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    Thread: GX info???

    1. Member skateboards and mk2s's Avatar
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      08-03-2012 01:51 PM #26
      Thanks guys. All awesome info. Now the dilemma I am having is.

      I have the GX in the car running fine and a complete 96 2.0 gti in the garage that needs a head gasket.

      If anyone feels like throwing in their preference and experiences it would be great.

      A. Change pistons and get larger valve head?
      B. ABA bottom with larger valve head and stay CIS?
      C. Swap the whole ABA over?

      Its a daily that goes to the track once a month or so.

      I have been into VWs and racing for years but always on the suspension end of things.
      This is my first "built" I use the term loosly engine. So my apologies if I am asking a bunch of dumb questions.

      It seems that all I hear around the vortex is ABA stuff but over at clubgti.com many of the purpose built cars are still building 1.8s

      My last autocrosser was an 87 golf gt. with TT header, TT cat back, 268 cam, Eurospec cam gear. Cam timing was retarded 3 degrees if I remember right. The car was a blast and won two seasons in a row until they put the Suzuki swifts and Datson 510s in the class.

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      08-04-2012 02:59 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by skateboards and mk2s View Post
      Thanks guys. All awesome info. Now the dilemma I am having is.

      I have the GX in the car running fine and a complete 96 2.0 gti in the garage that needs a head gasket.

      If anyone feels like throwing in their preference and experiences it would be great.

      A. Change pistons and get larger valve head?
      B. ABA bottom with larger valve head and stay CIS?
      C. Swap the whole ABA over?

      Its a daily that goes to the track once a month or so.

      I have been into VWs and racing for years but always on the suspension end of things.
      This is my first "built" I use the term loosly engine. So my apologies if I am asking a bunch of dumb questions.

      It seems that all I hear around the vortex is ABA stuff but over at clubgti.com many of the purpose built cars are still building 1.8s

      My last autocrosser was an 87 golf gt. with TT header, TT cat back, 268 cam, Eurospec cam gear. Cam timing was retarded 3 degrees if I remember right. The car was a blast and won two seasons in a row until they put the Suzuki swifts and Datson 510s in the class.
      aba bottom end, gti head, drop it in the car..

      you have alot of good parts to bolt on it.

      GTIs and GLIs had heads with bigger valves.. i, personally, have not noticed a big difference between a small valve, and large valve head.

      my 85 GTI had a HT engine in it (10:1, big valve head, CIS-e) and my 86 Golf is FASTER than it was.. yes.. an engine with smaller valves, and less compression..

      the 85 had HT w/ a neuspeed 268*, a twin tube downpipe and mani, a modified intake system, and K&N pannel filter as well as a free flowing exhaust..

      my 86 has a GX with the same neuspeed 268*, a real header, the same intake system, and a catless exhaust with a flowmaster 40 series at the end..

      the 86 gets better economy, and has better power as well..

    3. Junior Member BGosnell's Avatar
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      08-04-2012 03:19 PM #28
      I too dream of doing a 2.0 16v swap for my GX, I'm glad to hear you actually plan on making it happen.

      My plan was to take the 9a engine(keepin' it mk2) and throw in as big a pistons as practical and run it at around 10.5 or 11cr , port and polish and regrind the valve seats for mid to fully oversized TT valves, 276 cams with advanced cam timing for street use, TT race header with cat back Borla, HD engine mounts, upgraded intake mani and throttle body and a bunch of odds and ends to fine tune the oil pressure and operating temp. I plan on running mine on the CIS Lambda that my GX came with and possibly upgrading to a beefier fuel distributor/air flow meter setup.

      My main concerns would be keepin it knock free on premium keepin' a smooth idle. I assume advancing the cam timing would help with that but now I'm wondering if that's more of a spark timing fix?

      I'm not too sure about the ABA's, weren't those the 2.0 16v's out of the mk3's? I know there's tons of write-ups on the how, what, why and when's of the ABA swap though.

      You gonna turn this into a build thread? I'd love to follow your progress.
      I know it's an 87, but it's MY 87.

