Sootpig's A3 track/drag car


All The Gears But No Ideas
Awesome work, makes my switch plate look terrible. In fact I can't look at it anymore. Keep up the good work much inspiration from reading this.


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A post so nice you posted it twice eyes:

Lovely work mate. I am so envious of your electrical ability!

Whoops! Not sure what i did there haha.

Thanks man, i'm enjoying the challenge :)
Awesome work, makes my switch plate look terrible. In fact I can't look at it anymore. Keep up the good work much inspiration from reading this.
Haha, i never intended it to by this fancy. I just play with idea until it starts looking good.

The steering wheel wiring however... i'm proud of what i've acheived so far there... update on that to follow soon :D


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Ok, so last update was the steering wheel-switch plate interface plug. Now on to wiring up the steering wheel.

Soldered wires in

and then more wires in (they are quite tiny, 16 core screened cable in to a 12 way plug, so i doubled some wires up, and used one ground pin for 4 wires.

Secured the cable to the wheel with a nylon P-clip and a rubber sleeve. This allows the cable to twist/flex slightly while holding if firmly in place.

Making the mount too rigid would cause a stress point and eventually break the wires.

I then tested the cable for physical fitment.

Full right lock:

Full left lock:

At rest:


So then I began wiring up the steering wheel buttons/switches.

Carefully stripped the sheath back, and cut the screen and plastic film off

First switch I wired was the white one.

Didn't take pictures all the way through, as it's quite boring, although very time consuming, grouping wires, twisting, routing and soldering them...

Final result:

Put rubber sleeves over the buttons to A hold the wires in place and B prevent sharp edges on the back of the wheel near my fingers.

Back to the witch plate. Which i decided to basically start again on in terms of wiring, as I was really unhappy with the terminal block arrangement in terms of both electrical connection quality and removing/refitting to the car. I was less than Ideal.

Whilst rummaging through my box of spare bits I found a spare Deutsch 24W bulkhead connector on a pigtail loom I made years ago for Carl (brother out-law), that he never used. So I de-pinned it and re-appropriated it for my switch plate. This mean, of course, that nearly all the wiring on the switch plate I had done so far was now totally useless and could be binned off.

First step was working out where to mount the connector. Decided the best solution was to make a back plate for the whole thing and mount a connector to that.

Punches and drilled holes;

and plasma cut out an access hole for the hazard light switch plug.

Then I fitted the gauges (ignore the silver boost gauge, that's just for clearance purposes.

Trial fit before heading to bed

Got a little bit more done the next day, got about 75% of the wiring done on the plate, which now looks like this:

Once that's finally finished, the wiring on the car side of the loom will be relatively straight forward. Cut all the wires to length, crimp them, insert the pins into the correct location in the plug, then after testing everything works, tape the lead up into one big umbilical cord.

It still won't be the one plug solution i wanted it to be, as there simply aren't enough pins in the 23 pin plug ( I used 8 pins just for headlight cluster bulbs in/out as they're fairly high current and even though each 16ga contact is rated to 13A, I don't want them to melt) So I have a few extra connectors. 1 for the AFR gauge to the controller, one for the hazard switch, and one to the demist fans. but 4 quick release connectors sure as hell beats removing all those terminal block wires.

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what are your steering wheel buttons planned to do?


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what are your steering wheel buttons planned to do?

Then I fitted some switches to my steering wheel

The two red ones (they glow red when ON) will be nitrous armed and anti-lag/LC. The white one... I'm not sure yet...

Then I added more buttons!

Logitech aint got nothin' on me.

The bottom one will be for the horn... The other 2.. I'm not sure yet (might remove them). Then I went to bed.

Knew I'd seen it somewhere :p


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Small update.

Having some family issues at the moment, and times are hard. I use the car as my escape/outlet, but its not easy for me at the moment.

Anyway, this is what's new:

More lights added (indicator repeaters, and headlight/warning lights)

And added an EGT Gauge, and blanked off the spare hole with the horn button from my wheel (oil temperature will go here eventually)

Tested the EGT gauge with my heatgun.

