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Thread: How come the 20V T is such a money pit to get power from?

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    S3 Paul's Avatar
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    How come the 20V T is such a money pit to get power from?

    I was thinking this the other day while out at a mates tuning shop.
    I saw 3 honda's and a corsa make well over 400bhp at a lot less expense than ive spent to get 300 !
    I mean reliable power too ,
    The corsa was a C20 LET built to take the power of a GT40 turbo, Yes it cost more than mine but to make 500/550 bhp i imagine i would need to spend double what he has ,
    These engines are getting old and common now so why still the crazy expense?
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    Depends on how you go about it... you can get big power for cheap... 300 quid ebay journal bearing GT30 for example and an XS power style manifold can be had cheap enough...

    Doing it right to make it reliable can get expensive and there isn't loads of off the shelf stuff like DP's etc available for 20v's like there is for other engines...

    Just because some has got 400hp for 500 quid doesn't mean its been done right... fabrication and labour add to the subjectiveness of this discussion tbh...

    Bosch ECU is not DIY friendly tuning wise and you can get power on basic tuning principles on some of the aftermarket ECU and more basic stuff like some of the Jap cars run...

    At the end of the day, parts cost what parts cost as does labour... from a cost perspective there isn't a huge gap to getting 300hp/400hp out of a 20v... 300hp can be got from pretty much bolt on upgrades (and remap to suit)... 400hp is a little trickier as fabrication is normally involved and that where costs can get larger

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    I would say 300hp out of an S3 is plenty without going wild on the costs?? If you want more power then perhaps buy an S4 and tune that to get some big power relatively easily...

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    Could you spend £150-200 on a corsa or type-r and get an extra 50-70bhp from its stock level of tune? Im guessing not. Arent all cars a money pit at the end of the day lol i just choose to bury mine in a 20v T

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    And personally speaking, soon as you get into a Jap car you want to get straight back out again.. looks and feels tacky and sh*te versus an Audi which have the best cockpits in the business imo - even vs a similar aged 996 i drove which was horrible with tacky tip-tronic buttons and dated dash pod etc - yuck

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    I've never seen or owned a Honda that was cheap to get over 400bhp

    I don't think our cars are that bad to get any decent power out of.

    I'd guess most engines need plenty of money to double the horsepower over standard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3 Paul View Post
    I was thinking this the other day while out at a mates tuning shop.
    I saw 3 honda's and a corsa make well over 400bhp at a lot less expense than ive spent to get 300 !
    I mean reliable power too ,
    The corsa was a C20 LET built to take the power of a GT40 turbo, Yes it cost more than mine but to make 500/550 bhp i imagine i would need to spend double what he has ,
    These engines are getting old and common now so why still the crazy expense?
    how come every post from you is like this?
    lol

    sell it... its clearly not agreeing with you

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    Quote Originally Posted by feck_on_a_stick View Post
    I'd guess most engines need plenty of money to double the horsepower over standard.
    I'd be inclined to agree...
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    Manifold.. £99
    AUDI TT A3 A4 S3 1.8 20V TURBO T25 STAINLESS STEEL EXHAUST MANIFOLD | eBay

    Turbo... £184
    GT3076 Turbocharger Turbo T25 Flange Nissan 200SX S13 | eBay

    This is the sort of kit that gets used by the jap guys....

    400hp can be got very cheaply if you put your mind to it... I personally like my roller bearing GT turbo and neat little Tial wastegate

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    Quote Originally Posted by <tuffty/>;
    Turbo... £184
    [URL="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GT3076-Turbocharger-Turbo-T25-Flange-Nissan-200SX-S13-/380429138444?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM& hash=item589357fa0c"
    GT3076 Turbocharger Turbo T25 Flange Nissan 200SX S13 | eBay[/URL]
    Show that turbo sustained high boost and it will just fall apart....
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    Chugger

