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More horsepower for a 2.0 VW Jetta

want to know if any one knows unexpensive ways to add a little more horse power on my jetta 3 gls 4dr. i got the 2.0 and am currently adding a cold air intake ,a and a cpu chip. does any 1 no any little tricks to get the a little more power out of my engine,such as modifications.........


  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,638
    Not to sound condescending or anything, but short of an aftermarket turbo, a different engine and alot of money, maybe the best bet would be to buy a car that has the performance.
    Remember, we're talking about a Volkswagon here and that ain't gonna get it.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    but on the brighter side, the Honda boys have to deal with it, too. While on some of the big V-8 cars, there are a few tricks that give a few horsepower here and there, like removing the air intake silencer assembly (8-10 hp), the same tricks on an engine with 105 hp will only yield 1-2 hp.

    Schrick makes wicked cams for your car, as does Gruude.

    Also, you can check with Techtonics VW Tuning - they are a really kick butt VW tuner shop in Sheridan, OR (I lived near there for 3 years) and bought some cool stuff for my Scirocco.
  • honda and volkswagen are designed with economy in mind; if you want performance, v-8 or even v-6 is the way to go. cheap performance I have found comes in pickup trucks. you can get a regular cab v-8 chevy silverado around here for 16k; about 300 horses there.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    that there are many, many 250-400 horsepower imports out there. I just read about a 190 hp supercharged Golf (1.8) and a 273 hp supercharged VR-6 Jetta (in the last SportCompactCar).

    Just like trying to make a 500 hp Mustang GT, you can make a 250 hp Jetta. Get out your checkbook and tell the guy how fast you want to go.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Performance is not alway HP. Performance for me means handling, steering feel, cornering ability, braking distance... anything BUT acceleration.

    I had no trouble passing V6s and V8s in city traffic in my old 89 Tercel, my old 106HP 93 Civic, and my current 01 130 HP Protege, all automatic.

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,638
    Ha ha!!
    I'm sorry.
    I just don't know how to respond to that.
    There is also a difference between passing V-8s and V-6s in traffic and overtaking them.
    89 Tercel and 93 Civic, now those are performance masters. Yep.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    because even a base Jetta has that arena covered. The GL or GLS (especially) is downright sporty handling. (Doesn't handle like my road race Mustang though!!)

    In that light, performance improvements need to increase low and mid-range torque and upper end horsepower - factors that greatly improve driving enjoyment.

    I of all people love corners, but if you don't have some power to go with it, the fun just isn't complete.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    I meant to say that the Tercel and Civic had enough oomph to pass V6 and V8 equipped cars in city traffic, not to say they handle great or are true driver's cars, b/c the Tercel sure wasn't.

    The Protege has beat a Civic, Corolla, Cirrus and an older Maxima (92-94?) and it has a great suspension too!

    Zeus: I agree power with handling is great, but rarely available in that combo unless you shell $$$ or go for a MazdaSpeed3, SpecV SE-R...

    Let's just say that I never felt I needed more power to get around. It just takes longer to get to a certain speed, but once there, most other drivers stop..I kept accelerating and still beat them to the next light.

    I just think people are way too obsessed with HP #s...

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    the misunderstand of when you have a 300 horsepower Trans Am and a 170 hp Civic Si. What people fail to realize is that in many scenarios, the smaller car will be both quicker and faster. The Trans Am's 300 hp translates to 240 rear wheel horsepower and has to move nearly 3,800 lbs. The Civic has 140 wheel horsepower and only has to move 2,500 lbs.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Good way of pointing it out Zeus!

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    a Jetta needs another 40 hp - a Trans Am needs well over 100.

    At that note, the title of the topic is "More horsepower" so that's where I went. I'm a firm believer in building the "whole car", not just concentrating on a few items, but a "teamwork" approach to performance.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,638
    If you have a 6,000 lb truck, such as I have, than anything less than 250hp is going to be gutless, which would be a good reason to have 400+hp, yet you stick the same 250 hp into a vehicle that weighs less than 2,000 lbs and you have a pretty good go getter.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    See, I never think about trucks. My bad.

    I only think about cars not larger than a midsize (6/Accord, Camry is too big nowadays).

  • to quote you:I didn't approach the suspension and brakes  because even a base Jetta has that arena covered. The GL or GLS (especially) is downright sporty handling.

