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1.8t Cabrio K04 turbo upgrade (not the usual rubbish ones)

t.oldey Aug 5, 2015

  1. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    Hi so thought id share my experiences with my latest addon to my a4 cab.

    So my original turbo ended its life 2 weeks into owning this car. I had ordered a really nice oem replacement one however Yodel decided they would loose it... joys

    So needing my car back that weekend I set about finding another one that i could pick up the next day. Ended up buying a used k03 from an old b5 with no knowledge on miles etc.... but it only cost £60 so wasn't too fussed so long as it functioned.

    Well 10k miles later and its finally given up and started spraying oil out the case so it was time for a replacement.

    Now this time i was looking for something brand new and hopefully to give some more power. Now if you search k04-015 on ebay you are inundated with lots of shiney turbos for around the £150-200 mark. However its common knowledge that these are pot luck with if yours lasts 2 miles or 20,000 miles. However upon the search I came across one by a company called Mamba for around £530. Intrigued i delved deeper into what it was all about.

    So from the offset the images they used for the ad were superb, came with extra hoses, actuator springs for changing the rates etc, braided oil feed hose to replace the oem one that always blocks over time as well as a full fitting kit. Bargin in my eyes as that stuff all adds up.

    So i searched the company which id never heard of and its a relatively new company started by a guy who part owned another turbo company called Kinugawa which is fairly well know in the jap scene for cheaper replacement upgraded turbos.

    Now for one reason or another this guys left due to issues with his partner fiddling the finances. He wanted to improve on the quality of the turbos he designed for Kinugawa and thus Mamba was born.

    Anyway so there is little reviews out there about these new designed turbos apart from a few forum posts from some of the guys on the jap scene putting them in s13's and skylines and all of them had good things to say about the quality and figures they were producing.

    So the choice was buy an oem BW turbo from eurocarparts or take a punt and order one of the K04 pro kits they did for the A4.

    Specs:
    K03 externals bored out for slightly enlarged K04 billet internals with extended intake tip (stats stated rated for 260hp-300hp, no idea how true it is yet though)

    Being the type of guy I am I couldn't not test out something no one else id found had yet so i took to ordering one of the kits.

    It arrived within a week from Taiwan and upon opening the box i was pleasantly surprised by this beautifully built turbo. It came with all the kit mentioned above and a schenck core balancing sheet to show that its core has been properly balanced (an issue with other ebay k04 turbos).

    So pretty excited i went ahead and fitted this last weekend. All went really smoothly, old turbo out in an hour and then 4 hours to replace it and refill everything and flush the system etc...

    So onto the first drive. Well i primed the turbo before going out to make sure everything was properly oiled. So my car is running:

    Stage 1 Shark Remap,
    FMIC,
    Forge 008 DV,
    S2000 filter and custom heat shield,
    Silicone TIP,
    Custom cat back,
    etc...

    With the old turbo that was a bit rough I used to hit 1bar of boost which trailed off up to top rpm. First drive with this new turbo and the difference in acceleration was unbelievable. Boost kicking in with hardly any lag and topping out at 1.5bar its was like a completely different car. Now ive been driving it for a couple of hundred miles with no issues and been logging my AFR to make sure everything is safe and from what i can tell its all gone amazingly.

    I'm getting a slight boost cut at just over 1.5bar but i believe that is down to the stage 1 map and will be sorted once i have had a custom map done for the car and mods.

    So well thats my short write up about another possibility for people wanting more power from there a4's that don't want to go the many other routes you can go with turbos for a 1.8t.

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    Attached Files:

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  3. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    One of the most exciting reads ive had thus far on this forum. Thanks a lot for sharing all the comprehensive info.

    I only just got off the phone to a hybrid turbo company today (uk based) wanting to know more information on the hybrid route.

    Ive only ever seen 1 Cabriolet with an FMIC and it looked mean! Wish I had the photo. Looking forward to seeing what yours looks like.

    Any ideas on BHP now ?

    So glad you went ahead and Hybrid your motor. Totally set a bench mark for us Cabby owners.

    Dan.
     