    4. Junior Member BGosnell's Avatar
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      08-04-2012 03:31 PM #29
      Hmmmmm I'm not too sure it sounds like you had much less exhaust restriction on the 86, you don't honestly believe that 8.5:1 GX with small valves actually has more potential than the 10:1 HT with bigger valves.... do you???

      I have a question though what did you do to your intake? I've heard a lot of ideas about opening up the airflow on CIS mk2 intakes, mostly bad though.
      I know it's an 87, but it's MY 87.

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      08-04-2012 04:25 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by BGosnell View Post
      Hmmmmm I'm not too sure it sounds like you had much less exhaust restriction on the 86, you don't honestly believe that 8.5:1 GX with small valves actually has more potential than the 10:1 HT with bigger valves.... do you???

      I have a question though what did you do to your intake? I've heard a lot of ideas about opening up the airflow on CIS mk2 intakes, mostly bad though.
      i cut a hole in the front of the air box, and installed a duct to pull air from under the passenger side headlight.. it is not swiss cheesed. i left the original intake duct there as well. removed the warm air bypass, and installed a K&N panel filter..

      and no, im not saying the GX has MORE POTENTIAL than the HT.. i NEVER said that.. im just saying that in stock, to slightly modified form, i cant tell the difference between engines.. ive dealt with alot of RDs, HTs, GXs, and a few other CIS/CIS-e engines, and all my experiences have been the same..

      when the cars were stock, my GTI would smoke my Golf, but once they had mods, it was the low compression engine that did better. but only by a TINY bit. im saying that unless you are gonna build the holy hell out of your engine, that i dont think it really matters what head you use. i never noticed any BIG GAINS to be had from the head with bigger valves.. honestly, i think my golf has more TORQUE than the GTI did tho..

      i figured that 10:1 compression, CIS-e, and knock sensing ignition would make more power hands down.. but it was ALOT closer than i thought it would be..

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      08-04-2012 05:28 PM #31
      the close ratio paired with the HT sure is fun though. I miss that the most about my old 85 gli
      I really suck at smog.

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      08-04-2012 09:46 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by ziddey View Post
      the close ratio paired with the HT sure is fun though. I miss that the most about my old 85 gli
      i like the wider spread of gearing with the ACN tho..

      my GTI had a 9A in it original, but i bought it with no reverse..

      i swapped in an ACN trans, and i LOVED it..

      my 86 Golf came with an ACN original..

      my GTI never ran as good as my Golf tho.. it would lose prime if you parked on a hill.

      was also very picky about fuel. it DID NOT like regular unleaded..

      ive got my Golf timed @ about 20*, and it still runs great on regular.. my GTI required premium with the timing set at 15*

    8. Junior Member BGosnell's Avatar
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      08-04-2012 11:27 PM #33
      That's interesting. So many variables it's hard to say. I like your air box idea. Did you notice any big differences? Also isn't there an issue with operating temp? That's what I've heard about blocking off the warm air. Do you have any pics?
      I know it's an 87, but it's MY 87.

    9. Member skateboards and mk2s's Avatar
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      08-05-2012 04:17 PM #34
      Wow great stuff guys thanks.
      Air intake right now is stock with the front fender side cut out and a K&N I also took the tube from the exhaust and ran it down the fender where the factory tube was.

      I am having the priming issue on hills as well as some bogging on hot startups. Once it clears out it feels ok.

      It also feels like it pulls the hardest at 3/4 throttle. The cable is set right.

      On your GX are you still running all the stock CIS E stuff? Vacuum advance?

      Right now it feels great until 4200 rpm and then it is just done.

      The exhaust helped and I know that the stock manifold and downpipe are the worst
      so maybe I will try the header before I do which ever swap I decide on.

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      08-05-2012 04:20 PM #35
      Go to the cis section and check the stickies. Longitudinal wrote a great write up on tuning / power tuning cis-e.

      Cut the Bosch o2 sensor harness for euro cars if this era. Perfect for building a dpr test harness.

      You could also upgrade to the later cis-e ecu and add a wot switch and wires. I don't know if it's the same ecu or not. Cis-e with knock sensing had a wot switch for full throttle enrichment in open loop.
      I really suck at smog.

