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I don't know if this would be considered a FAQ, but as a response to many people needing guidance, I thought I'd put together a basic overview of modding which will get the 1.8T to a well-rounded machine... Performance, looks, handling, etc. I will go in an order which I have determined would be the most logical in terms of level of improvement (ie starting with the basics and getting more specific)...
Step 1.1
Programming (aka chipping, reflash)
- Most common companies: APR, GIAC, Neuspeed, and REVO
- Each of these offer comparable gains in horse-power and torque
- GIAC seems to be the "strongest" while Neuspeed is the closest to stock driveability while offering modest performance gains
- APR is switchable through the cruise-control functions while REVO and GIAC offer an external switching device (SPS for REVO, Flashloader for GIAC) for an additional charge. Neuspeed is switchable via laptop and an OBD2 connection.
- All programming options offer the ability to switch the car back to stock (stock program for an additional cost) with a "dealer lock-out" mode available on APR.
- Any modification to the car's ECU will void a warranty. Period. However, as stated above, each program offers a way to "hide" your programming. That being said, there is no way for your chip to be 100% undetectable. Even the "stock program" on the programming is merely an attempt to copy the OEM programming but still is not fool-proof.
- Most programming will offer approx. 25-30 hp and approx. 50 ft-lbs of torque gained.
- As with any performace upgrade, increasing the engine's performance has risks. However, there has been very little to no direct evidence of any damage caused by aftermarket programming.
- Cost for APR, GIAC, and REVO are typically around $499 (installed... never pay for installation...) with Neuspeed being slightly cheaper... There are typically deals to be found at larger show with programming vendors.

Step 1.2
Aftermarket Diverter Valve
- This is a matter of debate, but most reccomend and upgraded diverter valve (aka recirculate blow-off valve) with aftermarket programming. Typically the increase in boost created by the chip will, in time, cause the OEM DV (diverter valve) to fail. So, in order to get your car performing at its' potential, a stronger DV is reccomended.
- Most Common Companies: Forge Motorsport, VF-Engineering, and Samco Sport.
- All operate in the same manner and are typically priced between $100-$150.
- It is a simple DIY install. Cost is $0. Anyone with minor know-how can install this valve in 15-20 minutes.

Step 2
Exhaust (In this case, Turbo-back)
- A turboback exhaust is an exhaust that includes both downpipe, and cat-back... Basically all piping from the turbo back....
- Most Common Companies: GHL Motorsports, APR, and Milltek
- For the purposes of this write-up, all prices are based on a 2.5" down pipe mated to a 3" catback. I had this exact set-up on my car and found it to offer the best of both worlds (2.5" and 3" turboback).. People have found that with a larger than 2.5" downpipe, the car loses some low-end power, but with a 2.5" catback, the car doesn't get as much high-end power as it would with a 3".
- The turbo-back exhaust replaces the stock piping, which is terribly restrictive. It allows the air leaving your turbo to flow more freely, which, simply put, increases hp.
- The exhausts all run about $1000 +/- a couple hundred dollars.
- Installation is usually fairly easy and shouldn't cost more than $100 to get your local exhaust shop to install.
Now that you've completed step one at two, your car is performing great and you've spent about $1,800. Your car is putting just shy of 200hp to the wheels and you're now considerably faster/quicker than a stock 1.8T
Now, let's address some handling issues

Step 3
Rear Sway Bar (RSB)
- A rear sway bar (reffered to as RSB), without getting to technical, stiffens the rear of the car to reduce body-roll, which, in-turn, reduces unsteer (a common problem with our cars).
- Most Common Companies: <A HREF="http://www.neuspeed.com/products/product_details.asp?app=45|J4&type=2<ype=ns_euro&p_id=240" TARGET="_blank">Neuspeed</A>
- The Neuspeed 28mm RSB is basically the "industry standard"
- The 28mm RSB will dramatically increase the handling capabilites of the car and will make the car feel more planted in a curve.
- Will the RSB really make that big of a difference in the handling/feel? Yes.
- The bar is 5-way adjustable so you can fit it to your needs.
- Expect to pay about $250 for this bar (shipped).
- This is also a fairly easy install. If you have access to a lift, this job is pretty straight forward, otherwise, I'd suggest leaving it to someone with the right equiptment. I wouldn't expect to pay anymore than $50 to have a professional put it on. (See if any local VW owners would like to help you with the install... someone usually has the know-how and ability to do it for very cheap).
Step 4
Suspension (Coil-overs, Cup-Kit, Springs)
- Coilovers are an all-inclusive suspension set-up. They include the spring (or coil) over the shock body and typically offer adjustability in both ride height and stiffness.
- A cup-kit is a spring and shock combination.
- Most Common Companies: KW Suspension, Koni, H&R, <A HREF="http://www.neuspeed.com/products/product_details.asp?app=31|G4&type=2<ype=ns_euro&p_id=540" TARGET="_blank">Neuspeed</A>, and many others readily available upon searching.
- A coilover set will cost you, typically, around $1,200 (with options going MUCH higher and as low as approx. $700).
- A set of Neuspeed springs (for example: Neuspeed Race) will cost about $250.
- A set of shocks (ex: Koni Yellow, adjustable) will cost about $500
- Let's start at the basics. Replacing just springs (and not shocks) is typically a bad idea. While you might get the ride-height you are looking for, a lower-ride will inevitably wear out the stock shocks and you will end up with VERY bouncy, uncomfortable ride quality. It is better to just wait til you've saved enough to either do the cup-kit (spring and shock) or save more for a coilover set... or else you'll end up doing installation more than once.
- Different springs have different "drop" amounts, and are sometimes classified as "Sport" and "race". The "sport" drop is not as low as the "race". Look to the different manufacturers for drop amounts.
- If a set of aftermarket springs are mated to aftermarket shocks (ex: Neuspeed Sport springs and Koni Yellow adjustable shocks), it will allow for an adjustment of ride stiffness.
- Coilovers allow for everything a cup-kit does, along with the added ability to adjust height (which is typically the most popular reason one would choose a coilover setup).
- Different coilovers offer different lowering capabilities and ride-quality at different settings, but as a rule, the lower you are, the worse your ride quality is going to be...
- For more information on each brand and type of suspension set-up, please search. There are countless reviews of each different set-up and each has its trade-offs.
- Installation is typically approx. $200 (again, something you can have a fellow enthusiast do for not much more than a 6-pack and a few bucks to make it worth their time...)
- An allignment is HIGHLY reccomended after the installation, especially for coilovers.
- Click here for a picture of a 20th on Neuspeed Race Springs (and Koni Shocks)
- Click here for a picture of a GLI on Neuspeed Sport Springs
- Click here for a picture of a GLI on KW Variant 3 Coilovers (not quite all the way down)
This is the end of the "basic modding" tutorial. At this point, there is approx. $3k invested in to your car, it is looking great, and performing even better. You have a great mix of show and go and anything past what we've discussed will acheive not as much results per dollar spent.
This is merely an opinion-based write-up. Take my views for what they're worth and I hope you're able to use this information to get you through " basic-modding". I recieved absolutely no outside influnce in writing this and all companies mentioned were done so without their prior knowledge.

