I had a pretty productive night. I installed the Verdict Motorsports shift bracket bushings, shortened the SAI hose and added a breather filter, relocated the relay box, and changed the oil.
The Verdict Motorsports bushings are a bit of a pain in the ass on the O2M. Two of the bushings are flat and the third is vertical. On the O2J all of the bushings are flat so the bracket is easy to line up. The key was to tighten the vertical bushing first, then the two flat ones lined up pretty easily. I struggled with this for a while as it's a tight workspace. I obviously can't drive the car at the moment, but sitting in the car and moving through the gears I did feel an improvement. There is less play when the car is in gear (still a lot of play though) and the movement into gear is more definitive. I tried to take a picture that shows the location of all three bushings:
42 Draft Designs endlink bushings and Neuspeed SS for reference:
Next, I cut off most of the SAI hose and installed a breather filter. I got the idea from the cheap mods thread in the MKIV forum (http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...1#post65224555). I have a BMC CDA intake coming Tuesday and it does not have a provision for the SAI hose. Instead of putting the filter up by the intake, I bought a cheap breather filter ($10 from the local auto parts store), a brass 3/8" barb to 1/2" male threaded fitting and a PVC 1/2" female threaded to 3/4" flange bushing (~$3 from Home Depot). There are other ways to do it, but this was the cheapest and most simple way I could come up with. In the cheap mods thread the guy wrapped tape around the base of the filter till it fit snuggly in the hose. I didn't want to risk the tape loosening and being sucked into the SAI.
There is a 10mm nut underneath the intake manifold that hold the SAI line in place. Remove that nut to loosen the hose then remove it from the clip attached a little further down towards the SAI unit. Cut the SAI hose with a sharp blade (don't saw as crap will fall into the SAI unit) just above the bracket on the smooth portion of the hose. The barb fitting goes into the breather filter and is secured with a hose clamp. The other end gets threaded into the flange bushing and the whole unit drops right into the hole that you just cut. You can secure it with a hose clamp or tape is fine too since it stays in place pretty well on its own. I chose to use black tape to hide the brass and PVC fitting and it gave it a little bit cleaner look.
Brass barb for reference:
PVC flange bushing for reference (except the outside on mine was smooth instead of threaded):
When I was done with that, I relocated the relay box so I had a spot to install a catch can in the future. This was also pretty straightforward. Open the lit the relay box, pull it off the bracket, remove the relays from the housing, and tuck them into the wire tray just to the right of the box. I should have taken a picture or two in progress to make it clearer, but it's pretty easy.
Remaining bracket behind the relay box:
Tray that the relays are buried in (on the right):
After that I changed the oil and called it a night.
Before I forget, proof that an Optima Group 35 battery is a direct fit. I don't know exactly why I haven't reconnected the negative terminal yet. I'm not working on anything electrical.
Without the cover:
With the cover: