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Couple of little jobs done over the past week....


Painting the new rear calipers...




Doing a bit of tweaking on the map and adding in timing up the top of the rev range while fine tuning the VE table..







I changed the view from kPa to PSI as I think this tends to make it a little more relatable so as you can see I am currently running a mere 16psi... the reported power is a little unbelievable tbh, it really doesn't feel like 560hp but I plan to get the car back on the dyno for another few runs so I can check my changes and make any further tweaks to get the engine where I want it


Further to preparing for the DSG swap I have sorted a panel for the fuses and relays I will need...



This will attach to the car using a couple of rivnuts...






...and clears the filter nicely...



...of course the panel was painted :)



Waiting on some crimp terminals then I will start wiring everything in including the DSG gearbox loom and all the other bits I need to drive the starter inhibit and reverse light etc..



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  • 3 weeks later...
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top job

So by now the head has returned back... the guides were perfect by all accounts which was a nice surprise as every 20v head over 50k seems to need at least exhaust guides (turbo + heat etc) and only n

Awesome work!

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  • 1 month later...

So I was a little bit bored and decided to take a trip to Mexico for a few map tweaks... I had originally imposed a 1bar limit on myself but in fairness I have already broken that at the top end to achieve 500hp... not by much of course... whats 100kpa between friends :)


Anyhoo... I am getting close to running out of injector duty at 3bar and due to the fairly soft wastegate spring I am using I am close to maxing out the N75 duty too... obviously those things can be addressed but I am kinda ok with it as it means I can impose a hard limit on how much more I can tune the standard bottom end...


to that end... this was my previous boost map...


This has now been tweaked (including upping integrator max a bit) to this...


I am not bringing it in with a wallop but instead still trying to get that 'big engine' feel from the tune... 


This was the power run from the 502hp map...


These are the logs from tonight...




Obviously pinches of salt all round but while the actual hp/torque figures may not be 100% accurate due to various reasons it does show relative gains and in fairness the car feels much like she did back when the 20v was at 620hp...


In fact if you look at the graphs from the 20v runs you can get an idea of what the VR is doing on the same turbo for much less boost and RPM... (17psi essentially at the top end rather than the 32psi I ran on the 20v)



No replacement for displacement :)


Will get the car on the dyno as soon as I can to validate where she is



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  • 2 weeks later...

Have put the car on stands.... there is a decent reason for this... it stops me driving the car and gives me a reason to crack on with the current list of things I need to do...


First up...



I need to replace the top mounts as mine appear to have started to collapse... these Billy B8's are the first mod I did to the car when I first bought it and while they are still working fine they are showing signs of age (13yrs of age)...



So while they are off I am going to clean them up and give them a fresh coat of paint... hopefully keep them decent for a while longer... it was just as well I decided to do these now as it turns out...



...the joy of potholes :)


Another issue that has manifested itself is the scourge of most 8L S3's these days...



This is a little disappointing but not unexpected... I will need to pull the sill covers off and see what needs doing :(


I have also got an issue with the drivers door... it will struggle to shut and when it does it will sometimes pop open while I am driving... in anticipation of this I bought a new latch some time back but never got around to fitting it...



These are now obsolete (like a lot of parts for our cars these days) but they are listed on Audi Tradition... however due to Brexit they are currently not shipping to the UK!!... 


On the subject of obsoleted parts I decided to pull my old haldex controller apart to see if it could be refurbed...











Internally there is not much to it... some electronics (that use a jelly like potting compound) and stepper motor... I need to pull the valve out of the case too as I think its possible that this along with maybe the stepper is what is causing the issues with them being the only mechanical part of the controller...


I need to do a bit more clean up and I think I have found a bit out about the stepper motor but I need to pull that apart to see what type of encoder it uses as this could be why its causing an issue...


If I could find a way to 'fix' these then that would be a nice little win...


Other things on the to do list include fitting the new rear calipers I bought recently and all the new brake pipes... then bleed the brakes using fresh RB600 fluid...


Last things to do (for now) will be to fit the DSG loom and connect it all up so I can test it all with the box plugged in and to dual port the wastegate replacing the N75 valve with a MAC valve... 



...this should hopefully give me a bit more duty back at the higher boost levels so I can run a solid 1.2bar (220kpa/17.4psi) at the top end of my rev range... currently I am at 90% and its still struggling to get there so pretty sure there is nothing left without changing the spring which I would rather not do at this time...


