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2014 Refit Summary

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q20v
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Introduction

Oct 3rd 2014
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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.

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See below! They were actually secured in their car seats... - q20v October 4th 2014
Myah and Sarah in the front seat?? Pics or it didnt happen! not while driving obviously.... I just want to see them sharing a seat in the GB. Which is conveniently the same initialization as Green Bastard BTW. - ripcurl October 4th 2014

My two little helpers going for the first drive (I put them in their car seats after this picture). The next day they played on the ramps for a while as I tidied the garage. Sarah only fell down the ramp once.

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Spark Plugs

The spark plugs were in fairly decent condition but needed a cleaning and re-gap. I realize maybe it's not common practice to re-gap plugs as they wear, but I had a cheap moment and decided to try it. I didn't measure the gap before but my thickest gap gauge went through with room to spare (over 0.040"). I gaped them down to 0.028".

Pics 1 and 2 above are before and after cleaning. I used a wire brush and some brake cleaner.

Then after driving the car around I noticed it was running a bit rough, so I bit the bullet and dropped a crisp $20 at Canadian tire on some new plugs. After I installed them I found 2 brand new ones in the garage from the old Audi.. same ones. Oh well, next time.

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Coolant Flange

This coolant flange is located at the back of the cylinder head and houses the coolant temperature sensor. It's bolted to the cylinder head and has 2 hose connections. Huffman reported that when he did the head work a few years ago, one of the supplied replacement o-rings for this flange wasn't sized correctly. As a result there was a coolant drip ever since. I went to Europaparts and ordered a few sizes of o-rings to make sure I had the right one, along with the entire flange and associated hardware. It's sealed up nice now!

Pics above show the new and old parts. The new flange has two sensor ports, since only one gets used the other gets plugged with an o-ring and plug.

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Oil flush and change

After removing the valve cover to change the gasket, it was pretty obvious by how clean the valve train was that Huffman kept up on the oil changes. However, I like to flush the oil in my cars once in a while and this was a good opportunity. I basically drain the old oil, fill with cheap and thin conventional oil + replace filter, drive for a bit, then repeat with good synthetic (and another new filter).

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Valve Cover Gasket

This was the source of another leak. The rubber valve cover gasket had hardened up to HRC 60 (rockwell hardness scale, 60 is basically tool steel hardness) and was in desperate need of replacement. I also replaced the valve cover hardware (nuts and studs).

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I credit Huffman's regular oil changes. I didn't touch anything inside the head. - q20v September 8th 2015
Did you hose the valve train down with break cleaner?? It looks incredibly clean here, almost too clean. - ripcurl September 8th 2015
Did you hose the valve train down with break cleaner?? It looks incredibly clean here, almost too clean. - ripcurl September 8th 2015

Timing Belt

I ordered the timing belt kit from Blaufergnugen which came with the belt, tensioner, pulley, thermostat, coolant, hardware, etc. A complete kit basically. Everything went well during the install except while grinding off a seized bolt the angle grinder slipped and I nicked a power steering line, causing it to leak.

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Air Filter

I got to the end of all my repairs and realized I never checked the air filter. It had a washable K&N style filter but I opted to install an OEM paper filter instead of cleaning the existing one. It was a bit beat up and needed to go.

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Engine Cleaning

After I finished the valve cover gasket and timing belt jobs, I cleaned the engine bay with some degreaser and a wash mit. She tidied up real nice!!

I also painted the valve cover with VHT wrinkle red.

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I think the new coolant is pink? I put the covers back on the air filter and battery area, but not over the valve cover. - q20v September 8th 2015
Green coolant... never seen that yet. Did you put back all of the engine covers? - ripcurl February 28th 2015

Rear Licence Plate

The rear licence plate area needed attention in several ways. Huffman had the light holder/bracket but the lights were missing and there was a bit of surface rust on the trunk. The plate bracket also has issues but I'm going to leave that until I can find a replacement. In the end, I cleaned the area, sanded the rust and painted everything, installed new light assemblies and spliced in new connectors because the old ones were rusted to pieces.

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Licence Plate Frame

I found my old Audi 90 licence plate frame and wanted to install it on the A4, but hesitated because it had seen better days. I took some light sandpaper to it and it came out 100%. Beauty!

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Full Detail

Exterior: - Meguire's 1-2-3 (Clean / Polish / Wax) - Hood: Meguire's Boat Oxidation Remover and Polish - RainEx on all windows

Interior: - Full vacuum - Wiped down dash, console, seats, etc - Washed door jams

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Exhaust

Once the car was on the road, the exhaust lasted about a week before a hole opened up at the rear muffler. I considered many options and in the end decided to build my own, from the turbo back. I deleted the catalytic converter and ran 2.5" tubing through a Vibrant resonator and Magnaflow straight-through muffler. It's a bit loud for my taste and I may add a glass-pack in the summer of 2015.

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LED Interior Lights

I picked up an LED light kit from the internet for about $50. It came with all the interior lights and the Licence plate lights. They were easy to install and really made a big difference. I also bought a kit for the BMW and it looks sharp as well. Highly recommended!!

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UUC Short Shift

Huffman set me up with a real slick short shifter from UUC. Not sure now much it reduces the throw by, but it sure feels nice. I have future plans to rebuild the ball and socket assembly with a spherical bearing.

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Center Arm Rest

The leather on the center arm rest was detached from the base, so I decided to remove the arm rest all together. I've kept it and will likely re-cover it at a later date. I don't have any pictures of the interior without the arm rest.

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Window Regulator

When I brought the car in for the safety, the drivers window went down but did not go up! I was a bit suspicious about this considering it was working (not 100%) leading up to the safety. Anyway, it needed a new regulator to pass safety.

