2003 Jetta 1.8T Improvements

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Hey everybody, I'm an 18 year old guy from VA, and this is my first day on this forum, so yell at me if I don't give you enough information to respond right! =]

Around late December I got a 2003 Jetta GLX 1.8T.
I think the base price for that is somewhere around $30,000 USD? It was where I live...
Anyway, we got it as a service car, used for like Enterprise or whoever for renting it out, so it was used, but only had about 13,000 miles on it, and everything works wonderfully, so that brought the dealer down to about like 24 or $23,000 USD, but the guy was in a slump or something so we messed the shit out of him and held off until he was desperate. Ended up getting the car at a loss to the dealership around the 25th. Wonderful Christmas miracle, bought it for somewhere around 14 or 15,000. The car now has about 20,000 miles on it, and is used mostly for city driving and short freeway trips.

5-speed Automatic with Tiptronic manual gate
180 bhp, turbo
173 Torque

Here are the additions I'm planning...

O.CT STAGE 1 Performance Management Chip to take HP to 211 and TQ to 221
Suspension Kit and mild chassis lowering
18" Oettinger Alloy Wheels, type E
Milltek Catback Sport Exhaust (a 150hp car was measured at 168hp with the exhaust alone added.)

Ok, so here are my questions (you've come this far...=])... You can respond to any and all of these as you like and are able.

1. For anyone familiar, how much does a tiptronic manual gate as opposed to a straight manual transmission hinder the performance?
2. For anyone familiar with Chips... are they a good idea? Is there a better one out there?
3. For exhaust, can anyone testify to some real power gains? Are there any other benefits?
4. Is there anything I can do at home, like with valves or oil etc... to improve performance?
5. Is body styling (skirts, spoilers, etc...) worth the costs? Does it help anything but looks?
6. Can anyone testify to real beneficial changes in handling or performance with a suspension kit and alloy wheels?
7. Is there anything else out there to consider, either with these mods or others? What more can be done to a Jetta engine to improve it, and what kind of costs would that be?

Thank you to ANY and ALL responses. I know it's a long one, but I really appreciate any help on this topic as I am new to it...
Thanks again, Nick.

posted by  1.8TYetti

not the best of answers but, i can only think of one thing right now :ohcrap: i'll get searchin' later on in the evenin' and hopefully update my current list :wink2: right now check out the chip below.....

Neuspeed P-Chip - Horsepower is increased to approximately 220-223hp at the flywheels.

also check out www.upsolute.com

posted by  WeaponR

Do you know what that does for the torque by any chance? Ten extra horsepower for no torque increase wouldn't seem very desireable... Thanks for the reply!

posted by  1.8TYetti

1.) I would'nt say it "hinders" performance, its just not the same as a Manual. A Manual gearbox opposed to a Tiptronic sequential gearbox should'nt oppose that much difference in performance. Possibly a few ponies but nothing to worry about. :)

2.)Chips definetly a good idea if the manufactuer is well reputed. ECU chips that alter the fuel curves are good and take away the "guessing" on your behalf so you don't have to buy a AFC(fuel controller). You can either go chip, and trust a company who has put thousands of dollars into testing variables that increase engine performance. Or check out APEXi and get an AFC.

3.)Yes, exhaust have really good powergains. A high flowing cat-back exhaust could ad up to 10-30+HP and 5-15+TQ. Higherflowing exhaust is always good to take some restriction off your turbo. 3" would be best..

4.)Hmm this is a hard one. No in shorthand answer. Those fluids you see in PepBoys that claim to give you 5HP are fake also the Octane fuel boosters. I know guys who have ported out their intake heads, but unless you have any experience in serious modifications to critical engine parts I would say don't even worry about that. The best advice I could give to you would be get an aftermarket intake. K&N makes some good intakes, also AEM.

5.)Bodykits are supposed to help the aerodynamics of a car and this has allready been discussed HERE (http://www.car-forums.com/talk/showthread.php?t=3622&highlight=Body+Kits) In short term..no. They won't provide any siginificant performance, but they do look good. Hella hard to drive with, If you do get one I'd suggest leaving it un painted until you get adjusted. Cause most likley you will be replacing a bumper from some road gramblers.

6.)Depending on your car type aftermarket shocks and springs can do some good. I think the Jetta is one of them. It can increase performance in handling, skidpad, and slalom. This is a vast area to cover. Suspension is almost like the engine just as complex and takes lots of knowledge to improve. Google up some reasearch on suspension peformance for Jettas. You can start with Springs(Eibach is a leading company) Shocks(Koni,Tein) or Coilovers, wich could be a combination of any suspension company..

