Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

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Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby jretal » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:17 am

Well, it’s about time for this little project to finally hit the light of day. I’ve been keeping it kind of under wraps for the past year, as I haven’t had the time or resources to bring it back to life, but I now have a new motor ready to go, and finally got this ‘ol birds heart removed over the weekend – so it’s time!

On Sunday, I bid farewell to my old friend… it was a tough decision to make, but in the end I think it was the right decision. Still didn’t make it any easier to see the ‘ol bird go away, though. I received payment for the A4 on 16 Sept, but it didn’t feel “real” until Sunday. I spent the previous weekend cleaning out the remainder of my stuff in the car and packing all the spare parts into it for the new owner, but when the driver came on Sunday to take her away – it finally hit me.

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And off she went… to Minnesota and her new owner!

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What made this even harder for me was my son (who I was holding) going – “Daddy’s car! Daaadddy’s caaar going bye bye!!!” This, followed by whimpering (he spent much time in that car crawling around, pretending to drive, etc.). I will not lie, I had a tear in my eye. Lots of great memories with that car! But when one chapter closes, a new one quickly begins… so the best way to get over that loss is to look at the new fun ahead!

Little backstory: August of 2015, I got an email of a club member looking to unload his RS4. He was experiencing a heavy misfire at higher RPMs. After sending it to his private mechanic, the guy told him the motor was toast and he needed a new harness to the tune of $9K. This mechanic then told him that he’d happily help him sell the car for a commission to someone he knew if he decided he didn’t want to repair it. The PO then sent it to Audi of Silver Spring to get a second opinion. The mechanic did the same tests, moved around some coil packs, stuck a borescope down the cylinders, and came up with the same verdict – new engine required…. But if he wanted to sell it, the mechanic would happily give him an offer!

So needless to say, the PO wasn’t feeling so warm and fuzzy about the whole ordeal, so he reached out to the club, and I got the heads up he was looking to unload his RS4. After a few email exchanges and a few phone calls, we came to an agreement. With my trusty AAA card in my wallet, my cousin, 18mo old son (at the time) and I made the drive up to Audi of Silver Spring to check out the car and pick it up. I knew the PO from a few track events, and I had seen the car – but I was still in shock that I was soon able to call it my own! The PO was the original owner, purchasing the car in mid ’06, and had every receipt of work he’d done on the car.

After a quick walk around, I made the call for the tow truck. The car ran, but the CEL was flashing, and she just sounded… well… not happy! It had a lumpy idle that you’d expect out of a cam’d muscle car… def not the refined sound you’d expect from this rev-happy RS!

After an hour of pacing the dealership, my son helping the dealership guys wash a car (or attempting to), finding every single dirty place to stick his hands, and attempting to remove all the rings from the cars in the lot (the rings on the 4000 were loose, and he found it good fun to tug on them – so he figured all of this fancy 4 ringed things should come off too!)… the truck arrived!

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And the ‘ol bird making it home:

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After this point, I spent some time doing minimal diagnosing (i.e. pulling codes, and overall just tinkering under the hood). I know the PO told me the mechanic was chasing a misfire by swapping around coils, but when I pulled codes it showed misfires on ALL cylinders! On top of that, it’d go from no cel, to flashing cel, to solid cel. Something was def screwy. Unfortunately, the car sort of sat at this point for a good 6 months+. I had major rust issues on my Mountaineer, so the garage was reserved for that repair… which of course took longer than it should have as well!

So she sat… and got snowed on…

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This was the crazy snow we got in Jan ’16 – and foolishly I thought I’d have time shortly to work on the car, and the snow would turn into an ice bank, so I decided to dig the car out and not leave it in its icy cocoon. In hindsight, this was more for exercise than action!

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Fast forward to March/April time frame – spring was in the air! The Mountaineer was finally repaired, and I had time on my side… so I pulled the car from the parking pad and got it ready to be washed and put into the garage.

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And now it was time to start having some fun!

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Now that I had the car in the garage, it was time for me to start digging into the engine. Unfortunately, I found a lot of “man handling” by the previous mechanics, as the harness plugs on a couple of the coil packs was literally shattered from them “brut forcing” some of them apart. But that aside, it was time to stick a scope down into each cylinder to confirm my suspicion – something foreign made its way into the engine!

I started in cylinder 1 and worked my way back. Cylinder 1-3 had some strange (though light) scoring on the cylinder walls. Nothing major, but something wasn’t right. Additionally, each cylinder almost looked washed down with oil/gas (streaking), so you could tell that it wasn’t firing 100% correctly as well… and then I got to cylinder 4. I’ll let the picture speak for what I found!

