Getting it back up to standard - Help and Advice please.


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Jul 3, 2011
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As detailed in another thread, I have just forked out a (to me) shed-load of money on sorting out the radiator / ATF cooler and that means that any plans to u/grade have to be put on hold for while. Although, having a Quattro for the winter is no bad thing. What that means is that a few things that I put on hold now need to be done to see me through the next 6 months or so and to bring the car up to the correct standard, so your help and advice is sought and gratefully received.

TyresCurrently, the front pair of tyres (can't remember the brand but they are not budget ones) are down to 5mm but on the rear I have a pair of "Chinese Ping-pong Industries We Fitted them to get the car through the MOT before we sold you the car sir Ditchfinders" which are lethal - feeling the back end start to go left on a wet roundabout at 25 mph is not fun. I'm sure it's been discussed before here on the forum but I can't find anything but what would be a good replacement set. The wheels are the 'standard' 5-spoke, 235 45 R17 (I think) that look like the ones on this:

My immediate thought was to buy Goodyear Eagle F1s which I've had on other cars but they don't seem to make them anymore so as alternatives, my local tyre specialist has suggested Avon ZZ3 or ZZ5 or Goodyear EfficientGrip. The Goodyear doesn't seem to get favourable reviews so I tend to favour the ZZ5.However, is there a particular tyre that works well with Quattros?

HeadlightsWhile the A4 is at the doctors, I've had a Hyundai i10 as transport and it just shows how bad the headlights in the A4 are. So I'm thinking of changing to a brighter bulb (ie drop in replacement, rather than "go Xenon"). Is there a particular bulb you'd recommend? How much of a faff is it to change the bulbs in a B6?

SuspensionOn the last MOT, it got 2 advisories: rear driver's side is sagging and the suspension bushes are (superficially) cracked. The garage fixing my A4 has looked at these and said that they're OK at the moment (the rear springs are rusty but not cracked) but as a natural worrier and 'car perfectionsit' I get uncomfortable knowing that things aren't 100%. If I'm keeping the car for 6 months more, should I get the rear springs and bushes replaced? If I do, are the best bushes OEM or are there better after-market ones out there (but not ones so hard that they rattle your fillings out).

BodyworkA minor one but an annoyance. On the front bumber there are a few 'skid marks' from (I guess) a red car's bumper being rubbed against. No damage to my bumper but I can't get them off - what's the best thing to do to fix.Cheers in advance.
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I've just had Falken FK452's fitted (same wheel & size) and only 100 miles in, they're a lot better than the Marangoni 54!te I got with the car and probably one of the cheapest mid-range tyres around at our size. Headlights - they are complete bobbins. I replaced with H7 bulbs (Osram night breaker I think), bit of an improvement but not exactly a revolution. Bit fiddly to change but more of a pain in the butt than difficult.
I'm not sure if it's a recommended "quattro" tyre, but Toyo Proxes have always worked really well for me and I knwo a few enthusiastic motorists with S3's, R32's and A4 quattros that rate them as a decent wet-weather summer tyre: they are shocking in the snow though (hence the Vredestein's for winter :) )....

Light change is a bit of a faf: ther are several guides on here with photo's, etc (or PM me/quattrohjames and I'll dig out his guides). Essentially: two screws above the unit and two torque bolts that need loosening behind the unit (drivers side, you'll need to move the air ducting out the way too), then slide the whole headlight unit forward and undo the electrics, then take out the whole headlight unit (making sure you don't scrape the bumper - the workshop guides say to tape up the bumper first). Took me about 20mins per side, full toolkit, logs of swearing the first time while I flapped about with torquescrews + extenders, etc... now I can do it in <5mins per side in a car park.

No help with bulbs: factory Xenons even have different sidelights!!
Whoever had my car before should be shot. The sticker on the door says that the tyres should be 235 45 R17s I found that it has got 225 45 R17s on it.

No wonder that the speedo read 75 when I was actually doing 70.

Why can't people do it properly?:banghead:
A lot of people fit 225's in place of 235's on both 17 and 18" wheels to save a few quid.
Oh and thanks for all the recommendations re tyres. Just to be totally contrary, I fitted 4 x General Altimax HPs on the recommendation they were grippy, quiet and good in the wet. I'll let you all know how I get on with them.

Annoyingly, to cap off a very big bill day (repair to radiator etc and tyres) I now have to buy 2 centre caps because the 9-year old ones are brittle and 2 snapped being taken off.
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