Phantom S3 8P

Joshwa

Registered User
Hello Audi-sport members,

I've been a lurker here for a few years and thought it's about time to give a contribution with a thread of my own. Now, I've had this S3 2 years and it's the by far the best car i've owned. I've never been much of a photographer but I am looking to improve my skills with a recent SLR purchase - please excuse some of the poorer photo's.
Just to be clear from the beginning I am on the fence of wether to keep this or move - hopefully this thread will be of some interest to some of you and might help me make my decision!

So, after scouring the internet for a good while to find one with all the options I wanted that appeared in good nick I bought this S3 on the bay, already at stage 2 with a very good spec. The seller seemed honest and open to answer questions, the car proved to have a good history at dealers and specialists so I went ahead and put a deposit down.

This is the spec as bought:
2007
Phantom pearl black
Recaro heated wingbacks
RNS-e Nav plus
Flat bottom multi-function wheel
Bose stereo
Parking sensors
Arm rest with phone kit
iPod connection in glove box
TBE decat non-resonated Miltek
Dbalis turbo intake
Forge DV
PiperX filter
Stage 2 map
19" MTM bimoto's
De-wipered
Black edition grill
Fly eye fogs & repeaters

Here's a couple of images from the Ebay add:




Additional modifications now fitted:
Auto-tech HPFP
Custom Code phase 2 software - 365bhp, 411llbs ft
Bilstein B16 iRC Coil-overs
Stage 3 CG motorsport clutch
Solid single flywheel conversion
H&R 10+12mm Spacers
MY11 Rear lights
OEM A5 LED number plate lights
OEM facelift S3 18" alloys
Continental ContiSport 5's


On collection day I found the car to have a cracked windscreen, engine management light on (told to be due to an emission light as no lambda was fitted, no no no the Miltek has both lambdas fitted..), bald tyres and absolutely filthy. The seller was proving to be a very dishonest chap indeed and had promised to hand it over sparkling clean... I vented my disappointment but the seller told me the money had been spent on a house and nothing was left. I also came to realise the receipt probably wasn't worth the paper it was written on. Overall I was in a good mood and happy I had my own S3 8P so just took it as a lesson learnt the hard way.

Even though the car was not running 100% the 2 hour journey home was great, Bose stereo is absolutely incredible and it was so much quicker than my old stage 1 S3 8L.

First task was to find some tyres. I originally wanted to stick with the MTM's and bought a set of 235/35/19 Vredestein Ultrac Sessenta's, dropped the car off locally for a simple tyre swap. and upon my return yet more bad luck! 2 buckled wheels and 1 cracked wheel... Great. 'Chocolate alloy' term comes to mind. I had them balanced up, 1 repair welded and threw them back on as a temporary fix. I also found that when loaded up with 4 guys the rear tyres would catch the arch liner over bigger bumps and these are very heavy wheels.



Next up had to be a new choice of wheels and windscreen. The screen, simple enough as an insurance job at Auto Glass - wow what a difference a brand new screen makes! Wheels, I like the OEM+ look so found myself a brand new set of genuine facelift 18" S3 wheels and fitted them with a set of 225/40/18 Dunlop Sport Maxx.

Before


After, much better looking although they did look a little lost under the arches.


So, after a few journeys to evaluate what the car needed I found: An intermittent engine management light with occasional loss of power and now a misfire aaaand the clutch was slipping a bit. On the plus side it was driving so much better on 18's than 19's. Now time to get the S3 in better shape so off it went for:

Stage 3 6 paddle clutch from CG Motorsport
Solid flywheel conversion
Full service and new coil packs - an attempt to cure the misfire

First impressions where that the clutch was very snatchy for the first few hundred miles and tricky in traffic but there was definitely no slip now! Once it was bedded in it became much easier to use, not much noticeable extra noise or chatter in the cabin. The pedal is slightly stiffer than stock and it's not ideal in stop start situations but manageable and the benefits way out way the cons. On a spirited drive the snappy gear change is welcome and power can be put down earlier with no chance of any slip.

I was building faith in the car and pushing on a little more but found the brakes would shake the car under heavy braking and were obviously warped. And then, the emissions light to returns... Back to the garage, this time:

OEM new front disks and pads and fluid change
New timing chain and pulley - Stops the diesel like rattle heard on a lot of high miles 2.0 TFSI engines
New VVT wheel and pulley
1 new injector the rest reconditioned - This was the cure to the misfire!
PCV valve



Thought I might as well get a bit more power seeing as I was emptying my wallet anyway. So whilst with JBS for the repairs I had the team carry out:

Autotech high pressure fuel pump
Custom Code phase 2 map



Came out with 365bhp and 411llbs ft torque and feeling like a different animal altogether! Finally a (relatively) linear power curve more power and no more misfire. Can't recommend the guys at JBS enough.

Next up were a few aesthetic jobs...
MY11 rear lights and totally de-badged - Simple plug and play job.



OEM S3 alloy mirrors to replace the painted ones - Fiddly but quick job and ****** expensive for a just a pair of covers!


Then I was fairly content, for a while. The clutch was taking its toll on the dog bone mount causing a slight knocking now and again, with the 80k service due I thought I might as well upgrade it to a superpro item.

Next up a few more aesthetics, didn't like the badge-less look so got some proper Audi badges put on and also put my private plates on. I think the shorter plate makes the S3 look much stockier.







The Dunlop tyres were not the best choice, good grip in the dry but atrocious in the wet. Weak sidewalls left a bit of a numb feeling and the fronts wore out within 6k! I swapped these out for some Continental ContiSport 5's, what a difference. Wet grip dramatically improved, dry grip on par if not better and a much more solid feeling tyre adding confidence when cornering and braking.

With the S3 power putting a smile on my face and everything finally running as it should I decided handling was the next area to improve. I picked up a Bilstein B16 iRC kit, including new top mounts, from a user on here that had only covered 7k along with a set of H&R 10mm front and 12mm rear spacers.




It was a relatively straight forward swap for the struts but the electronics were a little trickier mainly due to routing them through the car. I wound the front coils all the way down giving approx. 50mm drop and the rears half way down the thread. As a total fluke it sat with the rears 5mm higher than the fronts when measuring the arch to wheel so didn't require further adjustment. The Bilstein button to switch damping rates is where the cigarette lighter was and looks very smart indeed, the iRC unit is solidly mounted behind the centre console.

Quick before and after pics:




After a week or so of fitment I took it to JBS to replace the rear beam bushings with OEM items as they were starting to give and also check all the torque settings after things had settled.

I decided now was the time to get a proper fast road alignment done by someone who knows what they're doing. Off to Tracktorque in York for a fast road set-up using the latest 3D video 4 wheel alignment.


What an amazing piece of kit the Bilstein coilers are! On the softest setting there is much greater stability and less roll yet the bumps are no more invasive than on stock suspension. Perhaps still too much rebound on the softest setting when on an undulating B road but switch to race and the composure transforms. Race sets things very firm, great for fast A roads and pushing on. And then there is the intermediate setting for a good balance of the 2. I find myself in comfort 90% of the time. I haven't yet managed to link the iRC with the mobile app yet as i don't know the password but this hasn't bothered me yet as these settings are doing the job nicely. Once I crack the password the each of the 3 settings dampening levels can be pre-set on my phone and the iRC app will measure G force and driving style and actively adjust the dampers to suit you're driving.

The filament type rear number plate bulbs were on their way out flickering so I swapped them for OEM A5 LED lights. It was a straight swap with no error codes however point to note is I did have to buy 2 more little screws separately as the originals were 'screwed' and the light kit didn't come with any. Gives a modern look and will last a substantial amount of time longer than the old filament type. For anyone interested the codes are:
4H0 943 022, 4H0 943 021 (Left and right).

I've travelled the country in the S3, often taking the trip from Leeds to Brighton and it never ceases to amaze me the pace at which it covers ground and yet remains so comfortable. The exhaust from the turbo back with decat and no resonators sounds fantastic, still gets me rolling the windows down at every tunnel - wind them up, come off boost and it's suddenly very sedate thing indeed, perfect mobile for taking gran to the shops.

Here's a few pictures after a wash before I took before I left this trip:




The car does not see the car wash brushes! I've just moved from a farm to a city apartment and I am now not allowed to wash the car in the car park... I take along my cleaning products, buckets and mitt in the boot and just use the jet wash. It's a bit of a pain but I do enjoy keeping her clean and not having a farm track to crawl up post-wash help her stay shiney.

Now, I've got a short shifter sat waiting in the landing and wouldn't mind a new stiffer ARB perhaps some new wheels, the newest RNSE and make up an RS3 style grill (Can't seem to buy one anywhere pre-faeclift!). It's on 88k and I'm covering about 20k per year... Is it time to i sell up? I would have about a 20k budget and so much is available at that price that appeals to me: B8 S4, B5 RS4 dare i say it but an E46 or E90 M3.

