noticing there's getting to be more interest in prepping golfs for track action and many people are interested in what others have already done and importantly what we feel to have been worth while. thought it might be an idea if people with track prepped cars leave a few details of what they have done and maybe a few hints and tips to help others along the way.
i was fortunate enough to buy this car pretty much as it is now. i have missed the enjoyment of development but saved a fair few quid!
the interior has been partially stripped. i would recommend this as a first step for anyone with a track specific car. i stripped my last car down to the dash and 2 seats and a difference is easily felt. the best bit is it only costs time. the even better bit is you can usually sell off your unwanted bits of trim. i removed the heater and fan from the last car but as we use it on the road as well we have left this one in in the interest of comfort!
front seats have been replaced with a pair of corbeau buckets. these mount to the floor using custom (read:home) made sub frames which locate in the original points on the floorpan. harnesses are fitted however having read a few posts on here it seems they ought to be attached to a cage rather than the rear seatbelt mounts.
suspension has been replaced with koni adjustables with eibach springs giving a 40mm drop all round. the ride is laterally stiff but suprisingly comfortable. underneath you will find a lower strut brace which runs between the wishbones. the wishbones themselves have been seam welded for added rigidity. everything is held onto the car via polly bushes front and rear. theres a strut brace between front and rear shock towers.uprated eibach anti roll bars stiffen things up further
brakes are standard 8 valve calipers. standard size but new grooved disks at the front and standard at the rear with new calipers all round. fluid has been changes for dot 5.1 and the hoses are stainless goodrich items. we had some drilled disks but they cracked after about 2 hours at cadwell...
we have a couple of sets of wheels and tyres which may sound extravigant but it makes sense in the long run and being frugal on ebay has kept costs to a minimum. we have a set of 15 inch g60 steels with fate (cheap) 195/50/15's for the road and wet or rough track use. for smooth tracks (and occasionally on the road) we have a set of stock 14 inch steels running 185/60/14 max sport cut 'slicks'. these are road legal and really sticky but noisy! finally we have a set of 15 inch chav alloys running michelin slicks of an unknown compound. to save these from unecessary wear we have only run them so far on propper tracks (cadwell)
engine wise we are running an 8 valve 1.8 motor which has had a blueprint rebuild. bottom end has been lightened and balanced. top end is standard but has been match ported. air is introduces via a k and n cone filter and exits through a stainless magnex manifold back system. the only engine mod is a superchip in the ecu. it is running 121 bhp at the wheels which doesnt sound particularly impressive but the power curve is basically a straight line at 45 degrees!
so was it worth it?
the engine feels great but if i was buying a fresh car to track i wouldnt go the expense that this has seen. i bet the engine rebuild would have gone quite a long way towards a transplant for a fast engine! if you are on abugdget there is plenty of poke in a bog stock 8 valve engine to have loads of fun. the best part is that these cars were pretty well thought out from the factory. the engine is reasonable, the brakes are good enough for the types of speed the engine is capable of and the suspension is well up to the job even standard. a lot of fun can be had is a standard car. brake fade will eventually spoil your day though.
the interior strip is definately a must if it is predominantly a track car. if you still want it to be useable then you need to be sensible.
the best part of this car are the poly bushes, the brakes and the track day tyres.
the bushes make everything feel really connected and positive. they make a huge difference. i am sure the braces probably do something but i doubt an average driver woiuld notice. although our brakes are nothing too special we dont suffer from fade so we can stay out longer. if i had the money i would like them to be a bit more powerful but i am happy as they are. the cut slick trackday tyres are amazing. htey offer huge levels of grip but let go progressively, as opposed to the slicks which are a bit more violent when they lose traction. they are also road legal which is fun in the dry. understeer is a thing of the past and i dont think there is much on the road that could take a roundabout faster!
so thats my car and my suggestions - weight, brakes and tyres.
(jv - please keep this on topic to make it useful, not just ask more questions