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3.2 remap, the truth is out !

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by paddy, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 4, 2009]
    I finally got around to answer a few questions today that i have been pondering for a while :)

    We see lots of good reports on remapping petrol and diesel turbo’s here but what about the old N/A 3.2? Well I know we can’t expect the same increase in HP/Torque that the turbo guys get but that’s not to say there aren’t improvements to be made. For the V6 as well.. Prices vary quite a bit but expected increases in performance figures are about the same, roughly 18bhp and 25lb/ft Torque..
    Audi quote 250bhp 236lb/ft torque in standard trim using 98ron fuel. So ideally we are looking for 268bhp 261lb/ft torque. …..Marginally up on std S3 figures ….but my car has done 40k miles so it will be interesting to see how that affects the results.

    I took the car to Austec Racing in Crawley, Surrey as they are reasonably local to me and have a 4wd rolling road. They do a generic remap for the 3.2 or for those with non-standard spec they will do a custom remap to suit your needs.

    My first run on the rollers produced near standard figures of 251bhp in my 2004 A3 3.2 using 99ron Tesco petrol and a Pipercross panel filter.
    The following week the car produced 241bhp using 95ron Tesco fuel, a drop of approximately 4% which is to be expected given that the ignition retards its self on lower octane fuels to prevent pinking ( knock).

    The third week I filled up with 99ron again and we did another run with peak bhp back to 250.At this point I fitted a Remus back box and again we ran the car up to check the figures. Still 250bhp.

    Now the interesting bit! We remapped it and ran it up again. After 3 runs we could not improve on the 250bhp but by giving it 38* max advance we did add 20 lb/ft torque at the lower revs but this again peaked out at the original 240lb/ft.

    So…what’s going on.?

    We are pretty sure that the cat is the limiting factor that stops the exhaust flow at peak power; it just hits 250 bhp and stops. When you think about what a remap does on a N/A car its basically just adjusting the advance curve of the ignition to suit the air/fuel mix. It can’t magic more power from the engine! Its not for instance changing you valve timing or upping your compression, it’s simply fine tuning what’s already there. There is a possibility that the intake is restrictive but it’s very unlikely.

    So…is it worth it?

    Well on the plus side the gear change is a lot smoother, it revs out better. Before it would rev to 6,500 rpm and then stutter for a second or two and change gear. Now it revs to the line and changes instantly. It pulls away from a standing start much smoother and at tick over you are not really aware it's running. You don’t notice the Torque in terms of power. It’s not a performance package but it does fine-tune an already fine tuned engine. Would I do it again? To be honest, No. The remap needs to be seen as part of a package and not as a stand-alone performance improvement. Coupled with a decat, big bore pipe you might get a bit more at the restrictive top end but the gains available on this lump through the range are not going to be noticeable. The only real winner here is Tesco 99 octane fuel which proved beyond doubt the cheapest 10bhp you can add to this car !! Hope that helps a few here make a decision…or save a few bob.:yes:
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
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  2. garyburton29
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    garyburton29 Member

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    [Dec 4, 2009]
    Good info that mate....I always run my car on tescos 99ron...So i think i won't be touching the engine at all....:icon_thumright:
    #2
  3. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 4, 2009]
    It's a shame you didn't get the gains you hoped for Paddy. Was it worth it to you??
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  4. AuldReekie
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    AuldReekie Member

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    [Dec 4, 2009]
    Good post there Paddy and I think a worthy candidate to be linked to the FAQs given the increase in V6 tuning threads.

    Anyhoo, it is great to see some more evidence in the validity of using + Ron fuels too in our cars. Nice one. :thumbsup:
    #4
  5. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 4, 2009]
    Hi Staz
    Its a bit disappointing but it really comes down to whether you are happy with the car and the way it performs.
    The figures are meaningless unless your playing top trumps. The only real relevance of these sorts of figures are as a comparator between similar models or as a before and after bench mark. Even had my old car produced a good set of S3 figures, say 265bhp--260lb/ft , it still would not have meant a lot given the weight difference and the way the power is delivered between turbo and N/A engines.
    Overall its a interesting lesion learned.:yes:
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  6. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    Nice thread Pat, nice to see some real data instead of speculative, sorry to see you got nowhere with it.

    Kinda goes back to our discussions recently on the exhaust etc front, not being a mr told you so, just saying was it worthwhile & be honest do you think its been a wasted expense overall or beg to differ mate?

    Just helps others to decide on any future work to there 3.2's aswell mate.
    #6
  7. V6Pete
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    V6Pete Now running on Bentley's y'all

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    But the point of a lot of modifications is additional BHP / torque within the rev range - not just at peak revs. The car may still be 250bhp max, but that doesn't show whether any power / torque were gained at lower revs. The only way to show that would have been a back to back rolling road before and after fitting.
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  8. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    Do you have before and after graphs Paddy?
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  9. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    Pete
    When you do these runs the dyno remembers you car details and once finished puts up a chart with BHP ,Torque,Engine HP etc overlay ed for all the runs so you can see exactly whats changed. The BHP curve remained with in +/- 1% which is the tolerance of the machine on all three runs.
    The final mapped run did as i said provide a increase in Torque over standard of about 20 lb/ft starting at about 2.5k rpm and slowly dropping back to std by 5krpm.
    Staz i didnt take the print outs as they was so little change.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
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  10. V6Pete
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    V6Pete Now running on Bentley's y'all

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    Yes that's true, but if runs are being several days apart with varying weather conditions, etc. although the dyno adjusts for the various factors, the accuracy is going to be a bit less.