  4. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    No worries Dan, always like to share my experiences with other owners so they can get another perspective on whats out there. :)

    Well the stage 1 map on the k03 was for 210bhp ish but honestly I have no idea what its producing now. Its difficult to calculate as its not strictly a k04 as the internals have been altered from a normal k04 to produce more power. I have found a place that does dyno runs near by though so will be over there once everything is in place for some testing. :)

    No word of a lie though the difference between what it was and what it is now is just chalk and cheese. I will be uploading a short review tonight from the unboxing and then another one after a few thousand miles as an update of how its going and if its still running fine.

    I will also record a video of the power delivery tonight on the way home so everyone can see whats what.

    received_10155812431620468.jpeg
     
  5. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    Its much appreciated as there is hardly any documented information on doing this for a Cabriolet. Everyone's talking about doing this to there A3 or A4 but not the Cabby. I think the main dfference being how the Turbo is mounted differently on our cars.

    With the great list of supporting mods youve got, i would expect it to fly now. An educated guess would be you're easily hittiing 240-60 BHP.

    I have read a number of times the engine can take up to 300BHP without forging the connector rods. If you're hitting around the above..its just great news for the 1.8T cabby as they are heavy cars as you know.

    That would be great if you are able to upload more info on the development of this. Very much got my eyes peeled for this! :respekt:
     
  6. beachbuggy

    beachbuggy Well-Known Member

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    They look good, I can say with some authority that the max power you'll see is around 250bhp though due to a couple of factors ..

    1) the stock turbine housing is very restrictive.. Unless you open out the ports and collector it will struggle.
    2) the stock k03 turbine housing is small and just doesn't flow like the k04 turbine housing, this again limits things
    3) the stock intercoolers choke.

    Basically you'll get their flow but timing figures will be low as a result which will hamper power.

    All that said the difference as you've found is night and day from the stock and worth while on the heavy cab to give it a good performance upgrade..
     
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  7. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    Thanks BBT for the info mate.

    You're actually the chap ive been trying to contact as I heard you're the 'man' for all this. Does your number still end in ***746 ?

    ..I would be over the moon with 250BHP to be honest on my tank of a Cabriolet haha
     
  8. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    Hi BBT,

    tbh 250 is all im aiming for out of this cab so anything close to that would be great. Im sure they have used modified K04 internals in this one which is why the extended intake tip was needed. Would need to look into it more however to confirm.

    I have just (if not a very crudely) posted my quick talk through and unboxing of the turbo on youtube. Forgive the awkwardness as I didn't quite realise how difficult it is to talk to yourself on camera :D

    Anyway for whats its worth to people the link is here:

    I will try and get a driving video up tomorrow to show it coming on boost and making progress through the gears
     
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  9. Northampton_ofn

    Northampton_ofn Active Member Team Votex

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    Subscribed!
     
  10. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    So think ive sorted the boost cut issue i had where it would stutter at 1.5bar. I have changed the spring in my forge 008 to the stronger one and it seems to have sorted it out. Im going to be pulling the plugs this weekend and changing them anyway for some better gapped densos which should also improve things.

    Will report back this weekend with videos and feedback :)
     
  11. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    Super mate,
    Great little review video, thanks for sharing. The turbo looks nice! Cannot wait to see your car in action.

    Glad you got the boost issue sorted.. maybe following your foot steps to the 'T'
     
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  13. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    SO thought id run by some updates after a few weeks of having it on the car.

    So while it has been awesome having so much more power in the old barge it hasn't come without its issues.

    So to start with I was finding I was getting a tap/popping sound from the front of the car on full boost and it would hesitate on WOT however if you dropped back on the throttle a little bit it would come back to life and absolutely fly. So after quite alot of research and endless possibilities I went for the cheapest readily available option of changing the plugs. This was down to the idea that the increase in boost was blowing out the spark on full load and causing it to detonate slightly later than it should have been so was getting whats called spark tap i think.

    The car was currently running some bosch super 4's and I changed them for some Denso TT20's I think they are called but will have to double check. So i regapped the Densos to .28 as recommended by people running higher boosting cars and mapped. The car now starts after slightly longer crank from cold however the the tap/pop on full loads has gone and it was back to the 2nd gear spinning animal it was previously.