    Nov 26, 2002 (11:33 pm)

    No disrespect man......but I HAD a 2000 GLS VR6 Jetta with 16 in wheels and a stock baseline suspension and believe DID NOT have those bases covered. The brakes were adequate at best and the suspension was truly a joke. I can honestly say if you were to add another 100 hp to this car via an aftermarket turbo or supercharger you would be off in a ditch faster than you could say auf Wiedersehen. If massive understeer and body roll are your idea of "sporty handling" then I don't know what to say. I can tell you I almost lost control of that Jetta on the beltway here in DC at 75 mph through sweeping corners after the car began tramlining because of a nasty road imperfection. The car began wallowing and almost sent me into a spin. This NEVER would have happened had I had a stiffer factory suspension.

               I now have a 2001 Jetta GLS VR6 with the 17in wheel package and the "sport" suspension. I must say it's much better but still not up to my tastes in handling performance. So I will upgrade brakes and suspension soon.

    To address 1994...I would have to agree with most of these posts here in that without spending a lot of money you really aren't going to have a "Honda eater" anytime soon. However, if you are willing to spend a couple of grand, go to and look at their supercharger developed for the 2.0 engine.

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    than MANY so called sports sedans out there. I autocross - I understand handling in ways that most people never imagined, and no, a stock Jetta, even with the sport suspension and 17" tires wouldn't make me happy. I would be in the neuspeed and Koni catalogs the day I brought it home.

    The average guy, who doesn't understand what "Lift-throttle oversteer" is, can't discern a decent-handling stock vehicle from one that has been modified.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    You'll instantly get 15 more horsepower, and infinitely better handling than a Jetta GL.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    they won't get the thrill of adding a quart of oil every 750 miles.
  • That's funny. : )
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    not to jab.

    VR6 GLS 6-speed will probably be my next car. Plus Neuspeed coil-overs, HKS ball-bearing turbo (16-18 lbs of boost) and a huge intercooler.
  • Zues,
    I don't think VW is offering a GLS with a 6 speed and VR6 any longer. I think you will have to get a GLX or a GLI. And if you get one of these vehicles you will be getting the 24 valve 200 hp unit. With the 6-speed of course. But unless VW has changed their manual tranny supplier I think you will be getting the same crappy south American made manual as I have in my Jetta. Only it will have an extra gear. The only thing I really hate about my Jetta is the 5 speed. It was just barely grinding the 2nd gear synchro the DAY I PICKED IT UP from VW. Plus I was stopped on a slight hill on the way home at a red light and it wouldn't go into first! It was like there was an invisible wall there. So I did the same thing I used to have to do with my 76 Scirocco. I put it into 2nd and back up into 1st. It then went right in. It seems as if some things never change with VW. And that tranny in my Scirocco had 120K on it when I had to start doing that. Sad. I took it back to VW and they told me that it was "normal" for their 5 speed and the synchros were brass and prone to "notchiness". They even invited me to test drive any other 5 speed manual on their lot with the VR6. I politely declined and left the dealership. I am no stranger to this idiosyncracy of a VW manual so I'm sure they were right. All I can say is thank goodness I have a 10/100 warrany. If it gets really bad I will have them replace the transmission. But at least I documented it with them early with low mileage on the car. Just make sure the car you test drive is less "notchy" than the others. I'm sure this condition is a little less evident in some cars on the lot. My problem was that I special ordered my car so I felt inclined to take it as it had everything I wanted. 17in wheels, sport suspension, Monsoon,leather etc.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    Jettas. I was an F&I guy at Lithia Honda/VW from '98-99 and loved it when the A4 Jettas came out.

    Sorry to hear about your transmission trouble. From my experience, the best thing you can do is to document everything and if it comes to more trouble, don't take "no" for an answer on a replacement.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Perhaps the least expensive way to gain HP is NO2.

    You can purchase a kit and install it yourself if you are somewhat mechanical. The instructions withe the kit are quite clear.

    I attend the drag races regularly and the "import wars" weekend has become a VERY VERY popular event. There are always several VWs that can achieve a 15 second ET using NO2. THese are Street cars that they take to the Drag Races. The intent is to give the street-racers a sanctioned event where they can compete. EVERYONE is welcome to bring their car and head down the track. It is also a VERY GOOD place to talk to people and see what is making power on your type of vehicle. There are also vendors there selling their wares. (to make more power)

    My buddies Dodge Shadow with over 320HP at the front wheels (USING NO NO2) does a 12-second ET.