    20 lb/ft at 2500 revs isn't too bad at all! I certainly wouldn't consider that 'little change'. I would much rather gain torque at this point than at max revs, as it's far more usable.
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  11. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    Yes, 20lb/ft is about 8% and worth having, the real benifit to me is the smooth gear changes because thats what you notice when driving...

    Nige asked whether it was all worth while…
    My thoughts on this engine and tuning for more power are simple really.
    This engine started life in 1992 as a 12 valve 2.8ltr and over the years has mutated in to a 24 valve 3.2 lump. Power has gone up from 175 bhp to 250 bhp.. Along the way it’s suffered such indignities as having a cylinder chopped off for the V5 golf’s and a 2002 power cut for the beetle Rsi. In Canada they got a 3.6 version for their passat that pumped out 275 bhp proving there is “no substitute for CC’s” in the America’s.

    Obviously this engine has had millions of pounds thrown at it over 18 years of development where VAG has tried to tread the fine line between power and reliability/longevity and each small step in the power increase has come at a mechanical rethink either in valve train inlet/exhaust port shape length or cubic capacity.

    It follows then that if the man in the street could then throw £350 at his engine and get power gains that eluded VAGs millions, it would be difficult to believe!! Research and development of these types of engines is extremely thorough, a recall for a major mechanical problem or quality issue would be devastating (note the exit of Lancia) financially to any motorcar producer. My advice now would be to leave well alone unless you’re in for the long haul and have very deep pockets. An engine is as strong as its weakest link and everytime you up the loading on one component the repercussions will be felt down the line through the engine gearbox prop shaft diff and down to the brake pads/disc’s..There is no cheap hp to be gained in a N/A engine without consequences later on.
    During the war the spitfire engine had a 2-stage supercharger and the engine was tuned for power. It had a service interval of 100 hours and a life of 200 hours under normal conditions. It had a wire across the throttle lever and if that lever was pushed to the limit the wire would break and this meant the engine had been run flat out and the ground crew would know the engine would need a complete rebuild. This is an example of how engine life can be reduced dramatically once you start pushing an engine to the limits. At the other extreme you have London buses that are low revving and might run for many hours at a time that clock up half a million miles easily. Small generators also can run 24/7 year in year out at constant speed and under very little load.
    In between that you have the car engine where people want power and reliability. Two words that don’t sit comfortably together and one always come at the expense of the other. The 3.2 in my opinion is a great engine, looked after in with probably do 200k miles, every ounce of extra power you get from it will reduce that mileage.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
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  12. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    As a foot note here i would add that having put about 60 miles on the car today, the increase in torque at low revs means the DSG kicks down sooner so if you put your foot down the response it quite a bit quicker. Smoothness of gear change is for some reason improved as is the take up of drive when pulling away.
    #12
  13. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    Thanks for your good honest analysis Paddy!
    #13
  14. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    So good to read a concise and honest review and good of you to share it with us.

    You may feel slightly deflated at the small gains but its still remains a powerful and superb sounding engine so must still be a joy to own.

    Its also encouraging to read that you are aware of the positives provided by the remap, many of us have become obsessed with headline figures which only tells part of the story. Turbo power no doubt offers big rewards for small outlays but will never provide the honest, and natural spine tingling sensation enjoyed when pushing an NA 6 cylinder.
    Great review.
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  15. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    Cheers Spin :yes:
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  16. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 5, 2009]
    I loved the growl of my vr..even better with a jetex cone on it and then had the 1.8t which is tunable but sounds awful.
    #16
  17. paul_b
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    paul_b Member

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    [Dec 6, 2009]
    Cheers for the honest info.
    Going back to something NHN was saying about not worth changing the exhaust if there is no noticable power gain and it only changes the sound. I think the sound a car makes IS important, it's all part of the driving experience.
    I don't want to listen to some clattery diesel engine or anodyne four cylinder when a crisp 6 cylinder howl can be had in the same car.

    As I was considering an A3 3.2 as a cut price alternative to a Mk5 R32, the exhaust sound is important. The R32 sounds great while the A3 3.2 is nice but a lot more muted. Anything which makes it sound closer to the R32 is a good thing IMO. I was hoping the Remus could do the trick.

