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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the past several months (since about November), my Audi has been constantly being worked on or relegated to weeks on end of no action at all. It began when I ordered some parts: two front CV axles, a front wheel bearing, MT90 transmission fluid, Pentosin 11S, timing belt, water pump, and some coolant. I needed to do a timing belt job, change the CV axles, and change the front right wheel bearing. The transmission fluid is still unused as I haven't had the time or will to mess with it yet, but the Pentosin has long since been used. I also bought a power steering pump for my Audi from nsimps since mine was the wrong one.



Changing the CV axles and wheel bearing was pretty straightforward and went well. No notable issues there. The only thing is, the alignment is no about 1/10th of a turn to the left and doesn't pull. I'll take it to my usual shop though to have that looked at. Check out this picture though of the old one. Frightening!



The timing belt job went alright, or so I thought. But then it wouldn't start. So I bought a new starter for it, and that fixed the issue (really simplifying the process, but that's what it came down to). I also had a hell of a time getting the right smaller front banjo bolt for the power steering pump since the one I had on the old one wasn't quite right. But I finally sourced it from ECS Tuning. Once I got that hooked up and everything started, I noticed the car was leaking oil pretty badly as well as some power steering fluid.



Nsimps was nice enough to refund some of my money so I could buy a seal kit for the pump. I finally got the chance to rebuild that last week and while it does still just barely bubble some fluid, I think it's 99% sealed now. No noticeable drips after driving it for about an hour today, but more on that later.

I finally tracked down the oil leak to being from a pair of missing bolts on the front of the motor. I don't know if I took them off or a friend did since there were 3 of us all working on the timing belt (or spectating), but anyway, they were missing. And they didn't seem to be holding anything that we removed, so I'm still confused about that. But it made fixing the leak a breeze since all I needed was the appropriate screws which just happened to be sitting in a box labeled "spares." Always reassuring.



Finally today everything was reassembled, resealed, and ready to go. So I lowered it off the jackstands, wiped off some dust and grease, and fired it up.

As far as my post-repair Audi test drives go, I give that one a B+. The car seemed to hold the road nicely, didn't vibrate around a lot, and was genuinely exciting to drive quickly on country roads. It's been a long time since I was last able to enjoy it like that.

Things I noticed: alignment is way off, but I knew that already. Power loss at various points on the rev range, most noticeably above 5,000 rpm (redline is 7k). Hopefully that can be fixed with the catalytic converter I have for it. Throttle valve potentiometer needs adjusted a bit (which could help the previous problem too) because when you let off the gas in gear, the throttle is completely closed and really creates a lot of engine braking and a bit of whining.

Other things were minor. I noticed my dash has become more warped than it used to be. Exhaust gases are still getting into the car somewhere, but I think I know where. I also had a hard time getting it into reverse once, but it may have been my lack of familiarity with it after months of not driving. Once I got it in the right position, it slid right in just like the other gears. Might have just been trying too hard at first.

I didn't notice any fluids leaking after the test drive, but it may happen after it sits for a while, so I'm still crossing my fingers on that.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Took the Audi to my preferred local shop today with a checklist in hand. I wanted them to do an alignment, see what was wrong with the handbrake, check the catalytic converter, give me their opinion on the power hesitation above 5k rpm as well as an opinion on what I feel is harsh engine braking and whining when it's coasting in gear.

Turns out they think the engine braking isn't a problem and that I'm just feeling the driveline slack, but they didn't really say much about the power cutting out. The guy I talked to said the mechanic said it seemed like it was hitting the limiter, but that seems very wrong for being only around 5k rpm (with a 7k redline that I've run it up to myself). They also said the catalytic converter was probably fine, but since I have a replacement, I might eventually have them put it in anyway.

And now for the bigger stuff. They couldn't do the alignment because both front lower control arms are shot. They also said that the rear calipers didn't seem to be working at all, or if they were, only very little. That makes sense since I've been hearing a little bit of groaning coming from back there under braking. It's probably just barely making contact with the slightly rusty rotors. So those are my next two projects.

I also had a car washing party with my mom. She washed her Explorer in the time it took me to do my Audi and half the Grand Prix. Tomorrow, the GP gets clay bar'd and waxed. The Audi needs buffed badly, but I'll probably wait.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I attempted briefly to sell the car on Craigslist. I had one interested buyer who came and looked at it and took it for a test drive. He said it seemed better than he expected, but he still declined to buy it. No big deal, I had a second potential buyer. He was supposed to come last night and take a look at it, and even verified that was still a plan when I texted him that afternoon, but flaked on me and hasn't responded to any of my messages. Why do people do that? Jerk.

