Purple Toms 8L S3

Purple Tom

S3 time...

Currently recovering after a stag do (not mine!) so thought I'd put a quick thread up about my S3.

To cut a very long story short, I've been after one for a while. I've had many cars from the VAG stable; several Corrado's and Polo's as well as a few mk4's and an 8L 1.8 20v NA that was utterly *****. My current daily is a 2004 Octavia PD130 which has been breathed on a bit but I wanted something more interesting.

Eventually, a few weeks back an S3 came up in the spec I wanted - sunroof and heated seats, although it had wheels that I wasn't keen on:


I went to view it and came to a deal. The day before I went to fetch it I found a guy on here who wanted some 18's in place of his standard 17's. Managed to work it so I went to pick the car up, met him at a nearby services and did the wheel swap in a car park





Drove it home and while I'm waiting for the paperwork to take the private plate off I've made a little list of what I'm going to sort on it. Most of the stuff I've already got in stock but I've had to buy a few bits and pieces:

Fit refurbed calipers all round along with discs and pads
Repair rear xenon level unit
New xenon bulbs
Cambelt and tensioners
Water pump and thermostat
Full service including haldex
Mk4 aero wipers
Replace beesting gasket
Fit Alpine head unit with Bose adapters
Hardwire a phone charger
New mats
Repair armrest
Remove 'Quattro' stickers from the windows
Good clean and polish

It's a 2001 AMK btw, completely standard, 104k with decent history. Only had one cambelt though, in 2007 so it's about 3 years overdue!

Thanks for reading, I'll chuck some more pics up of it in bits as and when. Aiming for it to be back on the road in a couple of weeks.

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Defo worth the wait :)
Looks very nice mate...although I am biased and it is the fastest colour to have an S3 in as well :)


My other car is a MINI!!!!
Now, there is a name I know of old!

:sign welcome:

Hey Tom! Long time no see!

Car looks good, I'm sure you'll do a top job of it like all your other cars :thumbs up:


Registered User
Hi Tom,

Nice mota! Good to see another CF reject on here ;) Too Hot and V-dubstar are also on here 8)

Purple Tom

S3 time...
How do Nick!! Long time no speak, it really is a small world isn't it :) I'm hoping to get this one to the 'Ring at some point, probably not this year but almost certainly next year!

Cazza - In some ways the S3 seems like a bit of a logical step up from a Corrado. Maybe not quite as much character in the engine but similar in other ways - I'm hoping ownership will be as enjoyable! If not then I'll go back to what I know ;-)

Just to add to this thread, I've been doing bits and bobs on the S3 in and around work shifts and when I have a spare couple of hours. So far I've sorted the beesting gasket, fitted a new brake light switch, ripped most of the interior trim out to check the wiring and remove a tracker unit that I don't want as well as fitted a new cambelt, tensioner, idlers and thermostat. It's currently up on axle stands awaiting brakes and the haldex service then it's ready to go - my current daily is now up for sale so as soon as that goes the S3 can be put to use as the daily which I'm looking forward to! Oh yeah, just remembered that it needs a new rear spring as one is snapped so thanks to a helpful member on here I've got some new springs and shocks en route to fit as well. Here's a few random pictures:

Doing the cambelt:


Thanks for reading, I'll update more as and when I do stuff!



Registered User
nice update. bet you cant wait to have it as a daily. how long did it take to do the belt and tensioners? i need to do mine but getting the time is hard. also did you do the water pump?

Purple Tom

S3 time...
I did it over a couple of days but probably overall around 3-4 hours in total. It probably takes as long (if not longer) to remove all of the ancillaries to access the belt as it does to actually get it changed. I most certainly did do the water pump at the same time, daft not to although the one I removed seemed ok.

I did however note that there was a fair amount of slack in the cambelt, probably down to it being 8 years old, so I'm hopeful that it may make a difference to the way it runs once I start it!

Purple Tom

S3 time...
A few more bits and pieces done on the S3, it's now running again after the cambelt change and seems to run OK so I think I did it right. I haven't driven it yet although the current daily has been sold and is being picked up by its new owner tomorrow evening so the S3 will be put into use from then. Have to admit I'm slightly apprehensive, although I've no idea why!

As well as the cambelt I've fixed a few bodges. Firstly, the auxillary water pump had been bypassed at some point in the cars life, presumably because it had seized. Luckily, having fairly recently broken a Golf V5 and a couple of Corrado's I had three other pumps to choose from. The Corrado units all work but the plugs were ever so slightly different. The plug on the V5 unit was completely different but more in keeping of the other plugs on the S3 so I decided to fit that. Here's a few boring pictures:

Old pump on left, replacement pump on right:

Old plug vs new plug wiring:

Out with the soldering iron:

Soldered, heatshrinked, covered:

Once the car was started it took a few seconds for it to get coolant but now it runs nice and quiet as and when it should, so happy days.

Another thing I noticed after starting it was a bit of a hissing from around the bottom of the inlet manifold. A bit of investigation and I found a rubber vacuum elbow coming out of the bottom of the manifold which led to the servo and also into what I think is the engine breather system or the rest of the vacuum system (not 100% sure!). Anyway, it had split and had been bodged with some tape, so I did a better bodge using a mocal silicone elbow that I had left over after doing a Vauxhall conversion on my Mini years ago....more boring pics below:

Split elbow:

Silicone elbow:

Cut down:


Got the rest of the engine bay back together including a new expansion tank as the sensor in the original had failed. Someone had bridged the plug using a wire to fool the clocks into thinking the coolant level was OK. Why they didn't just buy a new tank I'll never know. Anyway, the engine bay back together pretty much with new oil and filters.

Left to do is change the rear shocks and springs, replace the calipers and discs all round and change the haldex oil. That's tomorrow's job and then it's ready to go. Hopefully :)


Purple Tom

S3 time...
Well, so far so good. On Tuesday afternoon the new owner picked up my daily Octavia which meant in order to get home from my workshop I had to make sure the S3 was ready.

So, after replacing the discs and pads all round as well as fitting new rear carriers and calipers (powdercoated for longevity) I thought I'd best have a look at the rear springs. One of them was broken....badly:

Fortunately, I'd managed to get hold of a set of replacement rear springs and some brand new shocks so I fitted them, and after all that, fitted the wheels and number plates and got it down off the axle stands:

The next night was a drive out to iron out any niggles. It seemed to drive really well although had a bit of an *** down stance that I wasn't keen on. Some noticeable negative camber on the rear wheels too. The springs that I'd been kindly given by a forum member seemed a little shorter than standard but I needed to fit them and hoped they'd be right although they must have been lowered ones. A quick call to TPS yielded a set of brand new standard (5 pink dots) springs for a very good price so on Thursday morning I got them fitted down at the workshop. Once back down on the floor it sat much better, exactly how I want it to look - standard:

After that, it was a drive down to the Mrs' parents in Shropshire in the afternoon, then to Birmingham and back to Shropshire followed by a further drive up to Manchester and then back to Derbyshire yesterday. A round trip of around 250 miles and it performed faultlessly :) Drives really well, quiet and smoothly and returned a very pleasing 37.1mpg according to the MFA. I'll work it out properly at the next tankful but I think that's pretty good.

Final things left on the list that I didn't manage to get round to are to fit new calipers and carriers at the front as well as the fuel filter and haldex oil . That's the jobs for Monday and Tuesday night sorted. Final thing on the list is a stereo upgrade but I'm still in the process of figuring out exactly which wiring adaptors are required, full Bose appears to be a bit of a pain.

Got a weekend in the Welsh mountains planned next weekend so I'm looking forward to that :)

Cheers for reading. Tom