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Front end mods - opinions please :)

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by AllThatGlitters, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    Hi all,

    I got my Akoya Silver A3 at the back end of last year and as I mentioned in my 'hello' post the immediate and only thing I've done so far is get shot of the horrid standard alloys *judder*.

    I've replaced them with black 18" Dare LP5's - love, love!

    Me & the husband (TTOC'er) are off to see the peeps at Awesome a week on Saturday with Xmas vouchers in hand to get myself a set of Eibach Sportline lowering springs and a LCR splitter so that'll be getting done ASAP.

    I've also got some Audi Zentrum number plate surrounds ready to go - just out of interest will my standard plates fit into these?



    So basically I'm looking to do some de-chroming. I'm definately doing the back rings in gloss black but I'm undecided on what to do with the front.

    I'm loving both of the following pictures (I found them on this site on posts by munchkincoupe & gixxer600k4 so I hope it ok to re-post):

    My indicision is whether it'll look too much to do the vinyl between the grills and the trim AND do the wing mirrors AND do the rings gloss black on the front so they still stand out or is it gonna be better to pick which style I like best and go with it?

    My original plan was to go with the 2nd pic's style but then I saw the other! haha

    Also, does anyone think that doing the front rings in Akoya Silver would make much difference instead of silver? - I just really wanna get rid of the silver.




    Thanks soooo much for any input!


    Jamie



    [​IMG][​IMG]
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  3. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    I personally dont like trying to make the two grilles look like one. But thats just me. I'd do the second one.
    #2
  4. marknjayne
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    marknjayne Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    i prefer the second one too
    #3
  5. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    Hiya Tim, thanks for replying! :)

    I'd never seen it done before I found the pic yesterday but I think it looks good in the pictures, have you seen it done in person? Just wondered how the edges might look, that was my main concern incase it peels or frays :(

    If I do it like the 2nd pic and how I was originally gonna do it I'm definately gonna do the rings black and have a crack at vinyl wrapping the wing mirrors whilst still on the car - I've done a bit of vinyl wrapping before when I helped the husband do bits on the TT so hopefully it won't be too infuriating!
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
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  6. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    Hi marknjayne!

    2 for 2 hey - is the fakey grill thing a bit of a faux-pas? haha
    #5
  7. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    It wont peel or fray as long as its applied correctly (if you've wrapped before you'll be fine). My issue is that it just looks to obviously like your being cheap trying (imo a poor attempt) to create the latter single grille look. Do a proper conversion or leave it split me thinks!

    I have been thinking about painting my chrome bits silvery/grey (like on the Porsche GT3 RS grilles) to get rid of the chrome, but I'm not sure.
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  8. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    Yeh I defo get where your coming from - I was toying with the idea of doing the conversion properly but I just can't justify it.

    I think I'm gonna embrace the split grill! Haha
    It's not as if I don't like it obviously or I wouldn't have bought it but you know what it's like when you see summat and get an idea in your head lol
    What colours your car - is that it on the pic? Dolphin grey?
    I reckon the silvery/grey or anthracite would look really good, haven't seen it done that colour :)
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  9. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    Yeah, Grey. Same as you, I cant justify the £ or hassel swapping to an S line front end at the moment. I quite like the split grille in a different way to liking the S line front end. I've always though it kinda suits the shape of the car anyway!

    [​IMG]
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  10. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    Looks lovely - defo think greying the chrome will look ace!
    I'm convinced to go with my original plan with just blacking the chrome and mirrors, think it'll look miles better (IMO) enhancing it rather thanpretending it's something it isn't.
    I like how yours is sitting, defo looks lower than mine, can't wait til mines lowered, just sits so high - had kick squatters out from my rear arches last week lol
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  11. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    I guess the beauty of wrapping is you can go back to stock if you dislike it. I might look into wrapping my chrome bits rather than painting for that reason.

