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Shark Stage 3 Review (S3)

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by GNJ_Motorsport, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. GNJ_Motorsport
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    GNJ_Motorsport Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    I have had the Shark stage 3 on now for a few weeks so have had chance to test it properly so I thought I'd stick my thoughts up on here.

    When I bought the car, the previous owner had been running REVO stage 2 on it and had put all the standard parts back on the car. As soon as I got the car I got an ITG Maxogen, Milltek non resonated turbo back system with de cat, Forge DV and the REVO SPS switch to turn the map back on.

    Now I'm not going to sit here and tell you the REVO map was **** and you should all rush to get the Shark map as that is not my style. The car pulled well to begin with and I was happy with the map. However before long the car started to splutter and misfire quite badly. A new set of plugs sorted this out for a short while but the car never seemed happy. I had a feeling the clutch was struggling. I don't think any of this was down to the REVO map but I was not happy with the car as it was rarely useful for anything other than a short trip to the shops. Any time I went for a spirited drive in it it seemed a new problem appeared.

    A few weeks went by and I was due to go down to Shark to sort out us becoming a dealer and to do my training with the guys down there. Ben promised me they would remove the REVO and show me what they could do with the car while I was down there. I decided that some of the problems I was experiencing could be down to fuel cut so I bought the Autotech internals and fitted them the night before going down to Shark.

    Now a logical person would have thought going a stage up when the clutch was already struggling wasn't the best idea but not me! Mikko loaded up the stage 3 map and ran it on the rollers, clutch slip! It still made almost 330bhp before the power tailed of around 5krpm. Mikko adjusted the map 5 or 6 times to try and get it to run decent power with the clutch the way it was. We got to a point were we were happy with the map and I set off home. The car was fantastic! It pulled smoother and stronger and the power seemed to be never ending. That night though I went out to show my long suffering better half my new toy and the clutch started to slip again.

    It was time for a new clutch setup. I looked at the dual mass setup but quickly realised I could get a single mass LOBA Motorsport flywheel and Sachs 550nm clutch kit for less than the dual mass and sachs setup. I decided to risk the fact that single mass flywheels could be harsh for road use and went for it. I bought a new release bearing and Joe, who will be our technician when we move to a new unit later this year set about fitting the clutch and flywheel. I got the car back 3 weeks ago and loaded the full stage 3 map Mikko had kindly sent through to me.

    The car is now unbelievably quick! So much power was being frittered away by the chocolate clutch and heavy dual mass flywheel. Along with all the power mods, H&R springs and Forge 11mm spacers I feel I have a great setup for road use. If I tracked the car often then I'd go down the coilovers route but I will be lucky to find time to go on 1 track day a year so I will leave it as it is I think.

    Having gone through all this I have a bit of advice for any S3 owners looking to tune their cars. Firstly, do it. The standard car has so much potential that needs to be tapped into. The second bit of advice is don't bother with stage 2. My reasons for this are simple really. At stage 2 the clutch struggles and so does the fuel pump, I'd either go the whole hog and get stage 3 with the fuel pump and uprated clutch or simply stay at stage 1 and give the standard clutch and fuel pump a chance to keep up with what is required. I guess if you have DSG though that is a different matter.

    Apologies for the essay! Pics of the car to follow at the weekend after I have given it a proper detail!

    Unfortunately, the car will be for sale in a few months :( As I said earlier I am expanding the business substantially later this year and will be moving it to a new unit with showroom and a workshop for servicing/fitting. This all costs a lot of money and it seems daft to have a £14/15k car sat outside that only does 5k miles a year when that money could be used to invest in making sure GNJ Motorsport is a long term success. I'll be back in a powerful Audi in a few years :)
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
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  3. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    Completely agree with your Stage 1 or Stage 3 view Graham.

    With full upgrades the S3 is an absolute weapon, and it's only the rubbish they install from factory (clutch / brakes) that detract from the huge amount of fun you can have with 350bhp in a small car.

    Sounds really good, be interested to go out in a Shark car one day to see what they're like.

    Good review; enjoy!
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
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  4. mjr901
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    mjr901 S3 Pollution Plus+ Edition

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    I look forward to going the hole hog asap! nice one

    Mike
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  5. DJ-S3
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    DJ-S3 Member

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    Good luck with expanding the business! Let me know when your milltek cat back is for sale as i'll be looking for one soon :D
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  6. GNJ_Motorsport
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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    Thanks mate :)

    I doubt I will split the car unless I get no interest in it modified. With it having the clutch and flywheel it would be a shame to put it back to standard power really!
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  7. willowsdad
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    willowsdad Sideways

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    A well looked after car, with them buckets and 350 bhp, if anyone would rather buy it standard they must be mental! Good luck with the business. It's nice to see people doing well, even in the current economic situation. If I had 15k I'd be happy to help you out, but the girlfriend would chop it off if I didn't marry her first.
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  8. BigBird
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    BigBird Lost in music...

