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Prawn and BigAls A3 Track Car

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Prawn, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 9, 2011]
    Disaster!

    Took the car out this afternoon to have the wheels balanced as I had a bit of a shake, was running perfectly when I arrived at the tyre place. When I pulled up I noticed a bit of a smell, soon followed by fumes comming into the cab.

    Got out and popped the bonnet, couldn't see anything. Looked under the car, and it's POURING gearbox fluid out at a hell of a rate from the bell housing :(

    I can only imagine the main seal has gone on the input shaft. The car was driving perfectly, with no noises or strangeness at all.

    I've just had it towed home, and it towed perfectly (at very low speed) with no noises from the diff (quaife ATB) at all, I also tried pushing it around on full lock both ways to see if the diff made any odd noises, but I didn't hear a thing. It'll even move under it's own steam should I want it to, not that I'd risk it at all with minimal fluid in the box.

    THis is what greeted me under the car, which was previously bone dry:

    [​IMG]

    And this leaked out in about 5 seconds:

    [​IMG]

    Absolutely definitely comming out of the bell housing area, although I'm guessing it's not the Diff that's punched through, as that appears to still be fine. So surely it must be the input seal?

    [​IMG]

    Anyone know of any gearbox specialists in hampshire or surrey? I've got a trackday in this on Friday :(
  2. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Jul 9, 2011]
    Oh no, seriously bad luck mate. It could have been a hell of a lot worse though, imagine if it went on a track!

    Hope its not damaged and you get it sorted before next week.
  3. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    Been recommended a gearbox place in Reading by a friend:

    Homepage

    Going to give them a call tomorrow, see how quickly they can turn it around.

    Just finished breakfast, so it's time to pull the gearbox out, for the 3rd time this year on the track car!
  4. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    Pulled the box off this morning, and I'm not exactly over the moon about what I've found :(

    Box off and this is the sight that greeted me:

    [​IMG]

    What's this lurking in the oil in the bottom of the bell housing?

    [​IMG]

    Where on earth did this come from?

    [​IMG]

    Oh, that'll be where it came from :(

    [​IMG]

    Now if I'm not very much mistaken, that's an exit wound, and it's RIGHT by the diff, so it surely can't be good news. the crack below the hole is just under 40mm long in total.

    You can see where the broken chunk has been caught between the bell housing and the clutch and rubbed a lot too.

    There was also some strange marking on the clutch cover, although I'm thinking this probably happened when I was trying to get the box out, as I can't see how such localised marks would occur in a running engine.

    Will hopefully be able to take it to 3D transmissions tomorrow for an assessment, although I can't help thinking it'll be terminal.

    Has anyone else ever known a quaife ATB blow up?
  5. 666markyboy
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    666markyboy Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    What would you say the blue markings are to the right of the crack ??? are there any marks on the pressure plate ?
  6. 666markyboy
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    666markyboy Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    I would say your looking at a replacement box or or are you hoping they can weld that one ? then if it is the Quaife sling in your old diff as a quick fix for Fri ??
  7. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    Nasty stuff mate.
  8. badger5
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    badger5 www.badger5.co.uk Site Sponsor

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    peloquin bolts shearing I have heard about, not quaife (which are vw's bolts)
  9. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    Bill, do you think that's what's happened?

    Is the hugely expensive diff itself likely to be salvageable?

    That's all I really care about, if it's just the bolts I could probably have them replaced and the casing welded up right?

    Looks like the mini will be doing a track day on Friday!
  10. badger5
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    badger5 www.badger5.co.uk Site Sponsor

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    never seen a quaife diff fail.. nor vag bolts myself.. If bolts, then its new ones and diff should be fine.
    is there any play in the drive flanges? bearings I am thinking, if the diff assembly has been floating about.. (my ibiza is very hard on diff bearings )

    ps.. not a good time I know given your gbox issue, but the manifold is "dented" and ready
    regards
    bill
  11. 666markyboy
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    666markyboy Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    Could be the same box.... certainly looks like bolts

    [​IMG]
  12. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    looks like a similar failure yes. I had that exact same hole appear on my first box in this car over 4 years ago when the Diff rivets failled.