7.) Again another general question thats very vast. You could possibly go with a bigger turbo($500+) wich could involve a new exhaust manifold ($200-300). Simple CAI($50-120). High flowing exhaust ($300-550). Intake manifold($150-250). Thats just a basis, some of these are not good starting mods for certain cars again I can only lead you to water you gotta research what you want out of your car. Would you like higher 1/4 mile times, Better Top end etc...

Find out what you wanna do with your car then ask what can help you achieve those goals.

posted by  DSMer

Thanks for that reply. Hehe, very extensive and a lot of help. I'll do some research.

posted by  1.8TYetti

Around late December I got a 2003 Jetta GLX 1.8T.

Are you sure about this? Acc. to the numbers you posted, im not sure it is a GLX. The GLX is a V6. I may be wrong. Do you mean GLS1.8T or GL1.8T?

I think the base price for that is somewhere around $30,000 USD? It was where I live...

Look here (http://research.cars.com/go/crp/features.jsp?destURL=features.jsp&year=200 3&makeid=48&modelid=447&myid=4447&superTrim=&acode=USB30VWC031E0&logtype=7& aff=national) 30k USD would be a totol ripoff for a GLS or GL.

Anyway, we got it as a service car, used for like Enterprise or whoever for renting it out, so it was used,

Bad idea imo. Those cars are usually always abused severely by people who rent them. Hopefully you wont have any problems

5-speed Automatic with Tiptronic manual gate
180 bhp, turbo
173 Torque

Those are not GLX numbers. Check your facts or tell me im wrong

1. For anyone familiar, how much does a tiptronic manual gate as opposed to a straight manual transmission hinder the performance?
2. For anyone familiar with Chips... are they a good idea? Is there a better one out there?
3. For exhaust, can anyone testify to some real power gains? Are there any other benefits?
4. Is there anything I can do at home, like with valves or oil etc... to improve performance?
5. Is body styling (skirts, spoilers, etc...) worth the costs? Does it help anything but looks?
6. Can anyone testify to real beneficial changes in handling or performance with a suspension kit and alloy wheels?
7. Is there anything else out there to consider, either with these mods or others? What more can be done to a Jetta engine to improve it, and what kind of costs would that be?

Regarding modifications, i wouldn't get too into it. This car is FWD, and inferior to RWD and AWD in a lot of areas. Not only in modifications, but in safety as well. But, if you still like to mod, chips are proven to be very effective in nearly all VW/Audi cars.

posted by  importluva

FWD is'nt that bad... I would'nt necisarily call it inferior to RWD or AWD. They all have their ups and downs. I agree with imporluva though in wasting your time with pricey mods on a FWD. But if you like a lil kick in the kaboose everynow n then it won't hurt to spend a few 100 bucks on some nice looking engine components...

posted by  DSMer

This is from http://auto.consumerguide.com/auto/used/reviews/full/index.cfm/id/2404 (Consumer Guide) Consumer Guide...

2001 Volkswagen Golf/Jetta: Turbocharging was the big news for 2001. A new 1.8-liter turbo four, delivering 150 horsepower, became available for the GLS and was standard in the base GTI. Turbodiesel (TDI) engines were not sold in California or New York, due to their stringent emissions regulations. Volkswagen's V6 was standard in the Golf GTI VR6 (manual shift only) and Jetta GLX. A Jetta station wagon joined the sedan at midseason. Curtain-type side airbags became available, too.
<>
A firmer sport suspension also was newly optional for the Golf GLS 1.8T. Steering-wheel audio controls now were available in certain models. The GTI VR6 and Jetta GLX gained leather upholstery, and all cupholders were revamped.


The car was bought as a 2003 Jetta GLX 1.8T. All inspections done showed no problems and little wear, espcially for a used car. This GLS/GL/GLX confusion could stem from the fact that the car was custom designed for this company before we bought it, so it could have amenities or trimmings not usually stock in a 1.8T, thus warranting a convenient GLX logo for identification's sake. In either case, that article mentions it and that is what was sold to us, so I'm not really doubting it's legitimacy at this point, but thanks for looking out, hehe.

Again with the numbers, those are 1.8T numbers. It's possible that this GLX thing could even just be a typo, but that's the moniker we've been operating under. But if it's possible for this to be a Jetta GLX 1.8T, then those numbers are fine I think.

posted by  1.8TYetti

Im no VW expert, I just mentioned what i saw from a lil research.

