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Experienced track upgrade advice

KerryChadderton

New member
Location
Easton, MD
Car(s)
08 MKV GTI
Hi Guys and Gals,


I’m new here. You guys seem to have great posts and level-headed responses, which can be rare on forums. That’s why I joined.


I’m looking for guidance. I’m a garage owner and amateur racer. A friend and I decided to dive into SCCA/NASA Solo 1 and maybe club racing later. Last year we started the adventure by entering a school and learning the right way. I have ITB experience but haven’t been on track for 13 years. He has no experience, which is why he contacted me. I am running a Porsche 944 and he is running a 08 MKV GTI 2.0 turbo. He has zero mechanical ability, nor aptitude, so I am his mechanic. Funny how that worked out, isn’t it?


Prior to the school I prepared his car. I upgraded the brake system and tires. I also flushed, changed, inspected, repaired and/or maintained every system. This is a low-mileage MKV in very good condition.


He is a great natural driver and got a good report from his instructors. So now we go to the next level. I have been asked to upgrade his car and he is giving me the authority to make the decisions. His main complaint is power. In fact he is over-driving the suspension a bit because of it. He has no complaints with traction, handling or ergonomics. However, keep in mind, he doesn’t have a lot of experience.


I’d like to give him some extra power, but also start building a solid foundation for a track car by making mods that can be improved upon over time, as well as addressing the weak points in this particular car. I have no experience with the MKV. From your specific experience what would you do next?


The budget for mods is $2,000 for this year. Maintenance is already covered.


Thanks so much for your input! -Kerry
 

freshpots

r'zub n t'zug
Location
Toronto, CAN
Car(s)
2007 GTI
Since you said tires are taken care of, this car would do well with a cheap 3" catless downpipe and a stage 2 tune. That should net him around 230-250whp (depending on dyno of course). Now is this '08 an FSI or TSI? If FSI, a fuel pump is pretty well required. You could do without, but it won't be a properly running car. An APR pump will cost around $1000, but an Autotech around $350. I have an Autotech with a K04 and have had no issues for 20,000kms.

I'm going to leave out suspension because there's just way too many options available. Not to mention really cheap options and really expensive ones.

So... Budget FSI racer:

- Catless DP - (ebay will work) $120
- Autotech HPFP - $350
- Some form of filter-on-a-stick CAI, perhaps used - $150
- Thicker RSB: $150, nothing wrong with buying used here.. Make sure bushings are good - maybe $100 used
- Upgraded bushings all around, http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-Golf_V--2.0T/Suspension/Bushings/ES2582090/ - $350


This will leave you with a solid 270-280 bhp, and a good start for a suspension setup.. You've got about $1000 left for some decent coils, but $1000 won't get you anything particularily special.. If there's any room for $500 more, KW V1's are solid as well as H&R RSS Clubsport.

If you've got a TSI, ignore the $350 HPFP and put that towards coilovers.
 

miamirice

Ready to race!
Location
Miami
You answered your own question:

You identified the class you will run in, now build within the rules. Forgive me if the rules are wide open, but typically SCCA rules are pretty detailed. I can't imagine you can start adding power, iand i tend to think power is last. If solo I is wide open then forgive me, I don't auto cross.

I also would get a couple seasons under your belt running the car as is. You will better understand what needs to be done, and in what order by running what ya brung and talking to folks at the events.
 

KerryChadderton

New member
Location
Easton, MD
Car(s)
08 MKV GTI
This is an FSI.

Good input on both. I forgot all about the SCCA GCR's, and I agree horsepower is last when learning to drive. However, the question is still valid on the point that this guy wants to FEEL improvements. It's part of his fun factor. Who knows...he may want to stick with HPDE's and open track days.

Besides, I'm curious as to what works on this chassis:biggrin:
 

freshpots

r'zub n t'zug
Location
Toronto, CAN
Car(s)
2007 GTI
This is an FSI.

Good input on both. I forgot all about the SCCA GCR's, and I agree horsepower is last when learning to drive. However, the question is still valid on the point that this guy wants to FEEL improvements. It's part of his fun factor. Who knows...he may want to stick with HPDE's and open track days.

Besides, I'm curious as to what works on this chassis:biggrin:
Good 17" wheels with good tires (Direzza Star Spec ZII :drool:, if it will be a dd too) with upgraded suspension components, decreased unsprung weight, good brakes, LSD, etc., IMO will yield waayy more satisfaction on the track compared to having a little more power. These cars get so torque-y when chipped and the stock setup just can't keep up all too well.. A K04 with a Golf R/ED30 tune would be sweet, actually.

FWDLOL
 

GTI_Speed

SteelCities SCCA AutoX
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
08 GTI
Definitely LSD and uprated clutch, its what all the other good hot hatches have that unfortunately the GTI didnt get from the factory. The clutch is not a necessity but might as well swap it out while you are in there especially if the owner has plans of going big turbo down the road.

Im hoping for tires you got something along the lines of a Dunlop Direzza Z2.

A rear sway bar is the best cheap suspension mod. Really recommned the Hotchkis/APR bar

There are lots of cool cheaper mods that go a long way towards improving the driving experience. Take a look at a lot of the stuff from TyrolSport especially the brake stiffening kit. Also the dieselgeek short shifter is amazing and get a poly transmission mount.
 

trialerror00

Ready to race!
Location
fort dix
Car(s)
k04 GTI
Suspension and brake upgrades are by far the best way to start. Unfortunately for me, before my first track days, I upgraded all the "power mods" and have missed out on the learning aspect of a not so fast car. I truly believe id be a much better driver if I would started different, suspension and brakes.