Not in a rush to get this lot done but as I am doing it outside the house and the weather is pants it may take me a while :)


...means I get to drive the A2 and actually have some money left at the end of the month from the saving on fuel lol... so I can buy more parts obvs :D



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  • 4 weeks later...

Have had the dreaded raised top of the strut for a little while which is typically the sign of the rubber top bush sagging... as I have LCR top mounts I was a little surprised they had gone as bad being harder rubber but I have had them a while now so in anticipation I bought poly replacements with new bearings and spring cups




Finally got around to swapping out the rear calipers...






Just as well I changed the lines as they were looking pretty scabby...


Bought myself a fancy pressure bleeder as Bill uses a similar one and quite frankly just makes it real easy to bleed the brakes on your own


I used RBF600 fluid too as its pretty decent stuff and never had any problems with my brakes when hauling up the VR6 (or 20v) anchor....


Pressure bleeders are brilliant and it didn't take long to get the brakes bled... I bought 3 bottles (1.5ltrs) to make sure that I could push all the old fluid out plus this bleeder needs a bit of a reserve in the bottom of a 100/200 ml to ensure that no air gets passed through the bleeder..


Once done I just needed to pull some fluid out with a syringe as pressure bleeders will leave the reservoir brimmed..


With all that done I could spend some time on the struts... I used gel based paint stripper to get the old paint off...


It wasn't the most fun in the world but some scraping, sanding and aqua blasting later.... they were ready for some rust treatment for the remaining bits..


...and I decided (for no other reason than I could) to cold blue the top of the strut in a vain attempt to prevent corrosion..





Etch primer next...


...and Rustoleums finest matt black...


....yes... BLACK!!!... in all honesty I did paint one yellow... but... the paint was very thin and took many many coats to get it looking half decent to the point that the finish was full of runs and the paint was still soft after a few days drying... so I flatted it all back and went 'stealth' black instead :)


Actually looks ok and is in keeping with my general theme..


I also managed to break out one of my favourite tools that I never use... my vortex pass through socket set...


Not driven the car as yet so need to test the brakes and once happy I can start tuning the boost map again for the dual ported wastegate..



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As the weather has been reasonably nice I took a trip to Mexico so I could set up the boost control now that the wastegate is dual ported... Ignitron is such a breeze to use and didn't take long to get the PID control dialled in...









Overall I am hitting the 220kpa I am asking for in the specified boost map for 10% less duty than when in the single port setup which never quite made 220kpa top end... happy days :)


I have next week off to do some more bits to the car such as the aircon pump and DSG wiring... I am also replacing the oil pressure switch as that appears to have gone faulty as I am randomly getting the 3 beeps of doom when driving even under load where I can see I am getting 5bar of oil pressure... looking back at the build pics I think I used a Febi sensor for a 20v and it seems that they are rated differently to the VR6 for a start and I guess the Febi part is not as good as the OE part... who knows... either way I have a genuine switch to replace it with...


If Bill is able and willing I will try and get the car on the dyno this weekend or during the week maybe... be nice to see where she is now I have spent a little time tweaking the map and running a little more boost...


The figures IECU report can be fairly accurate but in my experience tend to over read... the car feels very fast and based on the below...


...the car took 6.93 seconds to get from around 1500rpm to around 7000rpm in third gear... I have nothing to gauge that against but she feels fast so can't complain



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So this happened!



...which resulted in...





The difference in the boost plots looks quite a bit... but other than I have brought the spool/mid range in sooner the actual difference top end is around 0.1bar which is about 1.5psi and the spool/mid range is a lift of 0.9bar to 1.1bar below 5k rising to 1.2bar request up to redline...


I am happy with the top end power figure... not really interested in chasing figures but the OCD in me would like to tackle the slight wobblyness after 5.5k purely to smooth it out a bit... 


This is only the third time the car has been on the dyno since having a VR6 fitted so pretty happy with the tuning I have done so far...


Next big task will be the DSG... :)



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Posted (edited)

Had a few days off to get some little jobs sorted on the car...


First job was the aircon...



I have a new pump and dryer as the old pump is leaking PAG oil and makes sense to change the dryer too...






Not the most fun job ever but easy enough tbh...



I have also had an issue with the low oil pressure warning popping up randomly at any rpm or time it felt like... I know I have pressure as Ignitron picks that up and all the times the three beeps of death have popped up the pressure is over 2bar minimum... (IECU also records when the switch is triggered too)


So bought a brand new OE VR6 switch...



...and so far this appears to have fixed the issue :)


I also took a punt on a set of H7 LED bulbs for the main beam...






Combined with bi-xenons main beam is pretty much daylight now so should make the late night trips to mexico a little less scary :D


I had planned to fit the DSG wiring but... I bit the bullet on a job I have been putting off for some time...



...yes... the dreaded corrosion behind the door blade... full send it is then...



Thankfully while I was quite late to the party I did catch it before the door became toast...







I found pinholes by the particularly bad bit...



...so I will weld this up later when I get to borrow a friends MIG for "another" job and blend actual metal in rather than use filler...


While I was at it I attacked the wings too...



...used Bilt Hamber Hydrate 80 to treat the rusty bits that was left...





I then masked up the car using masking film (brilliant stuff)...



..and etch primed the door and arch...






Sadly I got a little over confident with the knife cutting the film for the arch and added a nice score mark... good job I am wet sanding it and painting huh lol


Edges are nicely feathered rather than a hard edge which will make blending for paint easier



I am not 100% on the amount of rust I got out so I have a cheap ebay sand blaster attachment on the way and will try to get the rest of the rust out of the door with that before I apply a finish to the 'repair'... I am not expecting much of a match even though the paint was 'matched' to my actual paint rather than just the paint code but its more that I have treated the rust areas to at least have some actual metal to be able to paint when the time comes for the full respray...


The passenger door on the face of it looks ok but I will have the blade off that after doing this side and go from there..



Edited by tuffty
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Decided it was about time to level up my man status and acquired the following items...

A 50ltr, 9.6cfm air compressor....


A MIG welder...


...and a cool welding mask to at least give the impression I know what I am doing.... :)



First job was to fabricobble a stand for the gas bottle....



The broken spring from my A2 and a 1.8t cam pulley will do the job....










So... filled with confidence and looking cool in my awesome helmet (fnarr!) I undertook the job I had been dreading....


The skirts come off pretty easily tbh... I removed the rear end cap (4 screws) and you have to kinda pull it off as its velcro'd at the top... then work your way along the underside of the skirt removing screws plus a few in the front wheel arch... then with a suitable tool you can unclip the sill step trim from the top of the sill cover... its essentially push fit into it and does bend up out the way... just don't pull to hard or force it...


Once done you can pull the skirt away... the front of the skirt is clipped into a plastic moulding so pull away from the car..



There was a load of dirt and rust in the skirt :(



...in fact I removed the front wheel arch liner and cleaned all the accumulated crud (of which there was a lot!)... this looks to be something else thats getting added to the yearly maintenance list once the bodywork is done


I was not surprised at what I did find... just a little disappointed...










The rear faired a little better....






Scabby for sure but no real rot... I need to clean up and straighten the pinch weld at the back but it looks at least like I won't need to replace any metal...


I knew this was there... I didn't know how bad it was and if I hadn't managed to put the jack through it the other week it may have even retained its shape... 


Will be attacking the rust and cutting sections out to get back to the good metal then make up patch panels and weld them in... I may take the passenger side off next to see how that looks... 


Oh the joy of 20 yr old cars :)



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Posted (edited)

Cracked on with operation rusty POS today..... cut some more metal out...






Started cleaning up the floor pan area by the jacking point damage...



Then pulled the rear arch liner out and cleaned up the end of the sill to see if I was going to be doing work there too... thankfully it was just surface rust with minor pitting...



So cleaned up a few other obvious areas while I was there...








I have wire wheeled the cr@p out of the rusty bits and used rust treatment (Bilt Hamber Hydrate 80) to sort the remaining bits... now I know the end of the sill is sound I'll come back to that when I prep for doing the tough liner coating I plan for the inside of the arches and the bottom of the sills...


So I was originally going to use steel from a spare body panel I have but a mate of mine had an A3 pattern part sill that he never used for his (same issue as me on his S3)...



The lower part of the sill is the same profile as the S3 but as you can see the S3 is much squarer as it has the plastic sill covers where the A3 does not...



Not a problem as I only plan to go part way up the sill as that part is not rotten



I used the rear part of the sill to fabricate the repair panel... as the sill did not have the front part of the sill I had to get creative with the hammers



Prepped and painted the inside of the panel and sill with weld through zinc primer...



...and started tacking it on...



...it was at this moment I realised the gas wasn't 'gassing'... not sure what the issue is as its a new regulator and bottle but after a quick look it seems the regulator maybe faulty... disappointing...


