Are 1.8T brakes a worthwhile upgrade?

Turbodude1

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Location
Auburn Maine
TDI
1999.5 Golf 2dr. RCII, sprint 520s, shine susp
I am thinking about doing wheel bearings while trying to sort out a vibration I can't seem to find and wanted thoughts on using the 1.8t/vr6 spindles ad brakes. The can be bought super cheap from parts cars now & I was wondering what kind of stopping improvment I will notice. I will buy new Hawk HPS pads and new rotors of course. The MK4 2.0 brakes feel fine in my 2dr Golf, but I feel like they work pretty hard in the wagon.

Thanks!
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Even though the rotors are only 8mm larger, the friction surface is significantly larger. Folks like them. I am not a big brake user so I've never done the upgrade, even on my race cars.
 

Axxe

Active member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Location
Oakville
TDI
03 5spd ALH Wagon
Did it to my wagon as I needed all new calipers and local parts cars had good condition used brake parts for reasonable prices. Added bonus is the bearings had 1/3 the mileage :)
 

turbovan+tdi

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Location
Abbotsford, BC.
TDI
2003 TDI 2.0L ALH, auto, silver wagon, lowered, Colt stage 2 cam, ported head,205 injectors, 1756 turbo, Malone 2.0, 3" exhaust, 18" BBS RC GLI rims. 2004 blue GSW TDI, 5 speed, lowered, GLI BBS wheels painted black, Malone stage 2, Aerotur
I have a 1.8 wagon and a TDI wagon and to me, the TDI's brakes work so much better, my 1.8 brakes feel like wood, :(
 

jettawreck

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Location
Northern Minnesota-55744
TDI
2001 Jetta and 2003 Jetta
My 1.8 wagon has fantastic brakes, when I use them (I coast a lot). I will have the 1.8T brakes in my 2003 when I get the TDI swap finished (hopefully) this spring. Not that I need them, but they were obviously already on the 1.8 chassis.
I wish I had them on the 2001 Jetta TDI. I tow stuff with that on occasion and more brakes are better, even if the loads aren't much.
 

Turbodude1

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Location
Auburn Maine
TDI
1999.5 Golf 2dr. RCII, sprint 520s, shine susp
While we are on the subject, how much benefit is there to running Audi TT spindles and control arms? I realize I gain some adjustability in the ball joint. Does the spindle change ride height? (I am not changing suspension as there are new Bilstein HD's on the car.)

Probably just going to do the 1.8t/Vr6 stuff though.
 

Enabled

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Location
Houston, TX
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Manual, BMW 328d SW
So I take it the VR6 brakes are the same thing? I have access to a donor VR6 for these parts.
The big question is if they clear 15" wheels? I didn't think they did.
 

turbovan+tdi

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Location
Abbotsford, BC.
TDI
2003 TDI 2.0L ALH, auto, silver wagon, lowered, Colt stage 2 cam, ported head,205 injectors, 1756 turbo, Malone 2.0, 3" exhaust, 18" BBS RC GLI rims. 2004 blue GSW TDI, 5 speed, lowered, GLI BBS wheels painted black, Malone stage 2, Aerotur
So I take it the VR6 brakes are the same thing? I have access to a donor VR6 for these parts.
The big question is if they clear 15" wheels? I didn't think they did.
My 1.8T wagon has stock 15's on it.
 

Turbodude1

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Location
Auburn Maine
TDI
1999.5 Golf 2dr. RCII, sprint 520s, shine susp
Enabled, yes they are the same brakes. As stated above, while they aren't that much bigger, they have more braking force due to better pad swept area and caliper design. Plus they don't have those stupid caliper slider pins that are always stuck.
 

Smalls

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Location
Chambersburg, Pa
TDI
Mk4 Jetta TDI
Yes, they clear factory Avus wheels.

I did the upgrade on my 01 tdi. Coupled with a good set of pads and rotors all around and a good brake bleed and it's a night and day difference.
 

bmali98

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Location
Dunsford Ontario
TDI
O4 golf pd auto
My 1.8t wagon stops better than my tdi golf. Firmer pedal and quicker responding are my observation. I had 15" Canadian tire steelies on the wagon, no issues.
 

brandonkraemer

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
TDI
2003 TDI 1.9L 5spd ALH VE mkIV Jetta Wagon
Thinking about redoing all 4 corners of my TDI 1.9L ALH mk4. I've read some about that, if using the VR6 setup or OEM is better. I want to keep my 15" rims.

Is is possible to get new calipers or only refurb at this point? Are aluminum calipers a bad idea?

I assume VCDS is required to do this job?
 

turbovan+tdi

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Location
Abbotsford, BC.
TDI
2003 TDI 2.0L ALH, auto, silver wagon, lowered, Colt stage 2 cam, ported head,205 injectors, 1756 turbo, Malone 2.0, 3" exhaust, 18" BBS RC GLI rims. 2004 blue GSW TDI, 5 speed, lowered, GLI BBS wheels painted black, Malone stage 2, Aerotur
Thinking about redoing all 4 corners of my TDI 1.9L ALH mk4. I've read some about that, if using the VR6 setup or OEM is better. I want to keep my 15" rims.
Is is possible to get new calipers or only refurb at this point? Are aluminum calipers a bad idea?
I assume VCDS is required to do this job?
Nothing wrong with refurbished as they only reuse the housing.

