My DIY S4 "Super Funtime 'Modstoration'"


Registered User
Thought this thread would be of interest on here. I've enjoyed putting it together, and have been updating it over on SRS for a while now (yes, it's one of those seemingly never ending projects! :)).

If you're a member on SRS, then no need to scroll any further, as it's a carbon copy of my thread over there. If not, I hope you enjoy!

So where do I start?

As you may be aware, I have previously done a couple of (mostly) successful engine pulls on my old heavily modified S4 - Blue Thunder (documented here), and the unfortunate decision made to eventually decommission her (), and stripped her for parts.

I was sad about the prospect of being without S/RS power in my life, but Mikey-S was selling the S4 he'd bought off Stigter earlier in the year. A silver 2000 saloon. It had a noisy turbo and needed some TLC to bring the cosmetics up to scratch, but it drove beautifully, was a good price and most importantly for me, didn't have some of the faults which soured my love of Blue Thunder, namely the fecking drivetrain shunt which i'd tried everything to get rid of(remember this for later!!). But as a man with K04's and all other supporting ancillaries sitting in a box in my garage, it was ideal for a 'cheap stop gap' car. I had foolishly thought I could fit the K04's and minimum supporting mods to get it over 400bhp, give it a bit of spit and polish, then sell it on for the price of the car + the value of the bits I was putting on it from the old car, with the ultimate aim of breaking even, possibly even making a little money for my efforts. That would show wifey what a "waste of money and time" these cars are! But these cars have a habit of getting under your skin. Then they make you make decisions. Not always the wisest. Then... you're theirs!!!

What follows in this thread? A detailed documentation (there are over 500 photos... but I promise I won't subject you to all of them) of New Thunder's journey. The highs, the lows, and all those bits in between which many of you will have seen in random posts,woven together in a joyous rich tapestry of AudiSRS at its best. Disclaimer - This thread will require serious forum stamina. Any willing participants who suffer from repetitive strain injury, ADHD, OCD or an aversion to seeing MacGuyver style techniques being used - this might not be for you.

I hope you enjoy reading this more than i've enjoyed many parts of 'the journey'. :lol:

The title of my thread - "Never Say Never Again". The reason for this shall become apparent as the story progresses....

One of the things which I found had seriously hindered my previous engine pulls was myself. More specifically, my inability to organise my tools, eg: a sweary "Where the feck is that 17mm spanner I was only using 5 minutes ago?" was usually followed by 15 minutes of searching for the missing tool. Often found in the first place I'd looked. When dismantling the car, I literally had most of my tools thrown in a big box, which surprisingly helped a little. Just because I didn't know where in the box the tool I wanted would be, there was at least an 85% chance that the tool I was looking for had been put back there. But this was a problem I wanted to eliminate as best I could. So I introduced some Noggy Blue into the equation. Thankfully Halfords were doing this for £100 at the time. Another tenner from eBay for some drawer liner, and I was good to go:


Also bought a new jack, some more tools and some stuff to remove rust - Not far off another £200. A sign of things to come...

Because my garage was completely full of crap from the dismantling of Blue Thunder, I had the dull task of tidying up a bit. You'd never believe it, but this is it post-tidy!


I had some parts from Blue Thunder which I planned to fit, so I got busy with cleaning up some of the parts, and with my recent discovery of Hammerite (truly a gift from the gods), I planned to make bits look pretty as well as having removed any nasty rust. First up, the rear brakes. I had a set of Trig's brackets and B6 discs on the rear. The calipers were looking a bit tired, and I'd also been driving round with red carriers for the last few years after having to swap my RS4 carriers for S4 carriers(thanks DavidT :-D).


The rear discs hardly had any wear, but both inside faces had a weird lip, which was odd given the front faces were fine. Looks like crap has got trapped, then heated things up. Each of the discs had a 'glazed ring' around the side of what I imagine must be very baked on brake dust. I was able to use a wire wheel to clean up the light surface rust from where these had been standing, and thankfully, these 'beads' could be chipped off fairly easily. You can see what I mean if you look at the 7-8 o'clock position on the right disc here. The left disc had been given a going over. After this pic was taken, I actually used an angle grinder to carefully clean the outer bit to make this flatter. I didn't want the pitted surface destroying the new pads which were due to go on (and I can confirm that a couple of 1000 miles later, they are still nice and clean on the inside now!).


(being a tart, I also gave the front of the middles a lick of... you guessed it)

At this point, I noticed the callipers themselves were not as free as I'd like, they were hard work to wind back. So time for a strip down, clean up, rebuild with new seals and a lick of pretty paint.

When I stripped them down, I noticed slight grazing to the piston and light scoring of the bores. The fluid has obviously got contaminated at some point.



A fair bit of time cleaning them up then polishing the faces up with a Dremmel and they were looking much better.

Ignore the alloy corrosion on the outside (this was all painstakingly scraped off after), this pic shows the bores having most of the big scratches cleaned up.

First coat of paint sorted


I also managed to Part Ex my old B7 RS4 fronts brakes with Mr.Bison for some newly refurbished B5 RS4 brakes. One less job for me to do! But who wants mismatched brakes? (ignore the previous bit about me driving round with red carriers for the last few years :lol:)



And finally lacquered with high temp engine lacquer

Refitting the seals and pistons into the rear brakes was a b*****d of a job. It really was. Never want to have to do that again, I don't have the patience. It's a very tight fit! I soaked the seals in brake fluid overnight beforehand. The biggest faff is trying to get the dust boots fitted. If you put them into the caliper housing first, it seems impossible to pull them up the piston (once you've wound it in). So then you putting the boot into the piston groove first... but trying to pull the boot down the length of the piston reminded me of sex education classes and crusty old Mrs.Horne. Gross. Anyway, where was I? Erm... ah yes, squeezing tight rubber into stuff. My specialist subject. Can't even remember how I finally did it, i'm fairly sure it was the first way I mentioned. To reiterate - a b******d of a job!

So the brakes were done, and I think they were looking rather good. But I couldn't rest there. I'd only just begun . Next up was my rear end (ooh err!). I'd had all of the rear end rebushed on the old car within the last year. Did plan on selling it all, but seemed more hassle than it was worth to package up and send such bulky items. But what really sold me on the idea of fitting these was the shocking state of the underside of New Thunder. Don't think i'd mentioned that. I'm pretty sure a previous owner must have thought it was a boat and moored it up in a harbour somewhere.

Here's a pic of the 'good' ones from Blue Thunder, after some serious wire brush action to get rid of the nasty stuff.


A few coats of the good stuff later...




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By this stage I was getting good at the wire wheel/wire brushes/angle grinder (for the occasional tough cornflakes) and Hammertime action, so if some is good, then more is better! I had the front subframe and relatively new front arms from Blue Thunder sitting there gathering dust. You know the drill...



You can see once the crusty bits are wired off, it's all looking clean and solid under there


The other side



Tada! - Did a few coats all over . Much better than how this one started. Much, much, much better than the one it was due to replace!



Sick of all this painting nonsense?


Because i've bought New Thunder a lovely new gift (thanks to Jockthedog) - a refurbished box with a new shift hub, new synchros, seals, etc. But it looked to shabby to be attached to my lovely shiny subframe, so... Old gearbox paint vs. pressure washer, only going to be one winner there!


And after some wire brush based elbow grease it was ready for not one, but two flavours of delicious Hammerite!




Just beautiful. After I took this photo, I rode it like the weird cowboy pilot at the end of Dr.Strangelove.


With most of the prep work finally done, the week I'd booked off work for the real action to begin was fast approaching.

Tune in next time for the next exciting episode!


Registered User
Big rebuild you have there, i'll be tuning into this. Any photo of the car as it looked before you started?
May I suggest Simoniz Tough Black for painting components, I found it's a bit more stone chip resistant than Hammerite.


Registered User
It was just a 100% stock silver S4. Nothing exciting to see. So unexciting, I don't seem to have a single photo of it. I was still getting over the heartbreak of Blue Thunder. :sob:

Took this photo a couple of months after getting it, once the tarting up had begun (was walking back to the car at the shops and thought it looked funny - Pirate Thunder!)... :laugh:

By this point I had fitted RS4 grille, RS4 meshed bumper side vents (I had done the whole of my front bumper on the old car, the buyer preferred the stock look so I sent him my stock silver side vents), B6 S4 alloys, aero wipers and I was repairing broken tabs on one of the headlights.


Also, the main build started nearly a year ago now, and happy to report the Hammerite is still holding up well.


TDi lover
yea Hammerite is great stuff..
Ive just put new seals into a set of FL S4 rear calipers.. and yip the dust seals can be fun to do. I normally keep the piston wet with brake fluid and slip the seal onto the piston just at the bottom. insert it into the caliper grove then wind the piston in keeping it lubricated with some brake fluid and the seal slides up the piston then goes into the grove on the piston. main thing is keeping it wet with brake fluid so the seal doesn't stick and try to twist with the piston.

im still in 2 minds what color to do my calipers but looking at yours im tempted to just use the blue I have sitting.


Complete And Utter Member
Excellent, a really enjoyable read and I'll be watching this thread with interest.

My B5 doesn't have much in the way of Thunder to it, though it is at least blue.


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I had also been accumulating parts for my 'zero budget build'. Most annoying were bits I had sold from the old car, then decided I wished i'd not and ended up buying replacements... or in the case of my Bilstein B12 kit... buying them back off the people who bought them from me. :lol:

For example, literally only weeks after selling my 034 tranny mounts, I started to feel a weird sensation occasionally when selecting first when the car was stationary. It literally felt like the whole box was moving on the mounts. Thought it was silly not to change them when I fitting a 'new' box.

The costs started to creep.

Gearbox - £ lots

Bilstein B12 kit - £350

034 Tranny mounts - £90

5 puck clutch plate - £160

Rocker Cover Gaskets - £80

Load of new gaskets, fluids, nuts and bolts from Audi - £100's

But I wanted everything to be right. Last thing I wanted was to put it all back together only to discover something I should have changed whilst it was all out.

The big day had arrived. May 15th. Wifey was off on two back to back girly holidays (lucky for some!), giving me about 10 days to turn this ugly duckling into a fire breathing swan(turn the house into a scrapyard).

I had it all planned out. 10 days was loads of time. LOADS OF TIME! It had taken me approx 7 hours to get the engine out of the last car on my own when I was dismantling it, so I figured I could practically build a Le Mans car from scratch in 10 days.

Here is the list of tasks I'd planned to get boxed off in the 10 days:

· Engine Pull

· Fit K04's and pipework

· Fit RS4 Intercoolers

· Fit Injectors

· Fit Bosch 044 fuel pump

· Fit lovely new 'Liquorice Allsorts' Gearbox (beats the chocolate gearboxes in most S4's! :p)

· Fit Downpipes

· F-Hose and N249 delete

· Fit new Rocker Cover Gaskets

· Spark Plugs

· Replace front subframe

· Replace rear arms

· Fit B5 RS4 brakes up front

· Fit Trig's B6 setup to the rear

· Fit Exhaust

· Fit RS4 Oil Cooler

· Fit RS4 engine mounts + 034 Tranny mounts + 034 Snub Mount

· Replace front wings (orginals bubbling to hell)

· Replace steering wheel

· Fit cluster with repaired DIS

Piece of p*ss for the IT professional who only 8 years ago took my car to Grizz to change a sidelight bulb because I didn't know how. :lol:

Looking back on it, I really wish I had written that list out and just read it back to myself. That's a lot of stuff to do for a fool!

Meanwhile, during the closing stages of this planning phase, something had caught my eye. The infamous Red WB from Bradford. After days of being bashed for the fake service history, the seller realised he'd been caught out and overpriced it, then offered it for £7.5k. It looked fantastic from the photos, it had to be worth a look. I'd thought to myself, if this red one was as good as it looked, I'd buy that, take it home, then use my huge 10 day project time to do a DOUBLE engine pull! I'd whip the engine out of the red one, whack in all of the go faster bits from Blue Thunder (it's what she would have wanted), put it all back together, whip out New Thunder's engine, take the K03's from the low mileage WB and fit them, tidy her up and sell her on for a small profit. I'd have a beauty of a K04'd WB, someone else would have a solid driving K03 silver S4 (i'd already started to address some of the cosmetics over the previous months). Everyone would be a winner.

The day of reckoning. I dropped Wifey off at Liverpool airport at stupid o'clock, then headed straight up the M62, Bradford bound. Met up with Kent who very kindly offered to come and have a look at it with me. Ideal given he was half way through his own DIY widebody project! But let's not digress too much here, this thread is about New Thunder, not Red Thunder!

A long story short - Kent's critical eye pointed out faults in the bodywork/paint in the Red WB which I simply would not have spotted. It needed to go back to the paintshop. I wasn't willing to buy it knowing it would have to get sorted as it could have cost megabucks to get a decent job done. If Kent hadn't have gone there with me, this thread may never have happened. It was absolutely stunning to look at, and aside from the quarter panels, it looked fantastic inside and out. Then there was the test drive. 10 days wouldn't have had a fraction of the faults sorted! So... NO SALE! (to be fair, if the body/paint were straight, I had all the mechanical bits from my old car to put it right so it would have been perfect)

Kent, I owe you a beer!

After my disappointment/relief, I headed back home. A nice long journey to clear my head and start to run through the various tasks in my head. This was going to be a doddle.

Anyway, enough yabbering. Time for some photos! I decided to walk round the car, taking pics of all of the various annoyances with the car, so I could look back afterwards at what a great job I had done. (yeah right!)

As I was sat there, it was the interior annoyances first:



Then the exterior tattyness:





Reminder... needs to look like this when it goes back together!


So whilst i've been faffing about going over to Bradford, taking photos and attempting a self-hypnosis engine pull, the best part of the day has gone. It's 14:30. ****! Only 9.5 days left to go! :shock:

Time to get busy! After lunch, it was time to get busy. Nearly 15:00 before I actually got my *** into gear!

Obligatory "just started" photo:


90 mins later I had it jacked up on all 4 corners (takes longer than you think), shifter linkage disassembled (forgot this last time and nearly ended up pulling the car off the axle stands via the gearstick! :shock:) and the front bumper was off. What the hell had I been doing? I'll tell you what... getting distracted every step of the way. It's my curse.

Noticed a rather suspect coating of oil on the pass side intercooler.


And whilst time was ticking away, I thought - let's arrange a photoshoot to compare the sizes of the S4 intercooler shrouds versus the RS4 shrouds:


9.4 days left...

Underneath the car now, it was time to drain the coolant. I was shocked at the colour of the crap that came out.


Stigter had the cambelt done early last year, I'm entirely convinced the garage that did it reused the coolant! :shock: (ignore the oily stuff, I'd previously used this bucket for oil)




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Things didn't get much better when looking underneath the car.

Oily sump.


Lots of rust and grime!




Engine and tranny mount bolts off, I was done with the underside for now. It turned my attention to removing all of the stuff off the top end of the engine.

First job. ******!


Thankfully, that was my worst boo boo on day one. I was getting tired, but because of the late start, I wanted to keep going. Made some reasonable progress.



Rusty Pipes and very grotty everything else.



Look how thick this crud is!


Bent down to remove the earth strap from underneath the chassis leg, go to stand up and...

Robot War's Razor decides to attack me from above!


Absolutely tw*tted my head and nearly knocked myself out. I was done for the day!

It was 19:30.


Registered User
Hope you have a few cans of penetrating oil, makes undoing all those nuts and bolts easy.


Registered User
Yep, Plus Gas works well and I have a free supply from work of another brand.:thumbs up:


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An early start on Day 2, I had some catching up to do and wanted to post off a couple of bits. My cluster was off to Jason for a new DIS, my ECU was off to Rick at Unicorn Motorsport for a K04 base map.


By the time i'd got to the Post Office, bought a sickening load of red meat, beer and snacks (a rare opportunity to pig out on all the crap I like whilst Wifey is away!) and got home, it was already getting on for lunch time.

My first stint under the car was to drain the gearbox oil. A lot of leaking from somewhere!


Some last pics of the baby brakes


And a shot of the tired looking wheel well


Next job was getting the driveshafts off the gearbox. I came up with this cunning method. Wedge a small crowbar in the disc vents and a wheel bolt to keep the brake disc attached to the hub to stop the driveshaft from turning. I also found it useful to dig out every socket extension out so I wasn't fighting against the inner CV boot all the time!



And because i'm lazy...



Once they were dealt with, I disconnected the exhaust and gave it a ruddy good yank to disconnect it. Just as well i've got a new one to fit, just look at the state of this!!! (although to be fair, it's lasted 14 years and 130k)


And another couple of shots showing the state of the underside of the car:



Now at this point, I had a little scare. In fact, it was quite a big scare. I had disconnected the driveshafts, now it was time for the prop. Whilst under the middle of the car, I started loosening the bolts. I imagine by this point some of you are already beginning to wince. 1 by 1 the bolts came out, then the final one... CREAK! F*ck me, you've never seen a man slide himself out from underneath a car so quickly! I don't know how the hell i'd done it, but somehow I had not left the handbrake on. I had left the car in gear (I like the belt and braces approach... just need to remember the belt first next time!), but obviously with the prop disconnected, there was nothing to stop the rear wheels, and therefore the whole car moving!

Spoiler alert - The car didn't fall down and squish me like a bug.

I didn't get a photo of the 2 axle stands holding the front of the car up and preventing the whole thing from rolling back, but believe me, it's not a sight I want to see again. The arms were at a very uncomfortable angle! But, I had come perilously close to a very nasty situation. My pants were soiled. I decided 2 hours was enough on the car for one day.


I packed up my tools (after pulling the handbrake up so that it was pointing to the stars!) and decided to spend the rest of my day doing something much safer. Throwing myself down a mountain on 2 wheels.

Apologies for the boring update. It does get better soon!


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Because i'd gone to North Wales mountain biking to calm my nerves, it meant that Day 3 had yet another late start. So far I had managed a 15:00 start on Day 1, packing up after about 2 hours on Day 2, and another late afternoon start on Day 3. The clock was ticking. But the weather had been glorious. Blue skies, baking sunshine, life was good. I still had a week, there was plenty of time. I'd just barely nibbled at my contingency.

I began with some lessons learned.... an extra pair of axle stands, just in case!


The back garden was chock full of prepped bits. It was another lovely day.


It was about 14:00 before I got fired up and stuck in. Started off checking everything was ready for lift off (out). Heater matrix hoses were disconnected, shifter linkage was disconnected, all electrical stuff was detached from the body, mount bolts and earth straps were definitely removed... I was ready.

Hooked up the engine hoist, triple checked everything again (more timewasting) and started the lump's gentle ascent. This time I was going to try something different though. As I had a lovely shiny subframe to fit, I decided I might as well lower mine. This is something I had never bothered with in the past, but I had read that a lot of other people do like to do this as it "makes is much easier to pull the engine". My personal view? It makes very little difference!

Once the engine was out a few inches, I had to deal with my old nemesis. The Clutch Slave Cylinder. Oh how I hate that horrible little b***ard. I hate it so much. The last time I pulled an engine, I took great pleasure in cutting it off. Unfortunately not an option this time. :-(

I spent about 90 mins trying to get the ****ing **** thing disconnected. My neighbours were giving me disapproving looks from all the puffing, panting and swearing (it was windows open weather!), my hands and forearms were red, swollen and scratched to hell. Looked like i'd been in a boxing match with a tiger. I was ready to reach for the petrol and matches.

But at that moment, salvation arrived in an unexpected form. Twas Stigter, forum regular and previous previous owner of the car. He had come to see what I was doing with his cheap runaround.

It was time for a much needed brew.


The break had worked wonders. I was now calm, collected and buzzing my tits off on caffeine. Plus, and perhaps most importantly... I now had an audience. Failure was not an option!

I can't remember exactly how much more swearing there was, but I do remember it was still lots.

But it was worth it... Success!!! (that is some kind of grime on my forearm, not just bruising from the slave cylinder action)


At this point I can confirm that a second set of hands does make the actual engine pull easier. Went with the tried and tested jack under the gearbox method. In retrospect, knowing that the front subframe needed to come off anyway, it probably would have been far easier to just remove the subframe completely at this point whilst the engine/box were hanging from the engine crane... but how often are people removing both at the same time.

But it was finally out. Proof!


Look at the grot



The dreaded twunt of a slave cylinder. And no idea what the coloured stuff is... Perhaps some arterial spray from my tussle with the slave!


More mucky engine pics



And the engine in it's new temporary lodgings. I think it just winked at the lovely gearbox. ;-)


The manky engine bay was upsetting me, so I had to give it a quick once over. Yet more timewasting!


One thing I noticed at this point was that the heatshield 'protecting' the fuel lines to the engine bay was all but destroyed by rust... yet the one on the other side was perfect. Weird!



It was 19:00. Only 5 hours today, about 2 of that wasted on the fricking slave cylinder. But, I felt like i'd achieved something. Getting the engine prepped ready for putting back in would only take a few hours right?


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DAY4 and DAY5 (I started getting even slower!)

I'm going to give you 2 days for the price of one now. Looking through the photos, I seem to have done virtually feck all on Day 4, despite my photos documenting 8 hours of activity. I can only imagine I must have been doing some of my famed faffing, enjoying the sunshine and quite possibly being really hungover from the Engine Pull Celebration Party I had to myself after achieving a milestone on Day 3. :beer: :drunken:

And for some reason, i've only taken 2 photos the following day! (think there was a lot of cleaning, painting and watching the drying of the aforementioned...)

First task for the day was splitting the gearbox. Nothing exciting to report here - it's a few bolts.


