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13,567 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
THE Stock turbo tuning guide...your source for what it takes!

The sole purpose of this guide is to go through in fair detail what it takes to get as much power out of a KO3/KO3S as possible in a reliable way. I’ve had experience with a 2001 GTI 1.8T of my own, and now with my girlfriend’s 2004.5 Jetta GLI 1.8T. We’ve recently dyno’d her car on a DynoJet and made 258whp and 322wtq, which to date, seems to be the highest dyno numbers anyone has ever achieved on the stock turbo. Therefore, I feel that going through the performance mod list would be very beneficial to anyone looking to crank some numbers instead of going straight to a bigger turbo.
When I first started modding my GTI, I learned just about everything from Dizzy, aka QuickKO3Crap. I owe a lot to him as he set me in the right direction on what types of mods to do and what works/doesn’t work. Then, as I went on and performed these mods myself, I gained my own experience and knowledge of how everything works together and what makes my girlfriend’s Jetta a powerful yet reliable car to drive everyday.
So let’s begin shall we? I’ll be dividing up this write-up mod by mod, assuming whoever reads this will be starting from any point in performance modifications, whether you are completely stock or you have a good number of mods already done.
1. CHIP: ($500 NEW)
This is by far the most important modification one can/should do to a 1.8T, right out of the get-go. You will find that some people have just done a diode mod, manual boost controller (MBC), and a higher bar fuel pressure regulator (FPR) to achieve chip-like boost levels. Personally, I’ve never gone this route and think that to get where I’ve gotten, a chipped program is an absolute must. If you want to get the most out of your stock turbo, you need some good programming. Custom is great, but you shouldn’t do it unless you have every other mod done, as your tuner will be able to make use of all your other parts and get more power. Therefore, you have to choose between the now 5 available: APR, GIAC, REVO, Unitronic, & Tapp(Eurodyne). I’ve never been a fan of APR’s programming. It makes decent power, but it just isn’t aggressive enough. REVO seems to be quicker than APR, and they have the Stage II that uses an SPS Controller so you can adjust boost and timing yourself. When I had my GTI, I ran an old GIAC file. The only person who was quicker than me was a friend with another GTI that still to this day runs GIAC X+, which is their latest file. Now, my g/f’s GLI is also running X+. I’ve yet to see an X+’d car lose to REVO or APR with similar mods. So my suggestion to you is to find the nearest GIAC dealer. You’ll get the most aggressive file for your car. If super aggressive isn't something you're after, I've been in quite a few Unitronic cars, ranging from their Stage 1 up to Stage 2, and all pull extremely well. I have zero experience with Tapp(Eurodyne), and thus can not comment on it. Keep in mind also when choosing a software provider that you use either a local shop or one you trust to help you with possible problems that may arise. Also, if planning on going with a bigger turbo setup in the future, realize that both Unitronic and Tapp(Eurodyne) offer credit toward a Big Turbo file if you currently have a stock turbo file. Therefore, you aren't paying full price twice.
As for the extra options provided, that’s soley up to you. If you have access to a lap top that HAS A 9 PIN SERIAL PORT, don’t bother with the Race file, as you can make timing adjustments using a free program called Lemmiwinks. Unitronic also has a similar program called UniSettings, available for download on their website. This program does all the same functions and controls as Lemmiwinks, however it is to be used with a USB cable, not a serial. This is beneficial to those of you with newer laptops that don't come equipped with a serial port. If you’re not one to mess with things, then get the Race file. This allows you to get the most out of putting in 100 octane gas. The valet mode will cut power to keep others from beating on your car. If you ever plan on using an MBC, you can do that yourself. Get what you think is worth it to you.

