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S4 - Timing chain................snapped

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by nickb834, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. nickb834
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    nickb834 Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    So - it's finally happened, after 111k miles and 3 and a half years - the timing chains have snapped on my S4........

    No idea of the internal damage so dunno if valves have smashed holes in pistons or whether pistons have bent valves or even all of the above, but, having prepared for this eventuality it's not come as a great shock.

    Things may have moved on a bit in the last few years so before I break it for parts it's worth checking, does anyone know of any reasonably priced repair options?

    For eg - any 2nd hand engines kicking about known to be good (I doubt it - as it's usually the engine that kills an S4 off - or a tree!) OR perhaps any Audi tuners offering a recon engine fitting service?

    In all probability I'll break the car (RNS-E and DVB Tuner have already gone) the front wings are gone (rusted from inside out on arch lip) and one of the doors has started to go - but, there's this lot to go as a starters:


    • full recaro leather, electric adjustable, front heated, carbon trimmed interior up for grabs.
    • Interior dimming mirror
    • Dimming wing mirrors
    • Front and rear bumpers (paint code LZ9W - Rear has parking sensors fitted - non Audi by previous owners)
    • HID Headlamps
    • Front fogs and trims
    • Auxilliary rad (OSF - barely 12 months old) - NSF has corrosion so not worth fitting
    • 2 x Delphi alternators (1 as a spare, 1 was fitted to car 12 months ago)
    • 5 x wheels (need a refurb - which I might get done) with 4 x Michelin Pilot Sport 3's (1 worn on shoulder, other 3 about 4mm's tread left) and a Toyo Proxes T1R as spare
    • 8 x coil packs - only 20k miles on these


    When / If I decide to break this car I'll put it in the for sale section....

    Cheers

    Nick
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
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  3. S3 GAZ
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    S3 GAZ Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Maybe a daft question but if we're preparing for this day why did you not get the chains replaced before this happened?
    #2
  4. nickb834
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    nickb834 Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Have you seen the cost?! It's an engine out job, whilst the engine is out you may as well do the clutch and dmf. Be lucky to see change from 4 grand - on a car that's not worth much above £5k!

    The timing chains on an S4 are at the back of the engine and absolutely cannot be got at with the engine in situ, IIRC the kit of parts is well over £1500 - never mind the labour! For eg have a look at JHM's kits for this JHM Timing Chain Service Kit for B6-B7 S4 - INTERMEDIATE - JH Motorsports Inc. - -- JHM. Shifting

    Most garages won't touch these cars - try getting a clutch done for eg at a local independant and they won't touch em so you're in specialist territory or main dealer hell!

    And, most importantly of all - now I can justify using man maths a B7 RS4 :p
    #3
  5. THQuattro
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    THQuattro Active Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Onwards and upwards mate. RS4 luvvly.
    #4
  6. S3 GAZ
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    S3 GAZ Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Oh well didn't appreciate the cost if doing the chains.

    Please don't let the rs4 suffer the same fate or have u factored in the maintenance cost of such a beast
    #5
  7. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    cost of doing chains on an s4 is expensive
    all the more reason to protect against this and fit the pre oiler to stop the chain rattling on start up and breaking the chain guides
    which in turn snaps the chain
    #6
  8. THQuattro
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    THQuattro Active Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Hi whats the life of a S4 chain and how big a job is the chain pre oiler.
    #7
  9. BakPak
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    BakPak No Gear

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Yeah when do audi recommend the timing chains are replaced?
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  10. p1tse
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    p1tse Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Sorry to hear

    Out of interest did you have longer than usual chain rattle on start up and frequency?

    What service regime was it on and type of oil used?

