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Must-Have Reliability Mods for Mk6 Golf GTI/R (Track)

kyoo

Ready to race!
I'm not sure if this was ever explicitly fleshed out - do people have a general list of reliability mods they use for their Golf GTI/R in track settings? Not talking about stuff like good pads and fluid, more thinking along the lines of baffled oil pans, catch cans, oil coolers, intercoolers, things that can address any inherent weaknesses on the mk6. I've got my season plotted out and it's going to include a LOT of track time for my Mk6R - just want to make sure it doesn't leave me stranded somewhere from a part failing.
 

torga

Autocross Newbie
I checked your website and see you're planning on mostly doing SCCA. I'm not as familiar with the rules anymore, but you gotta figure out what class you think you'll be competitive in and figure out the allowed list of mods in that class.
Might wanna look into a FluidAmpr pulley since you'll be in higher revs a lot, in 2nd and 3rd. That thing really tames down the vibrations caused up there by this lil 4 pot. I don't think they are any rules against crank pulleys, as long as they retain the OEM diameter.
Baffled pan, oil cooler and intercooler would certainly be beneficial, but figure out if they're allowed first. Might not be necessary, but an aluminum rad could help if you see high coolant temps.
 

kyoo

Ready to race!
I checked your website and see you're planning on mostly doing SCCA. I'm not as familiar with the rules anymore, but you gotta figure out what class you think you'll be competitive in and figure out the allowed list of mods in that class.
Might wanna look into a FluidAmpr pulley since you'll be in higher revs a lot, in 2nd and 3rd. That thing really tames down the vibrations caused up there by this lil 4 pot. I don't think they are any rules against crank pulleys, as long as they retain the OEM diameter.
Baffled pan, oil cooler and intercooler would certainly be beneficial, but figure out if they're allowed first. Might not be necessary, but an aluminum rad could help if you see high coolant temps.
thanks, great advice. I'm actually not too concerned about the rules, i have a built-to-the-rules e92 m3 i run in FS. this car I'm mainly using for seat time to proxy for the evo. it's gonna see a lot of abuse on track so i wanna make sure i do what i can to make sure it runs well.

i couldn't find anything on baffled pans for the mk6 r, only gti and mk7s which is a bummer. I've also heard the pcv system in this car is no good, so I will probably add a catch can. i guess there aren't too many failure points i need to worry about on this car otherwise
 

Injen1us

Drag Race Newbie
Baffled oil pans and catch cans are a waste of money imo. The first does not help the oil starvation issue in higher g right and turns as it is an issue of return not feed. The later has not been shown to significantly reduce carbon build up or improve power.

The first thing in any track build is tires. Period. Brakes after that. Then suspension.
 

torga

Autocross Newbie
Baffled oil pans and catch cans are a waste of money imo. The first does not help the oil starvation issue in higher g right and turns as it is an issue of return not feed. The later has not been shown to significantly reduce carbon build up or improve power.

The first thing in any track build is tires. Period. Brakes after that. Then suspension.
To be fair... no one in human history has recommended a catch can for adding power.
I agree that tires, brakes and suspension will have the largest effect out of anything.
 

kyoo

Ready to race!
Baffled oil pans and catch cans are a waste of money imo. The first does not help the oil starvation issue in higher g right and turns as it is an issue of return not feed. The later has not been shown to significantly reduce carbon build up or improve power.

The first thing in any track build is tires. Period. Brakes after that. Then suspension.
reliability is the key word i'm focusing on here. reliability mods, to help keep the engine happy on track. my evo has a racefab wet sump that adds 2 extra quarts, baffles, trapdoors, etc. best way to go short of a dry sump, but the older evos will oil starve on long right handers. as i said, looking to see if there are common reliability mods that people use on these cars.

i will probably get a catch can, and the car had an intercooler when i bought it. considering a larger oil cooler as well
 

Injen1us

Drag Race Newbie
reliability is the key word i'm focusing on here. reliability mods, to help keep the engine happy on track. my evo has a racefab wet sump that adds 2 extra quarts, baffles, trapdoors, etc. best way to go short of a dry sump, but the older evos will oil starve on long right handers. as i said, looking to see if there are common reliability mods that people use on these cars.

i will probably get a catch can, and the car had an intercooler when i bought it. considering a larger oil cooler as well
Gotcha.

