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I.A. vs TAP [200q comparison)
I spent this afternoon down at a local performance shop where the
owner had recently purchased a 89 200q with plenty o' mods on it and
approx. 130K on the clock. He got the vehicle from a wholesaler down in
Atlanta who really didn't know anything about the car except that "it's a
bit faster than most other Audis". Well, after a close examination, it's a
whole lot more.
The previous owner fitted the 200q with a lowered suspension
(springs and struts), Euro lights, X-drilled Rotors, in dash VDO boost
guage, new (not reman) rear calipers, and what appears to be an IA mod. We
are assuming it's an IA mod because the boost guage goes up to 1.8 and
there are no marking of any kind on or inside the computer casing.
Unfortunately, the IA 200 was suffering from some kind of fuel suppresion
so we couldn't do a back to back comparison. But we did swap boxes to see
if the IA chip was the problem.
So, we took the TAP box out of my car and put in his IA box. Any
question as to whether the chip was the culprit was quickly put to rest.
The OEM boost guage (in trip computer) quickly came up to 1.8 in my car.
"Seat of the Pants" acceleration tests didn't show much of a difference
between the TAP mod and the IA mod. Acceleration was smooth without the
sudden fuel starvation exibited in the donor car.
Whereas my friend's main interest was to see if the IA chip was
bad, my main interest was in how the 200 would handle with a lowered
performance suspension on it. Now, I didn't get a chance to check on which
set-up my buddy had on his car but I did get a chance to drive it. Although
the fuel was cutting out, the car handled amazingly well. Gone was the
float and wallow I have with my car. Cornering was exceptionally flat and
The most remarkable difference between the two cars was the
amount of corrosion found on engine components in my car compared with his
200 from down south. Granted, his 200 had been de-greased, but there was
absolutely no rusting of parts visible. His 200 was absolutely gorgeous
under the hood, and I was amazed to see it. For instance, where my valve
cover had turned a mixture of grey and light brown, his was shining black.
Everything which had originally been coated with Cad was still shining
nicely. Well, if anybody hasn't gotten a chance to compare a South-eastern
car with a North eastern car.. I think you would be shocked, I sure was.
One item of interest is the rolled rear fenders on the IA car.
Inside the rust-coating didn't look touched and only close examination
revealed the difference between the right side and the left side of the
car. The passenger side was rolled a bit further than the driver side for
the crease was almost completely gone from the passenger side where a hint
of it remained on the driver side. I wonder how they managed to keep from
leaving marks on the rust-coating.
Both cars are Pearl and approximately 300 units apart from the
line (mine being older). It was a bit disconcerting to have the two cars
side by side, but a pleasurable experience none-the-less. I suggested to my
buddy that he strap his intercooler and consider upgrading to a aftermarket
upper IC hose.
Granted that I didn't swap the springs between the cars, but I
found no difference between the IA chip and the TAP chip in seat of the
pants acceleration. I'm not sure if others have had the opportunity to
directly compare mods in this manner. Well, my buddy got the car for a
song. The cost of the mods alone are higher than what he paid for the
vehicle. Now if he can figure out where the fuel cut-off problem is. He's
ordered a new fuel accumulator after finding that he had pressure at the
pump but not at the engine.
Oh yeah.. wanna know what the owner traded the IA 200q in on?
A Lexus... argh. For those of you car-shopping, I recommend giving a few
extra points for cars found in non-rock-salt zones. The difference was
89 200q, TAP Chip, 170K