1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Lingo's Audi A3 Project Thread. Warning: Picture-Heavy!

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Lingo89, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Lingo89
    Offline

    Lingo89 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hello everyone. I've been working on my Audi A3 for the past 6 months and I thought it'd be a good idea to create a thread to document my work on. I'd call this a 'rolling project' as I still use the car pretty much everyday. I hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed working on the car, but I do understand that not everyone will have the same taste as me, nevertheless the point of this car is to get it exactly how I want it. I've still got many plans in the pipeline but here's what I've been up to so far.

    I started off with my completely 'stock' Audi A3 (8L Model) as pictured below:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I really liked the car but I considered the exterior a little too bland as it was and being 21 years old, I prefer the more modern take Audi have had with their model-range, specifically in relation to the single-frame grille and day-time running lights paired with Xenon H.I.D headlights they've been fitting. So with much help from (a fantastic) local body-work shop, I decided to have my own take on a modern Audi built on my A3. To start with, I bought a new set of headlights that ran LED's across the bottom and side of the headlight unit, much like the current generation Audi A5/S5, as well as projector lenses appropriate for housing H.I.D headlight bulbs, as seen below:

    [​IMG]

    However, I wasn't impressed with the amber reflection the indicators gave off in sunlight when they weren't on, so I changed the indicator bulbs for a pair of Silvatec chromed bulbs to give the indicator position a more stealth look when turned off but exactly the same amber glow when they were on:

    [​IMG]

    After changing the bulbs:

    [​IMG]

    My grandfather also kindly sealed the headlights for me, as we wanted to make sure they wouldn't be damaged by condensation:

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to make the rear-end look more modern too, so I started with the numberplate lights, they looked too dull as they were, so I changed them for a pair of 8-LED numberplate lights:

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    After:

    [​IMG]

    I decided I'd fit the headlamps at the same time I re-did the front end so I then ordered an RS4 style front bumper with a single-frame grille gap that would be able to mount an S3 style grille into it as well as a metal bonnet extension that would allow the bonnet to meet with the front bumper/ grille in the appropriate position. I unboxed the grille to take a picture but left the bonnet extension and bumper in the box as they were pretty big:

    [​IMG]

    Took the grille out of the box:

    [​IMG]


    Much work would be needed to be done to these parts before they could be fitted, so I put them all into the back of my Audi and off to the bodywork shop to work on the front-end as well as colour-code the side-skirts and rear bumper I went:


    [​IMG]

    I'm tired of writing and uploading photos for the moment, but I have much more to post so will continue the thread with what I got up to next a little later - hope you like what I've shown so far!
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
    #1
  2. wibble111
    Offline

    wibble111 needs to scratch the itch

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looking forward to seeing what the headlight drl's look like but I'm afraid I'm not feeling the love with the new grill, seen a few 8L's with them on and IMO look completely out of place, but who knows yours could change my opinion on it. Fair play to you for putting your own stamp on the car though and doing what you have, enjoy it, its your car at the end of the day, now get more pics uploaded!!
    #2
  3. TOM.S
    Offline

    TOM.S Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    45
    can't wait to see more pics mate.:yes:
    I like your project so far. BTW Black DRL lights woud look so much better on silver a3,match em with black/tinted tail lights,black roof and u have a stunning A3. I want something like this(single frame grill conversion) done to my a3 but at the moment Im stuck/strugling with running issues,engine bay mods/improvements,so things like DRL lights,lowering,body parts, new alloys have to wait.
    #3
  4. bhavin1986
    Offline

    bhavin1986 BBP

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    3
    Looks like you're going about doing this properly and not bodging it. Must be costing a lot!

    Will be interesting to see the finished look, as I've not been a fan of the 8P conversion in the past.

    Ah, those little subtle changes by removing the egg yolk look makes a huge difference.:thumbsup:

    Keep us posted on the updates! Any ideas for new shoes?
    #4
  5. Lingo89
    Offline

    Lingo89 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for all the kind responses guys, they're much appreciated! Bhavin I'm not sure on the alloys yet mate, I'd like an 18" set that look relatively OEM, yet still make the side-profile look very 'mean'. The BBS Reps on your car look pretty fantastic by the way, but I'm aiming for a different look.

