You guys should be careful. You might void the warranty
Those seats are the awesome Recaro Sportster CS ones that I have thought about
installing. When last I spoke with Recaro they didn't assure me that I could utilize the
same '3 speed' heated seat level connections already in the Beetle. I do like the micro-
suede version in the photo, better than the all leather or all vinyl versions.
05 - Surgery Complete
So in our last installment we cut the rear spare tire well out of the Beetle to fit the much shallower Golf R spare tire well. This is necessary to get the Golf R rear multilink suspension and Haldex AWD coupling to fit properly. So after test fitting the new Golf R rear tire well sheetmetal, the next step was to prep everything for welding. Here APR's techs get to work grinding and smoothing out surfaces to remove any paint, contaminants and other junk to ensure a solid weld that adheres properly:
Next up the welding begins:
Here is the rear hatch area after the initial welds are in place:
APR's techs add seam sealer, under coating to match the factory coating and a round of paint to bring it back to a nearly stock look:
The same was done to the undercarriage as well. You can also see where the transverse cross member from the Golf R was welded the entire length:
With that part of the project complete and drying, the next step is to remove the engine from the Beetle:
In the photo below is the Beetle engine bay minus one 2.0T. On the left side of the photo underneath the windshield fluid reservoir is the large stock engine mount.
Here is a closeup of the stock engine mount:
In the photo below is the stock Beetle motor mount on the left and the new Volkswagen Racing motor mount on the right. The Volkswagen Racing piece uses a stiffer bushing material and has less flex compared to the stock factory mount. By upgrading these bushings to a stiffer material, it will create a more direct transfer of power. The downside to adding a stiffer bushing material is that more vibration will be transmitted to the cabin from the engine. Volkswagen Racing specifically worked on a material that isn't has hardcore stiff as their actual racing bushings, but strikes a balance between a street performance and track material. APR has more information on the bushings HERE on their website.
Here is the new Volkswagen Racing engine mount now in place in the Beetle engine bay:
Next up are engine mods. The engine will be torn down and rebuilt with beefed up internals and a complete APR Stage IV setup. We'll also get to specifics on suspension and brakes this week, plus some sneak peeks at wheels and more.
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I opted for swapping my upper motor mount for the stiffer one that is in the Golf R.
Visually they look the same but the Golf R's comes out of the Audi Division which is
evident when you see the '0000' stamped into the unit instead of 'VW'. At full Stage II
I haven't experienced any vibration.
The Recaro Sportster CS seats, when fitted with a heat element, have the heat controlled
by a switch on the side of the seat. Since the Turbo Beetle is fitted with individual controls
on the dash, is it possible to keep those controls if Recaro Sportster seats are installed? For
the record, the Golf R has a different style Recaro seat and the heat is actively engaged by
two dials (one for each seat) in a similar area of the dash where our Beetle controls are. I'm
therefore hoping to keep my controls if I spring for Recaro's. Am curious to know if the Super
Beetle build is using the heater dash controls on the car?
06 - SUSPENSION AND BRAKES
Things are continuing to move forward as our SEMA deadline looms - less than two weeks. The H&R adjustable coilover suspension is on the car now in addition to the Volkswagen Racing 6-piston brakes. We've also started engine work, but more on that tomorrow...
H&R ULTRA PERFORMANCE COIL OVERS
We've had a long relationship with H&R Springs. The Germany-based company has been producing suspension components for more than 30 years. They make everything from simple lowering springs to full race setups to large-scale OEM applications for companies like Volkswagen. All products are made in Germany and exceed ISO 9001 quality assurance standards. H&R Springs North American facility is located in Bellingham, Washington and run by our friend Roland Graef. If you've never met Roland, you should as he is one of the nicest guys in this business and a diehard car guy. We gave Roland a call early on and told him about our little project and he made a few suggestions. "With Jamie detailing the parameters of the Super Beetle Project, I suggested an H&R Street Ultra Performance Coil Over. Having 500hp available on a street driven car requires a high performance suspension capable of handling that new found power. The new H&R Ultra Performance Coil Over fits in nicely between our Street Performance Coil Over and our RSS Performance Coil Over. The Ultra Performance feature H&R’s inverted MONO-TUBE shock design valved specifically for the H&R Ultra Performance springs. This coil over has a higher performance spring rate for more control and tighter handling which is a performance stage up from Street Performance but not as aggressive as the H&R RSS Coil Over. A project of this magnitude requires a proper suspension setup and we think this is the best compromise for the street and the track."
