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Old 17th June 2016, 08:52   #61
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Default More Race Wins!

Drag Fest 2016: Hosur

As Team TuneOTronics, we grabbed 5 podiums out of 5 entries (3 wins, 1 second & 1 third). Here's how we fared:

Diesel Pro stock 1401 to 1800 cc:
1st in a Vento 1.6 TDI (Stage2)
2nd in a Rapid 1.6 TDI (Street setup)
-dextertuned (his handle on this forum) set a new record on his way to winning the class with a time of 14.9s
-This is the fastest ever time recorded for a Diesel up to 1600cc

Street stock 2051 cc and above:
1st in a Laura 1.8 TSI (Street setup)

Forced Induction 1601 to 2000 cc:
3rd in my Laura 2.0 TDI (Stage2)

Diesel Pro stock 1801 to 2200 cc:
1st in my Laura 2.0 TDI (Stage2)
-I set a new record on the way to winning the class with a time of 14.3s. This is the fastest ever time recorded for a Diesel up to 2000cc
-My combined time (ET+RT) was the fastest overall time by a Diesel car at the event, quicker than the likes of 3.0L BMW 530Ds

And consequently, we also won 2 other special awards:
'Best Tuner of the event, Diesel Pro Stock - TuneOTronics'
'Fastest Indian car - Diesel'


213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at MMRT-drag-fest.jpg


Here are videos of my runs:





More later. Cheers!

Last edited by kryptonite : 17th June 2016 at 09:03.
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Old 17th June 2016, 09:16   #62
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Default re: 213 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right! Tons of mods & victories

Excellent thread!!! Two . Will be glued to this thread for more. If I may make some suggestions to free up more horsepower:

1. Forged wheels.
2. Ceramic bearings for wheels.

While these will not create additional power, they will give you a signification reduction in rolling resistance freeing additional horsepower.
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Old 17th June 2016, 10:50   #63
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Default re: 213 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right! Tons of mods & victories

Congrats Krypto & team TOT.
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Old 17th June 2016, 13:42   #64
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Default re: 213 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right! Tons of mods & victories

Congratulations! and Well done TOT!

In the first video, did the Civic mill blow up? I could see a lot of white smoke!

Any clip of the Vento on it's magic run?
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Old 1st July 2016, 20:45   #65
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Default re: 213 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right! Tons of mods & victories

Quote:
Originally Posted by aqualeo2040 View Post
Congratulations! and Well done TOT!

In the first video, did the Civic mill blow up? I could see a lot of white smoke!
Not at all. Minor glitch perhaps which they fixed quickly.
2 drivers were driving the car, and the second driver actually went faster than me in his run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aqualeo2040 View Post
Any clip of the Vento on it's magic run?
Here you go. Runs from the Vento 1.6 TDI and the Laura 1.8 TSI



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Old 28th July 2016, 19:06   #66
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Default re: 213 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right! Tons of mods & victories

I just saw this pic in NASA FB page. How was your driving experience at BIC? . Sad to hear about suspension issue.
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Old 6th November 2016, 19:05   #67
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Default re: 213 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right! Tons of mods & victories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
I just saw this pic in NASA FB page. How was your driving experience at BIC? . Sad to hear about suspension issue.
Unfortunately, on the way to Delhi, 2 kms. from Surat, my front left strut mount assembly failed/collapsed and consequently the spring cracked, potentially due to fatigue from one of the many bad stretches of roads we encountered along the way. Luckily for me, Surat had a Skoda workshop, and I somehow managed to get the car into Torque Automotives at Surat.

Now, it was pretty obvious that they wouldn't have stock of the Euro VRS TDI springs that I was running, and that would take at least a week to import. To my good fortune though, they were able to organize for a pair of front stock Laura rough road springs & a set of new top mounts, so I could get the car back on the road. The folks there at Torque Automotives, Surat were so courteous and helpful, and they hosted us extremely well for the entire day till the car was fixed - with a driver and spare car at our disposal as well! I just wanted to say 3 cheers and a big thank you to them for their hospitality.

I just wish they had a set of rear stock Laura springs as well, at least that would have made the car symmetrical. But they didn't, and now I had a car with front rough road springs, and rear euro VRS springs. It looked like Superman, about to fly. Check it out

213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at MMRT-img_20160722_191723232.jpg

Anyway, the big decision to take at that juncture was whether to continue on to Buddh and participate in the track day, or to ditch all plans and drive back home. It was pretty clear that I wouldn't be able to put in a decent lap time, with mismatched suspension front to rear, but then, I had committed myself to go to Buddh that weekend, so I decided to go anyway.

BIC is an amazingly awesome track, I was driving on the full track for the first time. I could only put in 3 laps, at which point, I got an oil pressure 'low' warning light on the dash. I of course immediately aborted the lap and came into the pits slowly. This was later diagnosed to be due to a leak in the oil cooler/heat exchanger and there was also debris in the oil passage. Talk about bad timing! Murphy's law states that "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong". If I'd met Mr.Murphy that day....

