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  1. #1
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    Shock Horror!! S3 Towbar

    I know I know, I should have bought a hill billy pick up but constraints on other available vehicles means I am looking into this.

    I have done some searches and it appears people have also thought about this but I can never find a definitive answer.

    So has anybody managed to fit a Towbar to a 3dr 8P3?

    Cheers

    Joe

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  3. #2
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    Hi, joe I have fitted a towbar to my A3 sportback, don't know if this helps but I got it from P.F. Jones in Manchester and they were very helpful both at the ordering and fitting/wiring stage, give them a try, you'll ge them on google.

  4. #3
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    I've just part fitted a detachable Westfalia to my Quattro TDI, the bar is on but i'm waiting on the bottom half of the bumper for an S-Line which has a hatch, not sure if you can get these for the S3 though but try the local dealer and check. The bar below shows no exclusions so must fit an S3.

    Audi A3 Hatchback 2003 on Westfalia Detachable Tow Bar

    Once the bumper bottom is painted i'll remove the full bumper again and get the electrics done plus fit the replacement bottom half which has the hidden hatch.

    I need a bar to tow a Tent or Boat or Ski depending what we are doing/going.

    This


    To this
    A3 2.0 TDI S-Line Quattro (200 bhp+) BFT tuned DPF removed.

  5. #4
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    You can fit them but you're not really allowed to due to the power output of the S3.

    My company fits them but every customer signs a disclaimer that "it's for off road use only". This goes for all the S and RS range.

    Tim - Project & Marketing Manager of Advanced In-Car Technologies LTD. An Audi Approved OEM / Retrofit Specialist Company. All views expressed are my own and bear no reflection on Advanced In Car Tech.



    Audi Bluetooth -AMI/iPod - RNSE Navigation Units - Cruise Control - Optical Parking Systems - DAB (Digital Radio)- Audi Factory Retrofits- Stolen Vehicle Tracking - In-Car Cameras- Genuine VCDS Cables

  6. #5
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    Quattro's shouldn't be fitted with a towbar as they are not rated for them.

    I have done lots of research on this as i needed to tow my track car around but i couldn't tow with my old A3 8P Quattro and our current R32. Also RS4's etc also can't be used to tow.

    If you google it the tow rating for these cars is 0kg which means if you did use them to tow your insurance would be invalid.

    I believe that the main reason for this is because in order to have cars tow rated they need to pass certain tests (ie, tow something up a hill with a certain gradient) and on the Quattro models the rear diff overheats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinA3 View Post
    Quattro's shouldn't be fitted with a towbar as they are not rated for them.

    I have done lots of research on this as i needed to tow my track car around but i couldn't tow with my old A3 8P Quattro and our current R32. Also RS4's etc also can't be used to tow.

    If you google it the tow rating for these cars is 0kg which means if you did use them to tow your insurance would be invalid.

    I believe that the main reason for this is because in order to have cars tow rated they need to pass certain tests (ie, tow something up a hill with a certain gradient) and on the Quattro models the rear diff overheats.
    Crap, this is what I was afraid of.

  8. #7
    crunchie's Avatar
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    A tow bar on an S3? Should be against the law!
    I need a tow bar also but that's what the MK4 golf is for :-)
    Now:
    TTS, Leon Cupra R, MK2 Golf GTi 16v BB 3dr & MK4 Golf "GTi" 2.0 8v


    Past:
    S3 8P3
    A3 2.0T
    S3 8L REVO
    306 Rallye
    Impreza STi8
    Leon Cupra R REVO
    S3 8L REVO
    Impreza T2000
    306 Rallye
    MK3 Golf GTi 8v
    & more in between

  9. #8
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    Yes it can be done and I bought the spoiler with hatch from Audi

    PF Jones fitted a detachable westfalia Towbar to my 2008 3dr S3 yesterday.

    Before



    New Audi Spoiler with Hatch










    Westfalia Detachable Towbar



    Spoiler with hatch from Audi

    Spoiler painted to match

    Towbar fitted yesterday by PF Jones in Sunny Manchester

    I wont be using my S3 for towing anything though. I just wanted a towbar for a cycle carrier as I didn't want a roof rack.

    When I was trying to source the Spoiler from Audi the bloke let me look at the computer and in Europe (LHD) the S3 has the towbar as an option but it states that its not an option on the RHD. So if the LHD model of the S3 is allowed the towbar and the system states the spoiler with the hatch is allowed for the 3dr S3 and Westfalia towbar is an allowed option then why is the RHD not allowed. There must be a few LHD 3dr S3's towing stuff around Europe.

    I can't see there being a difference between the LHD and RHD version of the car at least at the back of the car.

    PF Jones also said they have done a few S3's that Audi employees own but Audi would not sell them the spoiler with hatch and I had to source the part myself

  10. #9
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    Same question from me a while ago, needed a flange type of towbar so couldn't go with the Audi/flap valance.

