Saturday 3 November 2012

She's Back!

Right, So its been a good few months since I have actually done anything to the car and since the accident I honestly couldn't be bothered. The car looked a mess and every time I would clean it I would end up depressed...

I needed to sort it out!
So I started looking into options to repair the car... with the extent of the damage it would need a full respray. Now I figured this would be a good opportunity to do some upgrades at the same time as getting the car repaired so I started looking into some upgrades that I had been wanting to do for a while namely alloys and lowering. I had an idea of what alloys I wanted ever since I saw these pictures:

RS6-2 Alloys In GunMetal Grey
Nicely Lowered on 19" alloys

At the same time I figured since I would need to respray both the front and rear of the car why not get the S3 kit... I started searching for parts and used a few pics from the forum as my inspiration.

2007 S3 Front Bumper With The Custom Fit RS6 Grill On Matt's Car
Amar's Car With The Custom Grill
Ash B's Car Looking Lovely

I managed to find the RS6 grill needed to do this next mod but then one of the guys from the forums got in contact with me saying he will be stripping his car and returning it back to standard so he can chop it into Audi to get something nicer. Since he was planning on stripping it he offered me a list of parts at a seriously good price which was too tempting to refuse so we made a deal and I sold on the RS6 grill.
I managed to find a pic online of a car that I would have only dreamt of having but with the parts from this guy it would be possible... so I put this pic on my phone home screen as a constant reminder and just waited.

Facelift S3 Front End With The RS3 Grill

I had been paid out from the third parties insurance company so I had the money sitting there but as I was waiting on this other guy I just left the money where it was and kept on dreaming of when my car would be complete.

Since I was just waiting on this guy I figured I would just get the parts he was not supplying me and I shopped around for the alloys and suspension. I decided that I would be putting 19s on my car but after seeing them in the flesh I was worried about the massive space between the spokes of the alloys and how ugly it would look with the standard brakes behind it so I also decided I needed some bigger brakes.

I managed to find a decent deal on eBay so I drove up to Birmingham where I would collect the S3 Brakes, some new wishbones and a new door for the Drivers side as that had a massive dent in it.
While I was picking up the door, the garage that was selling it offered to fit it for me and also knocked out the crumbled rear arch just to prove the point of how easy it was and to show that I was about to be ripped off for doing it in London as the local garages quoted me £1400 for the fix and a respray! I was really impressed with this garage so I kept his details as I was sure I would be coming back to him.

Later that week I sprayed the brakes red and left them to dry in the garden:

Full S3 Front & Rear Brakes
Brakes Sprayed In Red 

Next I needed to get the alloys so after a few days of searching I managed to find a decent priced set on eBay which turned up a few days later:

RS6 Alloys In 19"

Now I didn't want to fit the new alloys on until I had the car sorted out as I didn't want to ruin the alloys but it got to a point where I needed to replace my tyres and I didn't really want to spend money on another set of tyres for the 17s since I had just bought new rubber for the 19s...
But then something happened:

Result Of What Happens When A Car Takes On A Pillar
Front Grill Cracked Badly... S-Line Badge Has Come Off

As the wishbone bushes had cracked I had a bit of play in the passenger side wheel and the tracking was off... the car was eating tyres like no business and even the temporary second hand tyres i fitted on only lasted a month! It was only a matter of time before I would loose grip in the rain and go into a pillar to smash up the grill

So now I had to rush and get the mechanical bits sorted and make the car safe so after I got hold of the Eibcah Sportline lowering springs from one of the sponsors on the Audi-Sport forum I took the car in to get the stuff put on:

Rear S3 Brakes & Eibach Sportline Springs Fitted 
Front S3 Brakes Fitted

Alloys Fitted On
She Returns To The Ground

I was so pleased with how it turned out! The car was starting to take shape:

She Is So Happy With Her New Shoes

Looking Mean
Looking Lush With The Red Brakes

Now a whole 3 months had passed from the day we agreed on the deal... I had heard excuse after excuse, reasons as to why he isn't yet ready and he even went as far as agreeing a date to drop the cars into the garage but then the day before he changed his mind again... not only that the deal changed from just taking the parts from him to actually swapping our parts over but I had enough of the waiting and decided I was going to just go and get the parts myself and get this car sorted out.

