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Audi Tech Letters

Aug 19, 2002

Project Audi S4?
From who I've talked to about Audi S4s, the 2000 model is not the one to get because it has smaller oil cooler lines or something of this nature? Do you know anything about this? Also, do you know if the owner of the S4 has had any problems with his car? I can't make up my mind on whether to keep my brand new '02 VW Gti with the 1.8t and all the 337 mods or trade in towards an S4?
Thanks,
Michael
via the Internet

According to Hartmann Motorsports it is true that the 2000 model Audi S4s were equipped with smaller oil feed lines, resulting in some reports of turbo failure. HM added the problem was fixed by early 2001. Unfortunately, fitting a 2000 S4 with larger oil feed lines requires a costly amount of labor--the motor has to be taken out.

As for Project S4, the car is running just fine as far as I know. Every now and then I get calls regarding the Audi's 100-octane setting hurting the egos of E39 BMW M5, E46 BMW M3 and other dumbfounded car owners.

Hartmann Motorsports
(949) 475-2500
www.hartmann-motorsports.com
-Pablo Mazlumian

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Audi 90 Aftermarket
Do you know of any online retailers that have aftermarket options for a '93 Audi 90S?
Rossignol2
Via the Internet

If memory serves, 1993 M.Y. Audi 90 cars have the V6 engine as opposed to the earlier 2.3L inline fives. There are a few companies that offer aftermarket parts for your Audi. I assume you're referring to performance aftermarket parts as opposed to aftermarket replacement parts. There is a sad reality you will have to face with your 90 Audi, namely the dearth of performance options. Without going crazy, swapping engines or boosting, you're limited to bolt-on modifications. First, you'll need to attend to any worn driveline components, of which there will be many after 8 years. These include bushings, bearings, mounts, suspension pieces, etc. Once the chassis and brake systems are up to par, start with a set of decent struts and springs.

For engine performance, consider a throttle body, exhaust and maybe an air intake. This won't provide a lot of horsepower, but it should be noticeable. A cam should be considered, if they're a legal modification in your state.

Here are two companies to try:

Total Audi Performance
www.tap1.com

BLAUfergnuegen! Inc.
www.audiquattroparts.com

The Internet is a good source of up-to-date information. Try searching for a webring at www.webring.org, or Ben Liaw's Audi Links at www.audilinks.com. Ben's BMW Links page is one of the best for that marque. Good luck.

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Desperately Seeking Aftermarket Parts
I have an Audi A4 2.8 quattro, But I can't find any websites that sell any parts for my car. Can you help me? My car is a V6, which makes it even harder to find parts and accessories for.
Luis
via the Internet

In 1996, european car launched the first of its project Audi A4s. The first of our articles (June 1996 ec) served as introduction to the project and a look at the various products offered for the V6. As we came to know, the 1.8t engine (perhaps the most entertaining of four-cylinder turbos to grace these shores) would become the engine of choice and our hopes were somewhat dashed.

Fortunately, since then, Audi of America and a several aftermarket companies have stepped up to produce and/or supply product for the tried-and-true V6.

One prime example of what you can do to your A4 V8 is european car's Audi Assured Pre-owned Sweepstakes A4 2.8 quattro. The four-part series (June 2001 through September 2001) highlights the products available from Audi of America's Accessories program (www.audiusa.com; (800) 367-2834).

You haven't mentioned specifically which A4 you have, but this should get you started.

Audi Performance and Racing
(800) 680-7921
www.goapr.com
Chips, turbo kits, exhaust manifolds, etc.

Audi Volkswagen Specialists
1679 S. Market Blvd., #112
Chehalis, WA 98532
(360) 748-8578
Anything goes.

Jo Hoppen Motorsport Inc.
(941) 924-6380
www.hoppenmotorsport.com
Site doesn't list V6 A4s, but Hoppen is still the father of Audi motorsport in the USA

Performance Engineered Systems
(877) 697-1688
www.pes-tuning.com
V6 30V supercharger

Schaumburg Audis
320 W Golf Rd
Schaumburg, IL 60195
(847) 843-9900
Throttle bodies.

Total Audi Performance Inc
(352) 628-AUDI
www.tap1.com
Camshafts, exhausts, intakes

Flip through the pages of ec and you're bound to find more companies. Don't forget to check out some of the little guys in the 12th page ads. Often you'll find a fresh perspective and perhaps someone with the time to answer all of your questions. Also, you'll want to check www.webring.org for the Audi A4 web ring. There are lots of ideas to be found there.

