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Old 04-23-2010, 12:50 AM   #1
siagolf
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Thumbs up **REVIEW** S3 Intercooler + AWE Hose Kit + AWE Turbo Outlet Pipe Installed!

Hey All,

Got the S3 Intercooler + AWE hose kit + AWE turbo outlet pipe installed today. Here's my mini-review.

---------------------------------------

Parts

S3 Intercooler: The VW/Audi part number for the S3 intercooler is 1K0145803P Interesting point is that this is the exact same intercooler that the Audi TT-S runs. Another interesting point is that the stock MK6 GTI intercooler is the exact same intercooler that the Audi TT runs.

For our southern neighbors, apparently the best price you can get the S3 intercooler for is $256.32 at www.genuinevwaudiparts.com Just use the search by part number, enter the part number above, and make sure you select "Audi" for the make. I tried to order the intercooler from this site, but alas, they wouldn't ship it to Canada in risk of it being damaged during shipping... So, I got mine from Open Road Audi (in Vancouver) for pretty much the wholesale price.

From a size perspective, the S3 intercooler is deeper than the stock intercooler -- I would say by approximately half-inch. Length and height are pretty much the same, but because of its greater depth it does offer more volume than the stock intercooler. Another difference is that the end tanks in the S3 Intercooler are made of aluminum just like the rest of the intercooler. Our stock version has plastic end tanks. Fin layout and design look the same to my naked eye, but I didn't meticulously compare the fins between the 2 so I could be wrong. Weight difference between the two is negligible -- they're both very light!

AWE Hose Kit: You can cut your stock hoses to install the S3 intercooler, so this part is optional. I didn't want to cut my stock hoses so I decided to order this part, but this kinda backfired on me...more on this later. Overall hose-kit quality is great and it comes with all the necessary parts to replace your stock hoses when installing the S3 intercooler.

AWE Turbo Outlet Pipe: If you're replacing your stock intercooler, then I strongly suggest you consider swapping the wrinkled-pancake stock turbo outlet pipe in the process. You'll have to remove this piece during the install so why not "kill 2 birds with 1 stone" and install a free-er flowing, larger diameter, and overall better designed turbo outlet pipe in the process? If you're getting a shop to do the install (as I did) they SHOULD NOT charge you any additional labor to do this.

I opted for the raw aluminum finish and it's definitely a very raw finish! Regardless, I can't justify the additional $30 to get the black powdercoat version for this part.

Installation Procedure

I got it professionally installed so no DIY write-up or pics. The shop took about 4-5 hours to do the install. There are DIY's posted on Vortex -- just search for S3 Intercooler and a few should pop up. For me, it was a little too much to take on, but for those who are mechanically-inclined and have the tools and equipment to install it yourself, this can prove to be one of the best bang-for-buck mods out there -- more on this later!

Again, if you're swapping your stock intercooler, then I recommend you swap out your stock turbo outlet pipe as well as you'll have to remove this piece as part of the installation process anyways.

Impressions

Pros

I immediately noticed a definite improvement in performance with the S3 intercooler and AWE turbo outlet pipe. Performance improvements I noticed include:

1. a quicker and free-er revving engine...this was very surprising to me as I did not expect this at all! But I swear the revs climb more easily and quickly across the band now! Could the turbo be spooling quicker and easier now?

2. a much smoother and more urgent pull/acceleration

3. less lag/sudden turbo surge -- the car accelerates stronger and much smoother/more linear across the entire rev band

4. definite improvement in throttle response

Even my gf noticed these improvements (especially #3 above) when I picked her up from the airport today. This was the ultimate proof to me as she's been away all week, not car savvy, and it took me 35-45 mins of rush-hour stop-n-go traffic in 20-deg Celsius weather to get to the airport. Some people have described the improvements as "it feels like you're driving in crisp cold weather all the time"...I would agree, but was also pleasantly surprised with how much smoother and stronger the acceleration/pull is with the S3 intercooler.

Cons

During install, my shop found that the AWE turbo outlet-side hose was too short and would not be useable. So we ended up having to cut the stock hose for that side anyways. Kinda frustrating since both the turbo outlet pipe and the hose kit are from AWE...so I'm surprised and disappointed that the hose was too short to use.

I've emailed AWE explaining the issue with pics that the shop took to show what I mean...hopefully we'll reach a mutually agreeable resolution to this issue.

The hose from the S3 intercooler to the throttle body fit perfectly.

Conclusion

Hands-down a great upgrade that yields immediately noticeable performance improvements! If you can DIY the install, then to me, it becomes a no-brainer, must-do mod regardless of whether or not you're chipped! Even if you can't DIY, I would still consider it especially if you do a lot of city driving.

---------------------------------------

If you're also running the S3 intercooler please feel free to add your review/experience in this thread!

