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VW Touareg TDIs This is a general discussion about Touareg TDIs. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old April 5th, 2019, 02:36   #16
NewTdi
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Nice! Is there room for for the MK IV to come over soon?
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Old July 3rd, 2019, 02:34   #17
mogly
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Any updates on this?
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Old July 8th, 2019, 11:02   #18
Matt-98AHU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogly View Post
Any updates on this?
Yes! Not so many photos, though. I may have a few I can add in later.

I've been driving it since mid March, trying to not daily drive it, but sometimes when my daily is low on fuel, I'll jump in the Touareg instead.... or if it's a weekend I'll usually drive it... And it's now seen road trips to the red woods/Avenue of the Giants in Northern California back in March when family was in town and has made two trips to Oregon (just got back from the second trip yesterday).

It had 169,000 and change on it (169,7xx or 8xx if I recall) when I got it. It rolled over 180,000 yesterday on the way home. So I've already put over 10,000 miles on it since March... so much for it not being my daily driver, huh? lol

I do try to limit my commuting with it just to save on fuel costs. With commuting, it gets around 19 MPG (hand calculated, not relying on the readout in the cluster which is usually 1-2 MPG optimistic). Longer road trips it tends to be 21-22 MPG.

The drive home from Oregon yesterday was a perfect example of what makes this such an amazing vehicle to drive. As Dee and myself were driving down route 97 from Oregon, she looks ahead on Google maps and notes there's a large traffic back up due to a construction lane reduction and possibly an accident on Southbound I5 near Dunsmuir in far Northern California. Mt Shasta looms large in our view. We pull over a rest stop at Grass Lake right on hwy 97. I poke around on maps and find a forest road that goes behind Mt Shasta. There is some street view photos of the road and it looked paved for the couple spots I checked. Sure, let's try it.

The turn off for it is only a couple miles after that rest stop. We make the turn and go on our traffic avoiding-venture. Should have known, eventually the road did become dirt, although reasonably well maintained. Only a couple little rough patches and some spots of washboard. Put the dampers into comfort mode and the truck just glides right over all the rough stuff, largely unperturbed. Nothing even cringe-worthy. Anytime I could see far enough ahead I'd pick up speed. Easy squeeze of the throttle and it's not long before you're over 50 on a dirt road.

We eventually get back onto pavement, get on highway 89 near McCloud and head back towards I-5. The backup seems to loosen up at exactly where 89 interchanges with I-5. We get to the overpass and there's a long line of traffic on 89 barely moving waiting to get onto 5. Crap.

Consult maps again. We find what appears to be a side road that takes you alongside the Dunsmuir air port and there's another road that allows you to pass under I5, unfortunately the ramp there back onto I-5 South was shown as closed, but you can go another couple miles further down the same road that parallels 5 and find another ramp. So sure, let's try it out.

Ominously, there were several cars on this side road trying to turn back into the long line of traffic trying to get onto I-5. Then we see signs for "Not a Thru Road" and "Residential Traffic Only". Strange, maps seemed to make us think the road goes all the way through. There's another car ahead of us with the same idea. We'll just follow and see what happens.

We get to a large cul de sac/turn around point and a large sign that says "END". But, there's a dirt path that continues. Maps apparently didn't feel the need to let us know that bit of information, but we also weren't using the navigation, we were just using it as a map trying to figure out an alternative route. So... whatever.

There's a Nissan Rogue in front of us pondering whether to continue. Then I see that there's a Pontiac Grand Prix coming the other way on the road and since it's a single car width track, I better understand why the Nissan hadn't started yet. The driver of the Nissan talks to the driver of the Pontiac for a moment, and once the Grand Prix continues on, the Rogue driver decides to start going ahead on the dirt trail.

Slow, rocky, bumpy, some brush might touch the side of the car on occasion. Then we get to a short, but steep and very uneven and rocky decline. I see a large Chevy Suburban slowly bouncing down the hill and the Nissan lets him get to the bottom before attempting his own descent. He tries going way left, attempting to find a route that might not require as high ground clearance, then I see his reverse lights come on. I back up as well trying to give him space and he then waves me through.

Of what I know of how the truck operates, once you put the transfer case into low gear and put the shift selector into tiptronic mode, the ESP system switches into off road mode and will also individually brake wheels for hill descent control. Plus, being in low gear means much more engine braking. In order to make it easier to control on such rocky, uneven terrain, I was going to do exactly that.

