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Hello all,

I thought I'd have a go at reviewing all the mods done to my car so far, hopefully it'll be of interest to anyone considering any of these upgrades... Enjoy;

Bilstein B14 coilovers

I’m very impressed with these coilovers so far, I've always liked the way the standard GTi handles and was a bit worried that this mod would make the car less pleasurable to drive on a daily basis but there's actually very little perceivable difference in ride comfort during normal driving even on poor road surfaces but you can feel the difference with more aggressive driving. High speed corners are certainly better but the improvement isn’t huge over the standard set-up, the real noticeable improvement is with rapid changes in direction where the old setup always felt like there was too much weight up high (panoramic roof?), The car now feels much more sorted.

Vibra Technics engine/transmission mounts

This is a difficult comparison as my standard transmission mount was quite worn when these mounts were fitted so it's difficult to compare to standard. The stronger mounts allow noticeably more vibration into the cabin from the moment you turn the key, I’m thinking about increasing the idle speed slightly as the vibes lessen markedly when revs increase slightly above idle. You are always aware of the mounts when driving but they’re not overly intrusive at normal engine speeds. When you put your foot down and really accelerate hard you get a nice vibe through the cabin that gives a subtle harshness to the car (bit like an old school hot hatch from the era before the current obsession with NVH). Other difference? The car is now better mannered in stop start traffic and makes rapid changes in direction better, it also gets off the line a bit smoother with less wheel hop. This has actually proven to be one of my favourite mods but it might not be to all tastes. I certainly wouldn't want any more NVH and I wouldn't personally go down the route of Poly mounts.

Quaife automatic torque biasing differential

Excellent. The one thing that always disappointed a little with the 208 was the lack of front end grip, this diff has really transformed the car and the speed at which it can now go round corners is really quite remarkable. Downsides? It’s a bit noisy (especially when putting your foot down from low revs), it was noticeable from the moment it was fitted. It also encourages the bad driving practice of accelerating mid corner because this actually helps tighten the line which is pretty much opposite to what happens in the standard car in the same circumstances. I don't think I'd ever go back to having a performance car with an open diff.

Helix 8.2kg Billet Steel flywheel

This upgrade was done along with the Clutch and diff, the main reason for upgrading was to improve throttle response and strengthen the engine should I decided to chase more power. I haven’t really notice much of an improvement in throttle response unfortunately but I’m wondering if I would need a better map to make the most of this mod (would certainly welcome your thoughts on this). Unexpectedly the car’s low speed drivability in stop start traffic was also slightly improved.

Helix organic clutch

I decided to upgrade the clutch due to the high torque being put out by my car (280 ft/ibs). The clutch doesn’t feel all that different from standard to be honest, it’s certainly heavier and can be a bit tiring in traffic until you get used to it but otherwise it feels very 208 including (sadly) the high bite point. I've never had any issues with slipping though although my car isn’t producing particularly high power or torque figures (plenty of people run these figures with standard clutches without issue) but it's nice knowing the car's fitted with a substantially more robust clutch for peace of mind.

AirTec front mounted intercooler.

This FMIC has dramatically decreased my cars intake temperatures and it's a really well-made piece of kit being of bar and plate core with cast end cans. I think I probably would have gone for the Pug1Off intercooler if it had been available at the time mostly because from what I've read it's a much better fit whereas the AirTec doesn’t fit the face-lifted car all that well and a bit of bumper trimming was required for my car. For comparison the AirTec is a bit thicker than the Pug1Off 60mm Vs 50mm and it's also wider 760mm Vs 670mm but the P1 does have a height advantage at 220mm Vs 175mm (7.98 Vs 7.37 litres – not internal capacity).

GBF performance diverter valve

This was a subtle mod it’s not really something you notice much (it doesn’t make stupid noises like a blow-off valve). The car seems to accelerate more consistently now but it’s negligible, the main reason for upgrading was because I’d heard that the standard valve is a bit cheap/nasty and there have been instances of bits of plastic getting into the turbo and causing damage. The GFB certainly feels well made and it's easy to fit also.

EBC Ultimax Pad & Plain Disc Kit

These aren’t an upgrade as such, they’re pretty much an equivalent to standard. That said they have great feel and work well. Hard, frequent braking will cause some fade but nothing I wouldn't expect. They're fine for road use and I’d only bother upgrading if I decide to start doing trackdays one day.

Pug1Off short shifter.

This was a nice cheap mod. I initially had it in the middle setting but then changed it to the shortest throw at service time which I prefer. It was fiddley to get the pin out when installing and I think if I was doing this again I’d probably buy the gasket and fit it outside the confines of the engine bay.

SP Tuning remap

I had the car rolling road mapped at SP Tuning in Hinckley, I chose SP because they're local to me and they've been tuning THPs for years (they're quite well known in the DS3 community). They did a good job with my car, it now produces a healthy 240BHP & 280 ft/ibs in a linear fashion and it feels much stronger than standard. As mentioned above I would like to see if throttle response could be improved the next time it's mapped but it's certainly not bad (it feels standard in this respect).

Thanks to Pug1Off who fitted many of the mods.
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