2. EXHAUST: ($500-1000 NEW)
A quality turboback exhaust system is another great mod to do right away. The stock system is extremely restrictive, especially the downpipe. If you’re modding one part at a time, do a bigger downpipe FIRST, as you’ll see the bigger gain from this. There are arguments up and down about which is better: 2.5” or 3”. Some think 3” is overkill, and they’re wrong. I had a 3” on my GTI, my friend has a 3” on his GTI, my g/f’s GLI has a 3”…never a problem. The 3” systems are a little bit louder, but sound has a lot to do with whether or not your exhaust comes with a catalytic converter, resonator, and/or muffler. There are some cheap systems and some expensive. GHL is QUALITY, and they have a lifetime warranty. You can buy a downpipe from someone and fab the rest yourself too. I've also had experience with 42 Draft Designs, and their systems are well put together as well, but are not stainless. Try picking an exhaust tailored to your sound requirements, and what type of weather it'll be subjected to. If you are going to use a non-stainless system in harsh conditions, such as winters with salty roads, invest in some sort of protection like high temp ceramic paint or exhaust wrap.
Two things that you’ll probably experience after installing your exhaust is a Check Engine Light (CEL) for an O2 sensor, saying catalyst below threshold. That O2 sensor is just seeing more flow than it’s supposed to. You can let it go and your car will run just like it always has…well better since you now have a freer flowing system. A way to remedy this is adding a spacer to back the sensor out of the exhaust stream. Here is a thread that shows exactly what you’ll need to do. The other solution is to look into software that can delete the code for you. Revo Stage 2 and Unitronic Stage 2 both were written to delete the code for the O2 sensor when using an upgraded exhaust. The other problem some see is if the car is lowered and you get a 3” system, you may hear it rattle over your rear axle. This is just common sense because a bigger diameter pipe in a smaller gap will start hitting stuff. To remedy this, grab 2 zip ties, and get under the car from the rear. Look at the muffler hanger between the muffler and rear axle. Wrap the zip ties vertically around the rubber piece and tighten them up to pull the rear part of the exhaust system up higher. By doing this, you’re moving it away from the axle, so it will no longer rattle.

3. INTAKE: ($100-300 NEW)
Definitely one of the most questionable mods you could ever do to your stock turbo’d 1.8T. I’ve actually done testing on this, and found that there are very little differences between setups. The most reliable and cheap thing to do is to buy a K&N flat panel filter, smooth out the insides of your stock airbox, and you’re done. I’ve run open inlet, a cold air, short ram, stock airbox, and nothing feels noticeably different than the other. One thing to remember about cold airs is you can’t COMPLETELY SUBMERGE the filter or you’ll risk hydrolocking your engine. I’ve driven through heavy downpours, all of winter, and never had problems. You just need to be smart about not getting curious when you see a puddle. By upgrading to anything but stock airbox, it will get you the PSSSSH sound from your diverter valve (DV). I’m running an ESE Colormatched cold air on the GLI…and mainly because Jen thinks it looks good. It gives some room in the engine bay also. If you’re willing to spend the money, the absolute BEST OF THE BEST intake to buy is the EVOMS V-Flow. It’s a short ram design that utilizes a venturi and velocity stack to suck in air faster than a hoover vacuum. I ran tests on chipped boost levels, and I’ve seen data on big turbo setups. It’s definitely a worthy intake, and it’ll get you the cool sound too.

4. TURBO INLET: ($200 NEW)
If you’ve ever seen pictures of the stock turbo inlet pipe, it is a squished piece of metal and a restriction on the intake side of your turbo. If you’ve opened up the exhaust side, do the same to the intake. You’ll see quicker spool and hold more boost in the upper rpm range. ABD and Neuspeed both sell just the lower half, which is a metal pipe replacement. The problem is you’re still stuck with the accordion-like rubber piece up top. Back in the day when Samco was still around, it was the part to buy. Now, you can either go Forge or APR. They make an entire silicone hose that runs from your Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor down to the turbo. It’s definitely the better option. Some have trouble installing it and sliding it past one of the coolant lines along the block. You can either unbolt the line, or, lube up the hose like a porn star and push from the top and pull from the bottom. It’ll come right on down.

5. DIVERTER VALVE: ($125-200 NEW)
With the higher boost levels you’re seeing, you may consider getting a new bypass valve, which is what’s making that PSSSH sound when you let off the gas. A cheap option is to buy the factory Audi TT valve through a dealer for $35 or so. There are TONS of companies that make aftermarket ones in different shapes, colors, and configurations. Some have a metal piston and others have diaphragms. The diaphragms are lighter, and therefore react quicker, but they also tend to rip. Forge has a special polymer reinforced diaphragm that supposedly will hold up. We’re running a Forge 007 piston type valve with no issues. Some piston type valves may require you to oil them once in a grand while. As for the Blowoff Valve (BOV) vs. DV issue, it’s hit or miss. What’s going on is your MAF meters air coming in, and stock, it knows that air your turbo already compressed is gonna come right back into the intake and down into the turbo again. By using a BOV, that air is gone, but the MAF doesn’t know that. What you may run into is running rich, because you now have the same amount of fuel for less air. Richness may make the car run unsteady or stall when coming to a stop. My g/f’s GLI HATES BOV’s, and a great way to test to see if your car doesn’t mind is to go to Home Depot and find a 3/4” plastic PVC plug. Pull your DV out of your intake hose, and plug the hole. Turn the car on and start driving around. You’ll feel a difference if it’s bad. At idle the rpms will bounce around randomly. The only difference between a BOV and DV really is the sound, and that’s what most people care about. BOV’s are usually always louder, but DV’s aren’t necessarily quiet. Stick with what works for YOUR car, and not what someone tells you over the internet because it works on theirs.
Another option on rigging up your DV is relocating it to a “cold side” position. Stock, it’s connected to the pipe RIGHT AFTER the turbo. Most front mount intercooler kits also run the DV like this too. Relocating the DV means putting it right before the throttle body, after your intercooler. There isn’t going to be a HUGE gain from doing this, but what it does is this: When you let off the throttle, the throttle body slams shut, and all the boosted air in your piping has to get out. At the stock location, all the air has to go backwards to your DV to be let out. If you relocate, you keep the air moving in the same direction, which theoretically, would help with spool up since the turbo isn’t working against itself. To make a return line, either go custom and use some sort of pipe or find hose that is big enough to fit over the DV outlet.

