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My S3 Thread and how I got there

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by stetheo, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Hello All,

    Been on this forum for sometime but have never done a 'build thread', but now I finally have my S3 and have done a few subtle changes since owning the car I thought why not share.

    My first A3 was an 8L:

    [​IMG]

    Loved this car, but it felt a little bit old so after 8 months of ownership I decided it was time to upgrade to something newer, so i sold it and bought a Dolphin Grey A3 TDI170, great car which covered a lot of miles in my 14 months of ownership (32,000) and never let me down (after I removed the DPF!). All in all it really was a great car:

    [​IMG]

    Finally I managed to get a new job which meant my 120 mile commute daily reduced to an 8 mile commute, in my eyes this meant one thing, I could finally get an S3. So after watching the used car market and working out what I wanted/could afford I finally found a Phantom Black S3 which had a great spec (see sig below if interested) and the added bonus (albeit a noisey one) of having a Miltek catback. So after picking up I soon gave it a much need wash and interior clean, which resulted in:

    [​IMG]

    After a day of ownership I knew there was a few little tweaks I wanted to do to the interior, first off I did the 'Ash Tray Delete', very easy to do, took about half an hour and I now have somewhere to put my phone so it doesn't fall out of my pocket all the time. Also noticed that it had a nice looking red ambient light when the lights are activated.

    Finished job:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I bought an Interior LED lighting kit from T8UPS, great kit and fanstastic service. This kit has really transformed the interior.

    Before:

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    After:

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    Next I was lucky enough to pick up some new MY11 rear lights at a very reasonable price which I wasn't able to ignore. Swiftly purchased and installed. Very easy to install, straight swap apart from one light bulb.

    Before:

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    During:

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    After:

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    Next just before Christmas I decided I decided I needed a bit more power so got in touch with Rick @ Unicorn and got a stage 1 map, completely transformed the drive and made it more like how it should of been from factory. Still puts a grin on my face now.
    Even managed to get this driving back after the remap:

    [​IMG]

    Next in line was some detailing products, so I contacted Mark @ BroTek and got some goodies from the detailing barn. As soon as they arrived I proceeded to have a go so for the exterior I Pre-washed, washed with 2 bucket method, clay bar the car and then apply a coating of dark angel wax. I also cleaned all the interior plastics and cleaned/protected the leather seats and steering wheel.

    End result:

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    That's where I am up to so far, but I plan on collecting the parts and going Stage 2+ at some point in the near future as I wouldn't mind a little more poke along side some springs/coilovers and ARBs as I feel the car isn't as compliant as it possibly could be. I also plan on getting a wheel refurb, maybe a new set of alloys and a paint correction detail when the weather picks up a bit. All in all extremely happy with the S3 as an all round package.

    Thanks for reading (and apologies for the crap iphone pictures!) and I will keep updated with any progress!
    #1
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  2. S3_Mat
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    S3_Mat Member

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    Looks nice mate, nice to see another Phantom Black S3 8P2! Love the LED interior mod, may i ask where you got that from and how much it was? Easy to fit?
    #2
  3. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Thanks mate, Yeah phantom black is a great colour! Real depth to it when it's clean.

    I got a kit from a member of this forum called T8ups, just drop him a pm and he will be able to give you pricing details etc cause I can't remember, but it was only cheap in comparison and really does change the cabin look. Fiting was easy, straight swap for all the existing bulbs. The most tricky ones where the puddle lights as the wiring was very short and liked to disappear back into the door frame! But a bit of fiddling and it was swapped.
    #3
  4. tcardio
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    tcardio Member

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    I always smile when I see a car not missing a pedal! Nice whip!!
    #4
  5. Mr_Sixx
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    Mr_Sixx Stationary

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    Looks very nice :)
    #5
  6. Morells
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    Morells Member

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    Nice car looks In good condition bet you are over the moon. Always wanted to do the ashtray delete just don't have a clue where to get the part from couldn't point me in the direction of one could you?
    #6
  7. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Cheers guys! I'm made up with it to be honest, sounds much better than my diesel ha.

    Cheers, I actually ordered the part from Stoke Audi parts online the twice I've bought it. The code is 8P0 863 301 A 4PK, just search for that on there. It's only cheap about £12 + delivery if my memory serves me correctly.
    #7
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  8. s3_trev
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    s3_trev Member

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    Love these threads! Following with interest! Have the ashtray delete done myself, a mate helped me do it as it took some force to remove the HVAC lol. Them rear lights def improved your car no end!
    #8
  9. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Thanks. I think the rear lights is the best mod I've done to date. Really updates the back end and the darker MY11s look much better with the Phantom Black. Haha yeah it took me longer the first time I did it, but this time with the S3 took me about half an hour as i knew exactly what I was doing.

