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Dandanfings S3 build thread - pic heavy

Dandanfings Feb 11, 2016

  1. Dandanfings

    Dandanfings Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

    So i bought my 3 door brand new back in October 2014 and had it delivered to work on the back of a trailer.
    Spec was very basic, Just DSG, B&O, Folding mirrors and Reversing camera.

    The thing is i already test drove the S3 a couple of months back and found it very underwhelming but i bought one anyway because i knew it would be capable of a lot more once the tuners got their hands on it... so yes i took a big risk!
    Golf R was a cheaper option but i managed to get 5k off the list price and a stupid good finance rate that put this within about £10 of the best Golf deal, it was a no brainer for me as the interior was far nicer in the Audi and that's where i spend 50% (Central London traffic) of my day in so might as well get the nicest.

    Power delivery was very flat was the first thought that comes to mind, its super smooth but incredibly dull in its delivery.
    It has to be the slowest feeling 300bhp car in the world, I know its not slow as the digits on the speedo shoot up at a silly rate, its just the way its delivered... you can tell this birds wings have been clipped by the factory and so i need to find a way to get it putting out the power its really capable of.

    I made the rookie mistake of going to a small tuner who was one of the first people to advertise a remap for my car, he made claims of 370bhp+ and like a idiot I went along with his claims and allowed him to flash my software.... big mistake.
    Car was more powerful when it was moving but it felt sluggish from take off and seemed to clutch slip in 6th gear. To make matters worse launch control wouldn't work properly and would give a DSG overheating warning!
    The tuner made various excuses, after some digging around by me (which i should of done before) it turns out he just buys generic maps from overseas and has no idea what he is uploading onto peoples cars!
    Luckily for me a solution was on its way via of all places Alabama in America.


    APR wanted someone to Beta test their software on the S3 and i was more than willing to drive a couple hundred miles to Awesome GTI to have this done.
    They put my car on the Dyno and to my horror showed what the other remap was doing:
    Blue is the awful remap
    Red is Stock
    Green is Stage 1
    Yellow is Stage 1 with APR intake
    Please note that those results above are for the Beta and do not represent the file they offer now (its obviously better now) i am just sharing this to warn others of the dangers of using unknown tuners!

    The second i pulled away from Awesome i had a devilish laugh, the car just pulls all the way from idle far harder than it used to, the car also had a sledge hammer delivery that really pushed you into the seat... it was a different car, it was the car Audi wanted to make but there was still more to come!

    I was intrigued by all this dipyourcar nonsense on youtube and liked the idea of protecting my paint so i had somebody dip my car in Nebula Blue:
    I also bought some BBS LM-R replicas in 19x8.5 and installed budget tyres purely out of curiosity as i heard these ones were pretty good.... no, no they were not and i wont tell you what brand they are because they are ****.
    Wheels looked good but didn't suit the car, tried tarting them up a little bit with BBS badges but again i still hated them so i sold them to somebody and made a massive upgrade instead.
    IMG_1370.JPG IMG_1430.JPG IMG_1433.JPG

    More to follow....
    pburv, Fiddie, Rob2k68 and 2 others like this.
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  3. froggy

    froggy Registered User

    Nice,informative post,thanks.
  4. Simon L

    Simon L Well-Known Member Gold Supporter

    Forgive my ignorance but what's this dipping mallarky? Is that a temporary paint coat, and why from white to matt blue?

    I thought ceramic coatings and the like were meant to be sufficient protection for most peeps?
    pburv and Rob2k68 like this.
  5. pburv

    pburv Registered User

    As above forgive Simon for being ignorant...lol Didn't mean it Simon..:friends:
    Anyway do you have to inform dvla of the colour change? Will you get stopped by the 'rozzers' if you don't?
    Rob2k68 and Simon L like this.
  6. Dandanfings

    Dandanfings Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

    Type this into youtube: Dipyourcar
    Will explain it better than i could!

