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Tuning A 1.9 Gti For Track Use

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Im lost just want a reliable track car which wont be lost on the track i dont expect it to be the quickest but just want something fun and reliable and most of all driveable. If i wanted speed i would have built a nova or corsa with a c20 let but it just doesnt handle or drive well and is unreliable. Will carbs, cams, a bit of head, exhaust and filter get me 150-160 bhp on an 8v



  • Pitcrew+
  • 4,146 posts
Joined: 02 Jan 2004
  • Name:James
  • Location:Northants
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Getting decent power out of an 8v is not easy. Personally if i was building a track car i would ditch the 8v, seems pointless now that there are so many cheap gti-6's and xsara vts's about. I'd just by one, use the engine and brakes and sell the rest. Would prob only end up costing a few hundred quid. Least that way you would have a good reliable engine with half decent management which will be pretty rapid out the box and not have the surge issues like the mi16.

But as mentioned worth while doing a search into suspension options as this will severely affect your performance even if you do stay 8v.


  • Drivers
  • 929 posts
Joined: 27 Sep 2005
  • Location:Sussex
GTI6 does seem like a very good option there are loads of people on here with the knowledge to help . i saw a nova at brands recently that was faster than any other car on track... anything can be made to handle (i mean formula v single seater use vw beetle trailing arms !!). it does of course depend which circuits you do as well.

i think a lot of people overegg the challenge of getting power out of 8v it's not that hard. big induction, massive cam, stacks of compression. it's not far removed from most 2v lumps. For trackdays power kind of makes sense as it's not like you can overtake into a corner on the brakes ! However witness all the high power cars on track that won't get out the way for a better handling but less powerful car. personally i find trackdays now full of people who spend mega bucks on their cars so they are "quicker" it doesn't seem that the focus is on fun as much. more willy and wallet waving. for this reason i've bought a kart for weekend fun. spent and hour in it the other weekend - cost 5 + 5 fuel. 0-60 3.5 seconds and 2.5 g round bends... it cost 950....


  • Drivers
  • 591 posts
Joined: 05 Jun 2007
  • Location:Wrexham North Wales
I agree for a fun trackday car a well running 8v coupled to some good chassis mods will be fast and fun around most circuits. I have done iro 30 days in a standard engined 205 bar weber 45's and many a people including mi16 drivers have come over and said how fast it was. A combination of suspension,brakes,tyres and circuit knowledge will make you quicker than going for POWER straight away.

Tuning the 8v can be worth it with the right parts but will never be as economical as the mentioned 16v engines if headline power/torque is what you want. I wanted to go mi16 but so many issues surrounding surge that put me off.


  • Drivers
  • 3,020 posts
Joined: 29 Dec 2006
  • Name:Steve
  • Location:Near Cardiff, Wales
i know i have changed my engine, buit thats std,

i have consentrated on weight, handling and braking :o


  • Drivers
  • 595 posts
Joined: 30 Aug 2008
  • Name:Edward Stevens
  • Location:Worcester, England.
Agree just get out and enjoy it, make your mind up whilst on track if you want more power. Pretty sure i saw spiky and his 205 at the rally supercar day at combe this year, looked pretty good to me.