Anyway, all that is sorted out now, got a new pair of VRS front springs, cleared the oil passage from the oil cooler to the oil filter - and the car is awesome as ever.

I wanted to thank the guys at NASA - Northern Auto Sport Association, especially Prithwi, for hosting me and letting me tag along with them for the track day. Hope I'll be able to go back to Buddh and put in some decent lap times in the future.

Beyond all that, in the last 3 months, we’ve managed to find many more upgrades that we could do to the car, using only original VW/Skoda/Audi parts thereby staying true to the OE theme of the car. That, and my race wins at recent drag events coming up on the thread in the next few weeks. Cheers!

Last edited by kryptonite : 6th November 2016 at 19:14.
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Old 1st December 2016, 02:22   #68
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Default Tons of new mods!

Preface:

You need to setup your car for 90% of your regular usage. In my case, city driving & touring.
I will do the occasional racing event, but I will never compromise my car's setup for just racing.
It will carry 5 people plus luggage across most of the country, and will still win the occasional racing event.
I will also test - before and after installation of every part, to ensure there is noticeable gain either in driving behaviour, or by logging - never take anything for granted. It's your car, your money - treat both wisely.
That is how my cars will be setup always, but I'll take any power, handling or braking gains I can get without compromising driveability, as long as they're OE (for the most part).

And before I go forward, I do want to share one other thing I found in all these adventures - if the factory has found a way to better engineer a part, use it. Aftermarket parts may give you slightly more, but they would never go through rigorous testing for robustness and reliability like factory parts do. So, choose wisely

Fast forward to today:

After upgrading the Turbo, Suspension and Brakes to the European VRS TDI spec, I thought I'd reached saturation point. Of course, I would be able to go aftermarket at any time, and find a ton a new things to upgrade. But, I was adamant about keeping everything under the strict 'Original VW/Skoda/Audi equipment' banner. The car would remain OE, with everything fitting like factory, and working reliably like factory. Now at this juncture, when I thought I'd reached saturation point, I just realized we only had to do more research, that's all. So, without boring you with all the painful and long drawn research, let me summarize:

If you look at the various VW, Skoda, and Audi cars - each generation shares parts with other cars under the various banners. For my platform, also known as the MK5, parts are shared among the VW Golf/Jetta, Skoda Octavia/Yeti, and Audi S3/TT. Note that you need to be very careful in that all parts aren't the same across these vehicles, but many are. The good thing about this is that few cars like the Golf GTI and Octavia(Euro Octy, not Laura) VRS - basically the 'sport' models get better engineered parts in the engine, suspension and braking department, to allow the car to do more. But then, luckily for me, Audi took what VW and Skoda built on the Golf/Octavia, and raised it up a notch further in the S3 & TT. You have awesome factory engineered parts you can install from these cars.

So, TuneOTronics went ahead and picked up an official licence for the VAG parts database, and our research began. Time for more upgrades, and very importantly - all OE.

Here are the various upgrades we found, and installed on the car.
We'll do Engine today. Suspension, brakes, wheels, dyno & vbox in the next few posts.


Engine:

The 2.0L EA189 Diesel engine that I was running is of course used in many cars in the VAG group.

We found that the injectors & the fuel pump that the Laura runs is already the largest that VW supply for this 2.0L engine, Sid from TuneOTronics says they're good till 230 wheel HP, and the ones from the 3.0 TDI don't match anyway. But, we found others things we could upgrade, OE:


1) CR190 Turbo:

A variant of the international Audi A4 and a variant of the international Passat (mind you, not all international A4s or Passats, very select few) - both run a bigger turbo on the same 2.0L diesel that allows them to run 190 HP stock, and with some research, we found the right OE supporting parts to fit the turbo to my engine. So, we picked up the turbo. It's only very marginally bigger, but hey, I'll take it.

Vyshak from Adiga Automotives sorted out the install cleanly in a day, and the car was ready. I took it for a drive, and something that I'd anticipated did happen. I had more turbo lag than before, because of the bigger turbo. We of course had to re-do our tuning, since this turbo's compressor mapping was different to the one I had, and we spent a good couple of days understanding the turbo, and tweaking our remaps. As we proceeded, I requested Sid to see if we could make my map a little flatter like the turbo Petrols, instead of the traditional big peak that you see on Diesels followed by the inevitable significant fall.

So, Sid and Vivek from TuneOTronics went at it for a full day, and my new street/track/daily tune was ready. This was something I could thrash it day in and day out, and could also use it on the track since it never stressed any component of the engine at its peak, there was enough room to spare. It felt brilliant to drive. That extra lag that I experienced after the turbo upgrade had pretty much gone away. The initial felt as responsive as before. But my mid-range and top end felt definitely stronger. There was no let-up in power all the way to redline. It was insanely awesome. TuneOTronics had completely sorted out the turbo. Another couple of hours, and my race/drag tune was ready as well, which just felt bloody brutal. On the drag tune, we're running things close to peak, so I strictly use it for 400m drag races only.