Anyways, hopefully this has helped others out there. More than happy to try and answer any questions you guys might have. As always, any and all feedback appreciated!
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2010 Deep Black Pearl 6-spd GTI
Engine: APR Stage 1, Carbonio CF Intake, Raven's Stealth Noise Pipe Plug, S3 Intercooler w/AWE hoses, AWE Turbo Discharge Pipe
Tranny/Driveline: Neuspeed Torque Arm Insert
Suspension: H&R Touring Cup Kit
Shoes: 19" Neuspeed RS10 Forged w/Falken FK-452 || 18" Detroits w/P-Zero Nero
Interior: Leather, Dynaudio, Navi, MDI, Bluetooth, 3M Di-Noc Carbon Fiber Wrap
Exterior: Rieger Front Lip+Splitter, 4500k Fogs, Color-matched reflectors
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:40 AM   #2
mikochu
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I heard the S3 intercoolers being ordered now-a-days are coming with plastic sides... Also, I'm skeptical of that turbo outlet pipe.

Other those two comments, I'm happy for you.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:42 AM   #3
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Wow, you're certainly a busy bee with the car mods there, haha! Do you feel that the intercooler is really necessary with anything less than a Stage III tune? I agree that it's definitely a mod that helps any turbocharged car immensely, but for our small stock turbo hardly seems to be a priority compared to a downpipe or a turboback exhaust.

Nevertheless a good mod, and I will definitely be doing something similar in the future, whether it be with the S3 intercooler or something else.

Why didn't you just ship it south of the border to Point Roberts or Blaine? I'm pretty much doing that with whatever I order from the states, just for the sheer easiness and cost savings... and with the dollar on par it saves me a whole heck of a lot more!
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:11 AM   #4
siagolf
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roastpuff -- i believe that the S3 IC is one of the best bang for buck mods out there because it's a foundational part that will only improve the impact of future performance-type mods like a dp/tbe/stage 2, stage 3, k04 etc. Is it necessary? no, but none of the mods we do is "necessary". Is it worth it? IMHO, yes. I don't mind letting you take the car out for a spin to see for yourself.

DP/TBE+Stage 2 on the other hand I'm not so sure...I've driven a couple "stage 2" MK5's and MK6's with full TBE's and although I felt a difference...was it enough to make the $1000+install price tag a no-brainer? I'm not so sure.....

Having said that, I most likely will be going stage 2 just because once I start, I can't stop.

mikochu -- I ordered and picked up my S3 intercooler using that part number as recent as 3-4 weeks ago and it came with the aluminum end-tanks. I don't know if VW/Audi has made any changes since, but I doubt it.
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2010 Deep Black Pearl 6-spd GTI
Engine: APR Stage 1, Carbonio CF Intake, Raven's Stealth Noise Pipe Plug, S3 Intercooler w/AWE hoses, AWE Turbo Discharge Pipe
Tranny/Driveline: Neuspeed Torque Arm Insert
Suspension: H&R Touring Cup Kit
Shoes: 19" Neuspeed RS10 Forged w/Falken FK-452 || 18" Detroits w/P-Zero Nero
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siagolf View Post
roastpuff -- i believe that the S3 IC is one of the best bang for buck mods out there because it's a foundational part that will only improve the impact of future performance-type mods like a dp/tbe/stage 2, stage 3, k04 etc. Is it necessary? no, but none of the mods we do is "necessary". Is it worth it? IMHO, yes. I don't mind letting you take the car out for a spin to see for yourself.

DP/TBE+Stage 2 on the other hand I'm not so sure...I've driven a couple "stage 2" MK5's and MK6's with full TBE's and although I felt a difference...was it enough to make the $1000+install price tag a no-brainer? I'm not so sure.....

Having said that, I most likely will be going stage 2 just because once I start, I can't stop.
A fair point, in that having a good supporting system in place will enhance the effects of any further modifications to the engine, especially that involving increasing the boost pressure/charge.

The nice thing about APR is that Stage 2 software is free, and we can get fairly cheap downpipes from the likes of Techtonics and 42DD that work well...

A little off-topic, but what are your thoughts on the H&R Touring Cup suspension kit? I really want to lower my car a little bit - about 1" or so, but want to retain stock (or as close as possible) driveability and ride comfort. I'm considering those as my next mod after my BMC CDA intake.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:42 AM   #6
siagolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roastpuff View Post

