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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I've been lurking for awhile, figured I'd make a post to get feedback and share progress and experience with making a dedicated mk4 Jetta track car.
It's a 2000 GLX 12v Vr6.

This project is a group effort between some friends and I with the plan of having a car we can take to track days and not worry about messing up personal vehicles. The main purpose is to have fun and experiment with the car.

We've made a fair amount of progress on getting the car to a "Stage 1". A lot of maintenance has been completed + some mods.

Full timing chain job, new clutch/bearings, new flywheel, aluminum crack pipe, new thermostat & housing, water pump, belts, fluids, Inner & Outer tie rods, rebuilt CV joints, etc

For track prep we've done the following...

-034 Motorsports motor mounts
-Poly Mounts in control arms
-EBC Yellow fronts and Red rears
-Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
-17x7 Enkei RPF1s - currently on some 225 Pilot Sports
-Removed OEM Heat Exchanger & Heat Exchanger Hoses - Gruven Parts modular crack pipe, so hoses not needed.
-Coolant temp sensor where heat exchanger hose
-Coolant is distilled water + water wetter
-Mocal Oil Cooler Kit & their 19 row oil cooler from US Rally Team
-Reflective tape on entire intake
-Oil Temp & Pressure Sensor/Gauges Installed
-Custom Oil Pan Baffling
-Reflect Tuning tune

We've removed a lot of weight from the car - pictures aren't quite up to date with what's been removed, for instance the doors are all gutted now. We've weighed 99% of what's come off, and are at about ~450 lbs removed so far.
The only remaining parts to the stock interior are the upper part of the dash, the steering wheel, and the front seats/seatbelts. We're assuming aftermarket fixed back seats + harnesses will negate the added weight of the cage + some, ultimately putting us at ~500lbs removed before we start cutting pieces off.

Future plans include...
-Battery Relocation
-Custom(lighter) front bash bar, or removing completely.
-Larger lighter Radiator + fans & removing auxiliary radiator
-Fixed Back Seats, Harnesses, Custom Cage
-Removing as much weight from the engine bay (SAI & A/C gone already) - Hoping to relocate a few things to behind the front axles (Battery, coolant reservoir, power steering reservoir?)
-Custom center exit exhaust
-Cutting more weight out & installing lexan side windows.
-Suspension (Getting used to the car on stock suspension - first purchase will likely be a rear sway)


The car pulled double duty (two drivers) at Barber Motorsports Park earlier this year, and honestly did really well for basically being a lighter stock car. Temps were always at comfortable levels, obviously it understeered and the Pilot Sports (while great for the street) got really greasy after just a couple of laps. We learned a lot about the car and our mistakes while driving it (all seasons don't hide mistakes like a nice 200tw will lol)


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Mk4 VR6, Mk2 16v, E30, P71, Accord DD
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I've got a thread going about my track experiences with my 2000 Jetta VR6 that you've probably seen being a lurker, so I'll add a few notes for you.

-With both radiators new, a flushed system filled with proper coolant, and and a 160°F thermostat, I still have gotten to 210 on 20 min track sessions during an 85° afternoon. I regret not buying a Mishimoto/CSP/ECS full aluminum radiator, and I'll be upgrading to one in the future. To be clear, it stays very cool aside from of track use on hot days.

-I have the Wilwood front BBK and it's fantastic. It was a pain to install properly and make sure to get new shims with every pad set, but it's more brake than the car will ever need at stock power (according to a great ride-along instructor). I also have the GLI/20th/337 rear brakes, so there's that.

-Running Liqui-Moly oil with a zinc additive has been keeping my 150k engine sounding good through 5 track days with 3 years of highway beatings in between.

-If you're hearing a disturbing knocking noise that seems to be fine, it's likely the variable intake bushings are bad.

-The ECS intake combined with a silicone intake boot, and a catch can to eliminate the PCV is very useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've got a thread going about my track experiences with my 2000 Jetta VR6 that you've probably seen being a lurker, so I'll add a few notes for you.

-With both radiators new, a flushed system filled with proper coolant, and and a 160°F thermostat, I still have gotten to 210 on 20 min track sessions during an 85° afternoon. I regret not buying a Mishimoto/CSP/ECS full aluminum radiator, and I'll be upgrading to one in the future. To be clear, it stays very cool aside from of track use on hot days.

-I have the Wilwood front BBK and it's fantastic. It was a pain to install properly and make sure to get new shims with every pad set, but it's more brake than the car will ever need at stock power (according to a great ride-along instructor). I also have the GLI/20th/337 rear brakes, so there's that.

-Running Liqui-Moly oil with a zinc additive has been keeping my 150k engine sounding good through 5 track days with 3 years of highway beatings in between.

-If you're hearing a disturbing knocking noise that seems to be fine, it's likely the variable intake bushings are bad.

-The ECS intake combined with a silicone intake boot, and a catch can to eliminate the PCV is very useful.
I think I actually found your youtube before your posts!
With our oil cooler and oem heat exchanger removed I don't think our coolant temps got past ~195 in the middle of August in Alabama! Oil temps peaked at around 210 if my memory is correct.
The OEM cooling system is surprisingly good.
We may need to order new shims for the brakes, they make so much noise rattling around at parking lot speeds and over small bumps.

interesting you mention that knocking sound, at certain rpms/throttle input it sounds a little alarming at first. I wonder if we're just hearing bad intake bushings. Butt dyno says we aren't down on power anywhere in the rev range though. Can you normally tell when you have bad bushings?