Sid estimated we should be doing 200 HP on the street/track/daily tune, and 210 HP on the race tune. Since, I'd requested for a flatter map, he estimated my torque would drop from the previous 425NM to around 400NM, but then would average around 400NM for a much longer time. I was extremely happy with the setup, it was everything I could ask for, considering we were still using all OE components.

Could I have gotten a bigger turbo? Yes, but not OE.
Would we have more power? Yes, at the expense of response and low end drivability.

Testing:
0-100 on my new street/daily tune with the CR190 turbo - 6.87s
0-100 on my new drag tune with the CR190 turbo - 6.66s

Dyno and Vbox graphs to follow later this week.

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2) Audi S3 Intercooler:

What we were specifically looking was for ways to reduce Intake Air temperatures going into the engine. Since the turbo was much larger than the stock 140hp turbo, and we were now running close to 210HP, we were of course were fuelling for the kind of air we were now generating on the big turbo, exhaust temps would obviously go up, which in turn would heat up the turbo.

Bigger turbo = more air, so more fuel required to burn it cleanly without going too lean = higher temperatures.

If I had limited my running to street/daily use, and drag racing, the stock intercooler would be good enough. Exhaust temps under wide open throttle in top gears even after the bigger turbo was still under 850 deg C, so well within check, and my stock intercooler was still cooling intake air down reasonably well.

But then, if I were to go back to the track, and do back to back laps, the stock intercooler might soak over a period of couple of laps, and that would be detrimental to the efficiency of the engine as it wouldn't be able to do its job of cooling air down once it heat soaks.

We found that some variants of the Audi S3 (again mind you, not all international S3s) uses an all-aluminium Intercooler, with a much larger core than what runs in our cars. Audi developed it for applications of over 300 BHP. This one particular intercooler from one variant of the S3 is a direct fit for our MK5 based cars here as well. Unlike our stock intercooler which uses plastic end tanks, this one is all-aluminium and it should cool the charge down much better, and more importantly on the track, it should cool the charge down much more consistently. TuneOTronics sorted out the right part and we shipped it down. Paid a bomb for shipping and customs due to the weight and the value, but what the heck.

Vyshak from Adiga Automotives sorted out the install cleanly in a day as usual, and it fit like factory. I went out to test.

Testing:
I had taken logs from the previous morning before at similar ambient temperatures.
-On one single wide open run in 4th gear till redline, the new intercooler had dropped Intake air temperatures by up to 10~15 degrees.
-One multiple back-to-back wide open runs (without giving the engine a break) through the gears, the new intercooler had dropped temperatures by up to 20~25 degrees.

Nice! If I wasn't logging all this, I wouldn't have known that we had upgraded the intercooler. Because, to drive, it feels exactly the same.

213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at MMRT-intercooler.jpg



3) Cooling:

Since we upgraded the intercooler, we were also on the hunt for a radiator upgrade. We did find a smaller Aux OE radiator that we could install behind the fender to work in tandem with the main radiator, but then you'd need to get rid of the fog lamps and fabricate ducting to provide enough air flow to the Aux Radiator, and the piping looked painfully complex, also looked like we would have to fabricate certain pipes in the engine bay to reroute coolant. Usually, that isn't a problem, but I didn't want to indulge in all that much pain on this particular car. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any larger OE main radiators.

On similar lines, we also looked for a larger Engine oil cooler, but found none that would be a direct fit/upgrade.

Bigger DSG Cooler & Billet oil filter housing:

But along the way, we stumbled upon a larger DSG cooler for the DQ250, also used in one particular variant of the Audi S3 (not the same variant that runs the bigger intercooler though, ha-ha).
So, we picked that up, and while we were at it, we also ordered a DSG oil filter housing made of Billet aluminium since the plastic OE oil filter housing tends to crack when you change filters. The billet oil filter housing also has fins to dissipate heat, so would help. Yes, the oil filter housing is not OE, but it’s small, and was a necessity for me since a DSG oil change was coming up, and I wanted to install a permanent solution.

Testing:
I had taken logs from earlier that day before the install, as always.
-On one single wide open run in 4th gear till redline, the new oil cooler with the billet housing had dropped DSG clutch oil temperatures by up to 7~10 degrees. But this was also after a DSG oil change, so I'm not sure which contributed to how much of the temperature drop.

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4) Air intake:

Well, I was extremely particular about not going in for an aftermarket air intake, despite this being the first thing everybody does.
Why? Because when I was at the dyno, we did 2 runs with the OE air box, and then I insisted we remove the entire air box till before the MAF sensor, and we did 2 more runs - and guess what, found no difference in peak BHP and torque figures.