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Putting the Cat Back In
I have just recently blown my catalytic convertor and am looking to replace it. However, I am not interested in the stock converter for the A4; I want an aftermarket high-flow converter that will help increase performance. I have been searching the Southern California area for such shops and have not been able to find any. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Fon
via the Internet

You didn't happen to say where you live, or the regulations under which you are conscripted, but essentially it breaks down like this: Most companies don't want to offer a performance catalytic converter as that part is considered to be part of the emissions system and not the exhaust. That said, many traditional American-iron companies make generic replacement cats that are said to be performance oriented (check the appropriate magazines for listings). The factory parts are pretty good, and we doubt it would serve any performance function on an Audi. Also, consider that if your cat died prematurely you should find out why. Excessive fuel? Overheated?

Wishful thinking: It would be nice if Emitec GmbH built performance cats for the aftermarket. Emitec supplies some of Europe's most elite tuning firms--Alpina, for example--and their stuff is said to be cutting edge. Regardless, the catalytic convertor serves an important purpose, one which cannot be ignored.

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Older Could Be Better
I recently looked at new A4 and A6 Audis. I currently own a very nice old '95 Audi Sport 90 with just 89,000 on the odo. For my own reasons I've chosen to keep the older car for now. However, the better performance of the newer 2.8L cars is attractive. I read your article on the supercharger for the Golf 2L and the tech letter where you talk about "knuckle-dragger performance." So I am wondering, what works.

Just moving the strongest part of the torque curve down into the low 2,000s would change the car nicely. There must be a number of these cars out there. I did follow an ad in the magazine to the web page of a company who make a supercharger (like the one you reviewed for the Golf) for the A4 multi-valve 2.8. The company claims almost 400 bhp, but I don't need that much. I'd really like 220 to 250. So what works? (Just cut holes in the air box like the local Mustang boys are doing?) Did I mention that I live in the Rockies at about 7,000 ft?
Name withheld by request
Parker, Colorado.

I can understand your wanting to keep your Sport 90. By definition, any '95 car is not old, but certainly lacks the performance and cache of newer technology. The single biggest obstacle to performance nirvana is your elevation. Since you mention it, it's obvious you know the ramifications, but perhaps other readers don't.

Because the air is thinner at higher elevations, there is less atmospheric pressure to move air into the engine. This is why forced induction was first invented. In its original application, forced induction was used to force air and fuel into airplane engines flying at high-altitudes. Think of forced induction as the attendant on a Toyko subway platform shoving people into the cars. True people can get into the cars on their own volition, but you can sure get more people inside if someone is shoving. This explanation doesn't help your situation.

Even adding a 30V engine alone will not provide the level of performance you desire, even with the requisite engine-management. The best advice for you is to free up the exhaust, intake add mild camshafts. If you're feeling overly adventurous, get a hold of a small compact centrifugal supercharger and work up your own kit. Fellow Colorado Audi fans--of which there are many--will thank you. Also, don't discount the enjoyment of a good set of wheels and tires, suspension and brakes.

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Looking for Audi S3 Product
I just bought a 2001 Audi S3 and I love this car, but I am limited in available aftermarket products. So far, I've installed a Wetterauer chip for an extra 30 bhp, and the air filter was upgraded with a replacement K&N (I was told by the K&N distributor that a high flow would make a disturbing whistling sound). That's it. I e-mailed the folks at Audi Performance & Racing for some help, asking them if their Stage III manifold and all the goodies they have developed for the A4 would fit in my car, since these two models have the same engine, but received only the following answer: "Sorry, We have nothing for that particular model. Try in Europe." So please help me finding upgrades and/or the Garrett turbo from APR.
Antonio Guzman
Mexico City, Mexico

Your car is basically a restyled Golf with the 225-bhp TT Quattro (also a Golf chassis) drivetrain underneath. Thus, you should aim for mechanical compatibility with the Golf or TT rather than the A4. The APR upgrade manifold is under development for the transverse 1.8t installations, and I know of two other companies with Garrett turbo manifolds for the engine in progress, though they are also going to be for the A4 and Passat first. I imagine this has something to do with the unavailability of Quattro (really 4-Motion) in any transverse platform but the TT.

Unfortunately, even when these manifolds become available for your application, they won't help you much. That's because in order to gain anything from them, you must also have software. Your S3, being a European market car, has completely different electronics than any U.S. model. If you plug a European ECU into a U.S. car, it won't even start. U.S. software is more complex, apparently intentionally more difficult for tuners to hack into. As well, various sensors are different, with different ranges and electrical properties. In order to convert your car to U.S. software, it would be easier to rewire it completely than to sort out the changes. APR was right to point you toward European tuners.

Fortunately, in other areas your car does benefit from interchangeability. For instance, brake upgrades for corresponding U.S. models should apply, as well as wheels and tires. You will want suspension tuned specifically for your vehicle, but I know H&R (888/827-8881; www.hrsprings.com) has adjustable-height coilovers available for your car in Europe, and could probably be persuaded to bring a set over for you. Other companies may be able to help in similar ways. Just about anything you could want is available for your car in Europe. If you can figure out what you want, you can probably find a North American distributor for the line that would be happy to import some parts for you.