    All good i thought... then I had 2-3 clamps fail while having a spirited drive with a mapped SAAB turbo, causing the pipework to pop off and car to stall. Pain but ended up buying stronger clamps and went round replacing them so they weren't going to come off again.

    All was well for another week until the car went into the dreaded limp mode.

    Now being a 1.8t owner in limp mode trying to find out why is almost the same as trying to shoot a tadpole with a BB gun from 10 metres away. You are going to eventually get it, no one knows how many shots it will take and everyone has a different opinion on the best way to get it.

    So anyway turned the car off and back on again and everything was back to normal and boosting as it should but maybe it was a placebo effect but it just didn't feels as hungry anymore. I checked all the usual suspects under the bonnet for splits and cracks but nothing really shone out to me.

    So plan is to pull it apart this weekend and properly check everything, test the actuator and maybe upgrade the spring in it to the stronger one they sent me, check the n75, pull the plugs and make sure they are healthy plus test anything else I can get to easily.

    The code I got from the Vagcom was:

    16618 - Boost Pressure Regulation: Limit Exceeded (Overboost Condition) P0234 - 001 - Upper Limit Exceeded - Intermitten


    So to summarise my hybrid turbo Cab experience.

    Amazing when it works, but don't undertake it unless your happy to get stuck in when things eventually go wrong.
     
  14. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    Another update to this this weekend.

    So went ahead and pulled apart the intake and pipework to try and find the limp mode I had come up last week. Ended up finding a huge split in the TIP right by the turbo intake. Had to patch it up as a temp fix with some high temp rubber glue compound until another one arrives. Also went ahead and fitted a new braided oil feed pipe that the kit came with. I had concerns the OEM one was restricting oil to the turbo and so as a precaution went ahead and changed it.

    Was pretty fiddly to get to all the bolts without taking anything off the car (didn't want to change coolant again) However with an extra pair of hands we managed to get the old unit off and subsequently found that it was very much blocked.

    New one came with all new fittings for either end and was a doddle to put on as its completely flexible.

    While on this turbo weekend also decided to start to mock up a new heat shield as I have been getting a fair amount of heat soak into the s2000 filter. Very rough template and already have another sheet to improve the design but from the initial model it seems to fit with the SAI and everything still there.

    Didn't get time to cut out the other sheet as the gf was moaning at me for spending the day in the garage covered in oil so will crack on when I get a chance.

    Also went round and upgraded all the jubilee clips to some better rated ones as a precaution.

    Initial drive tests and on route to work this morning are very good however, no limp mode, car pulls even better now as I think a pipe was letting out pressure due to a failed clamp and now the turbo has oil going to it!!

    Few pictures bellow of bits and bobs

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  15. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    Great comprehensive info mate.

    It has given me much food for thought as I eventually wanted to go the same hybrid turbo route but upon reading your post thought the straight swap K04 (with supporting mods) would be better as some tuners ive spoken to have said the same. Still undecided as im looking for the same BHP as you nothing crazy.

    In a way..glad you located the problem to be the TIP. Wll you get another 'Forge' Silicone TIP for better flow ?

    As a result of the power gain, upon your early test 'runs', do you think you'll need to uprate the injectors and clutch in addition?
     
  16. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    Food for thought is exactly what I wanted to give people by creating this little adventure thread.

    Yes the K04-015 is a straight swap however finding a genuine one is very hard to come by in my experience and all the other cheap Chinese replica ones are hugely hit and miss with the quality. The castings are usually alright but its the bearings in them that tend to go very quickly.

    Main reason I went for this one as it came with all the corresponding balancing information and looked like someone had actually taken care to build it which was evident when it arrived. And while the £530 upfront cost may seems pretty big, once you start costing up the adjustable actuator, braided oil feed, fitting kit and extra bits and bobs that come with it your looking at a hybrid turbo out the box for just over £400. Which by anyone's standards is a pretty cheap upgrade possibility.

    With regards to the TIP I will be buying a forge or Samco one as my previous dealings with 3 different cheaper versions all had defects and didn't fit properly.

