JMB RetrofitsAH Fabrications
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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Doing It Yourself

    Today was a good day for me. Used my saved money to purchase the following parts:

    - Front discs
    - Front pads
    - Glow plugs
    - 5L Quantum Long Life (same as Castrol stuff apparently)

    Thing is, how much of that can I actually do myself without having to take it to a garage?

    The garage i'm taking it to is a friend of mine so i'm only paying for labour but for example, can I jack up the car and change the oil myself? Would it be hard? How about the brakes?

    Are there any PDF files showing me what to do or how? What kind of steps would I need to take before I start? e.g.

    1) Get set of tools from Halford or other.
    2) Purchase Axle Stands.
    3) Learn to do it.

    Just wondering if anyone had any guides or how many people actually... DIThemselves
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  3. #2
    Khufu's Avatar
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    cant comment on glow plugs, they can be troublesome getting them out of some cars. The rest are fairly easy, common sense, getting the disc off could be the hardest part if its sticks on and you dont have acetylene and a big hammer!!!
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
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  4. #3
    windsurfer

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    from the above the trickiest thing would be changing the disks I would have thought....

    Oil and pads are quite straightforward with the right tools/equipment.

    Pedro
    FOR SALE: S3 Phantom Black, left hand drive, Xenons, FBMFSW, bucket seats, BOSE, rear parking sensors, armrest, interior light package, Symphony II+. Full Audi service history and 4 new Michelin Pilot Sport 2. 18500 miles PM for details! I want to give it away have a good family reason. For a quick sale around 19.5k PM only if interest is genuine! Thanks

  5. #4
    chill14's Avatar
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    Out of that list the only thing that is really going to be tricky is the Glow Plugs. According to ElsaWin (Electronic Repair Manual) you need to remove the Rocker cover (or Cylinder head cover as Audi put it). In addition to the plugs you will need a new cover gasket.
    I will taking mine to a garage for this. My last rocker cover gasket experience was a bad one (not this car) so I don't mess now.
    Dave

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  6. #5
    neil.c's Avatar
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    There could be a special tool to remove the glowplugs and they could be in fairly tight too.
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    Yep normally a special tool for glow plugs. And maybe a puller thingy, can't remember the name, you attach it to the top and pull on a sliding handle repeatedly.

    Why would discs be hard just out of interest? Every vehicle I have worked on it's just a case of taking the calipers off and the disc fall off.
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  8. #7
    Khufu's Avatar
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    they probably will be ok as the car isnt that old, but they have a tendancy to weld themselves to the hub over time.
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
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  9. #8
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    Remember to change the oil filter as well
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  10. #9
    Staz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khufu View Post
    they probably will be ok as the car isnt that old, but they have a tendancy to weld themselves to the hub over time.
    But they're not actually secured on by anything are they?

    They should have a big blob of copperslip on the hub to stop them sticking!
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  11. #10
    SteveTDCi's Avatar
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    not always the case, i had a right job getting the discs off my mondeo after speaking to the ford dealers apparently it was a common problem, they just used an angle grinder, big hammer and a chisel, they cut and the seperated them from the vents !

    All of the jobs are easy, just take your time and don't rush. If you want to do it and learn then go ahead if you want to do it to save money again go ahead, but sometimes what a garage will charge just isn't worth the time in getting the trolley jack out !
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    If your changing the brakes and dont fully understand what your doing - be very careful! Or find someone to help who does know. I remember seeing a guy on another forum a couple of years ago who managed to put his pads in back to front!!
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Issac Hunt View Post
    If your changing the brakes and dont fully understand what your doing - be very careful! Or find someone to help who does know. I remember seeing a guy on another forum a couple of years ago who managed to put his pads in back to front!!
    How? Don't they have clips on the back of the A3 ones?
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  14. #13
    SteveTDCi's Avatar
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    never seen them so just guessing, the clip will be on the pad that goes in the piston the other pad could be put the wrong way around
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    Quote Originally Posted by staz1000 View Post
    How? Don't they have clips on the back of the A3 ones?
    It wasnt an A3 but I bet you could get at least one pad in wrongly. Sounds ridiculous I know but some people are pretty clueless.

    It's not a dig at the OP by any means but you have to be careful. It is a simple job if you understand what your doing but if not the results could be horrendous.