    They do sit quite high as standard! Looking back at photos I took mine looked REALLY high on 18's when it was on OEM Sport suspension!
    #10
  12. MartayMcFly
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    MartayMcFly Well-Known Member Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    Second pic looks good, especially with the Lamin-X on the lights and the black splitter. I would leave the front rings shiney though, and just black the surround. Not sure about the mirrors, could be swayed either way I think.
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  13. munchkincoupe
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    munchkincoupe Member

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    [Jan 17, 2012]
    I've slightly changed the look of the front end of mine since the above pic and I've added Yellow LaminX to the foglights too. I've been thinking about removing the bumper vinyl too but remember what a pain it was to do it. Will put some pics on here tomorrow
    #12
  14. iamwhatiammomo
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    iamwhatiammomo Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    There's a white a3 who's done that conversion, making the two grills look one, but it just doesn't look right in my opinion seeing it in person. Doesn't look too bad in the picture, looks worse in person..
    #13
  15. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    me personally i say keep the split grills loads are doing the single frame front end making the split girl model a bit rarer now ;) pic of mine in its current state :)
    [​IMG]
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  16. Sheikh
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    Sheikh Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    I tried to wrap the chrome surrounds on my grill, but I couldn't get the chrome bits off without snapping all the clips! So in the end I just gave up :3sadwalk:
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  17. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Fran's front end is the best example of the early grilles.
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  18. shariain
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    shariain Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]

    Need pics. I was thinking of using silver carbon on the front of mine with it being silver there would be a slight difference but not much.

    I think I seen someone on here use silver carbon on the front of an early split grill.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
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  19. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Look above ^
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  20. shariain
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    shariain Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Sorry long day and playing mw3
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  21. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Love it!! Defo picking red next!
    I got the idea for the rings after the husband did it on his Mauritius blue TT but I think it'll look better on mine ( :whistle2: ) because of the contrast in colour - much as it does with yours. After he did the TT I started looking for pics and TBH your's is the one I saw that swayed it so I'm really sorry but I'm pretty much copying your current look :)
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  22. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    FranA3 - how have you done your mirrors? I'm gonna order the black gloss vinyl today and try and do it in situ - if I make a hash of it i'll look at different options but I feel like I've got to at least give it a go - gonna try the less complicated road first coz the thought of getting the mirror dismantled freaks me out!
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  23. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Thats my worry too, although the husband manages to get his front rings off the TT ok taking a lot of care - he said he won't do mine for me though coz if he breaks it it'll be his fault - err yeh, obviously :D

    I am gonna spray mine though rather than wrap - I'll worry about whether a potential buyer would like it or not further down the line, it's my car now! haha
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  24. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    I'd do them in situ anyway as you'll need to heat and stretch the vinyl a lot to get it to wrap properly and you might need more than two hands if you have to hold the casing while you're wrapping it!
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  25. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    This ones very similar to Frans, and my favourite example of a split grille front end. I have considered the Cupra splitter a few times, but cant decide 100%. This photo always makes it look spot on though...

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
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  26. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Aww yeh that looks awesome - defo sticking with me split grille buddies!
    That splitter looks loads more prominent than some I've seen, I like it - is there a certain amount of play on how far you can sit them forward or back?
    Thanks for the advice on the wing mirrors - I was hoping someone would reassure me to do them in situ :)
    Is that this LaminX stuff on that lights that seems popular? - I'd never noticed it until I was told about it but now I'm all over it! lol Is it too subtle to warrant bothering and will the sizes on the US site fit my headlights? - Just with it specifying certain years.

    Sorry to keep going off on tangents! :)
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
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  27. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    You can kinda sit the splitter where you want, I had one on my TT and sat it quite far forward (like on the blue A3 above) as I think thats where it looks best.

    I think Lamin X makes a big difference. I did a photoshop of my car which I'll post up in a bit. Think its just a case of ordering enough and cutting off the excess in terms of sizes.
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  28. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Yeh I like it sat forward - pointless if you can hardly see it. Gonna have to be really careful reversing off me drive tho :ermm:.