    Currently I'm sticking with the standard injectors and clutch. Been logging and keeping an eye on how everything is running with the new power and once I'm happy I will be taking it for a test base dyno run and then one by one changing bits to see how everything gets affected.

    End goal is to change injectors, clutch, flywheel, 4-1 mani, decat, rest of the pipework, new discs and pads, bin off the Bentleys for some lighter wheels and then get it live mapped for peak performance, But currently that is a little way off as I'm just enjoying how it is now.
     
  17. Broken Byzan

    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User Audi A4 quattro

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    Won't be genuine, but could be a decent copy. Genuine is nearly 1k IF you can find one
     
  18. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, great read so far as It makes it very interesting knowing that you are the 1st (or second - I believe Beach Buggy Turbos has done this too) to put a hyrid in the 1.8t Cabriolet.

    Yes, Ive already had quite an extensive search and it looks like finding a genuine one at a good price is challanging. Im most definitely steering clear of Ebay turbos haha.

    Agreed, Its good you took your time with re-searching about it all. Surprised I've never heard of Mamba Turbos. Probably because he/they are relatively new. Cant fault the price too!

    My cousin is a mechanic and swears by the Forge Brand Or Samco like you say.

    Will be good to see how the clutch and injectors fair long term. Ive read both where some have been uprated and other remains stock.

    Great list of mods to come..Im certain they will really transform and finish off the quest for smoother power. Complete tranformation for the slow and heavy Cabriolet.
     
  19. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    So quick update on this boost adventure.

    So the turbo is still going really well. Haven't run into any problems now after the split pipe issues I had previously. Ended up biting the bullet and getting a Forge TIP which is great however it isn't a direct fit for (atleast my) A4. One of the ports for the pipes ended up being too big so I had to fabricate a spacer so that the smaller pipe would clamp onto the silicone.

    I have ordered a full pipe kit from samco as I was getting fed up of all the other branded ones not fitting atal (now all in the bin). Have also ordered an R8 coilpack conversion due to needing to replace them all anyway so why not get some fancy ones.

    Next stop this week is to tweak the turbo actuator slightly so it holds peak boost a little longer. Will grab pictures of all that happens this weekend for people.


    And completely off topic but ended up selling the Bentley wheels in the way for some of these. :)

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  20. S2Avant

    S2Avant Member

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    What's your cabby's original spec?
     
  21. Darran

    Darran Active Member

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    K03s is k04 internals in a k03 case and will easily give 250 bhp and their cheap!!!no mods to pipework needed either!
     
  22. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    An original B6 1.8T Cabriolet is 163Bhp with Ko3s Turbo. In the eyes of BorgWarner (the manufacturer of the turbo) there is no such thing as the Ko3s..thats just what we call it.

    Hello Darran, which turbo are you referring to?

    According to Borg Warner,

    With a straight through exhaust and remap, the safe BHP without overdoing boost is 220-230bhp for the ko3s

    The ko4 can handle 260-280bhp, with necessary pipework.

    Im talking safe figures, recommended by the manufacturer.

    Im not sure if anyone has higher dyno runs and reported everything being good ??
     
  23. Darran

    Darran Active Member

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    99% of b6 1.8t,s were fitted with a k03 not the s, the s has k04 internals and is pretty much what the OP has bought .A k04 will not give much more than 215 bhp even with remap ,what you gain is mainly economy,to get towards 250 bhp you gotta do some headwork and flow as beachbuggy says ,there is no such thing as just bolting something onto a car and gaining 90+ bhp without some serious engineering.The test of any new turbo is time.

    Personally I won't use any Asian parts as most of it is made from subgrade metal ,even the conformity stamps are not genuine as non of these parts are tested within the eu,kwikfit (ford) have had their fingers rapped for their arrow speed tyres (made in Korea) absolute junk and sub standard manufacturing yet they were stamped? I can list hundreds and hundreds of bad parts manufactured in **** all supposedly EU stamped but in actual fact its all bs .

