Our first attempt at this Proven was hampered by a leaking radiator, which thanks to the guys at Mishimoto, was quickly rectified with an aluminum high performance replacement.
While the radiator was a perfect fit, we were less impressed with the undersized hose connections that required a larger set of O-rings to prevent the precious Motul coolant from leaking out. The radiator also lacked locking tabs for the radiator hoses.
That aside, we heard about a new dual-nozzle methanol set-up from Snow Performance that's said to clean out a dirty engine. We figured it would be a perfect mod to rejuvenate our Audi A3 2,0T with 62000 miles on the clock.
From earlier testing of Snow's 150psi single-nozzle set-up in a 2009 Proven article, we knew that if anything can breathe life into an engine it was surely Snow Performance.
However, like many Audi engines, the ignition coil packs had been replaced numerous times (we lost count after the fifth!), so Okada Plasma Direct bolt-on coil packs were also fitted. These are designed to produce four-times more spark energy than the OEM units by increasing spark amperage by 100%.
Clayton Mustang dynamometer
AWE K04 kit, Neuspeed intercooler, intake, Hi-flow charge pipe, 70mm turbo-back exhaust
Test 1: Baseline
The baseline and all subsequent testing was performed on the same day, utilizing the same tank of 91-octane gas. All horsepower and torque results were measured at the front wheels in third gear. All temperature and timing readings were obtained using Ross-Tech VCDS Diagnostic Software. The Audi A3 was fully adapted and the readiness code was set.
Peak power: 228hp at 6000rpm
Peak torque: 224 lb-ft at 4000rpm
27-75mph dyno acceleration: 6.035sec
Range of Timing Retard 5000-6600rpm: -3 to -9°
Intake Manifold Temp 5000-6600rpm: 31-33°C
Test 2: Okada Plasma Direct
After installing the Okada coils, we detected multiple-cylinder misfires on two of our three runs. While the misfiring didn't appear to affect the output (we saw a gain of 6hp) we were concerned that over time, misfires can cause engine damage.
To see if it was a spark plug issue, we swapped the Bosch FR5DPO cooler range plugs in the Audi for a new set OEM Bosch F6KPP332S plugs. Unfortunately, further dyno runs still produced the misfires.
Since there were no misfires during the three baseline runs with the stock coil packs, the Okada coils seemed to be the culprit. Because of time constraints, we weren't able to rule out other factors like spark plug type and gap settings but, for the remainder of this tests, we reinstalled the OEM coil packs.
We didn't want to reset the ECU and chance skewing the results for the remaining products, but we did go back after all the testing was concluded and reset the ECU to see if that would eliminate the misfires. However, with the Okada coils back in place, the problem returned.
Okada Plasma Direct
Installation Time: 20min
Peak power: 228hp at 6210rpm
Peak torque: 223tq at 3940rpm
27-75mph dyno acceleration: 5.883sec
Range of timing retard 5000-6600rpm: -3 to -8.3°
Intake manifold temp 5000-6600rpm: 30-32°C
Max power gain: 6hp at 6300rpm
Max torque gain: 7 lb-ft at 3110rpm
- Random misfires
Test 3: Single Methanol Nozzle
For this test, we enlisted methanol and VW/Audi expert Scott Williams from Usually Sideways Rally Team (USRT) to help set-up the Stage 2 Snow Performance 2.0T FSI Boost Cooler.
Based on the A3's current mod list and power, Scott recommended the 175cc nozzle and methanol pump pressure increased from the preset 150psi to a higher 220psi for better efficiency.
Increasing pump pressure simply required turning a dial and to ensure accuracy, Scott used an in-line pressure gauge. He also recommended we install the nozzle close to the intercooler outlet to gain maximum air cooling and complete evaporation of the 49/51% methanol/water Boost Juice solution.
The Snow kit was a straightforward installation. We used the stock windshield washer bottle as the fluid reservoir for the Boost Juice. The kit doesn't include any type of mounting bracket for the pump, so we fabricated one using a flat piece of metal and two L-brackets.
Snow four-wire controller required an ignition, ground, pump turn-on and MAF signal, which was relatively simply to provide.