But as long as the car is fine and you are happy, its all good.

posted by  importluva

Also, if this car is FWD, does that just make it pointless to mod? I'm a college student, so I have neither the time nor the funds to actually be trying to work this thing until it beasts an Enzo (joke.) I'm just trying to get the horsies and the torque up there with a susp to match to make for a sporty ride to have fun with, which is why I'm pretty damn disgusted with body kits to begin with.

Anyway, if this FWD thing will explode my car if I put a chip in it, is there any way at all to change that dynamic or do I just buy a different car? I've seen some 2001-2004 Jettas modded til they looked like spaceships with damn nice engines, so is this project totally hopeless?

EDIT: Please excuse my morning crankiness, my girlfriend just left for Pennsylvania for a while and I just got back from hooters and have a bad sunburn =)

posted by  1.8TYetti

Again its all matter of preference. You say you want something fun to toy arround with, well you went wrong getting the sequential shifter. Jettas in Manual are hella fun. So If I were you I'd slap on a nice exhaust and an intake and call it a day. Possibly kit it out if you want that real Jetta-Rice look..

posted by  DSMer

Also, if this car is FWD, does that just make it pointless to mod?

Dont get me wrong, theres nothing wrong with moding a FWD, people mod the hell out of Integras, Celicas, CRXs, you name it. After say 300whp, wheelspin will be a beyotch, and you'll need an LSD badly.

I'm a college student, so I have neither the time nor the funds to actually be trying to work this thing until it beasts an Enzo (joke.)

Exactly why i wouldnt be too worried about moding the Jetta, you obviously dont have enough funds to make a whp beast.

I'm just trying to get the horsies and the torque up there with a susp to match to make for a sporty ride to have fun with, which is why I'm pretty damn disgusted with body kits to begin with.

Anyway, if this FWD thing will explode my car if I put a chip in it, is there any way at all to change that dynamic or do I just buy a different car? I've seen some 2001-2004 Jettas modded til they looked like spaceships with damn nice engines, so is this project totally hopeless?

No, a FWD car will not explode if you put a properly tuned chip in it. You can safely mod the car and really enjoy it, just be sure to keep a limit and know when you are spending too much money on mods when you can buy a new, faster car stock. The jetta has a decent aftermarket, you should be able to find parts for good prices and really enjoy the car.

posted by  importluva

Haha, yeah wheelspin is bad. Especially if you wanna drag race. Nothing is worse to have a bad launch and your wheels spin for like 2-3 seconds. Its like loosing all your money before you even get going. But a Limited Slip Differential(LSD) is definetly something you WILL need if you plan on dragging. Don't get down, it is possible. I know lots of people who have Jettas and come to the races everynight and win a lil money against the civics....

posted by  DSMer

I hope for everyones sake they go and do research and disregard most of this stuff. I drive a 2002 jetta 1.8t (180hp) and the comments about wasting your time modding this car are truly retarded. Automatic transmissions are something like 5-15% less efficient than manuel transmissions. And have you ever raced a AWD car on the highway? LMAO those AWD guys act like the world doesn't know they suck on the highway.I'm just jumping from one stupid comment to another. As for a FACT. You will get about 200-215 to the front wheels with just a chip. TO THE WHEELS!!! As for blowing your 1.8t with a chip.....NO NO NO. this motor is a detuned audi mill capable of handling more than the chip with NO problems. Please don't listen to the guys that say "modding a fwd is a waste of time". I think there just mad you can mod your car so cheap and easy.

posted by  Blingswinger

This thread is nearly 3-yrs old....I'm just curious to know what your search criterior was. Tell me, how much of this thread have you actually read? My view on the situation is that powerful RWD or AWD cars tend to go better round bends than FWD cars do....Just seems obvious to me.

posted by  Cliffy

These are Facts.

1. Revo Stage 1 ECU for MKIV Factory Jetta 1.8t +20-50hp +67-75torque

This imformation is from Revo's sight. I have this ECU flash and it works. I've seen dyno runs showing 210 WHP on factory jetta 1.8t w/ revo stage 1 ecu.

2. In 2001 the 1.8t jetta had 150hp,in 2002 it was 180hp.

3. This is a Guy on the net with All you need to know.



The sole purpose of this guide is to go through in fair detail what it takes to get as much power out of a KO3/KO3S as possible in a reliable way. I’ve had experience with a 2001 GTI 1.8T of my own, and now with my girlfriend’s 2004.5 Jetta GLI 1.8T. We’ve recently dyno’d her car on a DynoJet and made 258whp and 322wtq, which to date, seems to be the highest dyno numbers anyone has ever achieved on the stock turbo. Therefore, I feel that going through the performance mod list would be very beneficial to anyone looking to crank some numbers instead of going straight to a bigger turbo.