    Bill, do you think it could be down to a build issue? where one of the bolts has come lose? (Mark suggested that on FB)

    As I've still got 100% drive, and all gears with no nasty noises, it's clear that all the bolts havn't failled, and the hole in the casing isn't as severe as the one above, so perhaps a single bolt has come out and done the damage?
    Either way, I'm just hoping the diff can be saved. It'd be nice if the casing can be welded and the gearset saved, as the whole thing was only rebuilt 4000 miles ago, but if needs be I can source another box. I just can't afford a new quaife, not at all :(
  13. 666markyboy
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    666markyboy Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    Suprised you haven't pulled the diff out yourself already, although i imagine your heart aint in it at the mo.... as said i could have been worse had it been on the track gutted for ya but a run out in the Mini will be good ?
  14. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    Gearboxes scare me man! I fitted and shimmed up the X-pin diff in the Mini gearbox, but I don't fancy pulling this one apart without a bit of guidance really. So I'm taking it to a specialist to get it checked over properly. I can't weld up the ally casing anyway, so it'll need professional help at some point.

    Taking it to a specialist tomorrow morning with any luck, so getting the ball rolling asap
  15. Dane
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    Dane Faster than a V12 Q7

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    [Jul 10, 2011]
    Gutted for you dude,

    I hope you can get it sorted easy enough!
  16. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 11, 2011]
    Cheers man. I hope so too. will find out more today I guess.
  17. badger5
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    badger5 www.badger5.co.uk Site Sponsor

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    [Jul 11, 2011]
    Quiafe should be fine.. bolt coming out looks the most likely scenario - for some reason..
  18. Syvo
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    Syvo IF IN DOUBT GO FLAT OUT

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    [Jul 11, 2011]
    owch prawn hope you get the box sorted and save the diff
  19. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 11, 2011]
    well, i've dropped the box off at 3D transmissions in Reading, so now I just have to wait until they call me! Nothing more I can do.

    They originally said on the phone 3 days max, meaning thursday night, but the guy didn't seem quite so sure when I dropped it off, so I really don't know about getting it back for Fridays trackday.

    I'm getting a clutch tomorrow night which I'll throw on in readiness for the box returning, and IF I get the box back on Thursday I'll fit it thursday night and take it to the track on Friday.

    If not, then I guess the Mini gets a track day!
  20. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [Jul 11, 2011]
    What a bummer man. This track beast is really costing you :S
  21. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jul 11, 2011]
    Its what they do...

    <tuffty/>
  22. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 11, 2011]
    Yea, it is a bit, but it'll be worth it!

    Bought a full cage last week, AND a new turbo, and now this happens :(

    Needs a new clutch too due to the oil, even though the current one has only done 2k!
  23. 666markyboy
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    666markyboy Well-Known Member

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    [Jul 11, 2011]
    is there no way of saving the clutch ??? soaking in solvant overnight ?? and what are your plans for the old KO3s ????
  24. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 12, 2011]
    I wouldn't have thought so no, the last clutch died when the slave cylinder leaked fluid all over it. I'm fairly sure the clutch plate is porus much like brake pads can be, so once it's been oilled, I wouldn't want to trust it again.

    Also consider we're adding another 100bhp or so in the near future, and i think a new clutch plate is a good idea.
  25. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 12, 2011]
    Cage arrived today!

    I foolishly thought the front section would be in 3 parts rather than just one, and assumed I'd be able to get it in the back of my daily. What a stupid idea what was!

    This is how it arrived on the truck:

    [​IMG]

    That's me looking a bit puzzled.....

    Unpacked it a bit, just to see what it'll be like when done (Double door bars to be added once it's in)

    [​IMG]

    Despite 30 mins trying, it's NEVER going in here. I have the trim scars to prove we tried :(

    [​IMG]

    Now borrowing a Hilux from work to take it home tonight. Was not impressed when the storeman said he had a great idea, only to emerge with a stihl saw!

    Really happy with the cage though, it should be good once installed. I'm adding the double door bars as mentioned above, and a harness bar.
    We decided against a weld in in the end, so that should the worst happen, we can easily transfer as much as possible over onto a new shell.
  26. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 12, 2011]
    Got it home easily in the Hilux, and stuck it next to the car just for a photo :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bit unsure about how the foot plates are ment to fit in though, the fronts look easy enough, fitting to the top of the sill and the floorpan, with a closed in box on one side, but I can't see how the rears are ment to fit without a lot of trimming!

