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Old 01-17-2012, 06:29 PM   #1
PandaGTI
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Engine durability with a Ko4

Found out some good news today as my car is going through a rebuild.

First a little history on the car's background: this car was chipped to stage 1 since the following week that the car left the show room, did its first track day as soon as I hit 1000 miles and has done a track day almost every other month since then.

At around 13,000 miles the car received one of the very first Ko4 kits for the MK6 platform developed by AWE and GIAC and has done track days almost every other month with a good 23,000 miles on the Ko4 driven very hard on the track.

The last track day got so hot that the engine and DSG as well as the navigation system overheated on me several times. The following week I noticed loss of boost and oil leaking from the head gasket.

Fast forward several months and the engine is finally apart ready to receive its new forged internals and the tech found that the OEM pistons, cylinders, rods, and block are totally fine in perfect condition.

All that was found was that the head bolts worked its way loose allowing boost to warp the head gasket... Other than that the engine itself is pretty solid.

So for those with a Ko4 it might be worthwhile re tightening the head bolts every so often or maybe even replacing them with ARP head bolts
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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Well perhaps the boost was the cause of the loose bolts... too much pressure/heat inside the engine, things will start to work their way apart.

Your car is only 2 years old at most... that's not very comforting.

Keep us posted on the outcome.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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Were you still doing factory scheduled maintenance during this time period? Or was the car purely maintained for the track?
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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How many miles do you have Panda?
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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36k.



Like he said in his original post? 13 + 23 = 36



My extremely sarcastic comment for the day.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxtdi View Post

Your car is only 2 years old at most... that's not very comforting.
Ehh, power 35% above normal and driven hard? No concern.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:31 PM   #7
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxtdi View Post
Well perhaps the boost was the cause of the loose bolts... too much pressure/heat inside the engine, things will start to work their way apart.

Your car is only 2 years old at most... that's not very comforting.

Keep us posted on the outcome.
More than likely the last time I was out at the track the engine got too hot causing the bolts to back out a little...

So cooling solutions will help to keep the engine from getting hot on the track.

Unfortunately the only thing I can find to help with cooling is the INA external oil cooler which is going into the car as part of the build. I can't find a bigger radiator or a DSG cooler to uncouple the cooling from the radiator.

Hmmm maybe the Arkym vented hood I had really did help as well keep the engine cool because when the engine got hot was the first time I was out on track with the stock hood...

I think adding metal/ aluminum around the radiator from the front bumper will also help with cooling.

Quote:
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Were you still doing factory scheduled maintenance during this time period? Or was the car purely maintained for the track?
oil changes every 5,000 miles + factory scheduled

I probably should've done the DSG maintenance sooner than 40,000... I did it after the last track day at 35,000 miles and the dealer said the DSG oil was very very dirty... And the DSG case shows evidence that the oil boiled over...
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxtdi View Post
Well perhaps the boost was the cause of the loose bolts... too much pressure/heat inside the engine, things will start to work their way apart.

Your car is only 2 years old at most... that's not very comforting.

Keep us posted on the outcome.

The reason I went forward with the engine build was because I was expecting fried piston rings or scored cylinder walls once the engine came apart... I'm surprised that it's just loos head bolts and a warped head gasket
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:38 PM   #10
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How's the dsg doing with the k04?


Sent from my iPhone with typos
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by xHeartcoreboyx View Post
How's the dsg doing with the k04?


Sent from my iPhone with typos
He did mention that he boiled the oil...

Damn man you drove that car HARD!

Did you go out to willow springs when it was 120F Track temp?
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xHeartcoreboyx View Post
How's the dsg doing with the k04?


Sent from my iPhone with typos
Considering that all cooling for the engine, oil, and DSG is all handled by the stock OEM radiator... It gets pretty hot.

I'm taking the cooling load off the radiator with the external oil cooler, but there is no kits to decouple the DSG cooling from the radiator... I'm gonna bug road/ race engineering to see if they can adapt their cooler used on the SST transmission to work on the DSG.

And there are no high performance radiator kits either...

Next time it's hot maybe I'll just switch the programming to stock ko4 power so the car runs a little cooler... (I'm still unsure if that means stock ko4 power at 260hp? Or stock stock power at 200hp)

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxtdi View Post
He did mention that he boiled the oil...

Damn man you drove that car HARD!

Did you go out to willow springs when it was 120F Track temp?
yup... Hard enough to even get the navigation system to overheat...

Track temps where at least 120 at Buttonwillow when I went back in september.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:48 PM   #13
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good to hear, piece of mind is nice before making the big purchase
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:39 PM   #14
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I little worrisome for those of use that see 115 fairly regularly on the street in summer. I have seen as high as 135 sitting in traffic on the 10 freeway. Extra cooling for the track or extreme desert heat is appears to be a must. Plus checking the head bolts at regular intervals would be smart.
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