For Audi enthusiasts

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6 April 2010

In the last installment of our Audi TTS Project car we covered all of the current engine and interior modifications to get up to speed with the car as it stood at the beginning of this series. This time around we’ve gone for our first “go-fast” mod, and our first “slow-down” mod.

With some previous experience with a methanol kit in an Audi A3 owned prior to the TT, such an upgrade seemed natural for the even more powerful 2.0T in the TTS. Methanol Injection works very well on turbo/supercharged vehicles and serves two functions on a gasoline forced induction engine. First, it cools (and therefore condenses) the intake charge by 60-90 degrees F. It also bumps the effective octane of 91 pump gas to about 116, or C16 race gas. This makes for huge detonation suppression, which means quite a bit more room for timing advance and more power. So since the methanol cools the intake charge dramatically, it’s really almost like having a second intercooler.

Editor’s Note: The merits of methanol have been debated heavily on this and various discussion forums and it is worth researching for yourself before making such a modification. This projects’s owner/author emphasizes that he is not an engineer but has been happy with the results he has experienced in both his A3 2.0T and his TTS.

The primary problem with the TTS is the lack of available space to mount a larger reservoir. Giving up the windshield washing fluid reservoir was out of the question, as it is uses often. After getting the AEM CAI ready for install in the previous installment, I realized that with a heatshield, the engine bay is a perfect location for the methanol reservoir. However there is still the question of where to mount it? I’d have to have something fabricated for the application.

For the custom application I called on Alan Bisgaard, a master blacksmith with his own shop, Artist Blacksmith. Alan normally does pretty high-end metal fabrication, but this looked as though it would be more of departure and an interesting challenge so he took on the job. I created a template out of cardboard, and Alan was able to take that and create a one-off heatshield/mounting plate from lightweight aluminum. I mounted this piece to the tray underneath the original OEM airbox that was removed out of the engine bay. With some “leveling spacers” I was able to get it mounted cleanly.

So here are a few thoughts about Methanol itself. Cost is about $5 per gallon and I normally fill a 10 gallon gas can on my trip to the race fuel shop near my house. The reservoir is a 3/4 gallon size and lasts roughly 1800 miles before a refill is needed. I mix my Methanol at a ratio of 49% Methanol to 51% water. Additionally, I add food dye to make it easier to see levels since the mix is otherwise crystal clear and difficult to view through the frosted plastic reservoir. I installed the pump and controller on the above-mentioned custom bracket with a hood piece that conceals the pump to keep things looking clean. I tapped into the intake pipe for the spray nozzle, which should provide excellent charge-cooling.

Methanol injection smoothed out the power delivery, upped power by 7 hp and torque was increased by 12 lbs-ft. Furthermore, boost went up to between 17-20lbs consistently. Interestingly, I also gained 3-4 miles per gallon!

Now, on to the next improvement to this TTS… the one that helps me stop. One aspect of the TTS’ braking system that could use improvement is the amount of brake dust deposits that collect on the wheels. Likely a high steel content in the pad may help for ease of bite, but it doesn’t help much in keeping the car’s alloys clean. My car looks a mess literally days after a cleaning and detailing, and it’s mostly due to brake pads cropdusting my wheels and fenders with nasty charcoal-looking brake dust. On my last Audi, I swapped out the pads to Hawk Ceramics for this very reason. I was glad to see they had a set available for the TTS and was excited to get them on and get my brake dust situation under control. I noticed 50% less brake dust straight away, and after about 100 miles they seated properly, without a sign of chatter, squeal, vibration or any other issues. They just work as advertised, offering improved clamping power, less fade and OEM pedal feel. That’s exactly what I was looking for, so this is a great inexpensive mod to get better feel out of your car.

While swapping out the pads, I (with the help of forum user UberA3) also flushed the fluid and added a set of the Neuspeed braided stainless steel lines, to ensure proper reliable flow. This was another easy upgrade and it makes a lot of sense to do while you already have the car apart for a brake pad swap. I have always loved the build quality of the Neuspeed products and these lines certainly did not disappoint! The stock OEM lines will just not provide what I will need from them as the power increases to this engine continue.

Also watch it HERE.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Linked-in with Neuspeed. Join us for the next installment where we will be paying a visit to the guys at Neuspeed in Southern California and sorting out some of the suspension bits as well as a few power pieces.

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