1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Dismiss Notice

Lockdown Restoration S3 8L

ClarkeExotic Apr 6, 2020

  1. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Hi All

    I own a 2002 S3 225

    I have this car for a few years now and it has spent this ownership mainly lying up outside not being used
    ( I now think this is one of the worst things that you can do to a car )

    But I am now planning on getting this car back on the road and returning it to it's former glory.

    Bit of a back story :

    All started when I received this S3 8L as a trade against a car which I had for sale.
    Really liked the car, very comfortable great fun and well equipped spec-wise so decided to keep it.

    An old poor quality pic of the day I bought it :

    The car was originally a UK car think the previous reg was S3 HNK if someone in the UK recognises it that would be cool.
    Some decent quality pics :
    20170520_183711.jpg 20170520_183729(0).jpg

    The previous owner had a vague idea of some things that were done to the car this being :

    - Engine Remap making around 280bhp ??
    - Upgraded Downpipe
    - Forge Diverter Valve
    - Upgraded Exhaust
    - Coilovers
    - BBS wheels
    - Ramair Induction Kit
    MPH and S3AMJ like this.
  2. Avatar


  3. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    It lay in my garden for a long time until recently, I owned a MK5 GTI also and received a company car so I had to get rid of something.
    So bye bye GTI.

    S3 now has my full attention

    but the car was starting to look really rough.

    imageedit_1_2685392285.jpg imageedit_3_3015838818.jpg

    - The Coilovers were not great the back seemed to be very unstable
    - Loads of understeer
    - Sometimes had a misfire under full load which got worse over time
    - Headlights very fogged
    - Brakes were poor
    - Lots of grease and dirt also corrosion under car
    - Power Steering also leaking

    Attached Files:

  4. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    First up wanted to fix the misfire and Power steering leak.

    I thought firstly that the misfire was due to the rubber hoses being worn out.

    Had a MK4 GTI at the time and changed over all the vacuum lines but no fix.

    I then ordered a set of silicone hoses
    ( not sure of brand or if they have any, excuse the color probably wouldn't go for red now but at least I know whats been changed :sweatsmile: )

    imageedit_7_9074312740.jpg imageedit_10_6383635530.jpg
    ( engine bay definitely needs a clean up )

    Then came to my senses and discovered it was most likely the coil packs.


    full service new coilpacks and boom misfire gone and the car sounded much much better.

    Asim1 and CHEZ like this.
  5. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Next up was the power steering leak

    I presumed the worst that it was from the rack but on inspection discovered that it was most likely the cooling line so pulled it out and looped it for now.

    I most likely will order a new one soon but has anyone any experience in doing this?

    Power steering seems to be working well now no leaks or strange noises
  6. S3AMJ

    S3AMJ OEM+

    I replaced my power steering cooling lines which had corroded. Fairly easy to do, if your struggling to source them, the Audi TT Mk1 has the same setup.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ClarkeExotic likes this.
  7. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Thanks will have to get one of these ordered
  8. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    I want the car to be a fast road car which I could also do a lap or 2 in on track with no issues
    First order in was the suspension
    Decided with the Koni and H&R Setup, reasonably priced and good reviews.


    As I was on a coilover setup I also needed the following :

    - Dust covers these come like below and simply slide onto the shock
    - Not sure of the official name but the spring cap to go on after spring
    (I had this on the wrong way around in case of the Febi version writing faces down)
    -Top mount which comes with the bearing
    (Gooves of bearing face down and the large bowl shaped part of the top mount face up)


    -And finally but most importantly in my case the nut to secure this all down.


    I thought that any nut to a certain extent would do on the shock but was wrong as this is the perfect size to sit into the groove of the top mount.
    Anything else makes the shock unit considerably longer.
    As no where had these in stock I had a big job to remove the old ones


    As you can see someone previously damaged the inside where the spline goes so I resorted to cutting the coilover in half to put it in a vice so that it wouldn't spin.


    Hopefully this comes in handy for someone also will put the parts breakdown below

    Asim1 likes this.
  9. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Brakes came next

    Just went for front and rear drilled and grooved with mintex pads
    Braided lines then also

    I'm wishing I went for a more aggressive pad but I will see how I get on.
  10. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Once the wheel came off it looked very bad underneath :


    Every bolt was extremely hard to remove, a heat gun was used along with a big hammer and extension bar.
    Then as expected I noticed that my inner CV Boot needed to be done.

    Never done one before but was not too difficult on this side.

    Sprayed the inside with Engine cleaner and gave underneath a good cleaning with the power washer.
    Cleaned up the hubs, sanded them down and gave them a coat of an anti-corrosion paint ( not sure if this was a good idea but looks a lot better )
    Would have liked to replace the dust guards but I will get to this eventually

    Cleaned up the calipers also and gave them a bit of paint.
    I know again the red may not have been a great choice but I had the paint and thought it would contrast well with the black.

    When it came to fitting everything I did run into a few issues.

    - New droplinks are longer than what is currently fitted. Did fit the standard ones but this was difficult.
    - Had to put both sides of the car on axle stands as only lifting one side at a time puts too much pressure on the ARB and makes things a lot harder.
    - balljoint bolts snapped so changed balljoints also, would've been a good idea to order these originally.
    - Screw snapped inside hub need to replace this.

    Finished product minus the caliper spring :

    Attached Files:

    yoursixx, 45bvtc, Asim1 and 2 others like this.
  11. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Drivers side is more difficult as it needed both boots done on Driveshaft.
    Could not remove the outer part of the joint, seems to be a common problem so a new one is on order
    Working out at €240 so this is eating into the new wheel fund
    Have a set of TT Wheels which I may throw on for now.

    Anyone have any info on the shortened tie bars?

    Thanks:thumbs up:
    yoursixx likes this.
  12. Avatar


  13. Daniel M

    Daniel M Registered User

    Good work so far. I really need to make a start on mine. Having a steep driveway doesn’t help matters when needing to jack the car up though.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. MattW86

    MattW86 Registered User

    Some good work there Clarke.

    I am in exactly the same boat, mine has been sitting for nearly 3yrs and things are looking similar. Steering rack had to be taken out, refurbed and put back together..PITA! I have a new window reg to fit and general clean up before I can get it MOT ready, once the centres open again.
  15. s3mad_dude

    s3mad_dude Noggies ruuuule!

    Good work so far and you are 100% correct about leaving a car to sit and rot. I bought an 8V S3 in November 2019 and put my current 8L in a rented garage. I left it there for just 4 months. I did remove the battery and kept that on a charge but when I got back into the car it instantly had a load of problems. I had a seized gear linkage and broken electric window. All of which was absolutely fine the day I parked it up. Cars need using otherwise the moving parts just seize. I’ve started driving my old 8L again and am currently trying to return it back to perfect condition. It still needs an MOT and I’ve got some further work to do before I put it in for its test.

    Keep up the good work - what plans do you have next?
    Tj 0785 likes this.
  16. JamieOS

    JamieOS Resident Eejit

    Nice to see a fellow paddy on here. Also nice to see someone keeping one on the roads here. So many of them ended up as breakers. I've had my B5 S4 parked up all summer and I find that more things break the longer I leave it. It was supposed to hit the roads again at the start of May this year, but 2020 had some other plans. Funny enough, my S3 doesn't break when its parked up. It breaks when I drive it. Polar opposites.
  17. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Thanks for the comments everyone :icon thumright:

    @s3mad_dude I don't know if they were designed to last this long :tearsofjoy:

    My plan is to initially get this on the road, suspension and bushings done have the car feel really good on the road then get wheels and the bodywork all sorted.
    Looking for a set of RSTTs at the moment.

    @JamieOS Do you have an 8L ? They are really getting rare on the roads especially clean ones, I'm going to be scared to drive this just thinking about everything that could go wrong :tearsofjoy:
  18. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    So I received the wrong driveshaft they sent out the one with the spline and nut from the non-facelift model.
    ordered the new one and the front end came together nicely.

