Well the carbon fiber trim wrap is done! Took me about 3-4hrs total to do everything, but I was taking my time trying to clean/prep all trim surface as best I could.
I did cheat a little on this as I didn't remove all of the door or dash trim. I did remove the ash tray, shifter boot, and the trim around the cup holder / hazardswitch, as those corners we very visible, plus I just wanted to do a really good job to prep them. As for everything else, I just thoroughly cleaned the trim with rubbing alcohol, applied the film using my Amazon Vinyl installation kit (link), and finished with a little heat and a tracing cut around the each of the trim. I'm actually surprised how easy this really is. The trick I found was that you don't want to heat the film too much, but just enough where it adds a little flexibility when pressing out the air bubbles. When you are dealing with corners, add more heat, and stretch the film around, but hold it until the film cools so it hold the shape.
I do think this really refreshed the look of my interior. There is some orange peel effect on the film if you look closely. I'm guess that is likely because I used super cheap film, but I'm still proud of my work. The real test is how this will hold up 90+ degree heat.... we get maybe a week or two of that here around the Seattle, but we will see.
Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap: https://www.wish.com/product/5a0fa38523b4151774024fd7
Installation Kit: https://amzn.to/2O4ecoG
For anyone on the fence on doing a project like this, just do it. It is actually fun and super easy. Just clean the trim surface as best you can and I think you will get good results.
You all might laugh at this, but I just discovered wish.com. I thought I could get lot on Amazon, but holy crap this site is crazy. That said, I ordered some gloss carbon fiber vinyl wrap and the thought was to wrap the fake wood trim in the S4. I've seen a few rolling with the same setup so I figure I give it a try. I've never done any kind of vinyl wrapping so I figured it would be fun to see how it turned out....
Below is my first attempt around the shifter. I'm only not sure about it being super glossy. I have on order some non-glossy carbon fiber wrap on order just in case I change my mind. So what are you thought? Do all the trim or keep it stock?
First off, I bought this tune, with my own $$$, so take note this is not some hidden sponsored blog post. I ordered the Stage 1 tune, and had the software and first revision of the tune within a few days. They do ask for all your modifications so they can prepare the tune as the cable is getting shipped out. You log into their online portal, download their software and download your first tune. With the OBDII cable provided, you connected it to the OBDII port and your PC. Getting the PC and OBDII to connect can be a little fussy some times. If you are a computer nerd such as myself take note that using a USB over serial type connection like this cables can require a reboot of the PC when things to don't work. So for laptop users that just leave their computer in standby mode, reboot and then connect everything to reduce connection errors. That said, you first "Read the ECU" to save a copy of your current ECU setup. As I didn't know what I was running, I really didn't care about that, but did it anyway. After that, to Write to the ECU you locate your tune file that your previously download and get ready to write. You will get warning that it is best to have a charger connected to your battery. I risked it and didn't do that, but I turned off all lights, radio, AC/blower, etc so there was little to no draw. The writing process takes about 5-10 mins from start to finish. Once it was done I disconnected and then connected vcds to do a throttle body adaption. This was not requested by Motoza, but I did it anyway as many forum members recommended it after loading any kind of tune or resetting the ECU. After that I went for a drive for about 20-30 mins to get the S4 nice and warmed up. After it was warm you enable logging via their same software with your laptop and the supplied OBDII cable. They recommend to log for 15+ min to get a good sense of how the car is doing. Do a couple of WOT runs, cruise on the highway, and some city driving. After the logging, you upload the log files to the same online portal. 24-48hrs later they review the logs and provide a new tune revision if one is needed. When I got my second revision, I did the same thing write, log, and report my experience. Currently I'm waiting on my last revision as we are going to bump up the boost a little more. Currently we are peaking at 20psi at WOT so I'm interest to see what this 3rd tune will feel like. They have been very clear that doing this little extra with the boost is likely going to reduce the life of the turbos. If the k03 die, I guess I'm forced to upgrade. Oh darn.
How does this tune feel?
Simply great! I drove from Seattle to Leavenworth, WA and back and had a 27mpg average while doing 65+ mph pull most of the way. My S4 pulls hard for being on KO3... harder than it ever has. Keep in mind that I have APR tune and a MTM tune, all I can say is this Motoza tune is heads and tails better than any of the others. Which is not shocking as must S4 owners will say custom tunes are always going to be better than "tune templates" like what is offer by GIAC or APR. The simply fact that is custom to my setup is really bring my S4 back to life.
