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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there is a stage 1 chip available on the AT. Its my opinion that the 1.8 lacks any fun factor in the MT with very little torque on the 1.8 engine. Perhaps I am jaded from owning 3 TDI's currently (A6, BMW, GSW). Shifts on the AT with a MT are pretty anemic. Would a stage 1 chip increase my torque? Would it notice anything when downshifting or only acceleration? Is there a program (Mapping) where the gearing could be lower or is the 1.8 simply just to small of an engine for this car? I would have loved to have seen a 2.0. I have never chipped a car so excuse my ignorance on this topic. How about MPG? Does that drop also?
 

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Unitronic stage 1 makes it like it should have come from the factory. I prefer Uni over the APR tunes I've had on the past, but I'm sure they're just as good. As for downshifting I'm not sure I understand what you mean.

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We did APR stage 1 on my wife’s sel with manual. Definitely a big change. The major issue is that the gearing is much much taller than her 2012 gti. She literally needs to be in one gear lower. It is a smooth engine. Mileage did not change
 

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It adds like 100 ft-lbs, so probably the biggest improvement in the history of Golf flashing. When Garret Lim was starting out (GIAC) and tuning Sciroccos I think he was getting 8 - 11hp, and built a business around that.
 

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Chipped.... You do realize that is not what is done anymore? They reflash the cars computer and have to do a separate ECM for engine and TCM for trans, can be done seperate if you are interested in a particular modification. Sounds like you need to search some more...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
downshifting as in with a MT "Slowing", "Engine braking" "Control in corners"

The 1.8 is so tall geared that even 2nd gear barely gives you much torgue in the twisty descents of passes. I live in the mountains and like to use my gears versus the brakes. Will the stage 1 tune make much difference in the feel of the MT gearing (Lower).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mapping

Sorry for the confusion as it's been many years since I have done any mods. Ok. flashing. Is the APR the most common one used here? My question dealt with the gearing feel (Lower, engine braking) with the MT where currently it is very tall geared with little in the fun factor downshifting in the tight downhill corners.
 

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APR and Unitronic are the most common. There are others, but those two are the most often used, referenced and reviewed. There are pros and cons to each. ( Unitronic has a uniconect cable so you can do the flashing in your driveway and log, APR has a lower octane tune available, the dealer network varies for both, etc etc) you have to do some research and decide what looks best for you. There is also the piggy back option from burger motorsports. I've never really been interested but people that have it seem to like it. This is the JB1 and JB4 you might see referenced when you start looking around.

The tune does not change the the gearing, but it does improve torque through the powerband. It won't have an effect while engine braking, but you will feel more torque throttling in a lower gear.

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GSW/AT torque to the ground on the low end is limited by gearing. Only way to do better there is smaller diameter wheel/tire combo.

Tunes add torque after 1500rpm when turbo kicks in and most is 2000+ which of course wont do much good for "off-roading" slow.

See APRs website for hp/tw graphs.

TLDR: AWD is not 4WD.

"However" with care and good judgement the AT can go to 90% of back country softroading camping ...
BUT of course cant rock crawl the Rubicon or hang at Moab...

On the other hand the AT is a much nicer drive 500miles on highway to get there than a Jeep on 35s...

Call it "soft-roading", not "overlanding"...
🤓

-foo
 

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Sconney, just to clear up one of your outstanding questions here - engine braking is not, and can not be affected by chip or flash tuning of your ECU. Closed-throttle engine braking is simply a mechanical vacuum and internal friction drag within the engine that helps slow the car down. The fuel injectors are turned off during DFCO (deceleration fuel cut-off) and it has nothing to do with tuning.

Also, gearing is purely mechanical in the drivetrain and can not be adjusted, as Foo noted. Chip tuning is only going to give you a nice bump in power and torque across the entire engine rpm range. And yes, usually you can rev out a bit higher with a tuned ECU (see dyno plots at goapr.com).

If what you crave is better scoot in second gear in the mountains, tuning should make you smile!
 

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I wish the gearing was 10% shorter. I have 16” wheels for the winter and 18” for the summer. I don’t know that I notice much difference. Still, the tune made the car respond better and the extra torque does compensate for the tall gearing. Our 2012 GTI, which my wife owned, was much shorter geared. When we test rode a 2019 GTI the gearing was quite a bit taller, but the engine was more powerful so the difference was small. The Golf R we test drove had closer gearing to our old GTI, but could not convince my wife the extra $$$ to pay for it. :)

For $599 the APR STAGE 1 was a no brainer - definitely worth it!
 