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    People never let on the true cost of tuning there cars as most would be embarrassed to say how much they have spent on there cars/chucked down the drain. Some cars are very easy to tune, supras and skylines have massive gains with simple mods, but on a whole I reckon the 1.8t isn't too bad, it's cost me under £1500 to get from 210 to 285bhp.... That's a 35% gain without any major engine work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportstractor View Post
    People never let on the true cost of tuning there cars as most would be embarrassed to say how much they have spent on there cars/chucked down the drain. Some cars are very easy to tune, supras and skylines have massive gains with simple mods, but on a whole I reckon the 1.8t isn't too bad, it's cost me under £1500 to get from 210 to 285bhp.... That's a 35% gain without any major engine work.
    That doesn't sound too bad. Have your MPGs dropped significantly from standard when driving normally at 70 mph - i see your ave is 24.4 which i remember only to well from my expensive S4 days - eek !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by badger5 View Post
    how come every post from you is like this?
    lol

    sell it... its clearly not agreeing with you

    haha
    Totally agree with you there Bill...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sportstractor View Post
    People never let on the true cost of tuning there cars as most would be embarrassed to say how much they have spent on there cars/chucked down the drain. Some cars are very easy to tune, supras and skylines have massive gains with simple mods, but on a whole I reckon the 1.8t isn't too bad, it's cost me under £1500 to get from 210 to 285bhp.... That's a 35% gain without any major engine work.
    Don't forget its not all about the engine tuning.... typically there are brakes and suspension to factor in too...

    Overall cost I have prob spent as much on my car over the 4 years of ownership as it cost me to buy... some of that is service related, most is in mods... its that old chestnut of do I spend squillions sorting the car you currently own or sell it and buy a faster one... that too is as subjective as the answer to the original post...

    My S3 is a hobby as is the work I do on her... it costs what it costs but I don't have bottomless pockets and I am lucky that I can the work myself and have access to facilities that make life easier...

    <tuffty/>
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    I've found that you can cut the costs in half if you're able to do the work yourself. I dread to think what the labour charges would have been for the work we did over the weekend
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westy View Post
    I've found that you can cut the costs in half if you're able to do the work yourself. I dread to think what the labour charges would have been for the work we did over the weekend
    I completely agree.

    With the amount of times my head has been off, I could have bought a house with what I would have been charged in labour.
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    I would probably go as far as to say, if you can't do the work yourself and don't have endless amounts of money then don't bother aiming for massive power. I only attacked my engine because I was willing to so it myself.
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  19. #18
    Welly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westy View Post
    I only attacked my engine
    I have an image in my head of you going for you engine with a hatchet...
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    Plus vag tuners like expensive cars and holidays and how else are they meant to do that?? for me the s3 is a good medium. its well biilt and a stage one map makes it a bit more entertaining. in my opinion tufty is bang on. it costs no more between 300-400 bhp. or very little difference. id sooner go big turbo than stage two as the extra costs in comparison to power gain. maybe im wrong but thats my thoughts. maybe you need a scooby or evo??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Welly View Post
    I have an image in my head of you going for you engine with a hatchet...
    I went all Chuck Norris on the DP to get it away from the subframe lol
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  22. #21
    S3 Paul's Avatar
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    Bill.
    As ive told you many times before...
    Its the over all car i like. NOT the fecking engine.
    I cant sell as im way too deep in it to not hang myself with the loss of abot 15k when i do sell
    Fabrication and such is there whatever car you have. There are enough off the shelf turbo kits on the market,
    Noggy Blue 2001 S3

    I ask questions because i change my mind so much. If i ask questions you have already covered... just leave it be?

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    knoxie's Avatar
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    i dont see how you come to this conclusion, when i had my gti6 i had to choose between selling up and getting the s3 or going mental with the credit card to get it supercharged, with selling the car buying mine + mods its worked out about 2 grand cheaper to reach similar power with alot more luxury the s3 brings

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    Chugger

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    Quote Originally Posted by brasiliangringo View Post
    That doesn't sound too bad. Have your MPGs dropped significantly from standard when driving normally at 70 mph - i see your ave is 24.4 which i remember only to well from my expensive S4 days - eek !!
    Lol that 24.4 is actually premapping mpg, it has actually risen since stage 2 mods and remap, although this might be down too my binding rear brake calliper being replaced at the same time
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3 Paul View Post
    ...There are enough off the shelf turbo kits on the market,
    Having dealt with a few I would rather do it all myself tbh... not seen one yet that didn't needed modding in some way to make fit on came with sub standard components that are barely suitable for the environment they are destined for...

