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Volkswagen Tech Letters

Aug 12, 2003

GTI VR6 or GTI 1.8T
Which GTI is better and safer to upgrade? I want to buy a GTI 1.8T this summer (2002 model). I'm thinking of getting a blow off valve, bypass valve, GIAC chip and exhaust (maybe Remus, Borla or Magnaflow. Should I also get a turbo muffler? What about a cold air intake, short shifter, sports clutch and other upgrades, such as an intercooler. Can you give me some tips on which upgrades to do first? I don't want to spend a lot of money, but also I don't want something cheap. Also, how safe is it to upgrade a turbo? I have a friend who told me some stories about people playing with a turbo's psi and the boost and I don't want the car to end up in the grave. Should I go for the VR6 instead?
Srdjan Boskovic
Seattle, Washington

Srdjan, it is safe to say that both the 1.8T and VR6 are great engines and both respond well to upgrades. If you consider the fact that the VR6-equipped car is going to be more expensive to start with, you will have more money to upgrade the 1.8T-equipped car. The engine characteristics of these two cars are also considerably different, since one is turbocharged and the other is not. The 1.8T will yield the most gains for the least amount of money, although you are starting with less horsepower.

The modifications which you've mentioned for the 1.8T (with the exception of the blow-off valve and bypass valve, which are really unnecessary and won't improve performance over correctly functioning stock parts) will put your car in the 200+ hp range with considerable amounts of torque--anywhere between 240-260lb-ft. Don't over look the Techtonics or SuperSprint exhausts for your car both offer excellent performance at a reasonable price. Techtonics will probably perform the best of all those listed. The VR6 engine car stock has 200 bhp, but will have significantly less torque. With the slight weight advantage of the 1.8T engine car, and the torque advantage, the 1.8T car will obviously be a faster vehicle. And, with less weight on the nose, the 1.8T will be better handling as well.

You are wise to consider a clutch upgrade as well since the increase in torque will result in your stock clutch wearing out rather quickly. As for the intercooler, cold air intake and short shifter, those are also all good addition. Since the chip and exhaust will yield the greatest amount of gains and are best done together, I would opt for that upgrade first. Follow that with the cold air intake, and then whatever other modifications that you would like. As for turbo upgrades, there are still limited options out there for the 1.8T.

The 1.8T engine is strong enough internally to handle these types of upgrades if they are kept within reason. K04 upgrades are plentiful and provide a substantial hp upgrade over stock with a minimum loss of low-end grunt. K04 upgrades cost about $1,700-2,000 depending on which kit you choose. They are the simplest and the probably the safest bet. Other turbo upgrades such as APR's Stage III will provide considerably more hp, about 280+, but are much more expensive. If installed correctly, none of these upgrade kits should put an early end to your car's engine. However, remember, you are changing significant engine parameters, as well as putting increased strain on your entire drive train. Make sure the car's other systems are upgraded to match.


2001 Jetta 1.8T
I'm new to the VW performance scene and have a 2001 Jetta 1.8T five speed. What is the difference between the '01 and the newer models. I noticed the newer years have 180 hp; is this just a chip difference? Are there any hardware differences?
Jim Plourde
via the Internet

Jim, during the 2001 model year Volkswagen made the switch from the AWD engine code to the AWW engine code. While both engines produced 150 hp, there were several differences. The newer AWW engines came equipped with a different turbocharger, with a slightly larger inlet (44mm vs 43 mm) and a larger impeller from the K04 series turbo, as well as VCT, or variable cam timing and slightly lower compression--9.3:1 vs. 9.5:1. They however reduced the diameter of the downpipe from 55mm to 50mm. Most of these modifications were directed at improving emissions. In 2002 they switched to the AWP engine and boosted the horsepower to 180. The AWP differs from the AWW in that its compression was increased back to 9.5:1 and the downpipe diameter was increased back to 55mm. You are correct, in that the boost in horsepower is just a difference in the amount of boost requested by the cars ECU, as the 150 bhp engines run 0.6 (9 psi) bar of boost and the 180-bhp engines run 0.8 bar (12 psi) of boost.


2002 Jetta Turbo
The 30-bhp increase from the 2001 to 2002 VW Jetta is being attributed primarily to an increase in turbo boost pressure. However, I can't find anywhere what the maximum boost pressure is now. Can you help?
Dick Gibb
via the Internet

The 150-bhp 1.8T engines with the engine code AWD and AWW run 0.6 bar or 9 psi of turbo boost and the AWP 180-bhp engines runs 0.8 bar of boost or 12 psi.


Engine Swap Possibility
I was just wondering if it would be possible to install an Audi S4 2.7 biturbo engine into a MkIV Volkswagen Golf. And, if so, are there any kits for it?Randall Hart
via the Internet

Randall, even though anything is possible with the right amount of money, this is one swap that really isn't feasible without rebuilding the entire car. The 2.7T engine was designed to be mounted longitudinally in the engine bay and hence requires a drive train that would accommodate that. Since the MKIV platform Golf has it's engine mounted transversely, it would require significant modifications to the engine bay, floor pan and drive train itself to accommodate this type of swap. One company in the UK has done this type of swap into a TT, which shares the MKIV platform with the Golf. However, in order to accommodate the swap, the had to use the entire drive train from a Audi Coupe Quattro and fabricate a significant amount of parts to make the swap work. It is rumored that this swap cost in the neighborhood of $50,000.


1998 Jetta VR6
I just picked up a '98 Jetta VR6 and am looking to put some mods on it--it's totally stock right now. Will the stock springs and rear anti-roll bar from an Audi S4 (courtesy of my uncle's car) fit on the Jetta? I hope to add a chip or maybe even go as far as a supercharger or a turbo. What would the be best way to go, as far as reliability and a good amount of power and torque? Would the S4 springs and anti-roll bar be sufficient for the power I will be getting out of my engine with a chip or charger? Also, I heard that the VR6 tends to blow its head gasket when turbocharged; is this true? I want everything to last, but I need it to pull more! And I am also a college kid working a summer job, so I am obviously on a budget. I trust your advice because I have been a reader of european car for quite some time now.
Jay Peterson
New Berlin, Wisconsin

Jay, the 98 Jetta VR6 is a great car to modify, and responds very well to suspension modifications, as long as they were designed specifically for that car. The S4 suspension components will not work since they were designed for a completely different platform, the "B" platform, whereas your car is an "A" platform car. There are many choices out there offering a variety of different amounts of lowering and varying degrees of stiffness which would work very well on your Jetta. If you plan on using the car as a daily driver, a set of sport springs and good shocks would be the way to go. Some companies like H&R and KW provide complete sets sold with matching springs and shocks or you could opt for either Bilstein, Boge or Koni shocks along with Neuspeed, Eibach, Shine Racing or H&R springs. All of these combos will work well on the street and offer slight to modest amounts of lowering. You can add a rear sway bar to any of these kits, but remember that it will induce greater amounts of oversteer and I would suggest starting with the shocks and springs first and then tune the suspension to your needs and desires.

