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beetle driver for life
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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen kits for a K04 turbo upgrade, and it has me wondering where did the K04 come from? What sets it apart from the K03S? Is it made by Audi or VW? And is the K04 a simple bolt-on? :cool:
 

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there's some argument as to where it really came from, some say a european Ford diesel van, it doesn't really matter as you won't find a K04-001 (the only k04 that bolts straight to our stock manifolds) on anything in a US junkyard anyway (unless you find a car that had the "conversion" done wrecked in a yard somewhere). The K04-001 and K03S share the same compressor (cold) side, while the K04 has a bigger turbine (hot) side, and the K03S retains the K03 hot side.

The power gain over the K03S shows itself primarily in torque increase, surprising since common theory would lead oneself to assume that the K04's bigger exhaust housing would result in more top end flow and therefore more hp. Rarely has a chassis dyno shown much more than 220 whp out of a K04-001, although its not impossible to get 230 or so out of it.

There are also other K04 variants from the TT that will work but require the manifold and TIP to be swapped as well. The K04-020 can make up to 300 hp with other mods like lots of thermal insulation and a CO2 intercooler sprayer. Pro-Imports has a kit for this. Personally the K04-020/023 is the only K04 that I find would really be worth the expense. The kit is about a $1000 more than a K04-001 kit but it makes significantly more power and can be pieced together for a lot less.
 

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Performance Freak
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While many feel the K04-001 is not an ideal upgrade, it is still a very good option for some people.
It's a good upgrade for APH engine owners as it will outperform the K03 that is on that engine.
I also think it's a decent bolt on upgrade for K03s cars too.
If it will provide reliable 220whp with @275wtq, that is well above what a K03s will reliably supply. (Usually 190-200whp in most cases, and @240wtq)

For example, I have Revo Stage2 programming, and I could continue to use that software with a K04 and just turn up the boost a little.

Not everyone wants to spend $3k-4k on a BT setup that may or may not run as smoothly as stock. Plus not everyone wants 300+whp in a FWD car.
 

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NJ Turbo said:
While many feel the K04-001 is not an ideal upgrade, it is still a very good option for some people.
It's a good upgrade for APH engine owners as it will outperform the K03 that is on that engine.
I also think it's a decent bolt on upgrade for K03s cars too.
If it will provide reliable 220whp with @275wtq, that is well above what a K03s will reliably supply. (Usually 190-200whp in most cases, and @240wtq)

For example, I have Revo Stage2 programming, and I could continue to use that software with a K04 and just turn up the boost a little.

Not everyone wants to spend $3k-4k on a BT setup that may or may not run as smoothly as stock. Plus not everyone wants 300+whp in a FWD car.
i agree with you completely that its not "bad" upgrade. What I'm saying is that if you pay full price for any of the K04-001 kits on the market right now, i find that foolish, given the power gain to be had. You end up paying $1500-1800 for 10hp and maybe 20 lbs/ft of torque... meanwhile you could buy an O20 kit or piece together a bigger turbo (doesn't have to be huge, GT28R or RS)and then detune it and have the potential for more gains in the future. Basically you can pay $1800 for 10 hp and 20 lbs ft or you can pay another 400-600 and have the potential for 80-100 more hp than the K03S can deliver. Its not worth it to buy the KIT. If you blow a turbo or just find someone getting rid of one, and can get it for relatively cheap, then yes, its worth it. But personally I wouldn't spend more than $600 on one. Thats a matter of personal choice but if you think about it you can get a 2.5" turboback on ebay for about $400 total, and that gives a similar gain to swapping between a maxxed K03S and a K04-001. So in reality, is that 10hp and 20 lbs/ft worth the almost $2k that some people spend on a K04 kit? There's no argument there. In the end, it comes down to the users personal choice, but remember that you can also run the K04-020 at less boost and make less power. Then, when you feel the need for more power (which most inevitably will), all you have to do is crank the boost up rather than spending ANOTHER $2K+ to go to another turbo setup. I guess the safe bet would be to find someone with a K04-001 car and ask them for a ride. If you really think that you'll never want more power than that, then go with it. But if you have the slightest inclination that you'll want more, go with something bigger.
 

