Having covered the front drivetrain overview, engine internals, and the transmission preparation, the NGP Rallye Golf VRT moves closer to the ground – or the business end of the driveline as some would say. We’re talking, of course, about the suspension and brakes, components that should never be overlooked on a high-powered build up. Punching a hole in the air with a 500+hp, 150 MPH brick, AKA VW’s MK2 Golf, is only half of the challenge when piloting a car of this caliber. Accomplishing a level of stability at speed and adequate braking power to bring it all back to Earth in a safe manner is truly what will provide peace of mind to the lucky stiff behind the wheel.
First, lets talk suspension. When you mention high performance suspension, the first thing that might come to mind would be coilovers. This is an obvious choice because the coilover is directly derived from the suspension system of almost every race car in the world today. The coilover is a simple, yet effective design that places the coil spring directly onto the shock and combines it with full height adjustability. Spring perches are raised and lowered on threads winding up a large majority of the length of the shock’s housing. Advantages of coilover suspensions are numerous, but perhaps the most important is the ability to customize ride height and spring rate.
Our choice of coilover for the Rallye VRT project was the FK Konigsport. NGP has a long history with FK Automotive from Germany, and we at NGP are extremely confident in their quality and performance. The Konigsport model features dual linear rate springs, Koni adjustable shock inserts with a lifetime warranty, and cadmium-plated housings to resist corrosion (FK has now launched their Silverline series of coilovers which feature stainless steel housings to completely eliminate corrosion- but they were not available to us at time of order).
This is a terrific suspension system, and NGP sells a huge number of kits across the country every year. Simply stated, we had no worries about whether or not they were up to the task of holding up our hot little hatch. What we did have to address, though, was the spring rate needed to balance the extra weight and stress we will be applying.
Combining the horsepower and additional weight of Project Rallye VRT, along with the complete lack of aftermarket, upgraded anti sway bars for the rear of this chassis, we found ourselves in search of heavier spring rates for our Konigsport coilovers. When considering those who possess experience in custom tuning Mk-2 VW suspensions, there are a couple real standouts in this industry.
Without hesitation, we chose to place a call to Eli at Shine Racing Services in Massachusetts. They have an impressive lineage of winning VWs, including many MK1 and MK2 chassis mods that are exclusive and unique in the industry. After an exchange of information, and bestowing a little insight into the project, Eli made the suggestion of single 550 lb coils up front and single 450 lb coils at the rear. We can easily change these if they do not prove to be the right combo once we get to the track, but I’m confident that we’re in the right neighborhood.
With suspension determined, we progressed along to upgrading the brake system. I have always loved big brakes on little cars – especially when they are truly needed. In our case, especially, they are truly needed. Rising to the challenge on our brake requirements was an old friend up North. Dustan at RPI suggested one of their 13 inch, 4 piston caliper front brake kits. To this suggestion I promptly responded, “I’ll take two, thanks!”
The RPI setup is a really trick kit, featuring cross-drilled, two-piece rotors and the very reliable and light-weight Willwood caliper. Dustan adds in stainless braided lines and all necessary hardware for a completely painless install. We have installed a number of these kits for our customers in our shop, but this is the first time we will be using them on one of our projects, so we’re excited to give them a really thorough workout.
Now to share the blueprint for the Rallye’s braking success: We will be using two complete 13 inch big brake kits. The front is a straight bolt on, and the rear is very manageable thanks to the design of the rear wheel bearings on syncro vehicles. The rear stub axle assembly is quite similar to the front, allowing the rotors to slip right over the stock hub with no modifications. All you need are a couple really good friends at a machine shop (enter Tom and Keith at Ross Machine Racing), and custom rear caliper brackets are in the works.
There are two considerations when doing something as radical as we are attempting with this brake system – proportioning and retaining E-brake capabilities. The first consideration is achieved through a Wilwood manual proportioning valve that will be mounted to the side of the tunnel just below the center console, in easy reach of the pilot. The second issue of emergency braking capabilities is accomplished with the help of a hydraulic line lock by the Jamar company. They are well known in the sand rail and dune buggy industry, and have quite a selection of products for custom hydraulic brake systems.
With all these modifications under way, I am feeling very satisfied about the direction the project is taking. This will truly be a unique automobile and the learning curve we are experiencing at this level of customization should be extremely useful to everyone involved, especially all of you wonderful Vortexers who support us by following this build up with continued enthusiasm. Thanks again for all the kind words and encouragement! Stay Tuned.
New German Performance
Shine Racing Service
Ross Machine Racing
Jamar Performance Products
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