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Frenchmans A3 daily/ track all rounder

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by frenchman, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. frenchman
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    frenchman Member

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    Hey peoples,


    Finally sitting down and making a start to my build thread. It's been a long time coming!


    It all began in 07 when I bought my first A3 1.8T after Prawn got his, this saw a fair amount of work put into it.


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    Coilies, Eibach ARB's, 312's, Milltek etc. It was a pretty special car being one of the very first dealer cars in the Country.


    It was then stupidly sold to a friend and after this it did the rounds and a lot of money was ploughed into it bringing it up to Ko3s STG2, eventually Jarrod on here bought it and once he had his way with it flogged it on. Silly boy if you ask me ;)


    Whilst I was in Australia working and travelling I got the idea in my head I wanted an LCR, when I returned I would buy one with my hard earned. Well, a lot changed when Prawn told me he was going to sell his daily driver. Knowing the car very well and going to the Ring in it in 2010 I knew what potential the car had.


    A deal was struck and I paid for the car from Oz, i still had 3 months left of work before I came home so the car was stored in a super secret location!


    Fast forward to the beginning of the week and I was greeted at Heathrow Airport my Mr Prawns Express Airport Transfers.


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    Express indeed!


    I found some scrap metal sitting on his desk too, thought I would get rid of that for him ;)


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    Next morning it was time to go and pick up my new car!! Needless to say I was extremely excited.


    I was greeted by this.


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    Prawn had been up there the previous day cleaning the car for me, even wet vac'd the seats. Cheers matey.


    I went to put something in the boot and got another surprise. Mr Prawn thinking of everything.


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    We had a wicked drive out to get the car MOT'd and was great for nick to show me a few things with the car, such a great experience but also equally odd. Buying an already substantially modified car was a first for me.


    It was then time to pack the car up and head back home to surprise the family, who had no idea I was in the country at the time.


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    A set of 18" S4 wheels, some 17" S3's for track work and my suitcases etc. Get involved in the Ultimate Vag trackday people :)


    Car was decked with that lot in there, hardly rubbed too!


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    I best get used to this sight too :p


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    Today I gave the car a quick going over after the many hundred miles covered.
    You can see the rest of our german fleet in the background too.


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    I'll post a spec list up once I get it written out etc.


    Plans for the car at the moment are to Pop some new grooved 330mm discs on it with some DS3000 pads and fresh fluid. Coupled with the Porsche brakes I'm sure I'll be fairly well acquainted with my windscreen.


    New tyres on my S4 wheels.


    A damn good service.


    Detail the engine bay a little.


    Fit a Forge Actuator and a large FMIC, I've found a Toyosports one which is 550x225x64mm with 2.5 inlets. Unfortunately they're out of stock at the moment so it'll have to wait.


    Once i have done that I'll make a trip up to R-Tech for Niki to tweak the already brilliant map. It pulls so hard already, I can only imagine how much fun it'll be once it's finished.


    I'm hoping to do a few trackdays with it this summer and also make a trip to the Ring aswell. Loads to look forward too :)


    Anyway enough waffle, I'll have more to share with you guys next week.
    #1
  2. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    I have so much love for this!

    It was only when I spent an entire day cleaning it up for you that I realised just HOW nice it is. being a daily to me, it was always a 3rd car, and the work horse (I used to cover 400+ miles a week in this!), it wanted for nothing, but it got used heavily also, so I think I took it for granted!

    So happy to see it's gone to a good home though, I know it'll get the attention I could never give it!

    A few pics from me from the past few days to add to this:

    Spent Monday cleaning the car top to bottom, inside and out. Wetvac'd all the seats and matts, and it came up brilliantly:

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    Then there was just time to nip home, have a quick shower, and head off to Heathrow.

    One happy Frenchman returning home from Oz:

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    One very excited Frenchman just minutes after we arrived to pick up his new car:

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    Getting lost in the countryside looking for a post office to tax the car just after we MOT'd it:

    (note the French Thumb - still excited!)

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    Back to mine to load up all the wheels I'd been storing for Pierre, my famously gorgeous S4 reps, and a set of S3 Avus 17's I picked up for him last week.

    Then he faced the daunting prospect of getting out of my court yard fully loaded, it's a pretty nasty hump as many who've been here will know!

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    EEK!!!!

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    A quick trip to MacDonnalds, and Pierre showed us his take on the latest 'Park like a C**t' picture craze!

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    After a few cross looks, we decided he best park it up next to my focus, check out the staggering height difference!

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    Just time for a Chicken legend and a fanta, then it was time for my beautiful car to drive off into the distance without me :(

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    Without question the best car I've ever owned. It looked amazing, it went brilliantly, it never let me down, and despite a HUGE list of mods, it never looked too obvious, just the perfect all rounder.