After being inspired by Plumb's sump cleaning skills, I had a go myself. Still looks like crap compared to his, despite a lot of Gunk and scrubbing with a wire brush. And don't get me started on how crap it looks compared to Fullraceken's super shiny sump!


This cleaning of everything whilst it was all out became a recurring theme. I refuse to even think how many hours were invested/wasted in the cleaning of parts throughout this project. Suffice to say, it would have cost hundreds if I was paying a garage to do it!

One of the jobs I had to tackle was a leaking rocker cover gasket. Both in fact. I also noticed what appeared to be leaking from the oil filler cap area. :-s


Rocker covers were off, and not looking particularly lovely. Cue lots more time-consuming cleaning!


Oh, and my not so delicate removal of the spider hose from one of the covers resulted in this.


I had planned to replace the spider hose anyway, but now I didn't have the option to do it at a later date if I ran out of time.

Cams inspected and all looking good.



By now, you might have picked up on my recent discovery of my new favourite thing in the whole wide world... Hammertime!

Sorry... Hammerite!

So guess what's going to happen next....


You guessed it... more cleaning and prep of other parts ready for a good hammer(ite)ing!

Look at the freaking state of the front ARB!


The wire wheel was hardly touching some of the super cornflake rust, so I had to bump it up a notch and get the angle grinder out! :shock:


All this rust removal and painting with Hammerite was going to pay off though. This next photo is what it is all about. Just go back a few pages and look at the front subframe I had off Blue Thunder. It was a little bit rusty, but not too bad considering it was off a 98 car. Then look at how shocking the subframe from New Thunder was!


Let's paint!



Whilst waiting for paint to dry (again), I removed the remaining bits of the spider hose. Yes, I would say this was definitely in need of replacement! And believe it or not, I had attempted to get each connector off gently.


Ah... that will be the F-hose needing deleting too then!


I was now half way through my allotted time for the activity. Let's see how i'm doing...

A very optimistic Blue_Thunder said:
· Engine Pull = Work In Progress

· Fit K04's and pipework = Not started

· Fit RS4 Intercoolers = Not started

· Fit Injectors = Not started

· Fit Bosch 044 fuel pump = Not started

· Fit lovely new 'Liquorice Allsorts' Gearbox (beats the chocolate gearboxes in most S4's! :p) = Not started

· Fit Downpipes = Not started

· F-Hose and N249 delete = No turning back now.... but Not started

· Fit new Rocker Cover Gaskets = Work In Progress

· Spark Plugs = Not started

· Replace front subframe = Work In Progress

· Replace rear arms = Not started

· Fit B5 RS4 brakes up front = Not started

· Fit Trig's B6 setup to the rear = Not started

· Fit Exhaust = Work In Progress

· Fit RS4 Oil Cooler = Not started

· Fit RS4 engine mounts + 034 Tranny mounts + 034 Snub Mount = Work In Progress

· Replace front wings (orginals bubbling to hell) = Not started

· Replace steering wheel = Not started

· Fit cluster with repaired DIS = Half way there

It wasn't looking good for me. Thankfully, I didn't have a Project Manager to answer to. But in 5 days, I would have an angry Wifey, a sister and her fiancee visiting and a return to work meaning the car would need to take a back seat.



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And finally, on to the most productive day of the build thus far. The fabled Day 6. Disappointed with my half ***** efforts on the previous days, and fast becoming aware that my deadline was approaching, I knew I had to shift it up a gear. I was out of bed, fed and caffeinated all before 9:00. A rarity.

With my breakfast well on its way to digestion, I started the morning with the pretty disgusting task of building a spider hose replacement. The limbs of the spider were effectively just shattering. Each time you would get a small sprinkling of horrendous smelling emulsified oil flakes. All I could think about at this point was those school lessons where they showed you photos of cancer ridden lungs to stop you smoking.


Like a tit, I hadn't bothered to put on any gloves for this bit. I hadn't appreciated how messy it was going to get. The black sludge which got onto my fingers made them smell like i'd been steeping them in overflowing ashtrays overnight. The smell didn't wash off either. Gross.

But, the job was nearly done. One last unwelcomed surprise was the nipple on the top of spider body snapping clean off. This is for the pipe which goes to the N75. Could have done without that!


I didn't bother with rebuilding the spider at this point, i'd do this later when it was 'on' the engine. So instead I took to removing the masking from the rocker covers and admiring my handywork.


However, I had been a fool. Why was I only taking this off now when I had these painted 2 days earlier? I tell you why. And this also explains why I got so little done over the past couple of days. I wasn't happy with parts of the covers, as you could see the brush marks. So I decided yesterday to use some wet and dry to try to even them up. Being impatient is not a good trait to have in the paint world. After probably a few minutes of very gentle action with some high grit wet&dry with loads of soapy water, I decided to up the ante with some courser grit, and obviously hadn't bothered to wait to allow the paper to soften in the water. Now, one of the problems with wet sanding is that the liquid takes on the colour of the paint. What you should do is to regularly wipe away the excess so you can see what you are sanding, to ensure even smoothness. Or you can do what I did. A minute or so of vigorous elbow twitching with too much pressure (which from behind could have looked like I was a practicing mechophile), and only after all that did I bother to rinse down the area. Bo***cks... I had gone through to the metal (and also not smoothed off some areas). So I then had to prep and paint again. Although this time I was much more careful not to overload the paint as I didn't want to leave brush strokes. As time was running out, I had applied a few thin coats, thinking they had all sufficiently dried in between. Then yesterday, I gave the covers some coats of clear High Temp Engine lacquer. Only at this point was it obvious that the Hammershite hadn't fully cured. It started to wrinkle underneath the lacquer. Oh... and the lovely Noggy-esque colour started to change to a less lovely colour.

This photo shows the wrinkling quite clearly - and you can still see brush strokes.


****! unfortunately time had run out. I had no option but to fit them to stay on track with getting the car back together in the next few days.

Everything was cleaned carefully to remove any traces of the old sealant, I had to use a razor blade to get some of it off. Then a wipe with some brake cleaner and it was ready for new sealant and new gaskets.


First side done, and it was time for new spark plugs. I wanted a fit and forget solution, so forked out for a set of NGK BKR7EIX (the Iridium version of their popular platinum plugs - supposed to be the same quality cool spark with better longevity).


And the coils fitted. Rocker cover uglyness starting to show. :-(


At this point, I thought it was fairly safe to assume my rocker cover gasket replacement would solve the burnt oil smell that used to fill the car all the time...


Next job was to remove those piddly little kazoos! I also have ported and tig welded manifolds to go on, so it was easy enough to just take everything off together. Only unpleasant bit here was seeing more of that disgusting coolant when I disconnected the turbo coolant banjos:


But on with the progress!


As mentioned, at least one of these K03's had been making a faint dentist drill noise for a long time. Maybe even a year. Since the day I started this pull, I had managed to make one get much louder! (I absolutely hammered the car to Bradford and back to see if the turbos would stand up to it! :lol:)

So I was expecting to see a badly deformed compressor, lots of shaft play, obvious signs of the blade hitting the housing.... In fact, the only thing which hinted at the fact that these turbos were on their last legs was a small deformation on one of the blades and some 'dusting'.


And now for the money shot... baby tiddler K03 next to its big (and considerably less travelled - by about 110k miles) brother!



Registered User
Now another reason for me taking off the turbos and manifolds in one piece before is that I had done the same when dismantling the old car. So made life much easier. I'd forgotten how fiddly it can be to get the oil/water lines onto the turbos though.

One trick I did remember was to loosen the pass side turbo from the manifold a bit in order to get to the coolant line.


And another was to use a small 6mm hex bit and my trusty 10mm ratchet ring spanner to get to the awkward manifold bolt closest to the head:


At some point along the way, I also realised i'd lost the clip which locks the hydraulic line into the slave cylinder. Had forgotten to mention that during the battle of man vs slave cylinder when I was pulling the engine, that after over an hour of huffing and puffing failing miserably to remove it from the gearbox, I lost my rag, pulled this clip and decided i'd just pull the clutch line out and deal with the nightmare of bleeding it at a later date... but then I couldn't even manage to pull the clutch line out! :oops: That was the point when Stigter arrived and I took an overdue break. As you may remember, I was able to detach the slave from the gearbox in the end without disturbing the clutch line. Anyway, back to now. So I realised the clip was missing. I looked everywhere for it, but it had just disappeared. I didn't want to forget about this, so I put a zip tie around the slave so i'd remember to go back to it before putting the engine back in. A short while later, I found an answer. It was to be one of my greatest ghetto bodges of all time. I found a small nail. The very small ones you use to fit the back boards to shoddy flat pack furniture. It was the perfect width! I was able to bend this into a horseshoe shape, then using some mole grips was able to press it into the slot where the clip usually goes. It's in there perfectly tight and there is no danger of it shaking loose.


Back to the main story. Have a blurry photo of one side done:


No... have two!


One side down. It had taken 3 hours. Much slower than I would have liked, but at least the next side should be much quicker. Emphasis on the should.

It was at this point that I remembered one side being particularly more fiddly to deal with than the other. And i'd also begun to realise, it was this side! Obviously getting the manifold on this side was no different. But it is a pain in the *** job. There are quite a few nuts holding the manifold on, and they aren't your common or garden nuts, oh no. They are some sort of wacky elliptical hole nuts, so they 'pinch' on the thread. Now I come to think of it, these are very possibly called pinch nuts (yes - google seems to have just confirmed this for me). So it's a battle to get these on/off. You need wrists like Popeye when Olive Oil is out of town. ;-)

Anyway, the problem lies with one of the banjos in particular. They are all awkward, don't for a second think this is going to be easy. People who say they have fitted these turbos whilst the engine is in-situ must have used Jedi powers.

Here's a pic of the particular bas***d banjo.


It doesn't look too bad from that photo, but what you can't really get a feel for is how small this is in real life (unless you are viewing this on your phone, in which case, it's probably a bit bigger than you think). The gap between the two banjos is a cigarette paper's width. You can just about get the tips of a normal spanner on there, but then you manage about a 4 degree turn before you are stuck. The spanner handle hits the hotside of the turbo, which also limits how much turn you get on each attempt. So, let's try it with a socket from above...



If only there was some way of getting that hardline out of the way. It's the one held in place by the bracket circled in green above. I had a cunning plan. I'd simply undo the bracket, move the pipe, then tighten the banjo with a socket and reattach the bracket. Oh wait... the bracket bolt hits the banjo when you try to undo it. I was tired and getting ****** off (a pattern doth emerge...). It was time to break out the bodger's essential piece of kit - the Dremmel!

Now don't judge me here people. I have skimmed over it in this light hearted tale, but I honestly believe I had spent more than an hour to this point trying to figure out how to do up this one banjo.

The bracket must die!


A couple of minutes later.... (and note what a sad ****** I am, having cleaned all the hard lines whilst I was in there :-D )


Would love to know how others do up this banjo. I don't remember having a problem with it previously. Should I have done this one first before the one next to it?

