The turbo that came with the car was shot, as soon as the engine got warm it belched white smoke out of the exhaust, so I was forced to buy a new one. The original turbo was a K03s, these things cost a fortune, so I took a risk and opted for a Chinese K04-015 turbo. This is a bigger turbo and acts as an upgrade, the risk being that these Chinese turbos have a bad rep and do not last long.
The benefits though, is that when tuned the engine’s normal 170 bhp can be increased through mapping. However before the engine’s ECU could be mapped, I had to upgrade some other components…. Firstly I had to fit bigger fuel injectors (I used Audi TT mk1 225 BAM injectors). Also the MAF (Mass air flow) has to be upgraded to a 3″ version to allow for more air to be sucked in. (again I used an Audi TT 225 MAF.
Then I went to get it tuned. I contacted a local “tuner” he quoted me £320 to upgrade the power to 280 bhp with pops and crackles, however the tune was rubbish, the car became dangerous to drive and would accelerate when I hit the brakes. Things then went from bad to worse, this “tuner” then went on holiday to Pakistan, I tried to remove the map and revert to the original, but I ended up breaking or bricking the ECU. Luckily a chap on a Facebook forum rescued me. For £100 he supplied a new ECU with a MAP.
I Have spent ages making the engine look nicer, painting the cam cover, polishing the inlet manifold and changing all the hoses to matching silicone hoses.
I have also fitted an aftermarket fuel rail and fuel pressure regulator, I can now be 100% sure the engine it getting the correct fuel pressure of 4 bar.
For Christmas my eldest son, Dominic bought me a tube exhaust manifold, took 2 days to fit, but it looks so much nicer than the original cast iron manifold.
I have also fitted the soft top. I had to unzip the rear window though, as it was way too noisy in the car with all the windows closed.
Other updates include a handmade carpet set, and a new dashboard made from a single piece of Ash.
In December 2020 the car was finally road legal. As of 15th January 2021 I have driven it about 50 miles, what’s it like to drive?
Its fast, very very fast, the car weighs 685kg, the engine produces about 280 bhp now. It wheel spins in all gears, it doesn’t like pot holes but aside from that it drives very nicely.
Best of all it will feature in February’s edition of Practical Performance Car magazine