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  1. #1
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    Rear Camber, rear twitch, Standard car???

    Hello,

    I recently bought a 02 plate Audi S3 and noticed looking at the rear the camber and toe was out on both sides. So, I took it to the garage to verify and sure enough it was. As the car is standard, this confused us as to how it would be out on both sides. We looked and found one of the rear tie arm bushes in the trailing arm was shot, so I have replaced this.

    The Camber is still majorly out, about 2 degrees negative I think. When I am drivng along the back end skips a lot, even just at 30, in a straight line if it is a bumpy road, pot hole, drain, basically anything not perfectly smooth the back end 'twitches' or 'bounces' to the left, I can feel it from the drivers seat and even more so in the back.

    Now, so many people have looked and can not work out why, as the camber is not adjustable without paying 200+ for tie arms, what can cause this? Why would it skip?

    Can this be just bad tyres, because the toe is out, tyre pressures incorrect? I am fed up now I don't want to get the tracking done if there is going to be something else affecting it and 'fixing/changing' that would then knock my tracking out again. but as the inner edge of one of my tyres is now bald I need to change them, so would like to get this sorted so I can get tracking done too.

    The car has had springs replaced at the rear, according to my service history so I wonder if they have the wrong ones, maybe I have standard suspension and they have used springs for the sport suspension? Not sure.. ??

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    S3featesV9's Avatar
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    Only was around the camber is tie arm replaced for adjustable. S3dave sells his version cheaper than forge. Pm him.

    Don't really no what you mean by rear end skipping? Like its really stiff? Or...? If so then could be tired dampers I suppose. At a guess
    MODS - Custom Code phase 1, 007p DV, various powerflex bushes, EBC grooved and drilled - red stuff pads, N249 deletion. Badger5 V2 80mm TIP. Scorpion backbox + custom centre section, LCR front splitter, Jetex Fr-08001, R32 rear ARB, Forged IE rifle drilled rods, 20mm rear & 15mm front spacers.

    TO DO - Coilovers, adjustable tie arms, DP/mani/decat, FMIC and new remap


  4. #3
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    Erm... You know when you go round a roundabout and there is a join in the road where it has sunk and its like a long pot hole, sometimes the back end feels like it twitches a bit like it has just bounced/slid to the side? It kind of does that but just all the time on any bumps.

    So if I am driving along, it feels like the back of my car is bouncing/sliding accross the road slightly to the left? It's hard to explain I guess lol

  5. #4
    S3featesV9's Avatar
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    I no what you mean now. I have the same but only since my rear arb was changed to a r32 one. Just rear end is stiffer and less give. Not sure about yours as its standard.

    Could be a long shot, but maybe a haldex issue?
    MODS - Custom Code phase 1, 007p DV, various powerflex bushes, EBC grooved and drilled - red stuff pads, N249 deletion. Badger5 V2 80mm TIP. Scorpion backbox + custom centre section, LCR front splitter, Jetex Fr-08001, R32 rear ARB, Forged IE rifle drilled rods, 20mm rear & 15mm front spacers.

    TO DO - Coilovers, adjustable tie arms, DP/mani/decat, FMIC and new remap


  6. #5
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    What kind of haldex issue? The 4wd works no issues, I know that as I have gave it some good testing (On a private road that I own with lots of roundabouts LOL)

  7. #6
    S3featesV9's Avatar
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    Maybe the clutches inside? When was it last serviced?

    Just doesnt really sound like a suspension issue to me. I'm not as knowledgable as most ppl on here though so could be wrong.

    When I first got my s3 it felt like the rear end was dragging a little. Found out haldex filter/oil had only been been done once in nearly 90k. So got a new filter and oil in, and it's spot on.
    MODS - Custom Code phase 1, 007p DV, various powerflex bushes, EBC grooved and drilled - red stuff pads, N249 deletion. Badger5 V2 80mm TIP. Scorpion backbox + custom centre section, LCR front splitter, Jetex Fr-08001, R32 rear ARB, Forged IE rifle drilled rods, 20mm rear & 15mm front spacers.

    TO DO - Coilovers, adjustable tie arms, DP/mani/decat, FMIC and new remap


  8. #7
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    I have to be honest I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to the diff side of things.. What are the plates and how could they affect it? I think it happens if I free wheel too..

  9. #8
    Chugger

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    You sure it's not lowered at all? As that can have a bad effect on the camber?

