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  1. #1
    GeoffT's Avatar
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    Ground clearance problem

    We have just bought a new place which has a steepish drive. The drive has been very nicely ,and I would guess, expensively done, but on driving down it for the first time, I heard a horrible graunching noise from under the car as I went over the crest from where the pavement goes up slightly from the road before it drops down onto the drive.

    I drove back and got SWMBO to check underneath as I drove over the crest and it is the "toblerone" shaped strengthening sections, under the floor just forward of the rear wheels, that are grounding.

    We had got a fair bit of stuff in the boot, and when I tried again later with nothing in the boot and just me on board it just about cleared. But even with SWMBO back in, who is under 9 stone wringing wet, it caught again.

    So I have a problem with various solutions:

    1) Get the drive re-laid with a more gently slope. This might not be possible/practical and I'm not sure how much it would cost.

    2) Change the car for one with greater ground clearance. Again expensive, and as the car is only a year old, I wasn't planning to change it for a bit.

    3) Turn the stereo up as I drive onto the drive and hope the toblerone bits are quite thick and solid!

    4) Try to increase the ride height of the car.

    4) seems possibly the best option. As it is the Sport, I guess I could swap to Standard/SE springs. I think this would give me another 15mm of clearance which might well be enough. But are the shocks the same? or would I need to change them as well? I know most people switch the other way, to lower the car, maybe there is someone who wants to do a swap? I don't mind playing around with car electrics/stereos etc, but it is a long time since I got my hands oily on a car, how easy a job would it be to swap a set of springs?

    Anyone got any other suggestions? (apart from always check the drive when you buy a property!)
    A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI 140 Mauritius Blue, Black/Grey matrix, GSM prep in armrest, MFSW, 17" 16 spoke wheels, Acoustic Parking rear, Cruise, Non-smoking pack, Symphony II+

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  3. #2
    I'mRonBurgundy?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffT View Post
    steepish drive
    Crikey! What do you call steep then - a verticle drop? I mean the A3 is not known for being a low rider.

    I have another option for you. Bigger wheels.
    2008 A3 1.8T FSI S-line Phantom Black, Bose, iPod Dock, Front Centre Armrest, Storage Pack, Aluminium Pedals, H&R Spacers, Eibach Pro's, Ambient Lighting, Pressed plates with Ingolstadt surrounds.

  4. #3
    Gti Jazz Blue's Avatar
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    Have you tried it at a slight angle to see if clears that way ?

    Paul

    You could always fit an air-ride system.
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  5. #4
    GeoffT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'mRonBurgundy? View Post
    Crikey! What do you call steep then - a verticle drop? I mean the A3 is not known for being a low rider.

    I have another option for you. Bigger wheels.
    It's odd because it doesn't look that steep, which is why I didn't give it much thought, but looking at it closely the pavement slopes up from the road and then the drive slopes down so the "peak" is fairly sharp. To cure it though I think you would need to change the pavement (which would need permission from the council) and the drive.

    Have got 225/45x17s at the moment. Would I not run into rubbing issues if I went bigger by enough to give much extra ground clearance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gti Jazz Blue View Post
    Have you tried it at a slight angle to see if clears that way ?

    Paul

    You could always fit an air-ride system.
    There isn't too much width to come in at much of an angle. Like the air-ride idea though!
    A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI 140 Mauritius Blue, Black/Grey matrix, GSM prep in armrest, MFSW, 17" 16 spoke wheels, Acoustic Parking rear, Cruise, Non-smoking pack, Symphony II+

  6. #5
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    Geoff, why not get a building contractor to carefully remove the peak? Tastefully done, and/or the peak replaced with a flat decorative brick/stone finish, or even coloured concrete, I don't think the council would make a big fuss about it. Main thing is to do it very nicely so that any objections to this very practical change are minor. You will not have to take much off the peak to fix the problem for good. Worth a quote I would say. Anyway, what is to say that your next car would not suffer from the same problem? Cheers.
    French A3 Sportback 2006, 2.0L 140 TDI, DSG, RSN-E, Ambient lighting, Auto-lights/wipers, Reverse assist, Dolphin Grey, 17" wheels, Leather seats, Cruise control, Roof bars.

