JMB RetrofitsAH Fabrications
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  1. #1
    JD09's Avatar
    I'm not modding, I'm improving

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    Hit a wall, what now?

    In my mind before anyone gets worried about me/the car.

    The car is standard, but coming from a "handles like it's on rails, tin box" Clio to the Audi, it feels cumbersome.

    So what do I do? Colleague said I'm too young to have a "large" Audi and I should get something stupid, RWD and fun. . . but I love the Audi's presence, grip and go . . . and colour.

    I'm not sure I want to go down the modding route really, as been there done that, and for the cost of suspension, remap, stage 2 etc I could get a Z3M Coupe etc. . .

    Thoughts?

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    With sorted suspension the S3 is a very quick point to point car.... what I love about mine is its build quality and luxury car feel while being quick and a nice drive around town... while its not ever going to feel as nimble as the Clio it will make you feel good about yourself being in it...

    I know I do ;P

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    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

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    I also had a Clio 182 and the handling is excellent compared to the s3 but the s3 is ten times a better car if I was you I would go a remap and may be just some small mods on the suspension may arbs and see how you fill then
    I have just done my suspension and it has transformed the car complety

  5. #4
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    Been in the same boat mate, think i would miss the s3 too much though if it went, like paul says, once the s3 is properly sorted, its a fine handling car.
    Driving the most secretive S3 on ASN

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    Plus z3m's are UGLY

  7. #6
    vetch's Avatar
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    Modding is expensive, you never get the money back and it decreases the potential market when you come to sell.

    I don't think the S3 is dynamic enough as standard. cumbersome is an apt description. If you want proper thrills, I would buy something else.

    Having said the above, I have modded mine; dampers, springs, tiebars, ARB, remap etc and Im glad I did. Its improved the car no end. My daily driver is RWD however, and it makes such a difference. The Z3M breadvan would be sitting outside my house if I could afford it!
    Audi S3

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    I'm due to sell my Williams 3 shortly after having just purchased my S3.

    So far, the fun factor and driving experience is sitting with the Clio...so the thought of that has crossed my mind

    The other car I considered was an S2000. I find myself browsing Pistonheads in the S2000 section...still :/
    Last edited by darkfibre; 7th July 2010 at 22:55.
    Current: Audi S3 (2002) in black...
    Previous: Renault Clio Williams 3 (1995)

  9. #8
    jojo's Avatar
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    I have to say, standard S3 with tired suspension = boat, the S3 that's outside my house with a couple of grands worth of suspension and brakes = great handling boat. In all honesty, I still prefer to take my Mk2 16v for a blast on some twisties, even though the S3 is quicker point to point!

    Doesn't really answer your question, but I thought I'd just give you my opinion.



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  10. #9
    The Doctor's Avatar
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    S3 = quick, understated, solid, handsome, quality
    Clio = quick, understated, fragile, feminine, cheap.

    (In my personal view).

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    ^Depends which Clio we're talking about
    Current: Audi S3 (2002) in black...
    Previous: Renault Clio Williams 3 (1995)

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    z3m is jam packed full of win, but dont for one second think itll be much easier to live with. it will also have tired suspension and dampers and will still need work

    it will have a proper engine, proper power delivery and is genuinely fast and a mans car

  13. #12
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    I think we all agree that the S3 is awesome, otherwise we wouldn't have bought them, but if you want thrills there is only one car to get in my opinion.....a 205 GTi! Great little cars, I miss mine.

  14. #13
    golf's Avatar
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    In terms of driver appeal and under 10k:

    BMW M3 >>> Honda S2000 >>> Reliant Robin >>> An untowed caravan >>> Audi S3 8L.

    The S3 is a great little car, but it certainly is very dull to drive. I think it's mainly the pissy little engine which is just so devoid of character.

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    I got M3 E46 and S3, and even with a lot of mods the S3 would be far from the thrill of the M power.
    But i dont see it this way...its different cars...S3 is hatch or a Hot Hatch, the Z3M is...i donno a roadtser? and the E46 M3 is a coupe.
    so we cant compare beans with carrots :D
    what i say is, dont invest a lot in your S3, but do invest some to make the car a more joyable ride.
    Like arb's, remap, forge 007 dv, silicone tip and a 3" dpipe. it is not a huge amount here and you can still sell the arb's, the tip and the 007DV for a bit of money back.
    I dont call that modding...but regular upgrades. Noth complicated here. and its fun upgrades.