    So, to continue with the project thread, I took the car to the bodywork shop and let them get on with what they do best. As they were so local, I went in every now and again to take photos of the progress. They begun by stripping the original front bumper and old headlights and then lining up the new headlights, as shown here:

    [​IMG]


    They then began preparing the front bumper, a lot of work needed to be done to actually have it properly line up with the new lip of the bonnet extension and not be so ridiculously low to the floor that it was comical:

    [​IMG]

    Test-fitting to make sure the bumper was lining up:

    [​IMG]

    Final test-fit with the single-frame grille on:

    [​IMG]

    This is where I'd argue most conversions in the past go wrong, in that once the single-frame grille is on they don't really care about having it match up with the lines of the car. Whereas I wanted the front end to look very similar to OEM, and the only way I think this can be achieved is by lining the bonnet up to the single-frame grille. The bodywork shop then welded a custom metal lip to the original bonnet, as shown below:

    [​IMG]

    The body work shop then removed the rear bumper to colour code the bottom section (they also did the side-skirts at the same time):

    [​IMG]

    Considering the grille was already badged as an S3, I decided to go with an S3 scheme, I purchased a pair of S3 style chrome mirrors to match the S3 style chrome grille and chrome finished headlights:

    [​IMG]

    I then went out and bought a set of 8000k Xenon H.I.D's to fit into my new projector headlamps:

    [​IMG]

    After much preparation and painting later, here's my car as it was...

    Firstly a night shot to show wibble 111 how the LED DRL's look (back when it was icy in the winter):

    [​IMG]

    Xenons on at night:

    [​IMG]

    A shot of it with the chrome mirrors fitted (the insides of which I filled with industrial-grade adhesive after reading about mirrors being stolen from members who post on here):

    [​IMG]

    Repainted rear bumper (bottom section) and side-skirts:

    [​IMG]

    One last picture:

    [​IMG]

    Hope you guys like it. Thanks for looking, I have much planned so will continue uploading soon.
    #5
  6. s3dave
    Offline

    s3dave TFSI Hybrid

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    10,120
    Likes Received:
    728
    That looks surprisingly good from the front, like you say its the bonnet thats made it work, rear light retro fit?
    #6
  7. Lingo89
    Offline

    Lingo89 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks Dave. The rear lights aren't retro-fit, no. The car is a 2002 model so came with them from the factory. I do however intend to fabricate a pair of completely red rear lights integrating only LED's to replicate the ones below (specifically the LED box that acts as a rear side-light), will post pictures when I've got them finished. Do you guys have any recommendations for alloys? (keeping in mind I'm going for an OEM but 'sporty' look).

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
    #7
  8. s3dave
    Offline

    s3dave TFSI Hybrid

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    10,120
    Likes Received:
    728
    I meant retro fit the 8p lights..
    #8
  9. DaveA3
    Offline

    DaveA3 Audi A-Trizzle!

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    14
    alloy wise if u wanna keep oem then go for some of the 18" audi rims. loads of styles so its ur choice really. Most in replica form aswell if u dont wanna pay full whack.

    front looks nice mate btw!
    #9
  10. S3 TAM
    Offline

    S3 TAM Pocket now empty

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    10
    Wow im impressed.

    I like the look matey.

    Good Job
    #10
  11. Alex C
    Offline

    Alex C Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,633
    Likes Received:
    152
    do you have a hard job getting your hand under the bonnet to get to the release latch for the bonnet?
    #11
  12. TDIQ
    Offline

    TDIQ 8L > 8P > 8V

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    6
    Nice car, got the same colour and engine myself. Not a fan of 8P conversions but looks better than most I've seen. So long as you like it though.
    #12
  13. Welly
    Offline

    Welly VX220 SC Driver :)

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    10,699
    Likes Received:
    117
    I really like the front of that, if defiantly works well. :thumbsup:

    I thought from the first pics of the bumper fitted before paint it would look gash - but I was happily surprised.
    #13
  14. steve bain
    Offline

    steve bain Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Messages:
    643
    Likes Received:
    0
    #14
  15. 666markyboy
    Offline

    666markyboy Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,123
    Likes Received:
    32
    Thats the best front end conversion i've seen... when i saw the first pic of the grill i thought omg this gonna look stupid but i was wrong it's a very nice looking job, some nice oem looking wheels now will really set it off.... keep the pics coming ..
    #15
  16. Ash B
    Offline

