10

Overhaul 2015

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ripcurl
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Just going to summarize the highlights of the Eight's overhaul here. It'll keep some updates flowing to the site while I write up some procedures.

Start date : July 4th, 2015
End date : December 18th, 2015

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Just to update the rear seat airbag issue, you were right Sean. I ended up pulling up the rear seat, and there were two jumpers in the two air bag harness connectors. Put the bulb back in, removed them both, cleared the codes, the light stayed off. The jumpers are used from the dealer to bypass the airbag in the rear for child seats like you said. I also resolved the cowl/sun roof and knee bolster rattles. Short circuited the front brake sensors from behind the speedo... because it was flaky. And lets see what else? Oh, both outer tie rod dust boots were pooched, only 10k on them, and caused them to start popping at every turn. Passenger front upper control arm ball joint boot also split, 10k on that item too, also audible. Replaced those already. I hate none-OEM gear. Anyone able to weld aluminum? Need it to tack my wiper linkage! - ripcurl November 28th 2016
Maybe it's a child-seat related disconnection done at the dealer? - booneylander February 6th 2016
So I opened the glove box today and noticed two stickers on the inside that read : "Rear Airbag Disconnected".... :S there were two of them. Kind of funny. Asking around to see if any other fellow four ringed members have come across this. Also havent had a chance to dive into the rear seat to see if it is indeed still disconnected, but it is most likely so. - ripcurl February 2nd 2016
I do happen to have two rockferd amps and nice 10" sub doing nothing, and an abundance of trunk space! - ripcurl January 28th 2016
Sounds like mostly easy fixes. If you tear into the interior I think we should put in some subs+amps and fun things! This is a car for cruisin! - booneylander January 28th 2016
oh wheres the edit button... thats a typos if i've ever seen one. - ripcurl January 28th 2016
I've been driving this unit full time since January 6th. Everything is kind of tickety boo. I couldnt resolve the airbag light, something about the occupancy sensor disconnected somewhere for the rear passenger. It defaults to on, so its harmless, so I pulled the light... not my proudest moment. The windshield wiper linkage is broken, but works, just never resets to the cowl 100%, and I need to change the brake booster. Its leaking a bit allowing a small hisssing noise to be heard/which in turn I believe is allowing unmetered air into the intake causing a idle control code. She idles buttery smooth and pulled nice and hard. The other things that are driving me up the wall are some interior rattles... one is coming from the cowl, which is present at any road vibration and the sunroof which is only audible on sharp bumps, which I can live with, but will fix eventually... the entire interior pretty much needs to be disassembled. The one at the cowl drives me mad... I might have a bead on a fix for it. Other than that, shes been burning through the gas like a champ! I cannot believe I took so long to get into a AWD for the winter, I've been urinating for more snow! I dont get the air chisel and pinch bolt thing. I've tried it before and it does jack shit to pinch bolts. - ripcurl January 28th 2016
Hey Blake are you driving this thing on the regular now? Everything tickety boo? BTW Pinch bolts don't scare me one bit. I have an air chisel. - booneylander January 27th 2016
Barry; maybe Sean will lend me his 2.7tt motor... - ripcurl July 18th 2015
You're right Brad, he should be working on removing a pinch bolt then, which would not have him smiling. - ripcurl July 18th 2015
That guy looks way to happy to be around that car! - spkr July 17th 2015
That guy looks shady. Should probably keep him away from moving parts. - booneylander July 17th 2015
Strip it and turn it into a twin turbo race car :) - q20v July 16th 2015

Suspension

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A large item on the list was the suspension, all around. The front coils were in pieces, effectively lowering the front end to a -1" gap at the fender. I love the look to be honest, nothing better than a low big bodied vehicle. Nonetheless, it need all control arms, bushings, hardware, struts, springs, tlc, etc.

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Here was the current state of the front driver side strut. Based on looking at this, its safe to say the rest of the components are pretty dire. The passenger side was only in three pieces.

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Photo 1 - Threads like these required removing their respective nuts with a 3 foot breaker bar just to back them off. And it wasnt smooth either, its that jerking loud popping metal on metal sound every 15 degree... not pleasant.

Photo 2 - This is the aftermath of my pitman, I applied pressure while smashing ball joints with a 5lbs sledge, nothing budged... torqued the pitman tighter, smashed some more, then got the 3 foot breaker bar, and really applied some torque, and smashed even more, nothing. Backed off the pitman to realize so much pressure was being applied, that it distorted the threads... Did I mention I PBed everything days in advanced.

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Enter the VAG MC-15AMP-AG Tool, AKA the Angle 'Meat Grinder' Grinder. This baby was called in to perform surgery on all five arteries that held the knuckle in place. Not one single arm wanted to let it go.

After the delicate removal, the two lower arms popped out with some well placed blows from the sledge, but the two upper and outer tie rod are going to need a press/acetylene torchin'. Knowing how this is going, I'll probably need to dust off the ol' Tozt-7 Napalm Unit. But this might cause the whole knuckle to melt down, at which point, I'll take the liquid moly, get the 90 bucks from scrap and mould a new knuckle from scratch.

