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How do you drive an S3?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by max, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. max
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    max New Member

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    I'm still getting used the handling in my S3 but I'm not really sure how to drive it.

    I'm interested to know what happens under fast conering / drift conditions so last night when the road was quiet I took her round some wet islands.

    Unless I'm doing something wrong the car seemed to handle quite like a FWD. I know its haldex and not permanent AWD but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.

    As I was going round with power off I was very impressed with how the car turned in and it felt extremely grippy but as I added power the nose would pull out and the car would start to understeer instantly, which was corrected by coming off the power. I tried to compensate by turning in more as I added power but this didn't seem to work. I was hoping that the haldex would see the angle of the front wheels and put more power to the rear to bring it round.

    Do you have to be more aggressive or is this just normal for a stock S3? I hear that better suspension is great but I really like the feel of the ride and I worried about ruining it.

    Really I need somewhere big open and safe (off the road) to have a play because this isn't really appropriate on road but I know you guys understand ;)

    Cheers
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  3. Aky
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    Aky Aky

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    I had problems when I first got mine just over 2 weeks a go. Go slow into corners then accelerate out of it. When it understeers you need to add the power to get the back end to pull it out of the corner (well this works for me but you really need to figure out what works best for you) The car does understeer a lot but I think this is the case with all 4wd cars. The problem I think is that the traction control is too keen, and it dips the power when really it shouldn't be doing. I hope this helps you matey- but don't blame me if you crash!!
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  4. max
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    max New Member

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    So you think more power is the answer. I can see this going wrong!

    Might book myself a advanced driving course. I had a colleague who went on the honda MAC course and he said it really showed you how to have safe fun and get the most out of your car. Anyone been on one? Waste of money?
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  5. Aky
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    Aky Aky

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    To be honest I reckon it probably needs the performance haldex to push more power to the rear. If you don't feel confident don't push it, but remember slow in and power out of the corner (apex onwards)
    #4
  6. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    The standard S3 is sloppy and will understeer when pushed too hard. It's just the nature of the suspension and set-up. It's a predominantly a front wheel drive car like unless the haldex detects spin. The haldex will activate under wheelspin, or a rotational difference between the front and rear wheels. Not always when understeering. Tyres and tyre pressures can have quite an effort on the handling. Try 34psi front and 38psi rear if you're running 18's.

    To really sort the problem, it's best to change the suspension. But then you'll want to change the rear tie-arms for adjustable ones to sort out the set-up. Then the uprated ARB's will be needed. The Haldex performance controller works a treat too. By then you'll have forgotten all about understeer.
    #5
  7. PocketRocket
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    PocketRocket Member

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    To reduce understeer you could also add/replace rear swaybar, or remove front swaybar (but with a stiffer suspension)
    #6
  8. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    The (reputable) advanced driving courses are excellent. Worth every penny and they'll really show you the limits of your car, especially if it's a rtack based course. Unless you book on an IAM advanceed driving course where they'll teach you a lot about road sense and driving, but keeping the speed down.
    #7
  9. ak_quattro454
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    ak_quattro454 Member

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    so the s3 is not permenant 4wd as well?

    is this the case in all audi quattro? power is only shifted to rear when it is needed?
    #8
  10. foolish3uk
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    foolish3uk Member

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    yes and no to the last question, it is not permanent 4wd as with land rovers etc... when you need it it will work all decided by the abs and haldex ecu's. when it works you will notice it on a non modified car. i personally turn of the esp when giving the car a right thrashing, i hate it when it cuts the power when you need it the most, just remember the esp only cuts in when it senses that you need it!
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  11. Aky
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    Aky Aky

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    [Jan 4, 2007]
    And if you ask me the ESP always kicks in when you don't need it to kick in!!
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  12. mattyboy199
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    mattyboy199 Active Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    not when you dont need it just way to early from what i understand newer audi models dont have this problem hence the heldex controller. As ChrisS3 said the upgrades are worth doing but the exspense becomes never ending if you work it out.
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  13. tommo-turbo
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    tommo-turbo Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    It is these days. Early Quattro's were permanent 4x4. They had nice 5 pot engines too!

    Rich
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  14. SimonP
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    SimonP Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    A3s, S3s and TTs all use the haldex system, which is predominantly fwd until spin is detected.

    The rest of the audi range use the real 'quattro' system, permanent 4wd, the evolution of the same system used in the original S1s from their rally heyday.