    Just remember that making a lot of power takes a lot of $$$. Before you know it, the added power will start to break things such as crankshafts and driveshafts.... which will need to be upgraded to hi-performance parts.... Are you prepared to spend a lot of $$?
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,638
    Oh now there is the cure all answer. Use Nitrous.
    A Shadow with 320 hp doing 12 second 1/4s??
    Interesting. My big block 67 Camaro could only get 11.8, 11.2 on the bottle, I am curious how a 320hp Shadow pulls 12s.

    N2O is not the answer. Short bursts, break alot of things, cost money, yes. But if you want to go fast consistently, then you need to go with the engine that will fit and can handle it or get a different runner.

    One thing to remember about creating power in an engine. It costs. The more power an engine has, the more likely it is to break.
    I've built performance engines for years now and these engines have no warranty. Once they start, run and are setup, that is it. I am done with them. When they break, ain't my problem. These engines are setup for power, which means they are going to be pushed to their limit and beyond, which means they are going to break.
    Something to ponder, before you sink money into going faster.
    Besides, where you gonna run it? On the street?
    So you can be like the loser who just hit a kid on the road in front of my house last week?
    Racing belongs on a track and ONLY on a track.
    That is my opinion, like it or not.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    320 hp, sure, but the poor guy has to be seen in public in a SHADOW.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Hey... come on ease up... The late-90s dodges are the absolute cheapest way to make gobs of power from a 4 cylinder. For a couple thousand dollars one can purchase and build a 13-second omni. (Mainly because of folks such as yourself that think there is somthing negitive about the idea.)


     My buddy Bill purchased the Shaadow VNT (Variable Nozzle Turbocharger) new in 1991. (less than 20 built with those specs!) It was his daily driver for over 10 years. (while running 1/4s when he could.)

    It is amazing to me that the STOCK bottom end and driveshafts can handle 320 HP.

    Here are some pics of Bills "regulator";

    Here is the dyno run for Bills car;

    There is even a 12-second MINIVAN here;

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If the original request for more power has $$ then a turbocharger kit is available... be aware that the VW 2.0 is NOT designed for a turbo. (or nitrus for that matter)

    The 2.0 Jetta. is a GREAT car.... but not a good starting point for a speedster. The 1.8T or TDI would be a better choice for some serious power.
    Both of these engines are DESIGNED for boosting and a simple chip change can give you up to 90 more HP. (chipping them can increase boost from the turbo while still maintaining reliability)
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    I'm a domestic guy.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Here is some more info for power goodies.

    Of course we all order our parts from here

  • You are correct that the 2.0 is not DESIGNED for a turbo. Having a higher compression ratio and all I can see why. But what FACTORY engine really IS designed for Nitrous Oxide? Your comments gave me the impression that there are other factory engines that ARE designed for NO2. No car that I can ever think of ever came with N02 as a factory option. So to say that the 2.0 is not "designed" for NO2 you are right. But that's not to say he couldn't get away with adding NO2. In fact, since the 1.8 can be brought to over 200 hp without internal mods I think it would be safe to say the 2.0 can also approach this with the bottle without a forged crank, pistons, pins, etc.
    I think Zues would agree. With some proper mods to the fuel system this car could easily reach 200 hp on demand. And as far as the engine not being "designed" for it, I can say that I had a 91 Golf that I put over 250K on in four years. They don't call it the "million mile motor" for nothing. That engine is a time tested workhorse and it's "designed" for abuse and longevity. I'm not saying a bottle fed 2.0 will not break but if done right it could handle it. At least for a 100K or more if it was used not raced every other day.

    If i were him, i'd a bought a VR6 in the first place. Glad I did.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Sorry... did not mean to give impression that any engine is designed for NO2. I certanly did not state that. My personal opionion of NO2 is that it is 'cheating'. (My friends 320HP Shadow does not use NO2)

    But NO2 is perhaps the least-expensive way to produce LOTS of additional power.

    I have seen some SERIOUS power being produced by 80's and 90's VWs at the track. These are stripped down with no seats and "swiss-cheesed" to further reduce weight. Almost not street legal.
This discussion has been closed.