We’ve all heard stories about, or experienced firsthand, when a car salesman talks you into a bad deal. So it’s nice to discover a situation where the tables were turned for a change. This was the case with Justin Giroud from Perkasie, PA.
Fresh into the working world, he made his first major purchase – a ’01 Audi TT quattro with the 225hp 1.8T motor. Upon inspection in the dealer’s lot, it was clear the TT had a few extra goodies: Bilstein PSS9 coilovers, Neuspeed rear sway bar, Forge diverter valve and a Milltek cat-back exhaust. The salesman had no idea about them, so after signing some paperwork and swindling the guy, Giroud drove home in this pristine, low-mileage, one-owner “pantie-dropper”, as the salesman called it.
Coming from a background of Mk2 GTIs, he was thrilled to learn what the 20v turbo motor had to offer. However, he didn’t leave it alone for long. In fact, Giroud started wrenching on the new car almost immediately.
Unhappy with the K04-022 turbo that came as stock, Justin began piecing together a bigger turbo kit to satisfy his hunger. “I originally wanted about 300hp at the wheels,” Giroud said. “I figured it would give me enough to beat most of the cars in the area…” Eager to start building, he picked up some extra hours at work and did side jobs at his father’s shop, JG Transmission, to make the funds available. Within a few months, the teardown began.
The factory K04 was replaced with a Garrett GT3076 turbo on a Kinetic Motorsport log-style manifold. The owner then built a custom front-mount intercooler using a Garrett core and 2.5" aluminum piping, which a friend welded together. He then crafted a custom 3" downpipe and mated it to the existing Milltek exhaust for the time being. With its increased boost pressure, 630cc Siemens injectors were fitted and the ECU was flashed with a Unitronic narrowband 630cc file to get it running.
Giroud drove his TT for a few months, adding upgrades as he could afford them, including a B&M short shifter, SouthBend stage 3 clutch, custom 3" turbo-back exhaust and some engine dress-up parts.
Just short of 75000 miles, the timing belt snapped, bending some valves in the process. Most enthusiasts would cry at a moment like this, and we’re sure Justin came close for a few seconds, but after coming to terms with the failure he put in a call to Bob Quindazzi at QED Power in New York. “Ever since I fitted the big turbo, I’d wanted to swap my head for a big-port AEB head,” he said. “And while the head was off, I decided to throw in a set of pistons and rods to beef up the bottom-end.”
Within a business week, the Audi’s new motor consisted of the stock crank, Scat rods, Mahle pistons and new bearings. For the top-end, the new AEB cylinder head recieved Cat’s 3651 cam set plus Supertech valves with uprated springs and ARP hardware to keep it all together.
Eager to see what the rebuilt motor would make, Giroud visited a local dyno competition hosted by JSC Speed of Montgomeryville, PA. After three runs on the Dynocom roller, the TT put down an impressive 371.3whp and 315.4 lb-ft of torque at 23psi. In fact, this was the highest in his class and Justin took home the first-place trophy. “The power was right where I thought it would be, but the torque was low because the computer kept retarding the timing,” he said.
As a Christmas present to himself, Giroud then purchased a large-port, short-runner intake manifold from RMR. After installing it, the owner became aware that the stock TT225 fuel pump wasn’t able to flow enough fuel in the higher rev range, so a Walbro 225 lph in-line pump was added.
Finally satisfied with the motor, it was time to consider the cosmetics, starting with a set of custom-painted Keskin KT1 wheels purchased online. However, the finish wasn’t perfect so the wheels were stripped. Justin then sanded and polished the lips by hand before repainting the centers gold to contrast the OEM Reflex silver paint.
Although the Keskin wheels aren’t a true three-piece construction, Giroud went to the trouble of removing the fake plastic fasteners. He then drilled and tapped holes to receive polished bolts instead.
While the wheels have rather generous dimensions – 17x8.5" front, 17x10" rear – the TT has a sick stance thanks to 25mm H&R spacers all-round. This gave them plenty of offset to fill the fenders completely.
Many enthusiasts often assume the Audi is on air-ride but jaws drop when he admits the car is still on its PSS9 coilovers. “Everybody complains Bilsteins don’t go low, but you just need to know what parts to take out of them,” Justin said.
As for the bodywork, it’s kept classy with a few modifications to control engine temperatures, such as the modified OEM hood with custom ventilation as well as mods to the front bumper to increase airflow to the intercooler.
Then there’s a matte-black Osir Design rear spoiler and exhaust housing, plus smoked repeaters.
The interior is mostly stock, with the exception of an AWE boost gauge in the driver’s air vent. We also found an AEM wideband AFR gauge and Tru Boost boost controller in an aluminum panel below the heater controls.
In the back, a custom rear seat-delete hides an Optima Red Top battery and is finished with a four-point Safety Devices roll-bar that was color-matched to the wheels and front strut bar. With its fuel upgrades, the Audi was putting down 438.9whp and 350.8 lb-ft at 32psi boost pressure. “The car has come a long way since ’06,” Giroud laughed. “I plan to change a few things later this year and get the car tuned again so I can find whatever power is hiding.”
As it happens, he plans to add Maestro 7 engine management and meth injection to a 2.0L stroker bottom-end. With the extra fuel and boost it will allow him to run, he’s probably looking at more than 500whp. And as the quest for power continues, the TT will undoubtedly see a variety of changes reflecting the same build quality and character portrayed in this beautiful setup.
et Tech Spec
2001 Audi TT quattro
Owner: Justin Giroud
Location: Perkasie, PA
Occupation: JG Transmission
Engine: 1.8L 20v four-cylinder with Mahle pistons, Scat rods, ACL calico-coated +.001 bearings, AEB large-port head, Supertech valves and heavy-duty springs, ARP hardware, Cat 3651 cam set, Garrett 3076R turbo with T3 flange, Kinetic exhaust manifold, custom 3" stainless steel turbo-back system with Magnaflow muffler, Siemens 630cc injectors, Unitronic 630cc software, RMR intake manifold, 4" turbo inlet pipe, 70mm throttle body, 38mm TiAL wastegate and Alpha Q blow-off valve
Drivetrain: 02M six-speed manual transmission with Southbend stage 3 clutch, B&M short shifter
Brakes: Mintex Red Box pads
Suspension: Bilstein PSS9 coilovers, Neuspeed strut brace
Wheels & Tires: 17x8.5" front, 17x10" rear Keskin KT1 wheels, 25mm H&R spacers, 205/45 R17 front, 215/45 R17 rear Falken Ziex ZE-512 tires
Exterior: OEM hood with custom vents, Osir rear spoiler, de-badged hatch, black exhaust surround, stock headlights with reflectors removed, smoked repeaters
Interior: Safety Devices four-point rollbar, custom gauge panel with AEM Tru Boost and wideband gauges, AWE Tuning vent boost gauge, rear seat-delete with relocated battery and terminals
Audio/Visual: stock Bose system with navigation
Thanks: Bob Quindazzi at QED Power, JG Transmission