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G60 Tuning Guide

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Quite a few G60's the forum now...here is some tuning hints The Basics Before you even start tuning your G60, and assuming you have a completely standard engine, you need to make sure that the engine and charger are in good condition. There is a common misconception that the G-Lader superchargers are a weak point and if you do not maintain them correctly this certainly will be the case. The engine's themselves are strong and their 4 cylinder 8 valve configuration makes them simple to maintain and to modify. Ensure that the engine always has it's oil and filter changed regularly. This is particularly important as the supercharger is fed the same oil and the engine via a thin braided high pressure oil feed which emerges from the right side of the head. Bearing in mind that a new supercharger will cost around £800, ensuring a clean and fresh supply of oil (VAG Synta Silver) is essential to preserve the G-Lader. The supercharger requires a strip down and rebuild after the first 70K miles. After this, the charger should be rebuilt at 40K mile intervals with this falling to 20K if you are running a 65mm or smaller pulley. Make sure that the engine is running well and ensure that components like temperature senders and knock sensors and their accommpanying wires are in good condition and functioning correctly. The same goes for the plugs and leads. Also get the lambda sensor checked as they typically begin to deteriorate after 40K miles. New one's aren't cheap at about £90 a pop for a genuine VAG item. It is also worth checking the compression on each cylinder before comtemplating forcing more air into the engine! Once it has been established that the engine is running fine it's possible to begin to think about freeing up some more power from the engine. Oil cooler The first port of call should really be an oil cooler kit. The G60 runs quite hot even in standard tune. There is a function on the MFA (the button on the end of the right indicator stalk) which gives you oil temperature. From start up, press the button 5 times and you'll see the oil temperature which begins to read from 50 degrees (Make sure that you keep the engine below 3000 rpm and don't use any boost until the MFA shows 80 degrees incidentally). Engine temperatures on a G60 can easily reach 120 degrees which are the levels which oil begins to struggle to effectively lubricate the engine. An oil cooler with a thermostatically controlled sandwich plate will help enormously to keep engine temperatures down. The oil filter is connected to a plate which VAG describe an an oil cooler which does a better job as an oil heater. It is essentially a water blanket which is designed to use the temperature differential between the oil and the water to cool the oil. In time it corrodes and can even lead to the oil and water mixing which is very bad news. With an aftermarket oil cooler, this is ditched in the exchange for a thermostatic sandwich plate which has a take off for an oil cooler. This means that the engine can heat up as quickly as possible and then only open up the circuit to the oil cooler when the engine raches 90 degrees for example. Only a small cooler is required. The cost of this is around £130. It will ensure longevity and will act as a solid basis to pave the way for "proper" modifications! One way of think of an engine is in the context of an air pump. If you ease the passge of the air into, through, and out of the pump you will effectively have a more efficient pump. Exhaust In the case of the G60 the first post of call should be an exhaust system. An exhaust system of a larger bore will help to get rid of exhaust gasses quicker and is also likely to see the car out if it's made of stainless steel. A decat pipe will also help to remove another flow restriction (Do bear in mind that on post 1991 cars is is necessary to have a cat fitted for the MOT). An uprated 4 brand manifold or modified down pipe and ported stock manifold will complete the possible modifications you can do to the exhaust system. One ting to consider before you begin to uprate your exhaust are the engine mounts. Stainless steel is thinner and more brittle than mild steel meaning that it is less resistant to flexing. The G60 is quite a torquey engine so it has a tendancy to wear through its engine mounts quite quickly. It's usually the front one which goes and symptoms include clonking when changing gear and excessive engine movement. It's the engine movement which can kill an exhaust. A solid engine mount is a good idea and not as harsh as it sounds as the engine mounts onto a rubber mounted metal bar anyway. Solid engine mouts are about £70, exhausts are approximately £300, decat pipes are about £50, a manifold is around £200, and porting the existing manifold and mating it to a new enlarged downpipe is about £300. Induction The next thing on the list should be freeing up the induction side of the engine. First off, an open induction kit is a waste of time and money. It' will only suck in hot air from the engine bay and end up sapping power. The induction needs all the cool air it can get as the intercooler isn't really up to much given its size and location. The standard VW airbox is probably the best vehicle to use when modifying the induction. It flows quite well, much like most VW induction systems. First off, if somebody hasn't already done it, remove the snorkel which attached to the front side of the airbox. This is a tuned pipe which quietens down the induction roar and serves to restrict the airflow into the airbox. Next