Aside from going to a total dry sump setup the best way to prevent oil starvation is a pressurized return system. These are a bit rare even among those who track frequently as they are expensive and have had mix results.

Seen quite a few guys fab an external oil cooler up. Wont help the starvation issue but will certainly keep temps down

Catch cans are not worth it. Typically cause more problems and help almost zero. People trip out about how it fills up 10-12 oz in 3000 miles. Thats less than a ml a mile... your intake /combustion doesnt know the difference. All you have now is extra hoses that can freeze in the winter.

Bigger intercooler is a must regardless of turbo. our ICs are large which is good but their location is bad. Heat soak comes on quick with the stock IC
 

kyoo

Ready to race!
Gotcha.

Aside from going to a total dry sump setup the best way to prevent oil starvation is a pressurized return system. These are a bit rare even among those who track frequently as they are expensive and have had mix results.

Seen quite a few guys fab an external oil cooler up. Wont help the starvation issue but will certainly keep temps down

Catch cans are not worth it. Typically cause more problems and help almost zero. People trip out about how it fills up 10-12 oz in 3000 miles. Thats less than a ml a mile... your intake /combustion doesnt know the difference. All you have now is extra hoses that can freeze in the winter.

Bigger intercooler is a must regardless of turbo. our ICs are large which is good but their location is bad. Heat soak comes on quick with the stock IC
gotcha. i was kinda assuming/hoping oil starve wouldn't be too much of an issue on these cars (as opposed to evos) but with lack of data points it's difficult to say. regardless, should be fine on street tires.

will leave oil cooler alone for now. hard to tell which intercooler i got, but the piping that leads up to it is aftermarket and the rest of the car is stg2+, so hopefully the previous owner went through the trouble. it's impossible to even see the damn thing without taking a lot of things off.

interesting on the catch cans - i heard it was a "must" for the blowby but will leave that alone for now as well.

good to know there's not really anything "urgent" as far as reliability goes. got the wheels/tires/pads/fluid done, only changing rsb and camber plates for performance wise, since it is otherwise my dd
 

zef

Go Kart Newbie
Want to clear some things up here...

- The reason why catch cans fill up so fast is most of them are poorly designed...especially the "africa plate" ones. They unnecessarily increase crankcase pressure, thus increasing blow-by and a full catch can. The only catch can design that works is the BFI Competition. It keeps the stock PCV and runs hoses from BOTH ends of the PCV into the can. That way, it fills up slowly (only catching what sneaks by the PCV) and doesn't increase crankcase pressure.

- A baffled oil pan will not necessarily prevent oil starvation (it will help), but it DOES help with oil sliding up the side of the crankcase. Most people run baffled oil pans and some sort of accusump if a dry sump is not available. Iabed makes a very good oil pan. He also makes a dry sump kit, but it hasn't really been tested and it's also very expensive ($3500 or so).

- Oil cooler is essential. Even with an oil cooler, my oil gets HOT. Like 280F hot. I can't imagine how hot it would get without it. Motul 300v is safe to 320F without breaking down, and even after a 45 minute open track session of straight flogging, I only got it to 285, so I know it's not going to be a concern. It will also dramatically help your coolant temps as well. Iabed makes the best oil cooler kit currently that I've found, you just need to whip up some brackets.

- Make sure your motor mounts are not tired or weak. My 034 street mounts were toast after 2 events. My VWR subframe pucks also failed, but I believe the failed 034 mounts may have expedited it's demise. You'll definitely bust your downpipe if there is too much movement.

- Intercooler is a no brainer, definitely get one.