    As far as **** manufactured turbos go the biggest problem is the sub standard seals,only time will tell.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  24. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    Well the specs of the turbos as a comparison are as follows:

    COMPRESSOR WHEEL
    Inducer: 39.3 mm
    Exducer: 56mm
    Extended Tip 59.2mm (Billet Wheel w/ Extended Tip)

    TURBINE WHEEL
    36 / 49.8 mm (K04 Performance High Inconel Wheel w/ 9 Blade)

    Turbine Housing : 5cm^2 High Inconel Turbine Housing


    And the info I can gather on the specs of a ko3, 'ko3s' and ko4 are:

    Ko3 - 97-2000

    COMPRESSOR WHEEL
    Inducer: 33.6mm
    Exducer: 46mm
    Tip height: 3.7mm

    TURBINE WHEEL
    Inducer: 45mm
    Exducer: 38mm
    Tip height: 6.8mm
    Blades: 11

    Ko3S - 01+

    COMPRESSOR WHEEL
    Inducer: 38mm
    Exducer: 51mm
    Tip height: 4.4mm

    TURBINE WHEEL
    Inducer: 45mm
    Exducer: 38mm
    Tip height: 6.8mm
    Blades: 11

    Ko4-015

    COMPRESSOR WHEEL
    Inducer: 35mm
    Exducer: 50mm
    Tip height: 3.7mm

    TURBINE WHEEL
    Inducer: 50mm
    Exducer: 42mm
    Tip height: 6.4mm
    Blades: 11

    Don't shoot the messenger if anything above spec wise is incorrect as it is a copy and paste job from someone elses thread. :)
     
  25. Darran

    Darran Active Member

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    Yes its a worked k04 ,my point is 250bhp is simply not achievable without a lot more money being spent ,I suspect you maybe peaking around 200 bhp on a good day which is more than enough ,if you poor more air into the system as your doing without improving the flow both in and out then you will always get problems . By the way the new wheels look better than the Bentleys!
     
  26. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the info Gents.

    Yes..I work in an industry where you can really tell the difference between cheap chinese junk and regulated/heavily tested equipment. Not to mention the fact that the boss and myself order a lot of cheap chinese sh*t off ebay just for kicks..who claim to be 'roHS' compliant when OBVIOUSLY not!

    What I cant get my head around Darran is the numbers you reported..

    For example;

    The Mk 1 TT with 225BHP is engine code APX. This runs a KO4 turbo. A simpe remap takes it to circa 260bhp.

    Please clarify my somewhat confused mind..
     
  27. beachbuggy

    beachbuggy Well-Known Member

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    Don't confuse a K04 from a S3/tt 225bhp and any K03 turbo fitted with K04 internals. They are not the same.

    A k04 from the 225bhp will make 260bhp with a remap due to the larger A/r on the turbine side and the better manifold

    All the turbo's from the A4 engines run the same turbine housing regardless if you have an original k03, the K03s (190bhp) K04-015 or any hybrid. All these have the same restriction in the turbine housing. The internals from the K03s (190) are good for 250bhp on the right turbine housing ie a k04 225bhp or K03s 180bhp, K04-015 260bhp and K04 225bhp 300+..

    What you end up doing on the A4 turbo's force the turbo to make more power by fitting larger internals, ie fit the K04 225bhp internals and you will end up with around 240-250bhp v 300bhp on the larger K04 turbine housing.. Running a larger compressor still and the rs6 turbine will still only net you around 270bhp where as in the k04 225bhp turbo 330bhp is possible.

    Plus then you need to factor in, restrictive exhaust's, inlet manifold, intercoolers etc on the A4 and you get an idea of why relative bhp is always down..

    From experience then Turbine wheel is the key part to getting extra power and for this a k04 225bhp or larger is needed.. 42mm-44.5mm/50mm

    Have you got the size of the turbine wheel correct as it looks like the exducer is smaller than stock! and the exducer is the thing that's going to allow you to flow more!!!!!!
     
