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Consensus 1.8T AT Best Tune for Daily Driver?

tigeo

Autocross Champion
Stage 1 tunes from any major vendor are indeed amazing... But honestly, it's so much more power that they will want to do a dog bone mount insert, lowering springs and wheels/tires to handle it, as it's more than than stock GTI power... But yeah, technically doesn't require anything else, I'd just hate to see trying to do anything with that power other than freeway pulls without wheel hop, tossing the car around, damaging mounts and all that. If they don't want to do all those supporting mods they should probably stay with a JB1/NPM and see if that's good enough for them.
I had none of those issues on my 4Mo wagon with st1.
 

odessa.filez

Autocross Champion
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
yeah I think you have have lots of power to "need them". what you like is another story. Dogbone bushing pn is the same in the Golf R.
 

ZuMBLe

Autocross Champion
Location
NY
Car(s)
Alltrack 6MT
I actually completely agree with you on both fronts, the 4motion is simply heavier and sturdier and I'm gonna get APR to stack the JB4 with.

The APR tune hates ethanol, and the base flash runs a lot of boost already, so stacking on top of it is kinda not great. If it was below 70F ambient, and more than E20 in the tank, the ECU would cut power at peak torque. JB4 is still great for monitoring when not adding boost though. Melted Solid is the only one I know if that was able to run ethanol and a lot of boost on his APR stack, but he apparently had a very old 1.8 tune.

If you have access to ethanol and want to stack, you should probably go with Unitronic.
 

danbfree

Go Kart Champion
Location
Portland, OR suburbia
Car(s)
2017 Golf 1.8 TSI
The APR tune hates ethanol, and the base flash runs a lot of boost already, so stacking on top of it is kinda not great. If it was below 70F ambient, and more than E20 in the tank, the ECU would cut power at peak torque. JB4 is still great for monitoring when not adding boost though. Melted Solid is the only one I know if that was able to run ethanol and a lot of boost on his APR stack, but he apparently had a very old 1.8 tune.

If you have access to ethanol and want to stack, you should probably go with Unitronic.
Huh, I thought APR was the one that used far less ignition advance over others, especially compared to stock... They are even able to make 285HP on 87 so I *was* considering getting their "Stage 3 IS20 w/DP 87" tune to start with and create custom Map 6's to stack for higher fuel grades... I do have access to ethanol and it's 88% all year but not cheap and not real convenient but yeah, would be nice to have the option. I thought APR was known for lower timing but tons of boost, but perhaps that is exactly why I shouldn't expect much headroom to stack... And yes, getting confirmation Unitronic is the one to go for me... Genuine thank you for the great advice!
 
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ZuMBLe

Autocross Champion
Location
NY
Car(s)
Alltrack 6MT
Huh, I thought APR was the one that used far less ignition advance over others, especially compared to stock... They are even able to make 285HP on 87 so I *was* considering getting their "Stage 3 IS20 w/DP 87" tune to start with and create custom Map 6's to stack for higher fuel grades... I do have access to ethanol and it's 88% all year but not cheap and not real convenient but yeah, would be nice to have the option. I thought APR was known for lower timing but tons of boost, but perhaps that is exactly why I shouldn't expect much headroom to stack... And yes, getting confirmation Unitronic is the one to go for me... Genuine thank you for the great advice!

APR using minimal timing (so they can run more boost) is another reason why it's not optimal for ethanol. Unitronic runs "low" boost and more timing. With the JB4, you increase the boost to APR levels but get more timing so it's a win when on ethanol.

Disclaimer, a lot of Uni logs I've seen are not 100% clean in knock correction at full load like APR tunes very often are. You'll see a trend where Unitronic guys say it's normal to "add some ethanol". I don't agree with this ,but I also don't feel strongly that a little bit of KR is bad. If you see a log where there is KR, then it increases, that's bad. If you see some KR and it goes away.. maybe it comes back later and goes away.. that's "okay" to most people. The problem is without installing something like a modern det can device we don't know if there is real knock when the ecu pulls timing.
 

danbfree

Go Kart Champion
Location
Portland, OR suburbia
Car(s)
2017 Golf 1.8 TSI
APR using minimal timing (so they can run more boost) is another reason why it's not optimal for ethanol. Unitronic runs "low" boost and more timing. With the JB4, you increase the boost to APR levels but get more timing so it's a win when on ethanol.

Disclaimer, a lot of Uni logs I've seen are not 100% clean in knock correction at full load like APR tunes very often are. You'll see a trend where Unitronic guys say it's normal to "add some ethanol". I don't agree with this ,but I also don't feel strongly that a little bit of KR is bad. If you see a log where there is KR, then it increases, that's bad. If you see some KR and it goes away.. maybe it comes back later and goes away.. that's "okay" to most people. The problem is without installing something like a modern det can device we don't know if there is real knock when the ecu pulls timing.
100% makes sense, I had it backwards as I thought the stock tune with too much timing hindered things, but that is when running ONLY a JB4... And yeah, I'm getting small corrections on regular pump with IS20 even at very reasonable boost levels compared to clean with IS12 maxed out and adding ethanol completely cleaned that up so I can see why they say that about adding some ethanol, but they were small corrections 1.2 and lower anyway and didn't get worse with more boost, so there's that...