    Any tell tell signs it may have been coming?
    #9
  11. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    audi reccomend changing the chain and gears at 300,000 miles

    the pre oiler system time to fit is a little dependant on what size you fit it and where
    im in the middle of doing a write up with pictures of how mines has been done
    #10
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  12. THQuattro
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    THQuattro Active Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    So 111k is a third of expected life, not good.
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  13. BlackQuat
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    BlackQuat Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    I'd be in tears!
    #12
  14. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    there are some in the states with a little over 60k on them when they have gone
    a couple have been done by audi as goodwill gestures but clearly the parts where not well designed as against the rest of the engine
    the best way to protect against it now is the pre oiler system , there have been no reported failures since anyone fitting the system has had one fitted
    #13
  15. THQuattro
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    THQuattro Active Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Who does these pre oiler systems.
    #14
  16. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    there are a few companies who make pre oiler systems
    they are mainly fitted on very high performance engines or old classic cars which are again usually raced or rallied

    moroso , accusump , amsoil , oilamatic to name but a few who make systems
    #15
  17. nickb834
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    nickb834 Member

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    [Apr 14, 2014]
    Chain rattled for just less than a second on startup - did it every morning but once it had started for the day it didn't do it again.

    The engine was running Fuchs Titan Race Pro S 5w40, and the oil was changed circa every 8k miles which is about 12 months for me.

    There was absolutely nothing warning me that this was coming - what I would say is, it let go when it was in the process of getting thrashed - but then what's the point of pootling a 300+ hp v8 :p
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
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  18. nickb834
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    nickb834 Member

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    [Apr 14, 2014]
    I've though of fitting one a few times - should, woulda, coulda! I'd be intrigued to know if the RS4 (B7) suffers the same with it's chains - I've not looked tbh as I'm a few months off having the necessary wedge to find my own.
    #17
  19. nickb834
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    nickb834 Member

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    [Apr 14, 2014]
    Yeah it's an easy call with an RS4 - leggy ones are still fetching 14k, mint lower miles are circa 20k - it's a no brainer to do 3k worth of maintenance on a 20k car - but, it's equally a no brainer not to bother on a 5k car.
    #18
  20. S3 GAZ
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    S3 GAZ Member

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    [Apr 14, 2014]
    suppose when u put it like that
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  21. p1tse
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    p1tse Member

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    [Apr 14, 2014]
    How long have you owned and mileage covered
    Sounds like you looks after it

    As it sounds like you had decent oil, would normal usage cause chain guide wear or is it really just at start up ?
    Sounds like audi need to sort something out
    #20
  22. nickb834
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    nickb834 Member

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    [Apr 15, 2014]
    I'd had the car 3 1/2 years and done about 30k miles in it, it's very well documented the chain tensioners going on B6/7 S4's.

    The noise at startup doesn't cause the wear, the wear causes the noise at startup. The chain guides go, then the tensioners and then boom snappage! The time this takes to happen is a function of quality of oil and frequency of changes and usage and pi55 poor design in the first place.

    What I would say is - if you ever consider buying a car that's been on long life service schedule then walk away - there's no way in hell no matter how good an oil is that you can go 20k between services. For eg - this S4 of mine was switched by me from time and distance intervals to variable based on driving. The car looked at the various parameters such as fuel consumption vs load and so on and told me roughly every 8k miles that it wanted a service - can you imagine doing 12k miles beyond that on a time and distance schedule on some VAG group Quantum 504 oil? shudder!
    #21
  23. p1tse
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    p1tse Member

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    [Apr 16, 2014]
    I'm a recent new owner

    66k and has been on long life, like a lot of the other ones out there

    First week of ownership I took it off variable to what I will do as annual
    And running on Fuchs Titan pro too
    #22
  24. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 16, 2014]
    the noise at start up is caused by the thinning oil leaking from the hydraulic tensioners (some manufacturers new ones are fitted with a one way valve so this cannot happen )
    the one second rattle on start up .... causes the chain to slap the plastic wear guides and wear them thin in particular spots
    when the chain guides eventually fail ..... this causes the chains to go slack and the tensioners to work even harder to try to take up slack and eventually the tensioner snaps

    good oil definitely helps and shorter service intervals
    or if you want to take it out of the equation fit a pre oiler system to pump up the tensioners before you start the engine
    this gets rid of the chain slap ... which doesn't wear your guides , which doesn't overexert your tensioners
    #23
  25. p1tse
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    p1tse Member

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    [Apr 16, 2014]
    I'm aware that there are some which have suffered from the cam chain issue resulting a wrote off