It's GOD's decision to forgive Terrorists, it's our job to arrange the meeting!!!
 

GIACUser

Master Wallet Mechanic
Location
SoCal
Hi Guys and Gals,


I’m new here. You guys seem to have great posts and level-headed responses, which can be rare on forums. That’s why I joined.


I’m looking for guidance. I’m a garage owner and amateur racer. A friend and I decided to dive into SCCA/NASA Solo 1 and maybe club racing later. Last year we started the adventure by entering a school and learning the right way. I have ITB experience but haven’t been on track for 13 years. He has no experience, which is why he contacted me. I am running a Porsche 944 and he is running a 08 MKV GTI 2.0 turbo. He has zero mechanical ability, nor aptitude, so I am his mechanic. Funny how that worked out, isn’t it?


Prior to the school I prepared his car. I upgraded the brake system and tires. I also flushed, changed, inspected, repaired and/or maintained every system. This is a low-mileage MKV in very good condition.


He is a great natural driver and got a good report from his instructors. So now we go to the next level. I have been asked to upgrade his car and he is giving me the authority to make the decisions. His main complaint is power. In fact he is over-driving the suspension a bit because of it. He has no complaints with traction, handling or ergonomics. However, keep in mind, he doesn’t have a lot of experience.


I’d like to give him some extra power, but also start building a solid foundation for a track car by making mods that can be improved upon over time, as well as addressing the weak points in this particular car. I have no experience with the MKV. From your specific experience what would you do next?


The budget for mods is $2,000 for this year. Maintenance is already covered.


Thanks so much for your input! -Kerry
Is the MKV strictly a track car or will it need to be street worthy?
 

miamirice

Ready to race!
Location
Miami
A rear sway bar is the best cheap suspension mod. Really recommned the Hotchkis/APR bar


^^^^ I have front and rear Hotchkis, brand new, never installed. PM me if interested.
 

KerryChadderton

New member
Location
Easton, MD
Car(s)
08 MKV GTI
Nice replies. Thank you.

Last year I upgraded his brakes with the Tyrolsport stiffening kit, SS brake lines, Hawk HP+ pads and ATE Gold fluid. On tires I went to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport in 245/45ZR-17. Like I said, he is not complaining of traction issues…yet.

BTW, I went with BFG g-Force sport COMP-2 on my 944 and I’ve got to tell you the characteristics were so good that I had 3-4 instructors surround me after a session to ask what I was running. If you’re on a budget….straight up!

This car will remain street legal for 2014, maybe 2015, but it is not a daily driver.

I’m taking everyone’s advice seriously here. It’s good stuff. Budget is $2K so:

APR Stage 1 - To give him the kick he’s asking for.

Autotech HPFP + follower - Just to protect the future (no one has even checked it I’m sure)

There goes the first $1,000. Now, APR offers the code erase and TB alignment software as an option. Is it worth it? I’ve got no VAG and no access to one….yet.

For the last $1,000:

Rear swaybar and……????

Once I give him that power he wants I’m sticking with handling, weight reduction and safety. He really doesn’t know yet what handling and track time will do for him so I’ll convince him. My car is 31 years old and has only 150hp at the flywheel. I was turning faster laps….
 

kruegernaut

I'm from Detroit, Man...
Location
Washington
There goes the first $1,000. Now, APR offers the code erase and TB alignment software as an option. Is it worth it? I’ve got no VAG and no access to one….yet.
IMO not worth it if they are charging extra. Put that money towards a vag-com cable. It will be invaluable later, especially this being a long term project.

I'm going to go zen for a minute because I have no track experience (Karts only), but I would skip the tune for now and do braking, springs, and dampers. those will easily max your budget, but will be worth their weight in gold for solid foundation of the car for future mods, and tracking ability literally is encompassed with those systems? (aside from tires). This on top of sways if you can afford. Front and rear ideally.

EDIT: Sorry, I see you did some braking mods, Nice!!! I still suggest vag-com, springs/dampers, and front and rear sways, in lieu of tune and pump for now. But do the cam follower! (49.99).
 
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freshpots

r'zub n t'zug
Location
Toronto, CAN
Car(s)
2007 GTI
APR Stage 1 - To give him the kick he’s asking for.

Good start, he'll notice it for sure. Should be enough for him, for now.

Autotech HPFP + follower - Just to protect the future (no one has even checked it I’m sure)

Good news, you don't need this if you're sticking with stage 1, a cam follower is a good idea though

There goes the first $600 :thumbsup: . Now, APR offers the code erase and TB alignment software as an option. Is it worth it? I’ve got no VAG and no access to one….yet.

Nooope

For the last $1400: :thumbsup:

Rear swaybar and……???? as GTI_SPEED said, check out stuff from Tyrolsport.. A full engine/transmission mount set will do you well too, although they can get pricey.. $350 I think on ecstuning.com.. Nobody likes wheelhop though! Stiff control arm bushings are cheap/easy and will help. The Whiteline Anti Lift Kit is a good idea if it fits the budget. An LSD would do wonders, but that's a grand right there. H&R Race Springs or even Driver Gear springs on stock shocks might be good idea as well.
 

navyslideby

Big Turbo Vroom
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This as well as vagcom cable
 

freshpots

r'zub n t'zug
Location
Toronto, CAN
Car(s)
2007 GTI
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This as well as vagcom cable
Right, vagcom. Because when it goes wrong you want to know why, and not speculate why, and ask a bunch of silly questions on this forum.
 

telaio

Ready to race!
Location
Italy
Unibrace XB is highly recommended, at least on a R32 one can feel it already on the street and on the track one can remove the rear seat and still enjoy stiffer than stock chassis.
 
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