The VR6 engine as you know was not designed from the factory for a supercharger or turbocharger, so the fact that the head gasket may fail if either of these is used is a consideration. However, most well designed turbo kits such as the ones from ATP Turbosystems (www.8vturbo.com) or HPA Motorsports (http://www.hpamotorsport.com) for the VR6 use a thicker head gasket to reduce compression as well as provide for a stronger bond between the head and cylinder block. Supercharger systems for the VR6, such as the one from VF-engineering (www.vf-engineering.com) tend to run fixed boost levels and are designed to run with the stock head gasket and compression.


Turbo Diesel Tuning
I am looking for information regarding how much more horsepower can a 1999 Golf III, 90-bhp turbo diesel engine gain from modifying its ECU. And, how much more will it gain if I include other modifications, such as, exhaust, turbos, intercooler, etc.
Daryl Sharp
Comox, British Columbia, Canada

The most recent iterations of the TDI engines as found in your A3 Golf certainly takes well to modifications. As you have mentioned, the most common performance modification for the TDI is a ECU modification or chip. As with other ECU modifications, it generally changes the fueling, timing and boost parameters to extract more horsepower. Several good ones include Upsolute (www.upsolute.com), Wetterauer (www.chip-tuning.com) and Speedtuning USA (www.speedtuningusa.com). Upsolute claims an increase in HP from 90hp stock to 116hp and an increase in torque from 210Nm to 265 Nm. Wetterauer claims an increase in HP from 90 hp stock to 115 hp and an increase in torque from 153 lb-ft to 183 lb-ft Speedtuning USA claims an increase in HP from 90 hp stock to 118 and an increase in torque from 210- to 285Nm. To put that in perspective, that's about 13% more torque than a stock VR6 2.8!

Don't overlook the value of an exhaust system upgrades since TDIs, like most turbocharged engines, like a free flowing exhaust. Techtonics makes a nice 2.5-in. system for your car in either aluminized or stainless and should be good for about 10 hp and save a few pounds to boot. They may also have an improved down pipe that would boost performance even more. An exhaust would be a great addition along with the ECU modification.

Finally if you really want to get sick about this Diesel performance thing, KermaTDI (www.kermatdi.com) has larger Sprint and PowerPlus injector nozzles to pick up another 20 horsepower or more. We'll be testing these in a coming issue, but we expect good things. A great online source for information on the TDI is the TDI Club at (www.tdiclub.com). If you're into TDIs, this is the place to go.


Turbo- or Supercharge the Damn Thing?
I subscribe to your magazine as well as eurotuner, and to be honest you really don't cover my daily-driven Jetta. I realize there are probably more people driving M3s and 745is! But, instead of offering more information on how to go about stomping our import brethren, you go on to say, "Don't buy this car to go fast!" and "It was the scariest car ever driven through a slalom." Now correct me if I am wrong in saying so but, that is down right rude. I realize my baby-hauling sedan isn't designed for 1/4-mile ass-hauling or slalom running in under a few seconds. But you need to understand I'm on a budget because my wife says so.

I still have the funds to dump a least four grand into my "Fast and the Furious" wannabe white '98 Jetta GLS powered by the small, yet explosive 2.0-liter monster! I also have to mention that I have owned and driven a few V8s and as the old saying goes, "No replacement for displacement." I still would enjoy the looks on certain peoples faces as my little German engineered, but assembled-in-Mexico car, smokes tire passed them!

So to get to the point. NGP or Neuspeed? I am not crazy about oil lines and, to be honest, 132 hp at the wheels from Neuspeed's Golf isn't all that impressive! So which way to go, I ask the professionals?
From your humble, yet pissed off fan, Eric Rodriguez--Evil Squirel from Channelview, Texas. (Yes, I know it is two and not one R!)

Sometimes you have to call as you see them and we all know the 2.0L is a great little engine but leaves a lot to be desired power wise. If it didn't, you wouldn't be trying to decide about which method to use to attain more power. Any way you look at it, you will need to consider more than just upgrading the power, you'll need to consider other upgrades to the drive train and braking systems. That being said, you need to see how far you can stretch that $4,000.

I wouldn't discount the Neuspeed supercharger so quickly. As far as bang for the buck is concerned, it's a pretty good solution, mainly because it is very easy to install as compared to turbochargers and other more complicated supercharger systems. Although the peak horsepower from the kit isn't very high, it is very well designed and will work well with the factory drive train etc. minimizing the need for additional upgrades, such as the clutch, brakes, etc. The increase in torque is huge, and shouldn't be so quickly discounted.

Also, the Neuspeed kit is a legal kit, so you won't have to pull off our turbo and put it back to stock for inspections, if that's a problem in Texas. If you put it all into the turbo or supercharger system and create a lot of power, there won't be any left over for the other necessary upgrades. There are several turbo and supercharger systems out there other than NGP's or Neuspeed's, such as VF Engineering's supercharger (www.vf-engineering.com) as well at ATP Turbosystems turbo kits (www.8vturbo.com).

However, neither of these solutions, if implemented correctly, are inexpensive. ATP claims 175 hp for its Stage I and 200 hp for its Stage II kits, at $2,150 and $2,950 respectively. VF claims 170 hp for the Stage I kit at $3,500, 190 for a Stage II for an additional $500 and 220 hp for Stage III, which adds an intercooler and $1,500 more to the price.

Unless you have the facilities and knowledge to do the install yourself, you'll need to add about $600-$1,000 on top of those figures to the total cost. Then with these higher power systems comes the cost of clutch and brake upgrades which can be quite expensive.


G60 Question
I have read that the G60 Passat Syncro crank pulley is larger than the G60 Corrado crank pulley. Have you heard of this? If so, do you know any specifics?
Aaron Dmyterko, MET
via the Internet

According to the VAG parts catalog, it appears that the crank pulley's are the same for the G60 engine, engine code PG, which were installed in both the Corrado and Passat Syncro.


Weatherstripping
I have had a hell of a time attempting to locate weather stripping for my vehicle. I have a 1986 VW Jetta with a 1.8L engine. The carpet behind the passenger and driver carpet gets damp every time it rains. The weather stripping that comes next to the windshield and to the roof ends above the back door looks shot. I can see that bits and pieces are missing. I have called the dealer and I do not want to pay $190 for each side. Can you help me? Is that what is allowing the water to come in? Is there a company that manufactures this product for a lesser price?
Ben Castaneda
via the Internet

The weatherstripping that you are describing is mainly there to channel water away and not seal the cabin per se. The inner door seal is what keeps the water out of the cabin of the car. I'd check those and make sure they are in good shape as well. Unfortunately, other than a junk yard, the dealer is about the only place that stocks weatherstripping. Unlike the air-cooled VW aftermarket, there aren't any other options. A likely possibility is that water is getting into the cabin through the doors themselves. The plastic liner or vapor barrier can get separated (or not replaced after repair work or a stereo install...) and allow for water to get into the car from behind the door panels. I'd check that out first.


