removed rs4 grille and reinstalled stock grille, removed racetec 4-point strut tower brace and derale efk controller. i was able to remove the front-mount intercooler and re-install side-mount intercooler and associated plumbing without having to remove the bumper. the front lower grilles and fog lights were reinstalled. the awe center vent boost gauge and cellphone mount were removed, as well as the hard-wired gps antenna, hard-wired v1 and its remote display, and the steering wheel shroud was replaced with a stock one.
installed a derale thermostatic electric fan controller to help lower coolant and oil temps. i originally wired both 12v leads to the battery to allow the fan to run after the car turned off, but after logging coolant temps with prodiag, the temps were not moving quick enough. i rewired the shut off wire to the 12v switched ignition.
had awe's stage 3 clutch (which is actually a south bend clutch) and lightweight flywheel kit installed at dubwerks. the clutch engagement point is a bit lower on the pedal, feels heavier, and is a bit more abrupt, but not harsh by any means. the clutch requires about 500 miles of break-in until i can actually boost again or go over 3500 rpms. while the car was there, they replaced a leaking cam adjuster seal and a leaking final drive seal on the rear axle.
attemped to install pes t-28 turbo kit, but the 45 degree oil return line connector was the wrong size. i installed a temporary workaround with an adapter found at home depot, but after the rest of the kit was installed, the ecu was not responding. i shipped the ecu back to pes and they installed a new chip on it and shipped it back with the correct oil line fitting. the ecu was still dead, so they sent me a new socket and chip. i replaced these in the ecu and the car was finally running after 7 days of downtime.
finally got a new spark plug connector to fix the misfire after checking two audi dealers and a vw dealer. i ordered the part online from audi-auto-parts-store.com which at first appeared to be the wrong part, but must be a new design from bosch. the misfire is completely gone now, as is the slight hesitiation when requesting a lot of boost in high gears at low rpm's, which was present ever since i purchased the car.
had the passenger side wheel bearing replaced and an oil change at schaumburg audi, who refused to cover the work under warranty due to my "modified suspension". i'm never going back to schaumburg audi again. on the plus side, the s4 xenon housings that i bought as part of the group buy from avalon motorsports came today, so i attempted to install my new xenon kit from spp in the new housings. that didn't work as the s4 housings expect oem ballasts, which are much smaller than the philips ballasts from the spp kit. so, i gave up after many hours of frustration and just installed the xenons in my stock housings.
installed an awe center vent boost gauge. the bailey bpv came, too, but i didn't get a chance to install it. the gauge has a bit of chatter at 5 and 15 psi, even with the filter installed that came with it. todd from awe said the gauge should not make any noise, so he sent me a new gauge to test. it, too, made noise, so i could return the gauge, upgrade to an electric one, or just live with the noise. for now i'm just going to deal with the noise.
did an oil and filter change; 4 quarts of mobil 1 supersyn 5w-30 and a bosch 3421 oil filter. for future reference, to reset the "oil" service reminder under the odometer, push and hold the right button, turn the ignition on, let go of the right button, then pull and release the left button. when display shows "---", push and release the right button and the display will show "insp". pull and release the left button and turn ignition off. turn key from off to accessory and display should not read "oil". also, the oil pan bolt should be torqued to 36 ft/lbs.
attempted installation of the neuspeed 19mm rear sway bar from greedspeed, but the allen bolts on the stock uplinks stripped out. the dealer wanted $90 for stock uplink replacements, so i ordered cpp uplinks from awe. after two days of having the car up on the jack stands, the uplinks arrived and i was able to complete the installation. the sway bar stiffness is currently set to the medium setting and it's incredible how level the car stays around turns. i wish i would have done this modification earlier.
installed an awe dts purchased in a group buy organized on audiworld ($50 discount). installation was pretty easy and the only hard part was trying to get leverage for the torque wrench while upside down. the transmission is stiffer and shifts with less jerking and overall movement. i liked this modification much better than the snub mount because installation was a lot easier and i didn't break anything. the snub mount didn't really make much of a difference other than introducing a bit of vibration, but the dts did make a noticeable difference in cleaning up movement.
talked to lltek; apparently they shipped me the right intake and they've replaced the metal u-tube with a plastic one due to a design flaw in the metal one. reinstalled the lltek in about an hour and a half. hard acceleration seems to be a bit smoother and the turbo spool is much more audible. need to add some custom heat shielding, though.
installed lltek strut tower brace. attempted installation of lltek cai when, halfway through the installation, it became apparent that what they shipped me was the wrong product. the u-tube was black and plastic, not red and metal. will have to call lltek tomorrow and find out what the hell they sent me.
