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Hey all, first post, looking to increase my horsepressures for some more go-go. First time tuning anything, though I have an okay understanding of the concepts. Comfortable with most DIY, but I bust out the safeword on exhaust, body, transmission, and engine internals. Just "finished" stage 0 (ea888 gen 2 w/ 6spd tip, 80k miles, did all factory service items plus some electrical repairs, timing tensioner, aluminum water pump, and trans fluid). Luckily I don't see much oil consumption, but I have a little wastegate noise. Only when revving in park but nothing when driving, and I got the dreaded 0299 at an autox but have yet to see it on the road. I went to install the rattle clip, but snapped one of the threaded rods between turbo and cat, so looking for some advice.

If I back the cat off to put the clip on, am I likely to get an exhaust leak due to the missing bolt?
if I don't put on the clip, any guess how long the stock turbo will last from its current condition under relatively spirited driving?
At present I'm guessing this is a death sentence for the stock turbo, so looking at fast track to stage 3. Goals are reliable daily with reasonable track performance, not looking for a dyno queen.

Whats the best price/performance k04 kit? are cts/hpa any good or do I drop nearly twice as much to get the APR kit? what tune should I use? Is it all box tunes or is it better to get some dyno time? What's the difference between hybrid k04 and regular k04? do certain turbos work better with certain tunes? are there larger turbos available or do those require upgrading guts? do any of the box tunes support w/m injection?
my long term plan is k04, hfc, chip, then intercooler, cai, dv+, s3 injectors, r8 coils, w/m. Does that order of upgrades make sense? Are any of those more difficult than the timing chain (roughly my limit for DIY)? do I need a new intake manifold for w/m? will a full exhaust see worthwhile performance gains on a stage 3 setup or is it just sound/butt dyno? will stage 3 on a gen 2 increase likelihood of oil consumption nuking the engine?

I know a lot of this info is available piecemeal in other threads but its a lot to consider and its tough finding straight answers, and especially up to date ones. I appreciate any help I can get
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