Looking for an Older VW
I currently own a 2001 Civic (my parents bought it, sorry, I know the folly of their ways), but I'm interested in purchasing an older VW for myself. I really want to become a VW guru, but I don't know tons about them. I have looked at everything from the 1985-97 GTIs, 1990-93 Corrados, 1994-97 Jettas and 1994-97 Golfs, and I'm wondering what the best pick is for someone like me. I am 18, so insurance, cheapness and reliability are all deciding factors for me. I want a car that I can improve with a modest budget, and one that isn't going to break down and leave me working the night shift at Micky D's.
Ben Barta
via the Internet

If insurance, cheapness and reliability are the top priorities in selecting your VW, I would look at the 1994-1997 A3 GTI 8V, or Jetta or Golf. Corrados are wonderful cars, but will be pretty expensive to insure and aren't the most reliable of VWs and require a lot of tender loving car and money. The older A2 1985-1992 GTI, Golf or Jetta would be my next choice after the A3, however, I'd lean towards an 8V engined version as well as the 16V can be tricky to keep running correctly and more expensive to maintain.

If I were you, I'd look for as new a A3 that you could afford. I'd also stay away from the VR6 engined models due only to the higher insurance costs associated with them. Generally, VW upgrades and changes things for the better through a products cycle. Overall initial quality and reliability of the 1996-1997 A3s were much higher than previous versions. If you need to haul friends around, I'd opt for the Jetta or a four-door Golf as rear seat room is limited and access is worse for the two-door models. All A3s have plenty of upgrading options available to them and parts and maintenance are relatively inexpensive.


Tuning TDIs or TDs
Regarding tuning A3- and A4-generation TDIs and TDs. I know there are not a lot of people who want to modify a furnace on wheels, but can you substantially really increase the performance of a diesel? I recently test drove a 2000 Golf GL TDI two-door and it reminded me somewhat of my A2 Golf GTI 16V or my '84 A1 Rabbit GTI. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
GTActon
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

TDIs can most certainly rock. The right bits and pieces will get you 300 lb-ft of torque--and will eat stock clutches on a regular basis. (A chipped 1.8T doesn't touch 200 lb-ft...) The most recent iterations of the TDI engine found in the A3 and A4 VWs certainly takes well to modifications. As with their turbocharged petrol brethren, the most common performance modification for the TDI is a ECU modification or chip.

As with other ECU modifications, it generally changes the fueling, timing and boost parameters to extract more horsepower. The most common ones being Upsolute (www.upsolute.com) and Wetterauer (www.chip-tuning.com). Upsolute claims an increase in horsepower from 90 hp stock to 116 hp and an increase in torque from 210Nm to 265Nm. Wetterauer claims an increase in horsepower from 90 hp stock to 115 hp and an increase in torque from 153 lb-ft to 183 lb-ft.

Another simpler alternative is the "black box" approach: the Tuning Box from HS Motorsports (Ontario, Canada, 519/570-3648; www.hsmotorsports.com). The power gains seem to be similar to those of a chip, but the installation (and removal) is much easier; you tap into a boost line, and plug it between two stock wiring connectors. Painless, and powerful; and highly recommended. The Tuning Box however does require some adjustments to insure proper installation, but they are relatively simple.

I would also look into an exhaust system upgrades since TDIs as with most turbocharged engines like a free-flowing exhaust. Techtonics makes a nice 2.5-in. system for your car in either aluminized or stainless and should be good for about 10hp. It would be a great addition along with the ECU or Tuning Box modifications. The next step would be larger injector nozzles. www.kermatdi.com has Powerplus and Sprint injector nozzles we expect to be testing in the near future. They should take your TDI even farther.

A great online source for information on the TDI is the TDI Club at (www.tdiclub.com). There, you'll find a great deal of information on everything from the basic maintenance to wild performance mods from a serious and well-moderated group.


New 2003 Golf GLS 2.0L
I just purchased a Canadian 2003 Golf GLS with the 115-bhp 2.0L engine. I would however like to do some Performance upgrades to it. I have been searching for an aftermarket air intake to make the breathing a little easier, but have been unable to locate a manufacturer that makes one for the 2.0L Golf. Do you happen to know of any such manufacturers who make one? And, if there are more than one, which one is the best?

Also my VW dealer offers a twin-tipped performance exhaust for my Golf, it is in its standard parts catalog. Do you know it this part offers any real gains and how it sounds?
Kevin Johnston
Ontario, Canada

Several cold air intakes are available for the 2.0L engine from a variety of different companies. Some may require some modification to fit (a reduction in tubing diameter at the connection to the mass air flow sensor, but most all will fit. Are there any real gains to be had by a cold air intake that resides in the lower portion of the front grill? Well, probably a 5 or so hp. However, keep in mind that you have to keep them clean to get the most out of them and that requires pretty frequent removal, cleaning and reoiling.

Eurosport (http://www.eurosportacc.com/) makes a nice piece that comes with an ITG filter. They also make a cold air intake box with the same filter for inside the engine compartment which is slightly cheaper and will give you about the same gains horsepower wise. As for the exhaust, the VW aftermarket exhaust is a nice product with a nice tone but is very expensive for what you get and won't give you the horsepower gains that a true cat-back aftermarket system will. Techtonics Tuning (https://www.techtonicstuning.com/) makes a variety of different exhaust systems for your car from aluminized to full stainless, with options for different mufflers, etc. which will give you another few extra horsepower, for about the same price as the VW performance exhaust.


TDI Performance Parts
I've been reading european car for at least 10 years now. I still go back and read some articles about past vehicles. I have owned three VWs. My first was an '89 GTI 16V (Civic eater), I loved that car. A '95 2.0 GL that was a total write-off after 11 months and then ended up with a '84-1/2 Rabbit GTI with 16-in.O.Z.s and Nittos. The '84 was my favorite. I sold it 2 years ago and should have never done so. It was mint, considering its age and mileage--206,250 miles (330,000km)--and the engine was tight.

Anyways, now that I poured my guts out, I'm thinking of purchasing a 2000, two-door Golf TDI with A/C. I was wondering if there is any aftermarket mods to boost up TDI engine performance! I know there are such parts, but where could I find them?
Gary
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The most recent iterations of the TDI engine found in the A4 chassis VWs certainly takes well to modifications. As with their turbocharged petrol brethren, the most common performance modification for the TDI is a ECU modification or chip. As with other ECU modifications, it generally changes the fueling, timing and boost parameters to extract more horsepower. The most common ones being Upsolute (www.upsolute.com) and Wetterauer (www.chip-tuning.com). Upsolute claims an increase in horsepower from 90 hp stock to 116 hp and an increase in torque from 210Nm to 265Nm. Wetterauer claims an increase in horsepower from 90 hp stock to 115 hp and an increase in torque from 153 lb-ft to 183 lb-ft Another simpler alternative is the "black box" approach. The Tuning Box from HS Motorsports (Ontario, Canada, (519) 570-3648;(www.hsmotorsports.com). The power gains seem to be similar to those of a chip, but the installation (and removal) is much easier; you tap into a boost line, and plug it between two stock wiring connectors. Painless, and powerful; and highly recommended. The Tuning Box however does require some adjustments to insure proper installation, but they are relatively simple.