Well Motoza offers a Stage 1+ upgrade, but it requires using 550 CC injectors, but the tune itself is only $40 upgrade. I could do a E85 tune if I wanted, but there is little to no E85 stations around the Seattle area. So I'm out of luck with that. I think I'll get the 550 CC injectors later this summer and do the Stage 1+ upgrade. This should pump out another 20-40 more HP and 10-20 ft-lb of torque. Nothing huge, but it does prepare me for future K04 or other hybrid turbos.
In Summary, if you looking for a new tune, or maybe you were in my boat and didn't know what tune you were running, I can't recommend enough about Motoza Performance. The tune is impressive and the service and support and honestly the best I've ever experienced ever in my life. And best yet the price is hard to beat.
Price: $349 (as of June 2018)
I am so glad I was able to make it this year. We had 6 cars show up for our pre-meet include a Audi R8 and everyone was just really cool. If you never have gone, I highly recommend it no matter what shape you car is in.
Below is a little video I made just so you can get a feel of what it was like this year. Enjoy!
Man I feel like someone higher up really didn't want me to install this M3 lip on my S4. So if you saw my previous post, the first paint attempt fail at the end. Color didn't match and some bubbling occurred.
I sanded it all down and tried again, but pained it black. All look good until I picked up the lip after it was drying and all of the clearcoat started to crack. It hit me after the fact that the humidity was too high and I was not allowing enough time between coats. This is a fail on my part.
Waiting a day I started to sand it down once more. At this point I've almost paid the same amount in sand paper as I have in the lip itself ($30). This project was failing fast. After hours of sanding I put the lip on the trunk of my car just to keep it off the ground. Next day I leave for work planning on coming home during lunch to prime it and start the process again. I get home for lunch and I can't find my lip. So I pull up my home security cameras and see where things went wrong.... like an idiot I drove off with the lip just laying on the on my trunk. I drive the same route back to work to see if I can find it but no luck. At this point I consider that lip is lost so I go back on to eBay and buy a new painted lip. The painted lip was $20 more and I'm kicking myself for not going that route from the start. Literally hours later my wife calls and tell me she found the original lip. REALLY?!?
I figure if the new lip doesn't show on Wednesday (today) I would start the painting process again on the old lip as I really wanted the lip installed before the Leavenworth Drive. I get the notice on my phone it was delivered but per my security camera nothing was there. Immediately I start fearing someone took it and start going back in my security cam history, but I can't find any record it was delivered. No FedEx truck no nothing. My sanity is start to hit a real low point now. Try to keep things in check I contact FedEx and they reach out to the driver. The driver thought he delivered it to a different unit in my townhouse complex. Apparently knocking on her door scared her so much she came down yelling at us. Both my wife and I finally get out of her that she did not get a package so we start heading home. I check my phone and see another voicemail from FedEx saying they know where it is. Apparently the eBay Seller fat-fingered my address and the FedEx driver just guessed and delivered it to some random home that didn't even have the same matching house number. I go to the house and knock on the door just in case someone was there as I could see the package was on the front. No one answered so I took it home praying this lip was ok and more importantly painted.
Back at home, I open the box and luckily it looks perfect. Thank god! I prep the trunk and clean it all down and start measuring my halfway points to get this lip all aligned and ready to be installed. It took a me a few attempts but in the end it came out good. FINALLY!!!! This M3 lip spoiler project has been a pain in the a$$, way over budget, but it is done. Up next is a good wash and wax for for the Leavenworth Drive...
Not a lot of pre-meet activity going on in regards to the Leavenworth drive on Saturday June 16th so I figure I try to organize a pre-meet for those that don’t want to be up super early or want to avoid the traffic we cause.
Meet Time: 10:30am
Roll Out Time: 11:30am
Place: 60 acres fields in Redmond WA
It’s the southeast parking lot. It’s the biggest paved parking lot if anyone gets confused. 100+ parking spot
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/HDjVUprJp242
Official Leavenworth Drive Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/2057124151231347/ (take the time and read this over)
Other Details: If you can make it, please post so we have a good figure of how many are joining. I'm hoping we can get a group of 10-15+ cars but it would be awesome to see way more. This meeting spot is technically a King County park, so lets be kind to it as best we can. Aka no burnouts or excessive noise please. I know this starting point is going to be hard for us to stay as a group so if you get separated I'm sorry in advance... not a lot we can do.
