Some work on my A3

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#1
Now that my hopes of a 2013 S4 are gone, I'm considering making some changes to my current car to make it a bit quicker.

2011 Audi A3 Premium Quattro
Titanium Sport Package (18" wheels and lower/stiffer suspension)
Cold Weather Package (heated front seats/side mirrors)
Bluetooth Value Package
Open Sky (sunroof in front, moonroof in back)
"Concert" stereo (base model)
Monza Silver Metallic and Luxor Beige Leather
~32k miles

1. Wheel upgrade. According to the folks at OEMPlus, the wheels I have weigh 27lbs each. Stereodude brought my attention to some Forgestar F14s that I really like and are quite light. Of course, they are not available anywhere close to the stock 18x7.5 the car has now, and I'm a little concerned about whether the minimum 18x8.5 would fit. Thoughts?

2. ECU Chip. With all the current hoopla about Audi flagging all chipped cars during practically every service, I feel that having a Stasis authorized dealer perform the upgrade and handle all my services from there forward is the only reasonable option for a car that is still in warranty. Thoughts?

3. Stereo. No GPS, only a single MP3 capable CD in the dash, and speakers that slightly disappoint. I love the steering wheel mounted controls for volume, track selection, and voice control. This makes me think that my only real option is to install a factory GPS unit?
 
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Stereodude

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#2
1. Wheel upgrade. According to the folks at OEMPlus, the wheels I have weigh 27lbs each. Stereodude brought my attention to some Forgestar F14s that I really like and are quite light. Of course, they are not available anywhere close to the stock 18x7.5 the car has now, and I'm a little concerned about whether the minimum 18x8.5 would fit. Thoughts?
Forgestar F14's list the A3 as valid fitment. You probably need something like a 18x8.5 ET45.

2. ECU Chip. With all the current hoopla about Audi flagging all chipped cars during practically every service, I feel that having a Stasis authorized dealer perform the upgrade and handle all my services from there forward is the only reasonable option for a car that is still in warranty. Thoughts?
How many more miles do have until your warranty is up? 18k miles? At the point you are in your warranty I'd be looking at APR stage 1 w/ CAI over STaSIS since the warranty is potentially less important to you vs. the savings and power.

3. Stereo. No GPS, only a single MP3 capable CD in the dash, and speakers that slightly disappoint. I love the steering wheel mounted controls for volume, track selection, and voice control. This makes me think that my only real option is to install a factory GPS unit?
You should be able to keep the steering wheel controls with an aftermarket headunit with something like this + this. Alternatively you could use something like this to let you integrate aftermarket speakers + amps with your existing headunit.
 
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#4
Forgestar F14's list the A3 as valid fitment. You probably need something like a 18x8.5 ET45.
I've already e-mailed Forgestar looking for a local authorized dealer, though I'll also talk to my favorite local shop to see if they can handle it. I usually order from Tire Rack and have the local shop to the install, how much research have you done into online sellers of the Forgestar? How would you go?

How many more miles do have until your warranty is up? 18k miles? At the point you are in your warranty I'd be looking at APR stage 1 w/ CAI over STaSIS since the warranty is potentially less important to you vs. the savings and power.
It looks like a great kit, though I will probably chicken out on this for another year. It would be fine until I had to explain the repair costs of a broken engine on a "new car" to the wife.

You should be able to keep the steering wheel controls with an aftermarket headunit with something like this + this. Alternatively you could use something like this to let you integrate aftermarket speakers + amps with your existing headunit.
I usually use the Crutchfield site to spec stereo bits on cars, but with mine they are being very unhelpful. According to them, there are no aftermarket GPS units available, and the speaker openings are non-standard and small. Grr. I would love to stick in something like the Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH, which is reported by your other devices to be fully compatible with all the stuff on my steering wheel.

Thanks for all the feedback!
 

Stereodude

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#5
I usually use the Crutchfield site to spec stereo bits on cars, but with mine they are being very unhelpful. According to them, there are no aftermarket GPS units available, and the speaker openings are non-standard and small. Grr. I would love to stick in something like the Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH, which is reported by your other devices to be fully compatible with all the stuff on my steering wheel.
Time to hit up the forums. I'm sure people have done it and documented it.
 