When you start running higher boost levels than stock, your plugs are going to need a change. With higher boost means higher temperatures inside the combustion chambers, and therefore you’ll want a colder plug. The most commonly talked about/used plugs are NGK BKR7E’s. You can get them just about ANYWHERE and they’re cheap. I’ve paid around $12 for 4 of them. Make sure they are gapped at .028 for optimum performance. Gapping them to high will result in the spark just blowing out as boost enters the combustion chamber, and gapping them to low will keep an actual spark from occurring. The electricity will jump right to the electrode so fast and it’ll be so small that it won’t ignite the air/fuel mixture.
Another mod to do around this same time would be to invest in some coil pack hold downs. Sometimes, the remedy for a coilpack coming up off the valve cover is retorqing your spark plugs. But I’ve had times where even with them properly torqued, the coilpacks would still pop up. A user on VWVortex by the name of enginerd custom makes and sells a set of hold down brackets to go over the coilpacks. If you don’t have the style coilpacks that have the holes in them to bolt them to the valve cover, get these, as they are more of a reliability mod and you’ll drive assured they will never come out on ya.

The stock side mount intercooler is a big heat soak and is basically like a condom…it’s only good for one hard use. Most people upgrade to a front mount intercooler (FMIC) because it not only keeps your intake temperatures down, it looks appealing as well. BoostFactory and Tyrolsport make quality upgraded sidemount intercoolers (SMIC), but they are more stealth because you can’t see them as easily. The nice thing is they bolt up in the stock location. There are many FMIC kits out there, and you’ll pay around $700 or so for a quality one. Another option is to just buy a core and custom make your piping yourself. If you do, run 2.25” piping from your turbo to the intercooler, and 2.5” piping from the intercooler to the throttle body. Going custom would be a great time to relocate your DV as well. I chose to look on eBay and buy just a bar/plate core and make custom piping. If you do this, look for SSAutochrome, as they have quality cores for cheap. Do some searching for clamps and couplers yourself as you’ll find many places and perhaps cheaper places than I found. Finally by going custom, you’ll need a Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor flange from 42 Draft Designs. Most kits have one welded on, but by going custom, you’ll need to buy one in either aluminum or steel (depending on your piping material).
The main benefit of running an upgraded IC is the temperature drop at the intake manifold. If you use Lemmiwinks, you can raise your ignition timing to gain more performance. When you get toward the end of the stock turbo mod stick, you’ll be glad you have one as this is what will keep you running efficiently.

8. PULLEYS: ($200 NEW)
Another mod that has been argued over many a time, lightweight pulleys are used to replace your stock crank, power steering, and alternator pulleys. These stock pieces, especially the crank, are heavy, and thus require more energy to rotate them. By swapping for lighter ones, you free up some of that energy and it’s of course, easier to spin a 1lb pulley than a 10lb one. The alternator pulley may be too difficult for some to replace as newer 1.8Ts use a specialty bit needed to remove the nut. ECS has them and you can rent it out but pay for it. I haven’t replaced the alternator pulley in Jen’s GLI…just the crank and power steering ones. Those two are far heavier than their lightweight counterparts, and thus I believe to be the important ones to replace. Unorthodox Racing also makes lightweight pulleys, but I’ve never installed them. Go with ECS and forget about it.

