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  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    I don't have knowledge of EIP's consumer reputation. They should be able to supply references, or check the local Better Business Bureau for claims.

    I also did not know about VW Sport, are they local to DC? Do they have a web site?

    I agree with you that it's better to replace the struts in the beginning, instead of waiting for them to wear out. Less labor in the long run and less labor to do the swap actually. The mechanic can swap out strut/spring assemblies without having to disassemble your existing assemblies to get at the old struts. You may be able to get the new struts and springs shipped pre-assembled for free or minimal charge, another savings.

    Besides, you are going to pay the money for struts some time, it makes sense to get the most use from them. I also think that the SYSTEM approach to suspension tuning is only way to go, so why compromise the desired goal with a known mismatch?

    Also, I think everyone agrees that the Golf III is underdamped. It doesn't wiggle (waddle is more like it, Miata's wiggle {;=P ) because the springs are too soft. It wiggles because the shocks (Brits call them DAMPERS, more descriptive) don't dampen out the natural oscillations that exist in any mechanical system.Stiffer springs will make it lean less in corners and squat/dive less under de/acceleration; all good things, esp. in a FWD car. But, not replacing the struts would be wrong IMHO.

    Sorry to get a little too techno, my inner geek is showing. I'm a mechanical engineer, and spring/mass/damper systems are stock-in-trade.

  • Hello Knowledgeable VW Owners,

    I am a hopeful future VW owner. Me thinks the vr6 is out of my price range and that 4 doors would be practical. What are the differences between the golf with the smaller engine and the gti ? Please note, I am thinking of a 96 vintage. Any thoughts or comments appreciated!!!
  • The differnce is a lot of speed! The VR6 is a marvelous engine, and quickly turns the Golf's 0-60 run into 6.8 seconds. Don't get me wrong, the normal Golf's are great cars and fun too. They ride a little nicer because they have the normal ride heighth, not lowered 7mm like the GTI's, and because they don't have the lower profile rubber. Other than just having two doors though, they're just as practical because the back seat is just as big. So the choice, other than money, is really how fast you want to go!

  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    From a cargo and comfort standpoint, I think the four door is an excellent choice. Maybe it's just because I have back trouble, but I find it much easier to load groceries, etc. through the back doors. Both the 2 and 4 door have a split seat, so a passenger can ride even when the skis are in the car. ;-)

    I'm on my second VW Golf (not GTI) since 1988 and I love it!
  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50

    I know which suspension system I want to get now. I have in mind the Neuspeed package for the 2.0L which contains Bilstein Sport shocks, Neuspeed springs, 25mm&28mm sway bars, and an upper-tie strut bar. This set up will lower my car b/t 1.5-1.75". I have ridden in a GTI with an identical setup and I really like it. The package costs around $1200.

    As for the exhaust, Techtonics is my choice b/c of its nice low growl and 2" mandrel downpiping.

    As far as wheels, I really am tempted to get 16" alloys with 205 tires but I'm still naive about this area.

    Do you have any suggestions?
  • edngedng Posts: 2
    Just curious on what people think...I'm also
    replacing my old CRX with something bigger and
    have narrowed it down to either an Acura Integra
    GSR or a VW VR6. Both are at about the same
    price range but are vastly different cars.
    Any advice?
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    German Engineering or Japanese Quality????

    Until recently, when VW "fixed" the suspension on the VR6, it would have been the Integra, hands down.

    Now it comes down to your driving habits. Do you make many short trips or is highway cruising more common for you?

    The VR6 is more sedate on the highway, while the GS-R will probably drive you crazy on long trips with the low gear ratios and the lack of sound/vibration damping materials.

    On the other hand, I drive 30 miles one-way back and forth to work, mainly on freeways, reverse commuting with light traffic. The GS-R would probably be great for this duty.
    The sound would be okay, for 35-40 minutes.

    If I was taking a day-trip though, I would take our VW. Just like now, where it is the choice between CRX and Golf.