So dressed up the "welds", sprayed some zinc primer on and called it a day...



Quite happy with the results so far given I have not done this type of work before and I can't actually weld...


I still need to sort out the repair panel for the floor pan area but that will have to wait until I get the gas issue fixed...


Nice collection of 'bits' left over though :)




Edited by tuffty
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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Been a few weeks but I have made some progress... was having a fair few issues with gas... the little bottles are a bit of a pain and don't seem to last very well welding outside so I man'd up and got a proper bottle...



Added a 3mm thick piece of bar to replace the rotten part of the floor pan lip...



Welding underneath the car is a royal pain in the rear too especially as I don't have much room to work with and I don't bend like I used to in my younger days.. :)






Not pretty but its solid and actual metal now...



Have added another bit of 3mm bar to add a bit more strength...



This will be painted and fully seam sealed to stop water ingress


Addressed the rear jack point next...






Removed the wing to reveal yet more tin worm...



Cleaned it up to reveal a hole :(



...so added new metal :)



It was at this point I removed the plastic sill panel (with the aluminium S3 insert in it)... kinda wish I hadn't....












Wasn't the most fun I have ever had but needed doing before it got worse...


Masked everything up and etch primed the whole sill... I had also dug all the factory underseal from the other side of the pinch rail and etch primed that too... 



Lastly I broke out the spray gun I got with the compressor... 



...using this I gave the sill a few coats of high zinc content black primer... it was rather good fun... (apart from cleaning the gun afterwards)





I need to clean the inner arches at some point so I can de-rust and apply the zinc paint... once all done I can look to finish off with the bed liner coating I have...





I had to brush the zinc primer onto the inside though as I couldn't get the gun in and working as the reservoir kept hitting the floor pan... Just need the primer to dry properly and I can then seam seal the flip out of it...


Had a look at the wing while it was off... seems a common rust point on these...





Will attack that once the sill are done.... I also need to give the old girl a serious clean... the grinder dust is making the paint rusty :)





Edited by tuffty
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Bit more progress...


Added seam sealer where it was needed...






I also wire wheeled all the factory sealer from the inside edge of the pinch rail too and seam sealed the cr*p out of that...


On to the rear wheel well and cleaned up corrosion in several areas of it...








Decided that not all the wheel well needed to be painted as it was mostly ok so tried the wax product I have instead as a test...






I think I will go to town with the wax anyway but its decent stuff from the looks...


On to the front area behind the wing.... My A pillar is in need of some work as its been bubbling for a long time... this was down to a poor windscreen replacement back before I owned the car... I will need to take the screen out to deal with it and almost certain I will need to make patch panels to replace the corrosion there... not looking forward to that job!


But one thing I did tackle was where some sealer had come away at the bottom of the A pillar...






I have since gone over it with seam sealer so that should slow things down until I get a chance to look at the A pillar properly


There were a few other areas that needed a bit of work...












Have also added some seam sealer and will wax this area once the paint is done...


One of the last little jobs I needed to sort out was the missing two holes for the sill cover fixings... which... are square!... so a 7mm drill and a flat needle file later and..






Nothing more to do now but mask up ready to shoot the high zinc primer and the bed liner under coat... to help me stand a better chance of getting paint underneath (using an air driven paint gun) I decided to invest in a new trolley jack...



Pretty sure I was close to tipping the car over with this but settled on a sensible height and had to break out the 3 tonne Halfrauds stands as I ran out of height on the 2 tonne ones


Much cleaning and masking then ensued...








Followed by paint gunnage!














I am hoping to grab some 2k thinners tomorrow so I can shoot the bed liner product... I could just use the shultz gun I have but they are a bit spitty and I am outside on axle stands... not really much fun... once I have some thinners I can mix up smaller batches of the product and lay it down much better with the gun..


I decided to poke the wings rust with the pointy end of my panel hammer...



Bit of weld and a grind should sort that...


Nearly there on the drivers side... passenger side next!!! eeep!



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Managed to grab some 2k thinners so game on!



Went on nicely....










Painting under the car was as always a mahoosive challenge... I did get quite a bit of coverage but I think I might just go over the trickier to get areas with a brush at a later date then I will be waxing the flip out of everywhere :D


That signalled the end of the main work on the drivers side... I have fitted anything back yet and still need to wax things but will do that after I have finished the rust repairs and paint work on the passenger side... and to that end I turned the car around and jacked up the passenger side... removing all the trim and the sill covers came a lot easier this time... however...