    Will post more history about the car as I find it :)

    Good luck with it matey, I'm going to miss it like hell!
    #2
  3. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    Dyno at badger5 back in 2010:

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    224bhp from a st1 ko3S? what a result!

    That was back on Nikis gen4 stage 1 map, with just a jetex filter, and a 3'' DP and decat on the stock catback. Since then Niki has added a detuned st2 map (less boost due to std SMIC) with an additional 1.5 degrees of timing dialled in, as well as being the first audi to have R-tech launch control and left foot braking / brake boost mapped in. It absolutely flies!

    Liquid confirms this:

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    Being a passenger in it on Tuesday it really surprised me just how quick it is, I think having the track car has spoiled me a bit, but this still felt REALLY good. 4th gear pull on the motorway is just amazing.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
    #3
  4. Customboy
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    Customboy Member

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    Love this thread love the car she's a real gem !!
    #4
  5. Darren4
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    Darren4 Member

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    Very nice mate, wicked car and progress :)
    #5
  6. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    Cheeky git! I'll have to go and check it's all still there now!
    #6
  7. Maz
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    Maz Moon is made of green cheese

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    Always liked this car, take good care of her!
    #7
  8. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    such a nice car. and a great all round spec.
    love the colour
    #8
  9. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger Regional Rep

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    Wow, does look great now. Dont let me near it else you might end up with a rattle in your blowers again

    Can't belive your going for DS3000 pads, you must be insane. I would never have them again... they are simply not worth the effort of keeping the wheels clean... they make so much dust they basically powdercoat your front wheels
    #9
  10. frenchman
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    frenchman Member

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    Love the colour too, I'll give the paint a little TLC next week. When it's been polished the metal fake really pops.

    Hayes, I'm opting for DS3000's purely for performance, and I'll get that by the bucket load. With the wheels properly waxed a quick going over with a jet wash and a quick wipe isn't a big deal. I did my wheels with some quick detailer and a microfiber and it took about 2 minutes.

    It's been pretty damn wet here today so went out for a drive to learn the limits of the traction control. Think I spent more time playing with the launch control though :p
    #10
  11. Oke Phill
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    Oke Phill Member

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    Real good looking car mate! love the wheels. Ill keep an eye out for ya, im just down the road from plym.
    #11
  12. smurfworth
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    smurfworth Well-Known Member

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    Without a doubt the most beautiful A3 I've seen, love the story. You must have had a tear in the eye when it drove off without you Prawn.

    I'll keep an eye out for you as I'm in Plymouth every day, I think I saw your old black A3 the other day after Jardo sold it in Plymouth too.
    #12
  13. frenchman
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    frenchman Member

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    Bit of an update for you guys.

    The car had a clunking noise that appeared to be coming from the farside coilover, Nick mentioned a thread he saw on Uk-mkiv's so I went on a search and found this : Public Service Announcement - JOM Coilover's "knocking" - NOT TERMINAL - uk-mkivs

    Easy fix, strip them down, tighten the nut that holds the shock sleeve and it's sorted.

    A trip up to my dad's workshop and I started stripping them down.

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    I knew the discs didn't have too much life left in them and as I was going to be changing the pads anyway a new set were ordered.

    Pretty big discs!

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    You can see that the coilies were pretty caked in 18 months of crud.

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    A few minutes with a wire wheel on the bench grinder left me with them looking like this.

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    Once I got all the crud off one I checked the nut and it was dead tight, no movement in the body atall.

    So the clunk isn't such an easy fix :p The only thing I can think it could be is the top mount not being tightened down to the shock properly. It was only finger tight, I guess I'll find out when I put it all beck together.

    Springs were looking sorry for themselves too.

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    Meanwhile I got a box from the guys at Motorsport World.

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    330mm x 28mm discs from an Alfa Brera. They're going off to be re-drilled and grooved in the morning.

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    Had a rummage around the old spray shop and found a tin of Imperial Blue for the springs.

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    Whilst I was in "paint" mode I gave the shock bodies a lick of satin black to tidy them up too.

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    Found a set of steering rack gators that fitted perfectly over the shock body too with a little modification, they're a nice tight fit too so they won't be going anywhere.

    First one all back together and in Blue Peter style....

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    And the complete set.

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    Chuffed to bits with how they came up for relatively little effort.

    Getting the discs sorted tomorrow and hoping my DS3000's show up in the morning too.

    More up tomorrow ;)
    #13
  14. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    They look a bit smart Bert!

    Very nice idea using steering rack gaitors to keep the coilovers clean :)

    Should be amazing with new discs, and those pads fitted. proper windscreen eating power I think
    #14
  15. Audi love
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    Audi love Member

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    I love this thread, hurry up and do more. Are those the audi tt alloys and are they a straight fit to all the a3 8l? Good work mate!
    #15
  16. smurfworth
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    smurfworth Well-Known Member

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    What happened to the helper springs on those coilovers?
    #16
  17. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    They vanished long ago. With the helper springs in, the car wouldn't go low enough without the adjusting collars rubbing on the tyre wall, so I removed the helpers. Does fine without them to be fair, all they do is locate the spring when it's jacked up, not that it was ever an issue during my ownership
    #17
  18. smurfworth
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    smurfworth Well-Known Member

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    Ah i see, thats good thinking, mines just on the limit of avoiding that problem. Does it make it rougher without the helpers? did you have the standard ARB in this one Prawn, it seems real low. Any issues with the sump? I scrape the undertray/ exhaust atleast once a day as it is!
    #18
  19. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    no under tray, H&R 26mm ARB, no rougher without helpers, never a big problem really. subframe ground out sometimes.

    Exhaust on the other hand gets beaten to feck.

    Anyway, it's not my car any more :'( so I should probably back out and let Frenchy do the talking!
    #19
  20. frenchman
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    frenchman Member

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    As Prawny has said. No under tray on the car and having driven the car for a while now, there is no apparent difference without the helpers in. The springs are obviously loose on the shock body when jacked up but they soon seat themselves so no problems there.

    If you want to go lower I suggest an uprated ARB. Don't bother with the FK one with the bigger hoops, it's standard thickness and for the extra few quid well worth the upgrade to something like an Eibach or H&R Item.

    As for the exhaust, It's blowing like crazy at the moment. If your careful it isn't a problem but I came across some ****ty speed bumps the other day with no room to get around them so I had to clout the centre section. Hoping to remove it completely soon to give a little more clearance. It's all just a case of being conscious of the car and where you can and more often than not, can't go :p

    In other news, I've had one of those days with the car. Took my new discs to be machined and the engineer that was going to be doing them is away until Thursday morning :( I need the car back on all fours by the afternoon so I'm not too optimistic on getting the new brake setup on. My pads haven't arrived either so I'll chase them up in the morning.

    Got the coilovers back onto the car though, put the old discs and pads back in, just in case. Flushed the engine out with "Forte Engine Flush", if you haven't done it before I recommend it, I'm always amazed at the difference once it's been done. Oil is draining over night and then I'll top up.
    Started on flatting back my headlights too.

    I've taken pics for ou guys, so once I have something more substantial to share, I'll post up pictures.
    #20
  21. Audi love
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    Audi love Member

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    How far are the coilovers wound down?
    #21
  22. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    you can see that in the above pics :) removing helper springs moves the collars up the coilover body around 2''
    #22
  23. frenchman
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    frenchman Member

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    Had a slightly more productive day on the car today :)

    Unfortunately my discs haven't been machined yet, and upon chasing up my DS3000's they have yet to be made! Turns out they didn't have any in stock although the computer said they did. Tech fail!

    As I need the car I put the old discs and pads back on the car and gave the car a spanner check.

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    Decided to tackle the headlight too, the laquer was shot on them so they needed a refresh.

    Masked up ready for flatting.

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    Bit of a before shot (wish I had taken one before I masked it up)

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    After some 1200 grit wet & dry.

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    Got bored of that so started giving the car an oil change. If you haven't used Forte products, I recommend them bigtime! Make such a difference.

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    After a fair few hits with the rotary the headlights started to come up well.

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    Meanwhile the very bald tyres were taken off the S4 wheels ;)

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    With the wheels tyre free I gave them a dam good clean. Autosmart Tardis was used in abundance to clean these badboys!

    I'm pretty sure Prawn had 3 sets of tyres on these wheels since he owned them, I can tell from old wheel weight sticky residue ;)

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    Bit of a before and after!

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    All 4 wheels clean and ready for some fresh Falke FK452's.

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    In between fitting new tyres the headlights were finished. So much better than before!

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    Tyres were fitted and here the 18" S4 wheels are next to the little brother 17" S3's which will be used for track use.

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    Nice subtle stretch with 215-40-18 on an 8" rim ;)

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    Man sized spacers (20mm)

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    And they're on! By far my favourite wheel on the 8L platform.

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    Back on all fours after a few days!

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    Although all is not sweet, Turns out one of the top mounts is completely shot. It collapsed internally :( New ones on order and will be with me in the morning so not too bad.

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    Car is looking amazing again :) Can't wait for the coilies to settle down again.

