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rustybuckets Reader
5/18/20 5:06 a.m.

Axle nut fix.

Remove original nut, clean threads, new nut loctited and torqued on, paint marker to let me know if it moves, and used old nut as a jam nut. Let Loctite set for 24 hours and see if my problem is gone. Not much for pictures for this fix!

Agenda for next week: Steering bushing (I was missing 18mm wrenches/sockets), POR15 some welds where there is the slightest amount of rust (like a half inch, but better get it now), and the Acura gets coolant, transmission fluid, and an alignment.

Our factory just went to 4x10s, so I will be busier during the week, but I get normal 3 day weekends. Excited to see how this works.

Edit: woohoo 5 pages! Looking back, I have made a lot of progress on the cars, so some perspective is nice.

rustybuckets Reader
5/25/20 10:08 a.m.

This weekend so far has been me getting ready for Ruby to be shipped. Got some shelves from work, cleaned and organized my portion of the garage some more. 

More 5S on the way, but this is a pretty good start. 

In bettie news, the axle nut fix *seems* to have worked. Crossing my fingers that the easy fix was the actual problem lol. Also changed the air filter. Not too dirty, but needed done. 

Also ran over some roadkill and mis-shifted to grind some gears/burn some clutch. 2 separate incidents, but made me sad both times lol  

In TL news, I got an alignment and did a coolant change and trans fluid change. Both were easy once I could find all the drain locations, which were all covered by underbody trays. 
The trans shifted great before swapping for amsoil, and amazing afterwards (attributing the change to new  fluid, not a miracle of amsoil) Honda really knows how to make a manual transmission. 
I noticed the (non-pressurized) coolant reservoir had a lot of sediment in the bottom. I was worried, then noticed it was probably because the cap was cracked to allow junk in. Auto store had no replacement, so I tried to temporarily fix it with JB weld. Didn't wait long enough and just cracked it when I screwed it back on. 

oh well, replacement on the way. Will probably do another change because of the sediment. 

rustybuckets Reader
5/31/20 8:21 a.m.

New to me car thanks to the overly generous brad131a4 (I don't  know how to tag people). Brad offered this for free on the forums, and before shipping, I asked if he would be cool with me stripping it and making it a rallycross car. I believe his response was it was my duty to "drive it like I stole it" hahaha. So we set up shipping and she arrived yeasterday. Here she is in all her glory. 

1998 Audi A4, manual, Quattro, 2.8 liter, more affectionately known as "Ruby"

Ruby was in a little scuffle, and the left side suffered most of the accident damage, but she runs perfectly fine besides a flipped temp sensor that starts out pegged and cools down as the engine actually warms up! 
Very heavy clutch (well, 90% light, last 10% is heavy) but drives well down my driveway: I can't drive her on the road yet due to lights and registration.

My plans? Get her road legal by replacing all damaged lights, strip it, see whatever "style" mods I want to do to make it look aggressive, and rallycross it! 

I did a quick safety check- there's like ZERO rust, which is insane to me, and she looks very good in general!

First order of business was fixing a lot of water in the battery/ECM/fuse box portion of the engine bay. 

Remove battery and tray, drain (both drain grommets were clogged), paint with POR-15 since I already had a can open (and if you've ever dealt with that stuff, you know it'll only open once lol), and voila:

And like always, there's no time like the present to start stripping: 

 That's the day 1 stripping progress. I then did a little buffing some scratches out, and took the lower moldings off the car so both sides matched  

It's got little metal nubs that held on the moldings.  Going to grind those off and paint.

As far as making it more aggressive, I'd like to cut the bumpers to give it that battle car look. Right now, I removed the windshield wiper reservoir, and painted the bumper: 

Once I get lights in, I can see what I want to do with the bumper, which was torn off in the accident, but shipped with the car. 
Ruby made the trip with a friend. She will be riding shotgun with me in rallycross. I will reveal that at the right time. 

rustybuckets Reader
5/31/20 8:05 p.m.

