Getting started with the front suspension component swap I knew this was going to be a bit of work, but fairly straight forward. First the driver’s side coilover was removed from the Sedan.
Then the same component on the Avant was removed.
As it turns out both cars have Stern upper controls arms, saving me some effort in what may have been a swap of upper control arms. With both coilovers removed I was ready to re-install them in their new homes.
With the Motorsports it becomes necessary to partially remove the windshield washer tank so that the line to the oil reservoir for the coilover can be snaked up into the engine compartment. Unfortunately removing the washer tank on the Avant was not as easy as I was expecting. Someone had routed the wires to the lower tank pump around the bracket that holds the horn in place. Simply lowering the washer tank was not happening. I thought I might be able to remove the end of the electrical connector, but that was not to be, at some point someone had broken the tab that releases the connector.
The next option was to drain out the washer fluid so I could then remove the pump and get some better leverage to pop the connector apart. Eventually this was successful and the Motorsport coilover was in place on the Avant, along with the 034 front swaybar end link.
The driver’s side rear CV boot was torn on the Avant so I purchased a replacement boot. I was thinking that removing the old boot was going to be a challenge, but I ended up spending more time trying to extract the axle from the car.
As shown in the picture, the rear portion of the exhaust needed to be cleared away. I also found that the swaybar end link was in the way so I detached the lower end so it could swing out of the way. I also found that raising the wheel at certain times during the extraction helped with clearing parts.
Eventually it was out.
To my surprise the end came off easily once the circlip holding it in place was removed. Parts were swapped and then installing the axle back in the car was a breeze compared to the removal.
I’ve also swapped the wheels over to my SSR Comps. It is remarkable how much lighter these wheels are than any of the other wheels I have.
I also replaced the EPL MAF with RS4 MAF and airbox top, which also necessitated swapping the tune to one that uses these parts.
I decided to run a boost test since I had been seeing the long term fuel trims get a bit high. Sure enough one of the IC hose clamps was not fully secured.
During the check out of the new CV boot with the Avant I decided to do a couple of brake pulls to see how the stock brakes with Akebono pads would compare to the Stoptech’s that were on my Sedan. All measurements were made with the same wheel and tire combination.
I only managed to do two deceleration’s, but the results are pretty interesting.
The lower green line is the first braking. I then continued driving for 30-40 seconds before performing the second braking, which is the upper green line.
Today’s car picture looks very similar to yesterday, the car has not moved yet.
Getting the clutch bled was my first priority and I decided to go at it in a different way. I have the hose line and adapter from a Motive Power Bleeder which I attached to my air compressor. I put a fluid collection bottle onto the slave cylinder nipple, coming at it from the driver side wheel well. This was also a tricky arrangement, but had more space to operate in than I was having coming at the slave cylinder from the engine compartment by the coolant reservoir.
With about 15 psi of air into the blake fluid reservoir I was able to get the last of the air out of the slave cylinder line and now the clutch pedal is operating correctly.
I was then ready to start it up. It began o.k., but I noticed an odd whining noise from the engine compartment that sounded like a belt rubbing on something. I shut it down for a visual inspection but could not find anything apparently wrong with the accessory belt. I started it back up and moved to the engine compartment to try and isolate the location of the sound. It seemed to be coming from passenger side timing belt cover. I was not looking forward to pulling the front of the car off. With a closer inspection I found that the timing belt cover was in fact being rubbed, causing the noise. I was able to loosen the cover and pull it out slightly and that eliminated the rubbing. At the same time I found that I was getting a number of misfires on cylinder one.
The first effort was to adjust the timing belt cover so that it would be fixed in place and not rubbing. That took a little while but was fixed, at which point I moved on to trying to diagnose the misfire. I began by inspecting the spark plug, or rather as I started to do that I noticed a good bit of liquid condensation on the bottom side of the coil pack. Hmm, smells like gas, a possible leak around the spark plug? It turned out that the spark plug was not fully seated. Thinking back to several months prior when I had removed this motor from the Nogaro I recall that I had checked the condition of the spark plugs, but had not fully inserted them back in! Doh!
So around I went torquing all of the spark plugs to 25 NM and it started up and idled well. I’ve not rechecked with VCDS, I’d had enough for one day, but happily things are progressing towards getting this car back on the road.
In January of 2013 the Silver S4 showed up with 43k miles on it. As a replacement for my original S4, the factory ordered Santorin that was damaged in 2012, the Silver TIP was a good transition car. In addition to being a single owner vehicle it was stock. Being a Tiptronic I had the opportunity to tackle the TIP to 6-speed conversion.
I did the transmission swap, and a bit more, moving the majority of salvageable parts from the Santorin to the Silver car.
Over the past 4 years the Silver car has been the host to a number of different turbochargers and sensors to record data generated by those turbochargers.
As reflected by the mileage, the car has seen limited duty, replaced in daily driver duties by my Mazdaspeed Miata – the Silver S4 has been dedicated to testing.
With the arrival of the black Avant S4 I decided to move in a different direction with my S4, along with taking on a car with quite a few more miles on it.
As I did when moving on from the Santorin S4 to Silver S4 I’ve made an effort to retain the best of what the Silver S4 had to offer. As I move from the Silver S4 Sedan to Black S4 Avant a good deal of the Silver car will find a new home with the Avant and the Silver car will become more stock-like.
Soon I will be back to having a single S4 and will resume looking into ways to improve on an already fine vehicle.
Getting very close to the point where I can start this car up.
Have a little more bleeding of the clutch to do. This S4 now is back to the stock clutch line and I’m missing the USP stainless line that has been moved over to the Avant. With the USP line bleeding the clutch has proven unnecessary as once the slave line is reattached it’s ready to go.