So since I was going to start from scratch I was presented with the dilemma... should I just go back to the original S3 front end or should I take the plunge and do the facelift? After about 5 minutes I had made up my mind... The facelift it is! I was not going to let the 3 months of waiting and wanting the facelift go to waste so I started searching for parts and slowly got things together. I also managed to get a really good price for the whole fitting and respray of the car at the garage in Birmingham.

Facelift S3 Front Bumper
Brand New Bonnet 
Radiator Surround and Wings 

I also got hold of this baby!

RS3 Grill!

Now when I collected the bonnet I quickly realised that there was no way I would be able to take all the parts to Birmingham in one go so now I had 2 choices... Make several trips or fit the parts myself!

I may be crazy but I wasn't going to make a few trips to take the parts... So I started looking into what is needed to do this myself.

I got all the info I needed and got all the parts together, then planned a weekend to do it... The aim was to complete the facelift in one day and if anything went wrong I would have the Sunday to finish it off.

So the Saturday came and I got to work stripping the car down:

Front Bumper Off
Wings & Arch Liners Out, Crash Bar Removed and Radiator Surround Taken Off
Bonnet Removed
Doesn't look nice
All The Parts Off The Car

Since I had taken all the bits off I now had to rebuild it with the new parts on, I also took this opportunity to replace the battery as there wasn't many parts in the way.
I didn't stop after that last picture to take any more pics... I was running out of daylight and it started to rain. I was lucky enough to have on of my friends come over towards the end and help me out screwing on bolts on one side I did the other side but by the time we finished it was totally dark and pouring it down! Thanks to him we used his car headlights to see what we were doing but we finally ended up with this:

Facelift completed
8000K Xenons Working
LED DRLs Working nicely!

So we finally packed up, got dried up and went for a Shisha to celebrate the accomplishment!

The next morning I was able to get these:

S3 Kit All Fitted
All Wet From The Rain
Almost There Now
Gaps can be seen on the side of the Bonnet

Of course I was thoroughly impressed with myself for being able to facelift the car in 1 day... but there was still more work to be done as the car needed to be aligned and sprayed up. I double checked the car on Sunday and made sure all the bolts were done up tightly and then on Monday I drove the car up to the garage in Birmingham with the rest of the parts in the back of the car.

Once at the garage I found out I needed some more parts to complete the work so another one of my friends who lives in Birmingham came down to see the car and had me do a couple bits on his car... then we went off to order the missing parts and get some food. On our return to the garage we found  this:

The guys were test fitting the parts to check that it was all going on ok and had fully aligned the bonnet and wings... The car was looking sexy! Now I had a courtesy car ready so I left my baby in the garage and headed home.

The garage got some good progress pics of the car whilst they were prepping it for the paintwork and repairing the dents.

I was updated by my good friend in Birmingham who went and saw the progress just before the car went in for the final paint... I was so excited to go up and collect it! So excited that I totally forgot to get a pic of it in the garage... I did get these though:

Shortened Metal Pressed Plates On The Grill

Ok I'll stop teasing! Here are the proper post-garage shots:

Mirror Glass Finish

Too Sexy!

As you can see the hard work paid off! The car looks amazing and the paintwork is beautiful! I asked the garage to paint the mirrors, front and rear valance to match the grill and alloys and they perfectly matched it! The alloys needed cleaning in the above pics and looked darker than what they actually are...
But I got a few more pics with my friend back in London

Its totally transformed! Looks so much more up to date and so mean!

I left it a week and the car was looking filthy, the paint was hidden under a layer of dirt making it look dull... so I gave her a clean and took another few pics of how she looks now!

There are still some more things left to do to complete the look from my inspiration pic... But I'm pretty much there!

The next update... A5 Heated Leathers in My A3