Ok, more time with Ruby today. Really starting to fear my to-do list as the other cars aren't getting attention lol. 
My first order of business is to do no harm. So when I turned her on and got a "low windshield wiper fluid" warning, well duh, I took it out yesterday. So I found the wires for that (I have been labeling anything I remove), and spliced them together. No more warning, so that's one thing fixed, errr, "unbroken", really. 
Next thing I did was paint: white for the wheels since rally cars all have white wheels, black for miscellaneous, and red for the car. I only did some red paint today. 
Started with this: 

Sprayed a little close matching paint with literally zero prep, and got this:


Then ground off half of the little door molding nubs

And painted: 


And then removed and cleaned some more interior:

You can see the labeled line where I cut anything. I'll always label, cut, and test to see if I caused a problem. But I'm only removing a few things- interior lights, moonroof, stuff that shouldn't cause codes. 
What's nice about the e-brake is it has 2 cables running out the back, so I assume it's a brake shoe inside each rear rotor.  Maybe that will help me turn? Or at least mess around some! Plus it's rather stout compared to the civic and Acura handles, which were stamped metal with gears. 

To do list is the temp sensor, secondary air pump codes, lights, and register/insure/paperwork. Lights are on order. Temp sensor scares me. I just hate electronic troubleshooting SO MUCH! 
When people ask me electric questions at work, my eyes glaze over and I just call our electrical engineers out lol.

rustybuckets Reader
6/1/20 10:05 p.m.

Cleaned up more around the battery/ecm tray tonight. It was quite filthy. 
then ground off the other side molding studs and painted them. No pics- looks just like the post above. 
the real progress was I got the CEL light off. 

All I did was find the hose to the air box amd notice the elbow was laying on a tray underneath it. Hooked it up and bam! I will never get that lucky again lol. 
so my only warning lights are for airbag, which I can't clear from my scan tool (and I believe was there when I got the car- not sure though), amd the temperature sensor reading backwards. 
I stripped some more weight. Here is the running total: 

There's probably another 10-20 that I hadn't bothered to weight also. 

so, two questions- does anyone know what these two parts are?

This one is drivers side rear wheel. The lines snake up the fender liner but I haven't had the time to chase it. 


This one is passenger side trunk, covered by a thick foam  


And this one is driver side trunk- the part in the thru hole 


And question 2: is anyone at all reading this? 

trumant Reader
6/1/20 10:19 p.m.

Reading but definitely no help when it comes to wiring.

rustybuckets Reader
6/2/20 7:23 a.m.

In reply to trumant :

Looks like you're on the same page as me then! Lol 

wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/2/20 7:29 a.m.

Following along here.  I had one of these cars.  I still have no idea what that stuff is.

rustybuckets Reader
6/2/20 11:02 a.m.

Well good to see people are following along! 

I found what the driver side trunk part was when I pulled it and got a part number. It's an alarm horn. Well I don't have an alarm so out it went. 

The piece in the passenger side trunk has vacuum lines running out of it- it is for the door locks. I unplugged it to see what else and it apparently reads of the clutch is depressed or not, so the car won't turn on without it! 
That seems like an odd location for that lol, and weird that locks run on vacuum lines!

The lines running from the driver rear footwell are still to be determined. 

I now run the gamut of different types of cars, and the stereotypes all fit.

The Acura just plain works. 185k, never a hiccup other than wear parts. Jinx. 

The Chevy always needs fixed, but it's quality control and materials stuff that I can do myself. 

The Audi is already confusing me. There's so many wires I don't even understand a damn thing! 

But that does settle it- I'm at the point of diminishing returns for the Audi regarding weight savings, so it's time to button that up and then get the temp sensor figured out. 

rustybuckets Reader
6/5/20 11:53 p.m.

LOTS of progress today- pretty much worked the whole day in the shop. 

First was the axle clicking fix (hopefully) from a few posts back. The easy suggested fix was to retighten with new hardware, but the clicks came back in about 50 miles. So this time I jacked her up, took the wheels off, and pulled the axle nuts off. Sprayed it all with penetrating oil,  blew it clean with compressed air, pushed the axle out from the hub (towards center of car), and liberally greased with lithium grease. Hope that all works. 

Here's it with the axle pushed inward, away from the hub. 


And lubed up:


while she was jacked up, I hit the bushings I could reach with white lithium:


Next was the dent in the Ruby's rear. 
started like this:

Pulled the bumper, cut some smashed internal honeycomb support, heated and hammered out to end with this: 


And much more stripping and wire organizing: 

After the roof, I'm done with the stripping. This time I mean it!

rustybuckets Reader
6/15/20 12:49 p.m.

Good news and bad news. 

The axle nut fix didn't do the job. I think I know what (at least part of) the problem is. I never did the end links when I did the sway bushings - the current ones looked/felt good, and I didn't like the design of the replacement I had. They're starting to create quite the racket, so those parts are on order and we'll see how much it helps. It will almost definitely help some of the problems, so here's to hoping it's my only problem.

