I’ve been asked about doing a thread on occasions but never really had the time. However, I managed to find an hour this afternoon to sit down and pull something together. So here goes…
I picked up my Ming 1999 S3 pre-facelift in October 20010 for £4995 with 96k on the clock.
To describe it as ‘unloved’ would be an understatement but, at purchase, I felt that I had got a good deal at the time and set about giving it some much needed TLC.
I’d previously owned some BMW’s, an M3 and a 335CD to note but when it came to selling them, I wanted something pratical, that could be a bit of a project and retain some pace.
After reading many posts on ASN, I plumped for the S3 as it seemed to fit the bill.
As standard, like many users on here have described, the S3 felt underpowered and too heavy for it’s own good. A car wanting to go quicker but seemingly unable to do so…a bit like a german gundogon choke chain…tidy looking, muscular where it needs to be but some what restricted.
I was content in many ways but dissappointed in others and set about seeing what could be done to free things up a little. Here’s a brief description, with accompanying photographs, of what I’ve been up to ever since.
I’ve never liked the standard 17” Avus wheels and when I picked the car up, as the tyres were appalling, I immediately exchanged them for RS4’s with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres.
Here’s the car shortly after it’s purchase with very minor modifications…the RS4wheels, new tyres, aero wipers, a green air filter and forge 007dv. I also immediately remapped the car at SWICT,Bristol, using a custom code to around 250bhp.
I replaced the standard gear knob with one from the S3 8P, added JL speakers throughout and an Alpine headunit.
The standard floor mats were replaced, with custom ones from Hamburg, TT pedals were added and a matching leather armrest with rare internal cupholders.
I added LED internal external light bulbs, including H7’s and upgraded to 6000 HID 2 Xenons in April 2011.
I then started the external cosmetic changes to make it look a little bit more modern and aggressive. This included the private plate, the LCR splitter, painting the front upper grill surround black and the calipers red. I also uprated toFerrodo DS2500 pads and Zimmerman drilled discs. When on the ramps, I uprated and added a KW suspension kit, lowering it 20mm at the front and 15mm at the back. I added 11mm forge hubcentric spacers to thefront and 16mm to the rear to fill the wheel arches and H&R anti-roll barsto aid the handling. All in February2011.
I then added the Forge FMIC with forge red silicone hoses in June 2011 with 3”downpipe, 200 cell sport cat and full custom stainless from infinity exhausts. Good sound and performance gains.
The plate, a gift from the wife, with ‘vorsprung durch technik’ the Audi slogan meaning ‘advanced through technology’ was added, an idea I lifted from Sandip,as I thought it was a nice subtle touch.
I then had the rear windows tinted a factory smoke in August 2011, trying to avoid the ‘van look’, to provide more privacy and modern appearance.
Due to the black Recaro leather interior, I was sensitive to the fact that this would make the tints look too dark but, as you can see in the image below, you can still see through them but it’s greatlyreduced and achieved what I wanted.
The engine bay with forge 007 dv, forge alloy boost pipe and forge red silicone hoses installed.
RS6 reps fitted in September 2011 with Richbrook spinning valve caps.
External shot in September 2011.
LCR 4-pot Brembo’s fitted in October 2011. I had them treated and entirely reconditioned/repainted after an ebay purchase, of £500,before adding new pads and pagid 323mm discs at a cost of £200. They are still my favourite upgrade.
At the same time I had a neuspeed quickshifter, wishbone bushes, lower enginemount installed with forge adjustable rear tie-bar to sort the camber out.
I added some facelift rear light clusters, in January 2012, before I had the carback on the ramps following a cracked K04 for further upgrades; including the XS Power manifold (Sam Bryantspecial for £197)and a Turbodynamics stage 3 K04 hybrid (£800 trade price).
I then added a new custom made tip, red Forge upper tip and aluminium lowersection. The vehicle was custom remapped again, taking into account all upgrades, up to 310bhp and 295lb torque.
External photo February 2012.
The level of torque then caused my clutch to rapidly slip within the next month on the 130k mile vehicle and replacement was necessary. I approached Linda at CG Motorsport whoprovided me with a 6-paddle racing clutch and dual mass flysheel. All in all the parts were about £500 + labourbut well worth it, with the car engaging with urgency but now able to deliverythe increased power to the wheels. I cannot recommend CG Motorsport highly enough.
Engine bay in February 2012.
External in March 2012 after a quick clean and in the first sunshine of the year.