A word of caution before attempting any high-performance
modifications to your TDI:
Hot-rodding cars has been going on virtually since the day they were
invented. It's a hobby that many people enjoy. Most people who "hop
up" their cars have some experience with car maintenance and repairs,
and understand how cars work and how they are made. They understand
the mechanical limitations, and accept the fact that any mechanical
system is subject to failure.
If anything, the revolution in computerized engine management systems
has made Hot-rodding even easier than ever in a lot of ways. The addition
of a simple computer chip can result in a considerable increase in power,
especially in a turbocharged car like a TDI! Bolt-on kits for suspensions,
etc, are readily available and can be installed by anyone with a basic
set of wrenches. "No experience necessary," as they say.
The downside is that many people are modifying their cars and achieving
big increases in power output who don't actually know very much about
engines and drive trains. They may also be performing ill-advised suspension
and steering modifications without the technical understanding necessary
to keep the car's ride and handling within safe parameters.
The result can be a very disappointed TDI owner. (Or Civic, or Toyota
Pickup, or whatever they are tinkering with.) The car goes from being,
in their mind, a "great little car" to a "worthless piece of junk" when
things start to go wrong.
So before you embark on a program to extract every last drop of power
and handling from your beloved TDI, please understand what Hot-rod
have always known: The more power your engine makes (and especially
the more you USE the power) the more prone the car will be to mechanical
failures. It's just an unfortunate fact of life. Current Volkswagens
are VERY robust little cars, and stand up to modifications and hard
driving very well compared to their competition. But when you mess with
the power and the suspension, and start driving fast and pushing the
limits, you need to know that you'll inevitably break things. The more
educated you are when you perform the modifications, and the more carefully
you use all the newfound performance, the more reliable your car will
be. But regardless of your precautions you need to realize that Hot-rodding
is an ONGOING hobby. It doesn't consist of simply bolting on modifications
and then enjoying the results forever. Once in a while it also involves
repairing the damage the mods have caused to your car! And it requires
a different mindset than many people are used to. A fried clutch, for
example, will send many inexperienced owners of a relatively new "Hot-rodded"
TDI into a frenzy of shouting at Volkswagen and anyone else on whom
they can vent their ire. An more experienced performance enthusiast,
after the initial disappointment, sees an opportunity and excuse to
install a high performance racing clutch. (And maybe a torque-proportioning
differential while he's at it! And how about a 6-speed tranny kit? Etc...)
This disclaimer is not meant to incite panic, nor to steer people away
from modifications. It's intended to educate, and to warn. Enjoy your
car, feel free to play with it, but do so with the understanding that
ALL mechanical systems are prone to failure. It's part of the game.
PS. Many different upgrades have been done to vehicles.
Some are more "tried and tested" than others. Keep this in mind and weigh
it against your risk tolerance before doing any upgrade.
Also remember that what you are reading here on the Internet may not always be correct
Some people have ideas and suggestions which may or may not be
accurate. Please use your
own judgment when taking the advice of others.