Hey guys, my name is Paulo and I have been around the forum for some time now but never did a proper intro so I figured it was time to show my humble a3 build and to a proper introduction. It’s a little story about what I would like to do with this car and how things evolved as it goes. It’s probably not a interesting read like the big shots here but if it is an hint of inspiration to anyone out there looking to slowly progress their car hopefully it will be a good post
This Audi is my first car bought here in the US. I’m originally from Brazil where I owned a VW Gol (that’s a cheaper version of the golf, in other parts of the world is know as VW fox) my main thing was sound systems more than engine and speed. With that said I always worked on motorcycles so I am very familiar with basic mechanics and how to take things apart and put it back together. Grew up with a group of friends with saveiros (it’s a VW pickup) and drag strip and 1/4miles, but still was mainly interested in the looks of a car and sound systems instead of sheer speed and power… things kind changed lol
Fast forward 8 years and When I had the opportunity to buy a car I was set on buying a pickup since I ride a dirt bike and it would make life easy to carry my stuff to races. But at the lot my girlfriend spotted this A3 that made me fall in love with it. It was the same color as my Gol, it was a hatchback and it was a 6MT. Car fax was clean I was sold.
Obviously I bought this car used so naturally at 108k miles first thing I did was have all fluids changed and brake pads replaced to as time went by replace and/or upgrade stuff.
The car - June/2013
It had all signs of 108k miles of highway driving in 7 years of use by 2 owners in Massachusetts. Rock chips on the hood/fender/grill lots of rust underneath from all the salt. But regardless the car felt and drove great no hi-cups. Installed a hitch to attach a uhaul trailer to go to races and I was great to go!
Decided to get HIDs fog lights:
Tried to keep it clean throughout the winter
Obviously NYC sanitation decided it should stay buried in snow:
Then after its first winter the car started to develop a small rattle which was a typical sign of a bad catalytic converter. That’s when I made a decision that would change my idea of this car for good.
As things break I will just replace or upgrade them. I never intended to build a race car, for me how the car feels to myself is more important than 0-60’s or lateral G’s (remember things kind changed lol)
So waterfest approaching and APR having a sale on tune and exhaust plus free install I decided that by waterfest 20 I would get a down pipe and obviously a tune not to have any CEL’s. It was cheaper to go this route than install an Audi oem cat.
Well after some research I saw the it was a simple list of parts:
A cold air intake, the tune, downpipe and that’s pretty much it to have a car even better than the one I was already in much love with.
Cold air intake:
After installing it I realized I never paid much attention to this engine bay. And never did the spark plugs from when I bought the car. Decided to get the bay cleaned and replace coil packs and sparks
Ok. I was ready for waterfest and stage 2
Out with the old, in with the new
And that’s when the bug hit me… On the drive back from Etown to Brooklyn I was absolutely hooked on the new found woof this car had found. It’s like the car was reborn. I could not stop bringing this thing to redline shift changes.
Little did I know about the list of things that this 2.0t fsi engines had to be inspected. DV valve, cam follower, PCV valve. This was all new to me and as they started failing I started changing them. DV valve ruptured, I got the upgraded one and a DV+ from GFB, car started cutting at high rpm later found out about the cam follower, this car already has the new 2 piece camshaft, tsb was done to it by Audi, but I guess he neglected and I was extremely luck to replace the follower right before it fully broke to pieces. And then a block off plate to remove the vacuum leak from a failed PCV.
Now though I was hooked, I wanted to make this car pristine again! I wanted to make it feel and look like new! And it started.
A little vinyl wrapping of the fob to cover the years of use:
An APR catback to finish the full exhaust look:
Stop tech slotted rotors and ebc brake pads for a little more bite during braking
New rear bearings, the old ones were extremely bad.
Hotchkin sway bar to help some of the body roll. And then powder coat my oem rims because they were really beat: