Green Beret

This is a quick chapter to summarize what I did to the car this summer.

Some of the things I did are explained in more detail in my other folders and chapters, but this will help fill the gaps with the little repairs that don't need a full blown chapter.

By the time I finish writing this summary, I will have spent about $15-1700 in parts and countless hours working on it. The car just hit the garage floor last weekend after about 3 months on jack stands. Everything was "little stuff" ($30-40 or less) with the exception of the Springs ($200) and Timing Belt kit ($300). My first ride in the car with everything complete was to the mailbox down the street with my 2 girls secured in their car seats.

The Audi came with S4 suspension, however, the front right spring was broken and tracking down a replacement was proving difficult. The easy way out is an aftermarket solution, and H&R offers Sport and Race springs for the B5 A4.

H&R Sport: 50396 1.25" Front 1.0" Rear

H&R Race: 29996-1 1.9" Front 1.5" Rear

I went back and forth on whether to get the Sport or Race. Obviously I live my life a quarter mile at a time, and even though there aren't any turns in the quarter mile, a stanced look has been shown to drop 1/8 mile times by up to 5 seconds. The Race springs with larger tires have also been reported to cause tire rubbing on the fenders, and shock life (mine are stock S4) is reduced due to the drastic drop. Also, people complain about scraping the undercarriage on speed bumps and getting stuck in the snow with Race springs. It became obvious to me that the Race springs are the clear winner, and that I needed them on my car immediately. If I plan to let other dads at play group know that I'm driving a super car, there is no other way than a 50 foot streak of sparks heading west on Standherd, just past Home Depot, where the bumps can launch a car 6 feet in the air at only 40 kph.

As I placed my order with AWE Tuning for the H&R Race Springs, Mike@AWE (that's his screen name on Audiworld) informed me that the Race springs weren't available in FLUORESCENT YELLOW to match the custom interior I plan to install. Damn. Stuck with All-Road suspension... Sports. To top it off, PURPLE they are. Gee, can't wait to lose my race to that red Pontiac Vibe down the street. Thanks Mike.

So, with my H&R Off-Road springs on their way from AWE, I decided it was a good time to disassemble the old strut assemblies. As it turns out, the lower spring perches were a bit corroded, right where the old S4 spring was broken. I noticed the same corrosion on both sides, and the left spring looked like it was on its way out.

During the inspection I found the front right CV boot torn. This is easy and quick to fix.

Cut the old boot off the joint.

Play around with the old boot until you have enough grease on all your clothes.

My car was sitting on 4 jack stands, so I had to use an impact gun to remove the joint from the axle (if I tried using a breaker bar there would be no resistance and the axle would just spin).

Basically you just thread the new axle bolt into the joint until it bottoms out, then hit it with the impact gun until it separates. It doesn't take much.

Sean reported difficulties with the rear license plate mount. More specifically, the blind threads in the bracket had rusted leaving little to work with. He ended up McGuivering a fastener system which worked, but I'll try and bring it back to OEM with a new plate mount (if I can find one).

This is one of those little projects that you think will take 15-20 minutes, but end up taking about 5 hours. Once everything was disassembled, as above, I figured I'd install the new lights in the housing and bolt that to the car. Done... Wrong.

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