    I was told that it's quite possible for the rear subframe (it might not be called the subframe) to be out a bit, apparently you can move the subframe about a bit to even out the camber on each rear wheel. At least I was told this by the bloke who 4 wheel aligned mine, and he set mine up lovely, plus he's got the contract for doing all the Audi/vws for our main dealer as well as other marques

    Are you taking it to a garage or a proper alignment centre? As it does tend to be a specialist.
    57 A3 2.0 TDI Sportback (140)

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    Like I say, springs have been replaced before and I know there is a normal and a sport so if it is the sport springs but my cars meant to have normal it may have lowered it knocking out my camber?

    It is a place with the best 4 wheel alignment system I know of. I just don't know if the tracking and camber would cause this issue or not? I think its something else, I think it maybe quite loud on bumps compared to the front but that may just be me..

  11. #10
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    I hace just fitted new AP shocks and springs that lower the car about 30mm i now have a bit of necative camber and it is also a little bit twitchy when going over man hole covers etc not big bumps though.

    I am putting the majority of this down to worn bushes as they are all original on my car so 100K worth of use and now i have altered the geometry by lowering it i think it is magnifying the probs with my bushes namely the rear wish bone front bush as i think this moving about (eg not solid) would cause the symptoms i am having.

    If you look at this webpage Powerflex you can see on the car diagram all the bushes and number 4 is the part i think is causing me issues. So logic dictates that if you replace some its probably worth doing as many as you can as they are all probably pretty tired on my car now.

    So once i have the money i am buying the full poweflex kit and also doing a rear R32 ARB upgrade which hoopefully should revamp the handling of my car lots and give it anopther 100K`s worth of life.
    Audi S3 8L BAM 225 2002 - Ming Blue : Silver Heated Leather, Armrest, RNS-E - Bose, Alloy Mirrors, 18" RSTT`s, Sunroof, Cruise, AutoDim Mirror & Usual S3 Extras.
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    If I have tracking set up, but then change the front wishbone bush would that then mess up my alignment again?

    I do have some movement in them bushes, quite a bit actually.

  13. #12
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    Did you change both trailing arm bushes? this is very typical of worn bushes, you need to get all suspension work done before 4WA or you will be paying twice...

  14. #13
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    Just to let you guys know that you CAN adjust the rear camber on the S3. My mate is an Audi tech and had looked into it for me as I have a slight pull to the left and was planning to get him to do the alignment.

    He said there is a special jig that fits into the rear subframe which allows you to adjust it all when its on the alignment machine. The jig has an actual Audi part number and is classed as one of their "special tools" so I would doubt any normal alignment place would have it available.

    The alignment machine in Audi Glasgow is a serious piece of kit and again I doubt even some of the best 4 Wheel alignment centres have equipment of the same standard.

    The only downside is that your looking at about £180 to get the alignment done through Audi so its not cheap !

  15. #14
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    There is slight adjustment on the trailing arm plates thats it, and its just for toe, other than centralizing the chassis for the correct thrust you will need adjustable tie arms for lowered cars, there is no a special machine that can sort the camber, all i can think is a jig to realign the chassis, and all decent 4 wheel alignment guys will check and adjust anyway, its not hard to get the chassis central...

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    Ok so am I best to get polybushes instead of standard? I sold my track car for the s3 so I can have some comfort but still a bit sporty.. If I go polybush is this going to make it a harder/harsher ride at the back?

    If polybush is the best option where is the best place to get the kit? I saw a powerflex kit but it didn't have the bushes for the trailing arms it had the ones which went onto the diff side but not the hub side. If standard is good, where can I get a full kit? I think it was cheaper to get powerflex than standard ones from Audi

  17. #16
    Alex C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideways steve View Post
    The only downside is that your looking at about £180 to get the alignment done through Audi so its not cheap !
    £180? So the cost of a set of adjustable rear tie arms then...
    Alex S3 AMK
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    Is there a guide anywhere on changing the rear trailing arm bush at the chasis end?

  19. #18
    sideways steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex C View Post
    £180? So the cost of a set of adjustable rear tie arms then...
    Whats your point ? ok go buy arms for £180 but you will still need to go get it aligned and most half decent places will charge you £100 or so LOL I never said anything about the price of arms in my post, merely was pointing out that contrary to popular belief you can adjust the camber on the S3.

    I have been assured that the S3 does have rear camber adjustment albeit a very limited amount I believe its via the actual bolts, I can only assume they are either slightly eccentric (like on most jap cars) or that they are running through elongated holes. Either way though its only meant to be for adjusting it when its running factory suspension etc so yes I agree if your planning to lower it you will need adjustable arms, but none the less whatever you do decide to do, you WILL need to have it aligned.

