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    Thread: Coilover woes...

    1. Member
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      05-05-2019 09:11 PM #1
      I had coilovers installed a little over a month and a 1/2 ago. Needless to say the place that installed them did not do the rears properly. The fronts appear to be fine. They did try to fix their mistake, but still did not get it right, even though it was much better ride than the first time.

      Just so everyone is clear on this: the rears are a divorced spring setup, meaning the the springs are mounted separate from the damper/shock body.

      The first try:

      They got the ride height correct on front and rear. But I knew something was not right almost right away. The rear dampers were so extended that they had less than 1" travel so any bump was super violent. The nut that bolts the damper to the rear mount was loose, I could turn it by hand. Maybe it was tight when I first got the car back, but all that banging around my have loosened it up. After a week or so, I let them know I was coming in so they could make it right. I had to come back two days later due to scheduling.

      Pics of their first try:

      Driver Rear (car on ground):



      Passenger Rear (car on ground) :



      Damper body almost threaded out fully (Car lifted on jack stand):



      The 2nd try:

      When I brought back the car and they had a look they admitted they F'd up on the back. So they took the car in while I worked from their lounge for a few hours. The indicated that they called the manufacturer to trouble shoot. They were able to get the rear shocks to have more travel, but they stated they had to lower the car an additional 1/2" to get it right. Because of this, they also lowered the fronts a 1/2" to match. Sounds like BS to me, since any ride height from these coilovers (1" to 2.5") should have been able to be coordinated. They got the ride height correct the first time, so why did they have to lower it more?

      Driver Rear (Car on Ground):



      Passenger Rear (Car on Ground):



      So I am not bottoming out anymore, but the rear springs are too compressed. Their position on the perch would indicate a high ride height, but this is too low as my summer wheels rub on very little bumps and variations on the road, so I had to take them off after a few hours.

      So need to raise these at least an inch.
      I have looked at so many install videos since all this, I’m about to attempt to fix myself....

      Looks good, but not driveable IMHO until it gets raised:







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      Last edited by strangetdi; 05-09-2019 at 04:41 PM.
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

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      05-05-2019 09:40 PM #2
      Which coilovers are these? I'm trying to figure out why the shock body is threaded, because all of your height should be adjusted at the spring. Also, I fail to see how they could get more travel with the springs further compressed; the shocks should control compression and rebound, not be hindered by it.

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if it is an issue, I would say it's probably the manufacturer. It's also possible that they sent the wrong shocks with the springs, or vice versa. If you are doing this yourself, I would try to start at OEM ride height and slowly go lower until you get to where you want with the springs.

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      05-06-2019 10:53 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by npace View Post
      Which coilovers are these? I'm trying to figure out why the shock body is threaded, because all of your height should be adjusted at the spring. Also, I fail to see how they could get more travel with the springs further compressed; the shocks should control compression and rebound, not be hindered by it.

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if it is an issue, I would say it's probably the manufacturer. It's also possible that they sent the wrong shocks with the springs, or vice versa. If you are doing this yourself, I would try to start at OEM ride height and slowly go lower until you get to where you want with the springs.

      Thanks for your insight.

      I wondered about this threaded shock body too, since the ride height is tied to the springs. This was the first time this shop installed this brand (They can't be that different then other brands). but if the shock body is the wrong shock, then they must have been dumbfounded too

      But it isn't, the highly rated place just didn't do it correctly. I gave them the instructions too...twice. Here is an excerpt of those:

      Last edited by strangetdi; 05-09-2019 at 11:54 AM.
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

    5. Member TBomb's Avatar
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      05-06-2019 04:43 PM #4
      Why would you be hesitant to mention the manufacturer? I have never seen coilovers like that before. They don't look like the right application for our cars. The rear springs are way shorter than they should be, the rear perches are extended much further than normal, both of which would contribute to the shock being extended much further than anticipated.

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      05-06-2019 05:17 PM #5
      I just got this from the manufacturer (if you search for my posts you can find out the brand):

      "As for the spring compression, the ride height is not derived from the spring but the shock length. It just looks like the spring has a little extra preload, not a bad thing - it's just changes the spring rate a little"

      It appears that the instructions are the opposite of this. I'll see if I can extend the shock a little more; the shock travel gets reduced, but I need more ride height for my wheels.
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

    7. Member TBomb's Avatar
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      05-07-2019 12:07 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by strangetdi View Post
      I just got this from the manufacturer (if you search for my posts you can find out the brand):

      "As for the spring compression, the ride height is not derived from the spring but the shock length. It just looks like the spring has a little extra preload, not a bad thing - it's just changes the spring rate a little"

      It appears that the instructions are the opposite of this. I'll see if I can extend the shock a little more; the shock travel gets reduced, but I need more ride height for my wheels.
      I'm sorry, but I simply do not believe that what they are saying is correct - but it's possible I don't know as much as I think I do

      Every rear damper I've seen has nothing in it to stop the travel of the damper besides the bump stop when it is bottomed out (0% travel left). If you put only the dampers on the car with no springs it would go straight to the ground or to the bump stops and stay there. Theoretically if you have an adjustable shock body you could change the ride height of the vehicle in that manner BUT it would be sitting on the bump stops still. The springs are what hold the suspension up, and at rest, they have a certain amount of preload but ultimately the length of that spring in its "at rest" compressed state determines the ride height of the vehicle, and adjusting the spring perches increase/decrease the ride height accordingly. This is how literally every other coilover I'm aware of for our cars works. The only purpose I could think of with an adjustable shock body in this application would be to ensure you have full damper travel regardless of the ride height set by the spring (to a certain extent, that is).

    8. Member Tcardio's Avatar
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      05-07-2019 02:54 PM #7
      I agree with tbomb. If you really want help then provide manufacturer and pn otherwise it’s a wasted thread


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      05-07-2019 08:51 PM #8
      FYI - It’s in plain view on my signature, so I never really hid it. Joke’s on me...

      Anyway, got this from a vw/audi shop that came highly recommended on this site.

      “Thanks for reaching out. I have experience with the adjustable body coilovers, but it does take some finess to get it perfect. This job is roughly 2-4 hours @$90 to start. It can be more, depending on alignment and if we need a few iterations but if it goes quick we can honor the lower price.”



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      Last edited by strangetdi; 05-09-2019 at 12:26 PM.
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

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      05-07-2019 08:54 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by TBomb View Post
      Every rear damper I've seen has nothing in it to stop the travel of the damper besides the bump stop
      These have 24 position adjustable damping, So there’s something in there.


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    11. Member JRutter's Avatar
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      05-08-2019 01:01 AM #10
      I think their spring rates are for FWD A3 8P. Quattro is heavier in the back. That's why the springs are so compressed and there is little damper piston travel left.
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      05-08-2019 07:53 AM #11
      On their website it looks like they classify these as for A3 and S3 though, which you'd think accounts for the Haldex, axles, etc. But they don't allow you to specify if FWD or AWD A3 either soooo that seems a bit odd. This seems like a US-based company and since the 8P S3 was never sold in Can/US, I wonder if they just got it wrong and really have springs for the FWD car as mentioned?

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      05-08-2019 10:20 AM #12
      These are them:

      https://openroadtuning.com/cart.php

      A very experienced German only car mechanic that I know and that my friends use, highly recomended these, when I told him I was thinking about going with KW Street Comfort Coilovers.
      He was a KW guy before he knew and used ORT on his personal cars. "These are real great quality and they have perfected the Audi/VW setup." I still agree, but need it done right.

      The fronts feel great but the rears are the issue. The preload on the rear needs to be set properly. Over-loaded or under-loaded setups will typically ride like crap, but actually it isn't too bad for the moment, it just need to be raised and I want the comfort of knowing they are done right.
      Last edited by strangetdi; 05-09-2019 at 04:05 PM.
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

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      05-08-2019 10:32 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by TBomb View Post
      I'm sorry, but I simply do not believe that what they are saying is correct - but it's possible I don't know as much as I think I do

      Every rear damper I've seen has nothing in it to stop the travel of the damper besides the bump stop when it is bottomed out (0% travel left). If you put only the dampers on the car with no springs it would go straight to the ground or to the bump stops and stay there. Theoretically if you have an adjustable shock body you could change the ride height of the vehicle in that manner BUT it would be sitting on the bump stops still. The springs are what hold the suspension up, and at rest, they have a certain amount of preload but ultimately the length of that spring in its "at rest" compressed state determines the ride height of the vehicle, and adjusting the spring perches increase/decrease the ride height accordingly. This is how literally every other coilover I'm aware of for our cars works. The only purpose I could think of with an adjustable shock body in this application would be to ensure you have full damper travel regardless of the ride height set by the spring (to a certain extent, that is).
      It almost looks like they designed the rear to be a true coilover instead of a divorced system. In that case the damper body adjustment would make sense since it would be pushing against the spring. But yeah, with the way our rear suspension is set up it doesn't make much sense to me how adjusting the damper alone is supposed to change ride height since the damper isn't the component bearing the load. Weird as well that they put a dust boot at the bottom of the strut, which normally doesn't have any moving parts, I guess that's where those threads are? I agree that spring definitely seems too short as well, the adjustment is wound all the way out and it's even sitting on the rubber spacing pad and it's still riding pretty low.

