Malone Stage 1 or 1.5?

Which Stage?

  • Stage 1

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Stage 1.5

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Wait until you're ready to upgrade the turbo clutch, then go for Stage 2.

    Votes: 6 60.0%

  • Total voters
    10

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
So far, my 2004 BEW Wagon is basically stock. I did the ventectomy, upgraded the steelies to long beaches, and will soon bypass the EGR cooler so that I (hopefully) stop loosing coolant into the exhaust. It's only at about 135k miles, and the engine is in good shape.

Long-term, I think I'd like to upgrade the turbo and clutch to support a Stage 2+, but since there's only so much money you can spend on a car, and this year I'm upgrading the suspension, I'm thinking of doing an initial tune, and following up with a more powerful tune after making those mods at a later date. I'm most-interested in Dynamic Idle & EGR for quicker warmup, and a little more power. In talking with Malone, they mentioned having to watch high boost with a Stage 1.5.

What do you think - 1, or 1.5? The extra increase in power would be nice, but I don't want to risk my turbo.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
Go big rocket Man
 

Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
I got stage 1 and i'm still at stage 1 even after adding mods.

Getting a tune is huge increase in performance / ecomomy and I would recommend it even if it's just a stage 1 and even if you just stay there after adding mods ( see signature)

Andrew
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
I got stage 1 and i'm still at stage 1 even after adding mods.

Getting a tune is huge increase in performance / ecomomy and I would recommend it even if it's just a stage 1 and even if you just stay there after adding mods ( see signature)

Andrew
Man reading your signature I would REALLY like to see your car. I hope to build my wagon into something pretty darn similar.
 

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
BEW with stock turbo I'd stick with stage 1. That turbo does tend to overboost more easily than the stock turbo on the older MKIVs, especially if you live or drive at higher altitudes. We used to sell a lot of replacements to a shop in Colorado Springs, where they'd frequently fail even on stock BEWs.

VNT-17 with a Stage 3 tune is a really nice upgrade on a BEW. Those stock injectors have a lot of headroom for increased fueling electronically, so you really don't have to do anything else. A 2.5" downpipe is nice to reduce exhaust restriction, but your Smog testing my not like that. And you will need a clutch.
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
BEW with stock turbo I'd stick with stage 1. That turbo does tend to overboost more easily than the stock turbo on the older MKIVs, especially if you live or drive at higher altitudes. We used to sell a lot of replacements to a shop in Colorado Springs, where they'd frequently fail even on stock BEWs.

VNT-17 with a Stage 3 tune is a really nice upgrade on a BEW. Those stock injectors have a lot of headroom for increased fueling electronically, so you really don't have to do anything else. A 2.5" downpipe is nice to reduce exhaust restriction, but your Smog testing my not like that. And you will need a clutch.
Thanks IBW! That's the plan. Suspension this year, big power next year.
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
Well, I went for the 1.5 last week, before all the advice came in. I'm going to order & install a boost gauge (and maybe an EGT gauge) to watch the high-end boost.

Got the flashzilla last night and got the tune installed, but didn't have a chance to drive until today. I did not select the option to limit high-end boost yet, because I'm using the stock exhaust and they only recommend it for modified exhausts.

Aside from the power increase (especially over 3,000 rpm), the car starts quicker & smoother, and warms up quicker. They had a few optional fixes I didn't know about, including the coolant temperature sensor in the expansion tank being too sensitive - this might've been what was causing my coolant light to go off until recently - it could've been that the shop pressure testing the system cleared some gunk out of the sensor also.

I will say that while I enjoyed the vroom vroom on my freeway on-ramping today, I don't really think I need that much power for most of my driving. I may do a larger turbo in the future for reliability at altitude, but I'm not sure I'll buy another higher-end tune. We'll see how my mind changes over the next year or so!
 
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joevh

Member
Joined
May 5, 2013
Location
Spokane
TDI
2005 Jetta Wagon TDI BEW, Malone Stage 4, VNT17, Diesel Geek short shifter
Well, I went for the 1.5 last week, before all the advice came in. I'm going to order & install a boost gauge (and maybe an EGT gauge) to watch the high-end boost.

Got the flashzilla last night and got the tune installed, but didn't have a chance to drive until today. I did not select the option to limit high-end boost yet, because I'm using the stock exhaust and they only recommend it for modified exhausts.

Aside from the power increase (especially over 3,000 rpm), the car starts quicker & smoother, and warms up quicker. They had a few optional fixes I didn't know about, including the coolant temperature sensor in the expansion tank being too sensitive - this might've been what was causing my coolant light to go off a few months ago.

