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how to reduce understeer on my 3.2

Discussion in 'Handling' started by StephaneS, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. StephaneS
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    StephaneS Member

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    [Oct 23, 2004]
    How can I reduce understeer on my car?
    It is bog standard A3 V6 3.2 engine seating on Dunlop SP9000 225/40or45/18 and it is understeering way too much to my liking /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
    Well I cant do anything about the weight of the engine but what else can I do
    ARB? suspension? tyre?
    if so in which order to get maximum improvement and how much is that gonna cost me?
    #1
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  3. dunk
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    dunk Member

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    [Oct 23, 2004]
    bigger rear anti-roll bar, negative camber at the front if possible, reduce front tyre pressure slightly compared to rear.

    #2
  4. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 27, 2004]
    ARB's will make the biggest difference, then the shocks, then the springs... Then play about with the geometry if possible.

    Rich
    #3
  5. StephaneS
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    StephaneS Member

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    [Nov 8, 2004]
    Yesterday was very wet so decided to play with the tyre pressure and ended up with 36psi rear and 34 front and understeer is definetly reduced and I felt the load transfer more than before
    however it is still not great at all
    I also did only put power after the apex but still understeers

    Also I cant find any reinforced ARB for the 3.2. Anyone can help me there?

    so I am only left with playing with :
    tyres : are the Dunlop's good? - I did another thread but they dont seem that bad
    suspension : I dont want to spend much so are springs enough?
    geometry : is that possible to change it on standard cars? if yes how do I go about it then? if not what do I need?
    #4
  6. Jonc
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    Jonc Member

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    [Nov 9, 2004]
    As the roads were wet its not supprising that you still got understeer. Don't forget that Audi has designed the handling towards understeer as it makes for safer handling for the inexperienced, especially in a fast powerful car. Be carefull with the rear tyre pressures though, Too high and the rears will break grip more suddenly when cornering on the limit which could catch you off guard. Perhaps more time is needed to get used to handling and learn how to get the best out of the chassis.
    #5
  7. Jonc
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    Jonc Member

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    [Nov 9, 2004]
    I don't know to be honest, I think it was adjustable on the S3, don't know if this was carried over to the new models. Try a search on this or other audi forums.
    #6
  8. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Nov 10, 2004]
    [ QUOTE ]
    RichA3Turbo said:
    ARB's will make the biggest difference, then the shocks, then the springs... Then play about with the geometry if possible.

    Rich

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sorry to dissagree Rich...but I'd say the other way round:
    Springs (will add negative camber..normally)
    Dampers
    ARBs

    ARBs are no sodding use what so ever if you have no front end grip...and newe Audis have no such grip.
    You need the added grip so that you can load the chassis up using the ARBs!

    Even setting up aggressively with the standard kit should reap benefits.
    #7
  9. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Nov 10, 2004]
    [ QUOTE ]
    JonC said:
    I'm not sure if its possible with the a3, but you may be able to change the camber of the front suspension. Iif you could increase the negative camber (top of the wheels move closer in /-----\) that would definitely increase the grip of the front and sharpen up the steering, It only needs a few degrees and the effect is dramatic.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Ture...
    But it can also add instability problems, wet braking issues...and other chassis traits that some will find unwelcome.

    I like lots of negative camber...but others can't get on with it...people have to be mindful of that.


    [ QUOTE ]

    The downside is increase tyre wear and more so with a car with a big engine in the front. May reduce tyre wear by a few thousand miles.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    In my experience, this is not the case.

    If you have an ill handling car, you kill the outer edges by rolling onto them as it understeers merrily...

    With negative camber you wear the inners on straight, long runs, and eat the outers by hammering round bends like there's no tomorrow.

    Get the tyre pressures right, and you have equal wear.

    Mk3 Golf GTI 16v - 1.7 degrees negative - no unequal wear over 20,000 miles.
    Audi S3 - 1.55 degrees negative - no unequal wear over 22,000 miles, on two sets of wheels / tyres.
    SEAT Ibiza Cupra Sport 16v - 1.65 degrees negative - no unequal wear over 23,000 miles.
    Need I go on?

    Get it right...and you gain grip, but don't loose tyre life.
    #8
  10. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Nov 10, 2004]
    [ QUOTE ]
    StephV6 said:
    how do i found out if it is adjustable?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The S3 isn't technicall adjustable...there's some adjustmemt to allow for slight errors in chassis alignmemt...but it's by no means classed as adjustable.

    Due to the strut fitting into a recess in the hub on the S3 - and I assume the A3 (but I don't know) you are limited to utilising the slight slotting of the lower balljoint mounting bolt holes.
    The S3 has slotted balljoints...but I don'r believe the old A3 does.
    Not sure about the new one.

    You can pull the balljoints outwards before you have the wheel alignment set...and gain maybe -0.5 degrees of negative camber per side.
    With lowered springs, on an S3, you can get -1.5 ish degrees of negative per side.