    Both systems have their pros and cons, having had cars with both I personally prefer the haldex system as it's easier to live with (from a running costs perspective).
    #13
  15. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    interesting! i knew that the modern cars use the haldex system, but i didnt realise it was only for the smaller cars....

    so things like the A4 quattro all still use the permanent 4wd system?
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  16. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    Yup...they sure do.
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  17. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    Erm, don't tell the C4S owners. Or the Evo owners.....
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  18. max
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    max New Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    I live in the midlands, are there any places people could recommend for suspension?

    I don't think Jabba or AMD are that far but are there any closer?

    Might have to take a trip to MIJ for REVO, luckily I live in Walsall :)
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  19. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    In fairness, both of those have chassis WAY better than anything Audi have come up with...and both can be made to understeer if driven badly.

    The trick in an Evo is push it 'till the front starts to want to push, lift off, sidewards/arse out, back on the power and ride the powerslide letting the computers find the grip.

    The trick is different in a C4S...push it 'till the front starts to want to push, lift off, sidewards/arse out,engines weight takes over, car spins and enters the field to the left through the nearest hedge.
    Ouch.
    (or if you are lucky the PSM catches it)

    I find feeding the power in just as the front gives signs of struggling, is the best way on a C4S...and can be rewarded with long, lairy power slides.
    Much fun.


    I never sorted the understeer issue on a standard S3...the chassis is just too **** to do anything with.

    Decent suspension components, decent suspension angles, better tyres etc all give much more grip to the front and make the car feel much better...add to that a massive increase in low end torque from a decent re-map and a few other choice mods, and you can make the Haldex work.
    Turn in at silly speeds, with no understeer, just before the apex give it full power and make the Haldex send some torque rearwards, and you can get a slightly tail-out stance as it rockets out of corners.

    Sadly, a standard Haldex controller can be unpredictable...and mine caught me out a couple of times playing that game...resulting in an underwear change.

    Not sure if it'd be easier with a Performance Haldex Controller like you have Chris?
    I couldn't really detect any difference in driving it, but it may be easier to provoke with an uprated controller.
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  20. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    Definately makes things more predictable. You know you have power to all four wheels on throttle position. So if the set-up into the corner is right you can drift out from the apex.

    When I say drift, it's not a case of grabbing arm fulls of opposite lock and oversteering. Just don't think that's possible in an S3. More of a directed side-step.

    I really think you need to drive the uprated Haldex back-to-back with a normal one. I don't notice it at all anymore - too used to it, but it was night and day when it first went in.
    #19
  21. dultanur
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    dultanur all promises, no action :)

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    result: uprated controller next on shopping list :o.k:

    as a note: proper quattros have the torsen diff. as simon p siad, torsen has its drawbacks, but is more performance oriented.

    to provoke tail out action you have to be really brave and brutal. try it somewhere really wide, so i you understeer you can correct it. i always do it in second gear, just full steam and it starts to let go, but no real "opposite lock" action.
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  22. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    I'm not so sure it is any more performance orientated.
    Haldex is fine if the programming is suitable...the R32 proves that.

    For performance, you really want to dump torsen and go 'proper' limited slip diffs, in my view.
    Preferably with different lock rates under acceleration and braking...that would really give you a predictable car.

    The trouble with torsen is that it needs one wheel to have drive to work...so properly sidewards with wheels spinning it can get confused.
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  23. ak_quattro454
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    ak_quattro454 Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    a friend of mine claims his brothers 2001 Audi TT 1.8T quattro is permenant 4wd

    Is he chattin rubbish?
    #22
  24. Stewart
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    Stewart Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    LMAO! That did make me chuckle on an otherwise sh!te day.

    Yes, most definitely talking complete rubbish. All A3/Golf4/Skoda 4wheel drive chassis use the same Haldex setup.

    In relation to this thread, thanks to Glen's, Chris's and other notable S3 owners and their combined experiences I've turned my S3 from an understeering pig to a very neutral and well balanced car.
    Last time out at the Ring (after dialling in Glen's old suspension settings (Toe and camber) I was amazed and I mean amazed at how much grip and how neutral the car was.
    At the limit of adhesion and especially when the tyres started to go off, I was getting some very controllable and predictable drifting.

    It's a completely different story in the wet, the ESP is a nightmare.
    #23
  25. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    Yes. The A3, TT, Golf, Octavia, Cupra 4R, and the rest of the AWD cars that share the same platform have the haldex system. Not permenent.
    #24
  26. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Jan 5, 2007]

    Bah! By a minute!!!!!

    hahaha
    #25
  27. Stewart
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    Stewart Member

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    Muahahaha, you should try using more than one finger to type Chris ;)
    #26
  28. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Jan 5, 2007]
    lol, the other fingers are replying to different threads.
    #27

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