Bora Tuning and performance mods

Modifying and improving: "VW Bora Tuning"

VW Bora Tuning Guide

The Bora is based on the Golf but instead of a hatchback it has a boot. It falls nicely into the VW lineup just below the Passat.

Because it shares many parts with the Golf there is a wide selection of tuning options around for it and many Golf mods will happily work in your Bora Tuning project.

So onto the Bora tuning tips:-
The smaller 1.4 engine is really a waste of time from a tuning point of view and underpowered for a car of this size. Even the NASP 1.6 engine needs a lot of work to give even a modest power gain.

If you have one of these modest NASP engines then for economic reasons we at Car Tuning Tips strongly suggest you do an engine swap and get a 100% power hike and better base to work from by using a 1.8 Turbo engine as a donor. Car Tuning Tips would focus on improving the handling, correcting the understeer and improving the braking of these smaller engined models. 

The 2.0 will need some major work doing to it if you are after a good power gain and this will still not be as effective as tuning the 1.8T. For all Bora engines  to get a good power gain, you will need to fit larger valves, get the head ported and polished and have a 3 angle valve job done. Increasing the compression ratio of the engine will further maximise the power gains but this will prevent you from adding forced induction. If the engine it fully balanced it will allow you to raise the red line and exploit the top end power.

The stunning 1.8 Turbo engines were quite good, a favourite of car tuning tips, and a simple remap is all you need to raise the power from 170bhp to around 225 bhp. When it comes to turbo upgrades you have a choice of fitting either the KO4 or KO3s (the KO3s is a straight swap) either turbo will really raise the potential as the standard KO3 power gains peak much earlier in the rev range. 

It also pays to get a recirculating diverter valve as atmospheric dump and blow off valves have been known to cause ECU error codes. We would also uprate the intercooler with a twin or front mounted intercooler. The 1.8 Turbo engine has been used in a number of powerful applications and can cope with power figures of upto 300bhp on standard internals which is quite an impressive feat.

The excellent 1.9 PD engines are also a real dream to tune up and again with little more than a simple remap you can be looking at a power gain of 20-30%.

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The 12v VR6 is a real performer and with some head work, fast road cams and a remap you can extract another 20-30% of power from this engine. The comparative weight of the VR6 against the 1.8T block is a bit of a disadvantage.

Other modifications you should consider for your Boras engine. Fast road cams, air intake and sports exhaust & port matching.

For the power mad you always have the option of fitting a supercharger or turbo but you will need to lower the engines compression ratio and uprate the internals. Another option you may consider is adding a nitrous injection kits, this alone can add 50-75bhp more power to your engine.

What other modifications?
Brake upgrades are popular. We have seen some Bora owners using the larger brakes from the VR6 models along with a few Porsche brake conversions (996 IIRC). We suggest you check the offset and clearance behind your alloys before purchasing a much larger brake kit, upgrading to the 17inch TT alloys will give a lot more clearance.

Handling mods are beneficial on the Bora, and we would recommend that you get a fully adjustable suspension kit so you can set this up to suit your driving style. We would only lower the Bora by 25-35mm to retain the travel unless you are prepared to completely redo the entire suspension geometry.

Further reading.
We suggest that if you want a bit more information on Bora Tuning you consult the following sources. TorqueCars have a comprehensive  Bora tuning article and also a very active, friendly and helpful Bora forum.

If you have any tips to pass on please use our comments box below and we will update this article, after all we are all here to share knowledge. Please also let us know if we've missed out an engine or performance mod that you feel should be included in here.

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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.

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Your Constructive comments on this article

2 Responses to “VW Bora Tuning”

  1. b4dg3r says:

    hi. Do you have any links for tuning advise on the bora v5 170bhp.?

  2. TheOne.... says:

    got myself a mk4 1.4 golf…yes 8 valve…slow a shi** lol.

    ive been told the 1.8t out of a passat wont fit, but will the 1.8t out of a bora fit?

    would appreciate a reply guys,
    Aint rubbin? you know the rest…..