But having said that, an intake upgrade would help, not to increase peak torque and bhp numbers, but to potentially reduce spool, aid in the efficiency of the turbo at the top end where you need the most amount of air, but by how much - varies from engine to engine. And there were 2 primary reasons why I wanted to change my intake:

a) After the air is sucked in from the grill, there is a rectangular box which it goes into right behind the grill, in the engine bay. The box is, for some reason, divided into 2 parts. The bottom section is completely open, so some air goes right into the engine bay. Only the top half is where the air intake tubing is connected, and so not all of the air going into the intake snorkel at the grill is going into the air box. Some say that this design separates the larger particles like dust, pebbles, etc. from going into the intake. Since they're heavier, they go into the engine bay. But, no other intake employs this design. All of these larger particles usually get collected at the bottom of the air box, and if you clean it regularly, you're sorted.

b) The intake tubing. One end of this bugger is connected to the rectangular box sitting behind the grill, the other end goes into the air box. Why they couldn't connect each other straight, for the life of me, I've never understood. It takes an ugly, full, U or C turn from the rectangular box into the air box. For what joy, I don't know. I'd made it my mission to eliminate this turn, I just didn't like it. I would find an OE intake without the C or U turn, for sure.

And we did, we found an intake from the MQB platform, and we ordered it. But it didn't fit like factory. We had to do some jugad near the grill and shape the snorkel to match the opening at my grill. We fit it though, thanks to Vyshak at Adiga Automotives. The good news is this intake has its snorkel fully open into the air box, no partitions. And it runs a straight pipe which is slightly tilted downwards from the rectangular box at the grill, straight into the air box. No ugly U or C bends. That is all I wanted.

Was it worth it? Absolutely not worth the cost. For a little more, I could have picked up a Volkswagen Racing Intake system.

Testing:
Did it make any difference to regular driving? Nope. I couldn't feel anything. But, I did log Air mass in g/s, and:
-On one single wide open run in 4th gear till redline, we had gained 15~20 g/s peak.

That's healthy! I also picked up a BMC replacement filter for the intake recently, and yes, I know it's not OE, but it's necessary for me as I'm participating in so many events across the country, and I need a filter that I can wash and reuse, without worrying about stocking up new stock filters for events.

213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at MMRT-intake.jpg



5) Exhaust:

Well, I was extremely particular about not going in for an aftermarket exhaust either, despite this being another common thing everybody does.
No, I've never done a dyno run with & without an exhaust. I'm not mad, bahahaha

Yes, a free flow exhaust helps in certain situations, but I will assure you that you won't gain higher torque or BHP numbers on a turbocharged car. The goal of an exhaust mod would be to get the gases out as quickly as possible, so fresh charge can burn and get out with the least backpressure, thereby again improving the efficiency of the turbo, especially at the top end. I'm always against an aftermarket exhaust because of the drone they produce on the highway. My car doubles up as a GT, we tour long distances frequently, and the drone from aftermarket exhausts becomes irritating after a few hundred kms. My ideal exhaust would not produce any extra noise beyond stock at part to medium throttle, that is my use case 90% of the time. It should roar at full throttle. Remember how I spoke about setting up your car for 90% of your usage? But then, technically, this would only be possible with an electronically ECU controlled butterfly valve in the exhaust. Think I'm asking for too much, right?

Problem No: 1: Not many people make custom exhausts for diesels
Problem No: 2: All those who make diesel exhausts, don't customize it like how I need it to be, i.e, no sound unless you want it to make sound.
Problem No: 3: There is no OE exhaust which is better than what I already have, they're all based on the same principle

So, what did I decide to do? Make my OE exhaust free flow. Yes, you heard that right.

We decided to take out all the restrictions from within the OE exhaust, but keep the outer layer, or the shell, as is.
But we would do this right, applying principles of designing exhausts correctly. This needed a ton of research, and that's where Vyshak of Adiga Automotives came in.

This was easier than done though. The are 3 main components in any exhaust that restrict noise, or flow of gases if you will.
The first restriction is the catalytic converter, the second is the resonator, and the last is the muffler.
All 3 stages reduce gas velocity in the attempt to reduce emissions (in the first case) & noise (in the second and third cases) as well.
We would address all 3 stages similarly, basically put a straight pipe through each of the 3 components, but test each stage at a time to see what would hinder my requirement - i.e no extra noise at part to medium throttle.

We first dug out the CAT, put a well bent pipe through the CAT box, same diameter as the pipe it meets at the other end. This added a bit of hissing and puffing to the whole spectacle, but didn't affect noise during regular driving. Good stuff. But it also didn't affect noise at full pelt either, so onto the next stage.

