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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My first automotive love was a 2008 Audi RS4. A stealthy, permanent and rear-biased all wheel drive sedan with a manual transmission and a motor that would give you 420hp at a screaming 8,250rpm. It also had bright red leather seat and door card inserts. What a beauty.

rs4-snowy-front.jpg rs4-front-angle-punch.jpg osi_rs4.jpg

Eventually, it got so expensive to maintain and was in need of maintenance so often that my girlfriend named it Lazarus. It just kept dying and coming back to life. After tolerating it for a few more years, I did eventually sell it. I still miss it, to be sure.

I spent the next two-plus years pining after everything from CL65 AMG's to manual Legacy GT's to Elises. But I knew... I knew I needed another four door, V8, manual.

After being fairly sure of the SS for the majority of those two years, I finally went with a Phantom Black, one-owner, 2015 with just under 32k miles on it. I picked it up from a local dealer who has been a pleasure to work with. It has the spare and sun roof, as well as the factory Holden badges (bow ties on the center caps and airbag, etc). Given the color, my girlfriend named it Danny, haha.

Having had it for a week and change, now, I feel like I'm finally getting used to it. I've done two 100-mile drives, several commutes (10 miles in 45 minutes, because Chicago) and done 140mph with my dad in the back seat. My observations seem to line up with what I've read, which is nice. The two-phase clutch uptake is weird and I don't like it, but I'll leave the spring in for now. The constant throttle overrun pops and crackles are truly wonderful. The magnetic shocks are pure magic, especially with speed bumps and potholes as bad as they are after this winter. The head unit really, really sucks, especially by comparison to Audis of similar years. The SS is way bigger than I'm used to, but I'm acclimating. The parking assist is way too touchy for a Chicago garage/alley. The parking assist also needs to figure out its dings and bongs and turn them all down.

Really, though, I love this thing. I cannot believe how different it feels to the RS4. Nevermind the extra 100lbft of torque. The RS4 is what I would call linear. Think f(x) = y kind of linear. Meanwhile, the LS3 is more like f(x) = 1. Between 4,000 and 6,000rpm especially, there is no change in sensation like there was with the revvy Audi 4.2 liter. Instead, it is just on. And it stays on, until you shift. It's unreal.

And it's comfy. My my. The RS4 has shocks that share fluid corner to corner that Audi calls Dynamic Ride Control. They worked well for splitting the difference between luxury GT and sports car, but they definitely leaned sporty. Meanwhile, the SS really can do it all. I haven't tried launch control in Track mode yet, but I've spent a fair amount of time in both Tour and Perf and yep... I dig it all.

I may even be getting over my German snobbery... Though it's definitely helped along by the Holden badges. ;) I do wish the interior were assembled with tighter tolerances and better material. I also wish the paint were sturdier (already got some rock chips). Oh, and my windshield got a tiny crack right smack in my line of sight in the first three days. I don't remember it happening, but it definitely wasn't there on the test drive, haha.

Ultimately... I love this thing. It looks way better in person than folks claim. It drives so well it's difficult to communicate. It fits me, my girlfriend, my dog, and a weeks' worth of luggage without breaking a sweat. This is the car I've wanted and this is the car I'll keep until they make it illegal to burn gasoline on public roads.

The real point of this post is just to document and set deadlines for myself with regards to the few modifications I'd like to do. The SS is already a spectacular car and it'll be my daily for the next 70,000 miles, hopefully, so the mods wont be too wild. If anyone has any feedback or suggestions, however, feel free to offer it up!