    11. Junior Member BGosnell's Avatar
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      08-05-2012 04:52 PM #36
      I don't know how soon you plan on doin' the swap but I believe the headers for the 1.8 are a different size than then the ABA. That would suck to buy a nice header and then have to replace it months later. Super expensive too.
      What do you mean on the intake? You took the warm air cloth hose and routed it over by the fender? I think the only way to make it truly cold air is to block off the warm air intake all together cuz the flapper in the air box opens and regulates air temp based on expansion and contraction. That might be bad cuz the hole for the fender air is bigger than the warm air one and the flapper might never open cuz of the cooler air being drawn in. I wish there was a way to watch what that flapper was doin'. I always wonder how well mine actually works. It's about 25 years old.
      I have CIS Lambda and I run all stock except a K&N filter and some Autotech wires. My first big upgrade will be a new camshaft. I'm thinkin' I'll run the TT266 with lightweight adjustable cam and intermediate gears. I'd like to do a full on exhaust as soon as possible, mines hurtin', but they're so expensive.
      I know it's an 87, but it's MY 87.

    12. Member ps2375's Avatar
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      08-05-2012 05:14 PM #37
      no diff between a 1.8L 8V and a 2L 8V header other than for which chassis it is for. The ports on the head are the same size and same spacing.
      Tradition is the art of making the same mistake repeatedly, on purpose.

    13. Member skateboards and mk2s's Avatar
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      08-05-2012 06:09 PM #38
      Techtonics said that all the headers will work. Each different header is just maximized for perfect fit.

      I might get to the swap pretty soon so I probably wont do much in the meantime it would just be a good test I guess.

      Im really thinking about the whole ABA swap. Its just nice and clean and I understand that engine a little better. It also seems that people are getting much better gas millage out of their ABA swaps.

      I love the way a CIS car sounds though. I know its silly but a CIS car with a bigger cam just lumps and bumps in the coolest of ways.

    14. Member skateboards and mk2s's Avatar
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      08-05-2012 06:13 PM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by BGosnell View Post
      What do you mean on the intake? You took the warm air cloth hose and routed it over by the fender? I think the only way to make it truly cold air is to block off the warm air intake all together cuz the flapper in the air box opens and regulates air temp based on expansion and contraction.


      I have CIS Lambda and I run all stock except a K&N filter and some Autotech wires. My first big upgrade will be a new camshaft. I'm thinkin' I'll run the TT266 with lightweight adjustable cam and intermediate gears. I'd like to do a full on exhaust as soon as possible, mines hurtin', but they're so expensive.
      Sorry I meant I took it off the back of the air box and reused it at the front of the box. It just dips down the fender and ends in the front of the airbox.

      Any of you guys using the stock stuff ever set up a "stock" and "race" style set up with ignition timing?

      Could the distributer position be marked for a quick adjust?

    15. Junior Member BGosnell's Avatar
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      08-05-2012 07:56 PM #40
      Hmmmm I guess I thought since the 2L's are bigger that the exhaust ports would be higher making the headers drop lower.

      what would you do retard the ignition timing for better high end?

      Seems like you could use some sort of colored marker to draw match-up lines on the cap and distributor.
      I know it's an 87, but it's MY 87.

    16. Member ps2375's Avatar
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      08-05-2012 09:07 PM #41
      You guys don't realize that the dizzy on an ABA has little to no effect on IGN timing. The hall sender is there only as a cam position sender to tell the ECU when motor is at TDC for #1 cylinder(for sequential fuel injection). The crank position sender on the crank is how the ECU determines timing. The dizzy is only there to distribute the spark to the correct plug, you can even unplug the dizzy's hall sender and the car will run, in a default mode for injection. You can rotate the dizzy all you want and it won't have any effect on the IGN timing, try it some time. If you do turn it far enough to kill the motor, it is because the spark never made it to the plug not because the timing was changed.
      Tradition is the art of making the same mistake repeatedly, on purpose.

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      08-05-2012 09:10 PM #42
      For what it's worth, there's two locating pins on the distributor for the holddown IIRC. So you have very limited distributor movement. If you're going out of range, you don't have it installed right
      I really suck at smog.