    As said, cost is too subjective to comment and while you can get the power on a shoestring it is usually at the expense of any sort of long term reliability... I have seen more than a few home built big turbo setups that are not going to last and most often as not have something that is potentially dangerously wrong..

    Its appealing to have a 'kit' but in my experience they very rarely are an out the box solution...

    <tuffty/>
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  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by <tuffty/> View Post
    Having dealt with a few I would rather do it all myself tbh... not seen one yet that didn't needed modding in some way to make fit on came with sub standard components that are barely suitable for the environment they are destined for...

    As said, cost is too subjective to comment and while you can get the power on a shoestring it is usually at the expense of any sort of long term reliability... I have seen more than a few home built big turbo setups that are not going to last and most often as not have something that is potentially dangerously wrong..

    Its appealing to have a 'kit' but in my experience they very rarely are an out the box solution...

    <tuffty/>
    I will have to agree with Tuffty with the off the shelf Turbo kits

    I have the CTS one and have to say that i didn't use most of the parts in it and i had to modify the down pipe as they don't come with a O2 sensor bosses for some reason, I had to make some better water lines and a better oil return.

    Yes the kits arn't that cheap and if i had to do it all over again i would do it myself.

    Parts arn't that cheap for the good stuff but if you compare the prices of the parts to convert a Cosworth to 500 bhp they arn't that bad to parts needed for a 500 bhp S3

    My only bugbear with 1.8t 20v engine when tuning is that they need lots of boost to get good figures, They really need a good set of cams to increase flow.

    Time to spend £600+ for some new Street/Strip IE cams and lifters
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    Try tuning a Cosworth lump, 10K up for reliable power ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ayfreetee View Post
    Try tuning a Cosworth lump, 10K up for reliable power ;-)
    Half that if you do it yourself, i did.

  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3 Paul View Post
    Bill.
    As ive told you many times before...
    Its the over all car i like. NOT the fecking engine.
    I cant sell as im way too deep in it to not hang myself with the loss of abot 15k when i do sell
    Fabrication and such is there whatever car you have. There are enough off the shelf turbo kits on the market,
    trouble is you have spent money, with your choice of provider, gone down a particular route and got what you got....
    Not knowing (or to be honest caring either) how much you have spent to get 300bhp, I am pretty sure the same money could have got more...... but is that the actual point of your post? I'm not sure.

    20v engine rocks.. and is extremely tunable
    Doing the job properly (imho) vs cheaply are'nt neccessarily the same thing.

    plenty of "kits" which when it comes down to it are shyte..... ill conceived, poorly engineered, and will of course go on to cause issues and angst.

    Given your logic.... and "investment" *cough* - lmao - in the S3......... you will have it for life... and be unhappy with some aspect of it for equally as long. Burn it.. sell it... but ffs, why keep bemoaning about it.. lol
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    Imo the 20v t is the best starting blocks and one of the cheapest to get power from... Go get a 182 clio sport and if you dont kill yourself with torque steer first then try and tune that cheaply... Beat value for money is a turbo and itll be unreliable.... Turbo cars are always the cheapest to go for and starting with a good basis like the VAG setup and quattro system will keep a smile on your face for many years with little *fettling* and massive reliability....
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    So how does anybody fancy putting a ballpark figure on a properly done BT conversion on a standard well looked after S3 that already has the suspension and brakes sorted? Just a price for the necessary hardware? I'm interested to see how that compares to kits or the jap scene.....
    Badger 5 tuned 340 bhp / 350 lbft sleeper

  32. #31
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    It all depends on what power you want?

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    One thing that puts me off is the access at the back of the engine for doing the work. I know if you do it right you should only need to do it once but it's not a very nice space to work in. I'll just settle for my remap for now,I would like about 300 BHP but I don't want it that bad.

  34. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ian52 View Post
    One thing that puts me off is the access at the back of the engine for doing the work. I know if you do it right you should only need to do it once but it's not a very nice space to work in. I'll just settle for my remap for now,I would like about 300 BHP but I don't want it that bad.
    Its not the best but tbh if going down this route you would have most of the engine bay apart anyway to do the work as you would be fitting rods and maybe swapping to a large port head (particularly for BT conversions) so working in the limited space is academic... if fabricating the downpipe (for anything other than a K04) then you need to work with it all in place anyway...