Righting the Baseline - Spring 2019
  • Rock chip filler kit ($15) - Failure; keep an eye on the crack | 4/13/2019
  • Driver's side headlamp ($?) - On order at the dealer; might not be completely free
  • Paint correction ($500) - Not scheduled; probably from these guys
  • Ceramic coating ($800-$2000) - Not scheduled (also from Chicago Auto Pros)
  • Part 92256448 ($22) - Done | 4/21/2019
Remaining Holden Conversion - Summer 2019
  • Key ($30 for key, $5 for Holden bubble sticker) - Done, though messily | 4/13/2019
  • Center Caps ($145) - Done | 4/21/2019
  • Airbag ($500) - Not ordered
  • Head Unit and Gauge Cluster ($365) - Not ordered
Performance - Summer/Fall 2019
  • CAGS Delete ($15) - Done | 4/13/2019
  • Roto-Fab CAI ($450) - Not ordered
  • Solo Axle Back ($500) - Not ordered
  • Dyno Tune ($?) - Perhaps from @JUICED1 despite how utterly 90's their website is... ;)
  • Second set of wheels equipped with winter rubber ($2800?) - Maybe some VFII wheels just for giggles
Other Funsies - Purely optional/yet to be determined
Far Flung Future - Maybe, maybe not
  • LSA Blower/Tune ($3000-$5000?)
  • HSV GTS Front Bumper ($5800)
  • HSV GTS Brakes ($4250) - Do these actually fit the SS?
  • Et cetera...?
And finally I think I'd like to do this on April 27th and this on May 15th. I did an area Autocross in my Passat several years ago as well as an Xtreme Xperience at Blackhawk Farms a couple years before that. I am certainly in need of more coaching and practice, but I'm not sure I'll actually allocate the time necessary to build skills and safety. We'll see. =)

I didn't post any pictures of the SS itself because you all know what a bone stock PB 2015 looks like, but I'll be sure to toss up images as the above tasks come to fruition, haha.

Thanks for reading this far if you have. I'm glad to have found this car and looking forward to learning from and contributing to this community. Cheers!
 

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If you're coming from an RS4, the SS sedan was designed for people like you. It's understated and handsome, takes some effort to get that to come across in pictures.

I enjoyed your review. Agree on the power delivery compared to more peaky overhead cam engines, definitely a different personality. The RS4's V8 was a special kind of gem though.
 

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Congrats @musasabi. A couple if your future purchases can be found in the classified section I believe. Enjoy your SS!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I enjoyed your review.
Thankya. =)

Agree on the power delivery compared to more peaky overhead cam engines, definitely a different personality. The RS4's V8 was a special kind of gem though.
Without question. I miss that sound so much. If I had another $50k+ to dispose of, I'd almost certainly be getting a GT350 to round out the engine experience. =D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A couple if your future purchases can be found in the classified section I believe. Enjoy your SS!
Aha! I hadn't even though to look yet... Well played, sir. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After much foolin' on TireRack and wheel-size.com's lovely calculator, I've arrived at this setup for my winter wheel arrangement. Probably.

It should look alright and handle like a dream in the so-so winters of Chicago. =)
 

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After much foolin' on TireRack and wheel-size.com's lovely calculator, I've arrived at this setup for my winter wheel arrangement. Probably.

It should look alright and handle like a dream in the so-so winters of Chicago. =)
For a winter daily setup and beings it is spring so no rush I would have scoured the forum for a set of 4 '14-'15 FORGED Alcoa front wheels. A not perfect set accumulated would not have been much more expensive than those cast wheels and MUCH more resistant to pot hole damage. If I was you I'd lay ia an extra wheel or two ... a couple guys here have done aftermarket winter wheels; damaged one ... or more ... and found out they are NLA. So they were screwed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
For a winter daily setup and beings it is spring so no rush I would have scoured the forum for a set of 4 '14-'15 FORGED Alcoa front wheels. A not perfect set accumulated would not have been much more expensive than those cast wheels and MUCH more resistant to pot hole damage. If I was you I'd lay ia an extra wheel or two ... a couple guys here have done aftermarket winter wheels; damaged one ... or more ... and found out they are NLA. So they were screwed.
Ahh yes... forged wheels might be a worthy investment given my choice of City. And, of course, used is always preferred to new if the member chose a size/offset that works well.

Thanks for the reminder. Second time someone's advised the classifieds in as many days. Frugal bunch. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
4/13/2019 - 31,990 miles
Yesterday, I spent some time with the car.

I programmed the Buick key and swapped the Holden button onto it. I got a little overzealous with the heat gun while loosening the adhesive, though, so I marred the plastic. Haha. Perhaps I'll get another one and try again... Which begs the question - is there any way to "forget" keys once they're programmed? A cursory glance at the owner's manual didn't reveal anything.