I would also look into an exhaust system upgrades since TDIs as with most turbocharged engines like a freeflowing exhaust. Techtonics makes a nice 2.5-in. system for your car in either aluminized or stainless and should be good for about 10 hp. It would be a great addition along with the ECU or Tuning Box modifications. The next step would be larger injector nozzles. www.kermatdi.com has Powerplus and Sprint injector nozzles we expect to be testing in the near future. They should take your TDI even farther.

A great online source for information on the TDI is the TDI Club at (www.tdiclub.com). There, you'll find a great deal of information on everything from the basic maintenance to wild performance mods from a serious and well-moderated group.


Volkswagen Golf MkII
I was wondering if it is possible to put a 1988 Golf Digifant injection on to my 1987 Golf? (Both cars are 1.8L 8V engines.)
Jordon Palmer
via the Internet

While it is certainly possible, it really won't provide any additional benefits, would be pretty expensive and would require extensive modifications to the vehicle, including wiring harnesses as well as all the fuel injection components. I'd stick with the CIS-e fuel injection system you already have in your 1987 Golf. The stock CIS-e injection is generally considered to be vastly more desirable.


Euro Taillights for Jettas
I bought a '95 Jetta GL. I have tried everyone I know, but I have not been able to find Euro taillights for my car. Do they even make them for my year and model?
Heather Turner
via the Internet

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by Euro taillights for the A3 Jetta. All A3 Jettas from 1993-1999 use the same taillights and all of them are interchangeable. I've seen the stock A3 tail lights with the amber turn signals, the tail lights which came with smoked upper lights including the turn signals on the GLX models and some special editions such as the TREK and Wolfsburg editions and I've seen both fully smoked and fully clear tail lights made by In-Pro which are available at a variety of VW aftermarket accessory places such as PG performance (www.pgperformance.com) and RPI Equipped (www.rpi-equipped.com).


Stock Recaro Seats
I just recently purchased a 1991 Jetta GLI that has the stock Recaro seats. Are these seats compatible with a three- or four-piece harness?
Justin Keith
via the Internet

The stock Recaros in your GLI are compatible with three- or four-point harnesses. A good harness like a Schroth would be a good addition to your vehicle if you plan on using it for autocross or on the track. It should be noted though that proper installation is critical or they can do more harm than good. New Dimensions (www.ndauto.com) carries three- and four-point harnesses that fit VWs.


Passat Seats
I am new to watercooled VWs. I have been into pre-1967 VWs for many years now and have been a fan of Jettas and Passats but just recently bought a '00 Passat 1.8T. I love my Passat except for one thing, the seats. I have manual cloth seats, and a bad back, and I find these seats to be very uncomfortable.

My question to you is this, I would like to have these seats, front and rear, recovered with leather and possibly re-padded to add softness for longer trips. Is this possible due to the airbags in the seat. Would a high-end shop be able to do this without any problems. Would it be expensive to find electric seats, used, from the same car and have them reupholstered in leather and still not affect the airbags?

Any help or suggestions regarding this are greatly appreciated, as again the seats are the only things that I do not like and I really would like to keep this car!
A Canadian
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Any high-quality automobile upholstery shop that has the right equipment can recover you Passat seats in leather. Most good shops have the right type of thread to use which comes apart and allows the airbags to deploy correctly. While you are having them recover the seats, you can also have them make modifications to the seat padding. This would most likely be your most cost effective alternative.


Should I Have Bought a Stick?
I am the proud owner of a 2002 Jetta 1.8T. I love this car, the only drawback is that at the time of purchase my fiance insisted we go with the automatic rather than the five-speed transmission (hopefully you can relate to this issue as well). The things we do for love. I was wondering what would be involved in swapping out the automatic for a five speed. Could the six-speed transmission be used, even though I think it is only available with the VR6? Does anyone make a kit to do this swap, and am I crazy for even thinking about doing it? Whatever advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Rob Szold
Toronto, Ontario Canada

Well Rob, I have to admit, we all do weird things for love. Putting a six speed manual in the Jetta would be unbelievably difficult and outrageously expensive. You'd be much better off either keeping the Jetta and buying another VW with a six speed manual or trading in the Jetta for one with a manual transmission. The new Jetta GLI with the 24V VR6 and the six-speed manual is one sweet car, and comes with the sport seats, 17-in. wheels and other goodies for a reasonable price.


VW Suspension
I have been a fan of VW & Porsche since you advertised the Lancia on the cover back in '78. I recently purchased a set of 16-in. VW Factory 2001 wheels and I own a '99 Wolfsburg Jetta lll. I was told by the salvage dealer that he can sell me a full conversion for $400, which isn't bad, but as I look at the repair manual, it shows my suspension setup similar to the Plus Suspension without the ABS. My car shows me the base setup but, the spindle knuckle is set up for a VR6. Can you help me? Also, would it be wise to try to find a '98 GLS/VR6 suspension for the swap?
Vincent--VWer 4 Life
via the Internet

It sounds like your primary goal is to switch from a four-lug wheel to a five-lug wheel and you are definitely on the right track. Since you will need to replace the rotors, pads, caliper, hub, bearings, spindle, etc., your best bet is to go back to the salvage yard and use the VR6 parts and simply swap them on to your car. This will give you 11.3-in. front brakes and five-lug wheels. You can also do the same thing for the rear brakes. It is not necessary to have ABS to do this conversion, so don't worry that your car doesn't have it.


Turbo Timer for Golf IV GTI
I wanted to get your opinion on turbo timers. I just purchased a GTI 1.8t and was told to get a turbo timer to extend the life of my turbocharger. Is this necessary? If so, which brand turbo timer should I buy? HKS or Greddy? Also, would it interfere with the stock anti-theft system?
Mike Ruangutai
via the Internet

Turbo timers were essential in the era before synthetic oils and watercooled turbos. Now? I think the factory 75,000 miles warranty on emissions-related components pretty well tells the story of how little extra is needed. The need for a turbo timer really depends on the climate you live in and your driving style. If your car is stock and you don't live in an area where temperatures hit triple digits regularly, and you allow for a sufficient cool down period after driving extended periods, you really don't need a turbo timer. It is also critical to do frequent oil changes with quality synthetic oil such as Mobil 1. Mobil 1 makes a 0-40 weight fully synthetic which meets or exceeds all of VW's standards, and I would highly recommend using that and changing it every 5,000 miles along with a factory filter.

If you do live in a warm climate area, your car is modified and/or you do a fair amount of aggressive driving, a turbo timer is not a bad investment and both the units you mentioned are quality products. For those 2000 and 2001 VW you can install a turbo timer in a manner which allows the anti-theft system to work and retain the factory functions of the remote. However it does involve the use of an additional relay and a pretty thorough knowledge of the wiring of your car. It appears that the key to this install is whether your car has a factory Relay #6 which is tapped into as part of the install. A complete write up on how to install a turbo timer on an '00 or '01 VW can be found at this site: http://www.swankmonkey.com/turbotimer/. The 2002 and 2003 VWs do not use this Relay so this method won't work on the later model cars.