    When I did mine I used a bare head during the mock ups as I knew it would be on/off a few times... its not as bad as you think as long as you plan what you do... there is generally a sequence to any build like this and you soon find out what it is...

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  35. #34
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    All engines have their tricky bits to get to. My old Civic had a big engine bay which made the B16 look tiny but still working under and around the inlet manifold was a complete tw@!

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    The words 'Honda' and 'cheap power' don't really go together. Honda bolt on stuff cost the earth, intake kit, manifold+ system, cams and k-pro will set you back almost 4k

    K-pro map 1k+
    intake itg £400
    manifold £600
    ex system(not powerflow or the like)£600
    cams £600-£800 + what ever cam gears cost.
    gain 40/60 hp?
    Stend 4k to see 240-260hp
    300 hp Supercharger kits cost 3k+, not fitted or mapped. 400hp kits with low comp pistons are anyone's guess cost wise.

    On the other hand C20 LET is a great engine to get power from at 20vt prices, spent 3-4k on a 20vt(k04) and you'll gain anything from 100-170hp, spend that on a C20 LET and the gains are bigger 150-250hp.
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  37. #36
    "Stick a V8 in it!"

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    What people seem to forget, is that the costs for going say 330hp on a hybrid K04, and 450hp on a big GT30 arent hugely different.

    The turbo and manifold cost roughly the same, both engines need rods and you'll just about get away with the stock pistons on the 450hp engine.
    All the surrounding mods (exhaust, intercooler, injectors, large port head etc etc) cost the same, mapping will be roughly the same etc etc etc

    Ok there might be a hundred quid here and there extra to sort out some of the bespoke bits required for the big turbo, but its not as though a hybrid costs 2grand and a GT30 costs 5.

    Now sure, you may be more inclined to properly build the engine with the GT30, and as such you'll blow a wodge of additional cash on the pistons and stroker crank, but its really not a huge difference, especially if the engines already in bits to fit the rods, its a couple hundred on a crank and 5-600 on some pistons.

    I think what makes it seem expensive, is that instead of properly planning a build, folk breinge in with the easy bolt on bits first, and end up having spent a tonne of cash on parts that will in effect end up in the bin if they then chose to go bigger. Spec creep also plays a part, and they tend to modify the car in stages, with each one meaning parts from the previous stage are wasted. If they started with a clean slate, it would be a different story!

    The other issue is that some people will be patient and shop around for bargains, others will want it all yestarday so will pay top dollar for new everything.

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  38. #37
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    Yeah that's why I don't understand people going hybrid etc. You still need a map, loads of work done and the rods etc. Why not do it properly once

    I'll get me coat.
    Handling mods++. HTA3582 stroker soon-ish. Hiding parts from the mrs since 2011. Build thread

  39. #38
    <tuffty/>'s Avatar
    Badger 5 Edition

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_ View Post
    Yeah that's why I don't understand people going hybrid etc. You still need a map, loads of work done and the rods etc. Why not do it properly once

    I'll get me coat.
    Main difference is the hybrid route is a natural progression for peeps that have bought all the usual stage 2 mods and whose turbo has expired... the investment is already done (arguably) and going from a stage 2 K04 (3" DP, FMIC, induction etc) is just a turbo, injectors and map away from 300hp... If starting from scratch (as I did with mine) then the line is fuzzier... I have excluded rods from this equation as thats arguably a given on most states of tune nowadays...

    There is still a market and a good reason to go hybrid depending on your current setup/hardware investment but I agree if starting from scratch its more compelling to look at the bigger picture...

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

  40. #39
    s3dave's Avatar
    TFSI Hybrid

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    The reason i went hybrid is because i wanted all the running gear ..drive shafts/clutch/haldex etc not to have an hard time, mine is my daily so that is what i figured out to be my best option, and also i dont like turbo lag, and you will get this with any BT setup, each to there own of course...

  41. #40
    Westy's Avatar
    Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    I must be the only mad fool that went from an expired K04 to a brand new K04
    8P A3 TDI - 220bhp - 335lbft
    A3 Maintenance Thread
    Bye bye S3 you will be missed.
    S3 Build Thread







 

 
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