    Still got to sort an exhaust blow tomorrow along with the top mounts. May even treat the car to a clean!
    #23
  24. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    Basher! It was fine when you picked it up, what have you done to it :p

    Looking amazing man, headlights have come up so well, and that before and after inside the wheels is hilarious!
    #24
  25. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    Reading this makes me weirdly jealous, even though it was mine for 2 years, i still look at it and think 'I'd love to own something like that'

    I miss my car :( ****ty focus Tdi just doesn't cut it.
    #25
  26. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [​IMG]
    #26
  27. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    Screw you SuperK!

    You should want one too! it's miles faster than that fat ass non mapped fake 4wd thing you've got sat on your drive :racer:
    #27
  28. s3gazz
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    s3gazz Active Member

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    imprested mate keep it up great looking motor
    #28
  29. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [​IMG]
    #29
  30. frenchman
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    frenchman Member

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    Thanks for the kind comment guys.

    Did lots of little jobs on the car today which I'm pleased with. I'll post a proper write up soon. Got to drive the car again after a few days of it being on ramps.
    So happy with it, just have to wait for my pads to be delivered so I can have some proper brakes again :)
    #30
  31. frenchman
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    frenchman Member

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    Well 3 weeks have past since my last post, after a few difficulties with sourcing my pads and the engineering company I was going to use wanting an extortionate amount to re-drill the PCD and groove my disc I have brakes again!

    Got the car on the ramp to strip down the old discs and cleaned everything up.

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    Lovely new disc machined by Hi-Spec, I can't fault their work, turnaround time or price. Thoroughly recommended.

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    The old pads had seen better days!

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    DS3000's arrived :)

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    Much better.

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    Anti squeal shims, thought it would be best to use them considering the pads I'm running.

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    All back together now and ready for a pasting!

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    Having had them for a few days I can safely say that they are amazing. Really not bad at all from cold and amazing when a little heat is in them.
    I do however now have black wheels again! Haven't washed the car since bedding them in but with the weather we're having at the moment it's a little pointless :p

    256mm rears up next and then some fresh fluid.

    My recirc valve is dead too, I took it apart to check what was wrong and the spring is snapped in two. It's a generic copy and I'm unsure a Forge spring would fit. Thankfully I have a Forge on it's way courtesy of Prawn (cheers mate).
    #31
  32. frenchman
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    frenchman Member

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    Had a brilliant drive today seeing as the weather was dry (for once). The front brakes are amazing, although pretty damn noisy when warm, even with the anti-squeal shims in.

    Really think I could do with balancing the rear out a touch with some better pads 256 rears so they're definitely on the cards. Also car feels a little unsteady under hard breaking, could be down to worn bushes in the wishbones so I'll change them over to Superpro Offset ones when I get a chance.

    Here's a couple of pics I took for the S4 wheel thread ;)


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    #32
  33. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    Car is looking mint, I love it.

    What porka calipers are they? They look like the Boxster ones that I have but the pads cover all of the disc where mine don't cover the very inside of the disc.
    #33
  34. AVLO
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    AVLO Active Member

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    very good write up its a really intresting thread, the cars a real asset to the 8L foundation. thumbs up to prawn and frenchman good job guys keep it up frenchman
    #34
  35. s33nyboy12
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    s33nyboy12 Well-Known Member

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    You can have a go on my sister and my 17" avus wheels for the 18" reps? let me know if your interested:). Lol
    #35
  36. Lavis89
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    Lavis89 Active Member

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    didn't realise there was any other plymouth residents on the board! will have to keep a look out for your cars when im out and about, im in the same colour a3 as yours frenchman, on a 51 plate, 1.8TQS, still badged for the moment, about to go in for a respray thanks to the dreded roof rust (managed to get the 70/30 deal). yours is looking mint though, love those wheels, im running on a set of kerbed to f**k rs4's at the moment (with 1 centre cap missing)
    #36
    s33nyboy12 likes this.
  37. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    such a good looking car.
    id go as far to say this best shows the s4 rims. without a doubt. its just awesome.

    what discs are they and why do you need them re drilled?
    #37
  38. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    Seeing those pics makes me both happy, and incredibly sad :( I miss that car so much!

    They're the mans version compared to your Girly calipers :laugh:

    996 Carrera 2 / 4 Westy, also found on the boxster S. Take a 28mm disc and up to 330mm, so just upscaled a bit from yours with bigger pistons too, they're truly epic brakes.
    #38
  39. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    Damn I want those now. At least my discs are cheaper :moa:
    #39
  40. frenchman
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    frenchman Member

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    The discs are off an Alfa Brera, the right size, thickness and offset but 5 x 110 pcd so they need to be re-drilled for the car. Hi-Spec did this for £25 per disc plus vat. All in for the discs and machining cost me £230 so not too bad really.
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