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Carbon Fiber Hood Restoration

The carbon fiber hood was HEAVILY oxidized and I wasn't sure I'd be able to save it. I did some online research and found that Meguire's Marine products works great in this application. I wasn't expecting much, but it actually worked. Well!

At the moment I've only completed half the hood, because it takes A LOT of effort to get good results.

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Brakes

The drivers front caliper was seized, and the drivers rear was dragging. It needed front pads (because of the seized caliper) and rear rotors and pads. It also desperately needed a fluid flush. To be honest I've never flushed brakes until I bought this car, and now that I have the tools and know-how, I can't believe I've never done it before. Very easy and the results are fantastic.

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Brakes - Part 2

During the brake job I discovered the front brake lines were shot. I think Sean mentioned this when he dropped off the car, but I somehow managed to forget this until I discovered it for myself. I also mangled one of the hard line fittings during the removal phase. I bought a straight line from Canadian Tire and bent it to shape. I also replaced the ABS Pump with a unit Huffman provided. Unfortunately the ABS dash light is still on :( I VAGCOM'ed it and believe it is a ABS wheel sensor, which I ordered off Ebay for an insanely low price. I haven't installed it yet.

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Yeah summer! - booneylander February 6th 2016
At this rate it'll be summer weather by the time you get back and we can play paintball. - q20v January 31st 2016
Yippee ki yay mother fucker. - ripcurl January 31st 2016
Oh and I'll be back Feb 23rd! We MUST plan to go for beers. - booneylander January 31st 2016
Yeah the new regs do sound like they're gonna suck the big biscuit. I guess the bright side is that when someone goes to try and safety his Gallardo and realizes it's going to cost him 28k$ to fix it to pass safety because his wiper blades are at an unacceptable 2deg angle relative to the inclination of the axis of rotation of the moon, there is too much dust accumulated in the coin tray, and the fuel door doesn't sit flush within 8 thou of perfect hella flushness, maybe the price of said beater Gallardo will instantly go down by 28k, and allow us handy dandy type to swoop in and claim the vehicle at a significant discount (we'll send Blake to inadvertently make senor Jorge sweat it out). - booneylander January 31st 2016
Sounds good Huffman. I was worried about the ABS light for safety as well, but I checked into it and as far as I remember the car just needs to be able to stop properly. The new rules sound like they are going to suck. - q20v January 29th 2016
Hold up now, you're saying that the current safety inspection allows cars with ABS lights on to pass? really? Man, all this time I even thought if the low washer fluid indicator was on, it would fail. When are you coming back? - ripcurl January 29th 2016
I know the S4 has ABS lights on the dash, but unsure of the reason as yet, so if I could grab it as a spare in case I end up needing it. The new safety standards come into effect in July, and I doubt the S4 will be ready to pass safety before then. I know that the new standards will fail if an ABS light is lit, whereas in the past it was a non-issue. - booneylander January 29th 2016
I do, want it? I think it still works because the dash light is still on. VAGCOM told me it was a sensor, which I replaced, but I haven't reset the code yet. - q20v January 23rd 2016
So, do you still have the old ABS unit you pulled out of it? - booneylander January 23rd 2016

H&R Springs

The passenger front spring was unfortunately broken and I decided to replace all of them with H&R lowering springs. The installation was about as straight forward as figuring out what to buy your wife/GF for Valentine's Day... :S Refer to my Suspension chapter for more details.

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Control Arm Bushings

During the spring replacement I noticed the lower strut control arm bushings were a bit worn. They were cheap and easy to replace, a no-brainer in my mind. I needed an easy win after the springs nearly defeated me.

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Sway Bar Links

The front and rear sway bar links were goners, so they got replaced with new units. Another easy win with great results. New hardware everywhere.

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Wheels and Tires

Sean kindly provided 2 sets of wheels with tires on 6 of the wheels. Unfortunately the tires were dried up and were all seasons anyway, so I talked to Blake about a winter setup using his 18" Avus wheels from his B6 S4.

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Wheel Bolt Hole Cleaning

The wheel bolts were real tight coming out and I could tell the threaded holes in the hubs needed cleaning. I didn't have an M14x1.5 tap or thread chaser so I cut some grooves in an old CV bolt. I had to install the brakes to do this otherwise the hub would just spin from the resistance. I also wire brushed and brake cleaned all the wheel bolts. Chasing the holes and cleaning each bolt took a while but when I installed the wheels it felt like new parts going together. It was definitely worth it!

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I used my angle grinder. I cut 4 grooves, and I probably should have cut more, maybe 6, considering it's a fairly big thread. On some of the real dirty holes I had to pull the "chaser" out and clean it mid-way to clear the dirt from the grooves. - q20v October 6th 2014
Very clever. What did you use to notch the threads? a dremel? so just cut and the rough edges is enough to clean the threads? - ripcurl October 6th 2014

CV Boot

During the suspension / brake overhaul I observed a torn CV boot. I changed it.

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Wheel Spacers

The rear tires were about 1/8" away from the suspension upright. To add a bit of clearance I installed some ECS 10mm hub centric wheel spacers.

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After thoughts

Once the car was safetied and road-worthy, I felt there was excessive drivetrain movement when lifting off / applying throttle. I replaced the main rubber rear diff mount with a Polyurethane ECS unit and it became worse. I then changed the transmission mounts but that made little difference, even though they were at the end of their life. While I was under there, I noticed considerable play in the driveshaft CV joints, so I ordered 2 of those and the center carrier bearing / mount. I have yet to install those. Aside from this the car is pretty much completely sorted out from a mechanical standpoint. There are a few other little things to do, but overall the car has not disappointed me at all! It's a really nice car. Huge thanks to Huffman for this. There's a lot of life in it and I can't wait to put some miles on her.

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q20v published chapter February 28th 2015

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