Anyway, it was done!

And I was done.

It was 21:00. A 12 hour marathon! A truly epic day of getting a few hours work crammed into 12 hours of swearing and awkward bolts. I have more sympathy for garages charging 'book time' when they've actually completed the work on a car in half the time, because now and again, they will hit something awkward like this.


Just had a read through your thread. Good effort doing all that at home! It will satisfying once you start putting everything back in and you can see the end.


Registered User
Just had a read through your thread. Good effort doing all that at home! It will satisfying once you start putting everything back in and you can see the end.

Indeed... but spolier alert - despite appearances, the end was nowhere in sight at this point in the tale!!



Registered User

After yesterday's marathon session, the engine was nearing the point it could be put back in. Just one final push...

First job of the day was fitting the new fancy 5 puck clutch i'd bought. This bad boy would stand up to K04 power, and more importantly flat shifting. The last time I had fitted a clutch, i'd done it by eye. This time was no different. Bodged up an 'alignment tool' out of an old highlighter and some thick tape.

Smart eh?


I know some of you will be taking the ****, but I think this is not bad!


Carefully tightened the clutch bolts in sequence and finally torqued them up to spec. I wasn't wanting to mess this bit up. The last thing in the world I wanted was for the engine to need to come out again!

After getting that sorted, something caught my eye. Remember earlier when I had noticed the completely rusted heatshield? No time like the present to sort it out! I wanted everything ready for the engine going back in later than day. I was scavenging round trying to find what I had which I could use to make up a replacement, as I obviously hadn't noticed the issue until a few days earlier when the engine was out, and I was expecting it all back in many days ago! :roll:

Managed to find some galvanised lawn edging. Yes, it was going to be one of those bodges!


A bit of cutting with the snips, a brief file of the razor sharp edges to reduce the chance of cutting off my arm, and some 'delicate' shaping with pliers and a hammer and....



Could have been worse! It wasn't going to rust too badly, it was the right shape and most importantly it was going to offer more shielding of heat than the piece of rust I took off! Wasted over half an hour searching and making the thing though.

Gearbox time! Used the tried and tested approach of putting the gearbox on a box, hoisting the engine up to the right height (takes quite a bit of doing if you don't have a second set of eyes to assist here) and straddling the box before pulling the engine onto it. This was the second time in as many days that I looked from behind like I was getting jiggy with car parts! :lol:

I usually get it so you can feel it slide on, then put in a couple of the longest bolts first, then it's easy to wiggle it fully in before putting in the rest of the bolts.


Once fitted, I had one last job to do which would be easier before the box was in. I had to make up my spider hose replacement. Measured up the hoses, cut them, fitted them and only then remembered I had to deal with the broken nipple on the top. ****! Decided to just cap the top, as I remember reading that this hose from the N75 effectively just vents and can vent to atmosphere without issue. I ran a bead of black silicone around the top of the spiderhose, then cut a piece of old arch liner to shape and stuck this on the top. Genius idea.

However I accidentally touched the ****** thing before it had cured and it slipped off, making a mess.


Plan B.... I found a small bolt just the right size to fill the hole. Put a tiny bit of silicone on the thread to ensure a seal, screwed in the bolt to the hole at the top, then covered the whole thing in silicone making it resemble a black walnut whip. Tasty. Sadly it seems I wasn't proud enough of my ghetto bodge to take another photo. I'm guessing my hands were probably covered in sticky black silicone and I didn't want to feck up my phone. But, I wanted to leave it time to dry a bit, as I didn't fancy anything falling off again whilst putting the engine back in. Got the downpipes fitted with new gaskets and attached to the gearbox. I was making good progress.

I stopped for a well earned brew, and took a moment to stand back and admire my handywork from earlier in the day. That fuel line heatshield was a bodge too far! Even by my standards, that was poor. I started a hunt for something better. Where was I going to find some suitable heatshield material???

Oh yes, forgot about these.... I had a perfectly good turbo heatshield from the K03's! (I also had one completely fu**ed up one as I couldn't get it off when trying to remove the downpipes the other day(more time wasted!), so went apeshit with some tin snips and eventually the angle grinder!

I marked up the good one using the rusty cornflake as a template and cut it out.


But, it's size and shape were actually not bad at all. Half an hour later I was much happier with the finished product than my previous bodge. Looks factory! (Lada factory)


The time was 18:21. It was time. One last look at this lump and beautifully painted gearbox before it went back home, I'd probably never see this sight again. I never wanted to see this sight again!


This would be the 3rd time I had put an engine back in myself. I wasn't worried. But I knew the weather was due to take a turn for the worse the next day, and I also knew that if the engine wasn't in before the morning, that would be half the morning wasted doing it then. It had to go in now, and it had to go in right. Dinner and rest would have to wait!

My car mad neighbour came over to see how things were going. Bad timing Neighbour... now you've got to help! :D Manouvering the crane as well as a trolley jack underneath the gearbox is possible on your own, but it's a real ****** faff. I was very glad of the extra pair of hands. From those of you who read Project Thunder, you might remember my neighbour Tom helping me get the engine in that time as well. He still blames himself for the crane/bonnet interface that occurred that time! :lol:

A painful reminder, but a valuable lesson learned!

However it had been my fault for having the chains too long onto the engine, so lesson learned, this time I had hooked up the chains much shorter. This would give us more clearance, but I find it more fiddly because you can't get as much 'swing' to manoeuvre the engine. There would be no danger of hitting the bonnet. We were both on Red Alert for that! :lol:

After not too much time, we had everything where we wanted it. Just the small matter of re-engaging the clutch slave, and it would be ready for the final fit. Only it's never a small matter with this 'orrible little twunt! Cue nearly 2 hours of swearing (documented here)... But, I finally got the better of the little ******* with a combination of brute force and sheer rage.


It was after 22:30. What a day!


Registered User

After yesterday's troublesome day, I hoped today would be a breeze. Surely only a few nuts, bolts and hoses left to connect up to get the car started. Within minutes I had noticed my first problem. Sigh....

In my rush to get the engine in the previous night, I had forgotten one of the noddy steps - get the shifter rods into the shifter housing. They were now underneath the shifter housing, and without putting the engine back on the hoist and lifting it free of the mounts, it was not going to be possible to move the rods back far enough to get them in.


A massive inconvenience, but I was planning on fitting my short shifter at some point, just thought it was going to happen a few weeks/months after the car was all back together. I decided to look at this problem as an opportunity. I really was fishing for positives at this point!

I realised I could move the Prop far enough out of the way to drop the complete shifter assembly tub out. As I had taken the short shifter out of the old car in this way, it would be a simple case of just fitting this instead and i'd only have 4 bolts to deal with.


Problem was solved! Next task was to refit the prop and driveshafts to the box. As this was newly refurbed and I'd cleaned the flanges, I needed to put some grease in. What I hadn't realised was that the grease cartridges were not like a typical bathroom sealant style cartridge with a 'base', and I didn't have a grease gun. Time for another bodge....

Thick plastic sheeting over very large socket to the rescue - this was going to get messy!


It worked fairly well. Although I was pretty much covered in the stuff by the time i'd done all 3 flanges!

I was very careful to ensure that the grease didn't get into the thread holes. I did not want a repeat performance of a driveshaft coming off at speed again! Red Loctite was applied liberally on the 18 driveshaft/propshaft bolts and torqued up nicely.

When I went inside for lunch, thought i'd spent a few minutes doing the 'Darintake mod'. I didn't want to just cut the front out completely, so just drilled a few holes and ran a countersink through them to clean them up (then worried that the angled edge which resulted would act like a load of whistles... thankfully they did not! :-D)


After lunch I got the aircon compressor back in place. For some reason I had real problems getting some of the bolts going. They can be ****** fiddly, especially the hidden one at the back.

As i'd snapped the plastic joiner which the F-hose went into, the F-hose delete was no longer a nice to have option, it was a necessity . I'd priced up the 'proper parts' from Audi and it was disgusting how much they wanted for a few small bits of hose. I found the reason why: the 90 degree angled hose which replaces the F-hose has a different diameter at each end, ie: it's a bespoke part. I searched for ages to find a cheaper alternative, but in the end ran out of time and patience. I had also wasted a morning earlier in the build driving around Liverpool to various hose places trying to get the various pipes, joints and fittings, but which very little success. One place had ordered fittings in the right size... for copper piping. ****!!! Last place I tried was a local motor factors. They had a big box of loose hose joiners of various sizes/angles and a variety of different hoses. I bought a **** load for buttons and thought i'd see how I got on. The result made me think of a classic Viz sketch - "Frankenstein's ****".


Unfortunately i didn't write down the fixtures, but think it was (from right to left on the pic) 1/2" hose out of the manifold, 90 degree 1/2 joint, 1/2" hose out, 1/2"(12-13mm)-5/16"(8mm) reducer and finally some 8mm fuel hose which goes to the one-way valve. As you can see, as a bonus bodge to stop the hose at the left from collapsing, I put another worm clip around it so it holds shape. Remarkably this ugly set up works! If I ever find any inspiration to have another go, i'd probably try to find a 90 degree 1/2"-5/16" (13mm-8mm) elbow reducer and a 90 degree 8mm elbow joint. However i've no idea where to look for the reducer elbow. Any suggestions?

A nearly new aux belt tensioner fitted from the old car, and some lovely hammerite to make the pulleys pretty again.


Nearly new coolant reservoir fitted, airbox fitted, belt on, coolant lines on, fuel lines and all engine electrics refitted and put in place, Y-pipe, etc. It was finally beginning to take shape.


Nearly 7 hours done today, and to look at, very little to show for it. Looking back, I must have had some nightmare issues with it which i've simply blocked out of my brain for fear of getting PTSD. But there surely couldn't be much more left to do to get it driving now. In my mind, there was a quick 5 point plan:

Fit Intercoolers

Fit Oil Cooler Sandwich Plate

Whack front end on (w. Oil Cooler)

Fill it up with fluids

Fire up the Quattro!

What do we reckon guys? Will it be as easy as that? Tune in next time for more fails, problems, slow progress and torrential rain (probably should have done a bit more today when I saw the weather forecast for tomorrow...)


Registered User

The penultimate day before wifey got home, I was so close. But, what should have started off as a small series of easy tasks, started immediately with problem number 1. I was just getting ready to fit my intercoolers, driver's side first.

What's this? The intercooler hose isn't reaching the alloy pipe, and not a small gap either!!



1000 red asses!!!! I had refitted the S4 hose on this side instead of the RS4 hose. And as you can see from the photo above, there was a lot of crap in the vicinity which made this a really fiddly job. Think I had to loosen off the starter motor.

But once off and next to the correct hose, it became clear that I had indeed been a fool!