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NOT pretty! And the top of the cylinder wall looked like you took a screwdriver too it and stabbed at it hundreds of times! So yeah… engine is toast! I looked at the driver’s side as well, but that was squeaky clean. So the damage was limited to this side.

So at this point – I needed to start looking for a motor. When I first picked up the car in August, I had been searching forums and eBay for anything available. To my amazement, there was a brand new block out in CA listed. Since I hadn’t confirmed that it truly needed a motor (I didn’t trust the mechanics and needed to see it for myself) I wasn’t ready to act on it. Additionally, I was waiting to sell off the 2nd flipper car I had picked up to help fund this endeavor! My plan was to snag the new block, find a used pass side head – since I’m sure the head looks like the cylinder, rebuild the driver’s side head and have a brand spankin’ new motor. I go to my ‘watched’ list on eBay to find that… $hit, they pulled the block and listed it “sold.” I was bummed out, but decided to give the shop a call the next morning. To my surprise, it was actual EuroSpec Sport who had the motor, and to my delight – they actually still had the block… AND new heads! So after some negotiation on my part, we struck a deal. I think I caught them at just the right time, b/c they were in a new push to start liquidating some of their stock that’s not moving. So I was able to get the entire setup for not much more than they wanted for the block itself!

Now, since I haven’t really messed with a motor this “new,” I decided that I’d have them ship it to my folks’ house in PA, where I will soon bribe our long time Audi Mechanic/friend to help me assemble the motor. So a few days after payment, the box arrived at our family business and was quickly scuttled away to a storage unit to await assembly. Mid summer, I was able to head up home to visit the family, and the motor. It was quite a clean little package, but there was fun within! :)

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Mmmmm…. New and shiny! :)

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At this point though, I couldn’t move forward with the new motor until I got the old motor out. So shortly after confirming the motor was shot, it was time to figure out how to get the motor out of the RS. I’ve taken apart all sorts of Audis, but it stopped at the B6… and even then, it was a timing belt only. I’ve never removed a motor on a new B chassis car, only the Type 44 (old 200s), C4s (UrS cars), and my 4000. But hey, you see one, you’ve seen them all… right? How hard could this possibly be?

So a quick call to my buddy, and he was happy to help tear apart the car with me… It starts simple… remove bumper

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Then 4 hours later, spillage of fluids (no blood though)… the nose was off and stored away in the garage:

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And this was what I was left with…

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This is where I stepped back and looked in awe of Audi’s engineering. They REALLY crammed this stuff into this engine bay! And 3 radiators?!? Really? WITH individual after run pumps? I started to get a little threatened at this point looking at all these hoses, connections, etc. This is going to get interesting.

At this point, it’s the end of April, and I was about to start renovating our only full bathroom in the house at the beginning of May – so needless to say, the car took a back burner for a few more months!

Fast forward to the end of August, and I took a day off of work and decided “this needs to get done.”

I started by crawling around the car trying to figure out exactly what needed to come out in order to drop this motor. In summary… all if it needed to come out! Did I mention they really shoehorned this into the engine bay???

So out came the secondary/tertiary radiators and their after run pumps:

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And out came the control arms so I could drop the trans/subframe/engine all in one piece:

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With all the mechanical stuff disconnected (or so I thought), it was time to dive into the wiring. Audi did sort of make this simple. Despite the fact that there are 2 ECUs to run the motor (again, really?!?), you can disconnect both harnesses and wrap them up and put them on top of the motor to be disconnected/removed later. So this part was relatively modular… but as usual, there was yet another WTF Audi moment – in order to get to the last bolt that holds the main ECU cover on… you have to REMOVE the wipers and loosen the cowl so you can move it enough to get to the bolt! Again, really?

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And after 5ish hours (give/take), she’s ready to be removed:

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And from here, the car sat again for a few more weeks… until this past weekend, where the heart was finally removed! After the previous 5 hour stint, I had everything disconnected (again, so I thought) so that the only thing holding this into the car was 12 bolts…

So I hooked it up, and started the process of dropping the assembly:

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And out she came!

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So what was that ONE connection I missed? Why the coolant hose that fed the heater core at the BACK of the motor that I completely didn’t see (shocker). Apparently the plastic fitting wasn’t strong enough to suspend the 600lb assembly! :) Add one more thing to the “shopping list” I guess!