    Cool, I'd like to see that - wonder if its pretty much like vinyl wrapping but with less stretching on the material.
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  29. crunchie
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    crunchie Active Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Theres a yellow A3 about where I stay that has tried to create the "single grille" look and its awful!
    There should be a law against it!
    #28
  30. Paullie
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    Paullie Banana Menace!

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Hey Jamie, glad to hear you're embracing the split grille! It looks best being left as it is, ie not being made to look like a later single grille model. Will look amazing with black rings on the front and has already been said, it will be easier to wrap them in situ. I've wrapped loads of stuff in vinyl and they become 2 fiddly if they're not being held completely still, but the car does the job of holding the rings still fo you, lol. Just make sure to get plenty of heat in to the vinyl, so it moulds to the rings properly. Also give them a rub with iso-propyl alcohol wipes, to ensure the vinyl adheres to the rings well. Wrapped wing mirrors gets the thumbs up from me too, ..you only have to look at Fran's car to see how well all the black accents work. Looking forward to seeing the results! Lovely car, I loved my A3 with split grille, something very cool about the 8P1. :wub: xx
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  31. FranA3
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    FranA3 events moderator Regional Rep

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Look at my sig dude they are carbon fibre not vinyl lol
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  32. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Thanks for the support! Feeling so welcome here already!

    I'm actually only wrapping the mirrors in vinyl (and in situ) the rest is getting sprayed (ie. grille trims and both sets of rings).
    I helped the husband when he was doing his on the TT - guess who did the laborious prep work!
    I've just gone a bought the exact cans of spray he used - primer, black paint and laquer. He did his the beginning of last summer and I was having a close inspection at the weekend :detective2: and it's holding up pretty nicely! Just gonna be super duper careful with my removal - eek! I am gonna get him to assist tho, he owes me for helping him anyhow :D

    I haven't actually taken any proper pics of it yet so after it's had a scrub I'll post before things start to change and it has it's makeover haha
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  33. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Still not sure its better, just different.[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oh and who can spot what's missing from my car in this photo? :)
    #32
  34. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    I did see the carbon fibre but they look more satiny black to me on the updated pic you posted, thought they must be different. Sorry, hope I didn't offend :(
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  35. flying oyster
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    flying oyster flying oyster

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    paullie always talks sense embrace the split grill dont fight it lol ps i did fight mine and ive broken the bottom chrome trim so if any one has a spare for sale (shameless hijack ) pm me
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  36. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Yeh think that looks great on your colour - love dolphin grey, hubs had an A4 in that colour he loved it to bits and was even gutted when he'd sold it for a black A4 cabby lol
    That front grille and rings look awesome done dark! It is too cold to start spray painting?! haha
    #35
  37. Paullie
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    Paullie Banana Menace!

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Jamie, the only thing I'll say about spraying your front rings is that the black paint will chip pretty easily, being on the front and this area being prone to stones getting raked up from the road. I used this stuff called Plastidip (in a spray can) and it can be used in exactly the same way as spray paint, but it gives stuff a rubberised black coating and the beauty of it is that it doesn't chip. Lots of people have used it on their grilles and it looks great. You can also buy a second can of Plastidip that gives it a glossy finish, if you don't want a matte black look. Just an idea for you. Here's a link so you can see how it works -

    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/a3-s3-forum-8l-chassis/135242-plastidip-chrome-grill-surround.html


    :wub: xx
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  38. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    I've been successfully talked off the fake-single-grille-ledge haha
    Give it a week and I may well be hijacking your hijack lol - nice car btw, great colour ;)
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  39. AllThatGlitters
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    AllThatGlitters Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Brilliant - really appreciate your advice, pretty sure we've got some of this in the garage - is it the stuff you can use on alloys to protect them in the winter or am I thinking of something totally different?
    #38
  40. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
    Don't suppose you have a link to this glossy plastidip product do you? Thanks :)
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  41. Paullie
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    Paullie Banana Menace!

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    [Jan 18, 2012]
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