1 2
FatMongo
FatMongo Reader
5/20/20 10:00 p.m.

Again this is very cool. I had no idea that these little engines had so much potential. 

Please continue to update this thread with you driving experiences. I have no added a Sportwagen/Alltrack to my list of 'cars of interest/potential future acquisition'.

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/21/20 12:07 p.m.

26 years ago I was working as a mechanic in a GM dealership and I ordered a brand new Silverado exactly like I wanted it. In the few weeks it took to get the truck delivered to me I ordered a full Belltech 4/6 drop, wheels and tires, cowl hood and roll pan (and had them painted in the dealership bodyshop so they were ready to install). 

When the truck arrived I drove it home that night and then the next day I pulled it in my bay and went to installing all the parts that I had stacked on my workbench.

One of the old mechanics in the dealership stood there, mouth agape, as I was cutting the frame to do the lowering install. All he had to say was "you know you're doing big man E36 M3 when you're cutting up a brand new truck".

You sir, are doing big man E36 M3. Dropping the subrame and tearing that new car apart to do the mods is definitely big man E36 M3. Be sure and wear wool underwear so your brass (insert testicle like word here) don't get cold.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
5/21/20 4:35 p.m.

Very cool. 

I'm waiting on the warranty to be up on the wife's 6speed Alltrack before any real mods.  I am planning on the GTI turbo at least. 

I'll have to look up the shifter in the meantime. Do you happen to have a link?

You are right about just the tune though. Really wakes these cars up. 

FatMongo
FatMongo Reader
5/21/20 5:04 p.m.

So Im sure Google has the answer, but I figure its best to get it straight from the source. Whats the difference between a Sportwagen and an Allrtrack?

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
5/21/20 7:07 p.m.

Very cool, always impressive to go 2-feet in and build the exact car VW should have sold you.  Congrats'

The fact all these turbo options have the same size housing is pretty neat.

In reply to Greg Voth :

I've been thinking I may swap my 6MT 2017 Alltrack ​​​​​​to is20 (once it's out of warranty or the turbo has issues) .  I'm also on the fence about selling it...so there's that (SWMBWO doesn't like it and I already have a "fun" car).  IS20s seem to sell pretty cheap whenever GTI owners upgrade. I was also surprised that suspension upgrades were a lot less expensive than I was expecting.   

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Reader
5/21/20 7:13 p.m.
FatMongo said:

So Im sure Google has the answer, but I figure its best to get it straight from the source. Whats the difference between a Sportwagen and an Allrtrack?

The S (base) level Alltrack has heated vinyl seats & fog lights while the base Sportwagen has cloth seats & smaller wheels (16" vs 17").  Sportwagen was also available in FWD and AWD (Alltrack onl AWD).  I'm pretty sure the VW stats say the Alltrack has a bigger fuel tank, but I've heard that the AWD sportwagen is same.  Alltrack also rides higher, has taller tires, and the suspension is also a beefier (I don't recall the details).   The alltrack also has plastic body-cladding.  Higher trim levels of both got bigger 18" wheels.

FWD Sportwagen got a 5-speed MT and a traditional automatic.  Both the Alltrack & AWD Sportwagen offered 6MT or DSG.

Aside from base/premium trim differences, that's what I can remember off the top of my head.

FatMongo
FatMongo Reader
5/21/20 8:12 p.m.
Hoondavan said:
FatMongo said:

So Im sure Google has the answer, but I figure its best to get it straight from the source. Whats the difference between a Sportwagen and an Allrtrack?

The S (base) level Alltrack has heated vinyl seats & fog lights while the base Sportwagen has cloth seats & smaller wheels (16" vs 17").  Sportwagen was also available in FWD and AWD (Alltrack onl AWD).  I'm pretty sure the VW stats say the Alltrack has a bigger fuel tank, but I've heard that the AWD sportwagen is same.  Alltrack also rides higher, has taller tires, and the suspension is also a beefier (I don't recall the details).   The alltrack also has plastic body-cladding.  Higher trim levels of both got bigger 18" wheels.

FWD Sportwagen got a 5-speed MT and a traditional automatic.  Both the Alltrack & AWD Sportwagen offered 6MT or DSG.

Aside from base/premium trim differences, that's what I can remember off the top of my head.

Awesome - thanks! the extra gear on the 6 spd is a significant difference.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
5/22/20 7:46 a.m.
Greg Voth said:

I'll have to look up the shifter in the meantime. Do you happen to have a link?

Here you go: https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-volkswagen-audi-parts/european-short-shift-kit/8j0711046e/?gclid=CjwKCAjw8J32BRBCEiwApQEKgaL11cjLmXsDcRYj246ymz5vNTY9VWEXXZYoh_ABjx7chB3F1u73GBoCa3AQAvD_BwE

Love the color of your Alltrack.  I had very limited options.  I actually wanted grey but I ended up with "white silver" which gives all the boring of plain white with the added benefit of being harder to match when your one month old car gets rear ended.  :) (Actually the shop did an awesome blend job).

mfennell
mfennell Reader
5/22/20 8:12 a.m.
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) said:

You sir, are doing big man E36 M3. Dropping the subrame and tearing that new car apart to do the mods is definitely big man E36 M3. Be sure and wear wool underwear so your brass (insert testicle like word here) don't get cold.