  7. #6
    GeoffT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geraldy212 View Post
    Geoff, why not get a building contractor to carefully remove the peak? Tastefully done, and/or the peak replaced with a flat decorative brick/stone finish, or even coloured concrete, I don't think the council would make a big fuss about it. Main thing is to do it very nicely so that any objections to this very practical change are minor. You will not have to take much off the peak to fix the problem for good. Worth a quote I would say. Anyway, what is to say that your next car would not suffer from the same problem? Cheers.
    I guess you haven't had much dealings with councils then!!!! The pavement is tarmac and the drive block-paved. To solve the problem I think the whole stretch of tarmac along "our" drop kerb would have to be re-layed at a flatter level from the road and then the slope of the block paving on our land re-layed to meet the new lower level. In my experience, you need to either get council approval, or get there own contractors to do any work on their land.

    I take your point about my next car though.
    Last edited by GeoffT; 2nd September 2008 at 19:40.
    A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI 140 Mauritius Blue, Black/Grey matrix, GSM prep in armrest, MFSW, 17" 16 spoke wheels, Acoustic Parking rear, Cruise, Non-smoking pack, Symphony II+

  8. #7
    I'mRonBurgundy?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffT View Post
    Have got 225/45x17s at the moment. Would I not run into rubbing issues if I went bigger by enough to give much extra ground clearance?
    I think you could safely get away with 18". My (and all I guess) s-line comes with 18" as standard and has lower suspension than your sport.
    2008 A3 1.8T FSI S-line Phantom Black, Bose, iPod Dock, Front Centre Armrest, Storage Pack, Aluminium Pedals, H&R Spacers, Eibach Pro's, Ambient Lighting, Pressed plates with Ingolstadt surrounds.

  9. #8
    Boydie
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    Go at it at an angle or grind away!

  10. #9
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  11. #10
    treblesykes's Avatar
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    18" wheels wouldn't give you extra ground clearance anyway, changing your tyres might?

  12. #11
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    how about reversing into your driveway? A mate of mine's got a stupidly steep driveway and the only way I can get to his house is in reverse!

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  13. #12
    GeoffT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marriedblonde View Post
    how about reversing into your driveway? A mate of mine's got a stupidly steep driveway and the only way I can get to his house is in reverse!

    J.
    I have tried that but it still catches, just at a slightly different point.

    Anyone got any thoughts on the ease/cost/damper compatability of changing to standard springs?
    A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI 140 Mauritius Blue, Black/Grey matrix, GSM prep in armrest, MFSW, 17" 16 spoke wheels, Acoustic Parking rear, Cruise, Non-smoking pack, Symphony II+

  14. #13
    R8GGA

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    Could you lay a 2 by 4 just before the crest to raise the wheels up slightly?
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  15. #14
    GeoffT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnus911 View Post
    Could you lay a 2 by 4 just before the crest to raise the wheels up slightly?
    I'm not sure I would get that past the style police.
    A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI 140 Mauritius Blue, Black/Grey matrix, GSM prep in armrest, MFSW, 17" 16 spoke wheels, Acoustic Parking rear, Cruise, Non-smoking pack, Symphony II+

  16. #15
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    hey, i work as a joiner/builder, out of all your options i would recommend getting your driveway altered, to pay for the pavement to be changed would cost around 200-300 pounds, someone mentioned above about needing planning or council permission but to my knowledge this is only needed when 1st creating a driveway, you already have the driveway(and permission for it) therefor providing you get a tarmaccing company in who do a decent job the council would not have an issue, i would get the tarmac removed around 2foot from the front edge of your driveway and relaid alot lower, around 3 inches, then for part 2 you would need a 2nd contractor to alter your driveway, this would be a simple job of lifting and relaying the block paving again around 3 inches lower to tie in with the pavement, i would again say anything from 200-300 pounds, at a push the total job would cost around 600 maybe 700 at a push. remember you can always try and get a cash job for cheaper aswell.

    i hope this is useful to you, i would recommend getting quotes for this 1st before changing your car as it is by far the easiest option, cheers mark

 

 

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