This particular H&R coil over application is specifically designed for the Golf R to work with the additional weight and the AWD multilink setup. The Ultra Performance Coil Over is a Golf R specific application and is new to the lineup. Like all of H&R's coil over products, it features adjustable threaded spring perches that allow you to raise and lower the suspension to taste (or for corner balancing) from 1.25" to 2.5". The Ultra Performance also has more aggressive spring and shock rates that split the difference between the Street Coil Over system and the full RSS race setup.
So we got everything straight away from H&R and we installed the suspension this week. In addition to the H&R suspension upgrades, we also continued replacing the stock soft-rubber bushings with upgraded bushings to firm everything up. We also added a few slick add-ons to reduce unsprung weight and bring our lower control arms more inline with the lower ride height.
In the photo below you can see that the multilink rear suspension and Haldex AWD coupling from the Golf R is now installed in the Beetle. Likewise we've installed the H&R Springs rear shocks and springs. The rear ride height is adjustable via the grey aluminum threaded perches on the top of the spring.
Another addition to the suspension mods are H&R Sport Sway Bars. The high tensile strength allows for a quicker turn-in and reduced body roll. H&R's sway bars are cold-formed from special HF alloy bar stock, have special forged seamless bar ends and come with exclusive Teflon composite bushings. Additionally H&R Sport Sway Bars are shot peened and heat-treated for increased durability.
The sway bars can be seen in this photo below as well as the Haldex AWD unit minus the drive shaft:
At the front we installed H&R's threaded adjustable coil over shocks and springs:
One of the great things about Volkswagen's family of components that are shared between various models is the ability to dig through the parts bin and see what we can upgrade. APR has spent quite a bit of time going through their race cars to find component sets that work better together for a given application, reduce weight and improve performance. If you remember back to our second installment, we borrowed the lighter and stronger aluminum front sub frame from the Audi TTRS. APR also used the TTRS drop spindle in the front suspension. This large knuckle is made of heavy cast metal on the Beetle whereas it is made of aluminum on the TTRS. The TTRS drop spindle also has a lower control arm connecting point that is lower than the stock Beetle piece. Since the TTRS was designed to have more of a ride height drop than a standard TT, Audi wanted to ensure that the lower control arms stay as close to flat as possible. This helps avoid problems like bump steer and makes the suspension work in the full range of motion it was designed to. The other benefit to the TTRS aluminum piece is that it is 4 lbs. lighter than the cast stock Beetle piece in additional to being far more substantial as you can see in the photo below. The aluminum TTRS drop spindle is on the left and the stock cast Beetle piece is on the right:
APR Australia worked with Harding Performance to create a polished aluminum lower control arm. In addition to being much lighter and stronger than the Beetle's stamped steel pieces, APR Australia says these are designed to gain 1.5 degreese of positive static caster, providing an "Anti Lift/Dive" advantage. Finally APR has installed an adjustable lower ball joint that gives us the ability to adjust camber. In the below shot you can see the new drop spindles and aluminum lower control arms:
Overall the entire chassis has gotten a ton of upgrades, from stronger lighter aluminum pieces to the upgraded bushings to the H&R suspension package. We can't wait to see how significant the improvements are. You can find more information on H&R's complete lineup at their website www.hrsprings.com.
VOLKSWAGEN RACING SIX-PISTON 13.85" BRAKES
With significant power comes the significant need to slow the car down. APR is the sole distributor for Volkswagen Racing's full line of performance upgrades and we felt this would be a great compliment to our project. Volkswagen's stock brakes are usually more than adequate for most uses. Even if you plan to run at the track, making an upgrade in the brake pads and changing the brake fluid to a high performance blend that can widthstand high temperatures makes a world of difference. Where a big brake kit like this one comes into play is when you need to repeatedly make stops from high speeds. The larger 13.85" slotted and ventilated rotors have more surface area and dissipate heat much faster than the stock rotors. The Volkswagen Racing six-piston calipers also have a much larger braking surface area with more even distribution of clamping force. The larger calipers are forged from aluminum and are lighter than the stock calipers. The design of the caliper also permits changing out the pads without removing the caliper which will be nice for those times we want to run a more aggressive race compound pad.
The Volkswagen Racing brake system is available in your choice of black, blue or red calipers, so we choose to go with the blue calipers.
In the rear we upgraded the stock Beetle rear brake calipers to the blue Golf R32 calipers that are larger and match the blue at the front end of the car.
For more information on the Volkswagen Racing brake system, check out APR's website HERE.
In our next installment we dive into the engine upgrades. Tons of photos and lots going on there so stay tuned...
