Its August 1991 and I have decided that my current vehicle is looking old (plus the ashtray was full) so a replacement was required, but what make should I try next?
Having owned several Vauxhall’s and a Fiat a change of direction was required. The new shape BMW 3 series had just been released and it was decided that a 318iS would be great. My piggy bank had a different idea though, and soon the car of my dreams would have to be a 316i in standard spec. After many test-drives and negotiations it was found that the part-exchange price offered to me by the BMW sales man was some £600 – £800 lower than the book price. Several weeks passed and my frustration was showing when my father suggested “why not look at an Audi”, “they’re strong, reliable and look safe”. What a fabulous idea, but don’t I need Richard Branson’s wallet? Next stop my local Audi dealer to see what was available for a poor individual like me. First shock – the list price for the Audi 80 range was competitive and the specifications higher than the BMW’s. Second shock – the sales man offered me some £1500 extra on my part exchange. Hold it where’s the catch! I hear you ask. No catch simply that production of the Series 3, 80’s had ceased in June of that year. This meant that Audi GmbH had sent over the last cars to leave the factory and advised click for larger picturea handful of dealer’s dispose of these, ASAP. The problem was that the Series 4 cars were arriving and most people were vying for these. So decision time once again Series 3 or 4? The Series 3, in my opinion, looked smarter and had more equipment pound for pound. Soon the paper work was signed and a Series 3 80 1.8 SE was purchased and placed in the drive with 14 miles on the clock. The first seven being myself test driving the vehicle, the other seven part of the P.D.I. The original spec. of the vehicle was :
Front fog lights
Electric front & rear windows
Alloy wheels – Ronal R8 6×14
Procon-ten restraint system
Heated mirrors & washer jets
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The car was nice but it lacked a certain sparkle, time to modify. Phase one was to colour key the bumpers; door mirrors and purchases a boot spoiler. Once that was paid for phase two was started which involved the original alloys to be replaced with 7×15 six spoke Speedline alloys from a scrap 2.0 litre sport. The power/ performance was lacking, next phase three; the exhaust was replaced with a full Remus system with twin pipes at the rear plus a Jetex air filter. This topped of with a re-chip at AMD, and what a vast difference that made.
Geof Everett of AMD found the original set-up to be rather lacking in most area’s. The specification for my 1781 cc single point injection unit should be 90 Bhp and 103 lb. Ft torque. Once on the rolling road it was apparent that was not the case and the car had left the factory with some 82 Bhp and 92 lb. ft torque. After Geof had waived his magic wand and replaced the chip, the story changes direction. The car now had some 98 Bhp and 121 lb. ft torque, plus the torque came in some 1000 rpm lower than before. What a transformation and with no determent to fuel economy in fact the car’s mpg went from 30 to 34 mpg on long runs and motorway use, was I pleased or was I pleased! Now with a grin on my face from the renewed vigour the re-chip had provided, the next phase was to address the handling problem. After many hours of click here for larger imagereading and phoning around the solution became apparent.
First the suspension needed firming up and lowering, then may be another change of alloys. The dampers were replaced with Koni top adjustable all round and lowered 40 mm using Weitec springs from C&R Enterprises. What a transformation, not only did it look the business it handle like a dream and the suspension changes would now allow the full use of my 98 Bhp. Part two of phase four was the alloys. Having gone up one size already (14″ to 15″) it was decided that to ‘size up one more’ would be best for looks and handling. Thus when I was offered a set of Ronal R26 71/2 x 16, ET 35 alloy’s by Steve of C&R, they were quickly purchased.
So that is where I have stopped for the moment, one to replace funds and two to decide what should I do next for phases five and six. Any idea’s! I have been toying with the idea of increasing the power of my 1781 cc from 98 Bhp or maybe an engine change for say a 5 cylinder 10V. The interior is also looking a little boring, so may be a revamp of the old seats, or maybe I could take the car Aelred of Dialynx and ask him to perform his magic and make my series 3 80, a series 3 80 SPORT!