I laser probed the heatgun and it was pretty accurate, within 20 degrees or so.

Fitted the heater matrix temperature control tap to the side of the switch plate

Skateboard grip tape in the driver's footwell.

5 point TRS harness

Fitted an engine cover.

I hadn't planned on ever running an engine cover. But this one came from a transverse mount A4, and i thought it looked ****** smart compared to an AGU cover.

Took a bit of hacking about to make it fit, but worth the effort i thought.

Thanks for reading.


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Hang in there bud. Nothing like working on cars to clear your head sometimes

Very true. There's no room in my head for troubles when everything a aches, I've just rounded a bolt, and the welder's out of gas :D haha

This interior is slowly turning into my childhood dream of a spaceship, keep it up man

Haha thanks dude. Childhood dreams are the best. Especially ones involving space ships and race cars.


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I'll let the pictures do the talking.

No one reads my burble anyway

^ New single piece pipe I made that goes from the intercooler to the throttle body. Reduces the 'drop' the factory throttle intake pipe has, which would have made plumbing the nitrous system in rather difficult. Welds are okay. Still learning.

boost pipe looks like this.

Talking of welds...

I helped Carl make his down pipe for his big turbo Mk2 golf. He cut the pipes to the rough shape, I helped with mocking up, and did all the welding.

Back on my own project... Tidied up the wiring a bit.

Ran the nitrous oxide line to the front of the car, and replaced the busted fuel line.

nitrous line comes out before the other fuel lines (stealthy)

P-clipped to the PAS reservoir

Had a clean/tidy up and grip taped the passenger footwell.

Fuel gauge working (not sure of accuracy yet) and Nitrous controller wired in.

Fogger fitted to silicon coupler (not yet fitted, awaiting new lines/olives)

MAF delete, yo.



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Instrument cluster time! Been wondering how the hell i was going to do this for a while, but eventually I had a moment of divine inspiration (usually happens half way through a bad idea)

Anyway, I ended up comming up with this. Which i was quite chuffed with tbh.

Cutty cutty, Weldy weldy.

Then I gave it a couple of coats of matte black paint, and fitted it to the car.

Safe to say it's strong AF.

Most over-engineered in-car tablet holder of 2016...


All The Gears But No Ideas
Looking really Smart. Just need to hook an Xbox up to the tablet now and some micro switches to steering, clutch, brake, throttle and gears. That way you can race whilst in the pit too.


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Nitrous system is now fully plumbed in. Test wise I've only gone as far as firing the solenoids in the controllers test mode, which worked well. But can't go any further than that until the ECU has a sensible kind of map on it (timing table, AFR target table, then auto tune fuel)

The hold up on this was i didn't have the compression olives, or any lengths of tubing to plumb the solenoids in.

Fuel tap:

Solenoid pipes fitted:

I forgot to take any more pictures of the completed install, but there's not much to see after that, just two lengths of tubing going into the fogger just before the throttle body.

Last time I worked on the car, I drove it out of the garage into the yard, pulled forward and gave it some throttle, the car pulled really well, but it then stalled shortly and refused to start, and when it did start, it wouldn't idle.

The map on the ECU is stupidly rich at anything above 1200RPM (under load) as I haven't mapped that part, and it's just a generic generated table from the ECU itself. So i started fooling about with the map, but still no dice.

Whipped the plugs out, as I knew it was excessively rich, and so when i gave it the beans, it fouled the plugs, cleaned them up, and it did start, but still wouldn't idle.

I had other things to do that weekend, so I rolled it back into the garage and left it. This weekend on my return, I figured out the problem - Run out of fuel again! The VDO gauge I fitted I neglected to calibrate, so It was still reading over a quarter of a tank. This did however present itself as the perfect opportunity to work out the calibration. All it took was a 1K Ohm resistor on the negative side of the gauge, and it now reads zero when the tank is empty. I don't know what it will read on a full tank, and wont know until I get it to a fuel station.

