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Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/21 10:15 p.m.

Two years ago we bought our first Audi, a B6 A4 Quattro with a 1.8T engine and a rare 6-speed manual transmission. The next day we bought our second one, a B7 A4 Quattro with the 2.0T engine and a rare 6-speed manual. Thus "Uno" and "Dos" the Audis came to be.

 

 

We ended up selling Uno to our next door neighbors (who have since moved away but still have the car) and driving the wheels off of Dos, putting something like 27,000 miles on it in a year. That particular car was truly loaded with every option, including a technology package that had swiveling headlights and heated rear seats. Anyway, it ended up at 180K miles and was ready for it's second timing service and we decided that it was time to upgrade to the larger B8-chassis A4 so the kids would have more room. We found a gorgeous (and well historied) one with mods and bought it.

 

While it was a good car, it did not live up to the promise of the B7. It was an entry-level trim with few options that were sorely missed, the 2.0T's changes brought about huge oil consumption issues and the mods did not make the car as quick as we thought it should be. After a lot of soul-searching and test driving we figured out that it was time to jump into serious Audi ownership and started looking for a B8 S4. The earlier B7 S4's had glorious sounding V8's that were plagued with timing chain issues (and the presence of the much better RS4 here in the States) but the B8's were something all together different, a 3.0L DOHC V6 with a supercharger that made 333HP stock. After many many hours of searching, driving all over the state for test drives, and much hand-wringing over which options were negotiable or required, we found an absolute unicorn of a car in Arizona.

This B8 S4 had the important stuff, like the 6-speed manual transmission, a clean title, and service records. It also had the options that were "must have" - Sport Diff (limited slip that can be controlled to up to fully locked on the fly), Audi Drive Select (adaptive steering, engine, and suspension), Alcantara interior, and the MMI/NAV setup. It also had reasonable miles (108K), a good price ($17K), and the lock was a rare color (Deep Sea Pearl, a decidedly not gray-scale color that 99.9% of Audi's are). Then, well, this happened:

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/off-topic-discussion/anybody-in-the-north-phoenix-area-having-some-deal/178112/page1/

Welcome back from that, stressful wasn't it? The car then spent weeks at the dealership getting the oil leaks, exhaust system, and steering systems all fixed under warranty. In between trips for servicing we managed to clean up the Alcantara, fix all of the damage, replace the missing components, and try (and fail) to sell Tres the A4 on cars and bids (https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/trying-something-new-auctioning-one-of-our-cars-on/179474/page1/) and also compared the B8 A4 and S4 with each other:

 

 

We finally managed to get the A4 sold (on CL) and the S4 fully licensed, registered, insured, and maintained. We fell in love with it despite everything that happened. Our fleet (as of this writing) consists of an autocross-prepped 986 S Boxster that handles like a slot car, a C5 Z06 that accelerates like a rocket, and a twin-turbo Flex that is the comfortable master of the highway. The S4 is all of those things, and that's not just hyperbole. All of our other Audis understeered to one extent or another and the S4's Sport Diff is literally magical in how it can make the car just stick around the corner. It is easily the best diff I have ever experienced, and that's a high bar. The adjustable steering makes for a light touch when your cruising and absolutely amazing feedback and response when attacking corners. And the acceleration, hoooo boy, the acceleration. The blower just hits you in the chest right from the bottom and it pulls *hard*. It is easily quicker that both the Porsche and the twin-turbo Flex and would probably gap the Z06 to the 1/8th as-is.

The thing is, this is just the baseline. The B8 S4 is likely the best tuner car ever because you can go absolutely bananas with them and not hurt the daily-driver characteristics at all. You see, Audi made an RS version with this motor, and tuners figured out that all the hardware was the same, so a simple ECU tune unlocks *over 100 HP*. I am not exaggerating, even the most basic tune is a 20%+ increase in power. From there you can swap pulleys and heat exchangers, port the blower, and do a zillion supporting mods and make over 500 HP reliably with a stock motor. So, that's what we're going to do. 