    Towtrust list a bar for the A3 which does not exclude Quattro, not sure if it fits the S3 though. My local tobar fitter could not supply this bar but was happy to fit, small cut required to lower valance but this could be filled/sprayed if towbar ever removed or even a whole valance replaced. Not as tidy as Moley's bar but less than £250 all in, may have to budget for a new/2nd hand rear valance come car sale time.
    Bar in place:

    Bar removed:

    Reason for having towbar:

  11. #10
    swatchuk's Avatar
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    Simple answer is yes. I did mine myself as pf jones wouldn't fit one for me. I ordered the westfalia detachable from them though. Easy to fit. Wiring instructions are fairly straight forward too. Heres how mine looks



    The piece I have cut out of the bumper I'm making into a removable flap so you cant see a hole. I have also since painted the silver of the heat shield black so not as obvious. This is the 5th quattro tow car I have had, and I have no idea why you shouldn't tow with them. Amazing tow car

  12. #11
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    Ok so there might be hope!!

    What do your insurance companies say?

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    Insurance company says nothing to me............because I ain't towing.

    The big question is why is a LHD S3 towable and a RHD NOT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moley147 View Post
    Insurance company says nothing to me............because I ain't towing.

    The big question is why is a LHD S3 towable and a RHD NOT.
    Yeh I guess you can get away with it, although did you declare it as a modification? I'm guessing as Audi will sell more LHD S3's than RHD ones, it's worth the money to get it passed? Although it does seem like another case of the EU ******** working one way again.

    I'd be interested in knowing what Swatch's insurance company said, if they know?

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    If the LHD S3 is approved (which it must be) and Swatch got pulled up then if he proved the LHD is passed as towable then he might be able to argue that point. Are there any LHD 8P S3 drivers on here? I'd like to know the LHD tow weights info.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinA3 View Post

    I believe that the main reason for this is because in order to have cars tow rated they need to pass certain tests (ie, tow something up a hill with a certain gradient) and on the Quattro models the rear diff overheats.
    Who told you that rubbish ?

    Proper quattros are perfectly fine towing. I used to tow with a type approved bar on my A4 Quatty. S and RS (torsen) models are only type approved if you get the tow bar fitted from the factory as they also fit extra cooling to the engine.

    Haldex quattros are also type approved for towbars... how the heck do you think passats/octavia 4x4 etc can have towbars. Haldex diffs would not over heat towing as the diff wouldn't even be engaged unless the front wheels were slipping.

    Its all about TYPE APPROVAL.
    8V S3 Sportback with options on order

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by auroan View Post
    Its all about TYPE APPROVAL.
    Do you know (or any theory) why a LHD S3 EU is type approved and the RHD UK isn't? Or is it just that it wasn't factory fitted?

    Are there any RHD countries that have S3's type approved for that country?

    Also whats the type approval law. If Swatch was stopped and they saw his EU tow weight plate thingymajig stating tow weight of 0kg would he get done for towing?

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by moley147 View Post
    Do you know (or any theory) why a LHD S3 EU is type approved and the RHD UK isn't? Or is it just that it wasn't factory fitted?

    Are there any RHD countries that have S3's type approved for that country?

    Also whats the type approval law. If Swatch was stopped and they saw his EU tow weight plate thingymajig stating tow weight of 0kg would he get done for towing?
    I'm guessing they could do him for driving without insurance, as this will invalidate it. That's my understanding at least.

  19. #18
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    You seem to be asumining that i'm towing on the road?? Private campsite and slipway were were the boat is kept and insurance doesnt count for anything anyway. I'd be interested to know how all these cars that have custom tow bars made to fit them like evo's etc. At least mineis a propper one and advertised to fit the S3 by westfalia

  20. #19
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    Sorry swatch, should have checked where you were using it. Just assumed as you had gone to the trouble of fitting the electrics too.

    Just been reading a case of a Skoda VRs which are also not Type Approved for towing, and the guy got pulled up by the police. They let him off as long as he had it removed, as the dealer he bought it from got it fitted.

  21. #20
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    Also, just downloaded the current S3 brochure for the German market, and it does state no towing weights....

  22. #21
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    Yep! Sorry Swatch. I didn't mean to imply anything, it was just a hypothetical question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swatchuk View Post
    Simple answer is yes. I did mine myself as pf jones wouldn't fit one for me. I ordered the westfalia detachable from them though. Easy to fit. Wiring instructions are fairly straight forward too. Heres how mine looks



    The piece I have cut out of the bumper I'm making into a removable flap so you cant see a hole. I have also since painted the silver of the heat shield black so not as obvious. This is the 5th quattro tow car I have had, and I have no idea why you shouldn't tow with them. Amazing tow car
    Sorry for the thread resurection, but do you have any updates on the creating a removeable flap on the diffuser? I need a towbar fitting to my S3 to tow my motorbikes with, and don't really like the idea of having a big hole in it for the 99% of time I'm driving without a towbar. Sounds like this would be the perfect solution.

    Oh, and great choice with the colour

 

 

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