up, replace the filter element with a cotton gauze filter (about £40). Foam ones have been known to let in small particulates into the 'charger which is bad news so avoid this type. Another good modification is the removal of the carbon canister and adding a cold air feed in it's place. Beneath the airbox is a black metal cylinder called the carbon canister. It's meant to clean the air which passes through it from the fuel return breather. By now it's probably degraded and completely useless. Moreover, it was an addition for the US market to accommodate their stringent emmissions regulations. Removing this leaves a good sized hole which leads direclty to the ground. It is now possible to fit a cold air feed which is taken from the brake duct and can leat right into the bottom of the airbox. This process along with the carbon canister removal probably warrants an article of it's own but a search on the forum is likely to reveal all. A handful of cars also run custom secondary airboxes connected to the second boost-return inlet to the charger. This is usually a custom job but is a good idea if you've got big plans for the engine. Charger Next we move to the charger itself. Perhaps the most common modification for any G60 is the obligatory, porting, chipping and fitting of a smaller pulley. The charger can be ported to "stage 4" spec which means giving it to the pros to get busy with a porting tool. A race ported charger sometimes known as "R1 spec" will see the axle suppport bars in the charger knife-edged and extensive porting undertaken internally to ensure maximum air flow. A "stage 4" port is approximately £450. This would, however, include a complete rebuild with new apex seals, bearings and oil seals. To make the most of this a smaller pulley can get the charger working a little harder. A 68mm pulley is the most common with some people running a 65mm pulley. The 65, however, makes the charger work outside of its "comfort zone" and not a lot of gain is made from making the charger work quite a bit harder. This is borne out by the halved service intervals explained above. A piggback chip which clips straight onto the circuit board of the ECU will accommodate all possible mods and ensure that the engine makes the most of it's increased air supply. Take a look at www.snstuning.co.uk for more details on EPROM upgrades. It is important to bear in mind that a chip will need setting up and is not as simple as a "plug-and-play" upgrade like an exhaust for instance. This is something else which is best left to somebody who knows what they're doing. Each chip will have it's own "map" or built in set of reference tables which are tailored to the modifications on a particular car so bear this in mind when ordering or having the car set up. An unsuitable map will have the car running like a bag of spanners! Intercooler Once the cooling, exhaust, induction and charger are sorted it's probably time to think about a large front mounted intercooler (FMIC). There are many iterations and variations on this theme with intercoolers used from Audi RS2's, Merc Sprinter vans, Golf G60's, Golf Rallye's and probably more. Alternatively, you can go custom and get one made up from a host of suppliers. A FMIC is a great way of getting more power as it lowers charge temperatures. A full explanation is available here of why a cooled charge is best: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercooled Price-wise a FMIC kit can cost from anything between £550 and £2000. Some kits work best with an aftermarket bumper or may require "modification" to the stock bumper. This usually involves a slight amount of cutting. Injectors Injectors are often subject to debate. The G60 comes standard with "Greens" (green coloured plastic housing on the injector) which are usually fine when running just over 200bhp. However, when the injectors duty cycle (the % of time that the injector is actually flowing) runs over 85% the fuelling becomes less controlled at the top end. It is at this time that it might be worth considering "Reds" which can flow more and retain a safer injector duty. This is less an "upgrade" than something which may become necessary depending on how far you wish to tune the engine. Head work Head work is something which is usually one of the last mods to be done. A cam with extended inlet and exhaust duration can change the charateristic of the engine. A more "lumpy" cam with move the powerband of the engine upward and cause the idle to become lumpy and unstable. A mild cam is usually sufficient which keeps the power band in the 3K-4K RPM area. The G60 engine is not an engine that needs to be redlined on every gearchange; bear in mind that the charger turns at 1.5 times engine speed! Coupling an aftermarket cam with porting the head will see massive gains in terms of driveability, torque and power. A cam will cost approximately £200 with a ported head can cost from about £500 upwards. Heads can often be done on an exchange basis. Once you're beginning to get into the 200+ BHP category it is well worth getting a VR6 clutch which can take a bit more power. Also don't for get your brakes and suspension! Beyond any of the above and you're getting into overboring, 16 valve conversions or hybrid superchargers which is somewhat out of scope of this article! Some useful web-sites General G60 tuning www.g-werks.com www.bahnbrenner.com www.drschrick.de Cams www.newman-cams.com www.pipercams.co.uk www.kentcams.com Exhausts www.magnexexhausts.com www.milltek.co.uk www.supersprint.com Intercoolers and other alloys fabrications www.forgemotorsport.com www.paceproducts.co.uk

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