I will say that while I enjoyed the vroom vroom on my freeway on-ramping today, I don't really think I need that much power for most of my driving. I may do a larger turbo in the future for reliability at altitude, but I'm not sure I'll buy another higher-end tune. We'll see how my mind changes over the next year or so!

I have the identical wagon as yours, with 315k miles on the clock. My son also has an identical one, pushing 300k. Let me know if you ever want to sell yours.

About 6 years ago I put a Malone stage 1.5 tune into it. One year ago my clutch slippage got bad enough that I had a SouthBend stage 2 daily driver installed. Then I tore the entire front end apart to replace all of the suspension system. After I removed the steering rack after discovering a problem with it, I was staring at the turbo and thought, well, might as well do that as well. I put in a a VNT-17, removed the EGR cooler, and had Malone up the tune to stage 4. The turbo seems a bit laggier, so overall it's not drastically more snappy, but I can sure tell it's got a lot more solid, continuous pull to it. Malone tuning uses the entire throttle throw for a linear power rather than focus all the power in the first half, which I like. With these mods, I'm glad I went with stage 4 and not less. Now I wish that I had upgraded the downpipe and exhaust to 2.5" at the time as well. I was going to do that this year, but am not sure how much it would help, and am very reluctant to create a drone in the exhaust sound. If anyone has any input to that, I would appreciate it.
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
I have the identical wagon as yours, with 315k miles on the clock. My son also has an identical one, pushing 300k. Let me know if you ever want to sell yours.

About 6 years ago I put a Malone stage 1.5 tune into it. One year ago my clutch slippage got bad enough that I had a SouthBend stage 2 daily driver installed. Then I tore the entire front end apart to replace all of the suspension system. After I removed the steering rack after discovering a problem with it, I was staring at the turbo and thought, well, might as well do that as well. I put in a a VNT-17, removed the EGR cooler, and had Malone up the tune to stage 4. The turbo seems a bit laggier, so overall it's not drastically more snappy, but I can sure tell it's got a lot more solid, continuous pull to it. Malone tuning uses the entire throttle throw for a linear power rather than focus all the power in the first half, which I like. With these mods, I'm glad I went with stage 4 and not less. Now I wish that I had upgraded the downpipe and exhaust to 2.5" at the time as well. I was going to do that this year, but am not sure how much it would help, and am very reluctant to create a drone in the exhaust sound. If anyone has any input to that, I would appreciate it.
I appreciate your offer, but my plan is definitely to drive this baby until it doesn't want me any more. :) I was lucky enough to be the second owner, and with only 130k on it. It's got some minor body damage unfortunately (passenger rocker panel, the girl smacked a tree stump pulling out of a parking lot), but otherwise very clean for an 18-year-old car. I almost created a new username, "balticgreenwagon" in homage to our venerable leader IBW - I plan to keep it going.

I'm doing the suspension soon (as soon as the shop gets back to me - hopefully this week!). Then come new tires, and then a skid plate. Then a roof basket and a hitch, I think. I think I'll be happy for quite awhile after that, but I do want to look at a VNT-17 in the next year or two, and I'll probably have to do the clutch at the same time.

I am glad to hear that your stock clutch was ok with the 1.5 for 5 years - that seems pretty great. I'd be ecstatic if mine lasts that long!
 

Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
If you drive your car "normally" or like before you got the tune you will probably see an MPG increase from the tune alone ..... it's kind of like the icing on the cake and you STILL have the extra power if you want to play.

Just be careful not to slip the clutch too much through excessive use of power if the clutch is weak and you shuld be ok for a really long time

Andrew
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
If you drive your car "normally" or like before you got the tune you will probably see an MPG increase from the tune alone ..... it's kind of like the icing on the cake and you STILL have the extra power if you want to play.
Yea, that sounds like the bee's knees basically. I think I'm going to reset my fuelly to figure out what my MPG is - 27.4 seems incredibly low, even for city driving. If it's still low, maybe I have stuck brakes or something.

We have a few particularly-steep hills nearby, and we drove up one last night in 2nd & 3rd gear - holy fudge what a difference. My TDIs have always been good on hills, but it felt like the hill wasn't even there. I'm quite stoked.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
kenneth, look into Koni Active shocks. I put them on my wife's 2003 Golf and they're awesome: very smooth ride, probably better than stock; and when you push it the "active" part does its thing and you actually have very good performance. Additionally, I've installed Koni STR.Ts and Koni Reds, also had a Golf with Bilsteins, so I have a fair bit of exposure to shocks on these cars. My Golf has STR.Ts and they're a really crisp shock (work great on the roads that I drive), but after driving my wife's Golf with the Actives I would certainly install them on my car if I ever have to do a suspension refresh.
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
kenneth, look into Koni Active shocks. I put them on my wife's 2003 Golf and they're awesome: very smooth ride, probably better than stock; and when you push it the "active" part does its thing and you actually have very good performance. Additionally, I've installed Koni STR.Ts and Koni Reds, also had a Golf with Bilsteins, so I have a fair bit of exposure to shocks on these cars. My Golf has STR.Ts and they're a really crisp shock (work great on the roads that I drive), but after driving my wife's Golf with the Actives I would certainly install them on my car if I ever have to do a suspension refresh.
That's exactly where I'm going. Special Actives, the ID Parts lift springs, and a full rubber refresh. Hopefully don't have to touch the suspension for another 5 years!
 