...rear wheel tub...










Rear jack point...



...and of course the front jack point...





At least I have a better idea of what to do now so hoping this will go a bit smoother... thankfully the upper sill area looks a lot better than the drivers side did



As does the the bottom of the door






See you in a couple of weeks :)



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Posting latest progress as rain has stopped play :(


Passenger side is generally 'rustier' in terms of surface and general scabbiness... the hole in the sill was about the same as the drivers side but this time the floor pan faired much better...


As per the drivers side I added in a 3mm thick to add a bit of strength





Not sure if I will add the extra angled bit of steel like I did to the drivers side but that was more to make up for the state of the floor pan than anything (and also my dodgy welding!)


Cut a section from the A3 sill panel and took to it with grinders and hammers...






Then threw some molten metal at it in some hope it would stick...



The pinch rail looks a bit lumpy but thats by design... (my design at least lol)... I wanted make it form around the protruded spots caused by adding the 3mm strengthening plate and tabs from the internal sill strengthening assembly... this will mean less of a gap to fill with seam sealer...


Cleaned up the 'nose' of the sill... as per usual there was pitting and thin metal as I gave it a gentle tap with the pointy hammer... basically ended up spending 20mins with the MIG chasing blown holes to add metal back... all worked out and now solid...






With the wing off I could see the seam sealer was gone at the bottom of the A-pillar much like the drivers side... 



So will clean that up and so the same as I did there



On to the rear jack point... I straightened out the crumpled metal by first hammering it flat then pulling down the return lip...








This was then wire wheeled to remove the factory seam sealant in prep for paint...


The rear wheel tub was definitely worse than the drivers side with a lot more rusty scabbiness... had to remove all the seam sealer at the bottom to ensure I got to it all...






Also had bubbling on the outside of the arch but this thankfully turned out to be surface rust and not coming from inside... at least from what I could see... I will be removing the rear cards later to wax things at a later date... hopefully there won't be anything lurking...



Getting into the crevice to clean out the rust was tricky but after a good scrape/rust conversion later I prepped the sill and arch for etch primer...








Then zinc primed by hand the areas in the arch I wanted to seam seal...



And splodged the sealer all over...



This stuff is quite tricky to apply nicely so will let it go off then try a final smoother coat with a bigger/stiffer nylon bristle brush...


It was at this time the heavens did open so played a few rounds of Infantry only on BF2042 with my mate instead... happy days :)


bit more sealer to apply, bit more old sealer to remove and to work on the front wheel well then I can mask and zinc prime the lot followed by the tough liner


...once its stopped raining of course



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Great work @tuffty. I was just about to write looking up hobby weld for some gas as I caught up on your thread and saw the disposable bottle but see you already have. Like you I bought a load of gear and started fixing the rust myself - can be quite saisfying and the confidence you gain in yourself and ability to keep an older car on fine fettle on the body makes you feel unstoppable on your projects! Apparently 0.8 wire is better than 0.6 for automotive but have massive supplies of 0.6 so haven't tried myself.


When i was fixing my mk3 i found some MOT style patches which were litreally new metal over the top of the rotten metal - so much better to do it yourself right. 


I've got to put 2 x arches into my mk2 16v next. I've done work like yourself on the ends of sills but this will be my first "on show" (well it is behind the GTI arches).


I haven't yet tried to paint with my air compressor (same specs as yours but got from SGS). Its the thought of cleaning out the gun that puts me off - any tips?! I did buy a kit with various thin brushes.



Edited by MJA
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Cleaning is a complete PITA tbh... use normal thinners (not expensive 2k stuff) and just fire some through before stripping the gun down and basically using thinners and brushes etc to clean where ever the paint is....


I would have a read up about using the gun if you can... I didn't realise I could adjust the size of the fan!... also get yourself a water trap for the airline if you haven't got one... you don't really need an oiler for the tools as you can pre-oil before use but water in the airline for painting is not a good idea...


I also got some paint mixing cups and wooden stirrers for the paint which are useful... 


Last thing I recently bought was a small paint gun with 125ml pot... that should make painting under the car and in the wheel wells a lot easier... the normal 600ml pot sticks up too far to be able to get a decent angle in a restricted space


Doing this work is not the most fun in the world but in fairness I am enjoying it... be nice if it wasn't outside on axle stands but reminds me of my youth messing about with my Mk2 Escort on the drive at my parents...



Although back in those days I didn't use a welder... pop rivets and fibre glass lol




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