I also FINALLY figured out what my leak was. I had completely ruled out everything but power steering due to the leak location, color of fluid (red), and the fact that I had replaced parts of the PS system twice. For the life of me I could not find the leak in the PS system. I had used mirrors, borescopes, everything I could to find the leak. 

HOWEVER, I didn't get my head out of my ass to figure out it was actually the water pump, which also had red fluid. I am getting a bad bearing noise that is travelling through the AC vents. Noise had no correlation to if the AC was on or off, but definite correlation to engine speed. At work today I got some white rags, mopped up the leak under my car, put a splotch of every fluid on my car onto another white rag, and compared the colors. Definitely coolant. So I looked real close at the water pump, and I am presumably getting a leak out of near the bearing. Parts are ordered. All I have to do it limp it to the garage, and I will be staring at my gauges the whole time!

So while all that is bad or mediocre news... at least I did the PS install right and didn't cause problems lol.

Anyways, this guy is ordered. Hopefully that does the job. 

rustybuckets Reader
6/26/20 9:35 p.m.

End links and water pump for bettie. 

End links were so shot I could move them with one finger  

Torqued to spec, etc. I figure it stopped about 75% of any rattling noises. Still something going on back there over bumps. Maybe time for new shocks too. 

And the time consuming part of the day was replacing the water pump. 

New vs old here. 

Pain in the ass, really. Just tight quarters but could be worse. Everything is tied back together now. Burped it, ran it for a half an hour and my temp gauge looks good. Bearing sound is gone. Hopefully no puddles on the ground tomorrow. 

Then changed the oil on the TL. 
Productive day- hopefully it solves some problems. 

rustybuckets Reader
6/30/20 5:58 a.m.

Quick update and plans for the weekend.

After 17 years, she finally got her udders milked frown

This is under driver side cowl. It is NOT my picture, but would be helpful to anyone in the future as anytime I searched this, everyone said there were 2 udders in this location. The one closer to the firewall seems to get missed a lot. If you can contort a little, you can reach them all from the top. I also got the passenger side tube, but NOTHING was in it, which is good.

Here's what came out of mine: 

I am super surprised, given the low quality plastics used everywhere else, that these rubber (silicone?) hoses were as supple and pliable as they are. They felt new!


Plans for this weekend: 

Corvette: I am still getting a little"pop/crack" on acceleration, and it seems to be only from the right side. I think it will end up being wheel bearings, which would make sense because it sat for so long, stressed on the same section of races/ball bearings.

However, I might as well hit the cheap stuff that should be done anyway to see if that is the culprit. I am going to re-torque the endlinks and my axle nuts, and then replace my diff fluid. I replaced the diff fluid shortly after buying it, about 10k miles ago. I do mostly highway miles, but I certainly give it some strong pulls here and there too lol. Some people say diff fluid and the GM additive has cured their "pop". 

To be honest, I don't know if that's good or bad - wheel bearings are a wear item anyways... a diff is not, and sound is usually the first indication of something going wrong.

Not all doom and gloom though - the water pump isn't leaking anymore so the install didn't go horrible!


Audi A4 (Ruby) is going to get her seats reinstalled, driver taillight replaced, and I'm going to give the temp sensor readings a troubleshoot. That's my biggest foreseeable problem... besides possibly the clutch once I drive her some more. It could just be an unusual engagement point for me that I can get used to - when I bought the Acura (at 163k miles), I could have sworn it needed a clutch, but now at 185k, it feels perfectly fine to me.


Aaaaaand I will attempt to troubleshoot the Acura taillights, which do not turn on when I turn on my driving lights.


All this hopefully this weekend - I want to get Ruby out for the July 25th Bitzer farm rallycross, and I want to get Bettie out for some autocross ASAP also. 

rustybuckets Reader
7/3/20 4:11 p.m.

Well with new endlinks (or at least me mentally focusing more on suspension), I've noticed how shot my shocks are. I guess that's to be expected with shocks from 2003. But it jumps all over mild potholes and things of that nature so I will attempt to fix that. 

Now some c6z06 shocks are on order. I hear nothing but good things so let's check it out! 

I've spent more than I budgeted on cars already this year, but these are a good deal, plus might as well get the full corvette experience. World's ending anyways- why save it all for retirement? cheeky

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
7/6/20 9:26 a.m.

After you posted in my thread, my search for what you were planning to rallycross led me here- I'm slightly disappointed you won't be running the Corvette, but a free Audi sounds like a fun time!

What's the tire plan?

rustybuckets Reader
7/6/20 12:55 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Lol the corvette would be a handful to say the least!