  • BillCBillC Posts: 5
    Bruce, thanks for all the cool info. On wheels,
    is Borbet a decent brand? I'm looking for wheels for a Passat that look like the (grossly overpriced at $1350 for 4 15x6) factory wheels.
    I want to go Plus1 while I'm at it and upgrade the
    factory tires.
    Thanks in advance.

  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    Yes, Borbet is one of the better brands. Do you have a 4 CYL Passat or VR6? There is a big difference, 4 lug vs 5 lug for instance.

    I also thought the 15" factory wheels were 6-1/2" wide. Maybe it was different on the Passat. Have you looked on the used market for wheels. I have seen a lot of (5 lug, 15" x 6-1/2") GTI VR6 wheels for sale by people who upgraded.

    I have found it tough to locate the factory wheels I want, which are the 4 lug, 15 x 6-1/2 for Carlady's Golf GL. I may have to settle for 14 x 6.

    Happy Hunting,

  • BillCBillC Posts: 5
    I ordered a V6, but am seriously thinking of taking a 1.8T instead and doing some very slight tuning (a chip and an air filter to go with the 16" wheels and tires). I have to just get over the warranty issue (i.e. you lose it when you snap in the chip). Then I have to find some good wheels that fit. Your advice has been very helpful on defining "good" wheels.
    Do you know much about chips?
  • Hey VW fans,

    I've been reading some of your comments here and I am in the same dilemma that several folks here have been going through. German engineering, Mexican construction [GTI VR-6] vs. Japanese build quality and reliability.

    Can anyone give me some testimonials of A3's holding up to the long haul?

    I've heard that trim pieces and minor stuff falls off, breaks, etc. However, the powertrain remains good on newer VW's.

    My friend's German built Passat has held up well over time though. What do you think? Thanks.

  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50
    Bill (and others thinking of sport tuning),

    I have gone through exactly what you are going through now--the compelling urge to upgrade a VW.

    First, you must ask yourself if there's anything really wrong with your car as it is.

    Second, you must understand that every single mod will alter something with your car's behavior (heard, seen, or unseen). To gain one thing you must be willing to sacrifice another.

    As examples, I will use your desired mod pieces-i.e., chip and free-flow air filter.

    Dyno tests ran on a Golf GL show that Autothority chips are superior to others like Techtonics, Neuspeed, Autotech, AMS, and the stock chip. HP & torque gains over the stock chip are seen across the board but only really kick in after 3000rpm. The chip is a great, affordable gadget to gain real power, but as everything, it has its price. You most likely will be saying bye-bye to your 10yr/100Kmi warranty. The chip may also have glitches-and this has happened with Autothority's chips in the past. Look around the Net for people who have had problems with the chip--there are plenty out there, and there are as many very satisfied folks, too! The 93 octane fuel--I actually wouldn't mind buying each fill up.
    (OBD-II Chip Comparison found in...
    European Car,Dec. 97, pg.110).

    2)free-flow air filter:
    As with the chip, there are several brands to choose from. Neuspeed makes a familiar one called the 'P-flo' which uses the RAMAIR design(basically a cylindrical sponge coated with sticky goo). The P-flo previously used the K&N cone filter design (which I prefer over the sponge). Both will surely do one thing for your car-make it sound meaner and louder. As to whether it actually gives you added HP is questionable, depending on how you use it. The question many people are confused about is: "what is better-COLD air or MORE air?" Ideally, you should have both to see any HP gain. E.C. ran a test to see if a RAMAIR filter could gain HP over stock. Guess what? The free-flow filter actually ROBBED power across the board from the VR6 Jetta being tested! Even with an additional cool air bath prop installed, HP gains were pathetic, present only after 60mph. So maybe this has answered our question above.
    Free-flow filters sound great, if your willing to sacrifice--horsepower!
    (Air Filter/Intake System Comparison found in...
    European Car, Feb. 98, pg.38).