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beetle driver for life
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Discussion Starter #6
Scarab_beetle why are you saying that a person will only gain 10 hp with a $1600.00 K04 kithttp://www.awe-tuning.com/pages/shared/part_detail.cfm?PMaI=3&PMoI=20&PEI=2&PP=newbeetle_18t_drivetrain.cfm&PPT=Drivetrain&IL=k04turbo1
If they say their kit gives you 220whp and Yelojkt dynoed out at 133whp is this not a gain of 87hp? If I do not have to buy anything else except this kit to reach 220 then that works out to about $19.55 per hp.:) Please do not take my questioning wrong I only want to understand more about my 1.8T, make sure I get the most bang for my buck and build a very reliable daily driver. And 220whp is plenty for me(in a beetle). Thanks for your replies so far you have really helped me to better understand where the K04 fits in.
 

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because on a car with a K03, a $500 chip with an exhaust will get you to 200 hp. If you have a K03S, then 210-220 is attainable. Most people don't see more than 210-220 out of a K04-001 setup. There are SOME who have gotten as much as 230, but few and far between.

I didn't realize that we were talking about putting the K04 on an entirely stock 1.8T here. If thats the case, than I'd have to ask you what your goals are for the car. Do you want to dragrace, autox, road race, what? (Say street-race and I'll slap you ;) ) Since drag racing is what i know, for example:

A chipped K03 can get you to the low 14's with intake, exhaust, the miscellaneous bolt ons and good driving. Thats roughly on par with a stock 95-2004 mustang GT.

A chipped K03S can net you mid to high 13's with the same bolt ons if you can drive it well.

The K04-001 to be frank will only be a tenth of a second or two faster in the 1/4 all other things being equal.

If you want to go EVO or STI hunting, however, generally speaking any K-series turbo isn't gonna cut it. Sure, there are one or two guys rocking 12 second quarters with a K03S, but thats in almost completely gutted cars on slicks with a TON of driving ability.

So like I said it comes down to what you want. Compared to stock the K04-001 upgrade looks pretty good but considering you can almost get that power level for $600 less by chipping and an exhaust, it hardly seems worth it unless you don't ever plan to need or want any more power than the K04 will provide.
 

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Performance Freak
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Scarab-Beetle, from all the dynos I've seen posted all over the 'net, a chip and exaust will only make 190whp on average.
200-220hp is more likely crank hp. (which is what most chip companies advertise anyway)

Those who are getting 200+whp have every other bolt on which would probably add $1-2k to it all. (FMIC, SAMCO hoses, DV, CAI, etc)

I've got Revo stage2, 4 bar FPR, and 2.5" Turbo back already.
I haven't dyno'd but I doubt I make over 200whp.

So for people like me that only need the actual K04, it would be less than $1000 for the upgrade.

For those starting from a stock car, they still may be able to piece it together cheaper than any KIT.
As KITS go, you can do better for similar money, that I wouldn't dispute.
 

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well like i said, it always starts arguments and comes down to personal preference. i've seen dynos where guys who were making 200+ and went to the K04 hardly saw any gains except in torque. I'm not talking about a k03 car with all bolt ons vs a car with just the k04 upgrade, as that would be comparing apples to oranges. The torque increase is nice though so like i said, in your and yellowjkt's case where you autocross and don't need the peak power so much, the K04 is worthwhile. But like you i wouldn't buy a kit to do it. for drag racing though, hands down the K04 isn't worth the upgrade. different strokes for different folks you know? whenever i see these posts though its only fair for all sides to be presented, so that the person asking the question gets the most thorough answer possible. People will argue this until there's no more 1.8Ts left on the road, and there isn't a right or wrong answer to it, it all comes down to each individual setup. Just trying to make sure that yellowjkt knows what to realistically expect from a K04-001.
 

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beetle driver for life
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Discussion Starter #12
Hey Scarab_beetle how much can I expect to save by peicing it togather? If I put a K04 on my APH what else do I need to change to get the most out of the it? Fuel pump regulator, injectors, Samco turbo inlet pipe, N75J valve, plugs, what else?
 