Anyway, we'll pick it back up in the JB4 thread, I think OP here has plenty of great info to go off of, thanks again!
 

depan

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Delaware, USA
Car(s)
Golf MK7 TSI 1.8T
OP, you don't list your state, so I don't know what your emissions testing or what kind of fuel you have available, but you can get a downpipe, catted if you don't want the smell and what I personally believe in, and even if you do have emissions, as long as they don't include visual, just an OBD check, you can pass very easily with a spacer on the O2. That alone without a tune will at least give you better throttle response down low so it doesn't feel as sluggish when it shifts all the way down to like 1100RPM to save engine wear/mileage.

But I'd start with a Neuspeed Power Module or JB1 and that is an instant 40hp/40tq that you can really feel, but yes, you do need to run at least 91, if you have 93 in your area, you can usually even run the more aggressive 100 octane setting on the NPM, or a higher boost setting on JB1 without issue. You could also even do a Stage 1 87 tune from APR. They are able to get really good power out of 87 by cutting the ridiculously high timing advance of the stock tune and pushing even more boost, just be prepared to replace turbo's down the road, which are actually quite reasonable, less than $1000 for parts and labor for a good condition used one, maybe as low as ~$700.

If you don't mind tweaking your own tune, a JB4 has it's own OBD cable and you control it over an app. I could go on and on but people hate long posts, so keep in mind you probably want to do one of those dog bone inserts for ~$25-40 with ANY added power and if going with a full Stage 1 tune you are gonna want lowering springs and wheels/tires too. This car is so modular and similar with a GTI it's easy to add power safely!

Added my state (DE) and have my registration up in March. They did an OBDII emissions but not sure if that is bc I transferred states but not really interested in bypassing emissions tests at the moment (although better throttle response sounds nice). There is 93 fuel at my local Exxon where I normally fuel up with 87. My Turbo was already replaced around 40k miles ago under warranty. I'd consider a wish/dog bone but I don't want to lower my vehicle anymore as it is already nearly a snowplow with the low ride height lol. I'm on a new set of Kinergy 4S2 195/65R15

I don't know too much about Neuspeed NPM and have heard of JB4 but don't know too much about it. Is that a piggy back or no?
 

odessa.filez

Autocross Champion
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
JB4 is a piggyback. Dogbone mount does not require lowering car's ride height.
 

Sparky589

Drag Racing Champion
Having gone through just about every stage imaginable, I'd way the sweet spots are Stage 1 with a dog bone and rear sway and Is20 with coils and DP if you want to go more extreme.

In my opinion, stage 2 on Is12 and Is38 with stock fueling and over the shelf software weren't worth the effort or money in the returns they gave you. Stage 1 will give you more than enough pep to keep up with any stock GTI. Add to that a good set of wheels/tires, one of the softer dog bone mounts, and a rear sway will give you a nice handling profile while still retaining near OEM comfort.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
Having gone through just about every stage imaginable, I'd way the sweet spots are Stage 1 with a dog bone and rear sway and Is20 with coils and DP if you want to go more extreme.

In my opinion, stage 2 on Is12 and Is38 with stock fueling and over the shelf software weren't worth the effort or money in the returns they gave you. Stage 1 will give you more than enough pep to keep up with any stock GTI. Add to that a good set of wheels/tires, one of the softer dog bone mounts, and a rear sway will give you a nice handling profile while still retaining near OEM comfort.
Right on with your selections except for the coils. Coils won't give you any extra power unless you had a bad coil. A coil only needs to fire the plug.
 

danbfree

Go Kart Champion
Location
Portland, OR suburbia
Car(s)
2017 Golf 1.8 TSI
Having gone through just about every stage imaginable, I'd way the sweet spots are Stage 1 with a dog bone and rear sway and Is20 with coils and DP if you want to go more extreme.

In my opinion, stage 2 on Is12 and Is38 with stock fueling and over the shelf software weren't worth the effort or money in the returns they gave you. Stage 1 will give you more than enough pep to keep up with any stock GTI. Add to that a good set of wheels/tires, one of the softer dog bone mounts, and a rear sway will give you a nice handling profile while still retaining near OEM comfort.
Absolutely this, OP, and to add NPM, JB1 and JB4 are all piggybacks (In order of cost/features less to more). The market is ripe with used ones, they can be had CHEAP. So just one of those cheapie orange rubber dog bone inserts will help with that power. Catted downpipe doesn't bypass emissions, really, but yeah, no need to mess with that right now. I say find a used JB4 for $250 and one of those cheapie inserts for ~$25-35 for a start. You can really dial in 50+hp/tq with a JB4 for $250. Oh, and may as well do a cheapie drop in air filter for $20-25 and pull the snow grate from the bottom of the airbox.
 
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