But first, we had to make sure that our foundation was solid, and that means doing some maintenance. So here's the start of this journey:

 

Next up is rotating the tires and installing spacers, doing the cabin filter, and bleeding the brakes. While we are catching up the last little niggles, we are researching which tune to go with to start the big mods. Right now we are leaning towards Integrated Engineering's Stage 1 tune as it seems to be the only one that plays nice with the catalytic convertors (no stupid over-fueling "crackle") for a cool 87 RWHP. We are hoping to to have the tune and a drag strip at the same time to do a same-night before and after on the ET improvement. 

So stick around, this should be fun. And I promise we won't buy any more Audis for at least a month.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/21 10:58 p.m.

Glamour shot:

This car has the rare "Alu Optics" package which gives it the aluminum side blades. The RS grill is from Tres the A4 who traded for the fully blacked out RS grill that the S4 came with.

And of course, snow pic:

14.5" total in about 48 hours.

DaewooOfDeath
DaewooOfDeath SuperDork
2/22/21 12:24 a.m.

Beautiful car Javelin. Hope you get to enjoy it for a long time. 

 

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/22/21 6:44 a.m.

As far as tuners, choose wisely based on the path you wish to go.  APR has a rock solid tune but lacks the ability to adjust for any fuel blending that you may want to do in the future for more power.  034 has this option as well as a beta TCU tune that wakes them up a little more.  You can change the crank pulley instead of the supercharger pulley to get the same dual pulley effect and replace a known fail item while you are at it.

PMRacing
PMRacing GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/22/21 7:02 a.m.

When you need pads and if you want to go with OE performance, do NOT get Akebono Euro Ceramics. I could not get a solid pedal feel with them. It always felt spongy and lacked confidence. Swapped out to Textar (OEM) Semi-metallic and stopping is better than new with immediate bite and high confidence feeling. I bled the brakes 5 times with and without the VCDS tool with no improvement on the Akebonos. 

FYI

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
2/22/21 8:41 a.m.

Don't think that motor made it into any of the RS models.  A tune makes huge power, the blower pulley adds an incremental amount more.  The upgraded heat exchanger isn't needed and doesn't make additional power unless you're going to take the car to the track.

I had GIAC tune/pulley on my B8 S4 (also midnight blue and 6MT, sport diff, etc, etc) and it made a huge difference.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/21 9:45 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Not stateside, but yes overseas. Never knew you had a modded one!

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/21 10:27 a.m.

In reply to PMRacing :

Good to know on the brakes, thank you. And yes, we got a VCDS. There's so many things it can do but it's a little intimating because I don't want to accidentally brick the MMI.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/21 10:33 a.m.

In reply to Placemotorsports :

Yes, we plan on doing the crank pulley when that time comes. The fuel system on these struggles with ethanol (and other than a single E85 pump it's hard to get up here) so blending isn't a need we're looking at. 

PMRacing
PMRacing GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/22/21 11:56 a.m.

Also, FCP euro's waterpump/thermostat and replacement video was awesome (get 2 gallons of coolant to be safe)!  Only issue I had was when I bled the supercharger (get the 034 Motorsport plugs), I didn't tighten the bleed plugs fast enough and got coolant in the V of the engine. When I went to bed in the brake pads, I scared the E36 M3 out of myself because there was coolant all over the front of the engine and radiator fan shroud after the hard stops. I thought I had missed a connection or had another leak. Once cleaned up, no issues. 

The clutch delay valve delete SS line from ECS was a noticeable, but not huge improvement in clutch feel and release behavior. I think there is still a restriction in the slave cylinder.

Headlight washer nozzle leaks will drain your washer tank. I've found OEM for $120 shipped or $40ish on Rock Auto. I haven't tried that one yet. I just did one on both my S4 and my wife's allroad. 