The resonator was in fact straight through, but worked on the principle of reflections. The pipe coming in and going out were positioned at 2 different levels. So exhaust was forced to basically bang across the walls from one opposite end to the other, back and forth, till it found the outlet. We removed the resonator and put a straight pipe through that as well. This increased noise a little bit. It was actually nicely pleasant. But not loud enough at full throttle for me to justify an exhaust mod.

We finally reached the muffler, and I knew this would be the key factor in absorbing noise. And possibly the most restrictive as well, after the CAT.
The muffler was quite complex. It was designed to use few principles of reducing sound through reflections, and a bit of reducing sound through good old restriction (forcing gas to pass through small diameter holes).
After debating what to do for quite a bit, we decided to eliminate reflections and restrictions, and resort to good old absorption only, like in the good old 2 stroke bike days.

Basically inside the stock muffler, we connected both ends through a straight pipe, but we ensured it was heavily perforated. Around the perforation, we packed steel wool.
Why? The basic principle is that when velocity of gas is low (part to mid throttle), gases escape through the perforations and most of the sound gets absorbed through the packing.
When you're full throttle, the velocity is fast enough that it goes straight out without having time to go through perforations, thereby amping the theatre at full volume.

Testing:
Net result? Exactly what I wanted. No sound most of time, roars (or grunts I should say, it's a diesel for crying out loud) during full bore acceleration.
Full Kudos to Vyshak from Adiga Automotives for understand my requirements, and assisting me with the design and implementation.

Whohooo!!!
Ahem, still technically an OE exhaust. New rule, mods within OE components shall be allowed on my car ;-)

Check out a video of a flyby of my car after the exhaust mod:


You guys know where this video was taken, and you know what's coming up... 3 guesses.

Suspension, brakes, wheels, dyno & vbox in the next few posts, and there's a lot of info there as well! Cheers

P.S: Photos courtesy of whoever took them, and shared publicly, nationally or internationally! My phone sucks

Last edited by kryptonite : 1st December 2016 at 02:45.
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Old 1st December 2016, 03:47   #69
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Default Re: Tons of new mods!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryptonite View Post
Preface:

You need to setup your car for 90% of your regular usage. In my case, city driving & touring.
Buddy, you are crazy.

Its a pleasure to read your posts and I like your approach.
Quote:
I will also test - before and after installation of every part, to ensure there is noticeable gain either in driving behaviour, or by logging - never take anything for granted. It's your car, your money - treat both wisely.
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Old 1st December 2016, 10:03   #70
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Default Re: Tons of new mods!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryptonite View Post

You guys know where this video was taken, and you know what's coming up... 3 guesses.

Suspension, brakes, wheels, dyno & vbox in the next few posts, and there's a lot of info there as well! Cheers
Woah kryptonite you have probably set a record on the forum for the Most Modded German Car buddy

What is really commendable are your efforts in sourcing the parts from across the world and the time you have spent in installing them

Can't wait to see the Dyno numbers and if time permits, it would be great if you can also record 0-100, 20-80, 40-100 sort of timings.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 1st December 2016 at 16:54. Reason: Removed the unwanted bits. Thanks!
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Old 1st December 2016, 18:13   #71
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Default re: 213 BHP Skoda Laura - Diesel VRS done right! Tons of mods & victories

Time to round up the Engine updates:


Dyno Chart:

Race tune (415 NM, 213 BHP) vs. Street tune(404 NM, 203 BHP)


213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at MMRT-new.png


Vbox Graphs (Runs were with DSG launch control, of course):

Race tune (6.62s to 100) vs. Street tune (6.87s to 100)


213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at MMRT-vbox.png
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Old 2nd December 2016, 20:17   #72
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Default Re: 213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at

Incredible stuff man. You've done a great job with your car. It's ridiculously quick as well as seen on the track.

I love that you've stuck to OE as much as possible.

I completely agree with you on the exhaust. Drones are painful when you are actually using the car and not using it as some sort of show-off vehicle in front of girls colleges!
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Old 2nd December 2016, 20:39   #73
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Default Re: 213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at

Incredible stuff. 213BHP at the wheels translates to around 250 at the crank, with 15% losses. That's 125 BHP/L, from a diesel!

Given the level of commitment & research that you've put in, it's a no brainer that you'd have come across the Passat 2.0 Biturbo, which gets 240BHP from the same 2.0L Diesel, in the CUAA avatar. What were your reasons in not choosing to go down that path?

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Old 3rd December 2016, 00:39   #74
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Default Re: 213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at

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Originally Posted by d3mon View Post
Given the level of commitment & research that you've put in, it's a no brainer that you'd have come across the Passat 2.0 Biturbo, which gets 240BHP from the same 2.0L Diesel, in the CUAA avatar. What were your reasons in not choosing to go down that path?

Of course. That bi-turbo setup is vastly different in configuration, with oil feed, oil return, dual loop EGR piping, exhaust manifold itself, intake side of the turbo, exhaust side of the turbo and what not - at completely different places. It will never fit like OE, factory, to our engines.

