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A3 8V S-line bumper removal and towbar install guide

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Old 05-16-2017, 09:55 AM
  #1
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Default A3 8V S-line bumper removal and towbar install guide

Hi guys

I searched for hours and hours to find information to help me fit my towbar but could not find anything (which I find a bit odd). There are no pictures, YouTube videos, google results or forum posts on here or elsewhere.

So on Friday night I went ahead and fitted my towbar and just worked it out as I went. I took photos as it might prove helpful to someone else. Mods, if this is in the wrong place or not allowed, I apologise and please do with it as required.

I luckily had the use of a friend's workshop and tools. Having a lift made it a lot easier. But you could probably do it without one. I purchased a detachable Westfalia towbar.

Tools & parts required (from memory)
-----------------------------------
- Torx 20
- Small flathead screwdriver
- 10mm and 17mm sockets
- Socket extensions, ratchets etc.
- Torque wrench
- Wheel gun (this was handy for getting the bumper bolts off and towbar bolts on)
- Grease (only because one or two of the bolts from my bumper looked a bit rusty so I treated them)
- Paint/Sealant (to cover and protect the new bolts and uncovered areas from towbar fitting)






Step 1: Remove tail lights
1a: Open right hand boot panel and remove tire-change toolset.



1b: Remove screw. Use a small screwdriver or similar to start turning the screw with the holes at the rear of the head. Once loose, remove by hand



1c: Pull the light towards the rear and side of the vehicle (i.e. imagine a compass rose with N being the front of the car, you want to pull SE). The light is held in by two rubber pop-studs




1d: Disconnect the electrics



Step 2: Undo wheel well screws
There are 3 Torx screws that you need to remove from inside the wheel well. Initially we removed the wheel to help with exploration, but this is not necessary and we didn't on the right hand side. The screws needed undoing are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th ones from the bottom rear part of the wheel well.




Step 3: Undo slide-lock
I don't know whether it was necessary to do this after doing the previous step, but it is the order we did it in. In the corner of the tail light recess there is a black plastic square. Lift it and pull upwards to extract




Step 4: Remove rear diffuser screws
I neglected to take a picture of this, but if you look at the bottom centre of the rear diffuser you will see two Torx screws holding the bumper sub-assembly to the chassis

Step 5: Remove bumper cover sub-assembly
There are 4 nuts on long bolt threads hidden behind grommets in the inside of the boot.
5a: Remove boot lip protector. Grab the plastic cover that covers the lip of the boot and firmly pull upwards. It will unclick from its mounts and come free
5b: Remove the grommets. Two are behind the boot lip protector, and there is 1 in each tail-light cavity (i.e. inside the removable panels within the boot)
5c: Remove the nuts. Be careful not to lose them within the chassis.

Nut behind boot protector (grommet removed)


Nut within tail-light cavity (grommet removed)

5d: Carefully loosen the bumper from the rest of the vehicle by pulling rearwards from the wheel arches.

Remove bumper cover sub-assembly. Note the long bolts that were holding it onto the vehicle

5e: Disconnect the parking sensors (if fitted)

Disconnect electronics/sensors

Step 6: Remove bumper
Remove the 8 bolts holding the original bumper to the chassis. Replace these bolts and cover with some grease



Step 7: Fit towbar
Fit towbar as per manufacturer instructions. My one (Westfalia detachable) had two spigots which were inserted into the chassis and then bolted to it. Other makes may differ.
7a: Remove the chassis/undercarriage treatment where the holes are. Feel for them and remove a square around; this is easier than it sounds. It tears nicely in straight lines, almost like it was meant to

7b: Secure the bolts to the correct torque settings. Treat the bolts/uncovered area with a protector of your choice. I used black paint to seal this and protect from rust.

Step 8: Remove rear diffuser from bumper cover sub-assembly
I don't have any pictures of this, but this was by far the hardest part of the whole thing. It doesnt seem like something that should be hard, but basically you have to unclip about 40 plastic tab clips. This took 2 of us about an hour!!! I also stupidly managed to add some minor scuff marks to my bumper cover, which I am a bit miffed at. If anyone has any tips on how to polish this I am all ears.

Step 9: Add replacement rear diffuser
This step is actually still outstanding (because Audi parts ordering nightmare). The good news is I can add it once I get it quite easily (well I hope so, it certainly looks like I just clip it in). The part number I ordered was 8V3807521C (this is a double pipe left diffuser with towbar hatch, so you cant see anything when towball is removed and hatch is in place)

Step 10: Put everything back together. Follow the steps in reverse order. Make sure you don't have any parts left over at the end, and test that your lights and bumper sensors still work correctly.

Note: I did not install electrics as I only use the towbar for my cycle carrier which has its own number plate, and as no lights are obstructed I don't need to wire anything up. I may add this later if I ever intend to tow, but that is unlikely at the moment.