During the meet we can figure out which route to take to get to HW-2
Well I've come to the point that I don't like running mystery tune. Let me explain.... When I first got my car it came with a APR tune, but fast forward a few years that ECU died so I bought a ECU with a MTM tune. The seller had no idea what stage the tune was so I've been risking it for the last 4-5 years. Just recently I bought a ECU with a APR Stage 2 tune off of eBay, but after going to my local APR dealer no APR program was found, the ECU was tuned, but again we have no idea with what. The eBay seller which was a very cool guy said he bought the ECU from eBay and just assumed it was a APR tune. I trust the guy so I hold nothing against him. I have a spare ECU so I can't go wrong with that. I figure I would try something new and saw a great review of "Motoza". Nearly half the price of other tuners, is loaded remotely, and can but customized like coding our O2.
So I've been emailing them tons of question this week and so far they have been nothing but fast and extremely helpful. I purchased the Stage 1 tune to give them a try. They required me to list all my customization I've done to my S4 before they build the tune file which I find very cool. No longer will I be running a one size fits all tune but one that optimized to my S4. I should be getting a cable and software this week to load the tune. Once that is done we start collecting logs so that the tune can be optimized even more. It is nearly the same process of doing custom tune at your local tuner minus the dyno. They offer multi-tune option if I want to switch from 91 to 93 oct, which is similar to the APR. I'll properly upgrade to that if all goes well. What I'm most impressed with, is that I can upgrade to there next stage and it only cost $40, but I would need to upgrade my fuel injectors. All in all, I'm pretty excited about this and look forward to "feeling" the results. I'll post a full review later this month once everything is installed and optimized.
If your cruise control has stopped working I found this tip that is free to try. Apparently via the Vag Com (VCDS) you can disable/enable cruise control via a login code of "11463". So I followed the steps in the video and it sure it enough my cruise control is restored.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=3RrdtjXe660
I've always had any eye on the M3 trunk spoiler that other owners have installed. I found an unpainted lip off of eBay and order some color match spray paint to give it a try.
Initial test fit looked very good in my opinion (see above). It looks clean and nearly stock like. So I started to prime, sand, and apply the base coat. As this was my first time doing any paint work, I tried to study up on good old Youtube to make this look as stock looking as possible.
At this point I have the final basecoat completed and ready for clearcoat. Cottenwood around the Seattle area is getting bad so it was a constant battle to keep it away from the lip as each coat was drying. Fans and cans of compressed air for the resuce.
Clear coat applied, wet sanded, and quick polish completed (above). I wanted to polish more but had to stop because the color shade difference was just too much for me. If you don't notice, the lip is much darker than the trunk. Either my cars natural color has faded or it was was the primer being more of a dark gray vs the stock is more of a white. I left the lip out in the sun for a few days to see if it would help but sadly no change. From everyone I talked with, I would likely need to get a custom shade of blue to match my already faded color on the S4. As this was really a project I wanted to keep under $100 and I wanted to get this done before the Leavenworth Drive I decided I was going to go with stock Audi "Brilliant Black" color for my second attempt. Much cheaper then getting a custom color and it should be here in a few days. I've see a few other S4 with black colored lip and it looked pretty good.
In summary, I'm still pretty happy with my work as this was my first time doing any kind of automotive painting. I think the second attempt is likely going to look even better. Until then....
***UPDATE*** - Lip now installed see here.
Found a new M box ecu with a APR Stage 2 on eBay that I could not pass... plus the seller was very cool. I just installed it today and so far no problems. The power is much more linear and predictable than my previous MTM tuned ecu. The MTM does feel like it was tuned with much more low end torque and peaking around 18psi and then coming down to 13-15psi. The APR peaks at 15-17psi and then hold that psi. All in all the APR just feel smoother, not really faster. I know a lot of people say the APR tunes are very conservative, oh well.
So why did I get a new ecu? I always felt like my MPG went way down since I got the MTM tune ecu switching from my organically APR tuned ecu. Not to mention I liked how with the APR I could switch to "stock" mode if I know someone else would be driving my car or I want the best MPGs possible. All in all, this is just an expensive test to see if I'm right about better MPGs. The up side with the APR tune is that my Check Engine light now works again. I believe whoever did the MTM tune coded out the CEL. Also, this Stage 2 APR tune codes out the rear O2's so I won't be seeing those errors anymore.
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