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

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

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Old 05-16-2017, 08:55 AM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 9
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, 07:49 AM
  #2
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1
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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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