    If you got an M....pretty much nothing to upgrade other than suspension, and other than that it got real serious and expensive for a little bit of hp gain...or pay a lot and get an HPF kit :D

  16. #15
    finesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor View Post
    S3 = quick, understated, solid, handsome, quality
    Clio = quick, understated, fragile, feminine, cheap.

    (In my personal view).
    exactly
    Ibiza Cupra TDI

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    Quote Originally Posted by golf View Post
    In terms of driver appeal and under 10k:

    BMW M3 >>> Honda S2000 >>> Reliant Robin >>> An untowed caravan >>> Audi S3 8L.

    The S3 is a great little car, but it certainly is very dull to drive. I think it's mainly the pissy little engine which is just so devoid of character.
    Love the breakdown lol
    Current: Audi S3 (2002) in black...
    Previous: Renault Clio Williams 3 (1995)

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor View Post
    S3 = quick, understated, solid, handsome, quality
    Clio = quick, understated, fragile, feminine, cheap.

    (In my personal view).
    8L = solid??

    LOL

  19. #18
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    Right my personal views on this are this... coming from a list of cars which include a 260bhp Rover 220 coupe on DTA, 270 cams, quiaffe diff yadda yadda, 230 bhp Renault 5 GT Turbo (12.78 SQM) which I had coilovers, poly bushes etc on & then a 310 bhp Evo 5 on coilovers, the S3 is nowhere near any of them in the fun side of things, handling or power, I have to admit to being a tad dissapointed with the S3 so far TBH
    So much so I am contemplating selling up already, the main thing that puts me off is the cost of mods, 400+ for a remap, 400+ for an exhaust, 250+ FMIC etc. etc.
    Ebony black 99 S3, Forge 007, cone filter, goodridge braided lines, apex lowering springs. More to come...

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    but you have to appreciate the character typical audi cars and then remmeber what engine these cars have.. they were not intended to be fun.

    the engine is completely anodyne, with such a tiny turbo they arnt particularly tunable.

    the chassis is set for grip-grip-grip and then understeer... and the 10 years later with worn dampers and bushes, its all twice as worse.

    i dont think its fair to compare one to an r5gtt in terms of fun because theyre not in the same ball park, not even from the same planet. they are sensible/comfortable cars, if you buy one for anything else then i think you got completely the wrong end of the stick

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    Looks like I got the wrong end of the stick, I assumed a fun sporty hatchback that was pretty quick.. it's no slouch but still..... I may replace the ARB's & see if that impoves handling, done the rear shocks & springs, just the fronts to do now......

    It's just the cost of someone plugging it in to a computer & pressing a few buttons for a stage 1 remap for 400 I feel takes the piss, my old Rover cost me 400 to map on DTA from scratch & that took 4+ hrs !!
    Ebony black 99 S3, Forge 007, cone filter, goodridge braided lines, apex lowering springs. More to come...

  22. #21
    finesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5teve L View Post
    Right my personal views on this are this... coming from a list of cars which include a 260bhp Rover 220 coupe on DTA, 270 cams, quiaffe diff yadda yadda, 230 bhp Renault 5 GT Turbo (12.78 SQM) which I had coilovers, poly bushes etc on & then a 310 bhp Evo 5 on coilovers, the S3 is nowhere near any of them in the fun side of things, handling or power, I have to admit to being a tad dissapointed with the S3 so far TBH
    So much so I am contemplating selling up already, the main thing that puts me off is the cost of mods, 400+ for a remap, 400+ for an exhaust, 250+ FMIC etc. etc.
    So then, with your infinite performance and handling knowledge, you bought the S3 without testing driving it ?
    Ibiza Cupra TDI

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  23. #22
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    well i thought i knew better and i bought an S4. at the time i was completely convinced that my car needs had changed and that i wanted comfortable and sensible. i test driven the car, id always wanted one, it did exactly what it said on the tin. i realised shortly after (after driving it non stop for a fortnight then getting back in the golf and realising how much a total hoon it is), that id been kidding myself

    i persevered with the car for 7-8 months and then sold up

  24. #23
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    Yes I test drove it, but I could hardly drive it like I stole it could I
    Like I say, once the ARB's go on & the rest of the suspension is refreshed the story may change.
    The thing that bugs me most is the cost of tuning TBH
    Ebony black 99 S3, Forge 007, cone filter, goodridge braided lines, apex lowering springs. More to come...

