In this age of social media we stay
connected almost 24/7 every day of the week. The world is at your fingertips and
you are getting updates by the minute. Two weeks ago I saw an update from the Players
crew, Jamie McTolbridge and Carl Taylor, mentioning JD and Holland in one
sentence. This immediately caught my attention and I contacted Jamie to see what
But before I continue I think it is best to
explain who and what JD is. JD stands for Jeroen Dik, who has his own company called
JD Engineering. He has been in business as long as I can remember. He specializes in engine tuning and is highly regarded inside
the scene – I even heard some people referring to him as Yoda because of his
skills extracting the maximum out of every engine he touches! In the end it
doesn’t matter what you call him as he is a legend in his own right.
The idea was to take two cars to JD. One
of the them was this Golf MKII G60 owned by Jamie McTolbridge that has been
dubbed the Zerolip Golf. I’m not
going to rave about this car again because I’m sure you all know by now that I love
it. The other car is owned by Carl Taylor and it involves lots of green and a
V6 bi-turbo. Unfortunately that car couldn’t come because the ECU wasn’t ready
When the guys arrived at JD in Lochem they
were running a little late. So the people at JD wasted no time and pulled the
In the middle is Jamie and on the left is
Ben Chandler from Fast Car fame and SceneMedia. On the right is Martin Barker
who accompanied the guys. He just recently had a cover piece inside Performance
VW with one of the coolest buggies I have ever seen.
In the meantime the ECU had been taken out
of the car. The ECU is actually just a small chip that can be reprogrammed .
This is the housing of the ECU that is
taken apart. The chip was then taken upstairs where the magic happens after
the car has been on the rolling road.
But if you want accurate readings you need a
lambda probe to measure the air/fuel ratio. The problem was that this car didn’t
have one – but instead of sending the boys home again the people at JD went to work.
First they needed to drill a hole in the exhaust to fit the plug.
A little bit of welding.
And voilà: a lambda probe is in place and
ready to go.
A temporary ECU was fitted and connected
to a computer that sits inside the car. The computer could then monitor
everything the engine did.
Before the run the car was strapped down
to hooks in the floor.
I thought that this was pretty cool: the
exhaust gasses are sucked into this pipe that goes into the floor. The gasses
then go through some filters and are expelled through a funnel on the roof.
The first runs are merely done to warm up
the engine, but eventually it was ready to do a baseline run to see what the engine
was capable of.
One of the first runs resulted in 218hp at
the engine and 312Nm of torque. The thing that surprised us the most was the
way the power was delivered.
But then we hit a problem: it seemed that some
electrical gremlins had found their way inside the engine bay. But after some new sparkplugs
and leads it was ready to go again.
After several runs the guys at JD still
weren’t happy with the results and called Jeroen Dik himself to see if he could
extract even more power from the engine.
Here he is putting the car through its
paces. With every go he managed to extract even more power.
Now that Instagram is available for Android
I have been using it ever since. The guys from Players also used it to keep their
friends updated on the progress.
We all anxiously awaited the results.
The end result was a healthy 261hp at the
engine and 314 newton-meters of torque. That’s some serious power from the
1,900cc G60 supercharged engine.
The new program was uploaded to the ECU and
reassembled. The only
thing left was to place it back in the car.
Jamie drove home the same day in this Golf, proving it’s not just for show – in all it was a 1,500 kilometer round-trip in
one day. I want to thank the guys for an
On September 16 they’ll
be hosting their own show called Players: I’ll be there for sure to see what
the UK VW scene has in store.