1992 VW Cabriolet
Two weeks ago I bought a '92 VW Cabriolet after a 20+ year addiction to mid 60s, early ('72) American cars. Initially I had no intention of modifying this car in any way. Now I find that I can't stop myself (it's a sickness). Everyone has made it clear that this is a "chick" car. I wonder how much that is true, thus I need your help. I'm told this car has a 1.8L, and it's been too cold to do any more research than to ask my brother at the local VW dealership. Is the 1.8L in the same family as the 1.8t that you have created a "challenge" for? What do I need to do to get a little more (a lot more) power out of my car? In the most economical fashion, of course--in other words, the hard way. Are there any aftermarket brake and suspension kits or individual components you would suggest?

Lastly, is there any kind "frame-connectors" to tighten the car up a little? I was thinking along the lines of what is common for Firebird/Camaro applications. Okay, one more lastly: Is my car related to the Rabbit Convertible? When I tried to buy even wiper blades, I could not find a listing for a '92 Cabriolet? Is that a Pep Boys thing or is the "Cab" a trim model for the Rabbit?
Doug Johnson
via the Internet

While the Cabrio will probably always been referred to as a "chick" car--I know of several examples that would definitely make people rethink that stereotype. The performance potential of the Cabrio is similar to that of any MKI VW. To answer your first question, yes the 1.8 engine in the Cabrio is a long distant relative of the current 1.8T, although it has very little in common and only shares the same displacement.

One of the best things you can do before undertaking any performance modifications on your car is to look at all your options and your budget. Anything is possible, from engine swaps to turbocharging and there have been a variety of different examples of each over the years. I would highly recommend check out some books and do a little reading to get a handle on what difference performance modifications like cams and exhausts can do for the 1.8 engine. Greg Raven's book, "Water-Cooled Volkswagen Performance Handbook," is a great place to get a range of ideas for increasing the performance of your car and can help you sort through the myriad options.

If you budget allows, turbocharging your car is also an option. A couple of tuners in California offer turbo "kits" or parts which will work on your car. For a "bolt-on" kit, New Dimensions (www.newdimensions.com) can provide you with a complete kit for your car, which is based upon the old Callaway turbo systems developed for the cars, although it will take some modifying to work on your particular car. ATP (www.8vturbo.com) is also a good source if you want to put together a system by yourself.

It's a good thing that you are also looking to upgrade you brakes and suspension along with your power increases. Depending on your level of engine modifications, you could choose to simply upgrade the pads, rotors and brake lines along with some good high temp brake fluid such as Motul 600 or you could opt to upgrade the brakes to the larger brakes found on the 16V or VR6 cars. Autotech (www.autotech.com) as well as other tuners can provide you with complete "bolt-on" kits which allow you to upgrade you 9.4-in. front brakes to the larger 10.1-in. vented brakes found on the 16V cars or the even larger 11.3-in. brakes from the VR6 cars.

Remember, when going to larger brake systems, you need to make sure that you have wheels large enough to clear the larger rotors and calipers and that you have an appropriately sized master cylinder for the larger caliper pistons.. You'll need a minimum of 15-in. wheels for the 11.3-in. brake kits and a larger master cylinder to retain the safety of a dual braking system.

As for suspension, there are many choices out there offering a variety of different amounts of lowering to varying degrees of stiffness. If you plan on using the car as a daily driver, a set of sport springs and good shocks would be the way to go. Some companies like KW and H&R provide complete sets sold with matching springs and shocks or you could opt for either Bilstein, Boge or Koni shocks along with Neuspeed, Eibach, Shine Racing or H&R springs.

All of these combos will work well on the street and offer slight to modest amounts of lowering. H&R also offers sport springs with a minimum amount of lowering if you want to keep your wheel travel for better handling on rough roads. As for chassis braces, they are available from several sources including Neuspeed and Euro Sport Accessories, who make both upper and lower braces for the A1 chassis.

Your Cabrio is often called a Rabbit Convertible, which is what is was called when it originally hit the U.S. market, so don't worry if the parts are listed for a Rabbit Convertible or a Cabriolet (Cabrio is the A3 drop-top Golf), if they are for the right year car, they will work fine.


Suspension Help
I have a 2002 Jetta IV TDI with 15-in. Michelin Energy tires and I was wondering what I should do to make my Jetta handle with out any body roll and to make it safer. I was looking at some H &R O.E. Sport springs and I was wondering if that was the solution?
David Hubbard
via the Internet

The H&R O.E. Sport Springs will definitely help reduce body roll on your car. However, I'd hesitate to put them on the car without upgrading your shocks as well. H&R Cup shocks or Bilstein HDs are a great match for the O.E. Sports and will ensure that your shocks can handle the added spring rates of the O.E. Sports. Also going to a tire with a smaller and or stiffer sidewall than the stock Michelin Energy tires will also help your cars handling.

Depending on the conditions of your roads, wheels as large as 17 in. with the right size tire can still be fitted on the car without sacrificing too much comfort. The added weight of larger wheels will definitely be noticed and will slow down your TDIs acceleration.. If your road conditions are poor, I wouldn't recommend going with anything larger than a 16-in. wheel and tire combination. One excellent Z rated and M+S rated tire in 15 in. is the Dunlop SP 5000. The tire combines a relatively stiff sidewall and good handling and decent tread life for a Z-rated tire.


VW GTI VR6 MKIV
I was searching for a side-exit exhaust system for a 2001 GTI VR6. Are there any companies that manufacture them? I wasn't looking to get one custom made. I'd also like to say that your magazine is great and that I enjoy reading every page of it.
Mario Di Cesare
Lake Orion, Michigan

After searching high and low, I've yet to find any company that offers a side exhaust system for your GTI. The main problem is that the main muffler is located behind the rear axle and there is very limited room before the axle for decent sized muffler. It looks like custom will be the only way to go in this situation. I'm sure a good shop could figure out a way to design a decent side exiting exhaust for your car.


Need Help With a 2000 Jetta 2.0
I just picked up a 2000 Jetta with a 2.0 and a five-speed. It's a nice car, but it is way too slow. I was wondering if there are any turbo kits offered for it? (I was thinking about the Neuspeed supercharger, but $3,000 for only 50 hp is pretty cruel, if you ask me). Also do you know of any swap kits for the 1.8T. I am in college right now so the more bang for the buck the better.
Vincent Good
via the Internet

I wouldn't discount the Neuspeed supercharger so quickly. As far as bang for the buck is concerned, it's a pretty good solution, mainly because it is very easy to install as compared to turbochargers etc. Although the peak horsepower from the kit isn't very high, it is very well designed and will work well with the factory drivetrain etc. minimizing the need for additional upgrades, such as the clutch, brakes etc. The increase in torque will leave the guys with $3,000 worth of engine modifications in the dust.