The tire plan is some cheap winter tires (which I already have but need installed). I may end up taking some time off work to just finish up all my list because most everything is easy, but it's all time-consuming!

If it makes it through the drive and through a day of rallyx I will be happy - I would like to at least take it on a long drive first, but we shall see.

rustybuckets Reader
7/12/20 8:49 a.m.

Got a little done on ruby. Just cleaning up the front end, rear end, got the rear light in, did some fender trimming. Nothing other than looks but I didn't have much time. Oh and painted the hood because race car. 
front lights are on the way. Rears still don't work so I will try new bulbs first! 

The radiator is bent, and so is the ac condenser. One CV joint is leaking but does not look torn- looks like the clamp is just loose. 

On the corvette, and probably the Acura, I would fix them correctly. But this is meant to be beat on, so I'll throw a clamp and some grease in the boot. The car doesn't overheat just sitting and idling, also no leaks, so I'll leave those on until they die I guess! 

brad131a4 (Forum Supporter)
brad131a4 (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/12/20 9:58 p.m.

Yeehaaa now that's what I'm talking about. That is starting to look the part of a rallycross warrior. If you don't have to don't mess with Audi wiring. It's a pain but actually fairly easy if you have the Bentley Manual. Don't get the CD that's a waist of $99 dollars. Get the book as for some reason it has things in it that the CD doesn't? The Wiring schematics are fairly easy to fallow once you look at it for a bit. The temp gauge was causing me fits as well about the only advise from what I learned was to get a new cluster . I even thought about adding a second aftermarket gauge just to see what it was actually running at. There might be a way to adjust the clutch pedal if I remember right. I'll see if I can find the info. Now go forth and flogger her like the battle princess she is. yes


rustybuckets Reader
7/13/20 5:49 a.m.

In reply to brad131a4 (Forum Supporter) :

I am definitely avoiding messing with any more wiring! I just needed to strip some completely unused wires from stripping the car. I will look into the bentley manual for sure (for some reason that hadn't even crossed my mind, don't know why lol). 

The cluster would make sense - had you pulled it by chance yet? I ask because I realized it was lose when I went to look at it. The great news is that the oil temp gauge works, so I do have a working temp gauge, albeit a little delayed as oil changes temp slower.

The clutch is probably me not being used to the car yet! We shall see after the first rallycross, or at least my first long-ish drive in the car.

brad131a4 (Forum Supporter)
brad131a4 (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/13/20 10:13 p.m.

It was loose when I got it. I've actually put a new stepper motor in the cluster for the gauge. Didn't change anything other than it seemed to take a little longer for it to got to reverse temp. I think there are some screws in the glove box that held the gauge cluster down. My scanner came op with a ground to the gauge. That was my reason for changing the motor. I feel it must be something on the board itself that goes sideways hens the reason they say to change the cluster.

TurnerX19 SuperDork
7/14/20 8:50 a.m.

I just read through the entire part about Ruby. It occured to me that removing the windshield squirters is a bad idea for rallycross. I would want them in case of a mud splash. Concerned about weight?  Just keep the total volume low.

rustybuckets Reader
7/14/20 2:12 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

You make a good point but... F*ck it at this point lol. 

I did it because of where it was placed and having no bumper. Smaller reservoir could have worked but frown

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/14/20 2:13 p.m.
TurnerX19 said:

I just read through the entire part about Ruby. It occured to me that removing the windshield squirters is a bad idea for rallycross. I would want them in case of a mud splash. Concerned about weight?  Just keep the total volume low.

I haven't had working windshield squirters for the last 8 or so years of rallycross. It isn't an issue. 

rustybuckets Reader
7/14/20 2:46 p.m.

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

Even better!

I am just trying to get all my parts in and assembled so I am fully ready for 2 weeks from now. I think I shall take a day off work just because I'm falling behind with any build stuff.

rustybuckets Reader
7/17/20 1:51 p.m.

Did the transmission and diff fluid in the corvette. Amsoil in the trans, Royal Purple in the diff, with the added GM anti-slip Lubricant. 

I last did these fluids about 13k miles ago, but didn't add the anti-slip additive. It seems to have helped the "pop" I've been feeling/hearing on acceleration. Fingers crossed we're good now. 

Then switched out my shocks for c6z06 shocks and did the front endlinks. 
Much easier to do the endlinks when the shocks are gone! 


Feels pretty good- less jumpy/excitable over bumps so I'm pretty happy. 
it sits really high right now but that should settle over time I expect. 

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