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Just bought my first B5 Avant.. lots of questions!

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by au_sjo, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. au_sjo
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    au_sjo Member

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    [Jun 4, 2009]
    Hi all,

    This is my first post so if it's in the wrong place please let me know.

    I just bought my first B5 A4 Avant '98. It's only a 1.8 SE manual, but I bought it as a runaround as I just sold my Chrysler 300C and need an estate :) I used to have a 2000 S3 and I do like Audis. I have heaps of questions which i'm hoping I may be able to get some answers to here :)

    Here's a quick pic of how the car is today (well, when I pick it up on Saturday), and a quick photoshop of how I think i'd like it to look:

    [​IMG] -----> [​IMG]


    So.. the questions...

    Suspension
    As much as I hate lowering cars (as it's usually detrimental to the handling), I think i'd like this to be a bit lower. I think the photoshop I did above is a bit excessive as I don't fancy driving around on the bump stops.

    - What spring or damper combos are available for the B5 Avant? I've seen some Eibach springs, two types, one of which is a ~30mm drop, the other a 60/40 drop.. If anyone has the latter and can confirm it doesn't ride around on the bump stops let me know..

    I'm really interested in seeing some B5 Avant photos that have been lowered - if you could post some pics up please?


    Brakes
    - Can anyone tell me what the standard brakes are on the 1.8 SE model? The wheels are 16" and i'd like to fit the biggest OE brakes I can underneath.

    - What are common brake conversions on these? I'm a fan of retro-fitting a larger brake package from another model if possible?


    Engine
    Obviously i'm not planning to tune the original n/a engine as it'd be a waste of time without spending an absolute fortune, but I wouldn't mind a different exhaust system. Any recommendations for cat-back exhausts on the B5 Avant? I've not really found anything yet.


    Interior
    This model comes with a crappy non-sporty cloth interior. I know of the RS4 model, but what other interiors were available in the other models that I could do a straight swap for? Leather or cloth, or a mix is fine. I'm a fan of big recaro type seats (i'm no small lad), the kind of thing you'd get in a sierra cosworth or rover, not tiny bucket seats.


    Electronics
    I'm a bit of an electronics nerd and i've done a fair bit of work in the past with interfacing car electronics. I know of vagcom, but are there any other nerdy products/projects out there that'd work on this car? I'm curious about everything so don't hold back!

    Out of interest, is there a DIY remapping kit for these? I'm interested to know what kind of ECU this runs and whether it uses an EPROM, flash-in-micro, or seperate flash? Can it only be programmed via the OBD port (or by removing the ecu itself). I'm particularly interested in any plug'n'play calibration kit.


    I think that's it for now. Many thanks in advance to any questions you can answer/comment on :)

    :cool:
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  3. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 4, 2009]
    Suspension
    Personally i'd go for the -30 Eibach Pro-Kit. Its more expensive, but thats because its tailored more accurately to the car, provides factory ride quality and a nice amount of lowering

    Brakes
    Largest fronts are the TT carriers and B6 312mm disk combination. You use the carriers from a TT, disks from a big engined B6 A4 and your standard calipers and pads. The only problem with this is you'll move the brake bias forward which isnt ideal, and really should upgrade the rears too, however its not particularly easy to do on a B5.


    Engine
    You'll find it hard to get an exhaust for the 1.8 NA motor.


    Interior
    Any "Sport" model has the proper bucketed seats, with the larger V6 models often having leather. 1.8TQS has a half leather.


    Electronics
    The ECU on the Turbo engines is a Bosch Motronic, although there are some different revisions thru the years, and presumably the 1.8 NA is the same. They do not have flashable roms and require the ROM to be removed from the board and replaced with one containing the new program.
    As such i've never heard of DIY flashing programs, although i'd imagine it would simply be a case of finding the ROM file, writing it to a suitable chip and soldering it in.
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  4. au_sjo
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    au_sjo Member

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    [Jun 10, 2009]
    Thanks aragorn.

    I've ordered a set of Bilstein B8 dampers and H&R 'sport' springs. I'll let you know how I get on with them.

    Looking for the brake conversion. I've seen other people mention the A8 discs work. Are they the same as the 'b6' A4 discs? As in, same installed height, I would assume so if they work! Ideally I want to end up with grooved (not drilled) discs and Ferodo DS2500 pads.


    Looking around at interiors - do you know if this'll fit?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120432905926


    On another note, had the Concert head unit in for repair, done in 48 hours (to resolve the volume control issue).. And ordered an mp3 player thingy from China which hooks into the CD changer lines.. so i'll see how that goes!
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  5. Drizz
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    Drizz Project Plush

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    [Jun 10, 2009]
    How much was the suspension fella?
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  6. au_sjo
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    au_sjo Member

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    [Jun 10, 2009]
    Well i'm a Bilstein dealer (not sure i'm allowed to say that?!).. I ended up buying the springs from a retailer in Germany via eBay as it was 20% cheaper than my COST price from the UK distributor!! Ridiculous! :sadlike:
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  7. jcb
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    jcb Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 11, 2009]
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  8. au_sjo
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    au_sjo Member

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    [Jun 11, 2009]
    Thanks. Is that taking into account this apparent fixings method change i've read about circa 1998?
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  9. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 11, 2009]
    I've heard the A8 disks been mentioned before but no, they wont fit.

    The disks you need are fittted to B6 A4's and some A6's, probably some B7 A4's too.

    As for the interior, if your car is after '97ish then it will have a Pin fixing on the rear split folding seats. Pre-97 avants and all saloons have a U shaped clip fixing, so they arent interchangable.
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  10. au_sjo
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    au_sjo Member

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    [Jun 11, 2009]
    Thanks.

    Hmm odd about the A8 discs. The defacto conversion detailed on vwvortex calls for A8 discs. I guess this is going to turn into a "test, dont guess" exercise :)

    So basically any avant interior post 1998 (b5) should fit?




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  11. au_sjo
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    au_sjo Member

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    [Jun 16, 2009]
    Out of interest, can anyone tell me which colour my car is above? I have a feeling it's Aquellus (spelling?) Green..
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  12. au_sjo
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    au_sjo Member

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    [Jun 22, 2009]
    It's Jaspin Green :)
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  13. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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  14. au_sjo
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    au_sjo Member

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    [Jun 22, 2009]
    You're not wrong. I just double-checked the vehicle specific info I got from Audi's erwin system and it does say Jaspis Green! Interior is "Lago". :icon_thumright:
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