View Full Version : feedback on aba/16v turbo build for MKI

08-01-2009, 07:46 PM
so starting to price out the engine build a little more closely. The current plan now that I've done some better researching is still the aba/16v with a TDI crank but definitely going with the bahn brenner serial killa setup and leaning towards the t3/t4 turbo so I if I get spare turbo parts for a rebuild I could use em on either the MKV or the MKI. The plan eventually to get it up and ready to be a fun car to auto-x which would entail using an EFI setup, most likely megasquirt, but as I'm going to be building the engine off an aba short block instead of tracking down a donor car due to space limitations I'm pretty sure I'll have to buy sensors which can add up to a lot of money real quick so I was thinking of Carbing it and building it as a drag car so I can enjoy it quicker. I figure I could make more power with way less effort and cash if I just slap on a nice webber carb. So I'm polling you guys and asking why you personally would go with megasquirt EFI or a Carburetor. Either way I go I've got an ex MSD employee teaching my current unit at school and he really wants to help me push this thing to at least 400whp

08-18-2009, 11:56 PM
so nobody has an opinion on this at all or even something stupid to say... aside from a few votes for a carb conversion. recently learned they both cost about the same

08-19-2009, 04:29 AM
Haha, i though i said something earlier my bad had a senior moment. I voted for the EFI, although a carb would be less work (sort-of) i do believe that you could get the most potential out of your motor with an EFI set up. Either way i'm lookin forward to seeing what you go with, its gonna be a beast.

08-19-2009, 12:56 PM
I built an ABA with Megasquirt on it. If I had to, I would go with MS again because it is so much more powerful and gives you so many more options than carbs do. I don't know if one would be easier than the other, but MS definitely isn't easy. You better know a thing or two about electricity and how to read electrical diagrams.
You mentioned money. MS isn't a lot of money, I was always poor when messing with it. It cost me about $300 total with all the sensors. It's just a lot of time and effort. I guess for my MK2 most of the parts were around that price range.
For my MK5 or my Subaru I wouldn't consider skimping on the ECU because I just have a lot more money invested in those cars. You know why put a $300 ECU on a $3,000 engine with a $4,000 tranny? But an ABA is a $300 motor and you can get an 020 tranny for $300 so it's no biggie heh.
If you have any questions just PM me. I really love old VW's and they are so worth the hassle.

08-19-2009, 04:19 PM
at the moment I'm leaning toward megasquit, actually seems cheaper than carbs and I'm in school for performance engine building, in the middle of rebuilding and converting an old GM 305 to EFI using a discontinued MSD big stuff 3 standalone. Also the flexibility of EFI seems better suited to an auto-x car.

gonna tear down and convert the CIS 1.8 to MS soon just to get the hang of it

08-20-2009, 06:41 AM
Well you seem to have the right can-do attitude. Is your distributor the 4 window one? If so you can use it for spark too. IIRC you have to use a converter ring of some sort because the 1.8 dizzy won't fit in the 2.0 block without it, and the 2.0 dizzy is only 1 window so you can't use it for timing, only tachometer.
The GM sensors fit easily into the ABA intake manifold if you just drill a hole, there's enough material if you don't torque it too tight and use some thread sealant. I never messed with the IAC valve because it's pulse modulation instead of a stepper motor and it's hard to wire up. For a race car that's not a big deal anyway...
I think the ABA has a crank trigger but I could never get the sensor to read in megasquirt. Maybe someone has made progress but I gave up and tried to dizzy method. It's either that or use Ford EDIS, or you can use the stock ignition control.

08-23-2009, 09:26 PM
I have the 4 window distributor on the 1.8. Should get a lot more familiar with the engine in about 3 weeks, ordering up all new gaskets next week and I'm gonna tear down the 1.8, power wash, reassemble, and replace the water pump. All of which is looking to cost me about $75. Once I know everything is solid I'm gonna snag up a MS unit and the bare minimum sensors and see what I can start piecing together. I've heard just doing the megasquirt conversion on a stock 1.8 with a decent tune can net some serious gains for an na motor. Seeing as how a previous owner has added a massive throttle body, electric fuel pump conversion, digi 2.0 8v head, and some seriously nasty looking cams (will be testing the valve springs for sure while disassembling) I'm pretty sure properly tuning the car to take advantage of what it already has will make it feel like a whole new car. I'll most likely use a proper tap with a drill press when adding sensors

08-24-2009, 06:46 AM
Hopefully that dizzy works for you.

For another like $10 you could paint that block too! I scrubbed mine with a wire brush, cleaned it with brake cleaner, and then used engine paint to make it look like new.

Cable clutch is so much better!

Here's the 60-2 trigger wheel I could never get to work

Did you get the A/C delete bracket for your ABA block?

Lightened and balanced intermediate shaft:

Freshly tanked ABA heads: