My ming blue S3


1x S3 and 3x Fiestas.
Apr 23, 2012
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Sapcote, Leicestershire.
Sooooo I used to have a Silver S3 for nearly 6 years and sold it in October 2016 and brought 2x new Fiesta’s for me and the mrs to replace her aging Fiesta.

Fast forward to March this year and I had decided that as we still had the 15 year old Fiesta and the 2 new ones, it won't hurt to get a 4th car! To be fair, I had been using the old Fiesta for work meaning it was doing 500-600 miles a week. Started looking into S3s again and felt like maybe moving to a 8P shape as the budget I was looking at was around 10k. Then I decided that I preferred the 8L shape still more. After looking at 5/6 different ones, I found this one owner Ming blue S3, 75k, 1 owner from new and a great spec. (Sunroof, cruise control, double dim Symphony with Bose, heated seats, arm rest with 2x cup holders and parking sensors. Anyway, pictures!

This is just after it was dropped off from the garage and I gave it a good wash.

After driving it for course before purchase, I knew the car was good and completely standard. Just a few niggling normal 8L issues to sort.

Brief list of what I then did (Not all work was needed but made sense to while doing other bits):

  • New OEM shocks/springs all round plus fixings
  • Powerflex top mounts and bearings
  • OEM Porsche oil cap
  • OEM Diverter valve
  • OEM inlet manifold trim
  • OEM engine bay cover fixing bolts (x5)
  • Meyle HD front drop link
  • Meyle HD rear drop links
  • Turbo intake pipe plus caliper bolts from Badger5
  • Thermostat from Euro car parts
  • Full coolant change from Euro car parts with coolant and distilled water
  • Larger lower engine mount bush changed to red Powerflex
  • Forge DV and N75 pipes plus fittings
  • OEM N75 valve plus fittings
  • Forge brake booster pipe plus fittings
  • Powerflex black steering rack bush
  • Set of front and rear discs from Pagid plus OEM carrier bolts
  • Set of front and rear pads from Pagid plus OEM caliper bolts
  • New window clips fitted on n/s door (O/S was already changed when I checked).
  • Mann pollen filter
  • Mann fuel filter
  • Mann air filter
  • OEM Quantum Platinum engine oil change
  • OEM Haldex 4wd oil change
  • Haldex earth strap replaced
  • OEM Audi dipstick holder
  • Alternator from Euro car parts
  • Drivebelt from Euro car parts
  • OEM headlight to slam panel rubbers both side (Full length)
  • OEM VW rear brake helper springs
  • OEM Audi S3 8p gear knob and gaiter
  • Full set of premium car mats

After this I went off to my stag do in Ibiza for 5 days and told the lads what I had brought, when I got back, the car felt nicer to drive after the refresh and I guess very OEM from what it would have felt like when it was new back in December 2002.

Since then, I have also changed the coil packs and gone for OEM spark plugs. Did a dry compression test and all cylinders were coming out at 178-180 psi which I was pleased with. Car has done around 500 miles by now. I then dropped the sump and degreased it and changed the oil pick up pipe (which was clean) and replaced it anyway with a new rubber seal, OEM sealant and new bolts.

New oil and filter sorted of course again. I then changed the gear box and transfer box oil with OEM oil.

I then took 2 weeks out and went and got married

Anyway! I came back and changed the rocker gasket for OEM and used the gasket sealant in the required places. Good degrease of the rocker cover while I was at it. My new number plate arrived which I got round to assigning.

Then I took the car to work to make sure it was all good! 100 mile round trip.

Since then, I have added 10mm spacers front and 15mm rear to improve the stance a bit

Also fixed a niggling fault with a fixing under the bonnet

Also as I want to keep this pretty OEM feeling and just doing adjustments that aren't permanent or fit in with the age of the car:

I have just added mk4 flat wiper arms and blades which suit the car more. Also added the ambient lighting to the S3 at the front (will take a photo at some point) which adds a little more light to the gearstick area at night when the lights are on at night. Added new boot struts with helper springs so the boot pops open on the key button.

The rear anti roll bar has now been replaced with a R32 19mm and added super pro rear bushes.

I had a guy come round and make me two new keys that look a bit more modern, other two originals are kept in the safe just in case :)

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Very nice! I bet she drives like new... congrats on the marriage as well!
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Very nice! I bet she drives like new... congrats on the marriage as well!

Cheers. Yeh it’s really nice to drive, feels really tight and the suspension is very taught. Even though it’s standard power output, it’s enough for me now. My last S3 was a 260bhp Stage 1 R-Tech for 5 years.
Forgot to mention earlier, also fitted a jetex filter and used the original trim cover to shield the filter so it looks OEM but you can hear the turbo spooling.

Wonder where you got that idea from? lol

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So a few updates. The car went into R-Tech Saturday morning for a Stage 1 remap, car was checked over and was found to be running well. First run is made just short of 235bhp / 218lb-ft with only a cone filter, badger5 TIP and running on V Power. Making about 10bhp/10lb-ft more than standard.

Final amount settled in by Niki was 265bhp / 286lb-ft. Car feels more “fruity” lower down and pulls better of course.

Took the car shopping this morning as first proper drive, all feels good and the extra power ties in nicely with the new suspension.

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Great work!
Love the first photo with the car on the ramp:sunglasses:
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So recently the car has been hiding at the back of the drive, did some cleaning under the rear which made the back box look smarter.

Then I did some MOT prep work on a friends 1.8 Corsa so had to move the S3 to make some room.

The S3 is a far better looking car

Also been using my Dragy box and app to measure 0-60. The 0-40ish is good but the gear changing is bad! Will try and improve when I get a chance.

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I think I managed a 6.6 using a racelogic timer. Stock map, just TIP+filter. Can’t remember if I had downpipe at the time.

Lovely car by the way. Really makes me miss mine
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I think I managed a 6.6 using a racelogic timer. Stock map, just TIP+filter. Can’t remember if I had downpipe at the time.

Lovely car by the way. Really makes me miss mine

Cheers, the car is going to be popped back into R-Tech to have the rev limiter raised so I can get 60 in second to improve my times a little lol. I was worried about my clutch pedal but fitted a extra welded pedal now so no issue there.
Decided to do some preventative measurements on the S3. Ordered from TPS a coolant temperature housing, a new genuine sensor, seal and the plastic circlip. The housing was original going by its date stamped to it, I had one split on my last S3 so I thought changing it will give it some more life. The temp sensor I had was not genuine but had been ok for 6 months, again rather make sure it’s genuine.

Also noticed the area around the injectors were greasy and I already had a Newsouth power gasket to fit to try and keep the inlet manifold temp a little lower. I have sent the injectors off to the R-tech garage as they do injector cleaning and testing and will replace the seals. I’ve cleaned up the inlet and decided that I’m going to leave it pretty normal and original looking rather than painting or polishing it. I just need to clean up the throttle body now.

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So the injectors have come back and have been cleaned with new baskets and seals fitted. Had a wipe over the throttle body and refitted everything again. Decided to tidy up the cables for the injectors too.

I then fitted my new cover to the front of the inlet manifold which I thought tidied it up a bit.

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Loving the engine bay.... I remember somebody posting in my build thread asking if my pursuit for keeping the OE look was preventing me from getting the power I was looking for... kinda inspired me to try harder ;)


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Fiddled with the hoses around the left side of the inlet manifold today to make them sit better and then messed about with my iPhone Xs camera.

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Been fiddling and buying some parts in the last couple of weeks. I purchased a set of brand new Hella headlights, new ballasts included which was handy as they are a pain to swap over! Car looks a lot fresher and like new now.

I also fitted the coil pack cover from the TFSI engine to keep the wires in check.

Also (not pictured) I fitted the Cookbot heat shield for the turbo and the gear slop bush which is supposed to make shifting into 1st and 2nd easier. If I am honest, it’s not changed how they feel but has had a positive feeling on all the other gears.

I have also ordered the Cookbot inserts for the wishbones, new ball joints, trackrod ends and Meyle HD wishbone rear bushes. That’s a nice job for likely the spring as the current setup is still fine.
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A few bits have arrived now. Also purchased this 6ton press for my workshop at home.

It should help with the wishbone bushes etc.

So far I have the rear Meyle HD wishbone rear bushes, new ball joints, new top mount bearings, new wishbone bolts and new bolts for the wheel arch liners which are looking poor. A new small water pump and coolant tank will be fitted as preventive measures and to keep the bay looking fresh.

On a side note, I have another OBD relocation quote to fit to one of my Ford Fiesta is, to reduce the likelihood of it getting stolen.
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This weekend, with the good weather for this time of year came in handy to fit the new front suspension parts and a N/S driveshaft.

I removed both wishbones, pushed all the bushes out, quick respray as they were in good nick, pressed in the new bushes and refitted with new ball joints. I have the Cookbot front inserts with super pro bushes and then Meyle HD rears. New track rod needs have been fitted as they were looking a little perished on the rubbers. I just need to find time to sort out the rears now!

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Found a hour yesterday to replace the coolant after run pump and expansion tank. The tank had discoloured like they do and the after run pump had got noisy recently.

The font was aligned too after all of the work on it a couple of weeks ago, I just need to finish fitting the rear adjustable tie arms when the weather picks up again.
A random leak appeared under the car from the sump so I dropped it back off, wiped the sealant off and redid it again.

Also while I was there, I replaced the mishmash of bolts and fixings holding the undertray in which is much easier and nicer.

Also each time I drive it, the brakes just aren’t very good compared to a modern car even with new discs, pads and fluid so I have ordered some LCR Brembos. Gone for some “fancy” disks more for looks than anything else and after asking Prawn, going for Mintex 1144 brake pads. Likely will get them fitted early next year.