I hope this guide will be helpful to one of my fellow Audi owners
Robyn
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:49 AM
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Hello comraab, thanks very much for your excellent legwork and photos. I took delivery of an 2015 A3 TDI Technik Saloon on Jun 26 of this year after negotiating a TDI emissions buyback / trade-in on my 2013 VW Golf TDI (Generation 1 engine, MK6 in North America) Highline w/ Navigation. I installed the Westfalia towbar system on it and could not have been happier. Want to do the same for the A3 and will purchase again from PF Jones in the UK.
By the way the Westfalia towbar on my Golf prevented it from becoming a write-off when I was rear-ended last Oct. Was stopped at a crosswalk and were hit full speed 50km/hr by a 2003 Mercedes wagon who admitted to being distracted. I drove away but he had to be towed. When the opportunity came up to get a 2015 Audi with a Generation 3 TDI I realized this was my last chance to stay with a diesel and DSG. What a towing machine when combined with the Westfalia!
Thanks again for posting your pictures and discussion.
All the best,
Owen

Originally Posted by comraab View Post
Hi guys

I searched for hours and hours to find information to help me fit my towbar but could not find anything (which I find a bit odd). There are no pictures, YouTube videos, google results or forum posts on here or elsewhere.

So on Friday night I went ahead and fitted my towbar and just worked it out as I went. I took photos as it might prove helpful to someone else. Mods, if this is in the wrong place or not allowed, I apologise and please do with it as required.

I luckily had the use of a friend's workshop and tools. Having a lift made it a lot easier. But you could probably do it without one. I purchased a detachable Westfalia towbar.

Tools & parts required (from memory)
-----------------------------------
- Torx 20
- Small flathead screwdriver
- 10mm and 17mm sockets
- Socket extensions, ratchets etc.
- Torque wrench
- Wheel gun (this was handy for getting the bumper bolts off and towbar bolts on)
- Grease (only because one or two of the bolts from my bumper looked a bit rusty so I treated them)
- Paint/Sealant (to cover and protect the new bolts and uncovered areas from towbar fitting)






Step 1: Remove tail lights
1a: Open right hand boot panel and remove tire-change toolset.



1b: Remove screw. Use a small screwdriver or similar to start turning the screw with the holes at the rear of the head. Once loose, remove by hand



1c: Pull the light towards the rear and side of the vehicle (i.e. imagine a compass rose with N being the front of the car, you want to pull SE). The light is held in by two rubber pop-studs




1d: Disconnect the electrics



Step 2: Undo wheel well screws
There are 3 Torx screws that you need to remove from inside the wheel well. Initially we removed the wheel to help with exploration, but this is not necessary and we didn't on the right hand side. The screws needed undoing are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th ones from the bottom rear part of the wheel well.




Step 3: Undo slide-lock
I don't know whether it was necessary to do this after doing the previous step, but it is the order we did it in. In the corner of the tail light recess there is a black plastic square. Lift it and pull upwards to extract




Step 4: Remove rear diffuser screws
I neglected to take a picture of this, but if you look at the bottom centre of the rear diffuser you will see two Torx screws holding the bumper sub-assembly to the chassis

Step 5: Remove bumper cover sub-assembly
There are 4 nuts on long bolt threads hidden behind grommets in the inside of the boot.
5a: Remove boot lip protector. Grab the plastic cover that covers the lip of the boot and firmly pull upwards. It will unclick from its mounts and come free
5b: Remove the grommets. Two are behind the boot lip protector, and there is 1 in each tail-light cavity (i.e. inside the removable panels within the boot)
5c: Remove the nuts. Be careful not to lose them within the chassis.

Nut behind boot protector (grommet removed)


Nut within tail-light cavity (grommet removed)

5d: Carefully loosen the bumper from the rest of the vehicle by pulling rearwards from the wheel arches.

Remove bumper cover sub-assembly. Note the long bolts that were holding it onto the vehicle

5e: Disconnect the parking sensors (if fitted)

Disconnect electronics/sensors

Step 6: Remove bumper
Remove the 8 bolts holding the original bumper to the chassis. Replace these bolts and cover with some grease



Step 7: Fit towbar
Fit towbar as per manufacturer instructions. My one (Westfalia detachable) had two spigots which were inserted into the chassis and then bolted to it. Other makes may differ.
7a: Remove the chassis/undercarriage treatment where the holes are. Feel for them and remove a square around; this is easier than it sounds. It tears nicely in straight lines, almost like it was meant to

7b: Secure the bolts to the correct torque settings. Treat the bolts/uncovered area with a protector of your choice. I used black paint to seal this and protect from rust.

Step 8: Remove rear diffuser from bumper cover sub-assembly
I don't have any pictures of this, but this was by far the hardest part of the whole thing. It doesnt seem like something that should be hard, but basically you have to unclip about 40 plastic tab clips. This took 2 of us about an hour!!! I also stupidly managed to add some minor scuff marks to my bumper cover, which I am a bit miffed at. If anyone has any tips on how to polish this I am all ears.