There are several turbo and supercharger systems out there, such as VF Engineering's supercharger (www.vf-engineering.com) as well at ATP Turbosystems turbo kits (www.8vturbo.com). However, none of these solutions if implemented correctly are inexpensive. ATP claims 175 hp for their Stage I and 200 hp for their Stage II kits, at $2,150 and $2,950 respectively. VF claims 170 hp for the Stage I kit at $3,500, 190 for a Stage II for an additional $500 and 220 hp for Stage III which adds an intercooler and $1500 more to the price.

Unless you have the facilities and knowledge to do the install yourself, you'll need to add about $600-$1,000 on top of those figures to the total cost. The Neuspeed supercharger is much, much simpler to install than any turbo kit, and is emissions legal as well. To our knowledge, you'll be pulling off your Turbo kit for to pass your annual or semi-annual inspection--not our idea of fun. If you are going to be adding that much additional horsepower to the car, I'd also suggest upgrading your brakes and or suspension as well.

As for a 1.8T swap, this would be a relatively simple swap if you got the engine and wiring harnesses as a complete package from a salvage yard. Going prices for these engines are about $2,500 to $3,000 depending on mileage, etc. Again, Volkswagen provided from the factory the 1.8T cars with larger brakes and a variety of other drivetrain enhancements to handle the additional power of the engine.


Custom MKIV Exhaust
I checked out your website and I like what you guys did with the sound clips of the different exhausts. I'm wondering if the Autobahn Designs cat-back was custom. I went to www.abdracing.com, and it lists only the Supersprint, Techtonics Tuning and Brospeed, but nothing as just ABD Racing. I was interested in the exhaust for my MKIV because it has a nice sound. Thanks in advance!
Nicole LeGette
via the Internet

We're sorry, Nicole, that particular exhaust isn't available at this time. We forwarded your inquiry to Dave Anderson, proprietor of Autobahn Designs, and received the response below. ABD is friendly and efficient about answering its phone and email, so don't be afraid to contact it directly with questions about the products it sells.

"We never offered an actual production part for the Jetta. We did, however, have a unit for the Golf, a limited production run that we have just recently sold out. The part was on the site but has been removed. We do offer a similar system, manufactured by Brospeed in South Africa. The system is fully polished stainless steel, 60mm diameter all the way through and has two different tip options-dual round or dual DTM style. The parts are in stock. This system looks the same as the one in 1.8T exhaust test, only the tips are slightly different." --ABD Racing


Needs Nut Help
In your April 2002 issue, in the "Tech Procedure: VW" article, a "large, flat nut" is mentioned a few times in a couple of picture captions and the main text. Is this nut in question available from the dealer, or can it only be purchased through Autotech? I ordered what I thought would be the "large, flat nut" from the dealer, but it turned out to be just a regular nut. I'm a little confused. A part number would be fantastic. Thank you kindly.
DP
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

According to the parts guys at Bill Cooke Imports (607/257-1515), you are looking for a "Threaded Bushing," part # 811 412 365. The strut assembly sequence goes like this: lower spring perch, helper spring (H&R), spring, upper spring seat/retainer, bearing (two pieces) and the threaded bushing. It will make sense when you have all the pieces in front of you. You MUST use a spring compressor to disassemble the stock strut and retrieve the threaded bushing, hence my suggestion. I was able to hold the H&R springs in place by hand while Dan tightened the threaded bushing when we assembled the H&R strut. Check the Bentley Manual for illustrated instructions. Bentley says torque the TB to 44 lb-ft. Hope this helps.
Tim McKinney


Golf 2.0 8V Tweaks
I own a 96 2.0L 8V Golf. I am trying to find some headers for it and I can't find them anywhere. I was hoping you guys could point me in the correct direction. Also, I keep hearing my engine called a crossflow versus the older 2.0L 8V. Could you explain the difference? Thanks.
Marcus Taber

First thing first. The Bosal Performance header (part #999-776) fits your car properly. Bosal only lists the header for Golf and Jetta III thru 1994 because, while they have made the header so that it is "smog legal" or C.A.R.B. compliant for all of the Golf and Jetta IIIs through 1998, they have only completed the certification paperwork for the OBD I cars, which run through 1994. The header itself will not change your tailpipe emissions, and that is why Bosal is able to get it certified but, as a rule of thumb, anytime you are changing anything between the air flow meter and the catalytic converter, be aware that to be legal in many states it will need to have a C.A.R.B. E.O. number (California Air Resources Board Executive Order). You can check with the manufacturer or C.A.R.B. (http://www.arb.ca.gov). What this means to you is that if you are in California or any state that requires a periodic visual inspection, you should wait until Bosal has completed the certification so you don't run into any problems with your smog check. If you are not in one of those states, purchase it whenever you'd like.

As for your two-part second question first, the 2.0-liter 8V VWs in the U.S. only came with the crossflow head. There were no older 2.0-ltr. VWs. Prior to 1993, when VW started using the 2.0-liter. 8V engine, all 8V engines were 1.8 liter. (or smaller prior to 1983). Now, there were Audi models that had the 2.0 liter. 8V engine with the non-crossflow head, and there were a lot of people transplanting those into VW, but they were not factory. Second, the difference between the 8V crossflow head and the earlier 8V head is just what it sounds like. The earlier heads had both the intake and exhaust ports on the same side. In the VWs, this was the backside of the motor, which always made doing any work back there loads of fun.

The crossflow head, on the other hand, had the intake and exhaust ports on opposite sides of the head. This put the intake ports on the front of the engine, and the exhaust, of course, on the backside. For a definite answer on why this was done, you'd have to speak to a VW engineer, but I believe it was primarily for improved safety in a front-end accident. By moving the intake ports to the front, it allowed for a little more room, and a little more of a safety margin, before the engine pushed into the firewall. It made a more attractive engine compartment, the intake manifold giving a more finished appearance.
Jeremy Wolf


Wanted: Stroker Motor
I am thinking of building a turbo 2.0 stroker for my '86 Jetta. However, I am having trouble finding info on this subject. If you have anything that could help me, that would be great. Thanks for your time.
Nick Taggard

Nick,This is a subject that would require an entire book to cover properly, and I don't have enough room here to do that. I will, however, cover some initial basics and send you in the right direction.

I assume that your 1986 Jetta is an 8V. First, if you are serious about turbocharging it, I would not bother increasing the displacement to 2.0 liters. You would be much better off to spend that same money on better components for the turbo system, or increasing the strength of some of the components in your 1.8-liter engine to be able to get the most horsepower out of it.

Second, whatever you end up doing, be realistic about your goals, and use your head. If you spend all your money on the turbo system and end up with a 250-bhp car with glazed brakes and blown shocks, it'll be all fun and games (everybody together now) until someone gets hurt. Always balance engine performance increases with enhancements that will allow you to use that additional horsepower. One thing that always seems to get left off that list is the most important performance enhancement driver training and experience. In most areas, there are autocross events and driving schools that can be attended for a reasonable amount of money and give you a safe place to learn your limits, and your car's.

