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Prawn and BigAls A3 Track Car

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

  1. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 17, 2011]
    The OEM "cooler" also acts to heat the oil up quicker when the car is cold, so its worth keeping.
  2. S3 Nattie
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    S3 Nattie Quattro ist für sissies

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    [Apr 17, 2011]
    Im liking your coolers prawn. They should work well were your mounting them. Have you thought about using some motorsport PAS fluid. Will help with keeping your temps down.

    Red Line Power Steering Fluid | Lubricants | Oils & Lubricants | Motorsport Shop | Demon Tweeks

    This is what we used to use before and works well. You can get it cheaper than that price though is you search.

    You thought about getting some proper gauges installed. Be a very good idea to get a oil pressure and temp, AFR and a boost gauge is you havent already.
  3. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Apr 18, 2011]
    Cheers Natie, I've got a boost guage in there, but nothing else currently. I'd like to get some more info to be honest, although I'm not sure where I'd mount them.


    Did a tiny bit more tonight;

    Got the sandwich plate mounted and the filter back on, which gave me a chance to measure up for the hoses I need.

    Cut them to length, then pressed the fittings into the hose with the aid of some boilling water and a firm grip:

    [​IMG]

    These are apparently a mocal 'no clips' fitting. You just heat the hose in boilling water, then press it on with great force. The supplier did say that many people clamp them as a secondary measure too, so I decided to be safe rather than sorry.

    Also, since removing the seats and original seatbelts, I've had the annoying airbag light on the whole time, so I spent 30 mins this evening sorting that out.

    Dials out and stripped down, the the warning lights are clear when held up to the light in my front room:

    [​IMG]

    2 squares of thick black tape ensure it'll never be seen again:

    [​IMG]

    All gone for good:

    [​IMG]

    It's all reassembled now, just need to plug it back in tomorrow night.

    Getting there slowly. Just the LCR wishbones and hubs to fit now, then have it aligned before heading to the Ring in 3 weeks
  4. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [Apr 18, 2011]
    You so should've added 170 mph in tipex or somethin just for a laugh!
  5. 666markyboy
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    666markyboy Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 18, 2011]
    how do the needles come off prawn ??? are they just a very tight push fit onto the spindle or is there a nack to it ???also how did you know they went back on in the same place ??? a piece of tape perhaps to mark where they are at rest ?
  6. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 18, 2011]
    Couldnt you just remove the Airbag ECU completely? Or does the light stay on even if the ECU isnt there?
  7. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Apr 19, 2011]
    the controller and everything is long gone, but the light remains!

    On the later ME7 cars can you actually code out the airbag system from the can gateway, but on my ancient ME3.8 it can't be done, or at least, I'm yet to figure it out!
  8. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [Apr 19, 2011]
    Prawnstar isn't that technically an MOT failure now then? We did this to a mates car and it failed MOT because it didn't display the light on the startup sequence.
  9. MUSH
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    MUSH MUSH Developments Ltd.

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    [Apr 19, 2011]
    Loving the car Nick, I would probably consider a track car myself if i was anywhere near a track! The closest ive got is Croft and the chance of a track day after the courts banning it would be non existant. Liking the mad colour schemes aswell.

    I think thats where im going to fit my oil cooler aswell, so get ready for some bracket idea stealing... Lol
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  10. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 19, 2011]
    Airbags arent part of the MOT, so it doesnt matter.

    I guess the cluster must look for an OK signal from the Airbag controller, to turn the light off rather than the controller directly activating the light when theres a fault!
  11. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Apr 19, 2011]
    Mine drinks Stella.....
    ... How about yours?
  12. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe Princess Clap.

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    [Apr 19, 2011]
    Actually, I think you will find thats mine...haha!

    :whip:
  13. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    [Apr 19, 2011]
    No but I'm sure faulty cluster lights are.

    I figured your MOT man must be friendly prawn. Your really going too owe him now though... He's really going to open your hole.
  14. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 19, 2011]
    Only for the systems that are testable.

    If your ABS light is faulty then ye thats a fail. Airbags are seen as a passive safety system. Ie it doesnt stop you crashing, it just aims to stop you breaking your face if you do. Whereas ABS actively attempts to stop you crashing, and is hence deemed testable.

    If your airbags are faulty, the vehicle poses no increased risk to others.
    If the ABS if faulty theres potential for you to lose braking.

    You will happily past the strictest MOT with the Airbag light illuminated, even with the large bag of explosives still mounted in the steering wheel.
  15. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Apr 23, 2011]
    Not bothered updating this in a while.