The RS4 intercoolers require some cutting of the inner wing support and also the inside of the bumper (ie: the support bits). I found cutting the bumper terrifying, as one small sneeze whilst using a power cutting tool would result in the 'skin' being pierced. I had to use a combination of Dremmel cutting wheels, an angle grinder for the deeper bits which needed cutting, pry bars and mole grips. Was not a lot of fun, I can tell you!

So on my old car, the passenger side wing and bumper always had a large gap between them since the RS4 intercoolers were fitted, and that was using the proper RS4 intercooler mounts (which I hadn't realised, and let them get taken away to the scrapyard with the shell! :( ). So I wanted to ensure the intercooler sat as high up as I could get away with. i realised that the S4 mounts must sit slightly higher up than the RS4 mounts, and with a bit of rough measuring figured I could actually fit the intercoolers underneath the S4 mounts. I had heard of the yanks just letting the IC's dangle, but I didn't like the idea of them bouncing about over rough ground and didn't want to risk anything piercing the core, so I used Jubilee style clips to attach them to the S4 mounts.

This held them nice and firmly and they appeared to be in the right place.



The lower mount was causing the coolers to stick out at the bottom, so I got cutting...




On the drivers side, it was a little more involved. The lower mount I was able to just 'adjust' with the might of Thor, but the top of the aircon drier and the 3rd bolt holding it in place was getting in the way of the intercooler. It was time to call in the big guns... angle grinding time. But I wanted to ensure I wasn't going to get any swarf inside the bipipes, so the remnants of last night's celebrations came in handy....


Once that was cut, the drivers side intercooler just sat in place nicely. Next job to tackle was to fit the RS4 oil cooler. On my blue car (which was PFL), I didn't really have any major issues with fitting the oil cooler, but New Thunder wasn't having any of it!

It was quite the puzzle... You can see here that the oil takeoffs were in the way of the coolant hardlines.



I tried moving things around, using different rubber hoses, even tried using a pipe bending snake thingy, but these steel pipes were just not wanting to move! I must have wasted easily over an hour trying different things, but it just wasn't happening. Ever aware of my fast approaching deadline, this was going to have to be a job for another day...

Got the 034 snub mount fitted to the front panel (that was a ballache due to most of the stupid captive nuts snapping clean off), removed the oil cooler and got it all fitted. I used a shedload of rubber grease on the snub mount to get it in. When in doubt, get the lube out!

I'd only just about got eveything back on and in place when this happened... rain stopped play!


Once i'd finished getting my annual wash, I went to fit the front brakes. Wasn't going to have time to do the rears, but thought i'd get the fronts sorted. As you can see from the pic below, I just knew this wasn't going to want to happen without a fight.


I was getting tired and not in the mood for annoying hinderances. A rusty bolt holding on the heatshield decided to test my patience... it was approximately 8 seconds before I reached for the angle grinder. I really should put this in a secure box so that I can only access it when I am in a fit state of clear headedness to use. I'll look into inventing a 'red-mist-o-meter' which prevents use of such things when in a state of uncontrollable rage! :lol:

Take that you *******!


I called it a day after an 8 hour slog. It was nice to see it looking almost like a car again.


I was soaked through, covered in oil, dust from various grinding action and mud. I'll bet wifey couldn't wait to get back home to this hunk! (me)



Registered User
DAY10 - The Awakening!

The day of reckoning had arrived. Only had a few minor things to see to before I could fire it up and drive!

Started early with some front Brake action. B5 RS4 setup, lovingly painted in blue and fitted with brand new braided lines. Not many pics from this point forwards... I didn't want to waste vital seconds of the build...

Oh, also replaced the grubby looking brake fluid reservoir.


Wasn't particularly happy with the orientation of the braided brake line, so ziptied it to the upright as a temporary measure to ensure it didn't touch the rim.


And the finished result... (note the correct fitment of the spring retainers!)


I only bled the front brakes as I planned to do the rears soon after. I bought a Gunson Eezi-bleed and was so glad I had. It really made bleeding the brakes a piece of ****! :thumb:

Another photo of the engine all back together and in place. Rocker covers look pretty good here I think. And the new coolant reservoir looks much nicer!


All fluids in, new DIS fitted, all pipework and electrical connectors checked over by eye... battery connected...

Fired up the Quattro!

Hadn't bothered fitting the exhaust as I was just wanting to see that it would start. It did. Hastily attached the exhaust, then fired it up again and let it run up to temperature. At this point I heard a horrible screeching noise... same as I do every time I do this, but always forget. The PAS pump needs you to turn lock to lock a good few times to get the fluid around the system. Once i'd done that, it sounded beautiful again.

There was one issue though, the main fan was going off it's tits, probably providing enough thrust to move the car without the engine! :D I'd forgotten to mention earlier in the thread, but when I was initially fitting the front panel, I managed to pinch the fan wires underneath the bumper support (all of the clips which hold these cables usually rust away to nothing. It was a small disappointment, but not the end of the world. Disconnecting the large red connector behind the headlight stops the fans. I could deal with that after the test drive.

When the coolant was up to temp, a final check underneath the car for leaks. Happy to report there wasn't so much as a drop anywhere. Onwards!!

Front Bumper on!


And I was pretty happy with the panel gap between the bumper and wing. This was far better than anyone I'd paid to fit on my Blue car had managed!


Unfortunately.... the drivers side (which incidentally was never a problem on the blue car) now had a gap (although was fitting flush with the wing).


Grrrr.... No time to fanny about fitting that, I wanted to drive the thing!

Dropped the car onto 4 wheels, checked all the wheel bolts again, engine cranked. It was the moment i'd been waiting for. So off to do a lap of the block. Before I set off, I remembered the first time I drove my old car after my first ever engine pull... and the terror which set in when I first pressed the brakes and nothing happened! :shock: Remembered to pump the brakes up this time! :D

Start off up the road slowly, everything seems good. Literally after about 10 metres I check my rear view mirror. That's odd! There appears to be a thin line of fluid on the road exactly where I have driven. Surely a coincidence? I did a little chicane manoeuvre... and guess what I then saw in my rear view mirror! Yep, I was leaking!

Jumped out of the car, looked underneath and there was a thin trickle of fluid coming from the drivers side of the radiator. What the devil could it be? Did a 3 point turn and returned the 20metres back to the house. Surely I must win an award for the world's shortest road test??

Any guesses?


Another clue...


Got the car jacked up so I could take a proper look.

Got the answer yet????

That's right... I'm a tit!!!

In my rush to get it going, I hadn't tightened up the flexible gearbox oil cooler lines. I thought I was being smart when running the car up to temperature on the stands to check for leaks, but what I hadn't figured on was that the gearbox only gets pumped round the system when the wheels are moving. What a mistake-a to make-a!

At £20 a litre, i'd have been as well off pouring a decent single malt down the drain!


I didn't have any more oil, so the test drive was put on hold for another day. I was raging. But not as raging as Wifey would be when she saw what 3 engine pulls have done to our driveway over the last couple of years... :oops:


Day 10 ended in misery. Really miserable misery. A real shame, as other than the foolish failure to tighten 2 bolts, the K04 build had largely been a success. But it had been at a cost. I hated the car, I hated working on the car, I hated not being able to drive the car. I hated everything!

But all I had left to do was tighten 2 bolts, buy another bottle or two of liquid gold and fit the fuel pump and I would have a sorted 400+bhp car. Still had a few minor jobs to do:

Fit suspension

Fit rear brakes

Swap over steering wheels

A bit more cosmetic tarting up

But I wasn't far off. There was light at the end of the tunnel.

At that moment I made a vow. I would never do another engine pull again!

I'd have everything wrapped up over the next few weekends. Surely?


Registered User
DAY11 - The Moment Of Truth

Yet another update for my faithful followers. The car was finally back on the road! Topped up the (ok, put nearly 2 bottles in) gearbox oil and actually managed a test drive where it returned with the same amount of fluid (exc. petrol) as it started off with. All in all, a successful first test drive.

Now that I was confident it was alive, I could finish off some more of the bits I wanted to get done. First up was the fuel pump. Uncovering the 14 year old stock pump, it was safe to say that 135k of cruddy roads isn't going to keep the nooks and crannies clean.


For those of you that haven't tackled this job, it can be a pain. First challenge is the threaded locking ring thing. My neighbour kindly lent me his fuel pump tool. An adjustable 3 legged thing which you fit over the top of the ring, then use a 19mm socket to undo it. What a piece of junk that was! No matter how tight you tried to lock the legs in place, they just flexed and popped off... usually accompanied by some knuckle skin and blood. Ouch! So I went back to my tried and tested approach... a flathead screwdriver + hammertime! Once you have the ring off, the top of the pump just pulls up. At this point, you need to use 'the force'. To get the pump basket out, you need to rotate it until it clicks free. But this is a ****** of a job. I decided to 'go bareback', as I was worried that the vinyl gloves I had might start to dissolve and contaminate the fuel. This was a painful choice to make given the various cuts and grazes I had from the previous 10 days activities. I spent 45 mins trying to get the pump out! So much swearing. This was as frustrating as the clutch slave. But at least it was a one time job.

It's a girl(y little fuel pump)!


And look at the big boy that's going to replace it!



Refitting is as much of a pain. It's easier to lock the basket back in place than it was to undo it, the real struggle is getting the lid back on it. The fit of the seal is really tight, and it's easy to get it caught. This makes its self known to you when you try to push in the lid, but it keeps popping back out. Trying to force it in using the lock ring is futile, it just causes the lock ring to pop off, too. After many attempts, I ended up giving the seal a smear of Vaseline. This seemed to help, and it only took a few more :)roll:). Finally got the fecker fitted though.

You may remember from my Spider Hose action that I had managed to snap the nipple off the top which goes to the N75. Decided I'd much rather have that plumbed in as designed than just venting it to atmosphere. I ended up t'ing off from one of the 'legs', then having the F-hose delete one-way valve coming off this. Doesn't look too pretty, but it does the job.



Everything back together and it was time for another road test. This uncovered some terrible scratching sounds from the clutch....

I was not amused! :evil:

On top of that, I was also getting a loud hissing from the engine bay when at idle. It was so loud it didn't take long to identify it was coming from the top of the engine. I suspected it could be the injector seals, as i'd had a real job trying to fit them. Got a spray bottle of water and fired some into the tapered ports, and sure enough one of the injectors had a huge leak. As soon as the water hit that one the noise went (until the water was sucked through).

More time wasted having to pull all of the ancillaries off the top of the engine. Pulled out the culprit.

Yep, that'll do it!


Put it all back together again with a new seal (I had a bag of new seals from an earlier engine pull where I found I didn't need them!) and... 2 of the other injectors on the same bank were now leaking, as well as the first one i'd just 'fixed'.

Long story short (or long version if you click here, I ended up calling on the expertise of Mikey-S the next day. The reason the o-rings were tearing was due to corrosion on the tapered ports. They looked like Lamprey's mouths (google it if you've never seen one... gross!). A quick blast of Dremmel action and they were good as new. And most importantly... properly sealed.