The most difficult part of the process was actually drilling and tapping the intercooler pipe for the nozzle.
During our tests, the VAG-COM data logging showed a reduction in intake air temps and the amount of timing retard, with a solid power gain from 4200rpm to redline.
Stage 2 Snow Performance 2.0T FSI Boost Cooler, 175 ml/min nozzle, Boost Juice four-gallon case
Installation time: 2hr
Peak power: 255hp at 6340rpm
Peak torque: 225 lb-ft at 3860rpm
27-75mph dyno acceleration: 5.408sec
Range of timing retard 5000-6600rpm: -0.8 to -4.5°
Intake manifold temp 5000-6600rpm: 21-24°C
Max power gain: 21whp at 6340rpm
Max torque gain: 9 lb-ft at 4830rpm
- Increased throttle response
- Reduced intake temperature
- Less timing retard
- System can be turned off
Test 4: Dual Methanol Nozzle
The USRT dual nozzle set-up uses a nozzle after the intercooler to reduce intake temps (as before) but adds a second to the intake manifold in order to boost octane.
The effect of the dual nozzle's direct fluid injection into the manifold is an added benefit - cleaning out oil sludge that can plague the 2.0T engine. It basically steam cleans the manifold but Scott is able to explain it better.
The USRT spacer was a tricky to fit because the nozzle holder hit the oil dipstick tube, so we had to rotate the tube to clear it. The spacer's O-ring also kept falling out of the over-sized groove and the long bolt took ages to tighten, but we eventually got it done.
We removed the 175cc intercooler nozzle and replaced it with a smaller 100cc injector, using a 60cc nozzle in the intake manifold, while increasing the pump pressure to 240psi.
After this we saw roughly the same intake air temps and less timing retard as with the single nozzle, but the dual set-up gave more power over a longer ranger. It was especially noticeable above 4700rpm.
It's also worth remembering that as the engine sludge is cleared, the performance gains of this system should only increase over time.
USRT 2.0L TSI/FSI Dual Nozzle Mount Pack, 100ml/min nozzle, 60ml/min nozzle
Installation Time: 1.5hr
Peak power: 262hp at 6464rpm
Peak torque: 234 lb-ft at 3949rpm
27-75mph dyno acceleration: 5.296sec
Range of timing retard 5000-6600rpm: -0.8 to -1.5°
Intake manifold temp 5000-6600rpm: 23-24°C
Max power gain: 13hp at 5464rpm
Max Torque Gain: 10 lb-ft at 3949rpm
- Reduced timing retard
- Cheaper than race fuel
- Helps reduce oil sludge on the intake valves
- Fiddly manifold spacer O-ring and long bolts
This refresher for our Audi A3 2.0T was like a makeover and spa treatment, allowing the car to perform better than ever.
The dyno acceleration with the single-nozzle set-up was amazing, and enjoyed on a regular basis. It's reflected on the graph, which shows that before the methanol, acceleration would plateau at about 4500rpm. But after the meth, the car pulled all the way to redline.
Since fitting the dual-nozzle set-up, we've driven the A3 more in the past month than the past year. You can feel the engine being cleaned, becoming punchier and more responsive, and enhancing all the previous mods.
With more power, torque and acceleration than the single-nozzle, the A3 has been transformed into a torque monster. Unlike previous Proven mods on this car, the dual-nozzle set-up will be a permanent installation.
So if you plan to fit methanol injection, we recommend the extra investment of the USRT dual-nozzle upgrade to the Stage 2 Snow Performance kit.
It was disappointing we didn't have enough time to resolve the Okada misfire, but we'll tinker with it and update you in the future.
Peak Power: 228hp at 6000rpm
peak torque: 224 lb-ft at 4000rpm
Peak power: 228hp at 6210rpm
peak torque: 223 lb-ft at 3940rpm
Single Methanol Nozzle
Peak Power: 255hp at 6340rpm
peak torque: 225 lb-ft at 3860rpm
Dual Methanol Nozzle
Peak power: 262whp at 6464rpm
peak torque: 234 lb-ft at 3949rpm