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New owner ready to start performance modding...

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by pablo, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    Hey all - put a deposit on a 99 S3 last night. Picking it up on monday and will be modding straight away. Basically looking for ideas to get some more pep from it. The car is already remapped (tho I dont know by whom) so that leaves a few pennies free too :) Plan to RR it before and after for comparison along with checking the fuelling etc with the unknown remap.

    ideas I have are:

    - FMIC (Forge is the only one Ive found at £750 - any alternatives?)
    - new N75 - J?
    - Samco/Forge hose set
    - Induction Kit (saw carbonio mentioned? Like their stuff)

    Im open to ideas here from those that have been down this path :)
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  3. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    Also interested in suspension kit and ARBs for it too :) thanks.
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  4. bantam1
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    bantam1 Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    Try reading the sticky above - Ess Three's Star Performance Testing - most of the answers you are looking for can be found there. In essence without a bigger turbo you're not going to get much more power. I'd concentrate on suspension upgrades, especially if it is on the standard set up at the moment. This in itself should eat some pennies up!
    #3
  5. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    have had a read but its 2yrs old just wondering what was available now.

    biggest question is will a FMIC do me any good?
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  6. DPM
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    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    PM sent
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  7. nervus
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    nervus Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    To summerise:

    I'd leave the N75 well alone unless you know what your doing. It seems like each car reacts differently to the change and can often hit limp mode if the boost spike is too severe. FMIC - Performance increase is negligent though its meant to eliminate heat soak on hot days, never suffered myself though so seems a waste of £800.

    Brembo's are nearly £1000 by they are fitted, exhausts, Cats and airfilters give no gains.

    Suspension is a worthy upgrade but its £1500-£2000 to do it properly as 4WD VAgs are a PITA. Shocks, springs, camber adjusters, anti-roll bars, Geometry set-up - pahh forget it!

    Going off other peoples trends on here, they spend £5000 - £10000 getting the S3 fettled and then they sell the car for a little over the asking price, if it actually sells, or strip back to standard and try and sell the bits.

    Its seems its a drug!

    Get your deposit back and buy one which is already upgraded as you'll pi$$ the money away! Or tick on another £10k on a car which already ticks all the boxes.
    #6
  8. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    lol nice reply :)

    fettling is what its all about ha ha!!!!

    pi55ing money away is what its all about or Id buy something boring!
    #7
  9. dummi
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    dummi smoking a6

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    money being no object AndyC on this forum does a big turbo upgrade, check his thread
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  10. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    A basic remap will see 260bhp from the S3. You could then spend £1000's as mentioned, but get very little gain. The stock turbo is only good for maybe 280bhp so i'd only start fettling if your gonna go all the way to IHI or some other 'big turbo' conversion.

    For 260bhp the standard twin intercoolers are fine as is the stock suspension and brakes and exhaust.

    The Carbonio CAI won't fit with the stock intercoolers (cos one is in the way) or an aftermarket FMIC (cos then the pipework is in the way). The BMC CDA is probably your best option if you want to change but IMO a green panel filter in the OE airbox is all that needs to be done.

    It'd probably be worth swapping you Turbo Intake Pipe for a Forge or Samco item too. But if you went 'Big Turbo' you'd need a new one anyway.

    For an extra 10k you'll get a car that puts out 350bhp and has the extras to handle it.
    #9
  11. bantam1
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    bantam1 Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    Have to disagree - the stock suspension is pants. The car is far more fun to drive when the suspension is sorted. Admittedly this is not cheap to do properly - but a halfway house that some seem to like is ARB upgrades with Haldex performance controller.

    You pays your money and all that. Anyway, half the point to modding is the before and after, and the pleasure of the after in the knowledge of what the former was like (if you see what I mean). Of course if we all spend more money on more expensive motors then they tick more of the boxes but then we miss that before and after knowledge, and pleasure.

    As ever this is subjective and different people will prefer already sorted cars without the modding.
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  12. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    Absolutely.

    Simply pointing out that in my opinion running 260bhp through the OE chassis/suspension is 'safe'; even that it isn't beyond some limited track use.