    This information was derived from ELSA PRO which is what Audi use for all procedures etc as im sure some of you probably already know.

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    woooo, wasnt getting at you, just stating a fact. By the time you have had to have your rear re-alignment done twice for what ever reason (at Audi) you could have recouped the cost of your tie arms and have had the flexibilty of fully adjustable bars.

    and tbh i didnt know you adjust camber on stock set up. I knew, as Dave has said, that you can adjust toe using the slotted plates on the trailing arms and even out uneven camber by centralising the sub frame

    also just for reference, i had mine 4 wheel laser aligned locally for £60

    Alex S3 AMK
    Bilstein B8s, H&R Springs, Neuspeed ARBs, Genuine 18" BBS LMs & LCR Brembos

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    I certainly wouldnt let audi do the alighnment.Having spent 200 squid with them and not fixing the problem, 60 squid at a local specialist got it bang on.I used silverline in warwick.not the friendliest of places, but good at what they do
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    I am going to change the bushes first, but need a guide on how to change them?

  23. #22
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    I too am trying to keep as much comfor in my car as possible which is why i went for the setup i did as its meant to retain some of the OEM ride quality.

    i am going to poly bush as you say they are as cheap as OEM stuff if you buy in bulk (eg the full kit) and should stiffen up the ride to help without making it harsh as it has to be better than knocks and bangs of worn bushes.

    this is the full powerflex kit Powerflex Full Bush Kit Audi S3 Quattro 8L MK1 4WD 99+ | eBay and as far as i can tell from the powerflex website this is all they manufacture for the 8L so what other bushes are you thinking you need to replace that arnt on this list?

    As for a guide on how to replace i dont think there is one so i am going to do what i can myself eg the Rear ARB etc and then ask my local indy garage to fit the rest for a cash in hand job if poss as its only labour.
    Audi S3 8L BAM 225 2002 - Ming Blue : Silver Heated Leather, Armrest, RNS-E - Bose, Alloy Mirrors, 18" RSTT`s, Sunroof, Cruise, AutoDim Mirror & Usual S3 Extras.
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  24. #23
    sideways steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex C View Post
    woooo, wasnt getting at you, just stating a fact. By the time you have had to have your rear re-alignment done twice for what ever reason (at Audi) you could have recouped the cost of your tie arms and have had the flexibilty of fully adjustable bars.

    and tbh i didnt know you adjust camber on stock set up. I knew, as Dave has said, that you can adjust toe using the slotted plates on the trailing arms and even out uneven camber by centralising the sub frame

    also just for reference, i had mine 4 wheel laser aligned locally for £60


    No fair point, just wasnt sure what you were getting at at first LOL ! £60 is pretty good for a 4 wheel alignment but up here in Scotland that generally gets you a shoddy job. The places I would trust to do it are in the £100-£120 region for a proper full 4 wheel alignment including camber adjustment. If you dont want camber looking at they will do toe adjustment for about £60-£80

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnythepie View Post
    I certainly wouldnt let audi do the alighnment.Having spent 200 squid with them and not fixing the problem, 60 squid at a local specialist got it bang on.I used silverline in warwick.not the friendliest of places, but good at what they do
    To be fair it depends on your dealer. I wouldnt normally let a dealer touch my car either but since I know the mechanic who would be doing it I would be happy to book it in. He aligned my Evo for me when he was working for another garage and it was spot on

  25. #24
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    I had this mate when i bought mine went to pick it up, knowing that you will end up with about neg 2 when lowering an s3 and that this one wasnt i thought that dosnt look right, had look thought the paper work more closely when I got home and it had had these replaced but the papers of the track up at audi still said neg 2 when they had finished the job so whent back outside layed under it and measured the tie arms and one is only 5mm longer than the other at the center of the bolts, So swoped top to bottom on both sides and was spot on, then got it four wheel aligned the next day, What made me laugh was that it was done at Audi and they still sent it out even tho there gauges still said it was wrong, Deffo worth a look bud

  26. #25
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    I had heard something like that mate.. Do you remeber if the longer one went on the top or bottom? I presume top to push top of wheel out?

  27. #26
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    Yeah top also check for worn rear drop links to as I found this made a similar sort of twitch to on my mates one When his camber was fine.

  28. #27
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    Nice one thanks mate ill check it out

  29. #28
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    If you find for some reason there both the same then just get the adjustable ones off Dave then it will be ready for lowering anyway

  30. #29
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    Its possible the new springs have snapped the top coil off making it hard to spot.

    If you want a softer ride just replace the bushes with new OEM ones.
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