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I know, I’ve committed the biggest crime ever. I probably just asked the number one asked question but trust me, after years of internet use I’ve come to a time in my life where browsing at work isn’t all that possible anymore and my wife complains when I’m on the computer all night long.

I come from a history of VAG turbocharged vehicles. I started with the 1.8T, FSI and modded it heavily and finally ended up on a TSI which I quickly took up to stage 3. I learned my lessons trying to piece everything on my own in the 1.8T days. I did that less on the FSI and had better results and finally on the TSI I stuck with one company from a chip all the way to a big turbo setup and was very pleased. I want that experience with my TDI modding so I’m in no rush if what I want isn’t available.

The vehicle/engine in question is a North American MK6 Golf TDI. I'm such a noob at this point I don't even know the name of the engine, engine code or even have one of those VW training manuals which will get me quickly up to speed (Yeah, I'm asking for a link if you have one!)

What can I expect from Chipping the TDI?
From what I understand, these new TDI’s are still in early development so there’s time for other tuners to come along and fill in the gaps where some have left off. There’s also time for the existing tuners to offer what other’s have discovered and so on.

So what can I expect? What do people like and what don’t they like about the existing tunes and upgrade paths? What should we as customers ask for if it doesn’t already exist?

Are rev limiters raise? Is that smart or safe?
Are emissions related items turned off? Are these removed items causing problems?
Is fuel economy impacted positively, negatively, or does it depend how I drive?
Do the tunes cause smoke at all? If so, what’s acceptable and what’s not?

Clutch life?
When does the clutch start to become a problem for most users? Stage 1? Fully bolted on? Big Turbo? This may come down to driving style but has anyone seen any patterns?

What’s the deal with Exhausts?
I’m sure this is a heavily discussed topic. Are full exhaust manufacturers coming close to keeping any of the factory emissions components in place and still making power? Are people just removing them anyways? Are exhaust modifications making much power with or without tuning?

Are intakes popular on TDI’s
This is similar to the last question but less of a problem as far as emissions are concerned I would imagine. Are people happy with the intake’s on the market? Are these happy customers chipped? I can’t imagine an intake doing much before being chipped.

European Higher Output Models?
Are there European TDI’s putting out more power using essentially the same motor? Are they using different fueling or turbos? Are these parts bolt on and is there tuning available?

Fueling Upgrades?
Are we running into any limitations on a fully bolted on stock turbo setup? Are there fueling upgrades for the TDI?

Turbo Upgrades?
What’s the status of turbo kits on TDI’s? Anything out there? Any discussion of what’s to come? What should we ask for?

Dangers?
Obviously this question depends on so many variables, but over the years of TDI tuning are people seeing any major issues with tuning such as melted turbos, broken rods, messed up pistons, damaged injectors, damaged fuel pumps? Are there any general rules of thumb when it comes to the TDI tuning scene and obvious "stay away from this" scenarios?

What have I missed?
Obviously you can tell I’m a gasoline engine guy so by now I’m sure I’ve missed some of the goodies the TDI world has to offer. What other modifications are popular, or were popular on other models not currently available for ours? Are there popular DIY engine modifications which can net in improved performance or enhance engine life?

Thank you for putting up with my lengthy post and I want to take this moment to thank anyone who responds!
 

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The vehicle/engine in question is a North American MK6 Golf TDI. I'm such a noob at this point I don't even know the name of the engine, engine code or even have one of those VW training manuals which will get me quickly up to speed (Yeah, I'm asking for a link if you have one!)
In 2009 the CR appeared in NA with the code CBEA. In 2010 it morphed into the CJAA, but the differences are subtle.

What can I expect from Chipping the TDI?
From what I understand, these new TDI’s are still in early development so there’s time for other tuners to come along and fill in the gaps where some have left off. There’s also time for the existing tuners to offer what other’s have discovered and so on.
There are already several reputable tuners offering tunes for the CR engines. Since these engines started appearing in North America in 2008, there's really nothing new about them any more. VW changes the encription each year, which requires some time to crack, but they've pretty much all cracked it at this point.

The problem is that most tuners won't do more than a mild tune to a car with a warranty.

Are rev limiters raise? Is that smart or safe?
Are emissions related items turned off? Are these removed items causing problems?
Is fuel economy impacted positively, negatively, or does it depend how I drive?
Do the tunes cause smoke at all? If so, what’s acceptable and what’s not?
I have seen no reports of smoke with tuned cars and an intact exhaust system. Removing emissions items is illegal and can land you a large fine. Simply removing emissions parts without a special tune will cause problems.

There is a DPF-delete thread that's been running here for some time, but I don't think there's been any concrete numbers posted with mileage yet.

Clutch life?
When does the clutch start to become a problem for most users? Stage 1? Fully bolted on? Big Turbo? This may come down to driving style but has anyone seen any patterns?
Since there are only mild tunes available, I haven't read of any issues with the clutches yet. Some tuners are offering a Stage II tune, but the caveat is that the stage II is best suited for a DPF delete...which we probably won't see too many of.

What’s the deal with Exhausts?
I’m sure this is a heavily discussed topic. Are full exhaust manufacturers coming close to keeping any of the factory emissions components in place and still making power? Are people just removing them anyways? Are exhaust modifications making much power with or without tuning?
Unless you go with a DPF delete and a straight pipe from the turbo to the tail end of the car, none of the aftermarket "exhaust systems" offer anything in the way of performance gains. They don't barely even increase the sound levels of the exhaust. You'd be better off finding a custom exhaust shop to cut the muffler out and straight pipe it from the cat back.

Are intakes popular on TDI’s
This is similar to the last question but less of a problem as far as emissions are concerned I would imagine. Are people happy with the intake’s on the market? Are these happy customers chipped? I can’t imagine an intake doing much before being chipped.
No. They're a waste of money, especially for the CR engines. The stock intake box/ducting is already a very high flowing set up, which pulls cold air directly from the grill. Oiled filters will kill your MAF. Cone filters have less surface area, so to flow more, they have to filter less.

The GTIs use the same filter and almost the same air box/ducting as the TDI and they make much more power than a CR-TDI. SO that seems to be a sign that the stock air tract is pretty good.

European Higher Output Models?
Are there European TDI’s putting out more power using essentially the same motor? Are they using different fueling or turbos? Are these parts bolt on and is there tuning available?
There is a 170hp version available, but unless you've got a loooot of money to burn, it's probably not a very feasable option. The differences are probably in the turbo and the injectors. Bolt on? Maybe. But without a tune to go with them, it's not a good idea.

Fueling Upgrades?
Are we running into any limitations on a fully bolted on stock turbo setup? Are there fueling upgrades for the TDI?
I would say the limiting factor is the durability of the HPFP. Fuel rail pressure can be increased and yield some gains, but is that healthy for the HPFP? I don't want to be the guinea pig for that.

Turbo Upgrades?
What’s the status of turbo kits on TDI’s? Anything out there? Any discussion of what’s to come? What should we ask for?
None that I know of.

Basically, there are tunes out for the CRs. In another year there may be more options, but the pickins are kind of slim right now.
 

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This is good info to read, thanks! I think there are a lot of new/noob TDI owners out there looking for better MPG with such high gas prices but still wanting some performance upgrades.
 
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