Thanks for the tips!
 

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The pad brackets are probably worn down so that the pad ears are loose on them. I really recommend that Wilwood Dynapro kit they sell. $1200 out the door and you've got a real brake pedal and it comes with pads that still work even if they're spraying smoke out of the wheels.

The intake shift rod rattle wont put you down on power. It still works, it's just rattling around in there. 3-4k rpm area in my case. It sounds like a light rod knock or a timing chain rattle, but the engine seemed to be completely fine like it would be absurd for the bottom end to making this one rattle noise. In 2000 cars, the shift rod had a setup with 5 terrible thin bushings. This was later changed to 2 big fat burly bushings, and you can only get the late style new. Gruvenparts makes an aftermarket bushing set only for the late style. So I bought a new late style shift rod and end plate bushing kits, put it in, and the noise changed but did not get any better. I then installed the Gruvenparts bushings and it is silent for 2 years now. They are designed to take up slack that has been worn into the shift rod housing of the intake manifold. The instructions say it will take considerable force to install, and I was getting worried something would break even though I greased it lightly.

If you're playing it through good speakers/headset, you can hear the shift rod rattle right at the beginning of this video when I'm just kind of holding 3500 rpm. It's not as loud in the video as while driving, but it's the only recording of it I have:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The pad brackets are probably worn down so that the pad ears are loose on them. I really recommend that Wilwood Dynapro kit they sell. $1200 out the door and you've got a real brake pedal and it comes with pads that still work even if they're spraying smoke out of the wheels.

The intake shift rod rattle wont put you down on power. It still works, it's just rattling around in there. 3-4k rpm area in my case. It sounds like a light rod knock or a timing chain rattle, but the engine seemed to be completely fine like it would be absurd for the bottom end to making this one rattle noise. In 2000 cars, the shift rod had a setup with 5 terrible thin bushings. This was later changed to 2 big fat burly bushings, and you can only get the late style new. Gruvenparts makes an aftermarket bushing set only for the late style. So I bought a new late style shift rod and end plate bushing kits, put it in, and the noise changed but did not get any better. I then installed the Gruvenparts bushings and it is silent for 2 years now. They are designed to take up slack that has been worn into the shift rod housing of the intake manifold. The instructions say it will take considerable force to install, and I was getting worried something would break even though I greased it lightly.

If you're playing it through good speakers/headset, you can hear the shift rod rattle right at the beginning of this video when I'm just kind of holding 3500 rpm. It's not as loud in the video as while driving, but it's the only recording of it I have:

Those brakes would be sick, I'm running a wilwood kit on my Civic, it's a cheaper version but still way better than stock stuff.
Idk if we're looking to drop that much cash on brakes just yet though. Maybe if the car gets more serious.

Interesting video about the rattle, yours sounds a little more "ting-y" than mine, but it's very similar, and is especially noticeable when holding rpms like you were in the video. I'll have to hit up Gruvenparts for those pieces, they're local to me.
 

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Brakes are important! I went to track days in Circuit of Catalunya in Montmelo, Circuit of Calafat, Circuit of Castelloli, Circuit of Alcarras. My brakes faded the whoooooooooole time.
In Nurburgring too! After 6 corners on the ring, they were fading already.

Granted I am running the stock setup, 312mm discs and some random brake pads...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah we thought about going more aggressive and fitting 312mm rotors but the EBC Yellows and the RBF 600 should be fine for where the car is now. Several track friends of mine run them on similar weighted cars and don't experience any fade.
I faded and went off track with my Civic on HP+ hawk pads & stock calipers/rotors but the civic has pretty tiny rotors stock. Definitely a butt pucker moment lol
 

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Let me point out that the the brakes I have are not just fade-resistant. The other advantage is that you get that fixed caliper pedal feel/control/confidence. A pedal that is hard and firm with little travel, like hen you drive a 911/Evo/Viper, or anything exotic. 80% of the brake work is done on the front, and so you get a pedal 80% as firm as a 911 as long as rears are in perfect working order with no sticking or corrosion.

It makes it easier to heel/toe as well. There is a situation I get into with this car where I am doing a 130-70 corner entry after I've been laying on the brakes for awhile, and they still make the fat in my head sling forward into my face. It's a good sign for a car that's intended to be driven in some insane manner.

Oh, and...





It doesn't hurt that it looks like business getting done in style, and the kinds of people I meet at track events also appreciate the attention to the most important aspect of a fast car.

Something else I ran into in my brake research was the Tyrol Sport bushings to replace the rubber ones between your caliper and pins. I completely believe their claim that converting the rubber caliper pin sleeve to their metal bushings will improve pedal feel and control. If I didn't want to spend the money on the brakes I got, I was going to go with Tyrol bushings. They definitely need to be serviced regularly to have any kind of real lifespan as a performance part, so keep that in mind. I clean and lube those Wildwoods 3 times in a 7k mile pad life to maintain optimal performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Some photos from the last event the Jetta will see this year! Hopefully she'll be caged and we'll have a seat/hans/harness all setup for 2022!

No changes from the mod list above, honestly surprised how well the car performs with how stock it is. We're considering leaving it as is (besides the added safety) for a little while longer because of how much the car makes you learn. No mistakes hidden! Hopefully this convinces some of the people scared to track their stock-ish cars.
Seat time > Mods.

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Also, had a sweet Junkyard find!

Cloud Sky Automotive carrying rack Grille Hood
 
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