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      05-08-2019 11:11 AM #14
      This is a reverse damper, so the travel is on the bottom, not the top. The silver knob on the bottom is to adjust damping.

      This is very similar, 21 minuites in:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn5WdCZ3GmA
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

    16. Member TBomb's Avatar
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      05-08-2019 11:56 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by strangetdi View Post
      These have 24 position adjustable damping, So there’s something in there.


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      All the adjustable damping does is determine how quickly the damper will move. It is used to control the spring. Regardless of the position of the adjustable damping, eventually the shock will travel through its full range of motion without the spring. With adjustable Koni yellows, you can compress the damper by hand all the way to the bump stops (that is how you get to the adjustment position).

    17. Member JRutter's Avatar
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      05-09-2019 12:04 AM #16
      OP, you need longer and/or higher rate springs. Adjusting the damper body really just changes the amount of travel allowed before the bump stop gets engaged. Maybe start by asking what the default rate and length is that they chose (assuming you did not specify). Send them your pics of the rear perch so they can see the problem that you are running into with your Quattro rear weight.
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      05-09-2019 09:55 AM #17
      I have been in contact with them and have sent pics, but have not in the last few days since you guys indicated some possible items to mention., but now I will.

      This is the picture on the box:

      F=Front?, R=Rear?



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      Last edited by strangetdi; 05-09-2019 at 04:20 PM.
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      05-09-2019 04:20 PM #18
      From one of my early emails with ORT:

      "The default rates are 500lbs/350lbs. The RS spec setup will offer you a great ride, and it won't be overly firm or jarring. The only upgrades I really recommend are the allen key collars, that's really something worth spending on."
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

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      05-09-2019 06:00 PM #19
      For what it's worth, I would like to say that I have no issue with ORTs products, quality or recommendation to use them; they have responded to every question I asked and worked with the installer on the 2nd goaround of the install. Customer service has been great. He wants to see this right too. In hindsight, I probably didn't ask all the right questions, based on some of your comments (which are appreciated, BTW). I have sent Andrew at ORT a link to the thread to look at it and respond to your comments/questions, if he so choses.

      My lesson on this whole thing: The person who buys said coilovers should know a little more about them and the car they are going on, especially how to adjust them.
      I've learned alot since the begining of this whole thing, as you can tell; and still learning more everyday.
      Last edited by strangetdi; 05-09-2019 at 07:22 PM.
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    21. Member JRutter's Avatar
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      05-10-2019 01:42 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by strangetdi View Post
      I have been in contact with them and have sent pics, but have not in the last few days since you guys indicated some possible items to mention., but now I will.

      This is the picture on the box:

      F=Front?, R=Rear?



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      9 kg/mm = 500 lbs/in
      5 kg/mm = 280 lbs/in

      There's your problem, you didn't get 350 lb/in rear springs if the box labeling indicates spring rates.
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      05-13-2019 10:54 PM #21
      ORT got back to me, so I will paraphrase:

      The shocks are correct, and the springs are correct as well for both FWD and Quattro setup. The difference is weight is minor. I may need another 1-2" of spring to help. Longer springs will change the shock shaft position relative to the overall stroke and will smooth out the ride a bit. The ride is not harsh, but since I know the install isn't correct, I just want it done correctly.

      They'd be happy to send 6, 7, or 8 kg springs out.

      I ordered the default rate which I thought was 500/350 based on early correspondence with ORT. But it is 500/280. The new springs will be for 335 or 390

      5kg = 280lbs/in (current)
      6kg = 335lbs
      7kg = 390lbs
      8kg = 448lbs

      The springs are compressed not due to weight but due to bad preload - the installer has overloaded the springs. Basically the shock length is not correctly adjusted to the spring position on the perch.

      As far as rear adjustment:

      The best way to do the rear would be to take any preload out of the spring, unbolt the shock and thread up or down the lower piece of the shock.

      The installation instructions i put up on a previous post are are correct:
      The best and simplest method to setting the rear height is to set the spring perch height first and then adjusting the shock height to ensure proper preload is set into the spring.
      An alternate method that is also correct: let the spring free hang and set the shock height - then crank the preload into the shock after the shock is mounted into the car.

      Regarding the shock:
      These shocks have internal bump stops. The purpose of an adjustable shock is to actually control ride height as the spring doesn't actually control any height. Setups where the spring dictates height are like an H&R or KW that have droop style shock internals that have a lot of travel based on overall length of the shock shaft.

      Confused?
      Last edited by strangetdi; 05-15-2019 at 10:28 AM.
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

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      05-15-2019 01:05 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by strangetdi View Post
      ORT got back to me, so I will paraphrase:

      The shocks are correct, and the springs are correct as well for both FWD and Quattro setup. The difference is weight is minor. I may need another 1-2" of spring to help. Longer springs will change the shock shaft position relative to the overall stroke and will smooth out the ride a bit. The ride is not harsh, but since I know the install isn't correct, I just want it done correctly.

      They'd be happy to send 6, 7, or 8 kg springs out.
      I would go with the highest they'll send (in this case 8kg). Most of us running coilovers have found that higher rates in the rear tend to make for a better / smoother ride and compliment the car well. For instance, I'm running 330 in the front and 400 in the rear. (That's lbs).

      I ordered the default rate which I thought was 500/350 based on early correspondence with ORT. But it is 500/280. The new springs will be for 335 or 390

      5kg = 280lbs/in (current)
      6kg = 335lbs
      7kg = 390lbs
      8kg = 448lbs

      The springs are compressed not due to weight but due to bad preload - the installer has overloaded the springs. Basically the shock length is not correctly adjusted to the spring position on the perch.

      As far as rear adjustment:

      The best way to do the rear would be to take any preload out of the spring, unbolt the shock and thread up or down the lower piece of the shock.
      To me, it sounds like they are having the shock do all the work (ride height and control travel through compression / rebound) while the springs are just holding the car off the perch.


      The installation instructions i put up on a previous post are are correct:
      The best and simplest method to setting the rear height is to set the spring perch height first and then adjusting the shock height to ensure proper preload is set into the spring.
      An alternate method that is also correct: let the spring free hang and set the shock height - then crank the preload into the shock after the shock is mounted into the car.

      Regarding the shock:
      These shocks have internal bump stops. The purpose of an adjustable shock is to actually control ride height as the spring doesn't actually control any height. Setups where the spring dictates height are like an H&R or KW that have droop style shock internals that have a lot of travel based on overall length of the shock shaft.

      Pretty much all coilovers made for these cars have internal bumpstops. Whats confusing to me is when I look at ORT's website, they list the same part number for Mk7 (MQB) chassis cars. The difference between Mk 5 / Mk 6 based cars (which is what ours are) is very minimal and most parts are interchangeable. This is not the case when going from a mk5 /6 chassis to MQB based cars.

      Confused?
      Yes. They reinvented the wheel (er... coilover) design for these cars, but I can't see or understand a good reason based on the information available.

    24. Senior Member skidplate's Avatar
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      05-16-2019 01:51 PM #23
      Shorten the shocks. It's pretty common sense to set up that style of coilover. I put some CX Racing coils on an Ex's mk5 Jetta about 8 or so years ago with that style and I ran into the same issue.
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      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2
      05-17-2019 07:16 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by skidplate View Post
      Shorten the shocks. It's pretty common sense to set up that style of coilover. I put some CX Racing coils on an Ex's mk5 Jetta about 8 or so years ago with that style and I ran into the same issue.
      Don't I want to lengthen the shocks to increase ride height, and take some of the overloading of the spring out?
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

    26. Member
      Join Date
      Feb 5th, 2002
      Location
      East Hampton, CT
      Posts
      673
      Vehicles
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2
      05-17-2019 05:31 PM #25
      Some positives today:
      I removed cowl, used my dremel with metal cutting blade and made the strut openings larger to get better access to the camber plates. I also made holes on the cowl to access camber and damping knobs. At the cuts, I painted the steel as a preventative measure for rusting.




      I also raised the fronts a 1/4 just as a test. Super easy.



      I may even tackle the rears now....


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      2013 Audi A3 Premium Plus S-Line Quattro - Nav and Sunroof - Brilliant Black - APR Stage 2, APR intake, turbo inlet pipe and downpipe, R8 Coilpacks, GFB DV+, S3 Matt Chrome Mirror covers, aspherical mirrors, Maxton Design RS3 Rear Spoiler Extension, RS3 Badgeless Grille, P3Cars Vent Multi-Gauge, ORT (Open Road Tuning) RS Spec Coilovers...more to come.

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