A little off-topic, but what are your thoughts on the H&R Touring Cup suspension kit? I really want to lower my car a little bit - about 1" or so, but want to retain stock (or as close as possible) driveability and ride comfort. I'm considering those as my next mod after my BMC CDA intake.
it meets exactly what i'm looking for in terms of balancing daily driveability with noticeable improvement in handling. regardless of what i say, nothing beats first-hand experience and feel. so come drive my car and see for yourself if it meets what you're looking for!
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2010 Deep Black Pearl 6-spd GTI
Engine: APR Stage 1, Carbonio CF Intake, Raven's Stealth Noise Pipe Plug, S3 Intercooler w/AWE hoses, AWE Turbo Discharge Pipe
Tranny/Driveline: Neuspeed Torque Arm Insert
Suspension: H&R Touring Cup Kit
Shoes: 19" Neuspeed RS10 Forged w/Falken FK-452 || 18" Detroits w/P-Zero Nero
Interior: Leather, Dynaudio, Navi, MDI, Bluetooth, 3M Di-Noc Carbon Fiber Wrap
Exterior: Rieger Front Lip+Splitter, 4500k Fogs, Color-matched reflectors
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:02 AM   #7
brmcmaho
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Really well written and complete review. Well done and thanks a lot for that, I'm considering this mod for myself even more now.
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:13 AM   #8
siagolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brmcmaho View Post
Really well written and complete review. Well done and thanks a lot for that, I'm considering this mod for myself even more now.
Thanks brmcmaho, and I'm glad you found it helpful!
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2010 Deep Black Pearl 6-spd GTI
Engine: APR Stage 1, Carbonio CF Intake, Raven's Stealth Noise Pipe Plug, S3 Intercooler w/AWE hoses, AWE Turbo Discharge Pipe
Tranny/Driveline: Neuspeed Torque Arm Insert
Suspension: H&R Touring Cup Kit
Shoes: 19" Neuspeed RS10 Forged w/Falken FK-452 || 18" Detroits w/P-Zero Nero
Interior: Leather, Dynaudio, Navi, MDI, Bluetooth, 3M Di-Noc Carbon Fiber Wrap
Exterior: Rieger Front Lip+Splitter, 4500k Fogs, Color-matched reflectors
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:04 AM   #9
MasterKevin
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Very nice very nice i can't wait till i put my APR intercooler in.

Kevin
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siagolf View Post
Hey All,

Got the S3 Intercooler + AWE hose kit + AWE turbo outlet pipe installed today. Here's my mini-review.

---------------------------------------

Parts

S3 Intercooler: The VW/Audi part number for the S3 intercooler is 1K0145803P Interesting point is that this is the exact same intercooler that the Audi TT-S runs. Another interesting point is that the stock MK6 GTI intercooler is the exact same intercooler that the Audi TT runs.

For our southern neighbors, apparently the best price you can get the S3 intercooler for is $256.32 at www.genuinevwaudiparts.com Just use the search by part number, enter the part number above, and make sure you select "Audi" for the make. I tried to order the intercooler from this site, but alas, they wouldn't ship it to Canada in risk of it being damaged during shipping... So, I got mine from Open Road Audi (in Vancouver) for pretty much the wholesale price.

From a size perspective, the S3 intercooler is deeper than the stock intercooler -- I would say by approximately half-inch. Length and height are pretty much the same, but because of its greater depth it does offer more volume than the stock intercooler. Another difference is that the end tanks in the S3 Intercooler are made of aluminum just like the rest of the intercooler. Our stock version has plastic end tanks. Fin layout and design look the same to my naked eye, but I didn't meticulously compare the fins between the 2 so I could be wrong. Weight difference between the two is negligible -- they're both very light!

AWE Hose Kit: You can cut your stock hoses to install the S3 intercooler, so this part is optional. I didn't want to cut my stock hoses so I decided to order this part, but this kinda backfired on me...more on this later. Overall hose-kit quality is great and it comes with all the necessary parts to replace your stock hoses when installing the S3 intercooler.

AWE Turbo Outlet Pipe: If you're replacing your stock intercooler, then I strongly suggest you consider swapping the wrinkled-pancake stock turbo outlet pipe in the process. You'll have to remove this piece during the install so why not "kill 2 birds with 1 stone" and install a free-er flowing, larger diameter, and overall better designed turbo outlet pipe in the process? If you're getting a shop to do the install (as I did) they SHOULD NOT charge you any additional labor to do this.

I opted for the raw aluminum finish and it's definitely a very raw finish! Regardless, I can't justify the additional $30 to get the black powdercoat version for this part.

Installation Procedure

I got it professionally installed so no DIY write-up or pics. The shop took about 4-5 hours to do the install. There are DIY's posted on Vortex -- just search for S3 Intercooler and a few should pop up. For me, it was a little too much to take on, but for those who are mechanically-inclined and have the tools and equipment to install it yourself, this can prove to be one of the best bang-for-buck mods out there -- more on this later!

Again, if you're swapping your stock intercooler, then I recommend you swap out your stock turbo outlet pipe as well as you'll have to remove this piece as part of the installation process anyways.