As a basic rule of modding, there are three things. Fast, Good, and Cheap... Pick two, because you'll never get all three
Many people responded to this thread asking for it to address a TIP (Turbo Inlet Pipe) and FMIC (Front Mount Intercooler).
In response to the calls for TIP, FMIC to be added: I'll consider adding "The Next Step For Dummies" type of post based on the input that I've been getting. However, I have very little personal experience so I don't know how comfortable I feel putting my name to a post which is basically regurgitating things I've heard in the past... TIPs help to allow more airflow to the turbo, and FMICs help to allow the air leaving the turbo to stay colder (theory behind this is colder air=more dense air, which basically means that more air is getting in to the engine, which, in turn, makes more HP). I have found, through the limited experience I've had with the two, that both can be quite beneficial but cross that "basic modding" threshold which most people usually don't want to cross. Again, I did not have either of the products on my car nor do I have the enough personal experience nor research to give my informed decision on the matter.
On the CAI (cold air intake) or short-ram intake: I 100% refuse to address the "issue". To me, it is no where near beneficial (enough) to the 1.8T to justify spending the money on and if I had not worked out a sponsorship with AEM, I probably wouldn't have spent my own hard-earned money on it (actually, I lie... I http://****************.com/smile/emlove.gif wooshing... Miss it a lot
)". If one is hell-bent on the "woosh", realize that a CAI gives a more noticable sound, but the convenience of not having to ever worry about hydrolocking (sucking water through the CAI in to your engine while driving through a puddle... happens every winter), would make me spend my money on a "short-ram" intake (one which utilizes ambient engine-compartment air) vs a CAI (which takes fresh, colder air through the air-vents in your bumper). I don't think the supposed performance difference between a CAI and short-ram in take justifies the added risk (even if it is very rare) of ruining your entire motor.


Modified by SoCalDubber at 5:59 PM 10-4-2006
 

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Re: Complete Idiots Guide To Basic Modding For 1.8T (SoCalDubber)

http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif good job now lets keep bumpin this up for the noobs so we dont get this question a million times a day as we do now
 

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Re: Complete Idiots Guide To Basic Modding For 1.8T (SoCalDubber)

Nice Writeup http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: Complete Idiots Guide To Basic Modding For 1.8T (UntouchableGTI)

http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: Complete Idiots Guide To Basic Modding For 1.8T (SoCalDubber)

Quote, originally posted by SoCalDubber »

As a basic rule of modding, there are three things. Fast, Good, and Cheap... Pick two, because you'll never get all three

good work, but it should be reliable, not "good".
it's kind of hard to qualify good.
 

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Re: (TurboGolfKid)

Great write-up. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Nothing really new, but at least it is concise and in one thread.
I think it might be worth adding something about intake. I know it doesn't do a whole lot for the 1.8T, but replacing the TIP and possibly the airbox will help some at higher RPMs.
 

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Re: (midnightbluegli)

I love that the letters C, A, and I are nowhere in there!
but I must say, stubby antenna should be on before you leave the dealer...
 

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Re: Complete Idiots Guide To Basic Modding For 1.8T (SoCalDubber)

Nice write-up! But I'll have to point out the somewhat glaring omission of the turbo inlet pipe in your list of basic mods for the 1.8T. Bang for the buck, it's tough to fault the Forge Motorsports TIP.
 

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Re: Complete Idiots Guide To Basic Modding For 1.8T (EFYH)

Quote, originally posted by EFYH »
Nice write-up! But I'll have to point out the somewhat glaring omission of the turbo inlet pipe in your list of basic mods for the 1.8T. Bang for the buck, it's tough to fault the Forge Motorsports TIP.

x2
 

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Re: Complete Idiots Guide To Basic Modding For 1.8T (xitdiestodayx)

Great write up..... and this sld be locked UP TOP.....moderators keep this thing up top please?????
 
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