The new gearbox was lovely, but this clutch noise was getting on my tits. Got in touch with CG-Motorsport and they fobbed me off with "it needs 1000 miles of city driving to bed in, get back to us if you're still having problems after that". Well, they're the clutch experts, not me. I'd give it a go. Perhaps the noise was just a little bit of light surface rust on the pressure plate and would go once it had been used for a while. We'll see...

The following week after a few hundred miles put on the car, I was having a general tinker with it. Had the car idling on the driveway for a couple of minutes when all of a sudden I noticed this when I walked back round to the driver's side... :shock:


Great, another driveway stain to hide from the wife!

I immediately assumed the fuel filter had decided to let go.


Turns out, I was wrong! I kicked back with a large Cuban cigar whilst I assessed the situation (not true!).


What a fecking lucky escape that was! It was a simple case of not tightening one of the hose clips enough. :shock:

With that disaster averted, I got started on the prep for the suspension swap. Stigter had told me that one of the shock towers was in pretty bad shape and would no doubt need to be replaced, and he had needed to replace the other side a year previous. Stevieyid had a pair for a reasonable price, so thought I would pick those up.

They looked in very good nick from the front.


But as you all may have seen from the recent threads, they aren't always as pretty underneath... I used my trusty wire wheel to take off any surface rust, ready for a coat or two of my favourite. The wire wheel ate through a couple of bits of the backplate, but I did manage to get down to some solid metal. They would clean up nicely.


By this point, nearly a month after i'd started, the side of my house was beginning to look more like Steptoe's yard!


Coincidentally, my next door neighbour was having her central heating done at the same time, so she got a bigger skip than she needed, in exchange for kind words, chocolates and a nice bunch of flowers. Result! As an added bonus, a couple of the guys who were doing the work were into their fast Audi's (one of their brothers had a C5 RS6). So got some much needed banter whilst working on the car from time to time.

Another small task was replacing the steering wheel. You can see how much more worn and generally grubby the one on the left was. The one on the right from Blue Thunder was clearly showing signs of much leather love over the previous 7 years. :-D


A little update on the noise from 'the back of the engine' (clutch area). The scratching noise did eventually start to disappear. Strangely enough this seemed to coincide exactly when I took a friend out for a spin, and told him about the launch control. I encouraged him to put the clutch down and floor the accelerator so he could hear it in action, but thought i'd been clear that under no circumstances was he to dump the clutch. Needless to say, he ignored me and we shot off towards the horizon with blistering speed!

The scratchy noise over time turned into this.

This was starting to be a bit more of a concern!

I ended up going to a couple of local gearbox specialists. The first one said they wouldn't touch it with a bargepole because it was a non-standard car, but they recommended another place not too far away that have an R8 on their adverts. I think they were trying to stitch up the other place! :lol:

Took the car to them, explained everything that had been done, and got them to take it for a test drive with me. I wasn't feeling too confident when their tech was insisting it was a cable linkage, even when I told him I had just fitted the fecking thing and it was very much a solid linkage (I even pointed out that as there was no gear stick boot fitted, you could indeed see the solid linkage!). I think he even told me it wasn't permanent 4 wheel drive. He told me that the squeaking noise was unlikely to be the clutch, so I really started to panic. Did I need a new gearbox? New turbos? New engine? Had I done something stupid during the rebuild which had caused a fault? (always a concern! :lol:)

The thing which really had me on the ropes was when they said they would change the clutch for £500 labour, which I didn't think was horrendous, but without taking a breath also said they wouldn't offer a warranty on the work unless they refurbed the gearbox (had just been done by Jockthedog who I am pretty sure has refurbed more 01E boxes now than pretty much any gearbox company in the UK) and supplied and fitted new Dual Mass, Pressure Plate and Friction Plate. Yeah, i'm sure that would be a bargain price! The guy told me I was an idiot for fitting a pressure plate which had about 20k on it. Surely if they weren't meant to be reusable, you wouldn't be able to reset the SAC mechanism! Anyway, if I wanted a warranty for their work, it would be looking more like £2k+ for them to do everything!!! (and at this stage they were saying it was unlikely to be the clutch)

Anyway, it gave me an option. And like I said before, I was NOT going to do another engine pull ever again.

The following weekend I was able to get the car up on a ramp. I was now starting to really doubt the gearbox place, especially having said the squeaking was unlikely to be the clutch.

What do you make of this Mr.Gearbox place man???

After some sleepless nights and stress levels going through the roof, I was weighing up my options.

I couldn't be altogether sure that it wasn't something i'd messed up. It could have been something as simple as the thrust bearing, and I didn't trust the local gearbox place to not charge me for a full overhaul if they opened it up, replaced a £20 part and thrown it back together. There was no way I was going to replace all of the other parts unnecessarily, and I'd be up **** creek if there was still a problem and they wouldn't honour any warranty.

Jimbo gave me a good price to carry out the work, but would have been a faff getting up to his, the train journeys each way, etc. And being a Scotsman, I was still reluctant to fork out cash for something which i've done successfully (and not so successfully, eg: #driveshaftgate :oops:) in the past.

My mate who imports a lot of nice cars was talking about getting a 2 poster ramp at his unit. I started looking into tranny jacks and other equipment so I could possibly have a go at just pulling the gearbox so I didn't have to pull the engine again. But i've never done that before, and just know it would have caused me many headaches (I also had visions of an 01E crushing me to death because I'd bought a cheap Chinese tranny jack :lol:). Even then, the cost of the tools i'd need, and the potential wait for him to buy and fit the 2 poster ramp (he never did) and the fact his unit is out in the sticks and would require me to pinch wifey's car, etc, etc, etc. That wasn't going to work either.

As much as I hated to admit it, I was being forced down the path I was so keen to avoid. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made.

There was only one thing for it...




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Time to get this story back on the go...

As time went on and more miles were munched, the gear shifts started to deteriorate. You couldn't change quickly when pressing on without resistance. The reason for this was soon to become apparent.

Less than a month from downing tools and it was time to rerun the fun!

Not as many pics of the actual engine pull, because this time I wasn't fannying about (at least, that was the intention).

A mere 1,300 miles since pulling the engine the first time. :-(


And she was still pretty:



This time the car was jacked up on all 4 corners, as the **** end was going to get some lovin' (was swapping the rear shocks and brakes).

Before I pulled the engine, I also wanted to try and figure out the oil cooler situation once and for all. I took lots of photos and measurements... none of which mean anything to me 6 months down the line. :oops: But i've got to fill this thread with photos of something, so...





Suffice to say, I figured there was no way on this planet that those coolant lines were ever going to live in harmony with the oil cooler lines. I had tried to come up with so many alternative routings of the pipework. The one which looked most favourable was to bypass the oil/water heat exchanger altogether, and I think I could have got that to work with the existing pipework, but I did not want to lose the exchanger, as I'm certain it must help to get the oil up to temp slightly quicker in cold weather.

A quick call to our tamed Jimbo, and a set of RS4 coolant pipes were on their way, ready for the refit. :thumb:

Fast forward a few hours and the engine was out. That's right... a few hours is all it took! It's amazing what a bit of recent practice can do!

First thing I noticed was a rather obvious indication that my attempt at replacing the rocker cover gaskets had not been entirely successful...



The culprit in this case turned out to be the ****** 'red' sealant i'd picked up from ECP. When I dug out the tube, I noticed it was a 'semi-hardening' variety. Absolute ****... I might as well have used toothpaste! So that was yet another job I had to do. This was the first indication that Round 2 wasn't going to be the quick in/out that i'd hoped for (not the Clockwork Orange type). :lol:

Now my attention had turned to the back end. Ooh err.

Was looking pretty crusty, although looks like it's had a new rear caliper at some point.


Getting underneath for a better look, I spotted this. Another job to add to the list!


Spent much longer than I wish to admit trying to get that super tight handbrake cable nipple off the rear caliper. I'm fairly sure you can tell where this is going... I'd left the handbrake on super tight! (learning from previous mistakes) Releasing the handbrake made this a very simple task indeed. :oops:


If you cast your mind back all the way to the start of this build, you may remember I had always planned to replace the rear wishbones with some lovely refurbished ones from the old car with new bushes. So I started the task of removing the various arms and things from the rear wishbones. What could possibly go wrong? Well, i'll tell you what could go wrong in two words.

******* Rust!


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This cheeky little chappy had be screaming blue murder. No matter what I tried, this fecker kept spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning...


Thankfully, I had bought myself a new toy. Time for it's first test.

The nutcracker... sweet! (that's a ballet joke)

Suspension and rear upright off. This photo was taken at 21:10. Why can't it be summer all year round?


The next day I started by trying to remove the lower wishbones, but wasn't having much luck due to amount of corrosion. Liberal applications of Plus Gas were required, and even then not always doing the job.

Also realised at this point, that getting to the bolt which holds on the front of the drivers side lower wishbone is easier said than done with the subframe in-situ. Thankfully my neighbour had a set of those Halfords flexible head ratchet spanners. Cannot think of another tool which could be used for this particular bolt.


On the pass side I was going to be able to apply some heat if required, but before I got that far, I realised it wasn't going to be an option on the drivers side - the home of one plastic fuel tank filled with explosive gas.

As expected, the awkward drivers side bolt right up against the fuel tank was completely seized!

Now, whilst I was getting up close and personal, it was very apparent (albeit unsurprising given the state of the front subframe) that the rear subframe was grotty. I mean really grotty! And as I had got the engine out a day or two earlier than expected, and had a whole week off work, and the weather was so lovely, and the fact that it was going to be a near impossible task to remove the lower wishbones without lowering the subframe... it would be rude not to drop the rear subframe and refurb it whilst I was at it. Looks like just a few bolts, couple of brake lines, handbrake cables and it will all be off. Understatement!

A better photo of the magical spanner, showing the state of this subframe!


In order to remove the rear lower wishbones anyway, you need to pull the handbrake cables from front to back. This requires you to undo them from the handbrake lever. There are divided opinions on the best way to do this.

Your 4 main choices are:

1) Use brain surgeon like levels of precision and attempt to remove the cables from the lever without removing the centre console - Jedi powers will help greatly for this approach

2) Remove the centre console from the car and remove the cables with the greatest of ease

3) Drop the whole handbrake assembly from underneath the car, then spend ages fiddling to try to unhook the cables, realising you've still got to get inside the cabin to move the handbrake lever around a bit because it will get caught up on all the plastics, then find you have snapped the handbrake parking light switch because of attempting this idiotic method.

4) Take an angle grinder to the car, set fire to it and hope the insurance pays out.

Guess which option I chose?