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#8
Considering the color of the car, I'm having second thoughts about matte black wheels. Gunmetal Grey appears to be almost exactly the same color as the body (don't forget I'm occasionally slightly colorblind...if someone could check that for me it would be great) and might be interesting.
 
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#10
I've joked with friends around here that I single-handedly jump started the local economy. Between the cars, bikes, boats, planes, house, computers, cameras, and miscellaneous other toys when everyone else had their hands stuffed deep in their own pockets.

But understand, this is the cheaper, more responsible of the options I was considering ;)
 
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#11
Response from Sonic Motorsports:

The spec would be 18x8.5 +48 with 225/40/18 tires.
Yes, we do all installation in house. Detailed pricing on a rim/tire package is as follows.

RIMS
FORGESTAR F14
18X8.5 ET48 SQUARE SETUP
$1760/SET MSRP
YOUR PRICE - $1350/SET

TPMS
$250/SET FOR NEW OE BERU TPMS
or $50 FOR TRANSFER OF EXISTING OEM UNITS

TIRES
Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 (Max Performance Summer)
Size: 225/40ZR18
Set of 4: $620.00

FEES/SHIP COSTS
Please note that there will be a $60.00 charge for the freight cost of inbound shipping for the tires from TIRERACK.
We charge a mounting and balancing fee of $100/set.
Shipping charges will be $100 for a set of 4 rims only, or $200 for a set of rims/tires within the Continental USA.
Please note that all sales within California are subject to the standard 8.25% sales tax.
So 2600-2800 depending on options. Anyone here have an opinion on the Hankook tires?
 

Stereodude

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#12
Isn't that $2380? (1350+250+620+60+100)

The Hankook Ventus V12 is a pretty well regarded summer only tire.

What finish are you going with on the F14? Reportedly all the finishes are powder coated now, though I'd want to double check that detail.
 
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#13
$2576.35 after CA sales tax. I was ballparking it in my head...taxes weren't as bad as I'd guessed.

For sure powder coated. Still debating between Matte Black and Gunmetal to match the paint.
 

Handruin

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#14
I've read good things on the Ventus V12s also and posted about them before. I would also consider them for my future S4.
 

Handruin

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#15
Isn't that $2380? (1350+250+620+60+100)

The Hankook Ventus V12 is a pretty well regarded summer only tire.

What finish are you going with on the F14? Reportedly all the finishes are powder coated now, though I'd want to double check that detail.
Is powder coat the better option? When I looked into it very briefly, I got a mixed impression.
 

Stereodude

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#16
Is powder coat the better option? When I looked into it very briefly, I got a mixed impression.
A powdercoated finish will be more durable. Some people claim that powdercoating aluminum wheels weakens them from the heat in the oven. In theory that's true, but a wheel maker is going to use low temperature powder coating process to avoid that issue.
 
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#21
Seriously? People actually plastidip their wheels?! Can an even coating be put onto the wheels? I would think the balancing would be horrible otherwise.
I'd never heard of this plastidip stuff before, but Googling shows YouTube full of videos for car rims. I can't imagine the weight being that significant, much less the variance across the surface.
 

BingBangBop

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#23
When they balance the tires, they just add lead weights to the rims till there is no more wobble when spun. It would seem to me that any unbalancing caused by plastidip should be easily compensated by the normal balancing process.
 
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#26
Forgestar F14 18x8.5 ET48 Square Setup in Gunmetal with Powder Coat Finish and Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 in 225/40ZR18 ordered from Sonic Motorsports.

Now I'm looking for other ways to save weight. Carbon Ceramic brakes? Carbon Fiber body panels? I have the Open Sky roof (all glass) that I'm sure weighs quite a few pounds and is at the top of the car...
 

Stereodude

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#27
I'm sure there's a pile of sound deadening you could remove to save weight. ;)

Realistically though a "big brake kit" will probably save some pounds. I guess it really all comes down to how extreme you want to get. I'd recommend modifying the car for more power ECU tune, K04 turbo, etc over going crazy with weight reduction though.
 
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#28
I'm sure there's a pile of sound deadening you could remove to save weight. ;)

Realistically though a "big brake kit" will probably save some pounds. I guess it really all comes down to how extreme you want to get. I'd recommend modifying the car for more power ECU tune, K04 turbo, etc over going crazy with weight reduction though.
I'm old enough to like the sound deadening on my daily driver, thanks ;) I do intend to do some engine mods after the warranty is gone (16k miles and counting), but in the meantime I would like to keep some kind of steady progress.