    Obviously buying 'better' shocks, springs, ARB's, braces, bushes, adjustable components etc will allow limits to be pushed further.
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  13. mintie
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    mintie Member

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    it is what it is,in standed form a nice runabout but with a few tweaks a very good track day monster, with it being a little bit lighter than an S4 you can still play with the big boys
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  14. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 22, 2006]
    agree totally. The S3 standard suspension is poor as standard and completely overwhelmed with a remap.
    #13
  15. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    well to start with Im going to fit a full set of samco boost hoses, H&R lowering springs, and H&R antirollbars :)
    #14
  16. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    Good start :yes:

    Found out which remap it's running yet?
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  17. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    Not sure Ill ever know tbh. Will get it RRed and get the fuelling checked and if its ok its ok :)

    I drove a 225 std car earlier in the day and the one I bought is much quicker so its doing something!
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  18. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    If you ever bump in to someone with a REVO SPS switch, it'd be worth checking out if it's a REVO map. Plenty of fettling to timing/boost and even Stage 2 coding for an extra £50 (provided you'd bought the neccasery performance uprgrades).
    #17
  19. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    whats mods are req for stage 2? Or is this a bit n00b and I should do a search? :p
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  20. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    REVO recommend High-Flow Exhaust/CAT's and CAI as a minimum. In my experience you'll probably need a FMIC too 'cos you'll be ringing the neck of the K04 and your inlet temps will be getting pretty high; this'll cause timing problems at the top end.

    As mentioned before though, the K04 runs out of puff at about 280bhp. So if you wanted to go any further you're into changing the turbo. It's worth considering how far you want to go and pick and choose your parts with a view to compatibility with later upgrades. Things like downpipes and cat's are expensive and you don't want to buy them twice!
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  21. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    so pretty much the downpipe/cat/exhaust, then a fmic, then stage2. I can live with that as they are mods you will have to do anyway to get up over 300bhp.

    do the clutch/haldex become a problem when running more power?
    #20
  22. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    diDnt ppl prove that the s3 Exhaust is pretty good ????
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  23. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    prob like everything else its good to a point. M3 exhausts are excellent but they defo liked the supersprint backbox and decats I fitted.
    #22
  24. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    It is, AFAIK it's good to 260bhp; and beyond that i doubt it's any more of a limiting factor than the Turbo itself.

    Either way it's nothing like as restrictive as the one used on the A3 1.8T/TQ.
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  25. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    do many people straight decat rather than hiflow cats?
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  26. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    Not if they want to pass the emmisions tests at their MOT... And it's a royal PITA to swap the downpipes and CATs every year.
    #25
  27. bantam1
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    bantam1 Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    I would be hesitant about just uprating the springs on standard shocks. When I first had my car I had the usual snapped rear spring problem and replaced the springs with Eibachs. The handling was worse than ever in my opinion, being very bouncy as the standard shocks just couldn't handle the stiffer springs.

    I'd either do the shocks as well or just consider ARBs with the standard suspension. Also remember if you lower your rear camber will be out so you might want to consider adjustable tie bars.

    Regards,

    B.
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  28. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    just going to suck it and see on the shocks front. If it doesnt work Im happy enough to buy a set of bilsteins.
    #27
  29. nervus
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    nervus Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    The standard exhaust is less restrictive than the exhaust manifold, so its pointless changing it unless you go big turbo or your OEM falls off.

    Jabba, MTM, AmD all state the requirement for an aftermarket system and cats for the BT conversion so its not a bad investment as it will be compatibile in the future - If you buy the right one.
    #28
  30. bantam1
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    bantam1 Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    Fair enough - but you then have to fit / re-align twice instead of once. You are not getting any handling benefits (and quite probably a step backwards) from springs alone and if this is an aesthetic mod then why bother with the ARBs?

    As you said originally you were looking for ideas from those who've done this already!
    #29
  31. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    yeah defo want the experience here. Ive no problem doing the work twice as Ill be DIYing it.

    I want it lowered for looks and arbs for handling. If H&R had have done shocks too Id have bought the kit but they dont :(

    - whats a good shock to use then?

    also (sorry for all the Qs) what is a nice replacement dump valve? Saw a few forge do and some are adjustable which I dont really fancy. Just something to give a bit of chatter/whoosh (not a dump to atmos one I know).

    thanks guys for all the replies lot going through my head at the minute :)
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  32. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    All the usual suspects make good kit for the S3. Something like Bilstein PSS9 coilovers are very tasty but if you just want shockers for later then i'd go for Eibach Pro-Dampers or Koni FSD's; but i wouldn't use either with more than a 20 - 30mm drop.

    Forge 007p is the daddy of simplicity and reliability for a replacement DV. Won't give any real noise though. A combination of things will give some sound but never that Scooby BOV noise: a remap, 007p, Forge/Samco TIP and something like a Ramair filter.
    #31
  33. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    yeah saw the koni kit for around 380 all in looked ok. I saw bilstein shocks mentioned are they a popular upgrade and how much are they? If they are 50ish each then Ill mate them to the H&Rs (25mm drop) or else go for the koni kit.

    coilovers are a bit OTT for my needs this time though I did love the eibach coilovers on the M3.
    #32
  34. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    As has been stated already, the exhaust manifold is the restriction on the S3. Sports cats, exhaust, CAI, etc won't give you anymore power, just a better soundtrack. If it's a '99 you're buying then you should only have the one sensor in front of the cats, so you could get away with de-catting, but again that's just going to let you spit flames on the limiter and give you a nice pop between first and second. I'd go with the Forge Eliminator diverter valve, it's synthetic diaphram type that doesn't need such regular servicing. Keep away from atmospheric DVs.