Oh yes, the pinch bolt head snapped, and the nut is fused on from hammering.

Barry, I'll be knocking on your door pretty soon.

PS: the spring came out in three pieces without any AG assistance.

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Drop it off or swing on by. I look forward to the challenge! - q20v July 19th 2015

Suspension before, during and after(stay tuned)

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1-Rear struts, springs/lower perch, rotors, pads, guide pins, bushings all got the replacement treatment.
2-After
3-All caliper bracket bolts striped during removal, requiring a 9/16 12point socket to be smashed on to remove.
4-Passenger side rear caliper guide pin has seen better days... required a new bracket.
5-Newness.
Rear brakes also got bleed.

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CV Axle Joint

Replaced the driver side outer CV joint. I thought the bolts were rusted and in need of replacing, but just some cleaning is all it needed.

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Electrical

I dealt with the 'tick' upon turning the key last year, chalked it up as a really dead battery due to sitting, recharged it and it worked for a bit. Then it gave up again. Thinking the battery shit the bed again, took it in, turned out fine, but only put out 690CCA, which I thought was too little for the 850 requirement. New battery with 900CCA and same tick. Ignition switch was replaced, PN switch checked out, relays at the foot well were all clicking happily, starter and alternator are new within a year and then I remembered something Smith said to me about the passenger power cable. Got into it and found this coupler with Sean. We tested before and after voltage and there was a 3V drop after it. Chopped it out and tossed in a stereo 0ga coupler.

Apparently this is a factory recall that just went bad.

Pics 3-4 highlight the cleaning process. I left vinegar in some baggies for day and one turned blue and the other turned a frothy white... Upon inspection, one end came out clean as a whistle, and the other was still gummy looking. Glad I did this, so that it revealed what else to cut out before just throwing in a coupler.

Dont forget to neutralize the copper with some baking soda or something equivalent.

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Cleaning

I think I have a problem... I tend to clean, maybe over clean... I don't know what it is, I see some dirt, and immediately I am mixing in 5 gallon pale; a suddy blend of car soap, Spray N9ne, brake cleaner, throttle body cleaner, PB and sometimes sand. I sometime find my self heating the pot with a fire and stirring with a redundantly long wooden stick, while occasionally blotting out a cackle, and then I realize; its mid day and all the neighbours are watching while Def Leppard is blasting in the back ground. But seriously, who doesnt like a clean rail! Gotta thank the aluminum chassis for this one, at 265kkm, steel would never look this clean!

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I dont know if you want my blend on your paint, but please stop on by! - ripcurl July 18th 2015
I should park my car in your driveway sometime and wait for it to magically clean itself. - booneylander July 17th 2015
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Flushed the coolant and replaced the reservoir. Old coolant was green Prestone. Dont know if its harmful, but I'll do some research and find out.

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Timing Belt

The last documented timing belt was unknown, so I decided not to roll the dice and took the plunge. It was done at least once before, because there was marks on the ends of the rear cams. Overall a pretty straight forward process. Lots of cleaning during the process.

Cam covers got a nice cleaning and some new seals.

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Oil Cooler Pipe

During the timing belt replacement, I took the opportunity to replace the oil cooler gaskets and check on the notorious plastic pipe that prone to breaking and leaking coolant everywhere. Mine appeared to be in good shape/on the fringe of leaking.
Instead of replacing with another plastic pipe, I opted for the aftermarket aluminum pipe, with four o-rings, instead of two. This thing was a little tricky unbolting/removing. The last picture shows the location that it is mounted, where the light is shining, which is behind the alternator.

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Breather Hose/Intake Gasket

There was breather hose that needed to be replaced at the back/passenger side/under the intake. I also wanted to replace the gaskets because Erik mentioned he reused them during his porting extravaganza. Looking into the chambers, the valves are as clean as they were off the line! Not bad for 265k! You'll never see FSI valves look like this, even after 5k! Well maybe other manufactures, but not VAG. Unless things have changed, but I havent heard.

I also took the oppurtunity to replace the passenger bank knock sensor.

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Replaced the exhaust sleeves that were in some serious need of attention. The old units were pretty much chicken wire, it was pretty loud. With these replaced, shes still a little loud, but I like it.

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Fluids

7 liters of fresh 5W-40.
Fresh G12 coolant.
Flushed the rear brakes, front bleeders were stripped.
Replaced the high pressure power steering hose because it looked incredible suspicious so I topped up the power steering fluid.

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Miscellaneous Body

Replaced the driver side mirror with a good used unit.
Replaced the wiper arms just because the old ones look like crap.
Replaced two bumper shocks because they couldnt hold a bolt anymore...
Replaced the corner markers to clear.

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Rear licence plate bracket needed some attention, it got replaced with a SS bracket from a Mercedes. The new light housings, new hardware and some festoon LEDs were tossed in for good measure :)

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The tail lights were suppose to be a quick bulb check. Turned out both outer corner housings has melted bulb housings...and one was cracked from someone backing into a house... Not the end of the world, but 3 bulb sockets wouldnt stay seated. Then found some corroded terminals and other bulb sockets, mis match wattages in bulbs, etc. All the bulb sockets were pretty hard to find parts. More annoying than anything.