  28. Darran

    Darran Active Member

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    The 225bhp motors also run many different engine internal parts from the standard 1.8t motors, I have the bfb in mine and along with a k04 ,tt225 injectors ,bigger Maf sensor,decat pipe and remap I only managed 215bhp to get more takes significant mods to inlet and other parts.To be honest I put it back to 180bhp as you get allsorts of weird faults and mil on , knocksensor goes ape for a start!intact somewhere on here I posted for help when I was in France ,if you find that thread you,all see the faults!
     
  29. Darran

    Darran Active Member

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    Most tt225 are bam engines except for a few really early ones which were notorious for failing and got the TT a bad rep.I have a bam engine which I building into something a bit special and its internals and head are very different to all the others.
    The bam and apx have a different compression ratio to all the others for starters then there's valve sizes etc etc etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  30. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for this post going potentially adrift, but as i understand it, I thought the A4 1.8t exclusively had older Ko3 turbos (150bhp) and ko3s (163bhp) (180bhp) (190bhp)

    I know from an old BBT post that there are phyisical diferences between the BorgWarner Ko3, Ko3s and Ko4 but with the ko3s variations, i thought they were all 'mapped' differently?! i.e. exact same turbo.

    Darran, Ive got the BFB engine in my 1.8T cab and am looking to decat, straight through exhaust mine too before the remap. I would be happy with 220bhp. Is this achievable? Silicone Tip will also be on the list.
     
  31. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    Haha tried to copy and paste the spec as close to the other style so may have mixed it up.
     
  32. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    To help with this discussion I thought id chuck in the comparison pictures they have of the Mamba unit with a standard ko3.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  34. beachbuggy

    beachbuggy Well-Known Member

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    Cheers for the pictures.

    So the turbine wheel is slightly smaller than a k04 1.8t 225bhp but only on the inducer one and the compressor is smaller on the inducer than a k04 as well, the exducer only aids higher P/r.

    It's an interesting turbine wheel, looks like an ihi that's been made for the kkk turbo. Open blades (less of them) will aid top end but it's really a big step up from stock size wise, it's going to spin pretty quick.

    It will be interesting to see the results when mapped
     
  35. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info BBT. As I believe this outfit 'Mamba' is from the far east, it may well be a hybrid of an IHI turbo with BorgWarner.

    T.Oldaker, youve already mapped it right? Any chance for dyno figures?
     
  36. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

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    Well im currently still running my stage 1 map from Shark which isn't ideal for getting the most from the setup however to date there hasn't been any negative effects and all the ratios seem to be within safe limits.

    Problem i'm finding is the time to give someone the car for the day to tweak and test everything, thats also close enough that if anything wasn't quite right id be able to get to easily.

    Going to try and pop up to South West Car Tech this weekend and see if they can slot me in for a dyno run to just get an idea of a base figureish that its currently producing
     
  37. Visa_broke

    Visa_broke Member

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    Even though i've not had a 1.8t for a while now (i've had quite a few in the past) this is still a very interesting read. looking forward to the next updates
     
  38. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    Yes, even though your current map isnt the most 'optimal' for the car and your mods i cant see there being an issue.

    Completely understand the whole time thing! Story of my life. The car is my daily and all these things take lots of time and of course money!

    Do let us (me) know how the dyno reading goes when you have the chance.
     
  39. nick-s3

    nick-s3 Member

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    did you need to pay import taxes for the mamba ?
     
  40. DrStrange

    DrStrange Well-Known Member

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    I cant speak for T.Oldaker although it most certainly incurrs 'customs tax' unless its below a 'certain value' as put on the package by the Vendor.
    I dispatch all over the world, so kinda know this thing..
     
  41. t.oldey

    t.oldey Member

    75
    61
    18
    Hi Nick,

    From memory there were import taxes but they were included in the price for me i think. Would have to dig out the invoice to check. Not sure if this is the case now however you would have to email Mamba to check.

    As of yet its been just over 8k miles and no problems *touch wood* and a very happy customer.

    Next mods are a full ECS RA4 stage 1 clutch and flywheel kit from awesome gti as mine has started to slip every so often when you boot it on full chat.
     
  42. lowlife89

    lowlife89 Member

    203
    24
    18
    Map and dyno please! :)
     
  43. S2Avant

    S2Avant Member

    80
    6
    8
    Any updates on this?
     

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