    Are the fixings for these kind of cages usually supplied as fairly generic boxes, requiring lots of trimming to suit application?

    It has tabs to bolt to the roof above the screen and the B pillars, so I think I'll pull the seats out, then bolt up the cage inside the car and fix it to the pillars, and see where the feet end up and make the boxes to suit
  27. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid Supporter

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    [Jul 12, 2011]
    Thats all your weight back......:p
  28. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 12, 2011]
    it's about 35Kg all in, will put the car weight in at 1105Kg. Can't compromise on safety though!

    Not the end of the world really, as when I get the new turbo in it'll still be 270bhp/ton! There's more weight to lose as well :)
  29. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid Supporter

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    [Jul 12, 2011]
    Yeah only joking, your right, safety first, it may be a godsend one day....
  30. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Jul 14, 2011]
    Any news on the gearbox Prawn?
  31. badger5
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    badger5 www.badger5.co.uk Site Sponsor

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    [Jul 14, 2011]
    expect to trim and make plates..
  32. Speedy Steve
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    Speedy Steve Active Member

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    [Jul 14, 2011]
    Looks like youll have fun shoe horning that into place
  33. Syvo
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    Syvo IF IN DOUBT GO FLAT OUT

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    [Jul 14, 2011]
    nice cage good luck with the fit m8 it looks a nightmare to get in could be the reason why ninemeister take the roof off to fit theres
  34. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 14, 2011]
    Cage will go in no worries Once everything else is stripped out! The fun bit will be making up the feet for it to bolt to!

    Gearbox isn't back :( so tomorrow's trackday is in the mini!
  35. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 15, 2011]
    Well, that was an awesome day!

    Really nice to meet you Ollie and David, had a thoroughly good day.

    We had a few little issues along the way, random fuel starvation when cruising on the motorway, yet it's fine on track, which I don't understand at all.

    [​IMG]

    Both cars seemed to be going well until Mid afternoon. Sadly, the Mini had cooked it's brakes before lunch, so we bled them in the lunch break and seemed fine.

    Ollie took me out for a pax in the Striker, which was incredible, (thanks for the ride!) it's SO fast it's brutal. Unfortunately it split a water hose ending their day mid afternoon.

    Mini developed some wierd clutch slip on one session, which was easily fixed by readjusting the throw out and return stops, so we headed back out.

    Sadly, onl our final session, I was really building my confidence in the track and braking later and later building up pace.

    This proved to be too much for the minis tiny 7.9'' front brakes, and the fluid boilled, and the pedal sank to the floor again, so we had to call it a day.

    Still, my first open pitlane day and it was great fun. Loads more time on track than I'm used to, and really nice to meet some great new people.

    Top day, can't wait for the next one!
  36. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Jul 15, 2011]
    Great stuff mate. I want to get the S3 round some tracks next year. Sounds like you had fun.

    Any Harrys lap timer action?
  37. badger5
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    badger5 www.badger5.co.uk Site Sponsor

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    [Jul 16, 2011]
    where was this?
  38. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jul 16, 2011]
    It was run at hullavington airfield Bill, 2 miles from j17 on the m4, so not far from you at all!

    We are looking to do keevil next month too in the a3, august 22nd.

    Got the box back this morning, it's had a full strip down and rebuild after 2 bolts in the diff failed. It's been raining all day, so we didn't start work until 4pm. Got the box back in after MUCH struggling. You'd think it'd get easier after 4 box changes this year, but this was by far the hardest install yet! No idea why, it just didn't want to go into the gap!

    Still, the box is on the block, just got to connect up the shafts and engine mount and it's good to go again:)

    Must crack on with the cage soon too!
  39. badger5
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    badger5 www.badger5.co.uk Site Sponsor

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    [Jul 17, 2011]
    2 bolts failed? eww..
  40. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Jul 17, 2011]
    Great work Nick. Have you got any other track days bookEd before the big one in Germany?

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