installed an apr snub mount purchased from motopersona. definitely the messiest, hardest, and most time consuming upgrade i've done yet. had to purchase jack stands and a hydraulic lift, so at least now i'll be able to change wheels a lot quicker. the installation took about 4 hours total, not including all the trips to the store, napping on the couch waiting for the dremel battery to recharge, and leaving with eric and dave to swindle an old lady out of parts for his talon. the bumper was a pain to get off, and i broke the driver's side headlight washer in the process. i initially installed the apr mount with only slight sanding by the dremel and the vibration in the cabin was too much, so i took it all apart and sanded it down some more. the vibration was still pretty noticeable, so i decided to just put everything back together anyway. after putting all of the bumper bolts back on, though, the vibration magically disappeared. the car is smoother during shifts, mostly during downshifts. heel-toe is definitely much smoother.
installed neuspeed short throw shifter. installation took me about 4 hours because i didn't have the right tools ready (i thought i did when i started taking the car apart...) and i was having lots of problems getting to some of the bolts due to the previous fact. the c-clamp was very hard to get off without real circlip pliers. i got the old unit out, the new neuspeed linkage in, put it in the car, then read this article at audiworld and wanted to add the zip-tie to reduce play. so i took the unit back out, disassembled it, then spent 20 minutes looking around my house for a zip-tie. guess it would have helped to find this before taking the unit out. anyway, i put it back together without the zip-tie, then re-installed it in the car. the throw is much shorter and feels more solid. the knob sits about an inch lower as well.
brought the car to laurel to diagnose a vibrating noise when cornering and to replace a vacuum hose that cracked and was causing a cel. they replaced the hose and even though they couldn't reproduce the noise, replaced both lower control arms anyway since my original warranty is up in a month. they replaced the dead passenger-side high beam headlight and one of the license plate lights, too. the noise is still there when cornering hard and when going over bumps, so i may have to bring it in again.
o.z. superleggeras and pirelli p-zero's finally arrived after ups delayed the shipment 2 days. installed them in my driveway after pondering for a half hour over where to jack up the car. it rides a bit higher with the larger wheels (18x8) but the ride quality did not diminish at all. handling is improved with the better tread pattern and wider tire. my valentine one also arrived and was hard wired into the fuse box to turn on and off with the ignition.
got the car back from laurel. the "tinny" rattle is gone from the cat, but the neuspeed is still clunking around and getting worse. just driving on the highway, it moves around enough to produce a rattle audible in the cabin. also, since midas pulled the exhaust out and moved it around to try to fix it, it looks rather silly. perhaps i'll take it to another exhaust shop and see if they can secure it long enough that i don't have to buy the apr exhaust soon. need more important mods...
brought the car to laurel once again to have them look at the rattling coming from the cat. they took about two hours just to tell me it was a rusted bolt and that it'd be an hour and a half of labor to fix it, which i'd have to pay for. i told them that i've had nothing but problems with the exhaust system and that i since i bought it from their dealership with it installed, i shouldn't have to pay to fix it. they sympathized and agreed to pay half of the labor, or eat $200 of the cost of installing a completely stock exhaust which they quoted at about $1000. i told them to just fix the bolt since i'd rather spend $1000 installing another aftermarket exhaust that fit better than the neuspeed (apr?) they then told me i'd have to come back next week to have the bolt cut since they didn't have any time to do it today (what was the point of making the service appointment?) i was given a filthy 1999 a4 2.8q tip as a loaner for the weekend.
took the car back to laurel to have the mileage fixed. they had to replace the instrument cluster again since the mileage can't be rolled backwards once it's set. had them look at the exhaust; they said they can't fix it under warranty since it's an aftermarket cat-back system and that i should take it somewhere else. they must have done something to it since the deep rattle immediately became accompanied by a more annoying "tinny" rattling between 2000-3000 rpm. i brought the car to midas where they agreed that there are two rattles; a "tinny" one from the front, and one from the back. they repositioned the piping to fix the one from the back, but said the "tinny" one from the front was from the catalytic converter and would have to be taken to audi to get fixed. guess it's back to laurel next week...
took the car to laurel for 40,000 mile service. had an alignment done for the new suspension. had the fuel sensor replaced because the gas gauge was never accurate. also had the instrument cluster replaced due to some of the led's in the trip computer being faded. the tech burned the wrong mileage into the new cluster, so the mileage read 407,346. the car also developed an annoying deep rattle around left-hand turns that was later discovered to be a loose exhaust.