By: Adam Aftab at Velocity Factor Performance
Turbochargers are a great place to begin making power.
When a car comes from the factory with a stock forced induction system (turbocharger/supercharger) the first and most logical place to start making more horsepower is by adding more boost to the turbo/supercharger. With a turbocharger this can be accomplished very simply by allowing the turbo to spool to a higher boost level before regulating its peak pressure (PSI).
The ECU on most modern cars is the way to control the boost on the turbocharger. By adding more air with this simple rule (air+fuel=horsepower) you need to compensate for that extra air-flow with a correlating amount of extra fuel. When this is done properly it is called a “tune”.
Companies like APR and REVO spend countless hours testing different parts in almost every combination on the cars that they tune deciphering proper maps that become the foundation for other cars to set their baseline tunes off of. It works on the principle that if car A comes from the factory the same as car B they will have similar needs and therefore can use the same maps to start adding more air and fuel, thus making horsepower gains.
The VW / AUDI 2.0T FSI: Strong motors with some minor issues.
The 2.0t VW / Audi class of motors are great powerplants and have a great deal of potential for making extra power over their factory numbers.
The FSI Motors are strong motors that hold up very well to modification. There are couple of issues to be a aware of before getting in to modding these cars. Nothing major, just a few things to keep in mind. A quick way to see which motor you have without knowing the year is by taking a look under the hood. The engine cover on the FSI’s contain the air filter inside, towards the top of the motor above the turbocharger assembly. On these models the intake filter is actually built right in to the engine cover, whereas on the TSI it is more traditionally placed right next to the motor on the drivers side. Now back to the issues at hand with the FSI motors.
First, you want to be very aware of the mechanically driven fuel pump. What can happen is after the cam follower begins to wear it makes contact, thus causing damage to the camshaft. This can be a major issue if you don’t maintain the car properly. The best thing to do is to check the fuel pump regularly and make sure that the cam follower is not being worn away. Below are some pictures of the buckets at various stages of wear, starting from the left is new going to completely broken on the right. If it needs replacing, replace the bucket accordingly.
This is what can happen to the Camshafts if you let this go too long….
A complete fuel pump upgrade is recommended when you go to stage 2+.
Another one of the problems that these motors have is with the PCV valve circulating soiled air back through the intake, causing an excess of build up of oil to the intake manifold. This can be diagnosed with a simple check. Remove the oil cap and start the motor, and check the PCV valve that way. The best way to address this issue is by adding an oil catch can. This simple fix is inexpensive and extremely affective.
The way these Catch Cans work is by providing a reservoir can to catch the oil before it has the chance to recirculate. These cans have a glass monitoring window to see how much oil is building up in the reservoir, so you can keep an eye on the level of buildup inside of the can. This excess oil can be replaced back into your engine or drained and replaced with new engine oil accordingly, which we recommend.
Modding a VW 2.0t to maintain reliability and gain Horsepower
A great jumping off point (with almost every turbo car) is the Intake / Exhaust / ECU flash / Turbocharger Air Circulation system / Intercooler combination.
To optimize a turbocharged car for peak performance, you want to get the best combination of air temperature / and air flow. These conflict when the turbocharger starts over-boosting. At a certain point, a turbocharger begins outputting only extremely hot air. Hot air is less dense and contains less amounts of pure Oxygen then cold air contains, and oxygen is what is needed to combust, therefore creating the motion that powers your engine, through to your transmission and eventually straight through to your wheels.
So what all this means is that you simply don’t want to push a small turbo to the point where it is only outputting hot air that will flood your engine with polluted sparsely populated air that contains little oxygen. This is a recipe for detonation. Detonation occurs when there is the air/fuel ratio is not properly matched and the engine “pings” or “knocks” from an improper combustion in one or more of your combustion chambers.
Choosing the right tune: Set the Stage for the future of your cars performance.
APR: One company for all your performance needs, Step by Step…
When going with a tune for your car it is important to consider all the information in the prefix of this guide, in conjunction with your goals for your cars performance. APR is a great solution if you are looking for a one stop shop to upgrade your car in preset, well thought out, pre-determined manner. APR manufactures parts but more than that what they do is combine these parts into Staged kits.
Their most extreme Stage 3+ kit for example, includes everything needed to make 450+ HP out of the TSI 2.0t motor. It combines an upgraded Turbocharger / Intercooler / Intake / Exhaust / Downpipe / Ignition Coils / Fuel Pump / Turbo Lines and Hoses, etc. and all other components necessary to produce and compensate for this kind of power. You can also go as simple as a stage 1 setup consisting of nothing more than an ECU Flash and an Air Filter.
You can go right up to any stage at any time, or progress your way up the ladder through stages 1-2-3 progressively with each set of parts from each stage forward compatible with the next stage. This helps to finance the cost of the upgrades over time and maximize the parts you have at any given time to have the car running its best with the parts you have installed tuned correctly to run together cohesively.
If you have any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call, 561-395-5700 We are located in Boca Raton, Florida by FAU and right in the heart of downtown Boca, across from Mizner Park.