Last, before you run out and purchase components or kits, I would highly recommend you pick up some books and do a little reading. Greg Raven's book, "Water-Cooled Volkswagen Performance Handbook," is a great place to get a range of ideas for increasing the performance of your car and can help to direct you to your goals. Also, while it can get a bit technical for people just starting out in the performance world, Corky Bell's book, "Maximum Boost," covers a wide range of issues relating to aftermarket turbocharging. Both books will most likely be available through Amazon.com, but since you are a VW enthusiast, I suggest that you support the industry by finding one of the VW tuners that sells the books and purchase from them. If your tuner of choice does not sell them, keep looking or ask them to get them for you. All of the VW shops should stock at least Greg Raven's book, and if they sell turbo kits or components, they should also stock Corky Bell's book.

As far as sources for the actual parts you will want, your best bet is to go to one of the VW tuners that has experience with turbocharging. New Dimensions (www.newdimensions.com) has a complete kit for your car, and they have sold the kits ever since they purchased the tooling from Reeves Callaway when he gave up VWs for Corvettes. Also, if you want to piece together something yourself, you can also go to ATP (www.8vturbo.com). Jeremy Wolf


Cold Air Intakes
I have a 2001 GTI 1.8T and have a question regarding the use of a cold air intake on my car. I have seen companies such as AEM and K&N with cold air intakes that replace the entire stock air cleaner box and pull the air from within the fender, away from the hot engine compartment. They say these systems are worth 8-10 hp. How can that be since the turbo is going to heat up the intake charge anyway, thus killing any benefit you would have gotten from the cooler charge. The only benefit that I see is they might allow more airflow to the turbo. Do you think this is a worthy modification or just a bunch of hype?
Via the Internet

I'm going to try to answer these questions without getting into a bunch of numbers and formulas. I think I might be able to control myself. I have no intent to talk down to anyone, but the simpler I make the explanation, the more people that will benefit. If the only benefit of the modification turns out to be that it allows more airflow to the turbo, don't you think that it is a worthy modification? If the turbo can flow more air, and the factory air box or intake plumbing is a restriction, then clearly, since air equals power, it is a very worthy modification.As far as the intake temperature is concerned, we know the turbo, as a byproduct of compression, heats the air, and that cooler air is denser, then don't we want to start with air that is as cool as possible? You will be heating the air, either a certain percentage or a certain number of degrees over the actual intake temperature before the turbo (forgetting, once again, about all those formulas, and variables such as intercooling, heat soak, etc.). If your actual intake temperature before the turbo is 10°C, and your turbo, at a certain boost level, adds 20°C (or 20%; random round numbers), then you have an intake charge of 120°C. But, if you start with an intake temperature before the turbo of 80°C, and the same boost level, adding 20°C(or even better 20%, which makes it 16°C), then your intake charge will only be 100°C, which means a denser intake charge and more power. So, if the upgrade allows for more air, cooler air, or both, then it is a worthy modification.
Jeremy Wolf


Jetta Lighting
First of all, thank you for many years of a great magazine. I am planning on building two A2 cars. Going through quite a large pile of your mags, I found my favorite issue of VW Power. On the cover it has a MEAN-looking Red GTI with black O.Z. wheels and a G60. You remember the issue? Anyhow, after years of hating those rally lights, I suddenly developed a deep lust for them. Where can I get a set, and do they make more/better light than the 16V quad-headlight conversion? While writing about lights, I am interested in aftermarket taillights for an A2 Jetta. Any ideas?
Jon Parke
Reading, Pennsylvania

Yes, I do remember the car, and the Rallye Golf headlights that it had been equipped with. I developed that same deep lust for them, but it was the first time that I saw their light output on a dark mountain road. They are the best factory lighting you can get for the A2 chassis cars, and while the light output is better than the 16V four-headlight conversion, the 16V setup is still a very good setup, especially if you can find a kit with the Hella FF (Free Form), which Hella discontinued about four years ago.

There are still a few companies that will sell you all the components to put the Rallye Golf lights in your car, but the prices have continued to increase from what was an already pricey item back when they first became available in the U.S. aftermarket. You can expect to pay over $1,000 for all the parts to do the conversion. For lighting products, two great sources which could probably provide you with both the Rallye Golf lights and taillights are RPI (www.rpiequipped.com) and Virtual World Parts (www.parts4vws.com), both of whom import O.E.-type parts directly from Europe.
Jeremy Wolf


GTI 1.8 Power
I own a 1990 GTI Wolfsburg edition, with a stock 1.8l. I am interested in increasing the car's performance but don't want to change motors, as this car has under 40k original and is very tight. I have put oversized sway bars and tower flex on but would like to get more out of the engine compartment. Could you recommend improvements I could make? It seems this engine gets ignored with the 2.0 and 16V out there. Thanks
George G.

Unfortunately, you are correct. The 1.8-liter engine in your car does get ignored compared to most of the other motors in the VW lineup. The primary reason for this is the fuel injection/engine management system on that car. The Digifant II system is one that most of the VW tuners did not touch and therefore leaves you, the enthusiast, with fewer options for increasing the output of the existing engine. Your situation, however, is far from hopeless.

The first thing to do in the range of increasing engine performance would be the exhaust system. If you have the exhaust manifold with the single outlet, which came primarily on California cars, that is where you start. You'll need to replace that manifold and downpipe with either a factory dual-outlet manifold or a short header. You can usually get the manifold and downpipe from a dismantler. I have always had great luck using VW Parts (800/VWPARTS). They really know their Volkswagens and Audis and will be able to get you what you need. As for the header, the best thing out there is the Bosal Performance header (part # 999-776). t is extremely well made and fits perfectly and retains the catalytic converter. If you make one of these changes, you'll also need to replace the catalytic converter since the downpipe (or header) to cat flanges are different. The best direct-fit aftermarket catalytic converters I've come across have come from either Eurosport Accessories (www.eurosportacc.com) or Techtonics Tuning (www.tttuning.com). From there, it is a relatively simple matter of getting a performance cat-back exhaust system. I like the systems from all three of the companies above, and each has some different benefits.

After the exhaust system you should contact GIAC (www.giacusa.com) for a chip. They only list their chip for the 1991 cars with the ECU number ending in 023), and have been too busy with developing software for the new cars to get to the other ECUs.

After the above, I'd recommend a mild camshaft, such as the Neuspeed 260 degree cam (part # 60.10.21), which will add some additional top end performance, with little, if any loss in the low end.