So anyway, I'm giving up on selling it. Instead, I placed an order on Rockauto for all new control bushings and rear calipers. Once I get those installed, I'll be able to get an alignment and hopefully have a functioning handbrake (and, importantly, stopping power from all four wheels). I also still have a hydraulic pressure accumulator to put in, so hopefully that takes care of some issues too.

I made a thread here about questions related to the exhaust: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=53415" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; I think I'd be best off just replacing the whole thing, but I'm not sure I have the cash to do that. Other things I want to take care of are the 034 fuel injector upgrade and get a new gauge cluster. The one I have is acting up. The clock fades in and out and the middle LCD is "leaking" more and more. You can tell it still works, but it takes some guess-work to figure out what numbers it's displaying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just making a list here of things I need for my Audi still. Not ready to make a WTB thread yet since I have other stuff to work on first, but here it is:

-Mid-door trim for left rear door.
-All lower door trim
-Good-condition red B3 or B4 hood (haven't decided if I want to do the "upgrade")
-Hood liner (I think mine hosted a mouse at some point before I bought it)
-Toothed alternator bracket and the gear tensioner that runs inside it
-Aux. radiator (Eventually. Still works fine and doesn't leak, just tattered)
-Main gauge cluster (odometer stopped and LCD screen "leaking" out)
-Maybe front left fender, preferably good condition in red. Mine has a dent/break on the edge.

It feels weird to say it, but I think that's all I'm lacking at this point to make it a pretty sharp car.

Current projects, in the order I'll do them: control arm bushings, rear brake calipers, hydraulic pressure accumulator, 034 injector upgrade, bag o' snakes upgrade + new exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't do much tonight, but I did take over my mom's garage, get the car up on jack stands, take the wheels off, assess the jobs to be done, and lube up trouble spots with Liquid Wrench. I'll be doing the control arm bushings as well as replacing the rear calipers and the hydraulic pressure accumulator. The latter is what the siphon is for. I have to remove all the power steering/hydraulic fluid from the system and then somehow remove that accumulator. It's in an awkward spot, but I think I can get at it from underneath. Just annoying without a lift.

Also, those control arm bushings are well and truly shot. I could pretty much tear off the outer edge of rubber, and the rest of the bushing didn't look good either. I plan to spend time sanding down the control arms to get most of the surface rust off and then spray them with black paint. I should probably do this before I get the new bushings pressed in.



The work shall begin tomorrow. I'll post more pictures and stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Today's project is replacing the accumulator on my Audi. I struggled to get the old one out after fighting with rusty/stuck bolts, but finally pulled it out. The only problem is that the bolt at the very bottom of the mount (seen on the old accumulator on the left) is rusted badly and can't be taken off normally. I even jammed a slightly-too-small socket onto it, but it stripped off the remains of the edges. So now it looks like I may have to cut it off, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do about replacing it. Also, I have no way to cut it off at my house, so I'll have to take it to my cousin's shop. But I have no transportation. Ugh.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, man.

I did manage to get the bolt off today. Took the accumulator to my cousin's shop. He has a lot more knowledge and experience than I, and he gently ground down one side of the nut and then we were able to twist it off with vice grips. I haven't put the accumulator back on yet though because I decided to switch over to trying the control arms.

My problem is that I can't quite get at the nut on the bolt that goes through the bushings. There's an access hole in the subframe below the nut, but it's not directly below it. I can't quite get a bite on it with a wrench. It comes into the opening at like a 45 degree angle. Very annoying. I have an offset wrench I'll try in a bit, but I don't expect it to work. Next up is to see if I have a socket and wrench narrow enough to fit inside, but I don't have high hopes for that either. I could cut the bolt at my cousin's shop, but it leaves me with the same problem when it comes to reassembly. Thoughts?



And yes, this is probably the worst rust on the car. It makes me cringe every time. I curse the previous owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks yodasfro. At least I know I was on the right track then. I have an offset wrench I borrowed, but I'm not sure it's the right size. For one, it's a standard rather than metric, but it should be close in size. I think it's 5/8ths and 11/16ths. With the rust, it might work. I'll go out and work on it later.
 

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Keep up the good work, you'll be enjoying the results of your effort soon.

