Well, I suppose I will start one of these. I put it off for so long because I was too lazy to do all the typing.. So here we go...
I bought this car basically in stock form in August 2008 as something to get good mileage, haul stuff around in the hatch, and have a little fun in.
Here it is next to Dex's old truck about 3 or so years ago.
I couldn't leave it alone for long and started modifying little by little. It had some sort of mild tune in it when I bought it, so I left that alone initially and focused more on handling. I bought some nice sticky Nitto Invos and put some H&R sport springs on it.
Shortly after, I bought a front lower stress bar, front upper strut bar, a stout rear sway bar, and a rear strut bar. After all of that, it realllllly tightened up the body and practically eliminated the body roll. I followed that up by replacing all of the control arm bushings with solid polyurethane bushings which helped tighten things some more.
After that, I purchased a Forge Turbo Inlet pipe to replace the stock one that is a very soft rubber.
While at it I replaced some of the PCV and boost hoses with good silicone products. (VW's of this generation are known for using shitty plastic and rubber that cracks).
I then stumbled upon a Eurojet Race Front Mount Intercooler and picked that up.
I'm probably forgetting things here and there and all of this may not be chronologically correct lol. Bear with me!
I then decided to clean up the engine bay and get rid of several problematic areas on these cars by deleting the SAI/N249/EVAP/Extra Brake Booster Check Valves/etc. Because there are no Emissions in OK I don't need any of those. I replaced the stock diverter valve with a Forge 007 piston type valve.
I also installed a N75 (boost regulation) race valve as well as a K&N Intake, 3" downpipe to 2.5" full exhaust, and relocated the battery to the rear of the car.
I started saving some weight and doing a little deleting of unnecessary items in the car.
I decided I wanted to get a solid tune in it so I called Unitronic in Canada, mailed my ECU to them and had them set me up with a Stage II+. After that, I bought a set of Koni Yellows with some H&R Race springs which really helped the handling. The Nitto's only lasted me about a year, lol. so I decided to get a new setup. I went with some 18" Rota Grids and some 245/35/18 Kuhmo Ecsta XS.
These are my current setup and they have been great.
After being tuned and running her hard for a while the stock clutch obviously started to slip. So I replaced it with a Stage II Clutch and a lightweight 14lb flywheel.
I was told when I bought the car at 60k miles the timing belt had just been changed, which would mean it was good for another ~60-80k. Well right at 100k (40k later) I was doing 80mph on the highway and she decided to let lose on me and bend all 20 valves.
So I pulled the motor and started looking trying to figure out my next move.
I stumbled upon a man in California that had Eurospec racing assemble a longblock for him to compete in some SCCA classes, etc. and picked it up from him for a very good price. The motor was set up for big boost and high rpms.
It was a brand spanking new longblock and was set up and built with nothing spared.
Forged JE 8.5:1 Pistons
JE wrist pins, premium ring set, and end gap set
Eurospec H-beam connecting rods with ARP hardware
New forged and counterbalanced crank
Main bearings - German high performance
Rod bearings - German high performance
ARP main bearing studs
2.0 liter steel head gasket
A brand new Ported and Polished head with upgraded Ferrea valvetrain:
Exhaust 30.9mm *+1mm Oversize* Valves
Intake 27.9mm *+1mm Oversize* Valves
Intake Single Springs
Intake Ti Retainers
Intake Spring Locators
Exahust Dual Springs
Exhaust Ti Retainers
Exhaust Spring Locators
ARP Head Studs
I replaced all of the coolant hoses and lines with some high heat silicone ones from Forge Motorsports while the motor was out. I also put in some new very solid Stage II BFI motor and tranny mounts to keep it all tightly in place.
I got everything all buttoned up and in place and started the break in process.
Got her all broken in without any issues. She was running great. So I decided to have a go at Plastidip lol. Not just trim though, the entire car
I used an automotive paint gun, my compressor, and two gallons of thinned gunmetal plastidip.
I learned a lot about using plasti dip when doing the entire car and if I ever take a stab at it again I will know several things to make it easier.
I had been playing around with some tuning and data-logging software I had for several years and I finally decided to take a stab at E85. Now there is not one company for Volkswagen or Audi who makes a tune for Ethanol so I went in to this all on my own.
Got the hardwear and installed it and started tuning.
Through many hours of data logging and tweaking I was able to get her pretty well dialed in.
My first trip to the track I snagged some good traction down low right about the time a torque spike shot up and just grenaded the tranny. So it was back on a tow truck and to the house she went.
I decided to upgrade from the weak 02J (5 speed tranny) to the stout 02M (6 speed) tranny which can handle nearly twice the power. I gathered all of the parts and started the swap.
Old 02J on the left, and new 02M on the right.
Got everything (New axles, starter, shifter box, shifter linkages, power steering line, etc) all in place and began enjoying having 6 gears and a strong tranny.
I left the plastidip on for several months and then just decided I was tired of it. So i peeled it off
I currently am still on the stock (K03) turbo, running 100% E100 and pushing the little stock turbo to her limits. I will run it on the stock turbo a little while longer before I put on the HX35. Here are the k03 specs, so you can get an idea how small this turbo is lol:
Tip height: 4.4mm
Tip height: 6.8mm
I dyno'd 253 wheel hp and 327 lb/ft of torque on this little guy running E85. I have knocked off a 13.42 @ 107.1 as my best at the strip. I know thats nothing special, but doing it on the stock turbo is what is pretty exciting. To this day, I am the fastest (Non-Nitrous) Single K03 1.8t out there, which doesn't make it a monster or anything, but it makes me feel good
and it suprises the heck out of a lot of people on the street. I believe there are two other cars (with a single k03 1.8t) which have dyno'd more than me. One was 257 and the other was 262. I feel like after tweaking with a few things right now it is closer to 265whp.
Here is the HX35 I have sitting in my garage next to a stock sized turbo on my car.
I should be able to make north of 500whp on ethanol with the HX which will nearly double the HP. As of right now, I plan on either acquiring an R32 AWD drivetrain and swapping it in, or mating the 1.8T to a MR2 transaxle and making it mid-engine rear wheel drive. After that, I will move forward with the big turbo setup.
This car is really not a straight-line monster and it never has been. Where it goes above and beyond is in the corners. It will rip your face off in a hairpin and keep you grinning ear to ear. If anyone ever wants to go for a ride I know some fun twisties around the Tulsa area that we can check out! Or maybe we can all go for a cruise in Arkansas one of these days! I have left out some things I'm sure of, but this is the jist of it. I very seriously doubt I will ever get rid of this car as I have far too many good memories in it with friends; and at this point I would never get remotely close to getting out what I put in. If you made it this far, thanks for reading! Hope to see you guys around more often! Cheers!