There are a few out there, but the most known brand is made by New South Performance, called the Powergasket. It’s a replacement gasket for your stock intake manifold to head. What it does is keep engine heat from radiating up into the intake manifold because of the polymer it’s made out of. The stock gasket is a very thin metal and easily transfers heat. There is a new version called the Powergasket Plus which has a coating on it so there is no need to apply any sealant. I’ve seen two melted Powergaskets before, and both were on big turbo, high HP setups, so there is no need to worry about yours going bad. Get the latest version and you shouldn’t have any problems. Taking off the intake manifold is no easy task for some, but the gasket comes with directions to help ya along the way. This mod coupled with a FMIC will show some very low intake temps.

Your car comes with an electronic boost controller from the factory, called the N75 valve. It’s plugged into the inlet hose and has two vac lines running to it. What happens is as boost is made, it travels through the one line, goes through the N75, and out the other. The other line leads to the wastegate (WG) which is the actual boost controller. When enough pressure pushes on the WG actuator, it opens the gate inside the exhaust side of the turbo and bypasses exhaust gas around the turbine, and thus, keeps the turbo from spooling up any more. There are “race” N75 valves offered, but I’ve never cared to use them. I hear mixed feelings and getting the wrong one can make your car run like poo. Investing in a MBC may be the best option for ya. I’d recommend going with a Boostvalve setup, as they are reliable and easy to install. There are a few ways to hook them up, but what I believe to be the best way is to not use the N75 at all, and just run the boost and WG lines to the MBC alone. DO NOT UNPLUG THE N75. This will put you into limp mode, which limits boost to 5psi. You’ll have to plug the port for the N75 in the intake hose. Currently Jen’s GLI is using a DualStage MBC from Boostvalve, which lets us run 2 different boost levels. This is where some reliability comes into play because we can run low boost daily and not put as much stress on the turbo and engine components. With the simple flick of a switch, we’re back to high boost.
MBC’s seem to give quicker spool than the N75. The N75 is more like a bleeder valve because it slowly lets boost by to the WG actuator. MBCs completely block boost until it’s high enough to overcome spring tension, and therefore, the WG isn’t touched until this point. One issue you’ll run into is what’s called “part-throttle surging.” What happens is you apply the gas half way, and boost spikes up to what you’re set at, and then falls back down. You aren’t requesting that it make that much boost, but it flies up that high anyways, and may feel jerky. By learning how to deal with it, you’ll forget about it. Most people just give up and go back to a N75 or run the lines using the N75 also. What I do is just hold the gas steady, and the boost falls back down without jerking the car. Being in low boost also keeps it from surging as much because it only initially spikes to 8psi, instead of much higher.

Modified by SAVwKO at 5:33 PM 7-31-2008

13,567 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
11. DIODE: ($2 NEW)
A diode is a very small electronic device with a voltage rating associated with it. What it does is regulates a voltage signal to its rating. For example, if you wire a 4.7 volt diode into a 5 volt circuit, the 5 volts enter the diode, and only 4.7 are sent out. The diode mod is a way to limit the amount of boost the ECU SEES. The ECU interprets voltage from the MAP sensor as boost. The max it is able to see on stock turbo programming is 5 volts. If it hits 5 volts, or if your boost level goes higher than what is spec’d, you’ll go into limp mode (5psi). By using a diode, you are regulating only the signal the MAP sensor sends to the ECU. By soldering in a 4.7v diode, the ECU will never receive higher than that voltage signal. 4.7v is equivalent to about 17psi. Therefore, if you want to run higher boost, once you hit 17psi, the ECU won’t know if you’re boosting higher than that by what the MAP sensor is telling it. If you log your boost (block 115), it will increase and then flat line at 17psi. But if you watch your boost gauge, you’ll see the actual amount of boost your making. Some tend to think a diode limits boost, where it’s actually limiting the boost the ECU sees so you can make more. It’s a very simple install. Jen’s GLI is running a 4.3v, which corresponds to 13psi. It SHOULD be running a 4.7v, but I probably mixed the two diodes up before I installed one.