Not like it really matters, as long as I Know when it's going to fuel starve. It's probably never going to have more than 20-30L of fuel at any given time.

The good news is; after putting a few litres of fuel in, it started up and idled as good as ever! Can't wait to start getting a tune on the ECU and gearing up for Festival Of Power!


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Love the face palm moment you get when you realise its something like out of fuel


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So last night I went a little crazy and drilled a hole in my turbocharger.

But luckily, it was just the right size to accept a tapered 1/8" NPT tap.

And wouldn't you know it; that just so happened to be the size of my EGT probe bung. It's almost like i planned it.


Okay, so it's not the 'ideal' spot for an EGT probe, but it's only to drive a gauge to give me an indication of EGTs when tuning, and it meant i could fit it there without having to remove the turbo/manifold/exhaust, which is basically an engine out job (would be quicker than struggling on the car).

Idled the car up, and gave it a few hard revs (not for long, as the fuel pump is starving) and got a 300c reading on a cold, slightly rich idle, just to prove it was working.

Then I turned my attention to this ugly lump of electro-mechanical-misery that's been darkening my engine bay since the dawn of this project.

Time for you to leave, mr pump...

T-pieces unwilling-fully donated by a soon-to-be-scrap SDI Lupo

Sadly, after going beyond the point of no return, I realised the Golf/A3 platform share different size brake fittings than the Lupo, so the T-pieces are not a straight swap, and will require the lines to be cut, smaller fittings on, and re-forming. Not as big deal, but I dont have the correct size clamp for the brake hose size, so I had to abandon the plan half way through, and leave it like this:

I can see it working ok though. I wasn't going to do this right now, but I remember reading somewhere (I think it was prawn's thread) that an un-powered ABS pump over-biases brake pressure to the rear brakes. Not sure if that's true, but it was on the to-do list for when I change to a pedal box setup and do away with the servo brakes all together.


All The Gears But No Ideas
We have done away with our abs pump and put a bias valve in. Works beautifully.


Registered User
I'm planning on fitting a pedal box later down the line, with a remote bias adjust, so i wont bother fitting one at this stage.

Does anyone know which pipe is which on the master cylinder? I'm guessing the one nearest the bulkhead is for the front brakes?


All The Gears But No Ideas
99% sure you are correct. If only I had taken more pictures as I can't full remember.


Badger 5 Edition...Its all about the flow...
Staff member
ABS unit controls bias to the rear... without it you will need to fit something to control the bias

K03 manifolds/turbo's can be removed without removing the engine in less than an hour for reference... I have done loads lol



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ABS unit controls bias to the rear... without it you will need to fit something to control the bias

K03 manifolds/turbo's can be removed without removing the engine in less than an hour for reference... I have done loads lol

Yeah i am finding that. The bias is way off. Pedal box may have to come sooner than i thought.

Last time i did a k03 turbo on the car, i swore never again. Its easier on this car to take the engine out (doesnt take long)

Although the K03's days are numbered as i already want more power!

I will update this thread soon on my first vwdrc event at santa pod.


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Ok, so an exciting, albeit wet Easter weekend at Santa Pod Raceway.

My first VWDRC event and very much a trial by fire endeavour, on a dodgy street tune we threw together in about 15mins...

Before I went anywhere, I finsihed my ABS delete. Ended up making brand new lines up from the master cylinder to the T-pieces, because the tool I had was ****, and the good tool didn't fit the factory size lines.

Then to comply with FIA rules, I fitted a (slightly anaemic) extra throttle return spring, so now it has 3. But rules are rules.

Washer bottle and wiper blades/wiring were also thrown at the car, for safety reasons.

Brand new windscreen fitted

Nitrous safety purge hose fitted (with a sexy stainless steel gland, because I had one to hand...)

And a battery vent tube fitted, too.