    Just a quick one, how do you find the H&R springs? Looking at the suspension options now, not sure whether to go springs/shocks or full coilover set. I just don't want to make the ride any harsher than it already is as my daily commute is down some really poor roads.
    #9
  10. s3_trev
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    s3_trev Member

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    In a nutshell:

    - Ride height is perfect
    - Handling is ok but not great
    - Ride comfort is poor (bouncy and harsh)
    - Im running the springs with standard shocks which is not recommended and may be why my ride comfort is poor

    I considered buying the Bilstein B8 shocks, and keeping the H&R springs. Now I have talked myself into coilovers. So currently looking at KW V3s. Need to make a decision this week actually.

    Well then factor in the cost of some uprated shocks as well, as simply putting in the H&R springs, while looking good, WILL make your car harsher. I experience this every single day lol.
    #10
  11. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Yeah I thought that would be the case, if I was going to do springs I would change shocks as well. I would be interested to know how the coil overs turn out if you end up going down that route.

    I want to improve handling and not sacrifice the 'comfort'.
    #11
  12. Doogie...
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    Doogie... Member

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    Lovely car, Exact same model and colour as mine. I was thinking of doing my grill black as its chrome and grey just now and yours looks great, think it may have convinced me to get mine before an RS6 grill pops up and I can do the RS grill mod.

    Looking forward to watching the progress on this.
    #12
  13. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Cheers bud, the colour has really grown on me. It looked a bit dull when I first collected but after a good cleaning sesh it looks great.

    Personally I think the black grill surround is the way forward, it gives the car a stealthy look. Although one downside is it can chip, which mine has. Need to find out what options I have for getting it sorted along with the rest of the paintwork haha..
    #13
  14. Doogie...
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    Doogie... Member

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    I think i might be going down the Wrapping route for the grill, i know a detaling/wrap company who are due me a favour so will probably get it wrapped. Might be something to think about over painting as a wrap wont chip.
    #14
  15. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Yeah that's what I'm thinking, a wrap might be the better option. I will see when i come to get the paint corrected what the best option is for it.

    I've seen a few wrapped in a carbon fibre look and it looks ok!
    #15
  16. s3_trev
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    s3_trev Member

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    Just bought the KW V3s there now mate. Will let you know what I think ;-)
    #16
  17. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Oh very nice! Yes please do, very interested to see the difference in both handling and comfort. Have you got ARBs?
    #17
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  18. s3_trev
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    s3_trev Member

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    No ARBs as yet but they are next on my list on the suspension side of things! Been eyeing up some H&R ones :)
    #18
  19. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    ARBs really do make a difference in getting rid of roll and some of the understeer.
    #19
  20. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Yeah I think I am going to do ARBs first (roll on payday).

    Been looking at the H&R kit myself as it seems to be the most popular, however I am wondering is it worth changing front and rear or just the rear? I've read mixed things about both solutions, however either seems to make the car a lot more compliant. Which even at stage 1 I really feel is necessary.
    #20
  21. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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  22. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    Well that solves that!

    Added to the payday shopping list..
    #22
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  23. s3_trev
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    s3_trev Member

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    Alex you have a lot to answer for LOL
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  24. stetheo
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    stetheo Member

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    So a little update, no modding this month but some of the essential things are being done; car tax, MOT, car insurance, full service (decided to try Millers nanotech oil) and have decided to get my inlet manifold cleaned. Hoping all of these little things will get the car running nice for the summer months.

    Also as the weather was nice this weekend, thought I would put a bit of time in cleaning the car. Altogether spent about 6 hours on her.

    These are the results:

    Exterior:

    BE grill surround really in need of a touch up (still working out the best route to go down for this, suggestions welcome)

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    I tried to capture the 'sparkle' in the paint with the sun beaming down, didn't come out the best but you can see it a bit:

    [​IMG]

    Interior:

    These we filthy and caked in mud, they came out really clean:

    [​IMG]

    Treated the leather, gone back to a matt looking finish. Although this picture doesn't make it seem like that at all:

    [​IMG]

    and finally some good old beading:

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    Plans over the next few months are to get the ARB's sorted, either get my wheels refurbed or get a new summer set of wheels and give her a proper summer detail which will include paint correction and sorting the BE grill surround out. At that point the car should look how I want her to so it will be time to look back at performance.

    Looking into the future for later this year hopefully, it might be time for a nice uprated clutch, CAI, TBE, HPFP and some coilovers. However that will all come down to what else happens this year and quite frankly how well work goes. Something to look forward to though.
    #24
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