GIAC X+ ... $500
4.3v Diode ... $2
Oil Catch Can ... $30
Cranked Wastegate ... FREE
(27psi Spikes, 15psi @ Redline)
GHL 3” Turboback ... $1000
Lemmiwinks Tuned ... FREE
Samco Turbo Inlet Hose ... FREE
ECS Magnetic Drain Bolt ... $10
NGK BKR7E Spark Plugs ... $12
Custom Hardline DV Return ... FREE
Golden Eagle Vacuum Manifold ... $75
Custom Front Mount Intercooler ... $400
ESE Colormatched Cold Air Intake ... $250
Relocated Forge 007 Diverter Valve ... $125
Bosch 4-bar Fuel Pressure Regulator ... $55
ECS Lightweight Underdrive Pulleys ... $120
Enginerd Coilpack Hold-down Brackets ... $35
Boostvalve Dual Stage Boost Controller ... $120
Custom 3-way switch
*Low*High*Low in 1st ONLY*
Newsouth Performance Powergasket Plus ... $70
N249 and Secondary Air Injection Deleted ... $10
Boost Cooler Water/Methanol Injection ... $370

TOTAL: $3184 I'll guess close to $3500 total.

That's 258hp 322tq TO THE WHEELS for less than 3500 dollars.

posted by  Blingswinger

I removed the link you provided due to it being in breach of our advertising regulations here at CF. I couldn't help but notice that you didn't explain how your car handles....I'd be interested. :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Awd is a total waste of HP. my opinion
RWD is great till it rains or snows.

and they all have there upsides... but you would be an ass if you forgot to mention mid engine rwd's that are superior to all. the point of this thread was a kid asking if or what he can do to his jetta. Not can you make fun of FWD with your ignorance. :thumbs:

posted by  Blingswinger

just go to VWvortex forums if you want intelligent jetta convo. :fu:

posted by  Blingswinger

I deleted your last post as it was inapropriate!

You mention that the comments made in this thread were ignorant, yet you say how AWD is "a total waste of HP". The truth is, you're bias towards FWD because you have modified one, therefore it's obviously the best thing sinse slices bread......:screwy:

Have you ever actually driven anything other than FWD cars?

posted by  Cliffy

You deleted my last post b/c it was full of fact and there's no place for that in this forum. The best you can do is delete what i say then try to attack me personally. What do you drive? And why do you feal the need to try to convince the world that FWD is bad?Last year 76% of all cars sold were fwd. Explain this to me. Or you can just go on deleting stuff i say that you don't like and pretend all that's important is getting the last word. :thumbs: It's obvious to me that this thread died because of bias censorship.(That means you find it easier to delete things than try to disprove them :screwy: ) Here's an idea why don't you respond to this intelligently. Or you could just say i deleted your post. RWD RULES !!!!!!! :wink2:

posted by  Blingswinger

I am not attacking you personally, and I think you know that. You are just pissed off that I deleted two links from you, and that was beacuse of the reasoning I gave you earlier. You might also like to delve back in to this thread and find my last post before today, and then tell me again that this thread died because I like to delete posts and am bias towards AWD cars. (Hint: there isn't one.....)

I also didn't say that FWD was bad. ANYWHERE. The reason most cars that were sold last year were FWD is that most cars that go into production are FWD....Stands to reason really, doesn't it? Most everyday cars are now FWD, at least they are where I'm from in the UK. You think I was being bias? :screwy: . For the record I drive a Citroen Xsara, not through choice, but because it was cheap and is ecconomical. I also couldn't care less what wheels are driven on it. It's FWD obviously, so no, I'm not all against them.

You still haven't answered my question about what cars you have driven, and what makes you so close minded and ignorant. I also have yet to find the post that explains how much of this thread you've actually read. It seems to me that it is infact YOU, who's avoiding the intelligent conversation in this thread, not me.

posted by  Cliffy

You go with your 9,000+ posts on cars LMAO i think your car pulls like .27g on the skidpad. I think my point is well proven. You just lost an arguement B/c you didn't delete what i said. :clap:

posted by  Blingswinger

Spoken like a true knobhead. I fail to see the truth in the above post, or your point, but then I think maybe that's the case for you, too! :screwy: :screwy:

posted by  Cliffy

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