Great looking S3, and loving the care and attention it gets.

So the brakes all arrived but I am awaiting on the 1144 brake pads. Fitted the standard Brembo pads to begin with. They look much better but I would not say there is a massive difference. I have only put about 15 miles on them at the minute.

I also did this earthing mod I have read about, does not seem any difference but no harm done!

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What discs are those mate. I like that black look.

EBC GD High Performance Brake Disc. Grooved & Dimpled Vented, 323mm.

The black has worn off the face of course but the rest of the disk is black and will help to hide rust for a good amount of time and brake dust!
So I’ve been away a bit and thought I would give a small update. First of all the car had a part respray to tidy it up which I am pleased with. I had the while front end done inc. wings, roof and one side and door where it was rusting on the roof rails. Also the rear bumper was done, very pleased with the results.

I then flew solo in a single piston engine plane that I have been having lessons for in my spare time.

I then added a 911 coolant cap to finish the bay off. (I know the battery case bolts aren’t in!)

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My next job was to add a double USB charger for long journeys. Decided to hide it under the glove box with a volt meter display. Pleased with them and they can not be seen easily unless you look right down which is what I was after. Also both hooked up to the ignition live.

Only one cable sorted in this picture. Both are fused too with a fuse holder and 5amp fuse behind the glove box.

And all hidden from view normally. The red closely matches the dash too. As I like to keep things standard(ish). I have purchased another whole glovebox panel if I ever want to remove it all.

Took the car on holiday and it managed 38mpg over 220 miles which I was very pleased with!

Now just plans for a replacement rear ash tray I have on order.

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So I’ve been busy doing all sorts the past month so not got round to posting anything. First I am updating from my hotel in St. Lucia lol so the S3 is around 4,500 miles away lol.

Chopped up my rear ash tray and wired in another USB charger. Ordered a new replacement incase it did not work out as planned.

It glows red like the front one I fitted before and the dash. It’s also on a ignition live and fused with access under the steering wheel.

(Rear middle area).

I then took the car down a runway for VMAX200 to try and get the cars maximum speed. Runway was 1.3 miles useable with a 1/4 mile reading and a top speed trap just past the mile mark. Out of my 3 runs, the car kept putting in a mid 14s on the 1/4 mile and would not exceed 150 at the speed trap. On entering the braking zone, it stopped at 151mph (showing on sat nav) and I could never get the car past this, this is the same with my past S3 too. It would never get to 155-160 unless you had a good tale wind or downhill. By the end of this a few times and doing 90mph+ back up the taxiways the clutch started slipping on boost. After cooling down on the drive home, it now only slips on boost in 6th gear so will get done later this summer.

I’ll add more photos from the event later!

Jobs to do now are to finish swapping the rose joints at the back for the later rubber bonded bushes and fit my adjustable rear arms to reduce camber as it’s still a little much.
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Not really done much with the car as it’s been buried at the back of the drive behind all the others! Not been driven since April.

When I have not been flying planes, I have been tinkering with the car. Changed the dash display to a ColorMFA. Fitted the metal foot rest I had around and got hold of a set of genuine brand new mats I need to fit.

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Also finally fixed my auto dipping mirror by replacing the loom and fitted new clips that support the rear window blind.

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So this week, I found time in the evenings to do some tinkering on the car. Got round to fitting the Mintex 1144 brake pads which I had since January. While I had the wheels off, I cleaned behind the arches again and replaced all of the wheel arch liner screws and metal tabs where fitted. It was about 14 screws per side and around 9 tabs, the rest screw into plastic inserts.

Also dropped the oil and filter, cabin filter and fuel filter and gave it a wash.

I did 30 miles in the car and after being at a friends, dropped down a kerb that I was parked on, slowly and gently.... then had a horrible ratttling noise on the way back that was getting worse. Turns out I have damaged a Meyle HD drop link on the N/S front and also the polybush antiroll bar bush. Disconnected both drop links and the noise went so not a great start going into the weekend.
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So found some time to change the front drop links (Meyle HD like for like replacement) and then fitted Meyle bushes over the ploybush ones I fitted originally (19mm front anti-roll bar on mine).

I then fitted the Mintex 1144 brake pads to the Brembos as suggested by Prawn. No more clunking the front end now and the brakes feel much better! The initial bite is very good and the pedal feels stiffer (less flex somehow?).

Done 70 miles in it at the weekend as it was nice weather. Also went to test drive a new Fiesta ST as want to trade one of other cars in. Wow what a small car! Nearly as quick as the S3 in a straight line but the cornering is unreal with the performance pack! Just left it in “Track mode” for the whole test drive!

Just waiting on some 1144 rear brake pads before I fit new tie arms to the back, finish replacing the rose bushes and fit the same disks that I have at the front.
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