensor.  Likewise, on the ascent, my NA motor was struggling to get up some of the steeper inclines.  Not to say that it was difficult, just that the lack of HP at the higher altitudes while towing was painfully apparent.

I'll look to get a small trailer eventually for carting around things that won't fit in the back of the TReg, and maybe a tow dolly if I end up buying a fwd car to get my kicks on the abundant mountain roads just a 20min drive away..

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New wheels!

It's been a while since I've posted.  I can blame the move, but laziness is just as responsible.  The new wheels were ordered from TireRack through my favorite shop, UroTuning.  They're made by O.Z. wheel, another favorite of mine, and called the Canyon ST.  The color is Matte Graphite Silver, and they're 18x8.  I wanted to go with a beefier tire than the stock setup, and decided on a 265/65/18.  I've seen up to a 285/60/18 fit with spacers on the front, and know of a few other Touareg owners who have the tire size I selected.  Still, when holding it up against the stock wheels, it's a wonder that these fit without much trouble.  The tire diameter ends up being about 3" bigger than stock, and will fill the tirewells so that the Touareg looks more like the offroad vehicle it was designed to be.

Amazingly, I was able to get all four of the wheels in the back of my R32 (which I finally have a serious buyer for.)  Here are the pics to prove it:

Monday, August 9, 2010

aFe Air Filters

Yesterday, I installed my aFe Pro Dry S air filters.  The Touareg has two air boxes, so that doubles my cost for filters. Fortunately, with the aFe as with K&N, these are guaranteed for 1,000,000 miles.  Because I'll be moving to a dryer, dustier climate this year, I opted for the dry filter over the oiled filters found in most aftermarket intakes. 

According to the quick-reference sheet included with the filters, simply banging the filter against a solid surface will get them 86% clean, taking a vacuum to the panel will get them 97% clean, and washing them in a lightly-soaped water will get you 100%.  Since these are dry filters, they are easier to clean and do not need to be "recharged" with an oil kit. They actually block 99.2% of dirt, as opposed to the 98.6% of an oiled filter.

These are a great option for any vehicle, but as there is 0% in the aftermarket for intake systems on my T-Reg, they are the only upgrade I can think of.  I'm sure they'll afford me a few more horses since they allow better breathing for the engine, but fuel economy will also increase (I'm hoping) which is good since I've been averaging 12.68mpg over the last few tanks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Push-button start? Yes, please.

It's been a few days since I've posted an update, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy! Since my last post, I've installed the euro-dash cover which replaces the trays above the radio with a pop-top cubby and makes the dash look super clean.

In addition to the dash cover, I received and installed my NY GIANTS hitch cover and hitch lock. A hitch cover provides me with the chance to show support for my favorite team without adding a bumper sticker (never been a fan of those). I also received my WeatherTech mats for the front and rear seats as well as a rear cargo area mat. I'll upload photos and my initial impressions of those in a separate post.

Also to be covered in a separate post is my recent GIAC tune installed by Justin @ UroTuning. I'll just say that throttle response was improved by at least 80% and the shifts are so smooth that if I didn't have an exhaust note, I wouldn't know they were happening!

My favorite (and by far most convenient) mod is the OEM push-button start that I installed yesterday afternoon. This was purchased from SpockCat on Installation instructions were very straightforward and made life 10x easier. I've only been able to start/stop the T-Reg so far, but I should be able to just turn on the ignition once I get the hang of how the two-tier button works. I've been able to unlock the vehicle just by grasping any door handle, and now I can continue to leave the key in my pocket from start to finish!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just a quick post to list out the LED bulb types and their locations. Check out the Touareg section of UroTuning in the next week to see the pricing on these. (They ain't cheap! LOL)

Front dome and map lights
- 39mm Fuse Style (1) Note: I used the High-Intensity (HI)
- 194 Wedge Style (2) (HI)

Rear map
- 194 Wedge Style (2)

- 194 Wedge Style (4)

- 42mm Fuse Style (2) (HI used on both sides)
- 39mm Fuse Style (1) for the rear hatch door

Glovebox and center console
- 194 Wedge Style (2)

I didn't replace the door lighting when opened because their usually not included in "the interior" count and aren't seen often enough to make a difference. I'm experimenting with a select couple of external bulb replacements, but so far nothing's really "poppin".