I also installed the CAGS delete, which was spectacularly easy. I didn't even need a screwdriver to get the factory plug out. I guess this is a benefit of working on a car whose plastics aren't completely dehydrated and seized up. =)

Finally, I made my attempt to patch the small chip in my windshield. It went... poorly. I would up with a square of resin basically the size of the curing sheet that comes with the kit. I obviously used too much, but there wasn't much of a pit to fill in the first place. so perhaps the kit wasn't the best for my particular circumstance. Either way, it looked like complete ****, but I was able to get 95% of it off the windshield with some 50% isopropyl and a lot of elbow grease. I guess I'll just keep my eye on the cracks and take it in if it gets worse with time.

Oh, I also stopped by AutoZone and grabbed some windshield wipers. The ones it came from the dealer with were actually coming apart a bit. Apparently Bosch has a new line of wiper blades out called "Envision"? The things come with some kind of wear indicator pad on the plastic that encases the tip of the blade. That'll be interesting if it starts turning orange or something, haha.

All in all, it was a fine first day with the new car and the first day of the year in the garage.

And today, it's snowing. Haha. I am very glad I got through all the stuff that's arrived already. Here's to next weekend having more materials as well as better weather. =D
 

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My first automotive love was a 2008 Audi RS4. A stealthy, permanent and rear-biased all wheel drive sedan with a manual transmission and a motor that would give you 420hp at a screaming 8,250rpm. It also had bright red leather seat and door card inserts. What a beauty.

View attachment 265391 View attachment 265389 View attachment 265393

Eventually, it got so expensive to maintain and was in need of maintenance so often that my girlfriend named it Lazarus. It just kept dying and coming back to life. After tolerating it for a few more years, I did eventually sell it. I still miss it, to be sure.

I spent the next two-plus years pining after everything from CL65 AMG's to manual Legacy GT's to Elises. But I knew... I knew I needed another four door, V8, manual.

After being fairly sure of the SS for the majority of those two years, I finally went with a Phantom Black, one-owner, 2015 with just under 32k miles on it. I picked it up from a local dealer who has been a pleasure to work with. It has the spare and sun roof, as well as the factory Holden badges (bow ties on the center caps and airbag, etc). Given the color, my girlfriend named it Danny, haha.

Having had it for a week and change, now, I feel like I'm finally getting used to it. I've done two 100-mile drives, several commutes (10 miles in 45 minutes, because Chicago) and done 140mph with my dad in the back seat. My observations seem to line up with what I've read, which is nice. The two-phase clutch uptake is weird and I don't like it, but I'll leave the spring in for now. The constant throttle overrun pops and crackles are truly wonderful. The magnetic shocks are pure magic, especially with speed bumps and potholes as bad as they are after this winter. The head unit really, really sucks, especially by comparison to Audis of similar years. The SS is way bigger than I'm used to, but I'm acclimating. The parking assist is way too touchy for a Chicago garage/alley. The parking assist also needs to figure out its dings and bongs and turn them all down.

Really, though, I love this thing. I cannot believe how different it feels to the RS4. Nevermind the extra 100lbft of torque. The RS4 is what I would call linear. Think f(x) = y kind of linear. Meanwhile, the LS3 is more like f(x) = 1. Between 4,000 and 6,000rpm especially, there is no change in sensation like there was with the revvy Audi 4.2 liter. Instead, it is just on. And it stays on, until you shift. It's unreal.

And it's comfy. My my. The RS4 has shocks that share fluid corner to corner that Audi calls Dynamic Ride Control. They worked well for splitting the difference between luxury GT and sports car, but they definitely leaned sporty. Meanwhile, the SS really can do it all. I haven't tried launch control in Track mode yet, but I've spent a fair amount of time in both Tour and Perf and yep... I dig it all.

I may even be getting over my German snobbery... Though it's definitely helped along by the Holden badges. ;) I do wish the interior were assembled with tighter tolerances and better material. I also wish the paint were sturdier (already got some rock chips). Oh, and my windshield got a tiny crack right smack in my line of sight in the first three days. I don't remember it happening, but it definitely wasn't there on the test drive, haha.

Ultimately... I love this thing. It looks way better in person than folks claim. It drives so well it's difficult to communicate. It fits me, my girlfriend, my dog, and a weeks' worth of luggage without breaking a sweat. This is the car I've wanted and this is the car I'll keep until they make it illegal to burn gasoline on public roads.