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I have most of the article ready to go but need to clarify a few things to make sure it is correct. This Stage IV is mostly identical to the MAX R Stage IV but there are a few differences here and there with the EA888 versus the Golf R's EA113. Just want to make sure we've got everything correct. It will go up before noon tomorrow (Monday).
APR has a brand new engine dyno and super flow bench that are almost done, but not quite finished. We've decided to hold off on the head work specifically till after SEMA when the engine dyno and flow bench are complete. Previously APR used computer software to simulate different flow characteristics and that will continue. However they will also ensure that what is seen in the computer simulations happens in the real world on the flow bench. Since this EA888 project is unique, we told them it was fine to hold off on that work specifically. So we'll see what kind of power we make without the head work and with it. Should be interesting to see.
Meanwhile the rest of the Stage IV is done and I believe back in the car. Hopefully I'll have first start-up video on Monday (tomorrow). The engine and trans are back together and installed in the car late on Friday. We always have a delay getting photos to us as the guys work late at night and Arin gets in the next morning to download photos and get stuff to us. Then we need to make sure what we are putting up is factually correct (best we can) and then build it out and make it live.
Schedule for this week should be:
Monday - Engine Build
Tuesday - Engine and Trans mated and back in car - engine fired up and driveshaft dealt with
Wednesday - Seats installed/background and vehicle wrap gets put on car
Thursday - wheels (temporary for now - more on that later) and car gets loaded up for SEMA
Saturday - planned wheels go on car (hopefully) as does rear wing (hopefully again). Then out around Vegas area for photo shoot. Nothing like last minute!
Sunday - Super Beetle is rolled into SEMA show and first final beauty photos will be posted.
I'll be meeting the car out in Vegas to finalize the wheel and spoiler stuff. Then shoot the car out around Vegas area. I'll be making facebook updates soon as I hit the ground on Saturday with photos of progress. I'll also post up some photos once the car is in the show. Then I fly back home Sunday night. Repack, head to Jetta Hybrid first drive in Sante Fe Monday and Tuesday and then back to SEMA show Wednesday through Friday. Wednesday and Thursday the car gets judged for a potential Sony Gran Turismo award and Thursday night we'll find out if we won (would be cool as the car would get rendered as an add-on to GT5, but we're happy no matter what!). After SEMA the car will go to VW HQ on display for a little while then back down to APR for head work and anything else we need to tweak.
So we should have plenty to talk about for a while!
Going to be a nutty week ahead!
07- Engine Work Begins
So begins our engine build...
Our plan all along is to be able to break into the 500hp realm with the EA888 2.0T that comes stock with the Beetle. However we don't want to slap a big turbo on this just to make crazy peak horsepower with lousy low end. That whole wait, wait, wait, wait, whoooooooosh-slam-redline rubber band thing just doesn't appeal to us. We wanted to make some decent peak power but still retain bottom end pull as much as possible. APR set out to accomplish just that with their MAX-R Golf R project and we wondered if the same could be done with the EA888 2.0T which is the newer version of the 2.0T than what is in the Golf R. After a few phone calls with APR, we felt confident that we could reach 500hp and still have a powerband with decent power under the curve.
What APR's guys are going to do is install what they call a Stage IV turbo upgrade to our stock 2.0T engine. This will be a completely built motor that gets completely torn down, bored and honed .5mm over and rebuilt with a large number of upgraded and new components. To give you an idea of the number of pieces involved, take a look at the photo below of the rough equivalent of what we are doing (this photo is of the Golf R engine Stage IV which is nearly identical):
The complete list of mods includes:
- APR Stage IV GTX Turbocharger System
- APR Boost Tap
- APR High Pressure Fuel Pump
- APR Low Pressure Fueling System
- APR Rail Pressure Release Valve
- APR Intercooler System
- APR Stage IV ECU Upgrade with ESP Delete
- APR Stage IV High Flow Head
- APR Stage IV High Flow Intake Manifold RF Delete
- APR Stage IV Low Pressure Fueling System
- APR Stage IV High Strength Coated Pistons & Wrist Pins
- APR Stage IV High Strength Connecting Rods & Bearings
- APR Stage IV Balanced Rotating Assembly
- APR RSC Turboback Exhaust System
- DXD Racing Stage III Clutch
- Volkswagen Racing Short Shifter
So here is our stock Beetle 2.0T EA888 engine:
So the entire engine is torn down completely and any parts that will be used again will get a thorough ultra-sonic bath. Once that's done the block is bored and honed .5mm over to give the new pistons and rings a chance to seat properly. APR then painted the block red:
APR is testing suppliers for various components including the rods and pistons. Here are the new rods which get installed into the block. These will use the Golf R's ceramic bearings:
The crank is also balanced which means removing some material at key locations:
Once the bottom end is buttoned up, we move on to the head. We plan to do head work to improve air flow through the head. However APR's new engine dyno and flow bench aren't quite complete, so we are going to wait to do the head work after SEMA when we've got more time. So the Beetle's head is reattached to the top of the block:
One of the keys to this project is to try and maintain decent low-end torque as much as possible while achieving high-end horsepower to get us to 500hp. For this project APR recommended using the GTX2867R Turbocharger from Garrett Honeywell. The GTX2867R is a new turbocharger unit from Garrett that offers a lightweight billet compressor wheel with "next generation geometry" for extremely fast turbocharger spool and high-end airflow numbers. It’s able to spool very quickly while still offering the headroom necessary for top end power.