Thanks but I didn't do anything crazy like you did with your truck, just bolted a bunch of parts on.  One of my lessons learned with all my used purchases is that, funding permitting, I should do everything I want ASAP so I can enjoy it longer.  The only difference here is the warranty that's now mostly flushed down the toilet. 

For anyone interested, skimming my receipts, I'm in for about $6500 (does the trans jack count?  random tools?)  All parts brand new.  I got out the door with the car for $22300 on a $27500 sticker, so call it $28800 all told.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
4/11/21 5:17 a.m.

Thanks for the compliments.

My aim was for painless gains with the suspension.  I expected the R bar would be subtle and i would already be getting additional roll stiffness with the springs.  I doubt I drive it hard enough that bigger bars would make much difference to me.

Front brakes are stock Alltrack.  Probably base GTI as well.  The caliper brackes need to be updated.  It was cost effective to get calipers with the brackes from ebay Germany for about $200.

I'm surprised with the compliance of the Michelin Sport Pilot 4s on the 18s.  I run the stock 16s for the winter and just switched back so it's fresh in my mind.  I doubt the kids will complain - neither my wife nor my daughter has said a word about the ride.

I had a problem with the 1+ Unitronic tune that was pretty aggravating.  At steady, part throttle, low-rpm, it would stumble.  Sometimes more than once.  I went as far as data logging it with VCDS.  You could see that I didn't move the pedal but the rpms would drop, then jump over the course of several hundred milliseconds.  Eventually, a new version of the tune came out and the behavior was 90% fixed.  The Unitronic engineer said he didn't make any changes that would have affected what was happening.  *shrug*  The is38 tune is great.  No complaints.

Black mirror caps were alibaba specials.

Lastly, I installed an Integrated Engineering downpipe a few weeks ago.  I haven't logged anything but it's butt-dyno approved.  Stronger, earlier midrange.  Added only a tiny bit of noise.  From "does this thing have an engine" to "yeah, I guess so".

The VWvortex web site has a mk7 sportwagen-specific forum.  That's where I got most of my ideas.

19GSW4M
19GSW4M New Reader
4/11/21 4:54 p.m.

Congratulations on a stand out build!

i like how everything is well thought out and works together... bigger turbo, bigger inlet elbow and tube, more power, beefier clutch, faster car, bigger brakes, short shift kit, suspension, wheels and tires, etc. i also like how you sourced most parts from the VAG parts bin. it just goes to show what's possible with OEM parts. that said, i'm curious about a few details...

why only the rear golf R antiroll bar? vs upgrading both front And rear bars?

which car were the larger front brakes sourced from?

how does the ride compare going from stock wheels to 18's? i have golf R springs on my GSW, and even with stock 16" wheels, the ride is firmer... what i would describe as "GTI". i think 18's would look great, just don't want the kids to complain afterwards.

did you have any issues with ECU tune from Unitronic? i'm looking at stage 1 combined with their intake elbow, to wake up the driving experience while still being able to run 91 octane gas.

lastly, are the black mirror caps stock, or is that a small detail that you omitted to mention?

Very well done, and thanks for sharing your experience.

ps: i inadvertently deleted my original post, recreated here. thanks for your quick response.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
11/12/22 10:08 a.m.

Any updates, long term thoughts, things you would do different.  

Now that my wifes car is out of warranty with about 90k and just about paid off I am planning on doing s similar setup on the motor.  Larger turbo, likely an is38, maybe downpipe and a clutch. 

Already did the shifter upgrade.  

mfennell
mfennell HalfDork
11/14/22 11:23 a.m.

No regrets.  I don't think I'd do a single thing differently, believe it or not.  Maybe check the alignment more carefully - I think it must have a tiny bit of toe-out because the inside of the front tires are wearing more quickly than I think they should.

Just under 29k miles, so 22k since all the work.  I had to replace plugs at 21k miles when it started cutting out under boost.  Nothing but oil changes and summer/winter tire swaps otherwise.  I do catch a whiff of coolant once in a while, which is a typical thing, and unrelated to the modifications.  I have some paperwork from a class action suit lying around here somewhere.  Oh, and the airbag light is on.  I should probably get that looked at.

I gave some thought to what other changes I could make but, in the end, just started buying motorcycles instead. :) It tows them around perfectly.  I think a transaxle from an R would be more fun around town but maybe not on the highway.  I (personally) really like the long gearing for cruising but it's a dog in 6th at legal speeds.  R 6th is about the same as 5th in my car.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
11/14/22 3:23 p.m.

Nice to hear!   Thank you for the feedback.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
11/30/22 4:50 p.m.

Welp, fell into a deal on a new IS38, downpipe and intercooler so I will be following in your footsteps soon.  

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
NsQwVFo8UMa4jrmR5NArrSvevKG5aVVyrhtxXHaKhj3Pt8NKnaDj3RKfrG2OSc0V