    After rumination and study, IMHO, a more beneficial path to sport tuning your stock VW is to work on its supension (springs, dampers, swaybars, wheels and tires). Would-be lost-torque is picked up when you prevent the car fromt diving and squating during quick acceleration/braking.

    Best of luck on tuning your VW!
  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50

    I own a '97 GTI and have had no problems with it yet. A3s seem to be alright after all. You mentioned that your friend has a Passat. What year is it? Go with German engineering!
  • BillCBillC Posts: 5
    Thanks GuyP. I was mostly worried about heat produced by being able to burn fuel faster and the extra stresses that could be put on the tranny and rear end. Heat's bad for electronics and I would assume it needs to be dissapated somehow. Headers? The extra torque and HP are going to whack the tranny and rear end. Can they handle it? And finally, noise is not what I want. My 67 Camaro fulfilled that need for me earlier in life.
    Thanks for the tip on an air filter. I'd not heard that that was a side affect.
    It sounds more and more like waiting for the V6 is the right move. It is SMOOTH.

  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50

    Are you thinking of getting the New Passat V6?

    Great car, I test drove both the V6 tip and the 1.8T, and I loved them both. I'd imagine the 5-spd V6 would be exhilirating!

    Build quality is definitely up a few notches from the previous model, wouldn't you agree?

    I thought that you might like to know this:
    There was a GLITCH REPORTED on the New Passat over in the Bay Area. The poor guy just had it for 2 days when the problem appeared. Apparently, during a drive during a rainstorm, the moonroof engaged by itself! It refused to close and the interior was solied. The darned thing finally closed--again, on its own volition! As he was taking it to his dealer, the event repeatedly occured. When he arrived, he couldn't get the moonroof to do its thing again.
    (New Passat moonroof glitch found in...
    Sedans conference, topic# 203)

    So, Bill, make note of this b/f you make the plunge. I own a 97 GTI and IT'S just fine. This is not a good sign for VW if their planning on improving their image for the turn of the millenia. Hopefully, there's nothing wrong with the upcoming Golfs and Jettas, not to mention the New Beetle!
  • My buddy's Passat is a '92 4-cyl that he picked up while he was in Germany. He's actually driven it on both continents not to mention the Autobahn. Pretty cool, eh.

    Passat moonroofs having their own minds. Well, it seems VW's CEO wants to take the upmarket and compete with BMW's. They want to make the build quality better and hike up the price. So long "People's Car", hello 80's.
  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50
    Hey everyone,

    If your interested, I want you to read message#6-8 over at 'Honda Civic vs. VW Golf' topic. It is pretty darn hilarious. Tell me what you think.
  • BillCBillC Posts: 5
    "Teutonic Turd"? Ya gotta laugh. Anyhow, I hope not!
    I've been pretty active in the Passat topic.
    I haven't gotten to drive a V6 Passat yet (they just got here this week in Austin an I haven't gotten down to the dealer for a ride). They did let me drive the 2.8 A4 5spd though. It was sweet indeed. Too bad it was also over $30K.
    I think the new Passat has a great feel to it. It's mechanically related to the A4 which even Consumers Report calls "very reliable". I sure hope it's OK.
    If the V6 has the right feel I'll probably just drop my tuning plans. I'll post back when I've gotten some seat time.
  • BillCBillC Posts: 5
    I got 30 minutes of "butt time" back to back in an Audi A4 1.8T and the Passat 2.8. No contest,
    it's the VW hands down. What a smooth power plant.
  • MossMoss Posts: 1
    I'm looking at a VERY used '86 Golf, hopefully for around $1,000. It's got manual transmission, has 150,000 miles on it, and no radio . . . any ideas, here, on the car's potential life span and/or what it would be worth?