Here's a couple of clues:




Whilst I was under there, my mind started to drift. I wondered what it must feel like to be a diff being fitted in a factory, before the engine and gearbox were fitted. My dreams came true:


I had been spending too much time with this car! :lol:

Turns out it would have been a pain to remove the drivers side cable without dropping the front diff mount slightly anyway:


ABS Sensors need to be disconnected under the back seat, then the grommits removed and wires fed through the holes:


Nearly there, just the brake hardlines to be disconnected under the car. These are just in front of the subframe. Given how crusty they looked, I was absolutely flabbergasted (yes!) to find these came apart with lots of plus gas and some very careful pipe-spanner action (with a hint of mole grips to hold the uber-crusty female connector on the outside line). Not a hint of rounding here... thank f***!


As soon as they were disconnected, the whole of my brake system drained. Don't know why, but I hadn't thought about how I was going to stem the flow before this point. I grabbed the nearest thing to hand - my trusty brew mug. Those of you familiar with the brake fluid volumes in the B5 may well be thinking at this point "surely a mug won't hold all that fluid." You would be right! :lol:

What I did manage not to spill all over the already ruined driveway looked rather unpleasant.


I think this latest spillage has now meant that my driveway has seen every fluid possible from these cars. :roll:

What followed involved precarious balancing of the prop and diff with an axle-stand, a jack and a length of timber. My advice... get someone to help you with removing a rear subframe and diff!!!

I unbolted the front diff mount, and that was held in place with the axle stand. So far, so good. I then went around the 4 subframe mounts, breaking off the tension of each one with a big breaker bar. Dropped each one of them in turn a bit until they were near enough ready to come out. The front two could be unbolted without any drama, as the front of the diff was propped up. The exciting bit came when undoing the back two. I had the jack underneath the middle of the diff, then had to balance the rear of the subframe with my hand whilst undoing the two bolts at the back, slide myself out from under the car (holding the subframe to balance it throughout), then carefully lowering the jack. The diff could then be lifted off the axle stand, although it's ****** heavy when you are on your back under a car!

Tada! More disgusting crustyness...



Incidentally, Aragorn turned up about an hour later. Could have roped him into some greasy fingered action if i'd waited! :lol:


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The arrival of some lovely new bits (along with the usual hefty bill) had me gee'd up for the weekend of solid car action! New clutch, subframe bushes, gaskets, oils, coolant, brackets - all lovingly presented in a solid blue plastic box (which incidentally is mega strong and ideal for resting a gearbox on when it's time to mate it to the engine!)


I'd been busy with the prep and paint.


Being sad, I thought i'd do the front uprights as well. It's made a massive difference!


Also took this moment to look a bit closer at why I had a real pig of a job removing one of the upright bolts, and it wasn't even the pinch bolt! Looks like some copper grease had mixed with powdered rust to make some really hard crust. I had to use heat and Thor to get this out. Daft thing is, this stuff came off the bolt itself really easily with a wire brush.


It was time to fit the subframe bushes. They are a ridiculously tight fit. Having no press, I had to go all MacGuyver on it. I bodged up a 'tool' made from a selection of spare bits.

In true Blue Peter style, you will need:

1) Super long bolt which holds the alternator on

2) 3-4 metal base thingys from the subframe bushes (used a few because one on its own would have bent)

3) 1 spare front subframe bush mount

4) 3 precariously balanced washers to allow the lip of the bush to pull through

5) Some rubber friendly grease (I used the same stuff as I had on the brake dust boots)

6) A washing up liquid bottle (honestly, I really did for extra lube!)

I was also lucky because my neighbour had these 'Vortex' ratchet spanners, which allow the bolt to go all the way through. If I didn't have this, I would have had to swap out to a shorter bolt half way through the process, which already took a huge amount of time per bush!

Check out this beauty!



True to form, I nearly screwed up. I had the first bush about a third of the way in (took about 15 mins to figure out how to get the first one this far!)... then realised I was putting it in from the wrong side!! I was lucky, because I was able to tap it back out with a block of wood and Thor without causing any damage. Any further in and I would have basically ruined £50 worth of bush! :shock:

And the finished article - Looking a bit better than when it first came off the car i'm sure you will agree!!!


The front was much easier. Probably in part due to having more practice, but the bushes are also a different size and shape and they just seemed to go in much easier.


The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that the orientation of the bushes is rather wonky! I sadly didn't notice this until they were in, and absolutely nothing I tried would budge them by even a few degrees. I started to panic, thinking the alignment would be all screwed up. I was very pleased to learn that the solid bushes sold have round holes and no adjustment possible. (fast forward to the alignment and glad to say it was all good).

Enough of that fluffy stuff, it was business time. I had to see what the hell had been causing all that noise and juddery clutch.

My lovely shiny box... dusty! (tried not to let it upset me too much)


Straight away I saw something dodgy. Sorry for the blurry photo, but basically **** loads of iron filings stuck to the speed sensor. A hint that the mystery would soon be solved...


Box off!


A montage of pics of where I had suspected there could have been a problem:

No pressure plate springs broken, no unusual/uneven wear and SAC springs not fully extended - GOOD


No signs of metal on metal contact from the pressure plate to the housing - GOOD


Release bearing span freely and quietly and no damage to input shaft - GOOD


A better shot of the amount of metal stuck to the magnetic sensor.


Started to undo the pressure plate, and heard what sounded like the nasty noise even when turning by a tiny bit. Getting warmer....



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With the pressure plate off...

I'll let the pictures do the talking!!! :-(




And a quick measurement to show how the CG Motorsport plate springs were about 7-8mm too far inboard, as well as being fatter springs.



To say I was angry was a huge understatement! Won't bore you with the details (pretty sure I put a thread up about it anyway), but in summary they eventually gave me a refund for the friction plate, but did not refund me for the return postage, or give me anything for the used OEM plate I sent them for measurement so they could ensure they didn't screw up for someone else in future and the thing which ****** me off most - not a word of apology. Just a cheque sent in the post with no covering note. Shower of sh**e.

I was annoyed, but the mystery was solved. Every cloud...

Had to start again with the rocker cover gaskets, as the red sealant i'd used from ECP was absolute rubbish. Before i'd got the engine out and was certain it was the rocker cover gasket itself, I had suspected the leak could have been from the camshaft cover things at the end.

These are made of a thin metal, so a quick tap with a screwdriver/hammer will deform these, then they just pop out.



Forgot to take a photo of my cleaned up rocker covers from the first time, so was pleased to see they were still squeaky clean.


And the true source of the leak...



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Next up was further modification of the drivers side intercooler bracket. I wasn't happy with the fit of the bumper after the first pull, and realised the intercooler was pressed hard against the aircon canister. I had a cunning plan... I was going to move the canister BEHIND the upright.

A little cutting...



Remove the small screws which poke out towards the front, then refit them the other way... Robert's your father's brother!



Doing this has given a few cm's of extra breathing room for the IC, which is all it needed. I was happy with the result.

I took a random photo of my lovely clean looking hovercar. Not sure why, but let's just enjoy it together.


Started rebuilding the Rear Subframe with some lovely new bolts. Knowing how inaccessible some of these bolts could be, I thought it would be easier to do off the car, and just slide it all in place together, the reverse of how i'd removed it.



Then I had a 'fun' job on my plate, as I needed to get my painted rear uprights ready. However, they still had the driveshafts attached and also i'd ended up cutting off the tracking arms when dismantling the old car because the rose joints were just spinning when trying to undo the bolts.

I picked up my new favourite rescue tool - the nut splitter.

It split!


So I upped the ante, and thought i'd cut the bolt off with the angle grinder. Word of warning for anyone else stupid enough to try this... CV boots don't take much to melt through. ******!


When stripping the old car, I didn't have a 14mm hex bit to remove the rear hub bolts. "I'll just take them off if I ever need to in the future" I thought. There is a reason you should remove these mega tight bolts whilst the car is on it's wheels - these things really are tight!!! I tried standing on the upright whilst I used my breaker bar, and all I achieved was man powered flight.

It was time to up my leverage game. What suitable crap did I have lying around the garage that I could use? Hmmm... not much.

Ok, what unsuitable crap did I have lying around the garage, wait, what is the longest unsuitable crap I could find in the garage? Da-da-daaaaa....

An old bit of Ikea bedframe and the pole from the TV ariel i'd recently removed (hoard much? :lol:). The perfect tool...


Got some strange looks from dog walkers whilst I puffed and panted with this odd contraption, but it did get the job done!

And years down the line, I finally got to the bottom of why Blue Thunder used to pulse the ABS when pulling up to a halt.


Fast forward 3 hours, and the rear end was once again starting to look like a rear end. But no ordinary 14 year old rear end (I hope this phrase doesn't get the site flagged by interpol as having paedo links!), this was starting to look nice.


Really nice.


Less than a week to go until I had a 10 day holiday. The clock was ticking...


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Final furlong

It was such a massive relief to see the rear end going back together. And especially pleasing to see how much cleaner it now looked. But I still had a hell of a lot to do. With 10 days (most of which i'd be working) to go, I had to knuckle down and squeeze in some DIY action wherever I could.

After getting home from work on such a lovely summer day, I thought i'd start with a nice simple job which would have a very high sense of reward - mating the gearbox to the engine ready for the final push.


But... disaster struck! What had always been around a 5-10 minute job for me was taking much longer. Then it took much longer again. In fact, this cycle of much longerishness repeated for a frankly unbelievable 4 hours.

Looking back on it now, this is very apt...


And although I get full marks for persistence, I got zero for skill or application! Finally I threw in the towel, and started this thread which alerted me to the possible causes.

Whilst I waited for the AudiSRS massive to set me straight, I felt I had to at least achieve something that day. Moved onto something far less simple than the previous task. Foolish boy!

I realised that because my new braided rear brake lines replaced both the flexi bit and the small hardline from the wishbone, they weren't going to fit the OEM brackets. Furthermore, because the hardline attached to the rear subframe had been shortened a bit to fit the new union, something cunning would have to be done. I arrived upon a cunning little bodge. I'd use a small piece of 22mm copper pipe, then crush it to shape. This would not only keep the flexi from physically touching the metal bracket, but would also help space out to allow the hardline to keep keep some tension on the flexi hose, which would keep it all in place. An added bonus was that i could also prevent the flexi from spinning as I tightened the union.

Pics speak a thousand words. This first one says "what a blurry good idea!" (you can make out the OEM sprung clip which keeps tension on the OEM pipes - my bodge retains this)



Once both sides were fitted, I gave the copper a taste of Hammerite to keep it all looking neat and tidy.

Another small job was to bring the pass side downpipe inboard a little more. It was always very close to the underside of the transmission tunnel, so a few minutes with a decent round file allowed me to open up the holes a tiny bit to give me a few more mm's clearance. Not exactly desperately needed, but couldn't hurt.


The following night after work I turned my attention to sorting out the leaking rear diff. In true bodger style, I knocked up a 'cradle' for the diff out of an old piece of stud wall and some bricks so I could let the oil drain whilst I got on with the next job.


The wiring pass side ABS sensor is combined with the wiring for the xenon angle sensor. And these wires all feed through a very think little aluminium tube. God knows why the engineers decided to do this! Result is, in order to change this, you need to remove the wires from the connector and feed them through. Some careful use of a trim pick and a precision screwdriver was needed.