    Ash B Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    72
    If i'm honest not a fan of the whole 8P front end style as i think it just doesnt go with the rest of the design of the car and most dont look good. Some lad by me in the middle of doing his.(edit he finished) But my opinion doesnt matter as long as your happy with the results thats all that matters and enjoy:icon_thumright:

    Edit:Here some photos
    As he started
    [​IMG]
    New bumper and grille
    [​IMG]
    Bodyshop for work
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Finished
    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. Dane
    Offline

    Dane Faster than a V12 Q7

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,005
    Likes Received:
    84
    Not really up my street but kudos for doing something different
    #17
  18. TDIQ
    Offline

    TDIQ 8L > 8P > 8V

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    6
    That's diabolical.
    #18
  19. audi-tk
    Offline

    audi-tk Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    0
    blue one is very good front end much better then i thought it would. n the grey car is nice too
    #19
  20. Lingo89
    Offline

    Lingo89 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for all the kind responses Welly, Steve Bain, S3Baby, Dave, S3 Dave, Markyboy and Audi-tk - I really appreciate them all.

    No, in fact we intended to fabricate an extension to the bonnet latch, but it's turned out to be surprisingly easy without one so we didn't need to do one.

    Will post my next update soon. Thanks for looking.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
    #20
  21. A3Tom
    Offline

    A3Tom Smell my finger.

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,514
    Likes Received:
    11
    Hmmmm, its a bit marmite for me.

    It looks nicely done but the newer style front ends the wrong shape the the 8L body IMO.

    Fair play for doing something different though :), it looks way WAY better done than every other 8P conversion :)
    #21
  22. S3 Rav
    Offline

    S3 Rav Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    26
    good effort there mate.
    #22
  23. TOM.S
    Offline

    TOM.S Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    45
    I got a question:
    did you needed to make modifications to the grille itself ?
    (in order to fit it to that bumper.)
    or it was a straight fit.
    #23
  24. shanejess
    Online

    shanejess Guest

    well done mate, i really like it.
    #24
  25. wibble111
    Offline

    wibble111 needs to scratch the itch

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    0
    I got to say its not really my bag but out of all the 8P conversions I have seen I think yours is probably the best. Really like the DRL's aswell :thumbsup:
    #25
  26. MUSH
    Offline

    MUSH MUSH Developments Ltd.

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    11
    looks very mean, youve just got to get the rest of the car 8P style with some decent rims and i reckon itll look even better!
    #26
  27. Lingo89
    Offline

    Lingo89 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks S3 Rav, Shanejess, Wibble 111 and MUSH for the kind words of praise! Tomas the best advice I can give you is literally nothing fit properly when I bought it, the bonnet would have had about a 15 inch gap from the single-frame grille if the bodywork shop didn't spend ages re-cutting the bumper to realign it with the bonnet and lift it so it wasn't about an inch from the floor (it was ridiculously low). If you are serious about doing this conversion and you don't want it to look like a load of rubbish you will have to do/ pay someone to do a lot of custom work to get it all right.

    Back to the project, I have another update - I found that some of the light bulbs in the top rear brake light cluster had stopped working, this is an issue I've noticed on a number of 8L's. I decided to replace them with red LED's rather than the original bulbs to give the brake lights a more modern look as they glow a much 'purer' red, rather than the orange-red the original bulbs gave off as well as the added bonus of a longer life-span than the originals:

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    Comparison of a new LED and old filament bulbs with the lense removed:

    [​IMG]

    After:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I then moved onto making some interior modifications. I started with the stock radio, it was outdated (it didn't even have a CD-player) so I went with an after-market unit in car tv/ dvd-player/ radio with an aux 'ipod jack' and SD card reader. I made sure I bought a unit with a removable head so that I could always take the radio fascia with me when the car is parked up (making the unit pointless for a thief to bother trying to steal).

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    After:

    [​IMG]

    I also replaced the interior lights with LED's which make it look much better in my opinion.