justin71105

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Location
SC
TDI
2005 Jetta Wagon
Wanting to do the stage 1.5 to my car after this winter. Just wanting a little more pull through the gears like my MK7 TDi had especially 3rd gear.
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
Wanting to do the stage 1.5 to my car after this winter. Just wanting a little more pull through the gears like my MK7 TDi had especially 3rd gear.
I'm pretty stoked one it, personally. Definitely need to watch the turbo, as folks mentioned up above here. If you're considering a VNT-17 at all, it would be worth doing that first and then going to a stage 2. Will also need an upgraded clutch at that point.
 

justin71105

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Location
SC
TDI
2005 Jetta Wagon
I'm pretty stoked one it, personally. Definitely need to watch the turbo, as folks mentioned up above here. If you're considering a VNT-17 at all, it would be worth doing that first and then going to a stage 2. Will also need an upgraded clutch at that point.

Have a south bend stage 2 daily clutch kit already installed by previous owner. Do not want to upgrade turbo so will likely stick with stage 1 or 1.5....but I have been reading about the different turbos. Don't want to give up any low rpm trq.
Will be a little while before I oull the trigger still need fo install steering/suspension/brakes and fix up interior more.
 
Last edited:

SMPMASTERMIND

Active member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Location
LANGLEY, BC
TDI
2005 Jetta TDI BEW
Did a Malone Stage 2 right off the bat. Stock Turbo. SB Stage 3 endurance. Boost, Oil Pressure, EGT gauges.

Stage 2
  • Dynamic Idle 1100RPM
  • Dynamic EGR
  • Glow Plug Extension
  • P0128 Coolant Fault Code Fix
  • VNT Smart Actuator (Sensor) Delete
  • O2 (Oxygen Sensor) Delete
  • Boost Creep Reduction for Stock Turbo and Modified Exhaust
  • Hot Start Fix
Love it so far. Still have stock exhaust but doing 2.5 inch straight pipe in a couple days to open it up more. Also why I did the boost creep reduction until I get some more money to upgrade Turbo.
 

justin71105

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Location
SC
TDI
2005 Jetta Wagon
I'm pretty stoked one it, personally. Definitely need to watch the turbo, as folks mentioned up above here. If you're considering a VNT-17 at all, it would be worth doing that first and then going to a stage 2. Will also need an upgraded clutch at that point.

Any issues with the stage 1.5 and boost creep people talk about with stock turbo. Does it still make good low rpm power as well as above 3k.

Thinking I'm going to order on black friday and try it out during my time back from Europe.

Reading its what the car should have been from factory. Mine is soo weak compared to my buddys MK6 Golf.

Think his is 140hp/236tq, stage 1.5 looks to get the MK4 pretty close to that.
 

Nero Morg

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2014 A6 TDI, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
I had a stage 2 with a stock turbo, no issues of boost creeep, I wouldn't sweat it.
 

SMPMASTERMIND

Active member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Location
LANGLEY, BC
TDI
2005 Jetta TDI BEW
I had a stage 2 with a stock turbo, no issues of boost creeep, I wouldn't sweat it.
Same haven't had time to put new turbo in. But running stage 2 with modified exhaust with the tune listed above and no creep. Much more fun to drive!! I did add boost creep reduction as a safety because I am running 2.5 inch straight no cat or muffler
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
Stage III on two vehicles with stock turbos, no boost creeping
 

kennethsime

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
California
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon GL TDI 5-Speed Baltic Green
Any issues with the stage 1.5 and boost creep people talk about with stock turbo. Does it still make good low rpm power as well as above 3k.

Thinking I'm going to order on black friday and try it out during my time back from Europe.

Reading its what the car should have been from factory. Mine is soo weak compared to my buddys MK6 Golf.

Think his is 140hp/236tq, stage 1.5 looks to get the MK4 pretty close to that.
I haven't actually installed a boost gauge yet, but my car drives fine and is plenty fun. It took some getting used to at first, but no regrets at all. I think my clutch will give out before my turbo. May be worse for the turbo if you're at elevation - I'm down by the water for the most part.
 
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