MK3 1.8T Drop-In Conversion

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It’s almost a shame to tear into our latest acquisition- a ’98 “driver’s edition leftover” GTI with a mere 107k miles on the clock. This thing is clean like really clean. It’s been a long time since we’ve come across anything of this vintage that runs, drives, and looks almost as if it came straight off the dealer lot. It’s the perfect candidate for development of our forthcoming MK3 1.8T Drop-In Conversion Kit. Our primary focus with this build will be on the powerplant, with 3 stages planned.

Stage 1- basic drop in kit utilizing the K03 turbo aimed at the most affordable entry level kit that still gets you all of the specialty pieces necessary to make the swap painless. Included in the kit will be C2 Motorsports’ custom software for the 1.8T that drops right in your ABA OBD-2(only for now)ECU. Also included, BFI custom machined and modified distributor designed to make this a simple and direct bolt up. Additional custom hardware items: ignition plug wires, charge plumbing, and downpipe. Our goal is to keep cost down without sacrificing any convenience or functionality. Stage 1 will still utilize the 020 transmission and push the limits of that gearbox as well as our 020 Clutch Kits with Ultra-Lightweight Flywheel Additionally while the motor is out we will rebuild the bottom end and upgrade the connecting rods in anticipation for higher boost levels.

Stage 2- upgrade to a K04 turbo, and if necessary upgrade to an 02A transmission.

Stage 3- Big Turbo. If we haven’t already popped the 020, convert to the 02A at this time.

The MK3 is already equipped with JOM Blue Line Coilovers as well as our MK3 Golf Smoked E-code Headlights. It of course goes without saying that we will be upgrading the engine mounts- utilizing our ever popular BFI Stage .5 Polyurethane Motor Mount Complete Kit

**Update! We have finalized introductory pricing- $799.99 for the basic kit which consists of: brand new modified Bosch distributor, custom specific spark plug wire set, C2 performance engine software, custom machined and anodized throttle body bracket.

***We anticipate this being for sale by Waterfest or at the very latest late July ***

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Aside from those changes, and obviously a new set of rollers (something special planned here) we intend to preserve this original vehicle’s integrity and only make minor reversible cosmetic upgrades.

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Above, is a look at a prototype of our modified distributor which will bolt up to the 1.8T head allowing you to retain your factory MK3 engine wiring harness and ECU!

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Integrated Engineering connecting rods with stock pistons ready to be installed in the block
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30 Responses to MK3 1.8T Drop-In Conversion

  1. Tesh says:

    Nice to see you guys tearing into another mk3. You don’t see them touched much anymore.

  2. Hunter says:

    This is sick. I’m gonna get this as soon as its available.

  3. JUSTIN says:

    this is something i will definately be interested in cant wait till it is available for purchase!!!

  4. Ryan says:

    When this kit is available in the shop, it will be a breakthrough in the Mk3 performance market. Can’t wait for the finished product. Looking forward for updates on this!

  5. Kendal says:

    Awesome! Can’t wait for this, put me down for the first one! Haha

  6. Christo Arnoldus says:

    Gentlemen

    This is absolutely lovely. I drive a 1993 Jetta 3 with a 2E longblock engine that still uses the digifant ecu and I live in Cape Town South Africa. Would I be able to use this conversion kit on my car as well.

    Thanks for all the super work you do, just absolutely great!!!!!

    christo arnoldus
    cape town
    south africa

  7. Russell F. says:

    This is awesome guys looks and sounds a lot like the old Reflex Tuning kit which never really took off the way it should. But I’m sure this will, as long as the price isn’t crazy I’m all over this! Keep up the good work.

  8. Steve says:

    This is badass! Can’t wait until this is available! I’ll be first in line!

  9. Andon says:

    Come on with it!! i got a aeb that needs to be driven!!

  10. Alex Novoa says:

    I’m in Chihuahua Mexico, and I’m really interested in your kitt head distributor for 1.8t

  11. Eric says:

    Damn, dudes. That’s sicknasty.

    I’m excited for your 1.8t distributor. I have a feeling once you release it, my buddy is going to drive his mkiii jetta into my garage and drop the bomb “Time to put a 1.8T into this car.”

    Aw yea.

  12. Tom says:

    Almost identical to the Reflex kit I have been running in my car for years. Glad to see it back and on the market. I may have a couple questions for you guys as you move forward with this.

  13. Manuel Hernandez says:

    Can this kit be used for the mk2 chassis as well?

  14. Francis says:

    Holy Hannah Montana! This is very exciting to hear! I am eager to see what the kit includes and how much it’ll cost! This changes the direction I’m going to take for my Mk3 Jetta very quickly! Can we retain the stock Mk3 A/C compressor?

  15. AJ says:

    Curious as to the spark output of the modified distributor. With stock 1.8t coils already being underpowered, in my opinion. Isn’t a distributor a step backwards?

  16. Wayne Dalhover says:

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  17. This is a great setup. I am thinking that this maybe something I want to do for my wife’s Cabby. Cheers!

  18. Tim says:

    Since we’re on MK3’s how about another segment with Supercharging a VR6. I will gladly let mine be the guinea pig for that.

  19. Rusty says:

    Is or when will this kit be available for purchase?

  20. Administrator says:

    We are planning to release at Waterfest, which is mid-July

  21. Devin says:

    Is this kit available yet? Did you guys just swap the head on the whole motor? Is the 1.8t literally a drop in?

  22. matthew says:

    will this work for any 1.8t volkswagen or audi engine

  23. Hers says:

    I have a question not completely related to the 1.8t drop in. You say this is a Driver’s edition leftover; well the seats are blue stitched which I have never seen. Did some of them have blue stitched interior from the factory or did someone convert it to that? I have a full red and yellow stitched interior and would love to know if a blue was available.

  24. jayw says:

    Can I order the kit online and have it shipped to my house? Is the kit a full 1.8t swap or a 2.0 ABA with a 1.8t head and turbo?

  25. David says:

    Got a AWD 1.8t from a 02 Golf GTI. Ordered the kit and the fun has begun. Will post pics when I start to put on the kit. I will make sure I post any mods for this engine code that I know will come in handy. Will be posting more soon!

  26. Hayke says:

    what gearbox do you use? the gearbox from the 1.8t or the stock gearbox from the mk3?

  27. David says:

    Just got the 1.8t kit and just starting to install the distributor and had to make slite and I mean slite modifications to the distributors key way to make fit into the cam shaft where the cam sensor was taken off. The engine I have is a engine code AWD so I know there are minor differences from the engine used in the BFI project. Also had to shave a slite amount of the distributor housing to make the distributor housing bolt fiton one side. Very easy and now fits perfect. Will post as the project moves on. Love the quality of the product.

  28. Connor says:

    Is this going to work for any audi/volkswagen 1.8t engine? and is it a drop into the mk3 tranny, if the engine is from the 90s?

  29. Edgardo says:

    Are you using the stock aba injectors/fuel rail?
    im seriously thinkin on getting this kit for my 2.slow, but iva a lot of doubts :s

  30. Helmut says:

    Do you have any performance data related to this swap? HP? power to weight ratio? 0-60 times? Lap times?

    very nice work on this. I am interested in learning more about it.

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