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Wants Three Pedals and No Boost
I own a 1989 Audi 100; normally aspirated, front-wheel drive, automatic. Not a real performance car by any means, but that's okay. My plans for the car are simple. I'll be putting in a five-speed tranny in the near future, and I want more power, about 20 to 50 more than the stock 130-bhp inline five cylinder puts out. I've been told the only way to get that kind of power from this engine is to polish the ports, and put in a new cam and a lighter flywheel; all totaled, about $3,500.

I've looked into doing a chip upgrade (supposedly about 10 bhp) and a freer flowing exhaust. But people have told me that the chip will get me only about 2 bhp. I really like the way the normally aspirated engine drives, and I'm not interested in moving up to the turbo engine. Also, I really enjoy the 44 platform, so trading in for a 90 is not an option. What can I do to get 150 bhp out of this engine for under $1,000?
Robert Turlington
Via the Internet

Finding 20 bhp with about $1,300 (plus tax and shipping) is certainly possible if you're not opposed to getting your hands dirty. For about $500, you can get a new sport camshaft. Make sure it carries an E.O. number (necessary for smog), unless you live in a state which allows engine modifications.

On top of that, you'll want to change out the lifters, timing belt and waterpump. These are preventative, but good ideas none the less. A free-flowing exhaust will set you back about $800 to $1,000. Add a K&N drop-in filter element and you're probably good to go.

Converting to a manual transmission is not fun by any stretch of the imagination. Get a factory service manual and start digging around your car. Make a list of everything that needs to be swapped out, moved or modified and you'll see the giant task ahead.

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S4 Transplant?
I've been having trouble trying finding some information on the Internet. First, I'd like to know if an engine swap between an S4 and an A4 is possible, and second where can I find an S4 engine to do it?
Rafael Ruiz
Via the Internet

It's hard to say this on a writer's salary without cringing, but at a tick under $40k, the Audi S4 is the bargain of the decade. In terms of performance, practicality and price, many feel that nothing comes close.

Improving on an S4 is certainly a tall order. You can most certainly put an S4 drivetrain into your A4 and fit all of the ancillary components and put together something resembling an S4, but in terms of cost vs. value, you will be on the wrong end of a losing proposition.

If you have your heart set on building an S4 look-alike, give Max a call at Audi Volkswagen Specialists in Chehalis, Wash. (360/748-8578). Max usually has a good line on European model parts, crate motors, closeouts and crunchers. Also, Max has been known to stuff big Audi engines in small places.

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Caustic Comments
I am extremely disheartened and disappointed by the comments against the owner of the 1982 Audi 4000S. The car is not a year 2000 S-series Audi, but it is still a beautiful vehicle. I take offense to your recommending this person seek another vehicle. I am a former owner of a 1982 4000S and a present owner of a 1982 Audi Coupe. I have owned several VW/Audis in the past years and would rate my Coupe and 4000 better than my 1988 Jetta and '82 Rabbit convertible, but I have to admit I have a special place in my heart for the Karmann Ghia. I may be a "mid-level" mechanic, but I kmow there are ways to improve Audi performance even in cars as old as 1982. The person wrote in seeking your advice on his/her existing Audi. You essentially slammed that person and said their daily driver should stay just that. What did your friends say when you were going to modify your first Beetle or Rabbit? I thought your magazine was here to help instead of hurt!
Kurt
via the Internet

The letter was never written to slam anyone. Tech Editor Brendan Lopez apologizes if it was taken as such. As much as we like modifying and playing with cars, there is no shame in maintaining daily drivers--and certainly something to be said for being practical.

Yes there are things one can do to a 4000; no they are not inexpensive. Price a Schrick cam and a set of high-compression pistons, not to mention having rods lightened, balanced and a head fully prepared. Is it worth it? Probably not. If the exhaust goes bad, buy a good free-flowing can and have it installed by a good fabricator. Take off a good stock exhaust and search the world for a new old stock performance system? Not the best use of time or money.

Replace the suspension pieces with performance parts when available, but only as their service life ends. Would I buy a set of $1,200 BBS wheels and slap $800 of rubber on them? Probably not. If I found a good set of used wheels that needed a bit of TLC and some new mid-range rubber, would I do it? Probably, but only when the existing tires need replacement.

These are all things to consider as part of car ownership. One must weigh all financial factors including ACV, ROI and the amortization of expenditures versus the time you plan to keep the vehicle. The other school of thought says spend money like water. Maybe when you're done, you'll have a car worth a mere fraction of the investment. But if it makes the owner happy, maybe it's worth it.

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