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Why are S3 brakes so horrendous

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by scotty_24, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. scotty_24
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    scotty_24 Member

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    Ive had my S3 now for 3 years, and still find the brakes terrible.
    Ive "upgraded" to Ferodo DS pads with padgid disks up front, and have standard rear pads and disks.
    Its has 2 new rear calipers over the last few years as well.

    Basically I have zero confidence in them. When braking harshly from high speed the car squirms and feels like its snaking.
    Im doing a track day early next year and have plans with some friends to have a trip to the Nurburgring next year, so I need this sorted by then.

    Are LCR Brembos any good? They seem to be the next viable option.

    As for the snaking, I believe Im going to have to upgrade the bushes front and rear, and plan to do this when fitting coilovers next year once the bad weather is out the way.


    Any help / experience with different set ups is greatly appreciated!
    #1
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  2. 16Klappe
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    16Klappe Princess Slayer

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    Because of the wafer thin 312's and antiquated single piston sliding calipers.

    LCR Brembos are a HUGE improvement.
    #2
  3. kwistof
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    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    You've got a better set up on your 312s than I have and I've had my S3 for 5 years and I can't say I've managed to make it squirm/snake just due to braking at high speed in a straight line.

    Definitely get everything checked out because something's broken or not working for it to behave like that!

    I'm toying with the idea of going to the ring next year as well, but I'll definitely not be going with my 312s....LCR is the way forward. Last thing I want are for the brakes to start fading after not even a full lap
    #3
  4. thegoal007
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    thegoal007 Another S3 owner....

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    brakes terrible ? when I brake hard from speed and have done so on that odd rare moment i didn't feel the car sqirm. The abs done its job and stopped pretty dam quick. tyres also have a lot to do with it - more than people give them credit and overlooked.
    Sure adding bremos is a step up in improvements in that area especially if making your car go faster, but i think the brakes (which are in good order) for the standard S3 are good enough.
    #4
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  5. scotty_24
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    scotty_24 Member

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    My car is on Toyo T1R on my S3 17" wheels for winter and I intend to use them on the track next year.
    My summer wheels are 3sdm 0.01 8.5" fornt and 9.5" rear 18 With 225/40/18 Falkens all round.
    I understand that both the above tyres are by no means the best of tyres, but they are ok for a mid range.
    On the 3sdm the car handles terrible due to the strech tyres, on the S3 Avus wheels its like a go cart! I imagine when it has coilovers and bushes next year this will improve the handling even more so!

    I think the problem may be that around the doors and the little local motorway driving I do, the Ferodo's just arent getting hot enough, and when I have a bit "friendly competition" with my friends the brakes arent getting the heat they need?
    #5
  6. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    Brakes are the major downfall of the s3. They are awful.
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  7. Scullies
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    Scullies Well-Known Member

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    hows your suspension? and I mean all the parts in the suspension setup. shocks, springs, mounts, bushings, ball joints etc etc

    I still have stock brakes on my BT setup, never had any squirming even under hard braking at 200kph
    #7
  8. chaz20vt
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    chaz20vt Member

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    2nd this mine are awful
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  9. aterro
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    aterro Banana Armour

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    Mine are also awful. they do need new discs though, but not sure its worth my while for a 200 quid for new good brake parts. or upgrade for 400 for a 4 pot setup..
    #9
  10. Vex182
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    Vex182 Guess what I drive...

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    Never had a issue with mine, they aren't that sharp but no squirming or lack of power.
    #10
  11. aterro
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    aterro Banana Armour

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    Its when you come from a 4pot setup to a single ( i presume standard are single) you realise that the standard brakes aren't that good.

    I currently get a fair bit of pedal travel, but was presuming that was down to the discs need to be changed/bleeding the brakes.
    #11
  12. StaceyS3
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    StaceyS3 Well-Known Member

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    I found the bite and the brakes on the s3 fine when at stage 2 for the first few corners....then find they're cooked and are utterly useless there on afterwards lol
    #12
  13. sportquattro
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    sportquattro Active Member

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    S3 brakes are not terrible, running DS2500 pads and Black diamond discs gives an improvement over standard, and LCR Brembo's will give a bigger improvement, but properly maintained standard S3 brakes are fine for road use and if you have the car squirming under heavy braking and describing them as **** then I'd suggest you either have something wrong with your cars brakes or you are driving way beyond the bounds of sensibility on the public highway. Check the fluids not old and suffering the effects of water absorption, check the discs and pads are in good order and that the callipers are all free to work as intended, master cylinder not leaking etc
    #13
  14. LynxE
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    LynxE Member

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    I also gotta agree that they aren't that awesome. The travel before they act is long but I do find they work when stamped on.
    #14
  15. JimS3
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    JimS3 Active Member

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    Seems odd the significantly cheaper LCR got brembos, the R32 got 2 piston calipers, and the S3 gets the same single piston floating callipers as all the diesels and lower spec petrol models :think:
    #15
  16. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    The R32 and LCR came out later. The S3 was released in 1999, it was the only car in the range with 312mm front and vented rears. which was good stopping power for it's 210bhp back in the day. I still think the brakes are adequate for a standard car.
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  17. Wicked666
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    Wicked666 Active Member

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    Mine are standard and only problem is they squeal when it's damp outside.

    Not really bothered by the brakes but I rarely drive so I have to slam on them at the last moment. I do drive fast but brake with enough space. For me the standard ones are fine. Not sure if there's any way of stopping the squealing.
    #17
  18. JimS3
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    JimS3 Active Member

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    Still think Audi were being a bit stingy! The golf and Leon 180 bhp and some of the 150bhp diesels got the 312mm setup.

    The 312mm setup feels more adequate on my diesel daily golf, less weight and power
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  19. firestorm
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    firestorm Member

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    Mine are stable even under very heavy braking at high speed, though they'll overheat if I do it regularly. Try getting more air to the discs. The TT RS uses some lo-tech plastic scoops to achieve that.
    LCR brakes will do the job even better, but at a cost. Its not solely the disc diameter that helps, the total mass of the disc and the rate of cooling determines how much energy they can sink before they get too hot for your pads. Make sure your fluid is fresh. I use ATE Super R Blue Dot 4 Brake Fluidwhich is easily available and works well.
    #19
  20. future
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    future Scuderia Vittoria Edition 001

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    the standard brakes arent brilliant by any stretch of the imagination but they are certainly not ****. The brakes themselves will only really affect how quickly the car decelerates not the squirming that you are describing.
    So before you go spending lots of money on uprated parts get your alignment, tyre wear, bushes (including engine mounts) and abs sensors checked, because these are the kind of things that will cause squirming rather than the power of the brakes.

    Tom
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  21. scotty_24
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    scotty_24 Member

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    Yeah I know for sure I need to spend some money on coilovers, poly bushes and a 4 wheel alignment.
    Its just interesting to find out what other peoples experiences are.
    I think a set of LCR Brembos are a nice upgrade, and for my use would suit me just fine. Just another thing to add to the list for the money pit that is the S3 :)
    #21

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