After many many years away from the VW MK1 scene I have purchased a mint condition 1982 Cabriolet and the modification bug is starting to get to me. About 14 years ago I had a 1980 Rabbit Pickup that I installed a 2.0L ABA / JH head / Schrick 276 cam and it was a blast, very simple, very basic - very nice. Now I have a 1997 Audi A4 1.8T that I am converting over to TDI power so that engine is up for grabs.
The Cabriolet is the original Texas spec car that was imported to Canada many moons ago, so a fully install AC system, no power steering, zero rust, Indiana Red Metallic paint (meh!), black roof with red interior. The suspension and exhaust is original - and quite frankly dead and certainly needs to be replaced. The 1.7L engine runs nice, but the AEB is going to run so much better.
What I am looking to do is have a peppy top down summer car that handles well and accelerates like a modern day car. I would say 50/50 town vs highway driving with the average highway speed of 110km/h
My thoughts is to install the AEB engine with a K04-15 turbo, front mount inter-cooler, 02J gearbox with a limited slip differential installed, decent suspension on all four corners and a nice beefy anti-sway bar at the back. HP goal are in the 250hp range - top speed ins't a priority, but I want to be thrown back into the seat when I hit the accelerator - 0 to 100km/h times are more important to me than top speed and to be able to handle exceptionally well on twisty roads. At the same time I don't a buzzy top down ride on the highway.
What I have so far is the following parts.
- O2J gearbox from TDI and from a 2.0L ABA Jetta
- Complete hydraulic clutch system
- Complete ABS system
- 228mm solid mass flywheel
- AEB engine complete with accessories less the AC compressor (used on TDI swap)
- full cooling system from MK4 jetta, fans etc
- 100mm cabriolet CV axles
So without breaking the $5000 barrier and assuming labour is next to free as this is a winter project (über complicated electrical isn't an issue, medium fabrication and TIG welding isn't an issue) what would you do to achieve my performance goals.
Plans are to retain the B5 manifold get a $500 KO4-15 turbo from flea bay, the appropriate diverter, get Mark at Malone Tuning to do the software and possibly some larger injectors and an adjustable fuel pressure gauge. Find an intercooler that will fit behind the front bumper and make the necessary pipes to make it all work. Will this alone get me the 250hp that I am looking for in a reliable fashion? Somewhere I was reading that my ABA block is a "bolt on" to upgrade the ABA to 2.0L displacement... is it as "complicated" as the ABA / JH hybrid of 15 years ago or is it something I should just say away from?
I have both a DQY code TDI (3.389:1) and a DQZ code 2.0L (4.235:1) transmissions, with 0 to 100km/h times being the main thing for me, am I better off with the taller final drive (more torque multiplication) and more shifting to get to 100km/h or let the engine do the work and one less gear shift to achieve the same thing. What are people opinions on Limited Slip Differentials - they are all more or less the same price - is one clearly better than the others? There are SO many different 1.8T clutches out there - for my power needs, what do I really need?
I am not looking to slam the car to the ground, but I do enjoy visually a lowered stance to where the space between the tire and the fender is even all the way around. My former Audi A4 1.8T had some basic ride height adjustable Vogtland coil-overs installed by the previous owner and the dampening seemed OK to me - I liked the fact I could set my own ride height - maybe that's why my daily driver is a 2001 Audi Allroad! What's the sweet spot for A1 suspension now - coil overs or the traditional sport spring / sachs or bilstein shock combo? Back in the day I was happy wit the Neuspeed sport springs and Boge ProGas shocks. The cabriolet has some OK looking 15" alloys on it now that push the 195s to the very edge of the fender now, so those will stay.
Will be upgrading to the 22mm master cylinder and I have all the parts here from a 1999 Jetta TDI for ABS brakes. Not sure if it is worth the hassle of installing ABS or just rely on my foot to do the right thing. Also trying to decide if 280mm Scirocco discs and twin pot Girling G60 callipers are the way to go or go with the smallest MMP Wilwood 4 pot system at the front at a pricey $675. At the rear I am thinking of not installing discs and just installing 200mm rear drums from a 1994 Jetta 2.0L.
Electronics and ICE
The entire dash forward electrical system will be stripped for a CE2 system from a 1994 Jetta and the AEB electronics adapted to work with that. The silly MK1 MPH speedometer will be dumped for "burried" 1999 Jetta MK4 speedometer and an Andriod tablet running Torque Pro for Speed / Tach / Temperature / fuel level etc etc with a second Andriod running the sound and navigation instead of the 1980s vintage CD player in there now. Keep the analog gauges by the shifter for boost pressure, oil pressure, or if there is enough room run a 5 function digital thermometer from TL-Electronics for oil temp, water temp, exhaust temp, intake air temp and oil pressure. Have used these in quite a few TDI conversions and they are pretty cool and a decent price for what you get.
So, not an unlimited budget here for parts but my time is free. If this was your project what parts would you use to keep it all under $5K and why?
Thanks in advance!!!