In order to mate the GTX unit to the 2.0T it will need a new manifold, new exhaust, new oil and coolant lines, new turbo inline, new turbo outlet, boost and vacuum references lines, wastegate brackets and software modifications among other things. For an exhaust manifold we are using APR's trick Iconel manifold:
APR's exhaust manifold is made from Inconel 625, which is a very high temperature nickel-chromium-based superalloy designed to withstand extreme temperature changes without expanding, contracting, melting or cracking under stress. This material is expensive material and a PITA to machine. APR's piece is also investment cast which results in a denser material and then CNC machined at their shop. APR has also designed the manifold so that the exhaust pulses are timed to hit the turbo charger at equal intervals for optimum spool characteristics.
Here is the engine with most of the bolt-on upgrades complete:
On the other side we can see the GTX turbo, the Iconel manifold and APR's turbo hoses:
With AWD now in the car, one of our main concerns is a clutch/flywheel upgrade. We need to have an extremely robust system in place as 500hp and AWD can be an easy recipe for a fried clutch. For this particular installation we're using a DXD Stage III Endurance Clutch System:
The Stage III Endurance system is designed for road racing. It’s able to hold quite a bit of torque due to the increased clamping force of the pressure plate and the increased coefficient of friction on the Kevlar disc.The flywheel is also upgraded with a DXD single mass steel design that’s made from hot rolled low carbon steel. It’s resistant to warping and perfectly suited for the disc’s friction materials. The lightweight flywheel will eliminate rotating mass attached to the engine, freeing up a little more power. The flywheel is being installed here:
So we head back to the transmission next. If you remember we had the wrong front limited slip differential sent to us. Well the proper unit arrived and we are finally able to get our transmission back together. So in order to more easily fit the bearing race over the differential it needs to be heated up:
Then the race gets installed on our now complete front limited slip:
Driveline lash then needs to be measured and shimmed if necessary:
While the transmission was out, we also installed a Volkswagen Racing Short Shift Kit to shorten up the shift throws:
Next we move to the front where we have started installing APR's front mount intercooler. This new intercooler has an expanded surface area, aluminum end tanks and will help keep those charge air temps a bit lower:
While that work is going on, we need to mount the Golf R saddle gas tank and deal with the fuel filler neck. To mount the tank requires new tank straps to hold it in place:
And here is the tank installed and buttoned up:
Next the Beetle's fuel fill neck needs to be mated to the Golf R's fuel fill neck. APR used fuel rated hose from their motorsports applications to connect the two pieces together. They also heated the two ends to give the tube ends a bead roll for the hose and clamps to grip:
Lastly, APR grabbed the traction control switch out of the Golf R and wired it up into the Beetle where it will be hidden in the glove box for now till we can get a proper Beetle ESP off button:
So our countdown to SEMA continues. Things are coming together quickly and we'll have lots of do over the next several days. Stay tuned for our next installment coming very soon...
2012 Platinum Grey Turbo Beetle, S1 & S2 APR Carbonio intake, APR Stage 2 ECU tune, Pioneer nav/dvd, Koni Coilovers, 3" SPM Turbo Back exhaust, Clutch Masters FX400 clutch & flywheel, USP ESP switch, USP SS Brake Lines, SPM Engine/Trans/Dogbone mounts, SPM Intecooler, Diesel Geek Short Shifter, Custom Powdercoated Audi Flat Fives, Custom Leather Interior, more to come.... Build thread
Just a question...Why didn't you go with a bigger turbo? Isn't this turbo only rated to 475hp? I would imagine this turbo would have trouble getting the power you're looking for. The AWD drive-train and stock head (temporarily, I know), aren't these going to be limiting factors for your power goals? I might be talking out my rear right now, but I would think the GTX30 series would have been a better option for your power goals.
