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How To - Red RS3-Style Air Vents

Max-Robbo Jun 14, 2016

  1. Max-Robbo

    Max-Robbo Well-Known Member Team Mythos Audi A3

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    Evening all, thought a How-To might be helpful for some people..


    Following @zippster ’s recent thread about buying red air vents (and other items) from the RS3, I thought I’d have a go at red-ifying my standard vents (couldn’t stomach £250-300 for the OEM RS3 parts!)


    A couple of pre-cursors:


    - Yes i know there’s only three pictured, I trialled the first last night ;)
    - DIY at your own risk, if you break something don’t blame me, just super-glue it back together!
    - Apologies for the Bravissimo dust sheets, it’s all I (the Mrs..) had lying around…. Honest.
    - Take your time, the plastic is quite thin in places.
    - I have no affiliation to Homebase…!

    - Thanks to @zippster for the inspiration, to @Rob2k68 for pointing me in the right direction for some vent removal guides, and to @pburv for encouragement (“Hurry Up!”)

    Needed:

    - 20-40 mins & drying time, depending on dexterity..
    - Spray paint (whatever colour you want, just make sure it’s suitable for plastics), I used http://www.homebase.co.uk/en/homeba...l-spray-paint-cherry-red-gloss---150ml-232460 - the red has come out quite nice, £5 well spent
    - Ideally two mini flat head screwdrivers (Christmas cracker ones for me...!)
    - A couple of pieces of card to use as wedges
    - Very small sanding file - I used a nail file

    Here we go, my first How-To so cut me some slack!!

    First, use your fingernails or a trim tool to prise the air vents out of the dash (the back end of an ice scraper helped me a bit). The surrounding material will bounce back so don’t be afraid to use some force.

    IMG_4081.JPG

    On each of the vents, there’s a coloured dot to mark the top. I wrote L (Left), ML (middle left etc..), MR and R on the corresponding vents to put them back in the right place - optional as they’re all the same but hey.

    Turn the vent upside down and use a pair of needle nose pliers (or tiny fingers) to pinch the clips together to release the ‘ball’ from the outer casing

    IMG_4090.JPG

    Pull the diffuser forward to bring the flaps together, and, from the back, locate the small T clips (there’s one behind each flap) holding the two halves of the ‘ball’ together.

    IMG_4092.JPG

    Get behind this clip with a mini flat head screwdriver and push through so there is a clear gap. Do two of these and wedge something between the halves to stop it closing back together. Repeat for 3-4 clips and the rest should pull apart.

    IMG_4093.JPG

    Remove the middle… Octopus(?!) looking thing, and pop out the plastic flaps.
    IMG_4094.JPG
    Wash the flaps in washing-up liquid to remove the finger grease/dust and dry with kitchen roll.

    Lay out all the flaps shiny (concave) side up on newspaper/ a Bravissimo catalogue.

    Tip - Use blue-tac to hold the pieces down - the flow from the spray can may blow them around a bit, and they won’t stick to the newspaper after painting.


    Apply 3 coats of the spray, starting with a light coat, and leaving for ~20 mins/until touch-dry between coats.

    IMG_4101.JPG

    TIp - Once fully dry, GENTLY use a nail file to take some of the ‘stickiness’ off the small plastic notches that stick out in the centre channel. This will allow smoother operation of the diffusers. (Optional - not a lot of room)

    I left the paint for about half an hour and went over it with a cold hair dryer, then clipped all the flaps back into the casings.

    Tip - Gently wiggle each of the flaps back and forward a good few times once popped back in - this will loosen up the movement, taking the ‘stickiness’ off the legs, where they clip into the case.

    IMG_4102.JPG

    Put the ‘ball’ casing back together in reverse order, taking notice of the orientation of the three arms in the centre, in relation to where the frame will fit between the flaps - incorrect positioning will push the Octopus(?!) out of place and may snap one of its legs (I did this first time - superglue = job done).

    pdf-page-001.jpg

    Slide the ‘ball’ back into the outer casing, lining up the notch on the side of the ball with the groove in the casing. Operation may be stiff at first, but will loosen up with a few uses.

    IMG_4118.JPG

    Put back in the car, take it for a drive, and notice the increased performance due to the added red bits.

    IMG_4121.JPG

    IMG_4125.JPG

    This was very easy to do… I burn my toast and overcook my eggs EVERY SINGLE Saturday morning, and I managed!

