Incircles019 New Reader
2/21/20 7:04 a.m.

So this is my 2014 VW Golf that i bought as a commuter car a few years ago. I'm looking to do some auto-x and maybe some starting track days. Its a 2.5 auto. Just wondering what Stock class it fits into and what modes would be a good starting point. I have some Auto-crossed about 15years ago.

EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/20 7:08 a.m.

The wheelbase looks pretty short for autox. Also not sure if it will meet the height to width rule. 



dculberson MegaDork
2/21/20 7:19 a.m.

The pic got squashed!!

lotusseven7 Reader
2/21/20 7:33 a.m.

A-Mod with the altered wheelbase!

Incircles019 New Reader
2/21/20 7:36 a.m.

In reply to Incircles019 :


John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/21/20 8:00 a.m.

Before this thread gets going, don't let anything or anyone discourage you because its just a 2.5L with an automatic.   Make it a point to just get out there with the car and get started!   Don't get bogged down by "needing a lot of mods" before starting.  Just start.  

With that said, here is where I would focus before events.  

Autox is hard on brakes and tires but really not that hard given modern touches like ABS.  Before your event make sure the car is in good street trim, meaning, that the car is good for the road.  Have the right amount of coolant and the right amount of oil and the right amount of brake fluid.  With that done, you're good for an event.  

Track days however are very hard on brakes and engine cooling.  Before a tack day I would recommend replacing the brake pads with new and replacing the brake fluid with new.  You can upgrade the quality of the pads and fluid if you want but just quality new stuff could be enough.  Especially good enough if that is a SCCA Track Night in America (TNIA) event or low-effort event.    The track is hard on cooling so a system check and fresh coolant could be wise too.  

Im not sure about what autox class but my guess is HS.  

Here is a link to this year's TNIA events.

NickD PowerDork
2/21/20 8:24 a.m.
John Welsh said:

Im not sure about what autox class but my guess is HS.  


Definitely H/Street.

Knurled. GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/20 8:33 a.m.

I wouldn't concern with mods to the car until you've gained experience.


This isn't a dig, it's a crucial thing IMO to get a baseline feel so you can get a better understanding of what various mods do or don't do for you.  Plus you won't know if something was actually a step backwards.

Incircles019 New Reader
2/21/20 8:36 a.m.

In reply to Knurled. :

Thanks a lot for your input.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo GRM+ Memberand Mod Squad
2/21/20 8:43 a.m.

I mean, stock class is basically wheels the same diameter and width, with minor offset limits, and 200tw tires within a certain narrow band around the oem size, right?

Incircles019 New Reader
2/21/20 9:15 a.m.

What tires would you start with? I has cheap all-seasons on it. 
Also when I do drive somewhat hard there's a lot of body roll. Should I change the front or rear sway bar?

iceracer UltimaDork
2/21/20 11:17 a.m.

Just start out with what you have before doing anything.

Add about 4 psi to the tires for starters.  Surprising what you can do by playing with pressure.

Sway bars may come under rules.  They can be used to affect handling.  ie: big rear bar on FWD car.

Learn to drive the car.   Does it under steer (push) or over steer (loose).

What does it do under full throttle or closed throttle, braking ?


Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
2/21/20 11:46 a.m.

Yup.. Run it.


Make sure your tires are in good shape and your brakes are as well....


Once you have run a few events, then modify...  

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
2/21/20 11:50 a.m.
Incircles019 said:

What tires would you start with? I has cheap all-seasons on it. 
Also when I do drive somewhat hard there's a lot of body roll. Should I change the front or rear sway bar?

If the tires are in good shape, run them...  

I wouldn't change the sway bar until you drive it on track.  Try uping the air pressure

Incircles019 New Reader
2/21/20 1:32 p.m.

Thanks, i really appreciate everyone input.

pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/20 1:48 p.m.

If you want to autocross, NOTHING will make as big an effect as decent tires. Running some RE-71r or BFG Rivals will transform your car from a squealing pig into a contender. I would look at something like Falken or Kumho summer tires, you'll get better stick than all-seasons at a decent price. They will last longer than 200w tires as well, though Falken has some 200w tires at a good price now. The best move is to find some steelies or used wheels on CL and have a second set for summer/autocross.  You can go up or down 1" in diameter in HS, so look for the best price/availability, probably a 17" setup for you. The offset must be within 4mm of OEM, so look that up as well.

Brake pads are a simple and effective way to really boost autocross performance. Most regular pads don't offer enough bite or modulation for autocross, a good set of Ferodos or Hawks can shave more time on an autocross course than adding 50hp. Get a good street/track pad, check out what the GTI forums recommend.

After that, a FWD car like the Golf will probably benefit from a rear bar. You can change/add/upgrade one sway bar, front or rear, and still be legal. There are plenty of forums to tell you what the hot setup for a Golf its, I am guessing you can get a used GTI bar cheap and slap it on the back and have something that will serve as a great platform to get you back into autocrossing and carry you for a while.

You can also swap out shocks and remain HS legal, again, see what the hit setup is but I would look for someone with a GTI who went to Konis or coil-overs and has an OEM set to sell cheap. This would not be my first step unless my shocks were for a replacement anyway, but if you can get something cheap then why not?

Finally, ask for co-drivers and ride-alongs, ask questions, read, watch videos, and have fun.

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