General photos before we set off:



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Camp the morning after arriving (my transit, AKA Lennard the Racebus in it's natural habitat (camping pit side, with AC hookup, microwave and fridge in full effect!)

Eagle eyed viewers would have spotted the addition of race number decals.

My first ever run down the strip in this car was for round 1 of eliminations. No practice run, no idea what me/it was capable off.

Optimistically, I dialled in a 13.99 and next thing I new I was sat on the start line, the amber lights had gone and it was time to go!

First round of eliminations done, with a 14.3 @ 101MPH

Still pumping with adrenaline, I sat in the racebus listening to Nitro FM for a little while while the adrenaline wore off, then by the time I had just settled down, it was time for round 2. Well, we sat in our cars in the fireup lane for hours waiting for the rain to stop long enough for them to dry the track.

Heading in the right direction! a 14.2 @103MPH. Still with a rubbish 60ft time (launching too aggressively)

But I won never the less, and ended up qualifying 3rd by the end of Saturday (my second run on saturday was actually done as it was getting dark, so I'm glad my lights worked...)

Sunday was wet. One round of eliminations before the event was called off prematurely because of the weather.

Spent 3 hours sat in the fire up lane. Big shout out to the SPRW crew though, who did their utmost throughout the day to try and keep us racing.

My final run of the day was a total fail. I red-lit by 0.3 of a second. Ended up finishing 8th at the close of round 1, which i was pretty happy with to be fair.

Carl on the other hand (brother in law with a MK2 Golf +500HP), managed a 130MPH terminal on saturday, then on Sunday, this happened;

note the crack in the cylinder bore. We think Piston #3 let go, as the rest followed. The head is mostly intact though, surprisingly!
There's a video floating around on FB of the run ending in a ball of flames. The car tapped the wall at 90MPH (oil down made the car slide) but Carl and car are alive and well :)


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So here is a rather poor quality FB video of my car, and my gf's i-phone ran out of memory, so it cuts short...

You can hear a chuuuuuuuut noise from my car, which i'm pretty sure is the crappy exhaust I have (two big leaks, and a dodgy back box) so a new custom pipe is on the cards.

I also have a bit of an exciting update. I now have one of these:

and one of these:

Which means I can legally transport the car around

Which is great, because I'm booked in for a dyno session next Sunday! Going to find out A; what my dodgy 15min street tune makes and B; how much power we can squeeze out of a rather sorry looking K03!


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Dyno Tuning + GTI spring Fest.

Ok, so bright and early saturday morning; I saddled up the transit and trailer for my first time towing anything other than my B+E instructor's car.

Full tank of diesel and then I hit the road and headed to East Sussex Tuning to get my car Dyno tuned.

Once I arrived, Jamie set to work on the Transit, pulling the map file off it, to be sent it away for 'tweakage' for more mid range torque (it's pretty gutless, and even worse when towing).

Then we set about the important stuff! Got the A3 on the rollers, and strapped down for the first power run.

This first power run gave us something to work from, and revealed the shortcomings of my street tuning efforts. But really not all that bad, pulled a respectable 147HP and 202 ft.lbs

We started the tuning process by changing the ECU settings from open-loop boost control to closed-loop. This gives the ECU control over the boost pressure, rather than just blindly setting an N75 duty cycle across the rev range.

Immediately we saw decent gains from this one small change.

But then it was back to square one so to speak - We set the boost down to waste gate pressure and began getting the ignition timing table in the right ball park. Got up to about 40% knock threshold, then dialled it back a bit.

With the ignition table somewhere near close, Jamie started adding boost back in by setting up the MAP target table, and the N75 duty table.

Adding 10% duty each time, and the doing a run, it soon became clear that no matter how much duty (boost) we requested, the engine stopped making any increase in power after about 60% duty. He surmised that this was probably caused by a weak actuator, so we let the car cool down, and grabbed some breakfast.

When we came back, it was clear that the actuator was too weak, and could easily be pulled out by hand, so we set about unbolting the actuator bracket, only to realise one of the bolts was inaccessible with the turbo fitted. Bummer.