    Moved on to the rear next, jacked it up put the axle stands under both jacking points then began to remove the wheel liner

    The previous owner told me that he had to change the dampers as the old ones were leaking so the rear of the car didn't feel right since as it has a coilover spring that doesn't match.

    You can see just how corroded everything is :

    Removed the plastic liner next :


    Spotted some corrosion under this liner, anyone who has one of these cars make sure to have a look under here



    So started by power washing this all down and waiting for it to dry, then attacked that rust with a variety of tools.
    My personal favourite :




    Had a look at the drivers side next which to me looks a little suspicious why is it black?



    This side is not nearly as bad, has anyone else seen corrosion like this on their 8L ?

    Waited for this to really dry as I didn't want any moisture between the paint and metal.

    Then Bam hit it all with the Hammerite direct to Rust




    Next step was easy, strip everything and install all the new bits.

    Realised here that my brake lines are corroded so will have to order new ones.

    The braided lines that I have for the rear must be for something else possibly 1.8T as they are very short.


    Trying to ignore that extremely rusty backing plate for now, I will order four new ones soon.


    At least I can sleep a little easier
    S3AMJ and Asim1 like this.
  19. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Biggest change to the car !




    S3AMJ, yoursixx, danny_dj3 and 2 others like this.
  20. hydro s3

    hydro s3 S3 amk

    Have a look in the classifieds as @Tj 0785 had a set of those guards up for sale
    ClarkeExotic likes this.
  21. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

  22. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Have genuine TT 5 spokes currently being refurbed, tyres on then

    Also I am 99% sure that I need a new power steering pump and also rear brake lines as the old ones are corroded.

    Next I would like to do a haldex service but while I am there it would make sense to polybush and freshen up the rear subframe and I really want to change them lower control arms from seeing the post on here about them failing :dizzy:
    May aswell then change the anti roll bar to 19mm as this seems to have good results.

    One thing just always leads to another and another and another :tearsofjoy:
  23. Tj 0785

    Tj 0785 Registered User Bronze Supporter Silver Supporter VCDS Map User

    Snowballs don’t it, it’s exactly what happening to me at the minute everything I’m touching or taking something out “might aswell” is never followed by refit this!
  24. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

  25. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Gone to have the brakes bled and power steering pump fitted today,

    New Windscreen then next week followed by legal exhaust unsure whether to put standard exhaust ( which I have ) on for NCT ( MOT ) or have one made up with removable cat
    S3AMJ likes this.
  26. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Went for the old reliable Pilot Sport 4 tyres with 6 Spoke OEMs :icon thumright: 20200711_130723.jpg
  27. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

  28. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Fairly big update for the old S3

    Left it in to have the last few important bits done this being :

    Brakes Bled
    Power steering pump fitted
    ABS sensors fitted
    Standard exhaust fitted

    But as you can imagine this list grew considerably.

    Now it includes new rear calipers
    Steering rack reconditioned
    Exhaust is also being sandblasted and painted
    Few other bits being sandblasted
    Adjustable control arms fitted

    Looking forward to getting it back !

  29. Brad1011

    Brad1011 Registered User

    Making a nice job of it, nice to see someone actually throwing sensible money at it more people like you these cars would rise in value.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ClarkeExotic likes this.
  30. ClarkeExotic

    ClarkeExotic Registered User

    Thanks very much I'd love to have it back to its original state maybe even improved,

    Forgot to mention I found the person who imported it from the UK over here so I now know the full history,

    Car was advertised on Pistonheads as far as I am aware so maybe someone remembers

    here are some pics of the car in it's glory days

    IMG-20201010-WA0025.jpg IMG-20201010-WA0026.jpg IMG-20201010-WA0027.jpg IMG-20201010-WA0024.jpg
    hydro s3 likes this.

Share This Page

Do Not Sell My Personal Information