Mine likes LiquidMoly 5w40, but did NOT like the Molygen variety. I got more timing chain rattle at startup with the Molygen. 

 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/21 12:39 p.m.

In reply to PMRacing :

Yeah, sooner or later we need to do that and change the supercharger oil. I want to try and get new charge coolers for the blower at the same time. We'll see when that comes around.

 

Normally we do the Liqui-Moly, but the Pentosin was recommended for this motor, so we're trying it. I didn't like the Molygen either.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
2/22/21 2:54 p.m.

I don't think the B8 RS4 got that engine.  I thought they were still using a V8 in it.  The other RS cars were using the 4.0T motor...

dyintorace (Forum Supporter)
dyintorace (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/22/21 5:22 p.m.

Would you share your Alcantara cleaning tips? Our 128i has the BMW Performance steering wheel, which includes a few sections of it. It's terribly matted down and is in need of rejuvenation. 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/21 9:08 p.m.
dyintorace (Forum Supporter) said:

Would you share your Alcantara cleaning tips? Our 128i has the BMW Performance steering wheel, which includes a few sections of it. It's terribly matted down and is in need of rejuvenation. 

Of course! The Sonax stuff was magic for us:

 

rothwem
rothwem Reader
2/23/21 9:50 a.m.

Why is the engine so limited from the factory, is it an attempt to protect the driveline? Or just to keep it from stepping on the RS4?

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/23/21 10:08 a.m.
rothwem said:

Why is the engine so limited from the factory, is it an attempt to protect the driveline? Or just to keep it from stepping on the RS4?

It's the second part because most of the rest of the mechanics of the car is shared with the RS. This motor wasn't used in an RS, but came in many different power points up to 350hp, so they had to artificially limit it to create that gap in the line up, which is dumb.

rothwem
rothwem Reader
2/23/21 12:26 p.m.
Javelin (Forum Supporter) said:
rothwem said:

Why is the engine so limited from the factory, is it an attempt to protect the driveline? Or just to keep it from stepping on the RS4?

It's the second part because most of the rest of the mechanics of the car is shared with the RS. This motor wasn't used in an RS, but came in many different power points up to 350hp, so they had to artificially limit it to create that gap in the line up, which is dumb.

Gah, yeah, annoying.  I can't imagine being the calibration engineer on that one. "That's great, now make it worse"

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
2/23/21 3:01 p.m.

From what I understand, they wanted the torque that the blower gave down low, but didn't want the horsepower it would give up top.  So they installed a blow off valve like a turbocharger has, and use it to blow off excess boost on the top end.

The tune keeps that blow off valve closed much longer and lets the blower make basically full boost...

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/11/21 7:20 p.m.

Today in Audi S4 ownership...

Long story short, the car lost coolant overnight after a trip to Mexico and the diagnosis was a water pump on the way out. In these motors the water pump lives under the supercharger. Since I was taking that off I decided to do all the other blower off maintenance like changing the supercharger oil, the PCV/AOS, the thermostat, and most fun cleaning the intake valves with almond shells!

Here's the blower itself, it's a biggie.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/18/21 2:38 p.m.

It took me three afternoons, but I finally finished the water pump job. Replaced the thermostat, lower radiator hose, PCV hose, serpentine belt, and some gaskets and seals while I was in there. Also changed the oil in the supercharger.

Got it all back together and it ran amazingly well! Then I spent the last two days washing and polishing it.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/21 11:55 p.m.

Video on said surprise maintenance:

 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/3/21 4:36 p.m.

New wheel day has arrived!!!

This is going to be epic!

How epic? I paid more for these wheels than a whole Challenge car...

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/3/21 10:08 p.m.

I miss the launch control giggles of my last Audi S4.  I really wish I still had my B5 S4.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/13/21 5:36 p.m.

Found a photo of my 2nd S4.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/13/21 6:00 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

That's hot!

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