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Gareth's A3 1.8T AGU - (Slow) Progress Thread

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by GarethEvans, May 7, 2014.

  1. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [May 7, 2014]
    Hi all,

    Been a happy A3 8L owner since November last year - Bought the car at 82K from the only lady owner with FSH, and seemed to be running great. First 'Proper' car after a couple of **** 1.0litres, so the 150bhp felt epic!

    Unfortunately I've lost all the original photos of when I bought it, so you will have to excuse the Instagram specials for now.

    [​IMG]

    I've ended up doing a lot of work on it through problems that have arised and just general maintenance that was necessary. I serviced it as soon as I got it, and soon after fitted a new Thermostat and Temperature sensor as the engine temperature was hardly rising and fuel economy sucked! Also fitted new disks and pads all round as they were rusted to hell.

    With that sorted, I then ran into a horrible misfire a few weeks later in cylinder 1 - that turned out to be a dodgy Ignition Control Module. £100 quid and new one is now fitted, problem gone!

    Then after a local car meet I was met with the Check Brakes warning on the dash. By the next morning the brake fluid tank had emptied itself over my drive - found that the handbrake leaver seal on the rear left calliper had failed. Reconditioned calliper was fitted, and whilst bleeding the system the other rear calliper bleed nipple decided to jump ship! So that side was replaced too.

    Next up was some JOM coilovers that I got for £100 off of my mate, and again encountered loads of problems. This time with the lower strut bolt heads sheering off completely... Replacement bolts bought and old ones drilled out, then eventually looked like this:

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    After a very quick decision a few months ago, I snapped up a set of 18" Rota Grid Drift's second hand finished in a custom Black/Dark Grey colour shift paint job. (Photos don't do the colour justice.) Specs are 9.5J Et 23 on rear, and 8.5J Et 44 on the front.

    225/40/18 Pirelli's fitted all round and 15mm spacers on front to clear coilovers - but will change the front tyres soon as I need some more stretch to fit them under the arches without ruining them.

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    And this is how it currently sits!

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    I've just fitted a shallow sump on the weekend too, and I realise that this holds less oil and people reckon it will starve the engine of oil.. but my mate has one on his Mk4 Golf 1.8T running 266bhp and it seems fine! So thought I'd risk it. Snapped a ball ended allen socket and also a bolt, but finally on:

    [​IMG]

    I've also ripped out all of the old Bose sound system that was originally fitted, as the front speakers weren't working and the headunit had the volume problem. So bye bye all speakers, head unit, 6 CD changer, subwoofer, and amp.

    In went some 13cm JBL GTO529 components in the front, and JBL GTO637 coaxials in the rear - Upgraded wiring all the way to a JBL GTO1004 in the boot. Then got a couple of 12" JL W3 500w RMS subs in a custom box from a mate, with a JL JX1000 Mono amp to power them. Now it sounds great ;)

    Oh, and I binned the rear wiper as it never worked - replaced with a glass grommet off ebay, looks miles better!

    So I think that is me up to date.. Have a few more things planned exterior wise, but will be just some bodywork and neatening up. I have the usual engine mods lined up (Forge 007p, S2000 air filter, Turbo Intake Pipe, FMIC, and eventually a Remap.) but this will be a slow progress. Looking to have this car for a good few years yet!

    Any comments welcome, and thanks for any advice in advance. :)
    #1
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  2. Ads

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    [Sep 16, 2014]

  3. J44KWED
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    J44KWED Member

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    [May 8, 2014]
    Nice one mate, a fellow S reg! :beerchug: Loving those wheels. Where you based?
    #2
  4. Jay A3
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    Jay A3 More power

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    [May 8, 2014]
    Very nice Gareth. They are exactly the wheels I want in the same finish!
    #3
  5. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [May 8, 2014]
    Ha yep the 1998 gang! :D Cheers bud, I'll be happier when I get the new tyres on the front.. they let them down I feel lol. I'm just outside Uxbridge in West London.


    Thanks buddy! I've wanted a set for a while now, hence why I acted quickly on a selling advert.. and probably spent more than I should have lol. The paint is custom by a paint shop, found the pictures on the companies instagram - but it looks quite similar to the Hyper Black finish you can buy them in!
    #4
  6. J44KWED
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    J44KWED Member

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    [May 8, 2014]
    Nice I am West London too, Hampton Wick, just moved from Isleworth. I'll have to keep an eye out for you fella!
    #5
  7. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [May 8, 2014]
    Ah okay nice! My cousins live up that way in Kingston but don't go round there too often. Always keep an eye out for A3's anyway :)
    #6
  8. fanta
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    fanta Member

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    [May 8, 2014]
    I'm thinking of ripping out my bose set, how much bother was it putting new wiring in? Or did you use the existing wiring again?
    #7
  9. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [May 8, 2014]
    Actually surprisingly easy... I'm not saying it didn't take a while, because it did. But much better than standard! Hardest part is getting the wiring from the battery and head unit for the amp. I advise you to run the power cable down the left side of the car under the panelling (easy to remove), and the RCA cables from your head unit down the right side. I haven't done this and have got quite a bit of interference and engine wine which I've been told is probably because of the magnetic field my two 4 Gauge power cables are creating!