The nice thing about this mod is that it’s free power. However, there are atleast two things you SHOULD have done to not worry about anything bad happening…this write-up IS to get you lots of power efficiently right? Anywho, the wastegate is a small flapper valve inside the exhaust side of the turbo that opens to allow exhaust gases to go around the turbine, and thus keeps the turbo from spooling up anymore. The way it works is you have an actuator with a vac nipple and an actuator rod. As you build boost, the charged air goes through the line into the actuator, and pushes on a piston inside, that then pushes the rod. The rod is attached to the flapper, so when the rod moves, the flapper opens. To “crank the wg,” you move the 2 nuts downward to pull the rod away from the actuator. This way, the flapper stays closed longer, thus giving you quicker spool, a higher boost spike, and more boost at redline. You’ll need a 10mm open end wrench for this. Get around to the passenger side of the engine bay, and look down behind the head. You’ll see the rod. First, turn the bottom nut down (clockwise) say 5 full turns. Next, tighten the top nut the same way. Once both are tight, you’re ready to go. Go drive the car and watch your boost levels, and if you feel safe, don’t tighten anymore. If you feel like doing as much as possible, turn the bottom nut until you have about 1.5-2 full turns LEFT and stop there. If you go too far, you’ll completely shut the flapper and not have any boost control.
As for the “helper” mods, it’s best to run a diode on the MAP sensor wires, and an upgraded intercooler. By cranking the WG and seeing higher boost levels from a KO3(S), the air becomes much hotter. So utilizing an IC that does a better job will keep you from detonating and ruining stuff. The diode will keep you from going into limp mode because cranked boost levels far exceed what any chip is written for, even GIAC X+.
This mod isn’t necessary for most people as you will never need the 16% extra fueling a 4bar FPR provides over the factory 3bar. However, if you do have a cranked WG and are running insanely high boost, it’d be a good safeguard to get one of these. With all the extra air you’re pushing in, you need fueling to compensate. I’m not sure what the limit of the stock injectors are with a 3bar, but I’ve experienced no problems using the 4bar. This is an easy install, but again should only be used if you are trying to push the limit.

This is probably one of, if not THE favorite mod I’ve done to a 1.8T This is the most recent thing I’ve done, and it’s something that perhaps should be added to the common list of mods one should really do. Water/methanol injection is like running another intercooler, but there are even more benefits besides having lower intake temperatures. Because the air coming out of your intercooler is still around 100 degrees farenheit, the water will vaporize, and steam clean your cylinders of any and all carbon deposits. Also, when water is introduced into the combustion chamber in small amounts, it will lower your exhaust gas temperatures (EGT) as well as give you some detonation control…ie you won’t be pulling timing. Many are unsure of this mod because you’re actually injecting a liquid into the airstream, but many have been convinced after the write-up I did for the kit I installed. I chose the Snow Performance Boost Cooler Stage II MAP-based kit. You can get it from any USRT dealer. They also offer a MAF-based kit, but I prefer the MAP kit since there is no other sensor to go bad. If your MAF fails, the water/meth won’t spray. The MAP kit gets a vac line run to it and the controller will see boost and turn on the pump accordingly. Unless you are running standalone engine management, do not buy the Stage I kit. It’s basically an ON/OFF kit, and this is not optimal for performance. The Stage II varies the spray on your boost levels or MAF sensor voltage depending on the kit you get. You’ll see your biggest performance gain from using Lemmiwinks to up your ignition timing from doing this mod. If you don’t have access to Lemmiwinks, you won’t see a “butt dyno” gain.
Lemmiwinks is a free program from REVO that you use on a lap top. As far as I know, it only works on lap tops that have a 9-pin serial port out the back. My laptop is a Dell 600M and has this port. I mainly bought this laptop so I’m able to use LW and do data logging. Anyways, LW allows you to change certain parameters around, such as your idle rpm, startup and warmup fuel enrichment, and your ignition timing. I’m not THAT GREAT at LW tuning as I don’t know what everything really does. The best adjustability it has is the ignition timing. Ignition timing is simply when your spark plug fires. It’s set to fire JUST BEFORE the piston reaches top dead center. By advancing the timing, the spark plug will fire earlier, and what happens is the air/fuel mixture explodes before the piston reaches the top. When it does, the explosion has more power to it, and thus will cause the piston/rod assembly to slam back down harder and faster, which makes more power. A side effect though is heat, and you can only go so far with ignition timing on pump gas. Using race gas or water/meth allows you to advance the timing more without the ECU pulling timing back out. Ideally, you don’t want the ECU to pull more than 8 degrees of timing. You can check this by logging block 020 on VAG COM. The max the ECU can pull is 12 degrees, and you DO NOT want to test this. If your knock sensors fail, you’ll blow your engine. If you log and are pulling 8 degrees of timing, lower your advance one click and you should be set.
An oil catch can is a cheap efficiency mod in that it keeps oil from going through your turbo and into your intercooler. In stock form, oil fumes exit your engine through the front of the block and on the side of the valve cover, and go into a black plastic flapper valve, and get sucked into the intake. This oil goes through the turbo and gets trapped in the intercooler. A catch can will trap the oil before it goes into the intake. You can get them on eBay for pretty cheap, and it doesn’t take but some fittings from Home Depot and some heater hose to properly hook it up. You’re just bypassing the line to the flapper valve by running it to the catch can, and then from there back to the valve.
ECS sells a magnetic drain bolt that doesn’t really have performance gains, but is another safe guard by chance you have metal shavings or material in your oil. As oil empties into the pan, any ferrous material will attract to the plug and not go through your motor. When you pull the plug to drain the oil, you may see small metallic shavings on the end, which means it’s working.
A vacuum manifold is sort of like an electrical outlet strip. You plug it into the wall socket, and then you get 5 more. A vac mani is the same. You tap into one source, and can run 6 more off of it. It’s main benefit is cleaning up the engine bay and making it easier to sort through your vac connections. Robear Racing sells the Golden Eagle brand and is a quality piece. You tap into the brake booster line coming out of the end of your intake manifold, and then can run any other vac connections to it. On Jen’s GLI, we have the boost gauge, boost controller, blue balls (under passenger fender), PCV system, and water/meth system hooked into it. The holes are 9/10th’s of the way drilled out, so you just drill the ones you’ll be using and leave the others closed.

