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Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:11 pm
by jretal
This is fantastic, Kirk. I agree 100% with Dana as well - and that's a huge compliment coming from his crazy project/background (btw, Dana - how's the house? :-P)

I'm envious of the lift/machine shop access though... not gonna lie!

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:32 am
by the german
Thanks! Machine shop access is a definite benefit of working at manufacturing companies. I've been able to get access to the machine shop at every job I've had :)

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:42 pm
by the german
UPS/USPS failed me and the cv boots weren’t delivered yesterday so no hooning in the snow this weekend unfortunately. :bs:

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:20 pm
by Einbilden
Beautifully done. Nice quick disconnect for the sway bar and elegantly solved.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:49 am
by dougkehl
the german wrote:UPS/USPS failed me and the cv boots weren’t delivered yesterday so no hooning in the snow this weekend unfortunately. :bs:


Bummer. I was looking forward to seeing pictures of this car sideways in a foot of snow with a Christmas tree on top :wah:

Also good to know about the stock axles. I knew they had a lot of articulation by comparison to different auto manufacturers stock axles. I was just unsure if they had enough for me to push my engine 3-3.5"" back into the bay so I can have room for a thin front mounted radiator and decent size intercooler without having to cut the front of the car because the quantum has no bumpers to hide anything like that haha.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:48 am
by dana
the german wrote:I think this might be the best compliment I have ever received. In one sentence you have managed to rather perfectly articulate my philosophy toward life . I should add that to the end of my resume, kind of like how they print book reviews on the back cover.
Excellent! glad the compliment was well received. I was skeptical about this project at its onset, but now I can totally see myself ripping around on fire roads in this. Looks awesome.


jretal wrote: (btw, Dana - how's the house? :-P)

Well, it looks like this on April 1st
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looked like this April 4th
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Looked like this Sept 15th
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some plumbing
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Kitchen is half done as of yesterday
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Living room is coming along nicely too
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I'm tired....

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:12 am
by the german
LOL yeah Dana, I laughed hard enough at your comment that my wife gave me a funny look :lol:

Dude, you have been freaking BUSY on the house. Are you doing that all yourself?! This makes me feel like a giant slacker for taking 4 months to remodel my garage.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:23 am
by dana
the german wrote:LOL yeah Dana, I laughed hard enough at your comment that my wife gave me a funny look :lol:

Dude, you have been freaking BUSY on the house. Are you doing that all yourself?! This makes me feel like a giant slacker for taking 4 months to remodel my garage.

I hired my neighbor to do all the framing and the siding. It would have been impossible for me to get the house safe against winter without him. I worked with him a lot, and work after work every night and on weekends. I did all the electrical (upgraded to 200 amp service too!), plumbing, insulation, chimney, HVAC, minor excavation, interior work, kitchen etc. I'll probably hire someone to do the rest of the drywall when I get all the systems in place.
I got married in there somewhere, and my wife has been busting away at projects too, as well as help from the parents. Living in construction is really hard, but living in the camper in the winter was also terrible.

There was a week about a month ago when we had a MASSIVE windstorm (i thought the camper was going to flip). Lost a ton of trees, and went a week without power. I thought I was actually going to loose it. Running the 4kw generator constantly just to keep the camper from freezing up, and barely enough power left to run any tools without stalling the generator. It was really bad. After that I got a 15kw PTO generator, and have a 60 amp transfer switch and hookup on the new panel.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:22 am
by chaloux
Haha holy shit Dana. Way to threadjack. Nice work on the plumbing! Heat traps and everything! I feel like you included that pic just for me haha

I'm assuming we get hooning vids this weekend then Kirk!?

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:30 am
by the german
LOL Dana - it makes me feel slightly better that you hired out the framing and siding, but still.. holy balls! Nice work.


I installed the custom axles on Saturday night and took it for a decently long test-drive on Sunday morning. Axles and swaybar links seem to work as they should with no unhappy noises or weird behaviors. I have an appointment to get it aligned on Thursday so it should be all good to go for this weekend!

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:47 am
by dana
I know, that was an epic threadkack....ive been so busy, I havent even really taken or shared any pictures of the shitstorm.

Matt, glad you like the plumbing pics. I've got a high temp zone coming off the head pump water heater to feed my hydronic towel warmers, and then it gets mixed down to 110 degrees and distributes out to the fixtures.I totally love nerding out on HVAC stuff, i guess that is sort of my job. I also nerded out badly on how all the wires run into the panel. Its super fun to be able to make everything organized from the start.

Kirk, have you had the car out wheeling much since the automatic? It seems like it should be a big improvement since the gearing is so high. How hard can you "ride" the converter without getting things to hot? Looking forward to footage.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:44 am
by the german
No wheeling at all since the auto conversion, been waiting on the axles to make it possible. I had it band-aided together with a set of Frankenstein welded shafts and some stock 01A inner CVs. It worked enough that I could drive it to and from storage, but I couldn't articulate the suspension much or the passenger inner CV joints would fall apart.

It's basically all a learning experience from here. The torque converter is original from the A4 donor car so who knows how much life it has left, especially as I start abusing it. I'm expecting to find some weak links...

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:47 am
by dana
the german wrote:I'm expecting to find some weak links...
Thats what wheeling is all about! sounds like fun.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:07 pm
by the german
Two steps forward, one step back.

I got the axles installed last week, took it for an alignment, and drove it around for a few days. The trans was doing weird things and intermittently going into limp mode. It was throwing codes for intermittent open/short to ground on a handful of solenoids and the temp sensor any time I would drive it so I figured there was some harness issue.

I pulled the trans harness and TCU out from behind the dash, tested a bunch of wires (all of which measured out fine), and eventually relocated the TCU ground which had excessive resistance. I went for a twenty minute test drive and everything worked perfectly with no trouble codes. By far the fastest and smoothest this car has ever been, especially when using tiptronic to manually control shifting.

While I was in wiring mode I decided to do a 2.0T coil update using some parts collected from junk cars. There are a ton of companies selling kits to do this for $250+, which seems pretty silly to me when all the parts are free/cheap from the junkyard. My total cost was $20.

I had a few junkyard coil harnesses and used 2.0T coils coming out my ears from other projects. I spliced the coil harnesses into the AEB harness and deleted the ICM.

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To make the coils seat nicely in the AEB there are a few options. You can swap on a later valve cover, buy a $100 machined adapter that bolts onto the valve cover or..... buy the $5 OEM VW adapter that clips onto the valve cover. Seems like an easy choice to me. :lol:

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Buttoned it all up and the motor runs great. Good cheap upgrade.

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I tucked the trans wiring harness and TCU back behind the dash, and of course we are now back to the trans not working correctly. It seems the ground wasn't the issue after all. My guess is that I had wiggled it just right when the harness was pulled out to make a good connection (hence it all testing out good) and now that it’s tucked away again it’s broken. More trouble shooting to come.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:40 am
by Foscora
Good luck with that. These types of intermittent failure are a pain to solve since you never get to know if you fixed it or not.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:14 pm
by the german
Looks like I have it fixed. Since it was acting like a bad ground I just cut out and replaced the while TCU harness ground. Everything is now working like it’s supposed to and it’s not throwing any codes.

I celebrated by doing some donuts in a muddy parking lot. :D

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:36 am
by lorge1989
Where did you find those adapaters for the coils?

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Custom axles and front ARB

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:28 pm
by the german
lorge1989 wrote:Where did you find those adapaters for the coils?



VW part number 077 905 390

I bought them from ECS Tuning, but you can take your pick of online retailers or go to a dealership:
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-vol ... 077905390/

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Fuel sender, transmission fun

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:23 am
by the german
Well, looks like I'll be rebuilding the trans sooner than expected. It seems that driving around with the malfunctioning TCU was the final nail in the coffin for the 180k mile trans. I drove it to work on Tuesday and on my way there it started slipping in 1st. By the time I drove home it was slipping in all gears. I'm going to pull a good working one tomorrow (150k miles) to swap in, then I'll completely rebuild the one that is in there so that I know exactly what I have.

Since I can't drive the car at the moment I'm taking care of some little things that were annoying me. Tonight was the fuel gauge. Since I swapped to a B5 cluster the gauge only indicated in the top 1/4. To fix it I pulled a B5 sender from the junkyard.