    Oil cooler is now finished, and seems to work great, the system has a stat in it, so it's not taking forever to heat up like some systems do, then when the stat opens at 80 degrees, it starts to cool the oil. Happy days.

    my LCR cast wishbones and hubs have arrived now too, and will probably be fitted tomorrow if the weather stays nice.

    This morning I dropped the turbo off to try and find the cause of my horrific oil leak. When I removed it, it was pretty instantly obvious what was up.

    The sealing washers on the oil feed line were knackered. Big time. I don't believe when my mate changed the turbo for me a few years back that he replaced the washers, and it's leaked ever since.

    Just had some lunch, and nipped ot halfords for some brake cleaner and degreaser, then I'm going back out to bolt the turbo on again :)

    SHould be up and running, and hopefully leak free by this evening!

    Also, I've decided now, that I am going to do the orange bits silver again. I know it looks wicked as it is, but it's not 'classy' in any way, and in the flesh, the vinyl is very poorly applied as I was in a rush.

    If it looks more like a standard A3, it'll be more of a shock to the Gerries at the Ring in 2 weeks time also :)

    Pics to follow later
  16. finesse
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    finesse Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 23, 2011]
    Nice work, out of curiosity - what's the current build bill?:detective2:
  17. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Apr 23, 2011]
    Haha, now there's a dangerous question!
    I have no idea at the moment, will add it up later :)

    Lots though. Too much
  18. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Apr 23, 2011]
    Haha, now there's a dangerous question!
    I have no idea at the moment, will add it up later :)

    Lots though. Too much
  19. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Apr 30, 2011]
    Update time:

    6 days to go until we leave for the Ring, and the car is almost ready :)

    Suspension:

    The standard setup at the front had no adjustment at all, and offered limited negative camber, and not too much castor.

    We got hold of some LCR/TT cast lower wishbones, which as you can see in the pic below, move the wheel forwards a fair bit, increasing castor. They are also longer, with slotted ends, giving more neg camber:

    [​IMG]

    We also sourced some LCR hubs, which are longer in the lower section between the hub, and the lower ball joint

    [​IMG]

    THis should correct the roll centre nicely, as it keeps the wishbones MUCH more level

    Whilst it was out, I found a split CV boot on the nearside, and the joint itself had loads of play in it, from being run without grease for god knows how long, so I replaced the joint and boot with spares whilst I was there.

    I had a bit of a nightmare when I first offered up the hubs onto my CV's, to find that the LCR uses bolt up CV joints, compared to the stud/nut type fixing of my 5 speed shafts. The LCR hubs had a strange steel extension piece inside, stopping me from getting my nut on to tighten it all up.


    Thankfully, although these looked pretty permanent, they were no match for my chisel, and came out fairly easily in the end:

    [​IMG]

    Leaving me with a hub centre identical to those I took off, and ready to bolt back together:

    [​IMG]

    Another nice aspect of the LCR spec front end, is the steering arm mounting.

    On the A3 setup, the track control arms mount above the hub steering arms, giving increased bump steer when the car is lowered.

    On the LCR setup, the track rod ends fit underneath the steering arms, so reducing bump steer:

    [​IMG]

    Just as well I changed it, as the bushes were completely shot!

    This is probably in part, down to the severe coating of oil they've had, due to a leaky turbo oil feed, which brings me onto the next job!

    TURBO:

    The car has had a tiny oil leak for a while now, nothing that drops more than a drop or two over night, but enough to cover the engine bay on oil overtime, and it's slowly made its way down the bulkhead, and gotten onto the wishbone bushes and all sorts.

    Obviously, I couldn't take it to the ring with a fluid leak, so over the easter weekend, I decided to tackle the job I'd been most avoiding.

    Starting at 11am Saturday morning, after running a few errands, I got the car up on stands:

    [​IMG]

    Horrible oily engine bay before starting:

    [​IMG]

    about 45 mins later, I'd dropped the downpipe and exhaust off, removed all the intake system, and unbolted the turbo from the manifold. This gave me access to the oil and water feed unions:

    [​IMG]

    With those undone, I was able to tease the turbo out. It's pretty tight on space, but with some shuffling, it came out around the side of the block, from the top.

    One VERY oily turbo:

    [​IMG]

    The offending area where the leak started:

    [​IMG]

    And the reason why it's been leaking so bad:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the crush washer on the oil feed was mangled! It wasn't me who fitted this turbo, but the bloke who did it clearly wrecked the washer when fitting it. odd how it hadnt leaked earlier really.

    Few minutes work and the turbo was all cleaned up, ready for inspection:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Good news is, that the turbo has almost no play at all. No different to when it went on 40k miles ago, so that's OK.