Any opinions would be appreciated!
 

george_seamons

I'm on the naughty step
Do you have any pictures of the numberplate LED's at night? I have some retrofit LED's in the standard S3 housings, but one has just failed. I like the idea of a "proper" LED unit if it is just plug and play. Don't want something that is ridiculously bright though!
 
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leshkin

Hold my beer...
VCDS Map User
Thanks for sharing bud! Car looks great and it would be a shame to let it go after all the effort you put into it. You are not helping with the Bilstein kit review - I've been eyeing it up myself for months now :)

While the alternative car options you listed do seem appealing, I would consider the significantly higher running costs of all of them especially with your projected mileage. If I were you, I'd keep the S3 and enjoy the mods you've made - it is a truly cracking car after a few choice tweaks.

Let me know if you decide to sell and take it back to standard - that Bilstein kit is very nice ;)
 
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MICHAEL PARKER

S3 Sportback
Did you buy it from exclusive cars or what ever they are called , that pic looks familiar to me , looking nice now though .
 

Joshwa

Registered User
Welcome to the 8P section.

You certainly didn't have a good "buyer experience" did you!

Glad you've managed to put it all right,and get down to enjoying the car.

Nope, so much for good faith among car enthusiasts... lesson learnt. Happy to be fully enjoying a fault free S3 now.

Do you have any pictures of the numberplate LED's at night? I have some retrofit LED's in the standard S3 housings, but one has just failed. I like the idea of a "proper" LED unit if it is just plug and play. Don't want something that is ridiculously bright though!

I didn't take a picture when I fitted them as it was through the day. Personally I don't find them too bright, they are OEM fitment after all. I''l take a snap tonight if I remember bud.

Thanks for sharing bud! Car looks great and it would be a shame to let it go after all the effort you put into it. You are not helping with the Bilstein kit review - I've been eyeing it up myself for months now :)

While the alternative car options you listed do seem appealing, I would consider the significantly higher running costs of all of them especially with your projected mileage. If I were you, I'd keep the S3 and enjoy the mods you've made - it is a truly cracking car after a few choice tweaks.

Let me know if you decide to sell and take it back to standard - that Bilstein kit is very nice ;)

Thanks for the positive comments. I whole heartedly recommend the Bilsteins. I've tried budget and middle of the range kits in the past and this kit is in a different league. So much better adjusting damping from in the car rather than getting dirty on the floor.

Perhaps go for the B16 initially then upgrade to the iRC if you feel you need even more adjustability and a of course the cool app to show off down the pub haha.

I'll bare you in mind for the kit should I decide to sell up... Honestly, i'm swaying toward keeping it and a bit more tinkering for now.

Did you buy it from exclusive cars or what ever they are called , that pic looks familiar to me , looking nice now though .

I bought the S3 off a chap called 'Rikki' in Preston - Beware! If it was from a dealer it would of gone back for repairs/refund.
 

Verse1

Registered User
I bought the S3 off a chav called 'Rikki' in Preston - Beware!

Sounds about right :playful:

Rough experience mate glad you stuck with it though, shes turned out great.
 

Joshwa

Registered User
Sounds about right :playful:

Rough experience mate glad you stuck with it though, shes turned out great.

Haha yep, hit the nail on the head there.

Cheers, I've done all the expensive maintenance now so time for some more goodies I think.
 

Smirky

Registered User
What's your torque curve like getting 411ft lb off standard turbo ?
 

Joshwa

Registered User
What's your torque curve like getting 411ft lb off standard turbo ?

There's certainly some push when the turbo spools up however it's noticeable that power starts to drop off toward the top of the rev range as the turbo runs out of puff... Got me thinking about about big turbos.
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
There's certainly some push when the turbo spools up however it's noticeable that power starts to drop off toward the top of the rev range as the turbo runs out of puff... Got me thinking about about big turbos.


You know you want to......get one of these in there.....




Your car is worth it....!
 

Joshwa

Registered User
You know you want to......get one of these in there.....




Your car is worth it....!

Oh so tempting. Haha I like how you've stolen the sales pitch from L'Oreal there - she is worth it I suppose! Really isn't helping my urge for more power now that Dad's faster than me after going stage 3+ with A TTE470 on his mk3 vRS.
 

S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
Oh so tempting. Haha I like how you've stolen the sales pitch from L'Oreal there - she is worth it I suppose! Really isn't helping my urge for more power now that Dad's faster than me after going stage 3+ with A TTE470 on his mk3 vRS.

That's the spirit.

The TTE hybrids are excellent and TTESi is a great guy.
 

Joshwa

Registered User
Suppose it's about time for a quick update after a few changes... Here's how it was last:



So, after deciding to keep the S3 I wanted a few little dings here and there and a few light scratches addressing to make her mint. A family friend works in a body shop nearby called R. T. Autobodies, I'd only heard good things about them and with it being so local took the Audi on down for a chat about tidying her up. The owner, Richard, helpful and very knowledgable about all things to do with car bodywork advised what he thought best and promptly booked me in the following week after i explained i was soon to take a trip offshore. A few days after dropping the car off I returned to a straight an S3 straight as a die (now i don't dare park it anywhere!). Great service, quality finish and would certainly reccomened his place if you're looking for a bodyshop in West Yorkshire, so much so it'll be going back for a slight change to the front end soon...



Next up a new set of wheels to freshen up the look of the car. I got a bargain deal on some Rotiform SPF 19x8.5 et42 from another member on here after they'd only done 500 miles! They weight in at 11.79kg each vs. 12.5kg?? OEM wheels so shouldn't effect unsprung weight much but this was never a performance mod anyway.



Really happy with the wheels however not so much with the Nankang rubber they came with, off with them and on with a new set of 225/35/19 Yokohama Advan Sport V105's from the nearest supplier, LK Performance in Cleckheaton, where they were fitted to the car.







The wheels initially went on with the H&R 10/12mm spacers still fitted, might of looked ok but it caught on everything! I thought that would be the case. So, they're off now and I haven't taken any pics since. To be honest, I think it looks better with the wheels tucked in a touch more and they do still fill the arches. Still some catching on the front wheel arches under heavy cornering around roundabouts, a bit of arch liner screw removal needed... and some ARB's too?

The Yokohama's perform brilliantly, more dry grip and much more confidence inspiring than the Conti 5's on 18's, haven't yet tested the wet grip levels with all this great weather. I'm enjoying how much less flex the Yoko has compared to the Conti however this may be because of the lower sidewall. It's interesting to note how much better the car felt with stock suspension on the stock wheels than on the 19" MTM Bimotos however with the Bilsteins now on I prefer the 19" Rotiform's over stock wheels - most likely because of the Bimoto's extra weight with cracks 'n buckles 'n all.

The new wheels had me catching a taxi to the curb for the first few parallel parks haha...



Now to big turbo or not to big turbo? Plus there's still a Diesel Geek quick shift in the hall, I just don't know how far to take it!
 

Smirky

Registered User
Well I'm pushing 370ft lb off a standard turbo and it dies off very quickly ,
What rpm did it hit 411ft lb ?
Can you post the graph up ?
 

Joshwa

Registered User
Well I'm pushing 370ft lb off a standard turbo and it dies off very quickly ,
What rpm did it hit 411ft lb ?
Can you post the graph up ?

I wish I could. I had the custom code map done at JBS in Sheffield and somehow mis-placed the graph they gave me at the time, the following week I asked if it could be emailed to me but much to my disappointment their computers crashed and JBS lost all data form all their previous customers! Sounds like I'm Pinocchio spinning tales but it's the (unfortunate) truth. The figures i haven't forgotten but the RPM which they hit them I have, I believe a lot of the torque is free'd up from having a de-cat TBE system?

I'll be going back for a service and a few mods within the next few months, perhaps I can sweet talk them into another power run to share the graph.
 

Smirky

Registered User
I wish I could. I had the custom code map done at JBS in Sheffield and somehow mis-placed the graph they gave me at the time, the following week I asked if it could be emailed to me but much to my disappointment their computers crashed and JBS lost all data form all their previous customers! Sounds like I'm Pinocchio spinning tales but it's the (unfortunate) truth. The figures i haven't forgotten but the RPM which they hit them I have, I believe a lot of the torque is free'd up from having a de-cat TBE system?

I'll be going back for a service and a few mods within the next few months, perhaps I can sweet talk them into another power run to share the graph.
Well I'm running full bcs tbe heat wrapped etc but 40ft lb is a shitload over normal stage2+
cars
You sure your not running a Tte420?
I wouldn't touch it pulling those figures ,
You running a pro intercooler?
 

24JSeymour

Registered User
A good read, car has came along way from when you bought it! Get the H&R anti roll bars on and it will deffinatly help with the rubbing on hard cornering ;)
Your in the same boat as me now, not much else to do with the car other than going for a bigger turbo and push more power, car ownership gets boring for me when i run out of things to change and play with


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Joshwa

Registered User
Well I'm running full bcs tbe heat wrapped etc but 40ft lb is a shitload over normal stage2+
cars
You sure your not running a Tte420?
I wouldn't touch it pulling those figures ,
You running a pro intercooler?

Yes it does appear to be, only way to find out for sure is if i get it back on the rollers!
I haven't ever looked into the turbo, it would be difficult to tell if it had a TTE420 just by looking right as its a stock K04 case? I guess JBS would of known and told me if it had been upgraded when it was on the rollers and they never mentioned anything. The "chav" I bought it from didn't know a whole lot about the car but something like an upgraded turbo would surely not be missed from a for sale add...
I'm running the stock intercooler, advice from JBS that it was up to the task at this power level.
 
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Joshwa

Registered User
A good read, car has came along way from when you bought it! Get the H&R anti roll bars on and it will deffinatly help with the rubbing on hard cornering ;)
Your in the same boat as me now, not much else to do with the car other than going for a bigger turbo and push more power, car ownership gets boring for me when i run out of things to change and play with


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks, they will be going on soon!
This is it, there's always a never ending wish list on the hunt for more power. That MX5 of yours looks like great fun, maybe I need a summer drop top to mix things up a bit.
 

Joshwa

Registered User
Do you have any pictures of the numberplate LED's at night? I have some retrofit LED's in the standard S3 housings, but one has just failed. I like the idea of a "proper" LED unit if it is just plug and play. Don't want something that is ridiculously bright though!

Apologies for the super late reply, here you go:

 

24JSeymour

Registered User
Thanks, they will be going on soon!
This is it, there's always a never ending wish list on the hunt for more power. That MX5 of yours looks like great fun, maybe I need a summer drop top to mix things up a bit.

You defiantly wont regret it, made more of a difference to the handling characteristics than coilovers and whiteline anti-lift kit for me,
The mx5 really is great! Its my first RWD car and it's just a blast to drive! Its so impractical and stiff and loud and rattly i love it. The S3 is my more practical car, and then i have a bike for when i really want to scare myself. I keep telling myself i need to sell the S3 and buy something more practical like a diesel or something but i cant bring myself to it, every time i look at replacing it i find myself looking at 600bhp TTRS's....
 

Joshwa

Registered User
You defiantly wont regret it, made more of a difference to the handling characteristics than coilovers and whiteline anti-lift kit for me,
The mx5 really is great! Its my first RWD car and it's just a blast to drive! Its so impractical and stiff and loud and rattly i love it. The S3 is my more practical car, and then i have a bike for when i really want to scare myself. I keep telling myself i need to sell the S3 and buy something more practical like a diesel or something but i cant bring myself to it, every time i look at replacing it i find myself looking at 600bhp TTRS's....
It would be so good to loose some understeer, cheers for the advice.
I've run plenty of rattly impractical tin boxes so know whats that like and they're a good laugh! Spent a lot of time in early Polo's, still miss my mk2 G40 not quite as quick as that MX5 mind! Sensible is far too boring, the S3 ticks all the right boxes and unless you're doing mega miles per year won't cost masses extra in fuel. Well worth it for the extra fun you can have in one vs. a diesel rep mobile.
I spent a couple of days driving an M4 as my first RWD taster and I want one so bad, absolutely blew away my mates standard S3 8V (as to be expected)... Think that RWD itch needs to be itched.


 
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S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
You defiantly wont regret it, made more of a difference to the handling characteristics than coilovers and whiteline anti-lift kit for me,
The mx5 really is great! Its my first RWD car and it's just a blast to drive! Its so impractical and stiff and loud and rattly i love it. The S3 is my more practical car, and then i have a bike for when i really want to scare myself. I keep telling myself i need to sell the S3 and buy something more practical like a diesel or something but i cant bring myself to it, every time i look at replacing it i find myself looking at 600bhp TTRS's....

Try a 600bhp S3.

You'll love it!

Bikes are wonderful to watch but I've seen too many nasties to want to try one.
 
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S3Alex

Rarely neutral
Gold Supporter
A good read, car has came along way from when you bought it! Get the H&R anti roll bars on and it will deffinatly help with the rubbing on hard cornering ;)
Your in the same boat as me now, not much else to do with the car other than going for a bigger turbo and push more power, car ownership gets boring for me when i run out of things to change and play with


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Trust me , it'll take a while before you reach the limits of what you can get from the little hatch.
I'm still not at its limits as a friend of mine has dragged over 700bhp out of the TFSi.
 

manor13

Registered User
First time i have seen someone turn the dbilas from closed to open. Whats the sound like with the cone fitted?
 
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