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To my happy surprise, they both use the same size and shape VDO sensor. Even the plastic sweeper arms which hold the metal float is the same between the two. This made things a lot easier than I expected, but after swapping the sensors I realized the sweep was different. On the gauge this translated to indicating between 1/8 to just over 3/4 tank.

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To get this working over the full range and have it calibrated correctly I ended up using the metal float arm from the B5 (which is shorter than the CQ one) and bending it to the right spot. I also had to shave some plastic off the CQ sender unit to allow full sweep of the sensor. Here is the final product:

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I'll find out if I managed to get it right once the new trans is in.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Fuel sender, transmission fun

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:43 am
by lorge1989
Stuff like the fuel sensor reading perfect is the type of stuff that really brings it up another level. Sounds simple, but those are the things that really make the car easy to drive, not having to worry about dumb stuff. These are also things I seem to never get to... :bangshead:

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Fuel sender, transmission fun

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:41 pm
by the german
lol thanks! It's really just a mater of practicality with this thing. Would hate to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere :)

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Fuel sender, transmission fun

PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:48 pm
by PRY4SNO
lorge1989 wrote:Stuff like the fuel sensor reading perfect is the type of stuff that really brings it up another level. Sounds simple, but those are the things that really make the car easy to drive, not having to worry about dumb stuff. These are also things I seem to never get to... :bangshead:


Completely agree.

Any chance we can get a pic of the driver's POV? I'm curious how it looks with the B5 cluster and an auto in the Cq interior.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Fuel sender, transmission fun

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:03 pm
by the german
PRY4SNO wrote:
Any chance we can get a pic of the driver's POV? I'm curious how it looks with the B5 cluster and an auto in the Cq interior.



Sure! sorry I haven't posted that already. The b5 cluster looks factory. The b5 auto shifter sticking out of the console on the other hand... not so much. LOL

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Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: more transmission fun

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:31 pm
by the german
I'm learning way too much about these transmissions the hard way.

In the US there are two basic generations of B5 A4: 1997-1999 and 2000-2001. The main differences between them (as far as I know) are primarily cosmetic and a switch from drive-by-cable to drive-by-wire. All Tiptronic B5 A4 Quattro's have a ZF 5HP19FLA transmission with the same gear ratios, torsen center diff, and 4.11 final drive. 2.8 v6 cars have a torque converter with a lower stall than the 1.8T cars. Based on that fact and comparing wiring diagrams, I figured the transmissions would be interchangeable.

Turns out I was wrong.

I missed the snow in Seattle over Christmas, but I really wanted to get this thing back in action quickly to play with on a ski trip over New Year. I found a 2001 2.8 A4Q with 150k miles being parted out on CL, and I pulled the trans and TCU out of for the low price of $86. On boxing day, my buddy Camden who was in town for the holidays came up and helped me swap transmissions.

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I'm not accustomed to having help with this stuff. It's amazing how much faster it goes with two people working in parallel. We got the engine and trans out, and the new transmission & motor reinstalled in about 4.5 hours.

Upon test driving with the new trans, it works perfectly right up until it shifts into 2nd gear, at which point the trans goes into limp mode. Checking vag-com, it has a DTC code for no input speed signal. Upon further investigation online, I discovered that the later transmissions use a hall sensor for turbine input speed, where the early ones used an inductive sensor.

I tried swapping in the TCU from the 2001 A4 and got my turbine speed back, but lost RPM signal from the engine as the later cars use a hi/low CAN signal to communicate which the early B5 1.8T doesn't have.

Final attemp to make it work was taking a shower in ATF and pulling the valve bodies from both transmissions to see if I could swap sensors. No love; the tone ring used by the early transmission does not exist in the late ones.

TLDR: I need to find another trans from a 1997-99 B5 A4Q 1.8T.

Re: Kirk's Lifted Audi CQ: Fuel sender, transmission fun

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:02 pm
by the german
One more bit you all might enjoy:

My buddy Camden who helped me swap the transmission lives in GA now and is building a similarly silly Off-Road BMW 2002. It has a 2.5l I-6 and transmission swapped from an e30, and he is currently working on suspension/tires/fenders. Here are some shots of what that looks like so far:

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Camden also happens to be an insanely talented professional motorsport photographer. If you like seeing awesome pictures of cars, planes, and other random cool stuff he spots on his travels, you should follow his IG:

https://www.instagram.com/camdenthrasher/