    A friends wife topped up her brake fluid with water because, and I quote "It looked the same". Madness but it happens.
    Last edited by Issac Hunt; 9th August 2008 at 11:22.
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  16. #15
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    Cue stories of people generally f**king up their cars......



    please!
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  17. #16
    Gti Jazz Blue's Avatar
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    One warning I would add is with the connector for the front pad warning light. Because of where they are they tend to get a bit brittle and break easily.

    Mine did when my mate (experianced Mechanic of many years) change my front pads, he said that it often happens with the VAG group ones. The hot melt glue gun fixed it.

    We have a good reciprical deal, he has a load of DIY to do on his project (home) and so I am an un-paid builders mate, so any work that needs doing on either car is labour free and I supply the parts.

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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JST_A3 View Post
    Remember to change the oil filter as well
    Do I have to change the Oil Filter when i'm changing the oil? Oops lol. Better order that in too!
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  19. #18
    treblesykes's Avatar
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    you may a brake caliper rewinding tool too. Me and my mate did the brakes on an A3 8L and made the brake tool using a bolt, spacer, and the tool for removing discs from angle grinders. That was six month ago and the car hasnt crashed and burnt yet so presumably we did it right
    Last edited by treblesykes; 9th August 2008 at 14:42.

  20. #19
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    Yes you need to change the filter when changing the oil!

    As for the discs they will have a allen key bolt or a philips screw for location of the disc, this can become seized due to heat from the discs so this may need drilling out if you can't get it out.

    Its only there to aid fitment of the disc and the wheel - if the disc was loose then its a bit of a ***** lining everything up when putting the wheel back on.

  21. #20
    RobinA3's Avatar
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    Also the hardest part of the brakes is pushing the piston back, in the past i just use a big bar to slowly push it back.

  22. #21
    Khufu's Avatar
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    only the rears should need turned back in due to the handbrake. I use a G-clamp for the front.
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  23. #22
    windsurfer

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    To push the piston back it helps it you take the lid off the brake fluid reservoir... Don't forget to close it afterwards though!

    Pedro
    FOR SALE: S3 Phantom Black, left hand drive, Xenons, FBMFSW, bucket seats, BOSE, rear parking sensors, armrest, interior light package, Symphony II+. Full Audi service history and 4 new Michelin Pilot Sport 2. 18500 miles PM for details! I want to give it away have a good family reason. For a quick sale around 19.5k PM only if interest is genuine! Thanks

  24. #23
    SteveTDCi's Avatar
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    also you might want to take some of the fluid out of the brake resivour first, with the oil filter sometimes it helps fill them with oil before fitting them back although this will depend on the type an style of filter, remember not to do the old one up too tight a smear used engine oil around the filter seal ( u can use new if you want )
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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by emzino View Post
    Do I have to change the Oil Filter when i'm changing the oil? Oops lol. Better order that in too!
    If you're asking these kind of questions, I'd think twice about having a go yourself. When I was a student, I used to drive around in old Fords and with the benefit of a Haynes manual and some brilliant guys at a Ford breakers nearby, I gradually learnt a bit about basic motoring DIY and was able to tackle these jobs myself.

    However, if you've not even completed an oil change before, save yourself the hassle and get the garage to do it. The same applies to the brakes; I've changed pads before on two different cars, and this is not a job you want to get wrong.
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  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by benw123 View Post
    If you're asking these kind of questions, I'd think twice about having a go yourself. When I was a student, I used to drive around in old Fords and with the benefit of a Haynes manual and some brilliant guys at a Ford breakers nearby, I gradually learnt a bit about basic motoring DIY and was able to tackle these jobs myself.

    However, if you've not even completed an oil change before, save yourself the hassle and get the garage to do it. The same applies to the brakes; I've changed pads before on two different cars, and this is not a job you want to get wrong.
    This is a good point. If you need to be told that you should change the oil filter then maybe you're setting your sights too high just now.

    I did a complete service on my old fiesta but I had the Haynes and also I work with vehicle mechanics who helped me learn what to do. A lot of it is easy....when you know how, but then rocket science is easy....when you know how.
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  27. #26
    Teejay's Avatar
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    To be honest the oil filter on A3 is quite possibly the easiest job you will ever do on a car. I've done basic servicing on a few different cars and can now do the minor service (that Audi charge 140 for) in about 20mins.

    I would suggest that you might want to get hold of a workshop manual. They can often be found in DVD form on ebay. They really are an idiots guide to vehicle mechanics and with a small bit of common sense allow you to do any job easily!

 

 

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