There are two systems that I’ve always disliked in our engine bays, and that’s the N249 vac booster system and the secondary air injection (SAI). I like to make it easy to work on the car, and with these on, it’s harder to do certain things. Having them removed is less clutter. The N249 is connected to your intake manifold and runs vac/boost for numerous things…such as the DV and the combi valve for the SAI. The whole system is located right infront of your intake manifold on a black bracket. Just cut the lines running to it and unbolt it. All you do then is run all your vac lines to a boost/vac source such as the intake mani. If you have a vac mani, run what you can to that to keep things simple. The SAI is used during cold starts to heat up the cat by injecting extra air into the exhaust side of the head. The pump is located infront of the engine block near the bottom, and has two crinkled hoses connected to it. One goes to your stock airbox, and the other to the combi valve, which is what directs air into the head. When removing this system, the best thing to do is to unbolt your coolant line going into the driver side of the head…yea, you’ll lose some coolant doing this but trust me it’s the only way. You can then take the combi valve off by unbolting it. There is a hole there, so you need a block off plate. Integrated Engineering offers a CNC’d block off plate with an O-ring to seal it shut. Before these came out you had to make your own, but these are cleaner and better looking than what many are capable of doing themselves.
Now that you unplugged the SAI pump and the N249, you have 3 harnesses that aren’t plugged into anything. You can either leave em be and be stuck with CELs, or you can buy 330ohm resistors (they’re cheap) and wire them in. They aren’t directional, just attach one end to one wire and the other end to the other wire. This keeps the CELs from popping up. HOWEVER, when you remove the SAI system, the cat is no longer being heated up during cold start. One of the O2 sensors figures this out, and throws an “Improper Flow” code. So, if you have emissions testing and/or are concerned about seeing CELs, a way to try and fix this is get into LW and adjust your startup/warmup fuel enrichment levels. If you lower them, you are leaning out the motor on startup and warmup. Leaner means hotter, and thus you can heat up the cat this way. Start by lowering both values to about 90%, and drive until a CEL for Improper Flow comes back on. Adjust in 10% increments each time. Eventually, you will either have the cat heated up enough to not throw the code, or you won’t be able to start the car easily. When the latter happens, just raise your startup enrichment by 5%, and lower your warmup. This way, you can still get the car started, but you’ll also be running it hotter to get the cat warm. Remember, nothing here is irreversible, so if you think you are messing something up, just put the values back and deal with the CEL.
This is the end of what I’ve done to make all that power. Here is an official mod list:
GIAC X+ ... $500
4.3v Diode ... $2
Oil Catch Can ... $30
Cranked Wastegate ... FREE
(27psi Spikes, 15psi @ Redline)
GHL 3” Turboback ... $1000
Lemmiwinks Tuned ... FREE
Samco Turbo Inlet Hose ... FREE
ECS Magnetic Drain Bolt ... $10
NGK BKR7E Spark Plugs ... $12
Custom Hardline DV Return ... FREE
Golden Eagle Vacuum Manifold ... $75
Custom Front Mount Intercooler ... $400
ESE Colormatched Cold Air Intake ... $250
Relocated Forge 007 Diverter Valve ... $125
Bosch 4-bar Fuel Pressure Regulator ... $55
ECS Lightweight Underdrive Pulleys ... $120
Enginerd Coilpack Hold-down Brackets ... $35
Boostvalve Dual Stage Boost Controller ... $120
Custom 3-way switch
*Low*High*Low in 1st ONLY*
Newsouth Performance Powergasket Plus ... $70
N249 and Secondary Air Injection Deleted ... $10
Boost Cooler Water/Methanol Injection ... $370
TOTAL: $3184 I'll guess close to $3500 total.
With what I’ve done, I have no doubt that someone willing to put in the extra $$ into a KO3(S) can hit 300whp on a DynoJet. Here is a list of things I COULD do if we were staying on stock turbo:
ATP High Flow Turbo Mani
USRT Intake Mani
380cc Injectors
Lightweight Flywheel
Lightweight wheels/rotors
Custom tuning
Port/polish head
I figured that I’d take the time to spell out what I’ve done because I owe it to the ‘tex for how far I’ve gotten and my love for dubs and making them quicker than most would think they are. To make this thread as informational as possible, if there are any questions, they will be answered below in another post. I tried being as thorough as possible but I know there’ll be case specific questions that may not be covered above.

