My new pipes are now fully on the car and mostly tightened down.

Still a bit of straightening to do, but at least now the car can be driven without annoying the neighbors or, more importantly, me (the drone in the cabin was aweful).

The Magnaflow cat-back system was mostly plug-and-play. A bit of customization was, however, needed.

Because my cheap import down pipes wouldn’t fit around the automatic transmission they needed to be cut up. We did the best we could to get them down and out in the correct location, but they were way off. Fortunately they cheap pipes also came with some straight test pipes which I cut mercilessly.

My buddy and I then proceeded to learn how to weld on them. They are super, super ugly, but what the hell. It was a good learning experience and I’m not trying to win any car shows with the work. Besides. These are in place until I swap the automatic for a manual and get a fresh set of down pipes.

Cars Idle

The end is nigh

It is getting soooo close. I probably could take the jack stands out and it would move under its own power (stopping might be rough, however, until I figure out the brake booster issue).

Fix brakes, shorten the overly long harnesses and it’s… ready?

Cars Idle

Where did those plugs go?

Puzzling through the wiring of the swap and can’t figure out where the connections for the brake booster-related components go.

I could try wiring them manually based on the Bentley diagrams I have, but I think I’ll check first with the forums to see if anyone there has the answer.

Booster pump:

Vacuum vent valve plug on side of brake master. There’s still a wire connected to the fluid level sensor… why would the wire get pulled off the brake vacuum vent?

Cars Idle

A4 engine removal – driveshaft unbolted (day 19)

Today I did some small things getting ready to pull the engine and transmission.

First I unbolted the drive shaft and tucked it out of the way.

Next i started working on the bolts holding the driveshafts in place for the front of the car. The bolts are tough, so I’m going to need to come back to these when I have an assistant to stand on the breaks so they don’t rotate.

Time invested – 1 hour

Cars Idle

A4 engine removal – starter and AC pulled (day 18)

Pulled a few more parts off the car today.

I started with the removing the starter and unbolting the AC compressor.

I then moved to the exhaust and worked on getting it separated from the rear of the system.

The flex pipe was on its last legs… but no matter, I’m going from 2″ to 3″ exhaust.

Time invested – 2 hours

Cars Idle

A4 engine removal – front carrier removal (day 17)

Today I drained the brake fluid and the remainder of the engine coolant in the process of pulling off the front carrier. I started by swinging the AC radiator down and out of the way.

I drained off the brake fluid an the remainder of the engine coolant from the bottom of the radiator.

And finally took off the front carrier.

Mmmm… organic!

Time invested – 3 hours

Cars Idle

A4 engine removal – disassembly started (day 16)

Approaching the point of no return…

Today I took the next step towards the end goal, I started disassembling the A4. Today I took off the front bumper cover and drained the washer fluid and oil.

Time invested, 3 hours.


Cars Idle

Engine refresh – replacing hoses and turbo plumbing (day 15)

Today was a combination of working on plumbing for the 2.7t and preparing the 1.8t for removal.

I started with the fraying diverter valve hose. The passenger side hose was brand new… why didn’t the shop that replaced that also replace the aging part from the driver’s side?

I also started removing the hoses for driver’s side turbo in prep for putting the turbos back on. When I removed the turbos it was incredibly difficult to get into the hoses with the turbos in place. I’m currently planning to remove the turbos and their feeder lines from the engine to install the oil and coolant lines.

Finally I did a compression test on 1.8T engine in prep for removing then selling it. I took pictures and videos in the hope it would speed the sale of the engine if folks new it was in good health, well maintained and low mileage.

Time invested, 2 hours on hoses, 30 minutes on compression test… and 2 hours on getting compression tool back out of the engine (previous spark plug change hadn’t been done with anti-seize, I need look back at my records and never go back to that shop).

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Engine refresh – finished timing belt (day 14)

When I did the timing belt I didn’t loosen the camshaft sprockets. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the tools, I did. I had even loosened them to replace their seals. Well, turns out that if you tighten them down too early then the belt tension doesn’t get distributed around the loop.

So, after hand testing the belt to be sure the alignment was correct it was off by a few degrees. I hoped it was close enough. I asked around the internet, hoping it was close enough. It clearly wasn’t close enough. I went back through the instructions, pulled the sprockets loose and immediately the belt load evened out. Turns out following instructions saves you a bunch of time.

I also spent time evaluating the various vacuum, air injection and fuel hoses. A number of them require replacing, but I’m not entirely sure what to order to deal with some of the frayed and cracked hoses. I may have to use my phone a friend.

Time invested, 2 hours.

Cars Idle

Engine refresh – turbo dry fit (day 13)

I started off my work today with a bunch of research into Oetiker clamps. These clamps are the special, single use clamps which Audi (and other manufacturers) use all over the engine, especially on high pressure systems like fuel lines. There are a number of hoses I need to replace as well as hoses I had to break the old clamp to remove from the car. I spent about 15 minutes going through the engine compartment taking stock of the sizes I’d need… and then two to three times that amount of time online trying to find the most economical way to order multiple sizes in less than lots of 100.

After spending too much time shopping for parts, I dry-fit the turbos to the engine. I wanted to make sure they were lined up correctly on the exhaust manifolds and that I had all the right parts to put them together correctly. The turbos from XSPower came with a great supply of needed gaskets and crush washers, but I found the stock banjo bolts were too short to get the thread to catch with new washers from XS. Looks like I’m going to need to do some research (do I need new, longer bolts, different washers or do I flatten the new ones a bit?).

Time invested: 3 hours