    Front interior light, before:

    [​IMG]

    Front interior light, after (replaced with two 16-LED units and two 5-LED units):

    [​IMG]

    Rear interior lights, before:

    [​IMG]

    Rear interior lights, after (replaced with two 5-LED units):

    [​IMG]

    I've been getting a number of private messages in regards to selling the old parts I'm no longer using so I thought it'd be best for me to clear that up here. I've already sold the facelift front headlights to Bhav from this website, so if you want those you'll have to hassle him for them haha. I'm also looking to sell the original facelift front bumper I had on the car, the A3 colour-coded facelift mirror caps and I'll soon be selling the facelift rear lights, if any of you are interested in any of these parts before I put them on eBay, private message me with reasonable offers, cheers.

    Thanks again for looking!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
    #27
  28. <tuffty/>
    Offline

    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    15,734
    Likes Received:
    1,269
    I like the LED interior light conversion... been meaning to do similar myself... where did you get the bulbs from? I assume you don't have the sun visor vanity mirror lights else you would have done those too?

    <tuffty/>
    #28
  29. Lingo89
    Offline

    Lingo89 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hey tuffty, thanks. I just checked the bulb numbers/ sizes and ordered them off of eBay mate. Yes I do have the driver and passenger side sun visor vanity mirror lights but I forgot they existed! :think: haha. To be fair they only ever turn on when you slide the mirror covers open and close, but I'll definitely get them eventually. I'll probably just buy them at the same time I get the two interior boot light LED's (as they're the same size). Thanks.
    #29
  30. <tuffty/>
    Offline

    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    15,734
    Likes Received:
    1,269
    Do you have links to the ones you bought? be useful for others wanting to do this too...

    <tuffty/>
    #30
  31. Lingo89
    Offline

    Lingo89 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sorry Tuffty, I don't have those as I bought the LED's more than two months ago and it no longer comes up in my purchase history. It was very easy to find them though, just find out the bulb number and type it into eBay, loads of LED units come up.

    Guys I'm thinking about 18" Audi S5 reps for the wheels, I think they'd suit the car quite well. I was going to go with the 2004 A8 style alloys but they're getting a little out-dated and every chav and his mum fits them on their VW Golf these days so I'm less interested in those.

    Are these a straight fit?

    18"s5 style alloy wheels,fits audi/vw/skoda/seat/golf | eBay UK
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
    #31
  32. Reesy
    Offline

    Reesy Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    3,610
    Likes Received:
    133
    Any chance you can remember what the bulb numbers were mate?
    #32
  33. bhavin1986
    Offline

    bhavin1986 BBP

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    3
    You'll need the 5x100 stud pattern and ET35 offset, which is available from that seller, and they'll fit straight on.

    In terms of tyre sizes, you should be fine with 225/40/18. Although at standard ride height, the car is going to look like a 4x4 offroader so you'll then want to lower it!
    #33
  34. Nilz
    Offline

    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Messages:
    10,208
    Likes Received:
    387
    Pleasantly surprised dude, thats looks pretty good...good effort and well done :)
    #34
  35. Westy
    Offline

    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    17,295
    Likes Received:
    969
    #35
  36. Lingo89
    Offline

    Lingo89 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    1
    Cheers for that mate, I'm pretty sure I'll eventually go for a set of S5 reps then. Have the facelift headlamps turned up?

    Reesyboy, off of the top of my head the front and back map lights were BA9S and the middle LED's were 40mm festoon LED's. You'd probably want to confirm that with someone else as I'm just recalling this from memory.

    Also, thanks nilz18t. :thumbsup: I'll update this thread again when I make more progress, which should be soon as I've just ordered parts to do so.
    #36
  37. bhavin1986
    Offline

    bhavin1986 BBP

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    3
    Not yet mate, I'm presuming they'll arrive tomorrow as the parcelforce service is usually a 48 hour one. I'll let you know as soon as they do arrive though.
    #37
  38. culshaw
    Offline

    culshaw Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    I love them wheels, they remind me of steelies that everyone used to have on they're Golfs :)
    #38
  39. Lingo89
    Offline

    Lingo89 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    1
    Haha, thanks. If you like them that much you can put them on your own car. I'll be selling them when I get a new set of 18's. Speaking of, what do you guys think would look better on my car, the S5 style alloys, the R8 V10 style alloys?
    #39
  40. bhavin1986
    Offline

    bhavin1986 BBP

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    3
    R8 V10 for deffo! They look crazy, never seen them on an 8L so would be different too...
    #40

Share This Page