'00 Beetle, 1.8t T3S60, Brute Rods, Supertech Valve train (stock cam shafts for now), port and polished small port head, custom FMIC (pain in the a** on a Bug!), Bosch 440cc injectors, 3.5FPR, Catch Can, 2.0 Coils with Iridiums, Wilwood BBK, too much other stuff to list, too much $$ spent.
08 - PUTTING IT BACK TOGETHER
TICK, TOCK, TICK, TOCK...
SEMA is looming large and things are moving along - and rapidly. Lots to cover in this update, so let's get rolling...
Here is a quick shot of the engine back in the Beetle with APR's Carbonio carbon fiber cold air intake system:
And a view underneath where the TTRS aluminum front subframe and aluminum lower control arms are all buttoned up:
A last minute decision was made to use Volkswagen Racing camber adjustment plates up front. This will give us the most latitude when it comes to suspension setup:
Then it was off to the laser alignment rack:
There are a few more mechanical bits to address (driveshaft, exhaust and some shake down runs) but things are more or less ready mechanically for SEMA. So next we move on to the exterior...
One of the difficult things about this project (beyond pulling off an AWD conversion and complete motor rebuild in two weeks) is what to do with the exterior on our Beetle. The new Beetle has only been on the market for a short time and started to look high and low for any kinds of exterior mods that might be available. We called our friends at fifteen52 and they told us about a couple new products available from a Japanese company Alpil Newing that fifteen52 would be selling here in the States. They make a complete front and rear bumper replacement that we thought might work. We are critical bunch over here and didn't want to end of with some horrible Fast and Furious looking shogun kit. The Alpil pieces have a Porsche-esque design to them and would fit well with our performance theme. So fifteen52 rushed out one of the only sets in the U.S. and, if time permitted, we'd mount them up and see how they look.
Our first test fitting was the rear bumper which has cutouts for either the stock location or a centrally mounted dual tip system. The stock cutout slugs can be seen taped in place in this photo:
After looking it over we discussed it and decided to go the central exhaust route and use APR's Golf R exhaust system (modified for this application of course) with the optional Diamond Black exhaust tips. Why black? We'll get to that in a minute. So went ahead and did the fill work on the stock exhaust openings and also prepped the piece for mounting and to remove mold lines and other minor things from the bumper:
Next we slid the Alpil front bumper on to see how it looked. In the photo below the bumper is not bolted in yet, but you can see that the bumper uses all the stock mounting locations. The light color makes it a little tough to see the details, but overall the fit was pretty decent and only require some minor tweaks:
While the sanding and prep work were done to the bumpers, we moved on to the overall car color. With our Beetle RS project we decided rather than repaint the car, we would try a vehicle wrap to see how it looked and holds up to daily use. A vehicle wrap is a specially designed vinyl material similar to what you find at a sign shop. This vinyl is designed to stretch a bit (especially when heated up), be repositioned during installation and have built in air channels that let some air escape to avoid bubbles. It is far cheaper to apply to a vehicle than a show quality paint job and if we don't like it, we can always peel it off and try a different color.
A few years ago the only vehicle wrap colors you could get were matte black, white, military green and a small handful of other colors. Today there are a wide variety of colors and we poured over lots of color charts trying to find something that would fit this project. We've always been a fan of Volkswagen's Rising Blue which is a signature color on the Golf R and Volkswagen's own Scirocco race cars. If we could find it in a matte finish even better. It turns out that a German vinyl company Oracal, just introduced 75 new colors back in July and one is nearly a dead match for a matte version of VW's Rising Blue. The Oracal color is called Azure Matte Blue Metallic.
So the installers showed up this morning and started working on wrapping our Super Beetle. First up is the roof:
With two people these large flat surface are easy to do and it is easy to make solid progress. Next we move on to the sides where the door, sills and c-pillar are done from one large sheet. Notice that the material can be lifted up and repositioned until pressure and heat are applied:
Here you can start to see that this particular color, while being a matte blue, also has a metallic in it and has different hues depending on the light. Another view from the front where you can again see the Alpil front bumper:
The next photo below is probably the best at showing the dynamic properties of this particular wrap material. We can't wait to get it outside...
And lastly how it looks once the material is down:
So it is about 11pm on Tuesday night and the truck comes to pick up our Beetle at 3pm tomorrow (Wednesday) to take it to SEMA. Expect a few more updates between now and then...