The real point of this post is just to document and set deadlines for myself with regards to the few modifications I'd like to do. The SS is already a spectacular car and it'll be my daily for the next 70,000 miles, hopefully, so the mods wont be too wild. If anyone has any feedback or suggestions, however, feel free to offer it up!

Righting the Baseline - Spring 2019
  • Rock chip filler kit ($15) - Arrived; ready to go this weekend
  • Driver's side headlamp ($?) - On order at the dealer; might not be completely free
  • Paint correction ($500) - Not scheduled; probably from these guys
  • Ceramic coating ($800-$2000) - Not scheduled (also from Chicago Auto Pros)
  • Part 92256448 ($22) - Ordered
Remaining Holden Conversion - Summer 2019
  • Key ($30 for key, $5 for Holden bubble sticker) - Arrived; needs programming
  • Center Caps ($145) - Shipped
  • Airbag ($500) - Not ordered
  • Head Unit and Gauge Cluster ($365) -
Performance - Summer/Fall 2019
  • CAGS Delete ($15) - Arrived; ready to install
  • Roto-Fab CAI ($450) - Not ordered
  • Solo Axle Back ($500) - Not ordered
  • Dyno Tune ($?) - Perhaps from @JUICED1 despite how utterly 90's their website is... ;)
  • Second set of wheels equipped with winter rubber ($2800?) - Maybe some VFII wheels just for giggles
Other Funsies - Purely optional/yet to be determined
Far Flung Future - Maybe, maybe not
  • LSA Blower/Tune ($3000-$5000?)
  • HSV GTS Front Bumper ($5800)
  • HSV GTS Brakes ($4250) - Do these actually fit the SS?
  • Et cetera...?
And finally I think I'd like to do this on April 27th and this on May 15th. I did an area Autocross in my Passat several years ago as well as an Xtreme Xperience at Blackhawk Farms a couple years before that. I am certainly in need of more coaching and practice, but I'm not sure I'll actually allocate the time necessary to build skills and safety. We'll see. =)

I didn't post any pictures of the SS itself because you all know what a bone stock PB 2015 looks like, but I'll be sure to toss up images as the above tasks come to fruition, haha.

Thanks for reading this far if you have. I'm glad to have found this car and looking forward to learning from and contributing to this community. Cheers!
Great post, Musasabi. Captured my own experience, observations and disposition towards this car better than I could.
I came upon this car with a very entrenched German Metal habit and am largely cured, if not 100% German Metal free...
It replaced an awesome 2006 M3 coupe (!!), which replaced a 2008 Audi S4, which replaced several V6 A4's, all cars manual trans.
There was also an E36 BMW which ended up on its roof on a race track (on the grass... driver error) and I won't dwell on a couple of Porsches... one still around. I've never driven an RS4; I imagine it is quite sharper than the S4. I liked my S4 but never quite came to terms with its numb steering, heavy understeer (unless provoked) and abrupt clutch, and it ate balljoints like grapes...
But I digress; this is the VF forum, and this car is magic to drive.

CAGS delete is mandatory and the best value of anything you can do to this car.
Otherwise, I would encourage spending as much of your discretionary funds as possible on HPDE and tracking the car. Nothing can match the rush and sense of fulfillment (IMO of course) and building the skills you mentioned.

Whatever you end up doing, warm congrats on the car and welcome to the Sacred Order!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
4/21/2019 - 32,765 miles

After 12 or 13 hours of driving in 30 hours, I took some time on Sunday to slap on the wheel center caps and install the new arm rest rubber bumper. Turns out the rubber bumper install is very much like the PC case fan mounting hardware used by Noctua (a prestige German manufacturer of fans, heat sinks, etc). Instead of a traditional fan screw, they ship with these:
noctuamount.jpg
and you run them through the same direction the screw would go, but then you've got to yank on the narrow end, deforming the various changes in width along the way. Once it's flush, you release the narrow end and it's quite secure.

Same procedure applies to the arm rest bumper. This means you've got to undo six rather short screws on the underside of the arm rest and separate the two halves of the arm rest in order to follow a very similar procedure to the above. Interesting.

With the center caps, I've eliminated all of the external bow ties. The only remaining physical bow tie is the airbag, so that might be next, but I'd also like to do a HomeLink install in order to git rid of the visor clip unit.

Whatever's next, the road trip was wonderful and I'm glad to be knocking out these tasks at a fair pace. =)
 
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