The last things, which you clearly are not interested in, would be to replace the bottom end of the engine with a factory 2.0-liter one, and do some mild porting to the cylinder head. These would net a significant gain in useable horsepower, but would be far more expensive than the bolt-ons previously mentioned. Keep in mind that all of the above are virtually useless if your engine is not in good shape to begin with. Simple things, such as normal tune-up items, will really be the first place to start.Good luck.
Jeremy Wolf


GTI Spring/Struts
I am in the market for a new strut/spring combo and I need a little help. I drive a '96 GTI VR6 and with Spax adjustable dampers with Spax springs. I have owned three pairs of these struts, all of which have ended up leaking. This is somewhat of a mystery to me because I'm not particularly hard on my car at all, and I'm not track racing on weekends either. At this point, I am a bit weary about purchasing new performance struts.

Basically, I'm looking for a strut/spring combo that isn't going to make my car rattle every time I hit a pebble, but I don't want to feel like I'm driving a boat, either. I have been looking into Tokico blue struts with Neuspeed sport springs. I guess my question is, what spring/strut combo would you guys recommend for a quasi-enthusiast like myself?
Seth Levy

Seth, Your problems with Spax are not entirely unheard of. While I understand that Spax has worked hard to correct any potential problems in their product line, the experiences of people such as yourself have somewhat soured my opinion of their product line.

I can understand your reluctance to purchase new performance suspension, but I feel strongly that there are a number of brands that will most likely outlast the your ownership of the car. While they may end up being a little more expensive for the initial purchase, the savings you will have from not having to replace them will more than compensate for that additional cost.

If you go the shocks and springs route, I would recommend Bilstein Sport shocks with either the Neuspeed Sport springs or the H&R Sport springs. The Bilstein Sport shocks have very similar valving to the Bilstein HD shocks but have shortened shafts for use in lowered applications. Both the Neuspeed and H&R springs will be approximately 30% stiffer than your stock springs, lower your car about 1.5 in. up front and 1.3 in. at the rear. In conjunction with the Bilstein shocks, they,'ll give you a nice firm ride but maintain most of the comfort.Beyond those combinations, you can go to the H&R Cup Kit, which will be noticeably firmer and lower your car about 2 in. up front and 1.7 in. at the rear. From what you have said, any of these combinations will most likely satisfy your needs. In addition, all of these products are covered by limited lifetime warranties, which, because of the quality of the components, you will most likely never need. Since comfort is such a subjective thing, you may want to use some of the internet resources to try to find other enthusiasts in your area who have some of these combinations and arrange to go for a ride. Good luck.
Jeremy Wolf


Problematic Passat
Please could you tell me why a 2000 Passat would constantly have the same problem of a loudly creaking driver's door with any car maneuver. It is quite unbearable, and my dealership still has not fixed.
A Vexed Passat Driver

Dear Vexed,
This question reminds me of a sign I once saw in a mechanic's shop, and when I had my own shop, I searched high and low, to no avail, looking for one. It was a list of noises like "pling-pling-pop" and listed a repair cost for each noise.I am not making fun of you plight. It is just near impossible to diagnose a problem by a description of a noise, especially by e-mail.

What I would highly recommend is if your dealer fails to correct the problem in two to three visits, you should contact Volkswagen of America (VOA) directly. From what I have heard from people who have had problems that their local dealer was unable to fix, Volkswagen will make sure that the problem gets taken care of. The phone number for VOA should be in the literature that came with your car.
Jeremy Wolf


VR6 Upgrades
I own a 2001 VW GTI VR6, and I am curious to see if I can safely upgrade the engine. As you probably already know, the VR6 has 174 bhp, and I was interested in increasing that to 200 bhp or a little more. I know that the 1.8t is more "turbo friendly" because it obviously comes with a built-in turbo that is easy to modify. I'm not looking to spend a fortune, just a few relatively inexpensive mods, like a new exhaust system. For example, Neuspeed e-mailed me and recommended that I go with their cat-back exhaust, P-Flo and P-Chip. I just want to make sure that any mods that I do will not damage the engine. Any advice you have to offer would be greatly appreciated!
Sean Warren

Sean,
Because of the number of variables involved, it is always difficult to determine that a certain group of modifications will yield a specific horsepower gain. Most manufacturers will give you approximate numbers, based on their testing. The motor you have is a very strong one out of the box, and most tuners believe that VW underrated the stock horsepower figures.

I think that the recommendations from the people at Neuspeed are a great way to get going and will probably get you close to your goal, if not over it. In addition, there are a number of other companies that will offer parts that compete with or complement the ones offered by Neuspeed, many of whom are also advertisers in european car.

As far as damaging the engine, it is highly unlikely, if not completely impossible, that any of the modifications you are considering would cause any damage to the engine. If you make sure to buy products from reputable companies, you will most likely never have problems with them causing any damage to your car if they are installed properly.
Jeremy Wolf


Website Search
I am a subscriber to your mag, and I love it. I was just wondering if you knew the Website for the European mag Golf (a VW Golf-specific mag).I have a Golf GTI and I want that mag also. Any info would be much appreciated! Thanks.
Scott Paulson

Scott,The Golf is a great European magazine. Along with Performance VW and to a lesser extent Max Power (the real one from the U.K.), it really covers the latest trends in aftermarket products and performance tuning in Europe. Although I was unable to find a Website for The Golf, I do have a source that may prove useful. EWA Cars in Green Brook, New Jersey imports The Golf and a number of other great European titles. It may be able to provide you with a website address, but if not, they can definitely provide you with a subscription to the magazine, delivered to you monthly, so you won't keep missing them at the local newsstand. You can check out its Website at www.ewacars.com, or call them directly at (732) 424-7811.
Jeremy Wolf


Jetta Clutch Repair
I have a 1988 VW Jetta 16V, I would like to R&R my clutch. Can you offer any help plus other aids, books, videos, etc.?
Fervin

Fervin;
Well, as far as offering any help, I'm afraid that my contract with the magazine does not cover actually doing any work on cars.

But seriously, your best place to start is by purchasing a Bentley Manual for your car. It will have information such as torque specifications and special tools required for the job that you should know before you start dismantling your car. While some of the special tools listed are a necessity to complete the job, others you can get away without or substitute something else. As an example, I used to substitute a few bolts and a piece of chain for the flywheel-locking tool that the Bentley Manual lists.

However, the Bentley Manual will also list an engine support fixture and a number of attachments to hold up the engine while the transmission is out of the car. While you do not need that exact device, you will need to securely support the engine, since one of the three mounting points will be removed.As far as other books or videos, I unfortunately know of none, nor was I able to find any on the Internet. Since this is probably your first time tackling a job like this, you may want to see if you can find another VW enthusiast in your area who has experience doing this job and get their help.

One last thing that we all hear too many times but sometimes forget: Always use jackstands when working on your car, and only do so on a level, even surface.
Jeremy Wolf

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After a couple days of chassis, brake, and cosmetic improvements, we've reached an important juncture in the story arc—getting ready for a boost in power
Bob HernandezDec 5, 2019
New wheels and taillights, some carbon fiber bits, and a headlight restoration job for the BRZ
Bob HernandezDec 4, 2019
Suspension and brakes were slated for Day 1. We're looking to maximize handling and agility on the BRZ and as a side-benefit achieve an improved stance.
Bob HernandezDec 3, 2019
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