Impressions

Pros

I immediately noticed a definite improvement in performance with the S3 intercooler and AWE turbo outlet pipe. Performance improvements I noticed include:

1. a quicker and free-er revving engine...this was very surprising to me as I did not expect this at all! But I swear the revs climb more easily and quickly across the band now! Could the turbo be spooling quicker and easier now?

2. a much smoother and more urgent pull/acceleration

3. less lag/sudden turbo surge -- the car accelerates stronger and much smoother/more linear across the entire rev band

4. definite improvement in throttle response

Even my gf noticed these improvements (especially #3 above) when I picked her up from the airport today. This was the ultimate proof to me as she's been away all week, not car savvy, and it took me 35-45 mins of rush-hour stop-n-go traffic in 20-deg Celsius weather to get to the airport. Some people have described the improvements as "it feels like you're driving in crisp cold weather all the time"...I would agree, but was also pleasantly surprised with how much smoother and stronger the acceleration/pull is with the S3 intercooler.

Cons

During install, my shop found that the AWE turbo outlet-side hose was too short and would not be useable. So we ended up having to cut the stock hose for that side anyways. Kinda frustrating since both the turbo outlet pipe and the hose kit are from AWE...so I'm surprised and disappointed that the hose was too short to use.

I've emailed AWE explaining the issue with pics that the shop took to show what I mean...hopefully we'll reach a mutually agreeable resolution to this issue.

The hose from the S3 intercooler to the throttle body fit perfectly.

Conclusion

Hands-down a great upgrade that yields immediately noticeable performance improvements! If you can DIY the install, then to me, it becomes a no-brainer, must-do mod regardless of whether or not you're chipped! Even if you can't DIY, I would still consider it especially if you do a lot of city driving.

---------------------------------------

If you're also running the S3 intercooler please feel free to add your review/experience in this thread!

Anyways, hopefully this has helped others out there. More than happy to try and answer any questions you guys might have. As always, any and all feedback appreciated!
Hey Bud,

I have done this on my MKVI GTI. I did it all myself with a friend helping me. God, It is PITA! Be sure you put the washer on with the new bolts on the S3. I forgot about that (facepalm) so i will do it soon. I have AWE S3 IC Hoses connected to the S3 Intercooler.

Ofc, I can tell the difference. More revving, better throttle responsive!!

S3 Intercooler is the way to replace the Stock intercooler!
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:36 AM   #11
xCybe
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Can you share the outlet pipe pics?
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:33 PM   #12
siagolf
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xcybe -- sorry I didn't take any pics of the outlet pipe in hand... i'll post the pics that show the hose is too short on the turbo discharge side as they have a part of the pipe in them.

norsk -- thanks for giving your input! hopefully my shop installed the whole thing properly and didn't "forget" any washers, nuts, torx screws etc.....!!

masterkevin -- the APR intercooler is a beast! if i had a little (lot?) more disposable income i would've opted for the APR intercooler, but can't justify it right now given the price difference between the S3 IC and the APR IC....
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2010 Deep Black Pearl 6-spd GTI
Engine: APR Stage 1, Carbonio CF Intake, Raven's Stealth Noise Pipe Plug, S3 Intercooler w/AWE hoses, AWE Turbo Discharge Pipe
Tranny/Driveline: Neuspeed Torque Arm Insert
Suspension: H&R Touring Cup Kit
Shoes: 19" Neuspeed RS10 Forged w/Falken FK-452 || 18" Detroits w/P-Zero Nero
Interior: Leather, Dynaudio, Navi, MDI, Bluetooth, 3M Di-Noc Carbon Fiber Wrap
Exterior: Rieger Front Lip+Splitter, 4500k Fogs, Color-matched reflectors
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:34 PM   #13
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nice write up. i hope AWE fixs the hoses. bc im looking forward to these mods but i dont want to hack up my stock pipes
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:58 PM   #14
siagolf
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Originally Posted by MkVi_Ian View Post
nice write up. i hope AWE fixs the hoses. bc im looking forward to these mods but i dont want to hack up my stock pipes
thanks! as an update to the hoses, i emailed AWE yesterday and PM'd Alex/A.W.E the link to this thread but haven't heard back from them...hoping to hear back from them soon, and i'll post any updates in this thread once they become available.
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2010 Deep Black Pearl 6-spd GTI
Engine: APR Stage 1, Carbonio CF Intake, Raven's Stealth Noise Pipe Plug, S3 Intercooler w/AWE hoses, AWE Turbo Discharge Pipe
Tranny/Driveline: Neuspeed Torque Arm Insert
Suspension: H&R Touring Cup Kit
Shoes: 19" Neuspeed RS10 Forged w/Falken FK-452 || 18" Detroits w/P-Zero Nero
Interior: Leather, Dynaudio, Navi, MDI, Bluetooth, 3M Di-Noc Carbon Fiber Wrap
Exterior: Rieger Front Lip+Splitter, 4500k Fogs, Color-matched reflectors
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