Just to be safe for ground clearance as well, I switched the air suspension into off road mode, which gains you a couple inches of clearance, shift into neutral, turn the transfer case knob into low gear (but not locking center or rear diff--not necessary for this) shift back to drive, put it into tiptronic mode. The transmission starts in 2nd gear when the transfer case is in low. And, from messing around with it previously on another trip in the Sierras, 2nd gear in low is shorter than first gear in high. I would end up putting it into 1st anyway and didn't touch the pedals once I started the descent. The truck just very easily and slowly crawled over the uneven terrain with zero drama. I didn't hear the ABS pump at all, so I'm assuming the extra aggressive engine braking from being in 1st gear with the transfer case in low basically did all the work.

Get to the bottom of the hill, shift back to neutral, transfer case back to auto/high and motored on. Not too long after, pavement re-appeared, switch the air suspension back to normal and motored on and eventually found our I-5 South on ramp, merged on and there was no back up.

The highway is still pretty curvy with plenty of elevation changes through that segment between Dunsmuir and Lake Shasta. The truck easily does 80+ if you want and handles surprisingly well around corners. In order to avoid too much wallowing from the suspension, I have the dampers back in auto mode instead of comfort. If you really want to get aggressive, you can put them into sport mode, which also further lowers the air suspension and greatly firms up the dampers. Sometimes it's a bit overly harsh for my taste, but it does make a difference in handling response for sure. Auto mode generally makes it comfortable and still handles and responds amazingly well.

The quietness at highway speeds is what really gets me with this thing. Doing 80+ at times you only hear some muted wind noise. That's it. You don't even hear the engine at that speed. It's doing a hair over 2000 RPM at that point.

I have never driven a vehicle that can do what this does on rough roads and off road and drive as well as this does at speed and through corners. And be very comfortable and quiet as well. It's a rare combination for sure. Usually you have a vehicle that excels at off road OR excels at speed and in corners, to have them both in the same vehicle and to do both with ease and comfort on the same day with no physical changes to the vehicle is amazing. Thoroughly blown away at what this truck can do.

The handling front does need a little tweaking. For starters, the Pirelli tires currently on there are fine for road use, but if I were to do more serious off roading, they would definitely have to go. I have been looking at more aggressive for off roading tires that still maintain good road manners as that's what this thing is about. I will likely get a set of Continental Terraincontact A/Ts.

When I did the alignment some months ago, the camber spec in the front is very tight. Its total range is 0 degrees to -0.3 degrees with it at its normal ride height (and it likes to adjust all the time, so trying to find a way to keep it where it should be is typically a little tricky--even following VW's instructions it still adjusts the ride height as I'm in the middle of making alignment adjustments). As I was trying to find the happy balance between getting caster perfectly even side to side, it just happened to be easiest to have camber right at 0. But if you really push it hard in corners, the front does give up grip a little easier than I'd like. So, once I put new tires on, I think I'm going to dial some negative camber back in at the front. I do have caster on the high side of the specification (9 degrees is where it's at currently, acceptable range is between low 8 degrees and low 9 degrees if I recall). More positive caster does help with camber roll when turning the wheel (camber changes favorably for handling purposes when cornering) but some extra static camber will definitely help more, even if it's just -0.3.

Even with it getting the front tires to squeal a bit too easily when cornering, it's still a very well composed chassis being hustled around corners. It handles and brakes in a way that absolutely defies it's surprising heft (with fuel and driver in it, it will tip the scales at over 6000 lbs). Some days it does genuinely feel like it might be breaking some laws of physics to be able to do all it does as well as it does with that much weight. It's something else, it really is.
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Old July 8th, 2019, 11:13   #19
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Oh, I will also add that the power level feels about what it should be after all these miles. I did put new MAFs in there, which helped a little, but the biggest improvement has come with continual use of good fuel additives, every tankful.

Mostly Stanadyne Performance Formula, I did do one large bottle of Howe's MPK over several tanks as well.
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Old July 9th, 2019, 16:00   #20
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Yeah man! Love the story and I’m glad you’re enjoying the truck! I didn’t get to go off-road nearly as much as I wanted.

A touch of negative camber should go a long way. It’s impressive how well it can carve through corners, given its heft. The air suspension and active damping really shine in the mountains and on undulating roads.

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