    As an alternative to changing the exhaust to improve the noise is anyone running different induction (cone, enclosed, whatever) on an A3 3.2? Are there any filters for this engine which don't bugger up the MAF?
    #17
  18. Lee_R
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    Lee_R Active Member

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    [Dec 6, 2009]
    Had a Jetex cone on my Corrado VR6, best sound ever, sounded like it was going to hoover up small children!
    #18
  19. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 6, 2009]
    Paul, V6 Pete runs a viper induction. you need to use the R32 kit as they dont list the A3. I use a piper cross panel filter in the std box. both will give more flow than a std engine needs but the Viper has a nice noise as a bonus. I dont know about exhausts....I have a Remus and it is beautifully made. a quality item but it resonates through my car at low revs and rattles your teath... becomes quieter than standard above 3k rpm......very strange. Pete's sounds great but i wonder as he replaced a Milltek if he is still using the Milltek centre box ?....
    I think i will be going back to a std box soon ( wish i had kept the old one ...tut)

    I noticed when i cut the std exhaust off it has a flap operated my a solenoid and cable on the tail pipes to cut the noise at low rev........I wonder if you were to disconnect that whether you might get the R noise from the std 3.2 exhaust ??
    #19
  20. V6Pete
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    V6Pete Now running on Bentley's y'all

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    [Dec 6, 2009]
    Definitely not got the Milltek centre - I'm running a standard centre with a Remus rear box.

    I'm really surprised it resonates at low revs - well worth checking what's causing this as I get nothing like that at all on mine...

    It will definitely get a bit louder after a few thousand miles - mine sounds much better than it did when I fitted it originally.
    #20
  21. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Dec 6, 2009]
    Just to add a little note on Paddys question about the solinoid.

    I,ve capped mine off and its slightly throater on tickover and low revs.... just opens up both pipes all the time.

    Ok for a free mod i guess but it's on;y just noticable.
    #21
  22. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 6, 2009]
    Thanks for that,
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  23. j1mbo
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    j1mbo New Member

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    [Dec 6, 2009]
    hi where do i find and disconnect this solinoid. free mod im in.
    #23
  24. stealth64
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    stealth64 Member

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    [Dec 6, 2009]
    Press ALT +f4

    That should do it!
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  25. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 6, 2009]
    The solonoid conects to the flap above and between the 2 tail pipes at the back. this is my old box, you can see the slonoid mounting bracket
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
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  26. edition
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    edition Active Member

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    [Dec 7, 2009]
    What I did was take the pipe of and bung it up then put the pipe back on.... You are not mean to leave the pipe off as it burns the vac. pump out (so i have read).

    Just double check that the flap is open on tick over then....

    On a side note, modern exhausts keep well done they!! I,ve noticed mine is still like new!
    #26
  27. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Dec 7, 2009]
    Yea thats 40k miles and 5.5 years....Its got a bloody great ding underneath though.:)
    #27
  28. LWNY
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    LWNY Member

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    [Jan 16, 2010]
    I presume the solenoid on the silencer doesn't apply to the A3's in the states. Can I also assume that the flapper is in a permanently closed position, given that our A3 3.2 never roars, even at higher RPM and full throttle? If that is the case, can I get rid of the flap, perhaps by pushing it open? Or is it a completely different silencer?
    #28
  29. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Jan 16, 2010]
    You will have to have a look under you back box and see if you have the flap solenoid. I do not think it will be fixed shut because it would be too restrictive at high revs. To be honest it dosnt make a huge difference to the sound anyway.
    #29
  30. LWNY
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    LWNY Member

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    [Jan 17, 2010]
    When I check my box the last time (after seeing that mod being available on the R32), I didn't see any contraption near the pipes coming out of the box. I thought we lucked out over the R32 cuz we don't have the flapper restrictor. But hearing a whole bunch of R32's, whom at the minimum, had the flapper mod, if not an aftermarket box, I realized they got some serious sound coming out of them.

    I'll check inside the pipes to see if there is a flapper. Is one of the pipes suppose to stay shut until the flapper opens it at a certain RPM?
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
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  31. Denty
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    Denty Member

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    [Apr 21, 2011]
    Good read Paddy, especially the spitfire bit..:o.k:
    #31
  32. A3_Rider
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    A3_Rider Member

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    [Apr 21, 2011]
    I imagined this sort of thing on an N/A engine. IMO for a DSG owner it would smoothen it out perfectly with a remap, unfortunatly Superchips cant do it unless you're there in person.. :(

    I dont fancy using anyone else.
    #32
  33. marwayg
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    marwayg Member

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    [Oct 27, 2011]
    Hi paddy, you mentioned 99 tesco fuel gave readings of 251bhp?
    Any idea how this compares to Shell Vpower Unleaded? (no idea what the difference is)
    #33
  34. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Oct 28, 2011]
    Performance wise, no difference at all TBH...
    I never found the difference between std unleaded and super noticeable in the 3.2 as it runs fine on basic 95 ron. The extra 10 bhp you get from super is actually no more than 3-4% and whether that is worth another £5 a tank of fuel is debatable.
    To put it bluntly the 3.2 engine is just such a nice lump i think it would run well on paraffin unlike the Turbo i have now that once mapped needs 99-100 ron or runs the risk of burning its pistons/valves out.
    #34
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