    Then you just need to run speaker wire to the front speakers down the same foot kick panels and up through the door conduits into the door. I used a cable tie with the wire taped to the end to get it through these ;)
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  10. fanta
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    fanta Member

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    [May 8, 2014]
    Thanks Gareth, much appreciated!
    I'll be putting together a list of things I need before I get on with this, I want to make sure I do both in one hit, rather than remove the bose kit, then come back to it! The cable tie with wire is a neat idea, i'll steal this!
    #9
  11. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [May 8, 2014]
    No problemo :) Yeah go for it bud, I have used a wire coat hanger before to do the same for a larger distance like getting the power cable through the bulkhead. A little bit of engine oil as lube goes a long way to getting it through rubber grommits too! ;)

    Oh and you might want to be careful removing the rear door panels as the clips like to remove themselves.. A hot glue gun does the job to put them back in their place though.
    #10
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  12. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [May 11, 2014]
    Fitted my boost gauge on Friday! Pretty simple and easy really.. just a bit of a faff.

    After a battle with my rusted wipers (I won), got the scuttle panel off:
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    Bit full of ****! That's the box where you can get into the underside of the dash - fed the silicone pipe through the spare rubber blank in the front.

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    I used a long zip tie taped to the pipe and pushed through from the underside of the dash.

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    Managed to route the pipe round the front of the crash bar under the dash and had it come out at the top of the fuse box.

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    Then routed the pipe through the scuttle panel wiring loom rubbers into the engine bay.

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    Drilled a hole in the pillar and pushed another zip tie through until it came out at the top of the fuse box, then taped the pipe to it and pulled it back through.

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    Then did the opposite with the gauge wiring to get it by the fuse box.

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    All wired up! Tapped into the wrong power wire first in the light switch loom which kept it on all the time, even with ignition off. Then found the switched ignition power (large Black and Yellow cable) in the back of the fuse box, and then tapped into the ground (Brown) for the negative wire.

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    Then connected the silicone pipe to the boost line from the top of the Dump Valve using a T piece. Replaced that small pipe with some spare as the original one split when I tried to insert the T piece lol. Used zip ties to secure them on.. didn't have any black ones to hand!

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    All done! Need to cover the screw with fabric.. but don't like the colour of the fabric on the pod as it doesn't match as well as hoped it would. So will remove and recover at some point!

    Tested it and it hits a solid 0.55 Bar which is stock boost pressure, all good! :)

    I wasn't bothered about having it dim with the interior lights or turn off when the side lights weren't on, seeing as the gauge is tinted you can't see it during the day without the backlight on.

    [​IMG]

    Next up, new 007p and TIP soon :)
    #11
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  13. fanta
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    fanta Member

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    [May 12, 2014]
    I need to get my scuttle off at some point, previous owner didn't fit it back on correctly and now I know, I can't stop seeing a gap. I'm told its relatively straightforward, just getting the wipers off like you say is the arse...
    #12
  14. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [May 12, 2014]
    Ah yeah its a pain when you notice a problem like that! yeah the wipers are the only thing holding it on really, apart from a clip round the bottom of the window that it slots into. :)
    #13
  15. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [May 14, 2014]
    A few things turned up today in the post:

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    Honda S2000 filter, 80-70mm reducer pipe, and jubilee clips.

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    The old airbox was swiftly removed, and looked like this soon after:

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    I had to trim off a large amount of the pipe from each end for the filter to fit snug in the bay, and quite a lot from the inside of the pipe for the filter to slot in. This seemed a very tight fit as there is a 5mm difference in the circumference of the filter end and the 80mm pipe.

    Either way, its on there now! Sounds great, and got that very much sought after dump valve noise!

    After fitting the filter, I did a bit of tidying up on the drivers door trim - at the very bottom of the trim, the paint has come off and is rusting. I see this every day and it bugs the hell outta me!

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    So a bit of pikey masking was necessary (shrink wrap), and some electrical tape as I couldn't find any masking tape lol. I only wanted to temporarily tidy it up and stop it rusting further, so just sprayed a couple of coats of matt black plastidip over it. Looks much nicer!