    If you're running high boost then the standard TIP can be prone to collapsing at about 5krpm. Two options are to go with the Samco/Forge hoses, or insert a metal sleeve - a la AmD. The intercooler hoses just make things look pretty.

    The Forge FMIC is probably the best for the money. Again more noise and it looks good, very little power gains. It does help the heat-soak on a hot day or on the track, but the standard twin SMICs are good enough for a remap.

    N75J - don't bother. You're better off getting the boost set with the map than dicing with limp mode.

    The Standard suspension is mushy. Not bad for a standard 'nippy' S3, but you're way better off with a proper set-up. The Eibach coilovers are great, but a little stiff. Not too stiff that you bounce everywhere, but the Billy/H&R setup is much better all-round. I'm considering switching to the PSS9's soon. If you're going to lower it, then don't forget the rear tie-arms. Otherwise you'll end up with about -2° camber at the rear which makes it a little twitchy.

    ARB's (21mm front and 19mm rear) are definately worth considering, as is the Haldex perfomance ECU. Both make the car way more stable in high speed corners. And the Haldex just makes things soooo much better. Best mod to date IMO.

    The S3 brakes really aren't that bad. They're single piston, but it's a huuuge piston. If you want to keep the standard calipers, then go with EBC red-stuff pads and grooved discs. A big brake kit will cost anything up to £1700. Phenominal if you uprate the rears at the same time :D

    Lastly, if you want proper power you need to look at going the big turbo route. There's not many places that will give you change out of £3.5k but you'll be looking at about 330bhp. Standard injectors and airbox are fine for that kind of power, maybe getting to thier limits but should be fine. The clutch might not like torque figures over 300lbs/ft but that depends on how often you want to 1/4 mile the thing.
    #33
  35. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    ..and my view is that even at stadard power the S3 is verging on unsafe.

    If you drive it hard, it runs out of ideas long before a competant driver runs out of ability.

    Give me a standard powered S3 with my old suspension set up and I'll show a pair of tail-lights to any big power, standard suspension car you care to point me at...

    The standard stuff is only just acceptable when new..and knackered at 4-5000 miles old.
    #34
  36. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    The turbo itself isn't the restriction...the exhaust manifold is.
    If you can't get the gas out quick enough, you can't make more power.

    The limit of the standard cast manifold appears to be about 280BHP...but with massive charge air temperatures and the need for some hightly efficient ICs.
    #35
  37. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    After having the pleasure of driving your car Chris, I agree...
    The Eibach kit is too stiff and harsh arund the town and does not posess the control that the Bilsteins give.
    The Bilsteins are more complient around town and have a vice like grip on the chassis out on the road.

    The H&R springs are softer (less harsh) than the Eibachs...and compliment the Bilsteins well.

    I have still not driven a better combination than the one on my old S3...despite the passage of time..as far as I'm concerned the H&R springs / Bilstein dampers / Forge arms / Neuspeed ARB combination hasn't been bettered...
    It was absolutely perfect...and that from an uber critical so-and-so like me who is never happy!
    #36
  38. pablo
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    pablo Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    ok where do I get bilstein dampers from? H&R arbs ok?

    Also I see star sell an uprated manifold - worth looking at?
    #37
  39. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    I got mine from Jim @ Star...but that was some time ago.
    He's still worth a phonecall though...tell him Glen says he's to stop being a tight Fifer and do you a decent deal!

    I seem to remember the H&R ARBs weren't ideal...front too large perhaps (for my uber critical tastes)
    What sizes are they?

    They will be better than standard...but as good as the Neuspeeds?
    I don't know...the Neuspeeds were very, very good.


    Yeah...probably worth it if you don't intend going big tubo. I would have fitted one given enough time...but circumstances what they were I ran out of (very happy) time with my S3...as I wanted to go as far as possible on a standard turbo to keep the explosive torque delivery.

    Certainly worth a chat to Jim about...
    #38
  40. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    [Aug 23, 2006]
    The uprated manifolds that Star have aren't for the S3 or TT225. Jim should be getting some S3 ones soon (ATP), but he's just fitted the one he had to my car :biggrin:
    #39
  41. Tallpaul
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    Tallpaul Member

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    [Aug 24, 2006]
    Guess we don't agree on much then do we ;)

    As the ATP Eliminator Turbo bolts on to the stock cast Manifold and 300bhp has been 'claimed' stateside. Id wager the K04 becomes restrictive before the manifold. Why else couldn't you simply map the K04 to even 280bhp, let alone the claimed 300 (ignoring the fueling side of the aguement)?
    #40

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