Moreover, the more difficult wastegate valve, bypass valve, & dual vane actuator integration is next to impossible without the ECU being 'aware' of a bi-turbo setup. I wish it was ;-)
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Old 3rd December 2016, 04:15   #75
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Default Suspension upgrades!

Suspension upgrades!

If you don't push your car too hard, then understeer is your friend, not your enemy. It's the first instance of the car telling you that you've gone a little overboard. All front wheel drive cars will understeer at some point, factory or modified. When your front wheels do steering, turning, and most of the braking at the same time - it is always going to be too much for them to handle at some point.

But, if you have a front wheel drive car, and if you setup your car well, and manage to cut understeer enough to suit your driving style; unless and until you don't have way too much excessive torque for a front wheel drive to handle, you will always be able to manage the car. That's important. How you setup your car to your driving style matters, not what X reviewer or Y nut on Facebook or Z magazine said or did with a similar car - all of that doesn't matter. Everyone has different tastes.

Take it to a track, push it as hard as you dare to, make notes of what behaviours you didn't like, and come back to tweak till you are comfortable with the balance of your car; again not because somebody said XYZ set of settings was better for them, nor because ABC parts worked for them better. You have to truly understand that it's you and your car that form the equation, nobody else matters. Don't be pretentious. Find what works for you and your car, don't listen to what others say always. Else, you will never build your car properly.

With that said, let's delve into the Suspension upgrades I did.
I was now on European TDI VRS spec shocks and springs. The combo was awesome, I absolutely loved the marked improvement I experienced compared to the stock rough road Laura suspension. But, now that we we had access to the original VAG parts DB, and had managed to find further upgrades on the engine front, we were on the lookout for parts to upgrade the suspension:


Front end:

I'll tell you what, we found stiffer OE springs and OE shocks from other cars built on the MK5 platform, that's for sure, but not 'equally tall, yet stiffer'.
If you're familiar with the VAG parts DB, and you use it properly, you will find that every spring and shock combination is assigned a weight category.
This weight category is critical, and is different for every single car, because every single car is a different design.
Moreover, Shocks are designed for certain springs, and springs are designed for those shocks, and this is critical because you're running fixed damping and rebound.
You just cannot pick random shocks and springs and expect them to work with each other - without suffering on either ride quality or handling fronts.

The Golf GTI & Seat Leon Cupra though share the front/rear springs and shocks between them, are different to the Octavia VRS and Jetta GLI - in that, the fronts are comparable, but the rear springs and shocks are different.
Why? Because the Octavia & Jetta have a boot, and there's more static weight at the rear, and the rear suspension needs to cope with it through corners, and hence needs to be setup differently than the Golf.
The same with the TT, it may be based on the Golf, but it runs a different front and rear track, and a different wheelbase, and also runs lower static ride height, and runs unique suspension & wheel alignment geometry, and hence needs to be setup differently than the Golf.
The same with the S3, it may be based on the same platform, but the car is bigger than the Golf, but isn't as big as the Octavia VRS/Jetta GLI, and it runs lower than both of them again, and hence needs to be setup uniquely differently.

Would the shocks or springs from either of these cars fit my Laura? Physically, yes, if you chose the right parts. But they would be mismatched to the Laura chassis.
We were in fact able to figure out a combination of springs & shocks with a weight rating from this pool that would match the Laura, but then I would run lower than the Euro VRS suspension I was running, and I couldn't have that.
I was already scraping my bottom on some of Bangalore's infamous speed bumps, not all, but some - while driving single. With full load, don't ask. The primary culprit scraping under load was the second half of the car, from mid to rear.

Despite tearing down the entire parts database, we determined my TDI VRS front springs were the absolute best compromise I could run, in terms of lowering vs. performance vs. stiffness

We did however manage to find OE shocks which were as stiff as Bilstein B6 for example, with heavy duty valving and what not, but then, they were only designed to be used with springs that were much lower than the VRS spec.
I couldn't go any lower, and there was no other combination of spring and strut we could cook up in the VAG group that would help us maintain the same ride height, yet be stiffer; except one rear spring set. More on that later, when we get to the rear end.


1) Audi TT Lower arm bushes

On our platforms, the lower arms (or control arms) are connected to the sub frame by 2 metal mounts on either side, which have a rubber bush inside them.
This rubber bush on our Laura/Jetta has voids in them, 4 of them to be precise. What these voids do is enable the entire assembly to flex as required, since the rubber has voids and is more malleable to stress.
The amount of flexing these bushes allow isn't good for spirited driving. The front end tends to hunt around without holding its line since the lower arms keep flexing with the bushes, irrespective of what suspension you run.