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you really only need the turbo and the inlet hose (may as well go samco). Then all the associated bolt ons, dp, exhaust, intake, etc. Naturally you need to have at minimum a chip to be able to run it, apr or giac whatever. Then put a WTB ad in the VWVortex Volkswagen Forced Induction classified section, and see what the best price you can get the turbo for. If you want you can also buy it new from Clay at Kinetic motorsport or anywhere else that sells just the turbo.

The only absolutely required things to get the K04 on and running are a chip, 4bar fpr (depends on engine code, i think you only need it for APH), the turbo itself (K04-001), and the inlet pipe, which samco or forge will be the best choice. N75 valves vary with software, some work with certain programs and some don't, so you have to see what the software manufacturer recommends.
 

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no problem... don't forget the dp gasket, turbo to mani gasket, the oil return flange gasket, and the oil and coolant line sealing washers... which can all be had in the K04 gasket kit from ecs tuning.
 

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Keep It Real
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This difference of only 10hp between a chipped K03 and K04 equipped Beetle 1.8t, tell me, what boost level into each of these setup's would accomplish this close power comparison?
 

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Keep It Real
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If you take a 1.8t Beetle with a K03 chipped so that it doesn't exceed it's maximum designed boost level (15 or 16psi "peak") and the same car equipped with a K04 chipped so that it doesn't exceed it's maximum designed boost level (18psi "peak"), the K04 setup will produce reasonably more power.

1. In most cases is you have people out there over boosting K03's in an effort to avoid spending the money it would take to do it right and still gain more power.

2. There are many people comparing apples with oranges when they put drastically over-boosted K03 dyno numbers up against those of a normally boosted or less over boosted K04.

3. In the high number of threads that I've read regarding this and related subjects there is one very important thing that is consistantly over looked, dyno numbers do not tell you the complete story.

Some people are so completely absorbed with obtaining higher dyno numbers and lower quarter mile times they fail to realize that dyno and quarter mile numbers like most other performance aspect, are simply tools and only small pieces of a large pie. Ultimately it's a cars over all performance characteristics, how well all parts jell with one another, how stable and consistant everything remains under intense extended operating conditions, how well that dyno'd power is distributed in each gear to the proper areas with in the power band and most importantly, how well that dyno'd power is transferred to the ground.

These things cannot be determined on a dyno anymore than higher hp numbers alone can guarantee a victory in a race.

Higher boost creates higher output but just like anything else it does matter how this is achieved (the end doesn't necessarily justify the means), over boosting, over reving, mis-shifting etc., no matter how you look at it, these things are all forms of automotive/mechanical abuse and inexperience.

If there is a need to pull a heavy trailor all the time the smart person will buy a truck designed for this purpose, they won't cheap out and attempt to accomplish this task with a Yugo.
If one can't afford to do it right, they should wait until they can.

A K03 is not designed to boost beyond about 15 or 16psi "peak" and a K04's designed peak is 18psi, adhering to these design specs, both turbo's will be much more stable but the K04 setup will produce reasonably more power than the K03 and it will do it much smoother throughout the power band, this is due to the fact that it's a larger and considerably less peaky turbo charger.
 

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beetle driver for life
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Discussion Starter #19
I definitly do not want to overboost. I would like to get 120mph in fifth gear at 5500 rpm. I plan on running the Silver State Classic in the 120 mph group. That would be sustained 5500 and above for about 45 minutes. So it has to be built right.
 

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Problems can and do occur in a stock unmolested car that's driven casually but by cheaping out, building mickey mouse setup's, misusing, abusing, exceeding and/or ignoring manufacturers part(s) recommendations is just asking for it and this greatly increases the chance of a failure and maybe a catastrophy as a result.

Unfortunately "initially" it is usually more costly to build it right as appose to building it wrong and taking ill advised short cuts but the potential negative side of building it wrong is likely to be far more costly, inconvenient and frustrating in the end.

If one desires more performance than the stock part(s) are designed to yield, I think that the intelligent thing to do would be to use parts that are designed for the required use and are capable of easily handling the load(s) and stress levels that they will be exposed to without any reduction of performance or longevity, cost should not be the primary concern.
 
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