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Anemic MT shifting can def be taken care of by a few 6MT mods i believe there is a clutch delay valve and a clutch spring you can remove. Some OTS tunes remove the notorious "rev hang" many complain about the 6MT of the MK7 EA888.3 platform (I don't believe APR tune removes it).

Also in our DSG AT, the natural system losses of the 4mo def provides more "engine" braking than our Passat. But I also don't ride at 4,500 to slow the car down, brakes are cheap, I pulse them and glide and let the DSG do it's thing.
 

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I have not made any tune decisions yet but will offer this as someone who drives our Alltrack off road several times a week, and also does fast freeway driving for work tasks.

As one post said, the power starts to come at what I think is 1600 RPM. You feel it again just over 3000 with different timing or cam profile. Not same as a "tune" but repeating same trips with regular and high octane gasoline support one of the tuner's dyno tests I saw. I'm convinced you have more power when you are blowing on the fire just by a tank of higher octane fuel.

No EA888 vehicle we tested nor most other modern vehicles had engine braking like I knew with older naturally aspirated vehicles. As said, I drive off road a few or most days of the week on ski area service roads and trailhead roads. The off road mode will give you some hold like more engine braking if you want that.

I'm still on the fence and undecided with tunes because of our other vehicles and knowing how to shift. It's rather peppy and capable to start. It's not ever going to be like the 292 HP naturally aspirated engine my wife has. Just drive our Outback if you think the VW isn't powerful or peppy.

The 6/72 warranty is the other thing in my mind. IIRC, Burger is in my list where that module can be removed.
 

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I have not made any tune decisions yet but will offer this as someone who drives our Alltrack off road several times a week, and also does fast freeway driving for work tasks.

As one post said, the power starts to come at what I think is 1600 RPM. You feel it again just over 3000 with different timing or cam profile. Not same as a "tune" but repeating same trips with regular and high octane gasoline support one of the tuner's dyno tests I saw. I'm convinced you have more power when you are blowing on the fire just by a tank of higher octane fuel.

No EA888 vehicle we tested nor most other modern vehicles had engine braking like I knew with older naturally aspirated vehicles. As said, I drive off road a few or most days of the week on ski area service roads and trailhead roads. The off road mode will give you some hold like more engine braking if you want that.

I'm still on the fence and undecided with tunes because of our other vehicles and knowing how to shift. It's rather peppy and capable to start. It's not ever going to be like the 292 HP naturally aspirated engine my wife has. Just drive our Outback if you think the VW isn't powerful or peppy.

The 6/72 warranty is the other thing in my mind. IIRC, Burger is in my list where that module can be removed.
My vw dealer said not to worry about warranty. The stage 1 mod has not had any issues in his experience and he said that also not worth getting APR plus. I trust the dealer. They said if there was an issue vw America would have to prove it’s from the tune and they would go in my support
 

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My vw dealer said not to worry about warranty. The stage 1 mod has not had any issues in his experience and he said that also not worth getting APR plus. I trust the dealer. They said if there was an issue vw America would have to prove it’s from the tune and they would go in my support
Make sure that you have the dealer give you that in writing.

The legal situation is very clear. VW has a system whereby they identify cars that have ECU changes when the car is hooked up to the computer for a scan. This is not something that is controlled by the dealer but is controlled by the VW computer in Germany. That computer will set a tD-1 flag in the computer where it sits in hiding and festers (unknown to the owner or the dealer) until a warranty claim is submitted by a dealer for an issue that VW Germany deems related to that mod. That claim will be denied and there isn't much that you or the dealer can do.

The problem is that you (nor the dealer) know exactly what situation would cause a warranty denial. Manufacturers keep close eyes on failures and know exactly what failures have a contributing factor or are caused by a mod.

Oh, once an ECU has been modified on a VW, there is no going back as VW counts the number of times of times it was modified and compares that number to the number of times THEY have modified the ECU - if the numbers don't match then they know that the ECU was modified.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the info on the power band versus shorter gearing.

Thanks for the answers! Dam, I miss my old 90's vintage audis and truck like gearing. 5 Cylinder Torque. Oh well, I still love my AT and find it very comfortable on long drives. I wish we had a TDI in the AT. That would have been the perfect car. I have a 15 TDI GSW and also love it. Maybe I convert to a TDI engine for my AT (Find a motor) but heard the upgrades to all the other things would be very $$$$. I wonder if anyone has thought about doing it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Your DSG gearing versus the MT. My observation

That is interesting! I rented a GSW DSG in Portland and did notice the DSG when put in Manual mode had better gearing for sure. I actually liked the gearing better than my MT. But would not trade out the manual, just would love some engine torgue or shorter gears.
 
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