If you just paid attention to the weight count of this buildup, it would seem like Im not building a sporty car. Before you crucify me, however, consider what Ive accomplished with a mere 20-pound gain since the first installment of this project. Ive not only picked up 11 hp to the wheels and made the engine reliable, but this month Ive added quite likely the best Scirocco suspension possible and doubled that with some of the cleanest-looking wheels on the market.
After the weight issue is put to rest, the next topic of discussion on the Web will undoubtedly be what I spent this month on a car that cost a measly $500. It should first be noted that the Sciroccos private-party Blue Book value is nearly twice what I paid for it not that that makes spending over four grand on the suspension any better. Im just trying to justify the cost for my own sanity. What the $4,300 bought me was quite possibly the best-handling Scirocco ever. At the limits of the sticky Toyo T1-S tires, there is only minimal body roll. The car does suffer from slight understeer with its present setup, but that can easily be corrected by adjusting the coilovers at a later date. I was going to corner-weight the car for this installment, but I have plans to strip the interior fairly soon (to lose some of the weight thats slowing me down), and that would offset the balance of the car, thus making corner-weighting now a complete waste of time.
Another problem is that the wheels and tires are so wide that in order to fit the tires into the fender with an acceptable level of coilover body clearance and with no rubbing during compression, the front wheels have to be set to 2.5-degrees negative camber. Negative camber aids in turn-in, but although Project Scirocco will see ample track time, it will not be a dedicated track car. As such, accelerated tire wear is a concern. I'm starting a search for possible solutions to this problem. This month, I also opted to pay for the installation of the suspension rather than doing a bloody-knuckle dance under the Rocco on jack stands. I had the tires mounted and balanced as well as the alignment adjusted at Savas Tires and Wheels in Bell, California; its a wheel and tire shop well known in the aftermarket industry. The coilovers and sway bars were installed at Renner Motorsport in Inglewood, California. Renner Motorsport has made a name for itself modifying many Southern California VWs, and after a brief ride in Renners 300hp turbocharged 16v Scirocco project, I was completely sold on the abilities of the shop. While the car was on the lift, I had Renner Motorsport also replace the axles with newer ones, as the old CVs had pretty much decided they didnt want to be part of this project anymore.
It should be noted that every company I used for my suspension upgrades offers less-expensive, high-quality components to fit any budget. I opted for fairly pricey components because, in my mind, the two most important parts of a car are brakes and suspensionso you can only imagine what I have in store for a brake upgrade. The next installment of Project Scirocco, however, will undoubtedly cover a trick Summit Racing radiator and fan shroud upgrade, as well as a Pioneer head unit with MP3 and WMA decoding abilities, offering the versatility of a CD changer at a fraction of the weight.