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205 SI

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What are the main differences with a 205 SI and GTI other than the engine and brakes. I found one for sale with 306 brakes installed and was wondering how hard an engine/ engine and transmission swap would be. Is everything else handling wise etc. on the car the same?

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it helps if you indicate what you're looking at

year model, auto/manual etc

the 205Si came out from '90 on, whilst the earlier version of the GTi was sold here from '87 I think?

so you'd need to be getting GTi bits from similar later model cars for any conversion


you could draw up a list of things for yourself

then go thru and compare part numbers on here to double check:



for engine

assuming you are referring to the GTi 1.9 litre (XU9)

I think the Si has the same XU5 engine as the GTi 1.6 litre (which we never got in aust)

its a good engine and you dont really need to get the more powerful XU9

engine mounts same

you'll need to get all the engine ancillaries, air ducting, expansion tank, hoses, etc as many are different

the Si has a good radiator, think same as GTi

exhaust on the GTi is more expensive but no need to change from Si

peddles same


the gearbox

both same BE3/5 but the Si also got a nice little ZF auto 4 speed (thought I'd hate it until I drove one, its very cool)

you can put the auto box on the XU9 engine no problem

I think the GTi ratios are very similar except for maybe 4th and 5th where they're more racier so going along highway its doing a few hundred more rpm

recommended: helical/torsion limited slip diff



Gti has front ventilated disk and rear disks, Si has solid disks front and drums for rear

Si rear drums I quite like, but the Si front brakes are kind of s*it, its such a light car they should have no problem pulling it up on the spot, but seem to labour

probly why the one you're lookin at has been uprated

with GTi disks you'll need Gti calipers

swapping to GTi front end will mean you probably need to move/fabricate the Si front brake line brackets as they foul the droplinks

they're located in a diff spot on the GTi

apparently some Si conversions can get away with where the brackets are but I'd plan for some welding..

I did a topic on it but cant remember the name, all pics and info is on it


rear end

torsion bars Si 18.9mm, GTi same I think ?

same shocks, keep the originals if you have them they're great

Anti roll bar ARB may be thicker on GTi,

pretty sure the rear beam is same also


front end

you'll need a GTi subframe, wishbones, GTi ARB, GTi struts and shocks

and GTi hub carriers (they have larger wheel bearings), same drive flange (hubs), and different vent disks

see the section in technical

so you could chop and change by removing the drive flanges off the hub carriers but they'll just be sold as one and called GTi hubs

and GTi has different driveshafts


Si interior is direct swap, just less contronting red everywhere


front and rear GTi bumpers are slightly wider, front Gti quarter panels are wider to make it look a bit faster

think the rear Gti quarters are wider also

and someone said the GTi bonnet is different, but I think its the same ?


..not owned a GTi so there could be a few mistakes




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Posted (edited)

Most people on here wouldn't be familiar with an Si, as they were only available in Australia from memory. The engine whilst a 1.6L, is similar but not the same as the GTi. It's called an XU5JM, having single point injection, less compression and a smaller camshaft. The manual gearbox ratios are quite wide with a long final drive. So fairly relaxed cruising. The rear beam is smaller in overall diameter, so you can't fit huge ARB's in. Not that's an issue unless you race it.

You can fit larger brakes on the Si front hubs easily. They call them "base model" in the UK and take the same driveshafts as early 1.9L GTi's in Australia.

The body panels are different, because they don't have flares.

Gohn has covered just about everything else other than the power steering. The Si rack is highly sort after in Australia as it's the fastest ratio available (2.7:1), other than the early Xsara rack (2.4:1).

Edited by petert

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