Phan contacted me a while back to make his 2011 Golf TDI faster, although stock the car from Volkswagen is far from a slouch, it can always benefit from a bit more power, handling and looks.
Phan had already addressed the handling and looks part by adding Volkswagen lowering springs and a set of gold colored 18″ TSW wheels which makes the car look and handle great.
I was put in charge of the power aspect of this build. The requirements were simple; the car had to stay reliable, not be too noisy when driving on the highway on long trips (the car is a TDI afterall, it is meant for long drives) but still be quick (to say the least) to overtake trucks and your mom’s Civic when she hogs the left lane at 100km/h…
And it starts …
The easiest way to make a TDI (or any turbocharged car for that matter) faster is to change the ECM’s programming to increase the amount of boost the turbocharger supplies and to throw in more fuel in the mix to match that added boost.
Luckily for Phan, I’m a Malone Tuning dealer, Mark Malone is a well known TDI tuner and is at the forefront of VW/Audi tuning and has been for numerous years now.
In order to flash new software in any newer (2009 and up) VW and Audi vehicles we need to remove the ECM out of the car for bench flashing, this is required because there is encryption built into the ECM by VW preventing us from flashing through the OBD port like on the older (2000-2008 VW/Audi) cars.
I went ahead and flashed a Malone Tuning Stage 2 software tune including Mark’s DPF delete option. Mark found a way to remove the DPF system from the ECM’s programming. This permits us to remove the very restrictive diesel particulate filter that is built into the exhaust of the new 2.0 Common Rail TDIs without throwing any fault codes or lighting any indicators on the vehicle’s instrument cluster.
This will permit us to run a full 3″ turboback exhaust line, more on that in Part 2 : 3″ turboback install…
As you can see from the picture the stock DPF filter is an extremely restrictive piece, especially compared to the 2.75″ Rawtek DPF delete downpipe. The Rawtek part is a piece of art, it has all the mounting for the stock sensors to bolt back on to it, it also has a centering ring built in to the flange that connects back to the turbo like stock to help center it just like the DPF has from factory.
The install itself is pretty straight forward, the most involved part of the process is removing the right side axle shaft to make room for the DPF to be removed, lowering the subframe also helps a lot (wheel alignment after this is recommended), if not for this the entire job is quite straight forward. The entire swap can be done in about 3-4 hrs but a qualified technician or well equipped DIYer (jack stands and standard hand tools are required).
The downpipe then dumps into a standard 3″ flanged midpipe that we chose with all the bells and whistles – high flow 3″ catalytic converter and Rawtek’s own line of muffler called Cortek. Very high quality stuff again. I highly recommend getting the cat and mid-muffler option on the mid-pipe mainly to cut down on noise, you’ll most likely experience drone at highway speeds if you decide to go for a straight mid-pipe without any muffler or cat.
The next step in this build is to remove the stock axle back for a full 3″ exhaust to complement the rest of the line we just installed here… Part 3: Axle back fabrication and install.
At the time a off-the-shelf 3″ axleback wasn’t available from Rawtek so we planned a road trip and went down to Rawtek’s site in Montreal, Qc to get the axleback fabricated. The axleback is now offered as a mail-order part you can order, it’s a quick and easy install especially if you already completed the install of the DPF delete downpipe yourself. it slips right on the rest of the exhaust and you can be back on the road, with an awesome exhaust note, in an hour or so.
All the piping is mandrel bent which insures that the diameter of the pipes stay 3″ all the way through compared to standard exhaust shops who crush the pipes to go around bends, this stuff here compares to what VW could do.
You’ll see in the pictures below the fabrication work that went into this axle back, including the stock looking exhaust tips that the guys at Rawtek fabricated, the craftsmanship coming out of that shop is second to none. They also have fancy mesuring equipement that they use to replicate parts so they come out the same every time to insure proper fitment on every exhaust they ship out.
Next up? Intercooler upgrade… Just a teaser as this will require some R&D work on my side, expect a new post in this project’s build by next week hopefully
And a little video to display the result of all this exhaust work…