View Full Version : HYDE16 Reviews - APR K04 Turbocharger Kit & APR Intercooler

03-11-2013, 08:36 PM
The APR K04 kit is a well know and highly reliable power upgrade for our TSI engines. There have been plenty of K04 reviews and comparisons but I had to toss mine in the ring. My friends / car club members joke about the number of people we know who have the K04 installed and consider it a “factory option” due to its commonalty these days. Well, as I’m late to the party, they continue to joke and snarl with comments like “no big deal”. The benefit of waiting this long was that I got to see how others felt about shelling out the money to go from Stage 1 or 2 power levels to a complete turbo upgrade kit. With their positive long term experiences, Redline Speed Worx’s recommendation and current sale pricing ($2,650 with free installation and 0% financing!), I pulled the trigger for Spring. It actually works out to be cheaper than waiting for the APR sale price then having to pay for installation / labor costs. No matter how long it took, I still can’t believe what this has done for my 4-door GTI. Porsche who?

I have spent a lot of time on the threads learning the ins and outs of useable power, suspension setups, LSDs and wheels & tires options. I was personally looking for the “awesome daily driver”, striking a fine balance between a baby daycare shuttle during the week then the spirited mountain warrior on the weekends and an occasional HPDE track car with power on demand. I'm trying to increase some stiffness, correct or improve suspension geometry, improve traction, find the highest level of useable power and realize better overall response from driver input while limiting NVH, rattles and feeling beat up from long drives. I can now proudly say that I am K04 Club Member #87 (http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39976)!

For the longest time I have slowly been adding parts to my car to top it all off with a turbo kit. I’ve been to Redline Speed Worx more times than I can count for various foundational upgrades like clutches, turbo-back exhaust, Peloquin LSD, Stoptech brake kit, H&R sway bars, you name it…. At one point I had serious discussions with them about a full re-build complete with forged I-beam rods, calico bearings and the evil APR Stage 3+ kit. After staring at the cost differential for months, I figured my family would benefit in the long run from the cheaper option (new house or living in my Stage 3+ car). I have to say, without a doubt, the K04 is all that I need. Yes, I’m still in the honeymoon phase but seriously, it’s an amazing boost in power on demand. With the way I drive to and from work I barely use it but that added power reserve is there when I want to hit the rocket jet thruster boost power levels.

Before I could leave their shop with the APR K04 kit installed, I wanted one final supporting modification, the APR intercooler. We’re not going to debate the various intercooler options here like we’ve seen on the APR and SPM data comparison threads. I chose the APR intercooler to replace my current intercooler setup (OEM intercooler with add-on Forge Twincooler). I have to say, after seeing pictures of the APR intercooler online then finally holding it in person, this thing is massive. Overall upgrading from the thinner OEM intercooler and the add-on Forge Twincooler core seemed like the way to go. For one I felt that with the added boost I didn’t want to have the turbulence or possible pressure drop associated with additional tubing and two cores. I decided to simplify the setup with one high quality intercooler and at this time the APR intercoolers were back in stock.

At the Shop / On Lift:
Dustin hard at work preparing my car for the transplant!



Unboxing the APR K04 Kit:
Being that this if my first turbo car, seeing a new, upgraded turbo in an APR box is like seeing what’s inside the briefcase from Pulp Fiction. Unspeakable and awe-inspring. Ok, I’m dramatic, but it’s still glorious.





Old Turbo:
Served me well old friend, keeping you as backup!



Swapping Hardware:
Dustin triple checking all connections and bolts.




New Turbo ready to go in:
It’s amazing that this unit can completely transform a car from a fun daily driver to a fun daily rocket ship.


Forge Twincooler Removal:
As you can see, my original intercooler setup for APR Stage 1 & 2 was the OEM intercooler with add-on Forge Twincooler. I wanted to simplify this setup with the lowest turbulence, pressure drop and overall volume (2 cores + hoses vs. 1 larger core). I also wanted an intercooler that could support K04 and beyond power levels from a company that has provided the market with proven results and factual data.




I couldn’t even believe this fit in here…


Other Sale Priced TSI K04’s in Inventory:


Results & Recommendations:
I’m not going to go on and on about how this APR K04 kit and APR intercooler will change the world but it definitely changed my world. If anyone has the means to have this APR K04 kit and/or APR intercooler installed on their MK6 TSI GTI, your car will be completely transformed. I always felt that APR Stage 1 was too punchy and had too much neck-snapping torque when in lower gears driving around town. APR Stage 2 smoothed out the low end for me, still had plenty of torque and quick spool but I gained that open top end power to balance things out. With the APR K04 kit and APR intercooler, the low end is ultra smooth around town and very smooth on the highway. Once over 3,000 RPM you can tap into this additional power reserve that keeps on going depending on how long you can avoid looking at your speedometer. I was grinning ear to ear for the first week every time I ran through the on-ramp to work, lined the car up straight with the highway and punched it from 3,000 rpm to redline. I feel this APR K04 provides the best blend of low end, OEM like, refined driving then raw power once the turbo spools up. I spent some time data logging my runs with VagCom and sent them off to APR to check things out just to validate everything. Luckily, my car shows no signs of the weak exhaust valve springs that some of the newer GLI’s and GTI’s are experiencing as per APR tech support. As of today, I installed the R8 red coil packs and NGK PFR7B Double Platinum (4853) spark plugs gapped at 0.028” from HS Tuning. Tomorrow I’ll put the car through its paces to see how this ignition upgrade feels. In the near future I plan on installing the latest Neuspeed K04 specific Turbo Discharge (Outlet) Pipe. Also, after selling my Forge Twincooler to a fellow MK6 TSI GTI club member, I plan on setting up a session to data log both cars at the same exact time to measure some data. Of course this test will be well thought out and will include the same day, same exact road and runs, most likely running parallel, etc. I’d love to provide some feedback on how each intercooler setup logs IATs and EGTs. Thanks to Redline Speed Worx for their flawless install and for allowing me to cover the install for the purpose of this review.

03-19-2013, 09:30 AM
Just wanted to circle back to this, turns out I had an injector going bad. I went to Volkswagen since I was 500 miles shy of being outside my 36K bumper to bumper warranty. All four new injectors and a manual carbon cleaning for my new K04! She purrs like a kitten now at idle, much smoother, power delivery is omg/turbo/thisisfun!

Cylinder 1 Scraped:

Cylinder 1 Scraped:

Cylinder 1 Scraped:

Cylinder 1 Scraped:

Cylinder Vacuumed:

Cylinder Soaked in BG Solvent:

Cylinder Cleaned:

04-26-2013, 02:10 AM
Have you considered running water/meth on your setup? Notwithstanding the carbon buildup, it'll be a great power adder. Any high compression engine like yours will benefit from an anti detonant like W/M.

(personally I'm running 30 PSI at 20 deg advance on my 9.5:1 port injection AEB 1.8t)

04-26-2013, 07:20 AM
Have you considered running water/meth on your setup? Notwithstanding the carbon buildup, it'll be a great power adder. Any high compression engine like yours will benefit from an anti detonant like W/M.

(personally I'm running 30 PSI at 20 deg advance on my 9.5:1 port injection AEB 1.8t)

Right there with you! Piecing together an Aquamist HFS-4 direct port injection setup!

05-09-2013, 01:09 PM

11-21-2013, 07:23 AM
For anyone interested in K04 turbo blankets, here is my most recent review on the ”HYDE16 Reviews - PTP Turbo Blankets K04 Lava Turbo Blanket” (http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/569143-HYDE16-Reviews-PTP-Turbo-Blankets-K04-Lava-Turbo-Blanket?p=9247763)