Undeterred, we came up with a plan B, and decided to cut the actuator clean off, and weld a 1 bar actuator to the remains of the bracket. So Jamie got busy with the grinder!

After a lot of smashing, grinding and burnt fingers, we hand the actuator off

Queue the 1Bar chinatastic actuator robbed from a knock-off K04.

Welded it the the bracket, and away we went... or so we thought.

Whilst welding it, In my infinite wisdom, I put the ground clamp on the exhaust manifold. What I didn't realise was that this wasn't necessarily the lowest resistance path.

Sure enough, the little electric pixies found a better way. Turns out that way was through the turbo OIL FEED LINE. The sight of stainless steel braid glowing, and plooms of oil smoke in my engine bay will haunt me forever

Boldly, we decided we might have gotten away with it, and started the engine up. Didn't go well.

Balls. Jamie luckily had a K03 oil line kicking around the shop, so we set about changing it, which wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be thanks to his help. He was a proper legend throughout the whole day tbh. Oil covered hands means I didn't get any photos of the actuator or the oil line. But a couple of hours later, the car was leak free, and fitted with a 1bar actuator

got the car boosting right, and tweaked the ignition and fuel to suit, and this is what we ended up with; 184hp and 247ft.lbs a good 40 40 gain on my self-tuned numbers.

Then for laughs, we did a couple power runs with the nitrous on.

266.6 hp + 345 ft.lbs of torque.

We deemed this to be somewhat excessive for the dinky K03, so in the interest of some longevity from the turbo, we dialled the boost back, and allowed the wastegate to open up the top end.

still left us with a very respectable 241hp + 368 ft.lbs No idea where the extra torque came from.

So after a full day of power runs and relatively minimal problems (my own fault) The car performed very well, surviving 60 power runs!

Got back to my gf's house, and got my head down for a few hours, then I was back off again bright and early to get up to santa pod for GTI spring fest for some RWYB action!

Got a decent number of runs in, not quite the 13's I had hoped for, but very close.

As the day drew to a close, I started to run very low on fuel, and decided my nitrous probably needed re-filling too, so called it a day and watched the last few RWYBers before loading the car on the trailer and heading home again.

A really excellent weekend, but also a very long and tiring one! Best part is, I'm doing it all over again this weekend and next weekend as big bang and spring speed nationals are nearly upon us


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Ran a PB yesterday! 13.5!

Unfortunately, I ran it on a 13.6 dial during round 3 of eliminations (Big Bang semi-finals) which meant I broke out, and was out.

But I was still massively impressed with myself and the car. 13.5! on a K03 turbo. Nuts.

Here is the in-car video of the run. If you listen closely you hear me back off as I get near the finish, I realise I'm probably very near to breaking out.

And the timing slip from the run:

All in all I had an absolutely epic weekend at Big Bang. Continuously surprised with how well the car was running, It really surpassed my expectations, and ran flawlessly all weekend. I managed to get plenty of seat time with Friday and Saturday RWYB, lots count of how many runs I did. I'll do a proper write up soon, but now i'm tired and need to go to bed!


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Great result mate.

Can you explain this 'break out' concept?


In the VWDRC, to create a level playing field, we compete via bracket racing. Rather than just heads up racing which means everyone is in with a chance of winning, no matter how fast/slow your car is. Otherwise, the guy with the deepest pockets wins.

The way this works, is there are usually 4/5 rounds of qualifying, then you go on to eliminations.
Where you qualified dictates who you're against in eliminations.

The Dial in time is your estimated ET. The aim of the game is to get as close to that ET as you can, without breaking out (going faster than your dial in).

In eliminations, The Tree is delayed for the fastest car by the difference in the two car's dial in times. The Idea being in a perfect race, the two cars would cross the lime at the same time (think of it as a handicap for the faster car).

As I am only half a second away from pro times, this means i'm usually the faster car. So i get to do the chasing. Hence why the golf is ahead of me and i catch him up. You don't see his tree go green 1.7 seconds earlier than mine.