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    Great stuff and an interesting write up there.

    The only thing I'd say is that a fair few of us have tried to keep the std clutch by staying stage 1 only to find it slipping pretty quickly. Mine lasted about 1 month (on a car that had covered over 30k miles before the remap) before needing an uprated clutch...
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  9. GNJ_Motorsport
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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    Haha :) I know what you mean, hopefully it will sell as it is as it will be an awesome car for someone and doesn't need anything else doing to it now just looking after properly.

    I know it is a shame mate about the clutch issue. I think it puts off a lot of people from tuning the S3 and that is a crying shame as they are far better with a remap.
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  10. mjr901
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    mjr901 S3 Pollution Plus+ Edition

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    the whole reason I sold my 09 S3 was because it was manual. I did change the clutch to Sachs but heard bad stories after just 6k. so decided DSG was the safer way of going big on power.
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  11. GNJ_Motorsport
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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    That is another reason I went for the higher 550nm rated clutch and single mass conversion. I have heard of people still ending up with slip from the 500nm clutch plate and OEM dual mass flywheel.

    The only downside to the clutch I have now as far as I can see is the pedal is slightly stiffer but is getting better all the time as it is run in and the flywheel "chatters" slightly on idle. This is hardly noticeable though. I must admit though that after this S3 has gone I will be looking at DSG next time a buy a powerful VAG car.
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  12. MartayMcFly
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    MartayMcFly Well-Known Member Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    So Shark stage 3 is like Revo 2+? I always associated stage 3 with big turbo conversion.

    How do you find the ride on the h&rs? My car is very bouncy, and I'm not sure if its the dampers not liking the springs, or if maybe the arbs are playing a part in it too.
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  13. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    If the H&R springs are like the ones I had on my old Lupo GTi then I think it'll be the springs, not the dampers. They were unbearable.

    They probably work really well on track or on German roads but UK roads are a different kettle of fish. Eibach Pro Kit is quite compliant by comparison.
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  14. GNJ_Motorsport
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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    I think mine are ok really. As Warren says they aren't great over bumps but I just try and avoid them as best I can on our roads! I was about to order some Bilstein B14 coilovers a few weeks ago but had second thoughts as I have pretty much decided the car will have to go later this year.
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  15. Paullie
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    Paullie Banana Menace!

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    Excellent write up, Graeme. I am so glad I went with Shark! It's a shame the car will be up for sale soon, but hey, it's all for the greater good and future success of GNJMotorsport. I've been a customer in the past and I know I will be buying more bits and bobs from you in the coming weeks. You are a top spud Graeme and you deserve every success. :wub: xx
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  16. GNJ_Motorsport
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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    Thanks Paulie :)

    It is a shame but to be honest I want either a facelift s3 or a tts so I'll sell this and get something cheap for a year or so and see how the business goes. I'm fairly confident I'll be back in an s3 or similar before long.
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  17. DJ-S3
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    DJ-S3 Member

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    [Mar 22, 2012]
    Shame, good luck with the sale anyway! How is the single mass flywheel treating you? Would love to hear one to see if there really loud or not. Especially due to the quote below and the ones about the uprated clutches slipping :(

    Thats worrying..... Mine had 41000miles on before i remap'd mine with revo! Now nearly 43000miles, but no slip yet. I'm not a very spirited driver, unless my friends in there vxr/megane sport/mps/tt/st/type r want to play. Ha.
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  18. RPB
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    RPB Active Member

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    [Mar 23, 2012]
    Well I have finally gone and 'done it'! LOL. Had a good chat with Graeme and have an Shark STS on the way next week! I will post up my thoughts when I get the map on and have a drive about. Now for the sneaky bit of downloading and uploading maps without the misses knowing what its all about! I cannae go through the same moans as I had when I kept modifying the Subaru! pmsl.
    After all the reading I have done on here and with GNJ discount, I thought Shark was the way to go. Oh, that and the fact I live 7 miles from the HQ had someat to do with it too! Thanks Graeme and fellow forum members for the posts and info I had to read about it :)
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  19. APAutomotive
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    APAutomotive Shark Performance Shropshire

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    [Mar 23, 2012]
    Graeme, How smooth is the engine at all RPM ranges with a SMF fitted? Is there much vibration?
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