    You are limited to this movememt as the strut is fixed in relation to the hub.

    On the earlier cars - like my Mk3 GTI = you can get -5/6 degrees of negative per side - now that's adjustable!!


    Have a look at the lower balljoints...if they look slotted, you have some adjustmemt.
    But to be honest, on standard springs...you're not going to gain much!


    Of course, the new A3 may have some new fangled multi link front set up...in which case all this typing is for nothing!
    #9
  11. JaminBen
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    JaminBen Member

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    [Jan 17, 2005]
    oops, didn't look at the date: november !!

    I'm aware StephV6 is selling the A3, for all the right reasons too. But he might just buy a left-hooker later. And it will still be an understeering "pig".

    Jojo, have you any ideas regarding the understeering issues of the 8p A3?

    cheers /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #10
  12. jojo
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    jojo Looking for Boost! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jan 17, 2005]
    [ QUOTE ]
    JaminBen said:

    Jojo, have you any ideas regarding the understeering issues of the 8p A3?

    cheers /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have no ideas at all mate on that chassis - sos. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
    #11
  13. JaminBen
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    JaminBen Member

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    [Jan 17, 2005]
    no worries, and thanks anyways.

    There just doesn't seem to be much aftermarket support for the 3.2 A3...

    What I would want (in theory at least), is something like this:
    starting with S-line chassis:

    - a means of achieving -1 to -1.5 neg camber in front
    - slightly larger arbs, esp at rear
    - springs/shocks if the S-line option turns out to be bad

    - and would definitely have to look into (drive a such-equipped model), a tighter haldex controller.


    Not quite suspension, but important nonetheless, are the engine/trans mounts. VF engineering builds billet aluminum, stiff bushinged ones. They locate the drivetrain much more firmly in the shell of the car, which should really do something for how focused the car feels, in every direction of accelaration. They've been around for the .:R32 for a while and are apparently a good mod.

    But before all that stuff comes the tires, and the stealer can't tell me which will come with my car in march. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif


    anyways, - rant over -
    #12
  14. StephaneS
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    StephaneS Member

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    [Jan 20, 2005]
    [ QUOTE ]
    JaminBen said:

    Not quite suspension, but important nonetheless, are the engine/trans mounts. VF engineering builds billet aluminum, stiff bushinged ones. They locate the drivetrain much more firmly in the shell of the car, which should really do something for how focused the car feels, in every direction of accelaration. They've been around for the .:R32 for a while and are apparently a good mod.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    JaminBen, I have to say that this is something i had in the back of my mind since I had my car on the rollers with the bonnet up. In comparison to the S3's the engine was moving all over the place. was down right scary!

    [ QUOTE ]
    JaminBen said:
    But before all that stuff comes the tires, and the stealer can't tell me which will come with my car in march. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Dunlop should be the official audi tyres, i think.
    Mine are the SP2000 and are bad in the wet. dry is ok.
    #13
  15. StephaneS
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    StephaneS Member

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    [Jan 20, 2005]
    [ QUOTE ]
    JaminBen said:
    btw, looking at the sales brochure, the front track is 1536mm and the rear 1517... 19 mm less out back /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    if anyone knows the answers, they'd be greatly appreciated:

    do all 8p A3s share the same track widths? even the s-line?

    why would Audi go for the wider front track in the first place?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Benjamin, best to post this in the 8P forum.
    not many people read this section /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #14
  16. JaminBen
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    JaminBen Member

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    [Dec 15, 2005]
    Resurecting this thread from the depths of the archive. Maybe an "A3 8P 3.2L Handling Thread"?

    In the quest of better handling from my 1600kg pig, I've done the following:

    Set front and rear toe at O.
    (tried slight toe-out, at 10', but chickened out)

    Reduced rear camber (from 1.5 to 1 degree negative).

    Tried Michelin PS2s, Conti SC2s and Bridgestone RE050s. Out of those three, the PS2s get the nod.

    I've now installed KW V3 coilovers, and have been playing aropund with those.

    Lowering 35MM fr yields -1.5 degrees static (running at stock ride height would mean a decent camber gain in roll, which I'm using up with my lowering - not ideal...)

    Lowering 30mm rr yielded -2.75 degrees static!!!

    Alignment is now at 0 toe fr and rr, rr camber corrected to 1.5 deg neg.

    Compression damping is equal fr and rr at two turns open, rebound is slightly more in fr than rr (1.5 turns open vs 2 in the back).

    Reducing rr camber is essential in getting the front tires to bite. Slight toe-out did wonders for reducing understeer (10' of rear toe-out completely canceled understeer). However, rear toe out is a bit dangerous for street use, especially with snow, so I stayed with O rear toe.

    No other suspension changes until optimum height, alignment, compression and rebound damping settings have been found (except maybe lighter wheels and better tires).

    Track day this sunday 18th, will report back on the handling characteristics.

    Any and all feedback/opinions welcome.

    Cheers,
    Ben.
    #15

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