Modified by SAVwKO at 5:35 PM 7-31-2008

13,567 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Q&A Section:
Quote, originally posted by lowitfk »
your kind of wrong on your chip information

i have apsolute chip and i spank my buddys gti with giac-x we have same mods and iv'e raced a one with apr and beat him by alot too the apsolute is more aggressive then giac giac more aggressive then apr apr more aggressive then neuspeed neuspeed almost stock lol

All I can say to that is that every 1.8T is different. Take this for instance: I drove a REVO'd 20th, and against my buddy's X+'d GTI with similar mods, it was SLOW. Then again, a friend with a GLI with REVO is a much better competitor, and actually has LESS mods. Just b/c your 1.8T with Upsolute is quicker than X+ on your buddy's doesn't mean Upsolute > X+. Put X+ on your car and I doubt it's any slower. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Quote, originally posted by fazeShift »
the only thing that i haven't done or haven't known about is the way to dodge emissions while removing the SAI?
i understand that the codes can be avoided in a few ways to get by any emissions scans of the ecu... but what about the sniffer? doesn't the SAI normally push air into the exhaust system to also dillute the air for better "out-the-can" emissions, too? is there actually a way to improve exhaust emissions after removing the SAI?

I guess emissions testing varies by state, but in Ohio, it's all swapped over to plug-n-scan now. No longer is there a sniffer or looking over of the car. What I described is how to get by the scan.
As for using a sniffer, I understand your point. But, also remember with the method I gave you to get rid of the improper flow code, you are pulling fuel out to heat up the cat. So if there's less fuel, that means more air. And while it may not be the same amount of air one would see using the SAI (Secondary Air Injection), it may be enough to not trigger the sniffer to fail you. I haven't tested this so can't say for sure.
Quote, originally posted by bodo920 »
What about the SMIC intercooler vent mod? Valuable on the stock IC.

Of course, this is all dependent on your setup. If you have a FMIC, you obviously do not need to do this. If you're on stock SMIC, and have plans to go FMIC, I wouldn't cut up your fenderliner. In theory, you're allowing for more airflow through the sidemount. I haven't done testing for this. I performed this mod on my GTI. Did I see a difference? No. It's up to you. If you're gonna do it, DIY. I would never waste the money on a TT Vent because I have doubts as to any power gains you'd see from this...and if any, next to none.
Quote, originally posted by dubdub_337 »
can you make a diagram for how to wire in the resistors when removing the SAI and N249?

There's no wiring diagram necessary. The resistors have 2 ends on em. Each harness you unplug as two wires. All I did was attach some 12-14 gage wire to each end of the resistor, shaved off the covering off the wires on each harness, and wrapped/soldered the wires from the resistor on. That's all it takes.
Quote, originally posted by CZVDUB »
Love the write up
I would have never thought of getting rid of the n249. But quickly, just to help you update that a bit, do you think that a larger clutch conversion is in affect? I mean, after about the 6th or 7th step your car is pushing atleast 270 hp...Isn't that hell for the lackluster stock Clutch on MK4's?

Yes, I'd highly recommend a clutch upgrade. However, the clutch itself has little to do with MAKING the power. It's a drivetrain upgrade and it helps put down that power. A lightweight flywheel will free up a lil bit more power too. To date, Jen's GLI is still on stock clutch...amazingly. It's getting replaced over the winter for the bigger snail to come. And just because her car is still on stock clutch doesn't mean someone else's clutch won't be burnt up from all these mods.
Quote, originally posted by SMOOTH (10:37 AM 11-1-2006): »
I have some questions about Meth/Water if you have a second:
Did you change your timing? What happens when you run out of meth? Did you notice that big of a difference with it? Is it worth the money? Is it safe? Is it worth it with a stock K03s? How much are the refills? Do you think this is safe on a 100k+ vehicle?