Aftermarket calipers are aluminum, fyi.
 

LNXGUY

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
Location
Barrie, Ont, Canada
TDI
'05 Jetta TDI Wagon
Thinking about redoing all 4 corners of my TDI 1.9L ALH mk4. I've read some about that, if using the VR6 setup or OEM is better. I want to keep my 15" rims.
Is is possible to get new calipers or only refurb at this point? Are aluminum calipers a bad idea?
I assume VCDS is required to do this job?
VR6/1.8T setups are OEM.. I'm not to sure where the confusion lies..

You can keep your 15in rims and still run the bigger brakes.
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
... None :S
I have VR6 front brakes on my car, they work well. Be sure to replace the rubber pieces the sliders ride in as they get soft and crappy with age, leading to a soft pedal.

-J
 

BakoTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
May 5, 2005
Location
Bakersfield, CA
TDI
Jetta, 99 MK4
I know the front 1.8 brake setup fits the original TDI setup. But what about the REAR brakes? Can that be swapped too? Thanks.
 

RexNICO

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Location
South of Atlanta
TDI
2012 Q7
I know the front 1.8 brake setup fits the original TDI setup. But what about the REAR brakes? Can that be swapped too? Thanks.
I wouldn’t say “.. the front 1.8 brake setup fits the original TDI ...”, as it requires swapping out the front knuckle/spindle.
As for the rear, the normal 1.8/VR6 uses the same rear caliper/carrier/rotor. Only the 337, 20th AE and later GLI 1.8’s have different rear brakes (vented) and those caliper/carriers fit with the proper dust shield “adjustment’ or replacement and correct larger vented rotor. The R32 & AWD TT MK1’s rear caliper carriers can be used too, just require a small bracket from ECS.
 

BakoTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
May 5, 2005
Location
Bakersfield, CA
TDI
Jetta, 99 MK4
I wouldn’t say “.. the front 1.8 brake setup fits the original TDI ...”, as it requires swapping out the front knuckle/spindle.
As for the rear, the normal 1.8/VR6 uses the same rear caliper/carrier/rotor. Only the 337, 20th AE and later GLI 1.8’s have different rear brakes (vented) and those caliper/carriers fit with the proper dust shield “adjustment’ or replacement. The R32 & AWD TT MK1’s rear caliper carriers can be used too, just require a small bracket from ECS.

Yes you’re absolutely right on the front brake setup. I did get the knuckles and spindles.

On the rear brakes, if I understand correctly, there is no difference in the setup between TDI and 1.8.

Thanks for the explanation Rex!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Problypropylene

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Location
Colorado
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon TDI 5-speed manual, '03 Jetta Wagon TDI auto
I also have the 1.8t/vr6 front brakes on my '03 wagon. I feel it was a great upgrade and you get some nice performance pad options. I'm running EBC Redstuff pads front and rear and ATE200 fluid.

With factory TDI brakes any time I was in a panic stop situation it would feel like I was using 100% of the brake power, and did not feel like I was slowing down fast enough (no wrecks though!)... with the bigger front rotors/pads I don't think I've used 100% of the power and panic stops are not as stressful anymore. Even during spirited driving I don't feel like I ever need 100% of the brakes. Feels good to have that reserve.
 

Rrusse11

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Location
PA Deutsch Country
TDI
2002 Golf, 5spd; 05 Jeep CRD
I did the VR6 upgrade to the front, 288mm rotors, lighter pedal and immediate
improvement. What this does do though is shift the braking bias.
I found some used rear calipers and carriers for the rear and then installed
256mm vented rotors.
Car brakes flatter with the rears working better, for balanced handling
I recommend both front and rear upgrades.
 

Shenandoah

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Location
Shenandoah Valley, VA
TDI
2005 Jetta Wagon; 2005 Beetle; 2004 Jetta; 2002 Golf (three of them); 2002 Jetta Wagon; 2000 Audi TT->TDI; 1999 Beetle
Folks,

I'll add my comments on larger front brakes. I've got several mkIV series VWs. One of my parts cars is a Jetta 1.8T. I was getting ready to do struts on my 2005 Beetle and figured I'd pull the entire knuckle/strut assembly and swap it out.

I pulled the knuckles off the 1.8T parts car. Removed the old struts; removed the old wheel bearings; removed the old lower ball joint; removed the rotor, calipler and caliper bracket. The caliper bracket is removable on the 1.8T knuckle and the Audi TT knuckle. I picked up a set of front calipers and caliper brackets for a mk1 Audi TT (the calipers are the same as the VW 1.8T) for $100 from ebay. The Audi TT has 312mm front rotors. Pressed in new wheel bearings; installed a new lower ball joint; installed new struts; mounted the Audi TT caliper bracket.

On my Beetle, I pulled the whole strut/knuckle/rotor/caliper assembly and replaced it with the 1.8T knuckle with all new parts and the Audi TT caliper bracket. Installed new 312 mm front rotors and new pads. Replaced the TDI front calipers with the Audi TT/1.8T calipers and bled the brakes with my motive brake bleeder. Once everything was back together I took the car in for an alignment (since I put new lower ball joints on).

One thing I notice is the steering is much "firmer". By that I mean when I turn the wheel, the front end doesn't seem as "light". I'm guessing this is due to the heavier/larger rotor and calipers.

Eric
 
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