We found that Audi fixed this problem in 2 stages:
a) On the S3, they eliminated 2 of the 4 voids in the rubber bush
b) On the TT, they eliminated all of the 4 voids - and made it an all-round stiff bush, which made it 30% stiffer than our stock bushes.

But, there's a catch, and this is invaluable info to you guys:
The S3's lower arm is the same geometry as our Laura/Jetta, so the metal mount with the bush inside is a direct swap. But, the bush still has 2 voids, it's not the stiffest bush you'll find, OE.
The TT's lower arm is not the same geometry as our Laura/Jetta, it runs adjustable ball joints with which you can adjust front castor/camber, the suspension & wheel geometry is different to other cars, and the lower arms and subframe are hence shaped slightly differently (not very visible to the naked eye unless you look close). But the bush inside the metal mount is solid, and you need these bushes.

So, just grab the S3 lower arms, and the TT lower arm metal mounts with solid bushes, right?
You can't! The TT metal mount's holes do not match the holes on the sub frame of our cars. The S3's metal mounts do, they're a direct swap.

So, what do you do? We broke our heads for a long time, and finally Vyshak from Adiga Automotives gave us the solution. TuneOTronics sorted out the right part, ordered the solid TT bushes, and at a lathe, Vyshak swapped out the stock Laura voided bush within the metal mount with the TT solid bush. Job done, mission accomplished! And yes, it makes a noticeable difference to the front end. Relatively inexpensive mod.

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2) Audi TT Front Top mounts

Top mounts use rubber bushing to absorb some of the shock from the suspension. On our platforms, since the shock absorber geometry is the same across pretty much all cars based on the MK5 platform, to our delight, we were able to find front top mounts from the Audi TT that used rubber bushing which was 30% stiffer than what our top mounts use. Surprisingly, the S3 doesn't use these mounts, they're the same as the Laura on the S3, but the RS3 does use the same top mounts as the TT.

It's visually very difficult to distinguish the 2 top mounts, unless you check the stiffness of the rubber, so I won't bother posting pictures here. But, TuneOTronics sorted out the right part number, and Adiga Automotives sorted out the fitment, and it fit like factory. We did have to take out the front suspension to fit it, but then, this wasn't the only item we fit (see below). I can assure you that they do make a difference for sure, and is a relatively inexpensive mod. Worth the money!



3) S3 Aluminium Lower arms

Remember when I touched on the fact that the S3 suspension geometry is identical to ours? So, then why would the lower arms (or control arms) from the S3 be any better than ours?
They're better engineered, that's why. They're made of lightweight aluminium, instead of the sheet metal ones that our stock Laura/Jetta control arms are made of.

They save from 3~4 kg of weight (for a pair), just because of the fact they're aluminium. How does it help though?
That's 3~4 kg of unsprung mass you're removing from your vehicle. Unsprung mass directly affects your handling.

The unsprung vs. sprung weight percentage mostly affects wheel control, but its importance is almost entirely limited to conditions where you go over uneven surfaces, or conditions where the vehicle undergoes direction changes like during cornering (especially on a track). Cars requiring precise control of wheel movement, where a low percentage of unsprung weight is an advantage because the lighter lower arms allow the wheel (and consequently the tyre) to respond better to changes over uneven surfaces or loading (cornering) - by extending or retracting based on road conditions much quicker than a heavier lower arm.

Now, some more invaluable info:
Can you use the TT Aluminium lower arms? Not quite, though they're aluminium, remember I mentioned they run a different geometry? To use them, you'll also need to order the TT adjustable ball joints, then make major adjustments to your wheel alignment because this will change things drastically. Go with TT lower arms + ball joints only if you wish to induce a lot of negative camber on the front. Else, stick to the S3 lower arms, and call it done since it will fit like factory, and maintain the same existing geometry

213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at MMRT-arms.jpg




4) S3 Aluminium Knuckles (Also known as Spindles, Uprights or Wheel bearing housings):


On similar lines to the lower arms, the S3 Knuckles are also made of Aluminium, and again save about 3~4 kg of weight (for a pair) of unsprung mass.
While the Knuckles don't move around like the lower arms, their benefits are probably less important, but then, they still help you shed a good amount of unspring weight, which is always awesome.

Again, the TT knuckles are also Aluminium, but run a different geometry to match the TT lower arms and the different suspension & wheel geometry it runs. We need the S3 ones!

213 WHP Laura TDI-VRS| Tons of mods (only OE parts)| Won Drags,AutoX,Sprint| Clocked 2:05.69 at MMRT-knuckle-spindle-upright.jpg


Just (3) + (4) saved me 6~6.5 kgs. of unsprung mass, total. And the car just felt lively as hell after these changes, especially during cornering, and especially during cornering over uneven surfaces.
I absolutely loved these upgrades to bits!


So, what did I accomplish by all this:
I stiffened end up my front roll centre. I didn't stiffen my front suspension, didn't compromise my ride quality, but stiffened up my roll centre. That's important to take away.
But, on a front wheel drive car which exhibits understeer like most FWD cars, you need to stiffen up your rear roll centre even more, so you load the front stronger.