Removing weight (especially unsprung weight) just seems to be the ideal; better ride, better performance, better mileage.

You think that changing to larger aftermarket (non ceramic) brakes could save some weight? Any idea how I could look into that? These from the S3 seem to be the smallest of the aftermarket brake kits, but still no weights listed...
 

Stereodude

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#30
If you're trying to save weight I'd suggest a real BBK with 2 piece rotors and the like over trying to put a S3 setup on the car (unless you can confirm that the S3 setup is appreciably lighter).
 
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#32
If you're trying to save weight I'd suggest a real BBK with 2 piece rotors and the like over trying to put a S3 setup on the car (unless you can confirm that the S3 setup is appreciably lighter).
I have no idea how much any of these kits weight. I'm just having a hard time getting my mind around the thought that a bigger set of brakes would weigh less.
 

Handruin

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#33
I have no idea how much any of these kits weight. I'm just having a hard time getting my mind around the thought that a bigger set of brakes would weigh less.
The Racing Brake 2-piece open-slot rotors I put on my TL-S saved me about 5Lb per wheel if that helps any. Each rotor weighed in at about 15lbs. The size of the rotor is 310x25mm (12.2" x 1"). Your weight savings will likely be different because it's possible your stock rotors are different than what my stock Brembo rotors were on my TL-S. The other advantage (not that you may need it) is the 2-piece reduce the amount of heat spread to the bearing and in the case of these rotors with the convergent veins, it helps to reduce brake fade.
 

Handruin

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#34
I have no idea how much any of these kits weight. I'm just having a hard time getting my mind around the thought that a bigger set of brakes would weigh less.
They weigh less because the center hub is not as thick and is replaced with an aluminum hub (I think it's aluminum...need to check on that).
 
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#35
Thanks for that. I never plan to track the car, and as far as a single stop from 130mph goes, even the stock are fine. Just looking for something light. A 5+lb weight savings would be worth consideration.
 
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#36
Had some fun over the weekend. The roof rack with my bikes on it isn't as secure as I would like, plus wind noise and measurably worse fuel economy. I decided to put the bikes in the car. After pulling all the wheels and folding down the rear seat they fit, but barely and stuff is rubbing/rattling all over the place.

So I gutted the back of the car. Carpet, spare tire, jack, rear seat, etc. Down to the occupancy sensors and the gas tank.

The up side is that there is plenty of space to put in a pair of these near the tailgate to mount the bikes vertically and keep the rear wheels on. The other up side is that I removed about 200 pounds; the performance difference is appreciable.

The downside is that, with all the noise deadening materials removed, I can hear everything. Fuel sloshing in the tank, gravel pinging off the undercarriage, other vehicles, tire noise, etc. I'm assuming the exhaust is mounted directly to something that is now exposed, because that is a fairly prominent (and not unpleasant) sound as well.

So the new plan here is to build an alternative interior for bike transport and 'ute duty, while keeping it fully reversible if needed (perhaps once a year? or when I sell it?). Thoughts are:

1. Something to deaden the sound (Dynomat over the exposed metal?)
2. Something to conform to the existing shape and level the surface (medium density foam?)
3. Something to provide a smooth, durable, watertight surface (similar to my WeatherTech trunk liner).
 

BingBangBop

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#37
I wouldn't have done that! You have a relatively valuable car and by destroying the interior you likely killed its resale value, unless you can redo it very well and that's going to be expensive to do. I would have gotten a better bike carrier or bought a trailer and simply attached a hitch as a cheaper alternative.
 
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#39
Nothing was cut, split, or harmed in any way. Everything I've done is completely reversible, probably within an hour. A total of 4 bolts were removed, and I even have the torque spec for putting them back in.

That said, I've basically made the choice that this will be my vehicle for some time to come. With the upcoming engine modifications, installed radar detector, aftermarket stereo, etc, resale value has been significantly deprioritized.
 
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#40
I supposed this + this was too straight forward?
That is still outside the car. My bike is already too valuable to leave out there (and getting more valuable all the time). I ride every day somewhere, and once I start competing will be travelling over most of central California. Because of all the riding, having the bike in the car at all times makes a lot of sense. Protection from the weather is an added bonus.
 
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