  25. #24
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    Matt, sounds exactly like me TBH, I wanted sensible & fun (being 35 now) looks like I may not be able to stand it lol.
    Ebony black 99 S3, Forge 007, cone filter, goodridge braided lines, apex lowering springs. More to come...

  26. #25
    Westy's Avatar
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    JD, whatever car you buy you'll be in the same position unless you buy new. Any car over 8 years old is going to have bits and bobs perrishing all over the place and the suspension will also be tired. I have two mates who both bought E36 M3s and they both had to sort the suspension imediately, and its not as cheap as doing the S3!

    I dont change anything on my S3 unless it needs replacing then I upgrade it. For example, my brakes needed doing so instead of standard I got decent discs and pads. If any of my rubber hoses are split, I replace them with silicone. Etc.

    So far i've only had to replace a few bushes and the arbs on the suspension but I wont touch the shocks and springs until they are either dangerous or leaking.

    The S3 suits me for all my needs, it's comfy for going to work, its fun on the B roads, I can get it round a track, and its still reliable and doesn't cost the earth to maintain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5teve L View Post
    Matt, sounds exactly like me TBH, I wanted sensible & fun (being 35 now) looks like I may not be able to stand it lol.
    but then youre in a stupid situation where you could end up dumping money into a car to make it more "focused" and slowly ruining its quite/comfortable trump card. then you really have got a chocolate fire guard as itll be gay wheel drive, lacking fire power, owing you a stack of money and still wont amuse you. the drive line layout on the s3 is what would worry me the most. fwd most of the time, 4wd when it can be bothered sounds like the worst recipe ever.

    at least the s4 did very fast regardless and without the silly haldex. that car was freakishly capable, even with the GF driving she made a monkey out of an astra vxr down one of her favourite b roads.... but thats where these cars fail so badly. Mr Bean could jump in one and extract 90% of its potential straight away, it requires almost no driver input, which is why theyre no fun

  28. #27
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    b5 s4?
    2000 AMK S3, Revo'd, forge 007p, B8's, H&R's, tarox g88's, ferrodo ds2500's, and in the fastest colour



  29. #28
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    yup

  30. #29
    thegoal007's Avatar
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    And this is me thinking this thread was going to be about you hitting the wall with your car ! Doh !
    02 plate - 2002 - 225bhp - S3 - Ming Blue - completely standard - nuff said, OK there's a centre armrest, sunroof, BOSE speakers & black leather recaros, oh and the non OE chrome pack !

  31. #30
    jojo's Avatar
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    I have to say though, the S3 does what it does in comfort and refinement. Of all the passenger rides I've given, most people have commented on how smooth the power delivery is, and the lack engine noise inside the cabin, when I'm giving it the beans. It's a grown up car for sure, not one for the hooligans!



    99' Audi S3(APY) - Brilliant Black Click>>>Going Sideways vid!
    You've got to have a laugh! For Sale:LCR Brakes - £400



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    finesse's Avatar
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    Grown up hot-hatch it is indeed

    Even jojo, has two!!

    I wonder why?
    Ibiza Cupra TDI

    Gone:

    Audi C5 RS 6 - Stage 2
    Audi 8L S3 - Revo'd

  33. #32
    Westy's Avatar
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    I always get people say how lovely the car is when they get inside due to the full leather, then they say how they're supprised at how fast it is! I dont think many people actually realise that the S3 is that different to your run of the mill hatch back and are pleasantly supprised by it. It's definitely grown up and doesnt attract much attention like a bright orange Focus, my mate from work only spots me because of my alloy mirrors!