Yes I changed my timing. Initially when I first put the system in, I drove around without making any adjustments and the car didn't feel any faster. Not until you go into Lemmiwinks and up your timing and log with VAG to check do you see optimal gains. If you were ever to run out of water/meth and requested the pump to spray, your knock sensors would have to kick in to pull timing out. If the sensors go bad, you're screwed. So just keep the tank filled. Snow Performance offers a "Fail Safe" box that if it detects flow has stopped, it'll run a signal to something else you may have to retard timing or cut boost. This mod is definitely worth the money. It's not hard to install and it comes into play when I talk "RELIABLE HP." It is most definitely a safe mod, and if you're pushing the KO3S that hard, all that air is still going to be hot. So having water/meth injection helps cool all that down so you have 27 well-used psi. Mileage on the car shouldn't really be a concern either. In fact, this is a beneficial mod to any car as it steam cleans the cylinders, as well as lowers the risk of detonation. The ONLY thing to keep an eye on is the level of the fluid. If you do, this mod is 100% safe. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Refills depend on what you're using. The official Boost Juice from Snow Performance runs $12.50 a gallon. However, if you buy distilled water, HEET (yellow 12oz bottle), and some washer fluid, and make a 45/45/10 mix, you'll save over half of that price.
Quote, originally posted by PSYM0N »
Where can I get an adapter/sofware to run a VAG on my car through my laptop? Is the adapter for VAG the same 9 pin for the LW program? Please explain. Where can I purchase a port for VAG COM and where can I purchase a port for LW?

VAG COM will work on either 9pin Serial ports OR USB. I used a PCM card with a serial adapter on a lap top that didn't have a serial port and VAG worked flawlessly. However, Lemmiwinks would not work. I only got LW to work on laptops with true 9pin serial ports, and thus I bought one for myself. Bottom line is, you can get VAG to work on any laptop...just not LW.
Either go thru Ross-Tech or the way I did was OBDTool.com. You'll get the cable, connector, and a "share-ware" version of VAG COM. I have never had any success with serial adapters with LW. I've tried PCM cards and numerous usb-serial adapters. If you want LW, either find someone with a serial ported laptop or buy your own.

Modified by SAVwKO at 7:20 PM 11-19-2006

3,818 Posts
Re: (02vw1.8turbo)

Quote, originally posted by 02vw1.8turbo »
this HAS to go in the DIY/FAQ'S
great write up http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

x2 http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

1,177 Posts
Re: (TheMunky)

excellent writeup. Is there a chance we could get price lists for the different mods or maybe links to good places to buy the different parts? I very much appreciate people like you who are out to help others learn about cars instead of impressing others with your vast, superior knowledge.

4,318 Posts
Re: DIY: Stock turbo tuning guide...your source for what it takes! (cvillegti)

your kind of wrong on your chip information

i have apsolute chip and i spank my buddys gti with giac-x we have same mods and iv'e raced a one with apr and beat him by alot too the apsolute is more aggressive then giac giac more aggressive then apr apr more aggressive then neuspeed neuspeed almost stock lol
other then that the best post ive seen in like a month lol good job

13,567 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: DIY: Stock turbo tuning guide...your source for what it takes! (lowitfk)

Bump for first response in the Q&A.
I'll work on possibly a price list. As for hyperlinks to places that sell these different parts, that's not so easy, as I can only think of one place that sells GHL exhausts (MJM), but I'm sure there are quite a few others. I did my best to recommend the best parts for you to get...it's up to you where to get them from.
I did make sure to note where to get the vac mani and water/meth from.

5,031 Posts
Re: DIY: Stock turbo tuning guide...your source for what it takes! (lowitfk)

Quote, originally posted by lowitfk »
did no one read my post lol

lol at the "apsolute" chip.
and did you not read his post?? he posted what, 17 things to do to your car? ONLY ONE of those being a chip.

13,567 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: DIY: Stock turbo tuning guide...your source for what it takes! (TMTuned99.5Golf)

Quote, originally posted by TMTuned99.5Golf »
shouldn't this be under the 1.8t section?

Yay and nay. Boostin20v, the 1.8T Moderator is going to link this in the FAQ over there. I figured tho this is a "technical" post, it's more beneficial in the MKIV forums as there are more people over here and there are more that need to read this over here than over there.
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