Aside from that, as long as you got a fresh timing belt + water pump, you should be good to go.
 

kyoo

Ready to race!
thanks for the input

i guess it's worth noting, which i didn't realize when i first posted this, is that the gti engine is different for the mk6. i'm not sure if the BFI design is good or not, still on the fence about getting a catchcan.

unfortunately there are no baffled oil pans for the mk6r - since the gtis and mk7rs had a plastic pan, i think that is why it was designed for those cars. for the evo, it helps a lot to buy time essentially. the pick up was moved back and centered, and a full 2 quarts of additional capacity was added, which helps with the heat as well.

i hve a setrab oil cooler on the evo, not sure what is a common setup for mk6 gtis and mk6r's. to be totally honest, it seems that this is fairly uncharted territory/people don't really think a ton about it. i'm using red line 5w40, which has good hths. i'll do oil analyses and see how it holds up to the abuse.

i haven't checked the motor mount situation, but we replaced motor mount bolts when we did all the belts and water pump. i did a crank pulley at the time, but there's a little added nvh at idle that kind of bugs me - will be switching back to stock for that one.

thanks again - i think at this point, i just need to send the thing and see how it goes.
 

Injen1us

Drag Race Newbie
Want to clear some things up here...

- The reason why catch cans fill up so fast is most of them are poorly designed...especially the "africa plate" ones. They unnecessarily increase crankcase pressure, thus increasing blow-by and a full catch can. The only catch can design that works is the BFI Competition. It keeps the stock PCV and runs hoses from BOTH ends of the PCV into the can. That way, it fills up slowly (only catching what sneaks by the PCV) and doesn't increase crankcase pressure.

- A baffled oil pan will not necessarily prevent oil starvation (it will help), but it DOES help with oil sliding up the side of the crankcase. Most people run baffled oil pans and some sort of accusump if a dry sump is not available. Iabed makes a very good oil pan. He also makes a dry sump kit, but it hasn't really been tested and it's also very expensive ($3500 or so).

- Oil cooler is essential. Even with an oil cooler, my oil gets HOT. Like 280F hot. I can't imagine how hot it would get without it. Motul 300v is safe to 320F without breaking down, and even after a 45 minute open track session of straight flogging, I only got it to 285, so I know it's not going to be a concern. It will also dramatically help your coolant temps as well. Iabed makes the best oil cooler kit currently that I've found, you just need to whip up some brackets.

- Make sure your motor mounts are not tired or weak. My 034 street mounts were toast after 2 events. My VWR subframe pucks also failed, but I believe the failed 034 mounts may have expedited it's demise. You'll definitely bust your downpipe if there is too much movement.

- Intercooler is a no brainer, definitely get one.

Aside from that, as long as you got a fresh timing belt + water pump, you should be good to go.
This is an excellent and thought our response. Well done
 

kthor7031

Go Kart Champion
Some great discussion here.

Want to clear some things up here...

- The reason why catch cans fill up so fast is most of them are poorly designed...especially the "africa plate" ones. They unnecessarily increase crankcase pressure, thus increasing blow-by and a full catch can. The only catch can design that works is the BFI Competition. It keeps the stock PCV and runs hoses from BOTH ends of the PCV into the can. That way, it fills up slowly (only catching what sneaks by the PCV) and doesn't increase crankcase pressure.

- A baffled oil pan will not necessarily prevent oil starvation (it will help), but it DOES help with oil sliding up the side of the crankcase. Most people run baffled oil pans and some sort of accusump if a dry sump is not available. Iabed makes a very good oil pan. He also makes a dry sump kit, but it hasn't really been tested and it's also very expensive ($3500 or so).

- Oil cooler is essential. Even with an oil cooler, my oil gets HOT. Like 280F hot. I can't imagine how hot it would get without it. Motul 300v is safe to 320F without breaking down, and even after a 45 minute open track session of straight flogging, I only got it to 285, so I know it's not going to be a concern. It will also dramatically help your coolant temps as well. Iabed makes the best oil cooler kit currently that I've found, you just need to whip up some brackets.

- Make sure your motor mounts are not tired or weak. My 034 street mounts were toast after 2 events. My VWR subframe pucks also failed, but I believe the failed 034 mounts may have expedited it's demise. You'll definitely bust your downpipe if there is too much movement.

- Intercooler is a no brainer, definitely get one.

Aside from that, as long as you got a fresh timing belt + water pump, you should be good to go.
Not trying to discredit you, but how exactly would an aftermarket "Africa Plate" cause excess crankcase pressure? I understand it might cause the can to fill up more by not separating the oil as well as a stock PCV, but my understanding is crankcase pressure is driven by blow by from the combustion chamber, caused by high cylinder pressure, which is even higher on tuned and upgraded turbo cars. Also, the APR can uses the stock PCV and is probably in a similar category to the BFI unit.
 

zef

Go Kart Newbie
Some great discussion here.