Just a heads-up. When you reinstall the sub-frames, don't tighten the bolts until the weight of the car is on the wheels. (IOW, don't tighten the
bolts with the wheels hanging down) I know it's a bit awkward to do unless you have some ramps under the wheels, but your new bushings will
reward your effort with a much longer life span. (If you tighten the bolts with the wheels hanging,when you lower the car to the ground you torque the
bushings and kind of "wind-up" (torque) the rubber.) Remember PB Blaster and Kroil are your friend.............

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for that tip, urQ83! I hadn't thought about that. I think I can manage to put the weight on the car before tightening. The rearward bolts might be awkward, but it should be doable. If not, I can source some ramps or some wood blocks to set the car's weight on.
 

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NInetyQ said:
Thanks yodasfro. At least I know I was on the right track then. I have an offset wrench I borrowed, but I'm not sure it's the right size. For one, it's a standard rather than metric, but it should be close in size. I think it's 5/8ths and 11/16ths. With the rust, it might work. I'll go out and work on it later.
I wouldn't risk rounding off the bolt in that location. I would get a metric set. They can be had for a pretty reasonable price and work great on many things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's sounding like given what I have and what I might need to find, I might just go with using a cutting disc on the bolt and replacing the bolt and nut. That still leaves me with a dilemma about how to get the nut held within the subframe, but if I use a lock washer, do you guys think that would work? I was thinking if I used that, I might be able to finger tighten it to where I can tighten it down just turning the bolt rather than the nut too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Things are looking up!

The 5/8" offset box end wrench I borrowed from my cousin did the trick. It does get on the nut and provides plenty of leverage to get the control arms off. The problem is that I took a glance at the rearward nut on the same control arm and it is rusted way worse than the one I was working on. I couldn't get the wrench to get a bite on it at all.

So the plan now is to see if my cousin can cut the bolts off for me and we can replace them instead. Now that I know I have a wrench that can turn the new nut, I'm happy.

I also sprayed the hydraulic pressure accumulator bracket with some black enamel to seal that up. It had a little bit of rust on it, but nothing too bad. Just thought I might as well take the extra time to hit it with a wire brush and some black spray paint. Looking forward to having these new bushings and accumulator! Then it's on to the rear brake calipers, then the fuel injectors, then (eventually) the exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The accumulator is now on the car and does make a difference! The brake pedal feels different and my brake warning light doesn't come on anymore. Awesome. My ABS Off light still comes on once you get it up to speed, but that doesn't surprise me. I'm almost positive one of the sensors is bad or that the rear tone rings are messed up.

The control arm bushings will have to wait until Monday, but now that I know what I'm up against on those, they should come off easily. We'll just cut the bolts and be able to put new ones in using the offset wrench.

Back to the brakes though, I still have a pretty bad groaning sound coming from the right-front wheel under braking. Not just low-speed like I thought before, but that's where it's most apparent. Seems to happen most of the time to some extent. Also that wheel has more brake dust on it than the left front one. It doesn't seem to pull one way or another though when braking. Not really sure what's going on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Figured out the brake groaning issue: the inner pads are worn down and gouging the inner face of the rotor on the front right side. Looks like I'll have to lube up the caliper pins and slides and make sure everything sliding as it should and then replace the pads and rotors. At least the job isn't a difficult one. One other thing though: I have dual-piston calipers on my car. Is that usual for the sedan? 20v.org says that the sedans only came with single-piston calipers front and rear and have the smaller 256 rotors. If I have dual-piston calipers like the coupes, does that mean I also have 276 rotors?

I also got the new control arm bushings installed yesterday and took the car to my usual shop to finally get an alignment since when I took it to them last time, they said they wouldn't do it until that was fixed. Well guess what? Now the upper strut mount, at least on one side, is bad, but both need replaced. I trust that they're not just saying that though since it was the owner that called me and he knows I do a lot of my own work on that car. So anyway, now it's time to delve into that. It's weird how this car seems to know my limits mechanically and financially and just pushes beyond or to the limit of both every time. I've never done much suspension work. The most I've done was strut cartridges in my Grand Prix, but those just slide in from the top. So I'm lost with this one. What kind of procedure am I look at to get this done myself if I choose to tackle it? It's like a $300 job for the shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm working on replacing my injectors with the 034 kit I got from varia today. So far, I have a question about the wiring. In the box he sent me was a wiring adapter, and this is how I have it hooked up:



Is this right? I know the colors don't match, but the male-to-female matches. The instructions I'm following basically say to splice the wires on the side that go through the firewall together, and unless I'm missing something, this basically does that, but just goes through the plug connectors. Right?

Also, I had some questions about brakes and strut mount procedure above.
 
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