Perhaps the fact that most of my recent posts have been how-to articles tells you something about my preferred past time. While I like to write about cars, I love to work on them. Sometimes that's reversed (see: Saab 900 water pump install), but besides driving, my favorite thing on this earth to do is turn wrenches on a car. Now, if I didn't take forever and a day to do anything automotive-related, I could probably make some money with this. But as a whole, I prefer writing about cars for a paycheck and wrenching on them as a hobby; I think if I added stress and deadlines to my wrench-turning escapades it would end in tears. So whenever I get the opportunity to work on a car, I pretty much jump for it. I figure any additional experience is a good thing, even if it's not on my own car. Which brings me to my friend Jon. Recently, Jon traded up from his 2001 BMW 325i (which I featured on my old, now sadly defunct website tehcarblogz) to a pristine, low mileage 2002 Audi A4 1.8 Turbo Quattro. It's a peach of a car. Base model with just a few options, 1.8L 20-valve turbo straight four (laid out longitudinally in the classic Saab tradition, thank you), Torsen full-time four wheel drive, 5-speed manual. With only 64k on the clock and virtually no problem areas, it was like a clean, blank slate. You see, Jon's just like me: he sees a stock vehicle and sees potential, rather than an end. His previous 325i was similar in equipment, but was modified fairly extensively for a recent BMW. Full Koni/H&R suspension and sway bars, K&N intake, AAW chip, full Borla exhaust with a high-flow cat, B&M shifter, limited-slip-differential with 3.46:1 final drive ratio, M5 clutch and 12lb single-mass flywheel... it was a lot closer to a track car than BMW ever intended, and a whole lot more fun to drive without sacrificing livability as a result. So it was expected that Jon's new toy (excuse me, daily driver) would stay stock for approximately as long as it took to drive to the nearest local software vendor. This has proven to be the case. We've been very busy turning the A4 from a mild-mannered European luxury sedan into a turbocharged cruise missile in a stealth suit - a sleeper, if you will. To date (in the last 2 weeks!) here's what's been done.
- Central exhaust resonator replaced with straight pipe
- Unitronic Stage 1+ 93 Octane Software Installed (180/180 to 215/245 bhp and tq, 9.7 to 18psi)
- Forge Split Diverter Valve (80% recirculate) installed
- Polyeurothane Snub Mount (front motor mount) installed
- NGK Iridium plugs, one heat range colder than stock, installed
- Neuspeed Short Shift Kit installed
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