This photo shows exactly how things close up to me look with my failing eyesight:


And in this crappy photo, you can just about make out the tiny wee aluminium tube it needed to be fed through.


By the time that done, the diff oil had mostly drained. Used a couple of driveshaft bolts and a crowbar to get some leverage so the flanges could be removed.


First Diff Flange removed:


Looks like i'd found the source of my soggy diff bottom.


I took a peak inside and noticed something. Glad I did. There was a spring piece which had come away from the seal.



It was beginning to get dark by the time I got the remaining flange out. I realised I wasn't going to have time to fit the seals and get it all back together easily with the light failing. I wrapped the diff in black pallet wrap to keep it water tight... and to stop the garden rats making a new next overnight!


But, the garage has a light and my hammer has an 'ite' :lol:

Cleaned up the grubby flanges and...


Time to let these babies dry overnight...


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One step forward and...

In the last exciting episode, I described my torment whilst trying to perform the uber-simple task of mating the engine and gearbox. It was Bboy82 who mentioned having the same problem that got me back on track. Yes... I had somehow damaged the splines on the clutch friction plate.

Pointing at some of the damage here with my needle file:


Thankfully, it didn't actually take too long to file these back into a workable shape. The damage was only at the opening. It was here that I took Mikey's retrospective advice - always check the clutch fits on the spline first!. Took me a few goes at filing before I was happy that it was able to get on easily and move freely.

Once that was done, I wasted no time on getting the box fitted. It took minutes to do! A lesson to the impatient... if it isn't working, don't keep trying for 4 hours as there is most likely a problem!


Someone asked for a close-up of my DIY Spider Hose. Et voila!


Note - I have since replaced the 'heater hose' with proper 1/2" ID fuel hose, as it did not like being subjected to oily vapour and went very soft! Also replaced the cheapy clips with JCS Hi-Grip.

After all the pain, it was time for the engine to return to it's rightful place. But before it did, I thought I would try a little trick to help with the invariably painful job of refitting the clutch slave cylinder. Ben had mentioned using a shoelace to fully compress the slave, which could be cut and slid out of the way when it was bolted in place.

I didn't have a shoelace, so had to make do with a zip-tie. I was willing to try anything!


The moment of truth...


Looks too good to go back in a car!


Nearly Home...


The clutch slave trick was useless with a zip tie! It just kept sliding off. But, I did however find a method with really helped with the refit. If you unclip the hardline from the bracket and let it swivel, it means the hardline isn't pulling against you. I was able to get it refitted in record time... less than 30 minutes! :roll:

It was much quicker than my previous attempts, seriously.



I had to leave the car for 10 long days now. Wifey's friend had selfishly decided to get married in GIbraltar (I think it was either Alan Whicker or Judith Chalmers who summarised the place by saying "It's a shithole on a rock with monkeys and super cheap booze" :lol:).

As I finished tidying up my tools and 'closing the car up' for the duration, I couldn't help but play with one of my new toys and finish just one last job.

You might remember the mighty Thor from my previous exploits.


Well meet his new partner in crime... Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the strongest tool in the box, the bright, the bold, the riveting... HERCULES!!!



And his first task? I'd never been happy with the routing of the front brake lines since fitting the RS4 fronts. Think it was SJS who suggested the B7 upright bracket. Drilled a couple of small holes in the upright and attached a tiny blob of Tigerseal in between the holes to prevent any possible rattling.


I could now enjoy a well earned rest. Only 10 days to fret about returning to the job. :sigh:


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The story so far is only up to August of last year! :)

Will add the next episode in a couple of days.


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Wish I had the time and patience to do half of the work you have done! Could really do with dropping the rear of mine to replace rear control arms and give it all general clean up.


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The Vinegar Strokes

The 10 day holiday had been successful. I was relaxed, I had managed to get a litre of Jim Beam of £6 and I had been thinking a lot about the remaining jobs on the car. There really wasn't far left to go now. It appears that the only downside of the holiday was that I was all photo'd out. The remainder of this tale therefore, is mostly text. My apologies to the dwindling numbers who are still following this thread.

Despite the rear end all looking nice and tidy before I left, I had not done the final fitting and tightened everything up. This was an easy task to start on, but within a very short space of time I had hit a problem. The outer eccentric bolts weren't turning, ie: I couldn't make any adjustments whatsoever. I spent a while trying to free them up and just couldn't figure out what was wrong.

Can you tell what it is yet?


That's right... they were too big to turn! I must have fitted my spare front ones by accident.

This was a pain in the **** for a few reasons:

1) I had already cleaned up these bolts

2) I was going to have to get the ones off the old rear uprights, which would probably mean waiting a while for Plus Gas to do its thing

3) I had made everything so far look pretty, so I would want to clean up and paint the bolts I was going to pull from the other upright = more waiting for paint to dry!

Getting the old ones off was going to take a lot of Plus Gas! Thank flip I had replaced all this rusty crud!


A quick side by side of the back plates shows the problem (and the respective conditions :roll:).


And these bolts were going to need a lot of cleaning to ensure they would allow the camber to be adjusted easily.


As I waited for paint to dry, it was on to the task I had been dreading - The Oil Cooler. You might remember that I had tried to install this during the first engine pull, but gave up due to a combination of time pressures and the fact the pipework just did not want to work. This time round, I had bought a few additional pieces of RS4 pipework off Jimbo. The main one being the hard pipe which comes down from the coolant reservoir and connects to the heat exchanger pipework. It would have meant a big fiddle without that one. It appears the heat exchanger itself must be slightly different between FL S4 and RS4 as well, but I was able to fashion a short pipe out of an existing hose.

Finally had the pipework hooked up!


And another pic showing how my fabricated pipework fits together in perfect harmony with this tangled web of pipes.


Can't believe how much faffing it required, when fitting the exact same kit to my old PFL S4 had been straight forward without requiring any other pipework.

I had originally planned a more aggressive look for New Thunder - Front splitter, light smoked headlights and light smoked chrome wheels and matching mirrors. But... this plan was dreamt up before I'd had to pull the engine twice and before i'd realised that the rear subframe and gubbins was coming off. Sadly, it was a dream never to be realised. But, the splitter would give the car a slightly different look, i'd already bought it and besides - I now had Hercules to help me!

Here are a couple of shots taken whilst initially figuring out how I was going to line it up.



It was also pretty obvious that a previous owner liked to use an early form of front parking sensor - driving forwards until your car was resting on a kerb!!


To be honest, I hadn't noticed it on the car (well, why would you, it's mostly on the underside!), but this was bugging me.

The paint I had bought to do the front bumper vents and door handles previously was going to get another outing. :-D


Not 100%, but it's still an improvement, going to be under a splitter in a place where no one will see it... but at least I know it's better!


Had one more small job to do. A while back I had bought Powerflex bushed upper wishbones, but one of the outer bushes had never fit very well.


It was looking a bit tatty inside.


Got the centre bush out. What a mess!


Pulled one side of the first bush out, and a load of **** came out. Not sure if this was a fibre washer or something in the middle. But, it was out now.



Unfortunately don't have any pics of the cleanup, but basically got the dremmel out to make the metal bush clean and shiny, all crap was removed from between the polybushes (which were actually perfect), then refit with a liberal application of brake grease. Lovely stuff!

And one final shot of my newly refitted rear end... just because it looks lovely and clean!



Registered User
More post-work fun

The weekend ahead was the target date. Yet again I had a deadline - wifey's friend's wedding down near Worcester. It was only going to be a 250+ mile round trip, but for added pressure we were taking down one of her friends... the AA was not going to be an option! :lol:

Booked the car in with Awesome GTI for a 4 wheel alignment on the Friday. No excuses, it had to be ready for then!

Due to the forthcoming nuptials, I was going to have to put in some hours after work every night before then. I drew up a list. Longer than I wished it was!


And straight away I found things which weren't on the list. In my haste to get the engine back in the engine hole, I had managed to drop one mount into the wrong hole!


That was an unwanted pain in the ****, but I was able to lift the engine on that side just enough with the crane to get the mount into the correct hole.

Got the driveshafts and prop hooked up. Lovely new bolts.


Needed to tidy up the oil cooler pipework and make sure everything looked pretty.


Wheels were cleaned. Really cleaned!


Got the front panel sorted. Took a fair while to manoeuvre the oil cooler pipes into the correct orientation (because i'm using an internally tapped adaptor in place of the corroded external thread, this pushes the hardline out by a few cm). Was a bit of a pain, but went together eventually. I was just glad to finally have it all hooked up.


And being sad, I got upset at the grimyness of the bonnet latch. So that also got cleaned and regreased.


Exhaust was fitted, everything underneath the car checked and double checked. Finally... my time under the car was at an end!!!

Rear brakes... what a faff! I was having a nightmare trying to get the handbrake cables on. After spending what seemed like forever trying to yank them through enough to get them on, I finally realised that, yes... I had left the frigging handbrake lever pulled up! :oops:

Felt like a tool, but was glad of the victory, no matter how small.


I then had trouble getting the brake pads in.


It turns out, you actually CAN have too much Hammerite! Just needed to scrape a tiny bit off where the brake pads locate, and it all slid nice and smoothly.

Only a couple more tasks before it was ready for action.

Fitted the splitter. Was using Hercules for the strong work, but imagining the sort of force which is trying to blow the splitter off the bottom of the bumper when driving at Mach1 did make me go for a belt and braces approach. I used a small amount of Sikaflex to bond some parts of the splitter to the bumper as well as the rivets. Left it overnight to cure.


And used a highly accurate method to hold the curve of the ends whilst I drilled and rivetted.


And finally onto the amusing part of this instalment. The front calipers I had acquired had just been refurbed, but for some odd reason the bleed nipples were pretty crappy and rounded, so I bought some lovely new replacements. The existing nipples seemed to be an odd size, so I got a crappy old imperial spanner and used my Dremmel to open it up a bit. Nope, too small still. A bit more Dremmel action, and repeat.

When I finally got the spanner to the right size so it went over the nipple nicely, I got it out. Upon placing the spanner down next to my 8mm spanner, I realised what I had done...

Yep... I had ground out an imperial spanner to near enough precisely 8mm! What a spanner!!! :oops:


The new nipple had a 10mm 'nut' and looks far less likely to round off than the original.

With everything hooked up, I filled the fluids, connected the battery and fired up the car. Turned it over a few times with amps disconnected and fuel pump fuse pulled to get some oil into the top end. Started first time, no drama. Got the PAS pump bled whilst the engine got up to temp, then as I was on all 4 axle stands, whacked it into gear. Put it into 2nd and took it up to about 3k to get the gearbox oil pumping through the rad. Engine off, fluid levels checked, all sorted.

I was going to make it!!!!


"Stick a V8 in it!"
Staff member
VCDS Map User
That incorrect camber bolt you used looks like the one for the tie rod rather than the bottom wishbone.