Rear end:

1) Springs:

The best compromise we could find was a stiffer rear spring from the Octavia Combi TDI RS, stiffer for my Laura because it's designed to maintain ride height and handling despite carrying 30kgs more weight (due to the design for the combi rear weight). This was the only spring which was the exact same in height, but had a thicker spring coil diameter to the one I was using at the rear. This worked brilliantly for me, since it:

a) Only lifted the static rear height by about 5mm (not very noticeable to the naked eye). but compressed far lesser with passengers at the back, thereby giving me some respite from scraping our infamous speed bumps.
b) If you understand suspension geometry well, a stiffer rear on a front wheel drive helps cut understeer, because it loads the front more, and it did! It's the same effect of adding a stiffer rear anti-roll bar, but at the expense of ride height & ride quality.
c) Also, while drag racing, when I launch, as in any other car, weight shifts to the rear and usually tends to unload the front, and on a front wheel drive, you will have wheel spin (on a rear wheel drive, it's the opposite. You want more weight to shift to the rear to load the rear more and aid better traction). In my case. The stiffer rear now helped curb the front unloading to an extent, thereby leaving the weight on the front, thereby keeping traction on the front.

Win-Win-&-Win! A subtle, but useful change.
No point posting pictures, the springs look dead identical to the naked eye, just mm apart.



2) RS front & S3 rear anti-roll bars

Right, so anti-roll bars basically connect both your left and right suspension axes, and when cornering load is higher on one side, depending on the stiffness of your anti-roll bar, it distributes that much more to the other side, thereby reducing roll. It's the same principle at either the front or rear end.

With that said, the setup I had with the upgrades I listed above was really almost neutral. For my driving style, I could use a little bit of less understeer, but that was about it. The car was almost already doing everything I wanted it do. So, keeping the OE theme in mind, we set about hunting for anti-roll bar upgrades.

Now, on a front wheel drive, if you want to cut understeer using an anti-roll bar, you either need a smaller (or thinner) one at the front, or bigger (or thicker) one at the back. I did both ;-) Typically, most folks go 3~5mm thicker at the back, because that's what aftermarket parts provide to start with, but I've driven their cars, and they all tend to induce oversteer on front wheel drive cars.

Me, I neither wanted to nor needed to go that large, I was almost happy with the car. What we discovered was that, true to the basic principles of how anti-roll bars work on front wheel drive cars, the VRS used a thinner front anti-roll bar (by 0.5mm), and a thicker rear anti-roll bar (by 1mm) than the standard non-VRS car. This was synonymous with the Golf GTI & the Jetta GLI, basically the other 'sport' oriented FWD cars on the MK5 platform.

And that's pretty much what I decided to do. I picked up the front VRS anti-roll bar (which was 0.5mm thinner, and didn't really make too much of a difference), but did one better on the rear anti-roll bar.
We picked up a rear anti-roll bar from a particular variant of the S3, which was 1mm thicker in outer diameter than the stock Laura (like the VRS anti-roll bar), but also happened to be 0.6mm thicker in wall thickness than the VRS rear ARB, which would make it stiffer than the OE VRS anti-roll bar.

The TT, as I mentioned before, runs very different suspension geometry, and I can tell you for sure that its anti-roll bar config is weird to say the least.

Again, won't bother posting anti-roll bar pictures because they look identical to the naked eye, unless measured.

So, Vyshak from Adiga Automotives sorted out the installation of everything I just outlined above, truly flawlessly. A true testament to a guy who's really passionate about what he does.
This was followed up with a full 4-wheel alignment with front and rear camber & toe adjustments.


Wheel Alignment:

On this platform, unless you don't install the adjustable ball joints from the TT, the front camber and castor are not adjustable. With the adjustable ball joints from the TT, they are adjustable.
But, you can 'distribute camber' left to right by moving the sub frame left or right very slightly (there's not much play), that takes some art to do. Mine's bang on at almost minus 45' of negative camber on the fronts.
Rear camber is fully adjustable on this platform, so is Toe on both the front and rear. Mine's at minus 1deg20' of negative camber on the rear, with toe at plus 5' on all 4 wheels.

And thus, we closed on suspension mods. The last bit of mods on the anti-roll bars completely sorted out my car to do exactly what I needed the car do when driving spiritedly on the road, on a track, and up the Ghats.
I really couldn't ask for or want anything more. We'd truly and completely stuck to the OE theme as usual, and I was very pleased with the outcome.



Coming up are the brakes, wheels, tyres, car detailing, recent race wins, and something much more awesome!

P.S: Photos courtesy of whoever took them, and shared publicly, nationally or internationally! My phone sucks

Last edited by kryptonite : 3rd December 2016 at 04:27.
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