A3 Budget Track Car Build

danrst171

Registered User
Hi all,

I've been meaning to start one of these for a while now. So, rewinding about a year and a half, my friend purchased a 2005 A3 2.0 TFSI Quattro from a garage who they know the owner of. It was a P/X so the dealer just wanted rid and sold it for £750. It had 120k miles on and was sold as seen. I was in Switzerland at the time and had sold my 2014 A3 because we didn't see the point in keeping the car whilst abroad.

On returning to the UK around 1 year ago, I needed a car and ended up buying a Scirocco for the missus and I bought the A3 off my friend for £750. As we already had the Scirocco, I decided I'd do something I've wanted to do for a long time and work on the car to make a road legal track car. Yes, an A3 is heavy...especially a Quattro...but it'd be boring if everyone made track MX5's and Clio's (although I loved my old Clios). Now, I aren't made of money so the plan was to do things as cheaply as possible. Yes, buy cheap buy twice is the old saying...but let's skip over that for now!

So, the car needed an MOT as the old one had expired and it had been sat for a considerable amount of time so it got a basic service. The air filter housing had broken to the point it just pulled out without unscrewing anything...so the first modification was an oversized Ram air filter. After this, it was booked in for an MOT knowing it needed some work doing. The Haldex control unit was causing the traction control light to come on for example.

So after a few days, I got the call that it needed:

  • New rear springs as one side had snapped
  • Haldex unit sending off to be reconditioned
  • New calipers on the rear as the old ones were seized
  • New discs and pads all round (although these had been provided as I knew they needed changing)
  • A few other minor changes
So, I decided to buy some JOM Blueline coilovers (yes, the cheapest coilovers available) and the garage fit the rears but not the fronts...strangely. When I got the car back with a new MOT, I set about fitting the front coilovers and the car sat like that for abit.

At Christmas, I got a K brace for the rear and proceeded to fit that. I should mention that whilst doing nothing mechanically to the car, I have constantly (and slowly) been removing interior parts.

After driving it for a while, I noticed that the coolant temperature would reach 90 degrees whilst not moving or moving 30mph, but any faster and it would drop down again. So I jumped on here and found it was likely a thermostat issue. I proceeded to look at how difficult a job that was and just ignored the problem for a while. Instead, I only took it for short journeys every now and then and sat on my hands abit.

Eventually...I bought a Milltek backbox 2nd hand and sourced a new non-resonated pipe. I spent a day removing the old exhaust and fitting the new one. Looks alot better but doesn't sound all that much different. I think the old exhaust had been repaired and the resonated had been removed already.

After that (earlier this week) I started to take the front end apart to fit a tow strap, measure up for a new grill and replace the coolant whilst doing the thermostat. Currently, the car is sat outside waiting on a new oil cooler and o-ring as I accidentally hit the oil cooler whilst grinding a rounded screw off so that was leaking. Once those arrive, the thermostat will be done and I can start putting everything back together.

I also have one of the wheels off at the moment to sand back and DIY repaint it either gun metal grey or black cherry red (undecided yet).

i have been terrible so far in that I have taken no photos. The only one I have is this one:

PXL_20210415_120933026.jpg


That's mostly because it never has been and never will be a "pretty" car. It will have a hard end to it's life but that's why it was built.

Next plans are (in no particular order):
  • Intercooler
  • HPFP cam follower and upgrade kit
  • Downpipe and decat / sports cat
  • Remap
  • Further weight loss
Who knows what after that. Thanks for reading if you got this far. I'll keep updating with anything new and hopefully at some point later this year I'll be going to my first track day!
 

desertstorm

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
VCDS Map User
Hi, If you are taking the car on track the one thing you need to sort apart from making sure the car is reliable is the brakes. Temperature issues should be sorted as any kind of problem with the coolant system usually ends in tears with leaks or overheating. The quattro won't really help you unless you have more than 200-250bhp or it's raining. The extra weight of the quattro also stresses the brake system more. You could pick up some second hand S3 front brakes which would help a lot.
Take as much weight as you can out of the car especially high up or from the front.
 

danrst171

Registered User
Hi, If you are taking the car on track the one thing you need to sort apart from making sure the car is reliable is the brakes. Temperature issues should be sorted as any kind of problem with the coolant system usually ends in tears with leaks or overheating. The quattro won't really help you unless you have more than 200-250bhp or it's raining. The extra weight of the quattro also stresses the brake system more. You could pick up some second hand S3 front brakes which would help a lot.
Take as much weight as you can out of the car especially high up or from the front.
Yeah, I'm working with what I have in terms of the Quattro. I'm aiming to remap to stage 2+, which I believe will get me about 280bhp so hopefully it helps a little when pushing out of slower corners and like you say, it'll be nice to have in the rain.

For brakes, I really haven't started looking yet. I threw on some cheap discs and pads from eurocarparts to get it through the MOT but need to look at which setup to go for longer term. Whilst I had the bumper off i was going to look at some cooling options, the front fog lights are in the bin so could possibly look at an air feed from those gaps, will wait and see what the clearance is like when it's back together.
 
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