Step 9: Add replacement rear diffuser
This step is actually still outstanding (because Audi parts ordering nightmare). The good news is I can add it once I get it quite easily (well I hope so, it certainly looks like I just clip it in). The part number I ordered was 8V3807521C (this is a double pipe left diffuser with towbar hatch, so you cant see anything when towball is removed and hatch is in place)

Step 10: Put everything back together. Follow the steps in reverse order. Make sure you don't have any parts left over at the end, and test that your lights and bumper sensors still work correctly.

Note: I did not install electrics as I only use the towbar for my cycle carrier which has its own number plate, and as no lights are obstructed I don't need to wire anything up. I may add this later if I ever intend to tow, but that is unlikely at the moment.

I hope this guide will be helpful to one of my fellow Audi owners
Robyn
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:52 AM
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Brilliant sequence of photos Robyn thanks,

- I am due to be getting a new A3 S line 8V cabriolet early in the 2018 (ridiculously long lead time!), and have also been trying to find info on towbars for carrying my bike rack, (and occasional box trailer towing to the dump!). Your thread seems to be the only one out there!

Can I ask how much the Westphalia bar cost and where from? and also how much the replacement diffuser cost? (has it arrived yet?).

I have been trying to get my Audi dealer to get info from Audi UK about if the car is "trailer-prepped" i.e. the wiring is in place for the Audi electrics to be added, but Audi UK are not giving the dealer any reply, so I may end up following your lead and fit a bar myself and then think about the electrics later.....

Did you see any sign of the "trailer prepparedness (!)!" wiring in the boot area when you were doing this work? apparently according to a friendly towbar installer, there should be a "red trailer prep plug wrapped in grey spongy foam" if the car has been prepared for the VSK dedicated wiring loom. They say that this is quite normal, but essential if the electrics are to be fitted.

Many thanks,

Graham.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by comraab View Post
The part number I ordered was 8V3807521C (this is a double pipe left diffuser with towbar hatch, so you cant see anything when towball is removed and hatch is in place)
Hi Everyone, this is my first post on here and I found this thread through Google. I contacted Audi about the 8V3807521C part, but it does not match the OEM build Audi have for my 8V 2014. They have a different serial, with no towbar flap. They do have the 8V3807521C part available, but it does not match my VIN. Then they started asking questions about after market fitting etc. Personally I think Audi don't want to make 8V3807521C available to my car's VIN as OEM without installing the whole tow bar, but sorry, not at Audi prices, nearly 2k for a detachable towbar and the engine needed upgraded larger cooling fans!!! To carry a bike rack.

In my mind, the part is available, the lower honeycomb valance with towbar flap, just not available/specified on my cars build.

Is that the experience others have had? I just want to get the 8V3807521C trim which they will sell to me but it isn't a listed option for my car, hope that makes sense.

Cheers.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:12 AM
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Hi davida71uk,
Where are you sourcing the 8v3807521C from and how much is it likely to cost you?
Just trying to plan for when my car eventually arrives!
I am some way behind you in the process, as I do not even have a VIN to give to the Audi dealers - and they will not do anything without a VIN!
Thanks,
G.
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by GrahamST View Post
Hi davida71uk,
Where are you sourcing the 8v3807521C from and how much is it likely to cost you?
Hi Graham, if the Audi police will let me order it and not follow me to my car to check if itís for my car or not, £109+VAT, or thereabouts from Listers Audi in Solihull..

i have to order and pay in person and will take a look on Friday when I take it in for a sanity service. I bought it off a non-Audi used car dealership and have not had the best experience with them.

I want to see an actual picture of the valance and really donít get why the parts guy was being so obstructive about buying the part for my car.

Cheers.
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Old 11-04-2017, 08:35 AM
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Ordered the 8v3807521C part today from Audi, £109. Fortunately I didn't get 20 questions about fitting an aftermarket tow bar. Then I asked about Satnav updates (SD card version) and that was £195, I declined the purchase (for now).
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:19 AM
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A slight problem with the 8v3807521C part, it is not S-Line design, it is just the plain black moulded valance that would normally be fitted to an SE or Sport. It seems that Audi don't make a honeycomb valance trim with tow bar cutout. So, I have to decided if having the tow bar flap is more important than the honeycomb rear valance. I think it is to be honest. Unless anyone has found the part number for a honeycomb valance with towbar flap?
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:45 AM
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Yeah, so now I have gotten to the bottom of this. Again, Audi being Audi, only 8v3807521C is listed as a viable part for my car. The parts I need (x4) are:

A8V3 807 521 G1 RR
A8V3 807 819 A
A8V3 807 833
A8V3 807 820

This then looks like this:



Then Audi turn around and say there's n o warranty with it as it is not a part designed for my car registration.
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