Where it really gets complicated, is reaction time is also taken into account during eliminations, and is added to your ET. The goal is basically to be the first one to cross the line, without breaking out.

On that run i got my best ever 60ft, the car hooked up off the line (wheel hopped a bit!) and took off, hence breaking out, as I went faster than anticipated. Which makes me loose that round, and get knocked out.

I still got a healthy number of points for big bang. and i am currently 7th in VW sportsman.


My other car is a MINI!!!!
Oh that's pretty cool. Certainly makes it a bit more interesting, or as you say deepest pockets would win every time.

13.5 on a ko3, even with gas is going well mate :) it wasn't so long ago that a st2 S3 breaking below 14 was a pretty big achievement!


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Oh that's pretty cool. Certainly makes it a bit more interesting, or as you say deepest pockets would win every time.

13.5 on a ko3, even with gas is going well mate :) it wasn't so long ago that a st2 S3 breaking below 14 was a pretty big achievement!

Yeah, it does make drag racing very fun and easy to get into/be competitive.

I got a phone call today from Santa Pod to tell me I had prize money coming my way!

Not a massive amount, but I wasn't expecting anything, so I was very surprised!

Pouring over my logs last night, i noticed a rather big problem! I'm getting quite severe knock (over 90% threshold) at the top end (5500+ rpm) when using nitrous.

If you look closely at the above logs, you can see each gear pull clearly represented by the boost pressure. Notice how the knock threshold (red) is low through first an second, then spikes heavily, and stops at 5800RPM from 3rd onwards

This starts to make sense when you consider my nitrous controller settings, which are something like this (from memory):

1st gear: 20-35%
2nd gear: 35-40%
3rd gear: 70-80%
4th gear: 80-100%
5th gear: 80-100%
6th gear: 100%

RPM window: 2300-5800RPM

Ramp up time ranges from 0.3 to 0.5 seconds. I was having severe traction loss in first and second when the gas came in, so dialled them right back, with good success.

So basically the knock input is following the nitrous like a shadow, and I need to use the ignition ****** output feature of the MAX EXTREME controller to feed into the table switch pin (pin 28 on the expansion board) on the MS3X.

Then use the second table to pull about 3 degrees across the power band, namely around the 5k rpm mark so that the ECU automatically ******* the timing when im using nitrous.

I'm a fool for not checking the logs sooner, but while i was at the track, the car was running and sounding great, so i didn't want to mess with it! nothings been damaged, and i couldn't hear any knock. but that's why i paid the $85 for the knock sense module! worth it's weight in gold i reckon.


My other car is a MINI!!!!
Scary stuff mate, but good that you can log it and spot the issue!

The boost plots below suggest 5 pulls? 1st - 5th?

I also saw you mentioned missing 4th on the strip the other day. Have I somehow erased a 6 speed conversion from my memory? :laugh:


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Scary stuff mate, but good that you can log it and spot the issue!

The boost plots below suggest 5 pulls? 1st - 5th?

I also saw you mentioned missing 4th on the strip the other day. Have I somehow erased a 6 speed conversion from my memory?
Haha yeah the logs are a god send. Really good info considdering its just from the tablet, and standalone from the ecu (which can also do SD card logging)

Yeah i cross the line in 5th, i have a 6spd 02M from a LCR, with short shifter :)

The ss can make it a little tricky to get into gear ironically. But i probably just need more practice.


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Awesome build thread, I will be at Santa pod in July for bug jam I will keep an eye out for your motor and come and say hello


My other car is a MINI!!!!
Yeah i cross the line in 5th, i have a 6spd 02M from a LCR, with short shifter :)


Wow, 5th!?!

The one and only time I ever went drag racing was back when I was 5 speed, and I was crossing the line in 3rd at 114mph!

I'm assuming you're going into 5th due to the lower power band with the ko3? 7300rpm in 4th on an FZQ is 115mph if you can get there!