    In two weeks time I'll be taking a relaxing 8 hour air conditioned comfy drive to the Ring then I'll be hooning it round the ring shortly after. There aren't too many hatch backs that you can say that about.
    8P A3 TDI - 220bhp - 335lbft
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  34. #33
    finesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westle View Post
    I always get people say how lovely the car is when they get inside due to the full leather, then they say how they're supprised at how fast it is! I dont think many people actually realise that the S3 is that different to your run of the mill hatch back and are pleasantly supprised by it. It's definitely grown up and doesnt attract much attention like a bright orange Focus, my mate from work only spots me because of my alloy mirrors!

    In two weeks time I'll be taking a relaxing 8 hour air conditioned comfy drive to the Ring then I'll be hooning it round the ring shortly after. There aren't too many hatch backs that you can say that about.
    summed up nicely
    Ibiza Cupra TDI

    Gone:

    Audi C5 RS 6 - Stage 2
    Audi 8L S3 - Revo'd

  35. #34
    jojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finesse View Post
    Grown up hot-hatch it is indeed

    Even jojo, has two!!

    I wonder why?



    99' Audi S3(APY) - Brilliant Black Click>>>Going Sideways vid!
    You've got to have a laugh! For Sale:LCR Brakes - £400



  36. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westle View Post
    In two weeks time I'll be taking a relaxing 8 hour air conditioned comfy drive to the Ring then I'll be hooning it round the ring shortly after. There aren't too many hatch backs that you can say that about.
    you can say that about practically any modern civilised hatchback. name me a run of the mill hatchback made in the last 5 years that isnt civilised and grown up.

  37. #36
    Westy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt82 View Post
    you can say that about practically any modern civilised hatchback. name me a run of the mill hatchback made in the last 5 years that isnt civilised and grown up.
    I'm talking about a hatch back that can do a decentish lap of the ring not some 1.2 corsa that will understeer off at the 1st bend then have the brakes stop woking 5 miles later due to brake fade.

    If you want me to name one I'd have to say the Fiesta Zetec, you cant tell me you think that it looks grown up?
    8P A3 TDI - 220bhp - 335lbft
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    no, it looks like it just jumped off a space ship (in that pink colour, i will secretly admit i like the look of it!), but its quiet comfortable and civilised.

    with regard to the brakes, just look at how many sheep post up asking where to buy "BDs and DS2500s..." on a daily basis.

    with regard to pace, id bet money that a 5cyl focus ST or an Astra or Civic are right up there with the pace.

    i think the root of the thread is, driver involvement + civiilsed = impossible

  39. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westle View Post
    I always get people say how lovely the car is when they get inside due to the full leather, then they say how they're supprised at how fast it is! I dont think many people actually realise that the S3 is that different to your run of the mill hatch back and are pleasantly supprised by it. It's definitely grown up and doesnt attract much attention like a bright orange Focus, my mate from work only spots me because of my alloy mirrors!

    In two weeks time I'll be taking a relaxing 8 hour air conditioned comfy drive to the Ring then I'll be hooning it round the ring shortly after. There aren't too many hatch backs that you can say that about.
    You have a good point. I love having the A/C & the seats are comfy & it is quiet.... maybe thats it, it's too refined for me, lmao.
    Ebony black 99 S3, Forge 007, cone filter, goodridge braided lines, apex lowering springs. More to come...

  40. #39
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    Anyhoo JD.... If you love driving your S3, doing the suspension with something like Billy B8's and Eibach Pro springs (not coil overs) will only make you love it more... its not going to be detrimental to the S3's all rounder capabilities...

    While I have no doubt this discussion can and will go on and on, the S3 is a nice place to be for nice people that appreciate nice stuff... I may have tweaked mine a tad and I know I could have spent similar money on something with sharper handling or similar power out the box but I never tire of driving my S3....

    I know my S3 has it short falls (weight being the main one) but I love it...

    <tuffty/>
    Silver 2001 AMK S3. Silver alcantara interior... now with added powarrrrrrrr, torques. VAGCOM + KII-USB. >> My build thread...

  41. #40
    Westy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt82 View Post

    i think the root of the thread is, driver involvement + civiilsed = impossible
    Yeah you're not wrong. I would have kept my Elise if it wasn't a biatch of a daily driver!
    8P A3 TDI - 220bhp - 335lbft
    A3 Maintenance Thread
    Bye bye S3 you will be missed.
    S3 Build Thread







 

 
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