    I was told as its a temporary change that you wont have to and during a police stop for when i used launch control from a set of traffic lights... they didn't seem to care.
    Anyway it was removed within 6 months.
    Rob2k68, Simon L and pburv like this.
  7. Simon L

    Simon L Well-Known Member Gold Supporter

    Mate, the last time I modded a car these fookers were considered acceptable!! lol

  8. pburv

    pburv Registered User

    Ha Ha anti static/car sickness dangling thingy's..Got to be the biggest motoring accessory con. of all time(bigger than the Vw emission scandal)..My dad bought a set due to my car sickness...Didn't work...lol
    Rob2k68, sjbarneS3 and Simon L like this.
  9. Dandanfings

    Dandanfings Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

    So the wheels had to go, the tires weren't coping well with 370bhp+ in the wet and after a sideways moment on a roundabout underneath canary wharf i decided to make a massive investment on the handling side of things.
    I wanted something lightweight and 18'', going 19'' is just silly really as all it does is add weight and reduce comfort... why do that on something that is designed to perform and is driven daily?
    I made the choice to really go at this properly and bought some lightweight German TUV approved wheels by Autec which were wider with a bigger offset to give it that filled arch look, they weigh about 8-9kgs.
    Not just that though but also with the best rubber money can buy, Michelin Pilot Super Sports!
    The second i pulled away from the wheel fitter even with the old wheels in the boot weighing the car down i could feel the car was more urgent from pulling away.
    I delivered the old wheels to the buyer directly after installing the Autecs and the drive home was incredible, car felt lighter, gripped on corners like glue and comfort went up another level to the point where i was thinking i was driving a A8. This was a very worthwhile upgrade!
    This was the first time i have invested in some quality wheels and tires and i will never go cheap ever again, money well spent.

    At this point i wanted to see if i could get a little more power from my car, I heard on a american forum that the stock downpipe on the GTI/R was very restrictive (borrowed image)

    You can see how directly after the turbo the down-pipe squeezes right down... there is no reason for this at all, there is plenty of room to allow a full 3 or 3.5'' pipe before going to the cat, this was obviously put in as a after thought or some kind of restriction, there is no emission or noise benefit to doing this that you couldn't solve with another cat or different design of muffler.
    So i called up Powervalve and pestered them to sell me a Golf R down-pipe, after a few weeks this arrived:
    Terrible picture that really does not show how beautifully made this is, perfect welds and hand built in England... what a rare thing in this day and age!
    I paid somebody to install this for me as its a complete pig of a job to install, budget 2-3 hours labour for this.

    I had no check engine lights or faults of any kind, this was because my Beta software allowed test pipes so i was able to drive around for 1000s of miles without a hitch.
    The turbo spools up quicker from a dead stop... i say 200-300rpm, not a huge amount but noticeable and it makes the car much better in town. The turbo also responds quicker at speed too so this really is a good upgrade.... it does not however add much power, don't believe what you read online, peak power stays pretty much the same.
    Another good reason to change the down-pipe is the sound, the factory exhaust sounds great if a little quiet, this gives you the same sound but a little louder.

    More to come.....
    Martinbanshee, pburv, Fiddie and 3 others like this.
  10. Kugaman1

    Kugaman1 Registered User

    Each to their own......

    I think your car looked best when standard.

    The blue dip looks awful....and thise wheels not my cup of tea at all!

    Mind you, good on you for trying something different, life would be boring if we all liked the same!
  11. Fiddie

    Fiddie Registered User

    Many thanks for share with us!

    I'm waiting for the next episode! :)
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  13. Simon L

    Simon L Well-Known Member Gold Supporter

    Yeah, that's kinda what I was hinting at above but trying to be subtle for once!! lol

    To be fair I think Dan's post is more about the mods and I'm sure will prove beneficial to those of that persuasion......... :)

    ................the blue dip however is gash, there's just no getting away from it and glad to hear some form of sanity was resumed and it's back to white ;)
  14. pburv

    pburv Registered User

    Nice write up..
    Interesting view on the different wheels and tyre set ups and a nice touch on keeping it 'Made In The UK' with the down pipes.I'm sure everyone on this forum who is in manufacturing appreciates it...We could do with as much help as possible...Looking forward to the next write up...:friends:
    ps Had to agree with Simon the paint job didn't do it justice...Do they do a clear coat finish?
    Rob2k68 and Simon L like this.
  15. Dandanfings

    Dandanfings Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

    The wheel/tire upgrade effected me, if buying such quality items effects the handling/performance so much, maybe i should look at getting the suspension done...
    Now i don't have an issue with the stock suspension, it does its job of being a comfortable Audi very well. What it doesn't do however is feel very stable at high speed. You get a very floaty disconnected feeling at anything above 80mph which in a car that hits that speed in about 5-6 seconds... isn't very good.

