Mk3 VW Golf, 16v GTI

Discussion in 'VW' started by J-mo, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. J-mo

    J-mo New Member

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    Jun 26, 2013
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    I guess I'll claim this section as the resident VW tuner.. for now.

    I'd like to talk to you about the GTI we never got here, engine code ABF, the Mk3 16v GTI.
    This car can be found readily in Japan in both RHD and LHD variants. they are almost all 4 door models to add to the weirdness factor. the basic idea is you take a 93-98 Golf, give it the engine block of our domestic 2.0 8v ABA engine (115 HP) and put a refined and updated version of the mk2 16v GTI head on top with 10.5:1 pistons and lumpy cams to match. the end result is rev-happy due to the easy breathing head but still torquey due to the long stroke block, and puts out an advertised 150 HP in stock form... this is along the same lines as a skyline only making 270-whatever HP. In Europe your insurance bracket is dictated by engine size and horsepower. the cutoff between generally affordable and the higher end of the spectrum is at 2 litres and 150 HP.. Hey guess what, it's a 2.0 that makes 150 HP! that's easier to afford than the 2.8 Vr6 that makes 173 HP but costs double for insurance. So we have two GTI's to choose from, depending on whether you want a 'real' GTI or are satisfied with a 'baby' GTI.

    (if you are unsure what a Vr6 engine is, it's a v6 with a 15 degree cylinder bank offset instead of the usual 45-60 degrees.. and only one massive cylinder head to cover everything. use the google for more info and pics)

    The reality of it is that when they developed the 16v engine for the mk3, initial tests put it at 171 HP... while the 2.8 Vr6 was putting out 173 in the GLX jetta. why would you even bother having a 2.8 Vr6 engine if you just made a 2.0 inline 4 that makes almost the same power? they restricted their new 16v engine to 150 to cater to the lower tax market and fill a niche for entry level drivers. Much like the skyline, its true performance can be realized simply by removing a few factory parts. so now you're almost power matched for the Vr6 but you're a few hundred lbs lighter in the nose. the only real difference now is the torque curve and fuel consumption.

    The 16V GTI benefits from the same wider suspension and bigger brakes that the Vr6 GTI has. having 4 doors on the 16V also makes it serve double duty as a hot hatch sports car and a family friendly daily driver. Parts availability for the engine and chassis is very good. We had the Vr6 GTI here and several tuning shops have imported some of the 16v specific parts like timing belt and head gasket and a few coolant flanges to fuel the garage build market of people imitating the engine by slapping a mk2 16V head on a mk3 8v block with forged pistons.. the end result isn't nearly as potent unless you spend a lot of money on head porting though. VW has a habit of making one part and using it for as many applications as possible. for example, the distributor cap for the ABF 16v is the same as a 1993-95 audi V8 sedan, it's engine is essentially two 16v's stuck together, each bank has its own distributor.. same part number exactly for the one on the ABF.

    So then, here's what one of these rigs looks like! with a few tasteful modifications, of course.

    [​IMG]

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  2. Soren

    Soren Hiatus is the best way to control the urges..

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
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    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    wow! that looks really great. I've never really had a thing for VW's, and I worked for them for a while too, but a buddy just picked up a 2003 GTi on a whim, and it's really impressed me. Interior was incredible for what I expected, and it pulled pretty decent, felt pretty nimble.

    The information is gold though, it really helps to learn from an enthusiast. I would have never known, and now.. I'm a touch curious!

    (also, i have to admit. I want to give you the title under your avatar as "J-Murder" haha.
     
  3. J-mo

    J-mo New Member

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    Jun 26, 2013
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    A word of warning though, if you drive a 16V GTI, don't put it on cruise control at 140 k/h and drive the coquihalla after working a 10 hour shift on not enough sleep.. bad things happen.

    [​IMG]

    Woke up on my side in the ditch.. but hey, at least I woke up! walked away with nothing more than a broken collarbone and a couple bruises. Yeah it sucks, and I miss the car and my bilateral symmetry... but consider this my 5 star review for the crash durability of the Mk3 golf, I recommend being inside of one if you have the choice in an accident!

    (btw- the roof wasn't that low when I crashed, it was further folded in by the tow truck rolling it over out of the ditch.)
     
  4. Greg

    Greg Local Grumpy Moderator

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    ...Damn...
     
  5. Wolfd89

    Wolfd89 Last in, first out

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    Kamloops, BC
    wow, too bad about the car, but you are one lucky duck.