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Steering rack ratio... possible upgrade options??

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by gmx, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. gmx
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    gmx Member

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    [Sep 1, 2011]
    Does anyone know the standard rack ratio for the AJLs ?

    There seem to be two part numbers for AJLs. One is common to all N/A & Tdi V6s, the other is AGB (2.7T) & AJL only.
    Are these interchangeable?
    Is the S4 ratio faster?
    Can S4 and in-turn... us AJL guys upgrade to RS4 racks if they're any faster?
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  3. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 1, 2011]
    Doubt it as the track is different between the A4 an RS4 models. You might be able to build an RS4/S4 hybrid rack if you were that way inclined.
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  4. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 1, 2011]
    Track difference is all in the wheels.

    The suspension etc is geometrically identical between an A4 and RS4.

    As for the rack ratio, no idea!
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  5. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    [Sep 1, 2011]
    Really? They pushed the wheels out that much further just by using a smaller offset?

    I thought they were ET20 as opposed to the A4/S4's ET35-42. That only increases the track by a total of at most of 44mm per axle. I always thought the RS4 was a fair bit wider than that.

    Not saying you're wrong, just that I would be surprised
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  6. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 1, 2011]
    A4/S4 as stock is ET45, so your gaining 50mm of track over a stock S4 but then the wheels are 8.5" rather than 7.5 so you get some extra width from that as well filling out the bigger arches.

    The uprights, control arms etc are all the same.
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  7. gmx
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    gmx Member

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    [Sep 2, 2011]
    Hrmm, going off topic more and more here. I had a slight suspicion that the upright was different as well, hence the lower front control arm was more B6+ style but still had the fatter shock absorber bolt like all B5s.

    So for ex, to use B6 uprights. Instead of B6 LCAs with a spacer, we could just use RS4 arms.

    Yeah the rack ratios tend to be a bit of mystery. The only numbers I can find are US Spec LHD.
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  8. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 2, 2011]
    The uprights are aluminium, which means they use the smaller taper on the balljoint, and yes, that means the arms are a little different, but geometrically they are the same length.

    There are two different racks. ETKA is a bit unclear, but it seems that the S4, RS4 and PR-1BV models have the same rack, and everything else uses a different one.

    UK TQS's are all PR-1BV, which means quattro gmbh suspension package. Basically they fitted the TQS with S4 suspension and steering.

    I've noticed this oddity before, in the track rod end section. TQS's come with S4 spec solid rod ends, as a result of the aforementioned PR-1BV. But if you look up the AJL code engine, it suggests the proper fitment is the standard A4 rubber joint.

    Also bear in mind the facelift racks are different to pre-facelift ones.
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  9. gmx
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    gmx Member

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    [Sep 2, 2011]
    1BV as in on the vehicle data sticker?
    Mine says 1BE and in the decoder there doesn't seem to be any difference between them. Both say "Sport suspension/Shock Absorption"

    At least this means they're completely interchangeable.
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  10. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Sep 2, 2011]
    1BV is specifically Quattro GMBH suspension according to ETKA.

    TQS's in the UK differ from normal A4 Quattros because they have cast upper rear wishbones instead of pressed steel, they have solid track rod ends, different steering rack, and built in strut brace on the front end (although all 6 cylinder cars got the strut brace after facelift afaik).

    The TQS here was a special edition, limited run car, and had a bespoke half leather interior and white dials too.

    Does your car have these features?
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  11. gmx
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    gmx Member

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    In response to the previous question, I don't have most of those (white dials, strut bar). I haven't checked the rear wishboes. TREs are solid but they could have been replaced prior to me knowing.
    The only things we got were improved interior, quattro (Fwd models remained AEB or APU), manual only afaik, 17x8 ET35 ronal rims. They look exactly like yours but you reported they were 17x7 ET45 or 17x7.5. Mine are definitely 17x8 ET35.

    bringing this back as it's been on my mind.

    Are the fittings different between the UK TQS and other 1.8Ts? So apart from just the rack, would I need fittings and lines to do the swap?
    Does anyone know the exact ratios? If the S4 is the same as RS4 then 99% of the information out there on the net is worthless anyway. Similarly, if the rack is only slightly tighter, it would be hardly worth it.

    Are TQS racks easy to source there?

    Is it possible to modify racks for a tighter ratio?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
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  12. IN 2 Deep
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    IN 2 Deep Hoonigan

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    Do the RS4 lower arms not mount in the outboard hole in the subframe? I always thought so as running RS4 bits then requires spacers between the gearbox flanges and the inner CV so I assume its not just the wheels, but could be wrong.
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  13. IN 2 Deep
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    IN 2 Deep Hoonigan

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    The easy answer is yes, but it won't look very OEM more racecar if you like. Google steering quickener. Not sure I would use one though

    Link-

    Steering Quickeners - Racing Parts and Products
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
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  14. gmx
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    gmx Member

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    I've heard of them, they seem to be popular with drifters here.

    I came across this with further searching. Made to suit the B5 Passat, probably same as the A4.
    Steering rack quickener - QSP 1:1.5 - Tuning-in.eu

    I think I'll get the car setup sorted a bit more then follow this up further.
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  15. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    TQS boleros are 17x7 ET45. I have 24 of them lol, and they're all the same.

    ETKA suggests the AJL has its own special pressure hose for the power steering. The return hose however seems the same as all 4 cyl petrols. I've never looked at these up close though. I do however have a 1.8T FWD sitting on the drive to be stripped soon, so i can compare the rack and its fitments with my car at some point if you want?


    In2Deep: RS4 and S4 driveshafts are the same (and they're also used on AJL 1.8T FWD models in europe, we didnt get those here though).

    Some late S4's got the same alloy uprights as the RS4 too, using the same control arms, further clarifying that they are the same.
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  16. gmx
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    [Feb 11, 2012]
    Did ETKA mention it was AJL or some derivative (ie those in UK market or with PR-1BV suspension/option?)

    Yeah, my boleros are definitely 17x8 ET35... I was shocked myself as I thought I was getting more width with my BBS (7.5 -> 8). I recall they used them on A6 or A8s and here they decided to add them as standard with a host of other stuff. I'll post a pic if I get round to cleaning all the cobwebs and eradicating the spiders in and around them :p
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  17. Soupie69uk
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    [Aug 22, 2014]
    Did anyone ever use one of these steering quickeners? Been driving a Caterham 7 over 850 miles for the past few days and its rack was really quick. Got back in the A4 this morning and it feels like I am driving the QE2. I am sure in a couple of days I will be back used to it but going round small bends I now notice I am having to turn the wheel quite a lot.
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  18. Bradderz_1988
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    Bradderz_1988 Dont replace it, Upgrade it !!

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    [Aug 22, 2014]
    I changed to the later rack which seemed to make the steering less heavy as it has no damper and is also used on the later 2000> TQS/S4 cars

    Think theres a thread with part numbers somewhere or aragorn will no it he gave me the part number.

    GMX :- we did get the ET35 boleros as there on mine but mine are stamped 97' on centre caps so maybe they were changed for older ones or there of the old C4 A6 part numbers :-
    4A0-071-495

    According to adamms24 (think thats him and who told me) there are 3 types of boleros 7J, 8J and 8.5J.
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