    18. Member ps2375's Avatar
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      08-05-2012 09:17 PM #43
      I have seen some w/o the pins, not sure if they were removed or is some years had them and some didn't.
      Tradition is the art of making the same mistake repeatedly, on purpose.

    19. Junior Member BGosnell's Avatar
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      08-05-2012 11:33 PM #44
      I was thinking CIS. ABA must be digifant. I have enough to learn with the simple CIS-L without diving into anything else.
      I know it's an 87, but it's MY 87.

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      08-06-2012 01:07 AM #45
      Quote Originally Posted by ps2375 View Post
      You guys don't realize that the dizzy on an ABA has little to no effect on IGN timing. The hall sender is there only as a cam position sender to tell the ECU when motor is at TDC for #1 cylinder(for sequential fuel injection). The crank position sender on the crank is how the ECU determines timing. The dizzy is only there to distribute the spark to the correct plug, you can even unplug the dizzy's hall sender and the car will run, in a default mode for injection. You can rotate the dizzy all you want and it won't have any effect on the IGN timing, try it some time. If you do turn it far enough to kill the motor, it is because the spark never made it to the plug not because the timing was changed.
      I was talking about CIS. The milage on the ABA I would think would be good enough that you could leave it "tuned" all the time or if you were a glutten for punishment you could swap chips at the track. On a CIS car though I was wondering if there would be a benefit to having less advance for daily use seeing as it would be an easy adjustment at the track.

      I think in the end, price is going to decide on me running the whole ABA swap. Header, chip and head gasket is going to be the cheapest way to a solid output 8V for me. God I hate wiring though

    21. Member ps2375's Avatar
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      08-06-2012 03:05 PM #46
      If the tune is done correctly on an NA motor, there should be no reason to have to swap chips.
      Tradition is the art of making the same mistake repeatedly, on purpose.

    22. Junior Member BGosnell's Avatar
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      08-06-2012 07:41 PM #47
      Yeah on the GX it seems like your biggest, easiest improvements will be exhaust, cam and valves. If you pop off the head to do some valve work (they're so small on the GX) maybe you could shave the bottom to up your CR. Then again that'd probably cause interference issues. I was hammering on the beast last night and I was impressed with how she pulls when you actually let the rpm's climb before you shift. It felt pretty hairy close to 5k but it pulls real nice at 3 up. I just gotta work on my comfort level.
      I know it's an 87, but it's MY 87.

    23. Member skateboards and mk2s's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 01:29 AM #48
      Quote Originally Posted by ps2375 View Post
      If the tune is done correctly on an NA motor, there should be no reason to have to swap chips.
      This is exactly why I think for a daily / track car the aba is perfect.

    24. Member ps2375's Avatar
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      08-07-2012 01:53 AM #49
      Well, if you go stand-alone, that can and will apply to almost any motor. As long as you don't get too wild with cam(s) and CR, a well built motor can do any duty you like. My Rabbit w/ a GX block and a lg valve solid lifter head has 65K+ miles on it as a daily driven work car and has towed the race car on the tow dolly many times to events and even to the hillclimb up the local mountain.

      The motor is really no different than any other 1.8L motor, other than it has a lower CR and the valves are smaller(on the stock head). Put either the solid or hydro lifter heads on it w/ the larger valves, and you will gain some hp, how much? I have no idea, but it is an improvement. No different than back in the day when I bought the modded 1.8L GTI head from TT to fit my 1.7L block. That motor loved to rev!
      Tradition is the art of making the same mistake repeatedly, on purpose.

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      08-08-2012 02:07 AM #50
      After a year with this car I could never go stand alone on my daily.



      God that system sucked! David and I would work so hard on set up. Get the car just right and then like clock work we would spend the rest of the weekend chasing gremlins in the stand alone. Granted this was ten years ago and I'm sure it has come a long way.

      I really think I am set on the ABA swap. In my head I have said that 125 hp will be good enough and it seems that the ABA will get to that point without alot of hassle.

      If I want more down the line I can build a nice block and do a ported head, bigger cam.

      What do guys do with mk2s with 400hp?? Seems like you could never get the chasis to take advantage of even half of that.
      Last edited by skateboards and mk2s; 08-09-2012 at 06:52 PM.

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