Bora Tuning Modifications
"This should not Bora you."
Viewed and often dismissed by many as a Golf with a boot this car has a lot to offer.
It has the convenience of a larger saloon car but retains the handling characteristics of the Golf.
If anything the extra weight over the rear balances the car more and makes cornering a little more predictable.
Most of the engine options that come on the Golf are available in the Bora line up. Our current best pic for your Bora Tuning project is the 180bhp 1.8T engine. With a remap and the addition of the larger KO4 turbo you will see power gains reaching 300-350bhp!
VW often skimped on the performance options on the more powerful options. For example on the 180bhp Golf you get larger more meaty brake disks. As the Bora is somewhat heavier this seems to be an odd omission.
The suspension is also skewed towards a soft comfortable ride, we would recommend getting some adjustable shocks fitted and lowering the car by about 30mm.
The wheels have a lot of potential with one of our members fitting the wider wheels from an Audi TT. As you can imagine there is a wide selection of aftermarket wheels for the VAG range of cars.
We would strongly urge you to look after the oil change schedule, particularly on the 1.8T as it is prone to sludge build up and oil pump failure. The diesel engines have a lot to offer as well but for some reason the 1.9 TDi from the Golf GTi with 150bhp was not an option. All the larger powered diesel engines respond very well from a remap.
Bora engine tuning options.
The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.
Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road.
Stage 1 mods: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel
Stage 2 mods: Fast road cam, ported and polished head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades,
Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam.
One of the best mechanical mods you can do on the Bora especially the NASP version is to fit a fast road cam. Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. A fuel pressure boost valve will make the car more responsive and respond better. Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel. Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned Bora.
Air Intake and Exhaust.
Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit. On small engines you will actually lose low down power so we suggest you use a panel air filter instead. A good sports exhaust is essential to balance an induction kit, just adding an induction kit on it's own will do little to increase your power.
Getting the head ported and polished will further help more air into each cylinder. A good fast road power clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or expect a standard clutch to cope. Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars.
On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful, but will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods.
VW Bora Wheel upgrades. Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than the steel ones. The downside to large alloy wheels on your Bora is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance. Aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases we do not recommend going above 17 inches.
It would also be worth reading our VW tuning articles to get a full grasp of the pros and cons of each type of modification.
One of our forum members has fitted an oil pressure & temperature gauge so he can monitor the condition of the engine and hopefully avoid the sludge problems. Join our forum to discuss the many Bora tuning options open to you.
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Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.