For the last four months, we have made our ’03 VW GTI 1.8T bigger and stronger. We started with the bottom-end, installing a two-liter stroker kit from Integrated Engineering. The larger displacement from Mahle pistons coupled with robust rods and a 2.0T FSI crank guaranteed us more torque and a bulletproof motor.
Bigger things followed when 034Motorsport rebuilt a AEB head. Enlarged ports, Supertech springs, oversized valves, titanium retainers and an Autotech intake cam gave us a faster-reacting valvetrain. The final piece to the puzzle was the turbo. We’re going big and we’re not looking back
We have to thank Raven Motorsports in Long Beach, CA for carrying the torch thus far. Raven had been responsible for all the labor on Silverstone but now 034Motorsport will continue the project.
After a 350-mile drive, we arrived in Fremont, CA 034’s home. We were delighted to have a tour of the recently expanded facility, which housed manufacturing, inventory, office space and the service department under one roof.
To get things started, we began with a baseline dyno run on 034’s in-house Dyno-mite AWD dynamometer. We should note, our motor wasn’t tuned properly, only having our previous GIAC software additions like the big-valve head, intake cam and stroked two-liter weren’t accounted for in the ECU.
On a 63F morning, we made four pulls. The first run proved to be the smoothest curve, making 203.8whp and 237.4 lb-ft of torque. Compared to most chipped 1.8T cars, our torque curve was noticeably stronger, making 200-237 lb-ft between 2500-5000rpm. Peak horsepower remained around 200whp, which is the general limit for a stock K03 turbo.
After the dyno, we moved to 034’s service area, which housed four lifts and plenty of space. With Silverstone on one of the lifts, a tech tore into the car.
For a big-turbo install on a transverse 1.8T, we’re not required to pull the motor. The turbo’s located on the rear of motor, close to the firewall. To gain access, 034 detached all the obstructing parts that limit access. This included the strut bar, intercooler piping and air intake pipe. Once these parts were out, we could disconnect the downpipe, remove the turbo and exhaust manifold.
The manifold and turbo were secured by three 17mm bolts. To remove the manifold from the head, there were 13 nuts and washers. Because we had a Kinetic manifold previously installed, this was a pain in the ass since its design made it more difficult to get tools in there. But finally, once all the nuts were removed, we disconnected the remaining coolant and oil lines.
With the stock turbo and manifold out, we put them side-by-side with the 034 components. The K03 turbo looked like a midget compared to the dual-bearing Garrett GT2871R turbo.
The Garrett turbo is an eliminator-style unit that features an internal wastegate. We’re expecting peak power to reach 400hp while still maintaining a quick spool at lower RPM.
034’s exhaust manifold is made of high-nickel cast-iron. This should resist temperature changes, and the long-runner design has been flow-tested to prove its greater efficiency.
We’ll return to 034 next month to look at fueling components and downpipe adapter so we can re-fit our Techtonics exhaust. A custom tune will follow to adjust timing, air/fuel, boost and more.