    Is it more common on b6 due to different guides?
    #24
  26. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 16, 2014]
    i think it is more common on the b6 but only because of age related wear not design function
    the guides on the b7 are slightly harder plastic but they still wear when a chain slaps them ...
    #25
  27. p1tse
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    p1tse Member

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    [Apr 16, 2014]
    How about the older s6, a8
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  28. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 16, 2014]
    not the same engines as some of the old s6 and a8 engines are cam belt not chain
    the bbk engine in the s4 is unique it was purpose designed to be shorter than the old a8 engine to fit in the engine bay of the b6 chassis
    #27
  29. haytch75
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    haytch75 Member

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    [May 31, 2014]
    so Dualmono21......as I understand it the B7's are a little less prone due to slightly harder plastics and fitting a pre-oiler system prevents further wear to the point where it goes bang, is this right?
    If this is the case I assume it would make sense to aim for a B7 with a top quality history and fitting a pre-oiler ASAP.
    #28
  30. Ian2012
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    Ian2012 Active Member

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    [May 31, 2014]
    I worked at an audi dealer when the B6 S4 came out, the first one we had went out on road test after it's pdi with the tech at the wheel, came back an hour later on low loader with a blown engine, had less than 10 miles on the clock, took audi a while to supply a new engine. At the time they either went bang instantly or were ok, ours wasn't the only one.

    The cam chain thing was much lauded as being a big step forward as they never need to be changed.
    #29
  31. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [May 31, 2014]
    b6 or b7 i really dont think it matters
    im sure in future you will see just as many b7,s suffering the same problem as b6,s

    the pre oiler makes all the difference as does regular oil changes , this is not a car you can afford to skimp and save on as regards oil quality

    a low mileage car would be more expensive than something with some miles on it but evidence of a good maintenance history is paramount for these cars
    this isnt the same as a full dealer history , unfortunately now its becoming increasingly common to fake service books with audi service stamps
    it is however a lot more difficult to fake a vat reciept for individual service items
    dont buy the cheapest one you can get , buy the best one you can afford it will pay dividends if you keep the car for a while
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  32. haytch75
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    haytch75 Member

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    [May 31, 2014]
    Cheers mate. I'm keeping my eye out for my perfect S4 comes up. When it does it will be impeccably maintained and a keeper.
    #31
  33. haytch75
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    haytch75 Member

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    [May 31, 2014]
    Sorry for the thread hijack Nickb834 and even sorrier for the crappy news mate.
    Have you managed to recover much through breaking?
    #32
  34. Ian2012
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    Ian2012 Active Member

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    [May 31, 2014]
    The other key thing i remember at the time is the master tech who i worked with at the dealer, wasn't impressed with the change to longlife servicing, i vividly remember him rubbing longlife oil threw his fingers and saying it's ****.

    proof of the pudding is i know run 2 cars with same engine but one has been run on longlife (until we got it) and one not, the one that hasn't been run on longlife is as sweet as a nut hot or cold, burns no oil in 10k. the other noisy when cold and almost grouchy too when not warmed up this engine uses 1.5 litres of oil per 10k miles. Master tech was right in my book.
    #33
  35. dualmono21
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    dualmono21 Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 1, 2014]
    again i know cars which both do and dont use oil
    whether or not this is down to previous history i really couldnt say but personally i agree with the thoughts on long life oil
    however some very low miles b7 owners reporting that there cars do use oil
    a friend of mine has the exact same car as mine even down to the colour my car has 70k on clock and doesnt use oil
    his has 64k and does use oil
    #34
  36. Mike.M
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    Mike.M Well-Known Member

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    [Jun 1, 2014]
    Sorry to hear the news........I would buy a cheap but decent 3.0 quattro SE and transfer all the S4 kit across.
    #35
  37. GeoffDunk
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    GeoffDunk Active Member

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    [Jun 3, 2014]
    I can only assume homework not fully done or a dodgy inderpendant.
    #36
  38. lemonslap
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    lemonslap New Member

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    [Jun 3, 2014]
    #37
  39. biyitch
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    biyitch Chocolate? It's doo-doo, baby!

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    [Jun 4, 2014]
    Do the B8s have timing chains too?
    #38

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