I'll be taking some high-quality photos of the interior lights to post on here and be used for the UroTuning kit.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Parts, parts, and more parts..

Yesterday, I picked up the black FK badgeless grille from my buddy Justin @ UroTuning along with several more LEDs to finish the interior lighting. When I got home from work today, I found that my new "Touareg" aluminium door sills had arrived, along with the Votex rear spoiler that I'd ordered earlier in the week. Also in the mail this week was a replacement steering wheel, as the one currently in the car is worn beyond all repair. Photos of the parts installed below:

Fairly plain by itself...

But "pimp" when installed.

SO glad these came as they did. I'd heard horror stories about UPS bending them in the other packaging.

Plain Jane.

More "pimpage"

Need to find a paintshop...

...And, last but not least, the new wheel.

P.S. I'll post tomorrow with a complete list of LED bulbs and locations for reference. Just said he'd put together a kit for the interior, but it will be a little pricey (there are THIRTEEN lights to replace inside!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tinting Options

Two things that absolutely need to be tinted are my front windows. The FL sun is far too brutal to not take protective measures against the UV rays. Another option is to tint my headlights and tailights. I'd normally take them over to my paint guy and have him do them professionally (my R32 tailights looked beautiful in their charcoal finish), but he's currently on hiatus and not painting. Enter LAMIN-X. They offer pre-cut adhesive vinyl for all makes and models, whether you want a protective clear coat or wish to add some color or darkness to the application. I definitely want to go very dark on the tailights, but will probably stick to a light smoke on the headlights so as not to reduce the light output at night. Here's a sampling of the tint options.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wheels, wheels, wheels..

My wife came up with an interesting proposal yesterday: Whoever loses 10lbs first gets to pick the new wheels for the Touareg. While the current 19x9 setup works just fine, the previous owner spent a lot of her parking attempts against the curb. Despite being on a high-profile tire, the wheel faces are all scratched in one way or another. The Bridgestones are only a few months old and still have plenty of tread on them, so the responsible thing to do would be to get a new set of 19's and just swap the tires over. However, having a $2500 allowance for wheels/tires upon winning this bet means I'm going big or going home. Here are a few possibilities ;)

Porsche 997 Turbo Reps - 22x10

Audi RS4 Reps - 22x10

Rinspeed C5/1

Friday, July 16, 2010

Things done today..

Stopped by my buddy's shop, UroTuning, and picked up some LED bulbs from the 42Draft Designs parts bin. Everything in the headliner will be replaced with the cool, clean, white light from a light-emitting diode. I have to figure out which type of bulb is under the dash and front seats for the footwell lighting. Hopefully, it's something easily sourced from the LED catalog to match the others. Also got an update on my order for the first exterior mod to be done, a black badgeless grille from FK.

I also emailed VWoA from the main website with my VIN and informed them that I was the new owner and would like to make sure that all Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) were completed on the car. They responded to say they had all been completed and would notify me in the future of any new TSBs to be aware of. :)

There are only a few quirks to the car that I have to sort out; the center armrest in the front squeaks when pressed down upon; the car has a "stink" of the previous owner's 3.5yrs of use (bought an air freshener, but a carpet shampooing and cabin filter replacement are likely necessary); the navigation discs are from 2003, so my house/street/development doesn't exist on the map.


I never documented the build-up of my previous car, a 2004 VW Golf R32. After 4 years and $10k invested, I only have my own failing memory to look back on and see each step of the process. Despite my new-to-me 2005 VW Touareg V8 having a much shorter list of potential modifications, I decided to document each and every touch I add to it. Interior, exterior, engine, electrical and mechanical, I will photograph, review and comment on each, hopefully helping another Touareg owner in their own build at some point.

Touareg Specs:
Color: Campanella White w/Kristal Grey Interior
Model Year: 2005
Engine type: 4.2
Power/ Torque: 310 bhp /302 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed Tiptronic© automatic transmission w/low range
Drivetrain: 4Motion full-time all-wheel drive
Mileage: 68,000mi
Original MSRP: $56,100
Options: Too many to list from memory, so I'll upload a scan of the window sticker. ;)

Some light reading on the Touareg
"Touareg - Complete Specs (USA)".
"VW Releases Details On 350Hp Touareg R50 - Carscoop".
"Volkswagen Touareg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"

A potential activity :)