    Will do the other side tomorrow hopefully.
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  16. fanta
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    fanta Member

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    [May 31, 2014]
    Have you done the wing mirrors too? Mine are looking that warn out grey colour and need some love.
    #15
  17. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [May 31, 2014]
    My wing mirrors are body colour coded.. so aren't too bad. But that plastidip rubbed off a few days later where the door comes into contact with it. Will need painting properly at some point!
    #16
  18. Aaron1.8t
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    Aaron1.8t Member

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    [Jun 2, 2014]
    Nice thread mate.. Im in hayes and also have a s reg lol
    Good idea with boost gauge wiring fed..
    image.jpg
    #17
  19. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [Jun 2, 2014]
    Cheers! Ah nice, looks good.. will keep an eye out for ya! :thumbsup:
    #18
  20. fanta
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    fanta Member

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    [Jun 3, 2014]
    I wonder how many people now have a sore neck from turning to look at that photo :p
    #19
  21. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [Jun 3, 2014]
    Haha I certainly did.
    #20
  22. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [Jul 31, 2014]
    Haven't posted in a while, but I have been busy on the car! I've had some 205/35/18 Nankangs fitted over the front 8.5J grids, which give enough stretch to sort out the rubbing issues they were having on the arches.

    [​IMG]

    Also bought a TT 225 anti roll bar for the front so that I can fix the rubbing issues there too, just have to get that fitted - can't be arsed removing the subframe on the drive on stands, so gonna get it done at a garage.

    One day I decided to get some negative camber going on the rear wheels, mainly to stop them rubbing on the arches, but also because I love the look of tilted rear wheels. Had a real 3 day faff which involved lots of rusted nuts and bolts which rounded off. Eventually after hitting things repeatedly with various size hammers and assorted garage utensils and small pets, I got them sitting just about how I wanted them. Though 2 months on, I now want to a few more degrees just for fun!

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    The next on the list was to neaten up my boot. With the dual 12 inch subs and amp running the speakers, it looked really messy and didnt leave me with a lot of useable space. So I got some 12mm plywood from a well known DIY shop and went to town. Used the floor mat as a template but it needed a lot of trimming for it to fit higher up in the boot above the subs. Cut out the two holes for the subs to fit through, and also a little door so that I can utilise the extra space underneath. Moved the amp into the spare wheel well, ditched the wheel. Then trimmed it all in some alcantara.

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    Doesn't look too shabby if I do say so myself! Also retrimmed the parcel shelf in black alcantara to match the seats and rear trims, muuuch better than **** grey.

    Now the biggest and best thing, my birthday present to myself. Went down to EMP Performance in St Albans and got a custom machine bent stainless steel 2.5 inch Turbo back, with a small sports rear box made up. Downpipe, decat - the whole shabbang!
    Absolutely over the moon with the thing. It sounds so damn good now, best money I have spent so far! It's rather loud but hell it's worth it.

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    I'd seriously recommend EMP for any work, but especially exhaust and pipework - Dave is the bomb. Super nice guys, top quality work. Check them out.

    Oh and also got a cheap £40 adjustable recirc dump valve off ebay for my birthday too, much better than the standard.

    Got lots of plans for the future, but am looking to save for a house.. so the next instalment might be a while!
    #21
  23. jamiebennett81
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    jamiebennett81 Active Member

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    [Jul 31, 2014]
    EMP are amazing aren't they

    watched them make up an exhaust for my passat, and it's an artwork watching him bend the piping to perfection

    be careful of the cheap DV's, they are prone to leaking
    #22
  24. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [Jul 31, 2014]
    Yeah mate, really happy with the work. And actually really reasonable prices! Unfortunately they now make people stay behind a safety line so couldn't sit and watch, but Dave let me come check it out every so often. It is indeed an artwork!

    Ah okay yeah, its not gonna stay on too long.. just something better than standard. Will get Forge when the money is available!
    #23
  25. jamiebennett81
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    jamiebennett81 Active Member

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    [Jul 31, 2014]
    to be honest you can get a 2nd hand Forge DV recirc for about £50-60

    plenty of for sale groups on FB
    #24
  26. Jay A3
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    Jay A3 More power

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    [Aug 1, 2014]
    Looking good Gareth. Car has a nice stance to it and I like the wheels. Oem dv are good, they hold boost really well.
    #25
  27. GarethEvans
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    GarethEvans Member

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    [Sep 12, 2014 at 12:19 AM]
    Haven't posted in a while again.. not a lot has changed - I got bored of the Rota Grids, so sold them to a friend and bought some XXR 527's in Matte Bronze. 8.75J/9.75J.

    [​IMG]

    Oh and had my TT anti roll bar fitted that was laying around in the garage.. no more driveshaft rubbing issues which is lovely! Allowed me to lower a fair bit more, but once front arches have been rolled, I plan to lower further. :)
    #26
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  28. fanta
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    fanta Member

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    [Sep 13, 2014 at 11:56 AM]
    Great update Gareth as always! I'm going to take your advice on EMP. I presume the decat won't affect MOT time, there are mixed opinions from what I can tell, keen on your take. Facelift front lights would finish your car off lovely if you ask me :) Are you planning on getting S3 bumpers?
    #27
  29. Pubemammal
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    Pubemammal Active Member

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    [Sep 14, 2014 at 1:52 AM]
    Nice one Gareth Jealous of your exhaust lol. Looking forward to hearing it at Players
    #28

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