    Bad news (sort of) is, that the good old ko3S is doing it's usual trick, and slowly cracking in just about every place possible on the hotside:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It seems like these turbos always crack, almost every one I've ever seen has had cracks in the exhaust housing. It's currently not seeming to effect it, but a new turbo will definitely be in order at the end of this year, regardless of these cracks.

    For now though, it's still making 20+psi, and going well with no smoke, so I'll keep with it for now!

    Exhaust manifold also has a typical ko3 crack in it, just for good measure!

    [​IMG]


    New oil and washer feed crush washers to stop the leak returning:

    [​IMG]

    Turbo back in the bay, ready for the oil and water lines attaching:

    [​IMG]

    Tricky water feed done, 3 crush washers and a spacer on this one, making it very fiddly to get back on. I took the pic to prove to myself that the lowest washer hadn't fallen away during assembly:

    [​IMG]

    Turbo back in the bay, and all connected up bar the outlet to the IC.

    [​IMG]

    Refilled with fluids, and turned the key, and it's sweet as a nut. No more leaks, and it's boosting fine, so happy days :)

    Fast forward a week, and after a 4 day mini break with my Girlfriend, I did a bit more on this today:

    After Castle combe, the tyres had worn very badly on the outer edges. annoyingly, to the point where we couldn't risk using them again, for fear of wearing them out on the one edge.

    So, this morning, I headed over to my local pro tyre, who swapped the tyres round on the rims for me at an extortionate price:

    [​IMG]

    This put the worn edge on the inside, giving me masses of wear on the outer edges, the tyres still have a good 3.5-4mm remaining, so hopefully they'll wear evenly now with the new sus.

    After the tyres were swapped, it was into the tracking bay, to have the new LCR spec front end setup:

    [​IMG]

    Previously the A3 had 0.6 degrees neg camber on each side at the front, with around 6 degrees of castor.

    With the camber adjustment on the wishbones at it's full extent, I've ended up with 1.75 degrees of neg camber at the front now, and 8.2 degrees castor, which feels MILES better.

    The guy also centred the tracking to the rack, and NOT the steering wheel for a change, which was nice. The wheel was about 10 degrees out, so I whipped that off and centred it when I got home.

    With that sorted, I decided it was about time I toned the colour scheme down a tad.

    First up was to blend in the intercooler pipes a bit better, so they had to go black:

    [​IMG]

    In my wisdome many years ago, I had decided that nothing was more important than getting an FMIC on the car. So much so, that I'd cut the towing eye off!

    Bugger.

    a tow strap was required:

    There seemed to be minimal mounting options for the tow strap that wouldn't involve cutting bodywork, so eventually, I decided to bolt it to the crash bar.

    Rather than just bolt it through the ally crash bar, I decided to drill down through the runner onto which the crash bar mounts. This is bolted directly to the chassis rails, and also stops the crash bar crushing when it's bolted up:

    [​IMG]

    I also took the time to relieve the bumper, where it's previously rubbed on the IC pipe quite badly.

    Bumper back on with the IC pipes black, and the tow strap:

    [​IMG]

    And finally,

    I've decided the orange was a bit too OTT for me, so I've toned it down a load.

    I had planned to paint the wheels silver, but I've run out of effort, so took the more easy option, of just removing the orange bits today:

    [​IMG]

    The orange NorthLoop stickers are staying, as I'd like something to let people know I'm a member whilst out there, it's always nice to put faces to names

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I think it definitely looks better without all the orange. They'll probably end up silver in the future, but for now, it's less chav, but still looks fairly purposeful.

    Just got a new power steering pump to fit tomorrow, and it's ready!
  20. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe Princess Clap.

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    [Apr 30, 2011]
    Looks ****.

    Remember the day we discovered the crack on the housing near the actuator? That was a sad day :(

    Gutted I am missing out, actual A3 looks rad. Can't wait for a play!
  21. Ryan_W
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    Ryan_W Member

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    [Apr 30, 2011]
    Another NL member! :icon_thumright:

    Car's coming along nicely. When are you off to the 'Ring? Who's going off NL? Haven't been on there for aaaages.

    Ryan
  22. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Apr 30, 2011]
    Hello mate, what's your username on Northloop? I've been on there 3 years or so, but only become active in the last year really.

    I'm off on Friday morning, just for the weekend to get some laps in. Not been since September, so need a fix!

    Just me and my Dad going from NL this trip (BigAl), plus a few other mates, both in A3 1.8T's.

    Can't wait, so glad the car has come together finally
  23. Ryan_W
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    Ryan_W Member

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    [Apr 30, 2011]
    Same as on here chap, Ryan_W

    I've been on there for around the same time I think. I know Gary, Jim, Dave etc...