    Let me know how you get on… And as always, Picture or Didn’t Happen!

    Cheers,
    Max
     
    MikeSel^, Jimbob76, V6_Man and 25 others like this.
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  3. Happy Grumpz

    Happy Grumpz Well-Known Member Team Glacier Silver Supporter S-line owners group S tronic saloon quattro Audi A4 TDi

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    That's a great 'how to' :)
     
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  4. lenny151

    lenny151 Well-Known Member

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    Tried taking mine apart a while ago but didn't want to break them, gonna do mine tomorrow thanks for the guide.
     
    Max-Robbo likes this.
  5. Mike Feldman

    Mike Feldman Member VCDS Map User

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    That looks good. I just wish I could get the diffuser vents at all. It would be too much more to wish for colored ones.
     
    Max-Robbo likes this.
  6. Rob2k68

    Rob2k68 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User MQB Platform

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    Epic write up and amazing looking end results - well done Max !!
     
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  7. jungle650

    jungle650 Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group S tronic Audi RS3 quattro MQB Platform

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    Thats a " Top Draw" write up. :innocent:... Sorry I couldn't resist... In all seriousness thats a good job. Nice one.

    Regds
    Jungle
     
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  8. pburv

    pburv Well-Known Member Team Glacier saloon Audi S3 quattro DSG

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    I shall be on it at the weekend Max...
    That's a ****** great 'how to'..If it's not in the how to section yet..Then it should be...:friends:
    Everyone's going to be driving around in RS's now..lol
     
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  9. Max-Robbo

    Max-Robbo Well-Known Member Team Mythos Audi A3

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    Thanks for the comments fellas!

    @Mike Feldman you can turn yours from non-slidey to slidey quite easily. Follow the above until you've got all the components separate, and you'll see little support tabs on the 3 arms in the middle of your 'octopus'... These stop the movement - use something small and sharp to cut them off and you're done!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. As3newbiE

    As3newbiE Active Member

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    I know Im very late with this thread but I carried out this mod today and I'm delighted..great write up and pictures to follow when doing it.. I now have go faster red vents..
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Rob2k68

    Rob2k68 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User MQB Platform

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    Looking good mate - welcome to the red vent club ! :friends:
     
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  13. As3newbiE

    As3newbiE Active Member

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    Thanks rob, was your vents that I saw that made me ask. Lol..
    Has anybody had any joy removing the wing mirror covers, thinking of having mine hydro dipped with carbon
     
    pburv, Scottyg and Rob2k68 like this.
  14. As3newbiE

    As3newbiE Active Member

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    And maybe the rear diffuser ?..I like to be different :scared2::scared2:
     
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  15. Rob2k68

    Rob2k68 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User MQB Platform

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  16. As3newbiE

    As3newbiE Active Member

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    Cheers, couple of questions..are yours genuine carbon replacements or dipped..
    Do you think dipped is a good idea?

    Also no relation to previous questions but how do you get the little side taps to your name like dsg and carbon black or S3 etc etc
     
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  17. Rob2k68

    Rob2k68 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User MQB Platform

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    Mine are genuine from Audi mate. Dipped could work maybe buy one from Ebay to try it on first ?

    Think it's easier to do from a computer, can't find the option on my phone - I'll pm you from works computer tomorrow.
     
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  18. As3newbiE

    As3newbiE Active Member

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    Cheers mate, I'll have a look 1st at the genuine ones,
     
    Rob2k68 likes this.
  19. Rob2k68

    Rob2k68 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User MQB Platform

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    I'll post some pics of the differences - the carbon weave direction on the replicas is half moon shape on the front where the Audi ones the weave is a straight line from the front over the top, also the step to where the front bezel fits is carbon on the Audi ones. Reps are good for the money tho from what I've seen less than £100z
     
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  20. dernst

    dernst New Member

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    Would it be possible to remove the chrome trim and paint red like in this photo?
     

    Attached Files:

    A3_Portugal likes this.
  21. allanmb

    allanmb Well-Known Member Team Tango Audi S3 quattro

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    I performed this mod today. Huge thanks to the OP for the excellent how-to!

    I would suggest one addition to the write-up. When assembling the 'octopus' back into the flaps, there is only one way it will fit. I thought there would be 3 ways as there are three clips but that's not the case. The 3 clips and 7 flaps all need to align so make sure you have the only way that will fit together.

