The GTI conversion from Low&Slow to Race Car

Thought i should put this up, was planning on selling this as I was looking at a diesel for a daily driver, but don’t really want anymore car payments and these cars seem to be a bit of bastard child of VW, as you can get them for stupid cheap. So instead of loosing a bunch of money I’m going to turn this into my rainy/summer daily and just drive my shit box Ford on days it snows.

First time around it was all about as low as possible with stupid wide wheels, and stretched tires you know the typical young kid thing to do. This time around I want to make it more performance orientated, I’m not ditching the bags just yet, but I feel a good set of coils will be in my future.

Make: Volkswagen
Model: GTI
Color: Candy White
Year: 2006
Engine: 2.0T
Drive: Fwd
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual



  • revo stage 2
  • Evolution motorsports intake
  • EuroJet R32 Style Turbo Back Exhaust
  • Forge Replacement DV
  • Forge Atmospherical spacer


  • ClutchMaster fx400 w/ LWFW


  • Bagyard Airride all around
  • Air Ride Technologies controller, and Manifold
  • Dual 400’s compressors
  • 5 Gallon tank


  • completely custom 2-piece rotors 330mm front and rear
  • Porsche Cayenne 17z front calipers
  • Porsche Cayenne rear caliper
  • Dodge Viper parking brake


  • Iforged Essens 19x8.5 with Kumho Ecsta 215/35
  • Iforged Essens 19x10 with General UHP 225/35

New Setup:

18x9.5 et 12 with toyo proxes 205/40/18
18x11 et 28 with 235/40 or 225/40 or 225/45 not to sure yet

I’ll only run these for shows, looking for a lw set of wheels with some meats on them.


  • Full OEM European R kit ( Front sides and Rear)
  • Fenders pulled, flared
  • Full Respray in Candy White
  • Black magic Pearl Roof
  • OEM LED tails


  • OEM+
  • Single Din converstion with a Kenwood flip up deck
  • 500w kicker amp
  • 2 12" kicker subs

I’ll add more later.

Curious what you can fit for tires under the pulled fenders. I have some 17x8.5 SSRs with 255/40/17 hankook RS3s that are more like 275s I’d like to put on my Golf

You have a good base to start with if you’re switching to performance… Will you stay at stage 2 for power level or go to a larger turbo? I wonder what it would take to put jhm’s 20g kit onto this engine.

I’m one of the few around here that is a proponent of air ride as a performance suspension. Depending on how far you realistically want to take this toward a true “race car” you can do well with a properly setup/tuned air suspension. However, with that said, I’m not sure about your particular bags/struts…do you have any height adjustability or damping control in the bagyards? By height adjustability I mean a threaded collar, so you can set a particular ride height/spring rate (bag pressure).

^ piggy backing off of that, why don’t you just pick up some airlift performance series struts/bags? You already have all of the lines run and they will give you dampening adjustment as well as the obvious on-the-fly height adjustment. Should only end up costing a few hundred bucks after you sell the bagyard struts/bags.

^ exactly, that’s what I was getting at

How many track days have you done on the air suspension so far?

None, but I have a good feel for what my (decent quality) coilovers felt like compared to my air suspension setup on the street. Also, air suspension isn’t exactly new to the track, there are many companies performing significant testing…more than any individual could/would do.

You’ll really notice a loss in money trying to sell with so many great parts. Looks like a great start to the project.

Just sounded like you were comparing performance driving of air vs traditional

Has anyone who switched to air run their car at the track?

Im confused. This is your daily driver or a track car? Because you can’t have both.

If the car is going on the track, first thing it needs is to go on a diet. Getting rid of the airbags and associated tanks/gear is a good place to start. If it were me, coilovers/suspension would be the first thing I did. Then take out the subwoofer, put in a back cage for roll over safety, and buy some race seats to use with some Schroth harnesses.

I don’t think he means Racecar in the sense that the roadrace superstars take it.

[quote=Oscarmeyer]I’m going to turn this into my rainy/summer daily and just drive my shit box Ford on days it snows.
I think he goal is to just make the car more performance oriented compared to it’s previous “all show no go” configuration.

Im very interested as well, I found this on photo of how much clearance I still had running the 19x8.5 et 45, when fully aired out.

Don’t mind the measurements listed, but should have some run to get some meats under there.

This us what I’ve been looking at;
Seems the website is down but was looking at bsh old kit, I believe AFI has a Super street setup, whatever that means but is a kit. Using a gt3071R with a tial Vbanded exhaust housing.

Bagyards are not threaded, but I don’t think I’ll be spending more money on a different bag setup, if this works and continues to work fine I’ll use them, but I might ditch them for coils in the future, but again if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Exactly what euro said, but this was also my second little blurb of the initial post;

Not going for a true race car, just want to ditch everything and push it into a more driver orientated car. I mean depending on how in depth I want to get here but a Audi tt225 tranny and mkv R haldex rear end and I have an awd monster.

As for testing, I’m not going to touch anything performance wise and ill get some baselines once the track open next spring, then I’d like to start really fiddling with it and see how much of an improvement I can make.

I’m also excited to finally get these mounted!

Still need to finish rebuilding the calipers and need to order order rotors from coleman as well but I’m stocked for the brakes. I love brake Porn!

What’s the concern with bags? Is it that they’ll blow? Is there a way to set the stiffness of the bags or is it a constant thing?

For my comments, it was about the damping rather than the bag itself. A bags “spring rate” changes with height/PSI so having an optimal setup requires a good range of R/C adjustment…you could get lucky but it’s highly unlikely that a particular static damping setting would be correct for a particular height/pressure and drivers preference. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about the bag blowing.

You got the 12.8 on bags too right.

Yes, that’s correct.