    I'll be taking the S3 out there once it's where I want it to be ;)
  24. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [May 1, 2011]
    Nice man, the S3 will be great out there once you've worked some magic on it!

    Which Dave are you refering to? If you mean Montana, he used to be a member on here years ago, I've known him for yonks now, but don't see him now he's moved to texas!

    I bumped into Jim and Gary in Burgstube last Easter too, thoroughly nice chaps. Be good to meet up out there some time :)
  25. Ryan_W
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    Ryan_W Member

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    [May 1, 2011]
    Big Dave (the liability). Also good friends with Karran and Andy (demlotcrew) off there.

    NL is probably one of the best forums around, couldn't put a better group of people together if you tried.

    You every done any of the NL UK track days? I've done Cadwell, Donnington, Rockingham and Bedford with the forum.
  26. A3Tom
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    A3Tom Smell my finger.

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    [May 1, 2011]
    Looking good Prawn, I like it with the stealthy wheels :)
  27. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [May 1, 2011]
    I've reached a colour compromise! I still love orange, so I've got a BIT of it, but much less than I once did.

    I wanted a sun strip on the car, as since mounting the seats 4'' lower than standard, light invasion (is that a tech term?) has been a real problem, even with the sun visors in.

    I'd already bought this sunstrip from Gary on Northloop, and I wanted something to identify the car in Germany to other members, so I bashed this on to see how it looked. It'll also help Dad spot it comming down the hill when he's sat at Brunchen, and not on a lap with me!

    I'm happy with how it looks now, much less chavy, still a hint of my favourite colour, but definitely less like it's trying to copy a GT3 RS and failling.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    New power steering pump also went on this morning, and it's much quieter during normal use. I'd never noticed the previous pump being noisey except when on track, but having fitted this new one today, the old one was definitely a problem.

    Aside from a clean, it's just about ready for Germany now
  28. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [May 1, 2011]
    ahhh man, shouldve kept the wing mirrors orange at least! still looks awesome though, and i think black wheels looks a bit more 'track' than silver.
  29. Plunky
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    Plunky Member

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    [May 1, 2011]
    looking awesome mate, how about the callipers going orange? or is that too much :)

    you about tomorrow?
  30. Agric04
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    Agric04 Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 1, 2011]
    Prawn your car looks awesome now. Wasn't too keen on all the orange before. Less is more in my opinion, love the more subtle hints of orange. Top work dude.
  31. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [May 1, 2011]
    Cheers folks.

    I loved the idea of the orange bits, inspired a bit by the GT3 RS:

    [​IMG]

    I have since decided that this doesn't look so great on a FWD hatch back!

    And just incase I wasn't convinced, I've also found secondary proof:

    [​IMG]

    Ah well! Lesson learnt!

    Also, since the mechanical work is just about over, I made a start on clearing up the garden and garage. Another great use for a car with no interor :)

    [​IMG]
    JoeD likes this.
  32. S3 Nattie
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    S3 Nattie Quattro ist für sissies

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    [May 1, 2011]
    Nice work on the suspension prawn.
  33. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [May 2, 2011]
    Few pics from today, Liam came over, and we went for a little drive :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These two are going down very similar lines, Liam has fitted the sparco sprint 5 seats I sold him, and will soon be fitting Brembos too.

    They should be known as the Twins :)
  34. Dani_B19
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    Dani_B19 Audi-sports own special child.

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    [May 2, 2011]
    Nick where did you get the bonnet from? Is it a full carbon bonnet or just a carbon fibre over fibre glass one?
  35. Plunky
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    Plunky Member

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    [May 2, 2011]
    he got it from me! lol, the other car in the pics is mine.

    I was going to sell the car last year, and nick made me an offer for the bonnet, so ended up selling it to him thinking i wouldnt keep the car, kinda regret that now!!

    It has a carbon top skin, the rest is fibreglass i believe.
  36. Plunky
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    Plunky Member

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    [May 2, 2011]

    Good to see "the twins" together again! :)

    I do want those pops and bangs yours makes though! lol, cant wait to see some footage of it at the ring next weekend!
  37. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [May 4, 2011]
    Did some logs on the old girl this morning, not plugged it in for ages, so thought I'd see how it's running.

    Still consistently making 187gs airflow every time :) not bad for a ko3s and over 200 000 miles...
  38. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [May 4, 2011]
    Is that the original K03s without any refurbing?
  39. Dane
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    Dane Faster than a V12 Q7

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

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    [May 4, 2011]
    Not the original turbo no, the engine is original at over 200k, the turbo had done 30k on a st2 Ibiza before I got it, an now 50k on mine, so 80 000 miles on the turbo, all at stage 2 20+psi boost. It's had a hard life!

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