    Finding suspension for the 8V S3 is incredibly tricky (or was last year) and i was forced to source mine from Germany, however there was a small benefit to doing this and that was the price was about 30% less than preordering and waiting 2 months from a dealer in the uk.
    I went for Bilstein over KW for various reasons, mostly because they have been doing it longer and don't market themselves to the monster/red bull market which for me speaks volumes!
    The box is absolutely massive... so i had it delivered to work, much to the annoyance of everybody.


    I had these installed by a 'professional' tuner just outside of London, they completely f**ked up the alignment and i wont be going back their ever again (don't even ask me about their lottery dyno) i discovered this when the car vibrated/shook at about 130mph on the autobahn.
    Anyway I took it to a dedicated wheel shop and had them do the alignment to Golf R 3 door spec with as much negative camber allowed by the factory.


    Been asked a few times why i settled for the B14 non-adjustable version, simple... its the price and also i trust the guys at Bilstein to come up with the best settings over myself, I have owned a few adjustable shocks before on motorcycles and all i would do is change my mind all the time.

    If you are on the fence about this upgrade don't be, you wont even be able to tell the difference over stock when it hits bumps. The first thought that came to my mind was 'did they even install them?' they are that good!
    Its only when you start cornering do you notice they are there, less body roll and more feel. You also get to go incredibly fast on the autobahn without feeling floaty, i cruised at 130mph with the occasional 140mph which is unfortunately when it starts getting floaty again.
    I think that might be down to the ride height being a little high (i like to look stock) or the fact the car isn't really designed to go that fast for so long.

    Then some ******* got curious about the weird paint i had...


    As you can probably tell i wasnt a fan of the blue, so it was an excuse to remove it all and go back to white.
    It took a whole weekend of swearing and all sorts of chemicals to remove... i will never plastidip again.
    I also installed the RS3 grill during the same week to make myself feel better.


    More to come....
    Rob2k68, sjbarneS3, xpoweruk and 3 others like this.
  16. jimojameso

    jimojameso Well-Known Member Section Mod

    Good thread mate. Seen some of your vids on youtube! Keep up the good work! :)
  17. jetron

    jetron Registered User

    An interesting detailed write up Dan, but excuse the obvious question. You state in your original post that you "managed to get 5k off the list price and a stupid good finance rate", does this mean that you subsequently purchased the car outright?
  18. jaypers777

    jaypers777 Registered User

    Not my thing, but a really interesting thread. Look forward to the updates. Thanks to the OP.
  19. xpoweruk

    xpoweruk TTTS 8J Smile Machine

    Much better now she is white again.
    Did ya fit the TTE turbo ??
  20. DrStrange

    DrStrange Registered User

    Awesome write up thus far.

    Thanks for sharing.
  21. Dandanfings

    Dandanfings Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

    would love to but need more answers in regards to software and drive train being able to handle it.
    My car is as the factory intended... with extras.
    xpoweruk likes this.
  22. Dandanfings

    Dandanfings Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

    Some videos:

    First dyno run with just Stage 1 Beta

    Downpipe sound on stock exhaust, again Stage 1 Beta

    The much disputed 0-60 run with downpipe and Stage 1 Beta.... it did this about 3 times consistently with about 8-9 runs in total.

    Installing new wheels.

    More to come....
    DrStrange, pburv and Fiddie like this.
  23. Matthew Whitton

    Matthew Whitton Registered User

    Any updates on this mate? How much can you lower on the coulovers?

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