Not trying to discredit you, but how exactly would an aftermarket "Africa Plate" cause excess crankcase pressure? I understand it might cause the can to fill up more by not separating the oil as well as a stock PCV, but my understanding is crankcase pressure is driven by blow by from the combustion chamber, caused by high cylinder pressure, which is even higher on tuned and upgraded turbo cars. Also, the APR can uses the stock PCV and is probably in a similar category to the BFI unit.
All catch cans, minus the BFI competition, plug one end or the other of the factory PCV system. This is where the increase crankcase pressure is coming from. The rear port is where air flows when the car is under boost, and the front port is where the air flows when the car is under vacuum. By deleting the rear port (which is what all africa plate catch cans do and is the most egregious), you have effectively blocked the factory designated pathway for excess crankcase pressure to be vented when the car is under boost. Yikes. The africa plate setups also delete the factory PCV, which is asinine. The factory PCV does a fantastic job at what it does, people just complain that it's failure prone...so they effectively delete the cars factory-built "catch can" and replace it with a shittier one. The ones that block the front and utilize the rear (like the ECS can, which is what I had), which at the time I thought was the best, because one would think "gee the car cant have that much crankcase pressure under vacuum"...yet still..even after a track session, I'd have a full can. And as you noted, because of the increase in pressure, I would say about 20-30% of the oil went right through the can and into my intercooler pipes.

The BFI competition can does exactly what every well designed catch can should do, and that is be 100% inline with the factory system without changing or modifying it.
 

Injen1us

Drag Race Newbie
Can't say I agree with the "all catch cans except bfi are bogus" theory....at all
My biggest complaint with catch cans is the misinformation...

People have this idea that without one your engine is just digesting all this nasty blowby and that it is not running "clean." But the amount of blowby that finds itself in your combustion is minuscule... So small it plays ZERO effect on the engine. Indeed it was designed like this. It is usually less than a ml a mile that the car ingests... thats barely measurable.

Then there is the argument that it decreases carbon buildup. Also untrue. So many people on this site and others have proven as such. Port injection is the only sure way to reduce or eliminate Carbon Build up... apart from carbon cleaning of course.

There are so many better ways to spend 400 bucks to modify these cars.
 

jay745

track sl00t
My biggest complaint with catch cans is the misinformation...

People have this idea that without one your engine is just digesting all this nasty blowby and that it is not running "clean." But the amount of blowby that finds itself in your combustion is minuscule... So small it plays ZERO effect on the engine. Indeed it was designed like this. It is usually less than a ml a mile that the car ingests... thats barely measurable.

Then there is the argument that it decreases carbon buildup. Also untrue. So many people on this site and others have proven as such. Port injection is the only sure way to reduce or eliminate Carbon Build up... apart from carbon cleaning of course.

There are so many better ways to spend 400 bucks to modify these cars.
For me the catch can was worth it soley to save money buying a new pcv every 6 months. I was blowing them left and right after putting the k04 on. The 300 I spent has paid itself off just by that.

Also I run only dual Port meth injection, throttle body pipe and throttle body spacer, not direct port. Here's how my valves looked at almost 90k...sure looks like something is keeping them clean that isn't DPI.

20191103_150830.jpg
 

Injen1us

Drag Race Newbie
For me the catch can was worth it soley to save money buying a new pcv every 6 months. I was blowing them left and right after putting the k04 on. The 300 I spent has paid itself off just by that.

Also I run only dual Port meth injection, throttle body pipe and throttle body spacer, not direct port. Here's how my valves looked at almost 90k...sure looks like something is keeping them clean that isn't DPI.

View attachment 168719
I am always curious why some people blow the PCV so frequently and some dont. 80k miles on K04 and im still stock.

If you were blowing them that often then yea it makes sense.

You might not be direct port but you are dual meth injection. That, in and of itself, is a lot of a solvent moisture getting through. Point was not about meth injection not working to keep them clean; point was about catch cans not.
 

kyoo

Ready to race!
i've taken the intake on and off a few times and there was definitely oil in there. i'd like to get rid of that if possible
 
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