    It took me about 3 hours in total to do the mod. Anyhoo, here's a few pics of the completed job :)

    20170715_190322.jpg 20170715_190417.jpg 20170715_190427.jpg
     
    Bittern likes this.
  22. A3_Portugal

    A3_Portugal New Member

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    Hum..

    That painted with a dark blue would be great..
    I'll have to check this later!

    Thanks!
     
    Rolly12 likes this.
  23. Reznor

    Reznor Active Member S3 Saloon Team Sepang S tronic saloon Audi S3 Audi A5

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    Like this?
     

    Attached Files:

    Nosnevets likes this.
  24. Tom.H

    Tom.H Well-Known Member Team Ara Blue S tronic Audi S3 Black Edition

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    Did you paint the interior trim?
     
  25. A3_Portugal

    A3_Portugal New Member

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    Yeap, just like that!
    Can you post a photo of the 4 vents?

    I've checked my car and since it is a 8V, the vents are not like that right?
     
  26. Reznor

    Reznor Active Member S3 Saloon Team Sepang S tronic saloon Audi S3 Audi A5

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    Yeah! I love bringing the body-color paintwork to the interior. I actually wrapped the trim pieces in vinyl before spraying them with Sepang too, so if I ever get tired of it or when I sell, I can just peel them off and have them aluminum again.
     
    MattSedg, allanmb and Tom.H like this.
  27. Reznor

    Reznor Active Member S3 Saloon Team Sepang S tronic saloon Audi S3 Audi A5

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    Tough to get a good shot of all four but I took these before I did the trim. 20160726_121015.jpg 20160726_121044.jpg 20160726_121241.jpg
     
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  28. allanmb

    allanmb Well-Known Member Team Tango Audi S3 quattro

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    I sat in the back seat to get a photo of all 4 in one shot ;-)
     
  29. Tom.H

    Tom.H Well-Known Member Team Ara Blue S tronic Audi S3 Black Edition

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    How easy is the trim to remove?
     
  30. Reznor

    Reznor Active Member S3 Saloon Team Sepang S tronic saloon Audi S3 Audi A5

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    The dash trim is super easy, you literally just pull off the small driver's side one. The ones surrounding the dash buttons require you to use "stereo removal keys" to get that bank of buttons out first, then they just pull off as well. The doors are much harder, unfortunately. They require full removal of the door card as they are torx-bolted on from the back or inside of the door card. I still haven't done any of the door trim pieces as I would like to get some grey leather inserts for above the arm rests to match them up with my two-tone leather seats and I would rather do everything all at once.
     
  31. A3_Portugal

    A3_Portugal New Member

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  32. Reznor

    Reznor Active Member S3 Saloon Team Sepang S tronic saloon Audi S3 Audi A5

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    Just scroll up to my first reply to you...
     
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  34. Rob2k68

    Rob2k68 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User MQB Platform

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    I have a genuine set ofvRS3 vents for sale £205 posted within UK

    PM to buy
     
  35. Tom.H

    Tom.H Well-Known Member Team Ara Blue S tronic Audi S3 Black Edition

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    You ditched the red then Rob?
     
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  36. Rob2k68

    Rob2k68 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User MQB Platform

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    Possibly more than that mate ;o)
     
  37. Tom.H

    Tom.H Well-Known Member Team Ara Blue S tronic Audi S3 Black Edition

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    Not the car as well? :openmouth:
     
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  38. A3_Portugal

    A3_Portugal New Member

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    I got it, but do you have any photo where I can see the whole thing?
     
  39. RL

    RL Active Member

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    Great tutorial! I too have joined the red vent club today! Hard to get good pictures as very sunny but here goes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  40. Beery

    Beery Active Member Silver Supporter Team Sepang Audi S3

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    Looking pretty cool!
     
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  41. robps3

    robps3 Well-Known Member

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    looks great, i need to do this.
     
    RL likes this.
  42. Nosnevets

    Nosnevets Member S3 Saloon Team Ara Blue S tronic Audi S3

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    What paint did you use for your vents? Looking for something that will match with Ara Blue.
     
  43. MattSedg

    MattSedg ex S3 owner Gold Supporter Galway Green Defender 90

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    try Ara blue :whistle2: loool sorry mate, had to
     
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