Also replaced the reverse lights with LED units.

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I need to look into repairing plastic because some of the smart car bodywork is a bit beat up and cracked so I'd like to learn how to fix that as well. There are products out there, just a matter of practicing and seeing what works. - booneylander January 29th 2016
Yeah I ususally buy my paint from Metro Paint. They have everything. But if we get to painting it, I'll grab the paint because I have a bunch of half empty hardeners and stuff so I want to make sure I get the right urethane to match the hardener, since you'll only need like half a quart, or less, to do the bumper. - booneylander January 29th 2016
yea... its going to need something for sure, there are two pretty large holes... but something to consider for a summer project. i guess paint could just be purchased from a shop eh? - ripcurl January 28th 2016
Surely it's repairable? Take it off and bring it to the garage some day and we'll bondo that B up and slap some fresh paint on it. - booneylander January 28th 2016
I wish I could say it was the PO, but unfortunately I cannot... It was pretty much the second time I had the thing in reverse, and you would think after driving Buicks all my life, that I would have learnt something. Nope. Gave her a little kiss on the corner with brick. it fucked the bumper up too, which I am quite pissed about, especially because everyone wants $400usd for a chewed up piece of garbage bumper that has been dragged through rocks and pavement. One guy who had a shitty bumper on the west coast wanted me to meet him in detroit or something. He wanted an obscured amount for the bumper and he wanted all his expenses paid! smh, people. - ripcurl January 28th 2016
Who backed into a house? And what house? And how did they manage to back into a house?? I mean, it's a house! hahaha - booneylander January 27th 2016

The clear bra was probably the worst part to this whole overhaul. It was just so stubborn to remove, and I couldnt just take an angle grinder to shave it off. I used a combo of paint remover to bubble up the first layer, scraped it with a bondo blade, which worked alright. But the adhesive/residue left behind was fucking impossible. Especially when you are trying to be delicate to try and protect the paint. I tried, paint safe stuff, then resorted to brake cleaner which seemed to kind of work. Then turn back to the paint remover, and that worked, but it damaged the clear in some spots. So i got ang to buff it out.

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Just some of the scrap... :S

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Finally moving under its own power after 167 days :D

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When Smith heard the 4.2 running, his inner-firing-pattern senses kicked in and felt a slight misfire at idle. I didnt even notice :D. We unplugged some coils while it was running, determine it was cylinder 5/driverside front. I played musical chairs with hte coils, and coil packs were ruled out as unplugging cyl 5 never changed the engine idle. I was thinking it might have been the POS system when doing some research, then it hit me, I can use my OBD-II reader on this thing. Plugged it in and, I ran into 5 codes:
P0305 - Cylinder 5 Misfire Detected
P1205 - Cylinder #5 Injector Circuit Open / Shorted
P1508 - Idle Control System Circuit Open
P1196 - O2 Sensor heater circuit, bank 1(passenger) sensor 1(pre cat) electrical malfunction
P1197 - O2 Sensor heater circuit, bank 2(driver) sensor 2(after cat) electrical malfunction

I started by unplugging the fuel injector to check the ohm reading, and clear as day, a bent prong on injector 5. Bent it back into shape, sparked it up, cleared the codes, and it cleared the first two and idled smoother.

Started looking into the O2 sensors. Smith has replaced both pre cat sensors. This didnt make much sense to me. He replaced them just before the car died, so they've never been up to temp, and only soaked with fuel really. There is also ambiguous information only line about P1197 being actually a pre cat code... I got the car to temp, temp checked the cats, and they were reading 500*F pre and 350 after, within tolerance I guess. Pulled a sensor, put it on a bench, heated it, checked the voltage resistance and they were within the values. Cleaned it with brake cleaner, popped it back in cleared the code and took it for a run, still came back, wtf? Bought two new sensors with a connector, replaced the one I didnt test. Cleared the codes, and booked it. Never came back for either. Maybe it just needed a clean and a few heat cycles?

Still needed to tackle the IAC code, i just took it apart and cleaned it. looked to have sand in it. Code keeps coming back.

My OBDII reader is pretty sweet, it will tell me which systems are ready for etesting. so you dont need to drive around aimlessly if you fail due to non-readyness. With the IAC code, the only thing that wasnt ready was the EVAP system. EVAP isnt needed to be ready apparently for etest. So I cleared everything, and sent it in and she passed.

I think what is actually attributing to the IAC code is the brake booster vacumm leak. It hisses everytime you his the brakes. I can counter it by pumping the brakes, and by driving carefully enough, the code cleared itself. then i jammed on the brakes real hard, causing a huge surge in a vaccum leak and it came right back on. On the hunt for a booster...

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Nov 2016
10
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Overhaul 2015

booneylander upvoted

ripcurl uploaded 2 images

ripcurl uploaded 15 images

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