  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    The potential lifespan depends on many variables and I'm sure folks here will jump in with loads of advice. The used car pricing here on Edmunds goes back to 1987 and I believe our VW Golf info will be helpful to you.
  • e101e101 Posts: 4
    A couple people asked, so i am responding here(Carlady) I just bought a '98 GTI 8V-BLK,for $15,500.
    Now, where can i get VW floormats cheaper than the dealer?
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    I got floor mats for my VW Golf at the Price Club (Costco in some areas.) I think they were about $20 for all four. They match the interior color and look just fine.
  • fozzyfozzy Posts: 6
    hello its me again

    i heard that in 99 the golf will be new. so i would assume that the 98,97's with the older body will be a bit cheeper, does anyone know about the changes and or any advice on wether or not i should wait till 99...
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    It's a definite. 1999 will be the year that the GOLF will transition over to the MK IV version. Funny thing, since most of the info is coming out of Europe, where the GOLF is SUPREMO compared to the Jetta, all the news I've seen relates to the MK IV GOLF.

    Look at your news agent (sorry, BRIT term) for some European car mags. There's lots more info in them re. the new GOLF, since it is being sold there this year.

    What I want to know is this: will the VR6 be available again in the GTI, or will the 20V turbo be the only option. In Europe, they are offering a wacky VR5 whish is a truncated VR6. It seems aimed at the more luxury oriented version. This is similar to the difference between the Audi A4 1.8 and 2.8, there's not much difference in outright performance. The difference is in composure.

  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50

    There's a great article in the current VW Motoring magazine. It compares ALL FOUR generations of the Golf GTI! Great reading. The Mk4 should be a great performer and really shine i.t.o. refinement and quality. But they tell me that it has really lost the GTI flavor (which even the Mk3 still has).

    This is the verdict from the test drivers of the 4 generations of GTI:

    Mk1--best original GTI experience
    Mk2--best 0-60 and highest top speed
    Mk3--best handling
    Mk4--most refined

    Mk1--scary brakes and unpredictable handling
    Mk3--smallest power/weight ratio
    Mk4--lost GTI flavor (too refined to be a TRUE GTI?)

    Does anybody agree with these judgments?
  • e101e101 Posts: 4
    I forgot where i read it but i did read that what is being said here IS VW's goal. VW is transitioning the Golf to more of a luxury car and giving up it's sporty image and attributes.That is what i read. Motor Trend i think?
  • drkdrk Posts: 2
    VR-6 GTI v. BMW 318ti
    Any and all-

    I am considering the purchase of a used, very low mile 1997 BMW 318Ti or a VW VR-6 GTI. I have driven both and am aware that the VW has the superior engine, by far.

    I think the BMW has the better steering, handling, build quality, looks, brakes and resale, though.

    Have any of you compared them and, if so, what are you thoughts/driving impressions?

    Thanks for any responses.
  • neilmcgneilmcg Posts: 3
    I own a Black 1997 5 speed GTI 2.0L with 17,500 miles, mudflaps, a 6 cd trunk changer and everything else that comes standard with a GTI. (ABS, A/C, fog lamps, power moonroof, alloy wheels, premium 8 speaker sound system with AM/FM cassette, theft deterrent system, power locks) I live on Long Island, New York and I am looking to sell this car to a good home for $14,000. Anyone interested can e-mail me at It is in excellent condition and still under the manufacturer's warranty.
  • GuyPGuyP Posts: 50
    To drk and neimcg:

    Both are great hatches but I think the GTI will give you more bang for the buck. I think the 318ti is way too much $$ for what you're getting.

    You can't compare the VR-6 to the 318ti. The VR-6 is superior. You can compare the 318ti with the 2.0L GTI though.

    If you do decide to get the 318ti, do it now b/c when the 1999 comes out you'll be very dissappointed with the new performance (116hp, sohc, 8v, 1.9liter, 0-60 in 10.1). Hey, the 2.0L GTI is looking REALLY GOOD now for only $15,500!

    I have the exact figures on my GTI except for the mileage (only 7,500). Why are you selling it????
This discussion has been closed.