Engine bay looks so big now… heh

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At this point, it was time to start pulling the motor apart. I figured I’d start with the pass side downpipe to see what I could find. Given past reading, I just assumed that one of the screws from the intake manifold backed out and got sucked into the motor… but much to my surprise, that wasn’t it!

What do I spy with my little eye?

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Why it looks like it wasn’t a screw, but a flap! Now, I’m not sure if this is an intake flap, or the divider flap in the HEAD. Given the small amount of material, I’m banking on intake flap. Thankfully, I have a very low mile one waiting to go in (thanks, Mike!)

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So downpipes were popped off, and it was time to separate the motor and trans. All bolts were removed, and I started to separate… only to find that there was yet another, one more thing I needed to pull before separating. Soooo, add a new flywheel timing sensor to the shopping list as well! I knew that it was good practice to remove these on the old 10vt/20vt 5 cylinder motors, and I even though to myself “you should remove that,” but I didn’t… and as I pulled them apart I heard a “crack” and the top of the sensor came falling out of the transmission. *sigh*

Anyways… after some struggling (angle of engine on hoist plus trans made the input shaft bind slightly, so it was tough getting it assembled completely) I succeeded!

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And then the fun began of stripping down the motor. Harness was relatively easy to get apart, and after some tinkering, I was able to get the coolant main feed plus EGR stuff removed as well (again, shoe horned!!!!)

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So with that, I have everything pulled off the motor that I think I’m ready to have removed, and stored away for safe keeping.

From this point, I need to assemble a shopping list of all the ancillary parts that I’m going to need to reassemble this beast. With the sale of my trusty B5 A4, this will now fund that shopping list. Once I acquire all the necessary parts, I need to plan a weekend w/ our mechanic/friend to head up to PA with the old motor and swap parts around to assemble the NEW motor that’s patiently been waiting.

It’ll probably be a bit between updates from this point, as kiddo #2 is due anytime between now and the end of Oct, but things have been slow and figured that now was as good a time as any to start a new project thread :)
Last edited by jretal on Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby dana » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:37 am

Awesome car, and awesome work. You've had that b5 for a long time, I can understand the difficulty of letting it go.

Man, that RS4 is complicated, such awesome cars, but this is not making me want one very much! That will be a sweet driver when you are done!
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby jretal » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:23 am

dana wrote:Awesome car, and awesome work. You've had that b5 for a long time, I can understand the difficulty of letting it go.


15 years! And it was my dad's car, so we've had it since new... and I learned to drive on it, took my driver's test on it, etc... been around for a looooong time.

Man, that RS4 is complicated, such awesome cars, but this is not making me want one very much! That will be a sweet driver when you are done!


Yeah, the complication of this car scares me - I'm not going to lie to you. Worst case, I drive it for a little bit and realize it's not for me. Given current values, and what I'll have into it, I'll still make out. But the realization that I was replacing a car that was pretty damn reliable (albeit slow) and easy to work on w/ something that is high strung and every.damn.thing. is run by electronics, and CRAMMED into tiny little spaces - I have my reservations!

That being said, it's a fun endeavor for sure, and look forward to the high revving fun to be had in the not-to-distant future! As I told my wife, I now need more garage time to get the daddy-mobile up and running again. DD'ing my mountaineer is getting old.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby Afterthought » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:47 pm

Wow man that car sitting in the garage next to your other car. Out of Audi's whole history could you pick any better two cars.
Good luck on it looks like a really cool project.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby lucidmatt » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:37 pm

Another RS4 in TPP!!! awesome, glad to see this one getting a new lease on life! Ive been DD'ing mine for almost a year straight now, and it is an absolute laugh riot. Good luck with the transplant!
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby ringbearer » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:14 pm

Holy crap, good luck! At least this is more straight forward that a newborn ;)
I've got a 2 week old son and I'm definitely not in the garage yet...
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby loxxrider » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:15 pm

Great thread, thanks for sharing. I look forward to carnage pics. This only reinforces my opinion that modern audis should only ever be owned in warranty or leased. However, they're really sweet when running right. I can attest to that from riding in Matt's car. What a wonderful thing it is.

Best of luck getting it all back together! Rest assured it'll be worth it. I doubt you'll be able to part with it soon :)
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby All_Euro » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:31 pm

Awesome how this has unfolded for you so far - looking forward to updates!
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby chaloux » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:56 pm

Awesome. And yikes. This is how I feel about my Allroad, which thankfully has a lot of info out there. I'm somewhat surprised I still have it, but at the same time it's been *fairly* good after doing a ton of maintenance. Once you're done all this work I imagine it will be fairly reliable! At least you're not doing it on a strict timeline. That makes shit suck.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby jretal » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:27 am

Afterthought wrote:Wow man that car sitting in the garage next to your other car. Out of Audi's whole history could you pick any better two cars.
Good luck on it looks like a really cool project.


And here I am envious of all the old iron I see in your garage while you're working on your 4000 and urQ ;) Thanks! One day I'll replace the 'ol 10vt in my 4000, but for now - it's still fun!

lucidmatt wrote:Another RS4 in TPP!!! awesome, glad to see this one getting a new lease on life! Ive been DD'ing mine for almost a year straight now, and it is an absolute laugh riot. Good luck with the transplant!


Gracias! It's still not hitting me that this is "my" car. It's complexity scares me, but hopefully I'll be taking out a lot of the niggling issues for a while!

ringbearer wrote:Holy crap, good luck! At least this is more straight forward that a newborn ;)
I've got a 2 week old son and I'm definitely not in the garage yet...


HA! Yeah, join our soon to be newborn w/ 2.5 yr old son, and we'll see how fast I can get this done. I'm slowly starting to recall our sleepless nights w/ my son, and not looking forward to it w/ this soon to be bouncing baby girl!

loxxrider wrote:Great thread, thanks for sharing. I look forward to carnage pics. This only reinforces my opinion that modern audis should only ever be owned in warranty or leased. However, they're really sweet when running right. I can attest to that from riding in Matt's car. What a wonderful thing it is.

Best of luck getting it all back together! Rest assured it'll be worth it. I doubt you'll be able to part with it soon :)


Hey, you're still breaking the old Audis too ;) Guess it's all in how you use them! Hopefully this one won't give me too much of a headache once it's up and going again. I was lucky enough to instruct a student w/ one of these, and have always loved them... they're heavy pigs, but that exhaust note is... yeah.... :)

chaloux wrote:Awesome. And yikes. This is how I feel about my Allroad, which thankfully has a lot of info out there. I'm somewhat surprised I still have it, but at the same time it's been *fairly* good after doing a ton of maintenance. Once you're done all this work I imagine it will be fairly reliable! At least you're not doing it on a strict timeline. That makes shit suck.


The nice thing about the allroads is, there's a community that REALLY supports them and knows them inside and out. There's a community for the RS4s, but not a lot of people that dove into working on them to the extent I am, etc., unlike the 2.7T. So that's one of my many worries with this car. That being said, I had the chance to keep 2 separate Allroads (had a TIP and a 6 speed - they were fix 'n flip cars), and while tempting - this was too good of an opportunity to pass up!

As for the timing - I want to have a deadline, but reality tells me it's going to come and go very quickly. I need to get this up and running fairly soon though, as I like having two cars to rely on. The mountaineer is damn reliable, but it's 14 yrs old and 140+k miles on it... so I like the buffer of having a spare car if one goes down.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby lucidmatt » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:39 am

Honestly, these cars are really complex but well thought out. Aside from the carbon issues, the motors are stout, and barring any harness issues, the electronics do all make sense and the more advanced communication with VAGCom makes life livable. Mechanically, I've found it to be traditional Audi through and through. I love the DRC as well, the vocal minority makes it sound like a time bomb, but its an excellent suspension and the front shocks are on blowout clearance right now, making a 4 corner refresh half the cost of what it was even just last year.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby jretal » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:51 am

lucidmatt wrote:Honestly, these cars are really complex but well thought out. Aside from the carbon issues, the motors are stout, and barring any harness issues, the electronics do all make sense and the more advanced communication with VAGCom makes life livable. Mechanically, I've found it to be traditional Audi through and through. I love the DRC as well, the vocal minority makes it sound like a time bomb, but its an excellent suspension and the front shocks are on blowout clearance right now, making a 4 corner refresh half the cost of what it was even just last year.


Other than the engine/management system, totally agree - this follows the same thought process as any other Audi I've worked on. Just some of the regular maintenance stuff (read: rotors) are a bit more costly when comparing to other cars.

Good to hear on the DRC blowout clearance! Only issue with that is, don't you need the dealer to recharge the system? Or have people figured out how to do that on their own now?

I've found after reading through pages upon pages of threads on these cars, a lot of the people who had issues w/ the suspension then swapped it out for super high $$ coil overs that needed to be rebuilt with as much or more frequency than the DRC! Granted, you can customize them/lower/etc. to handle better, but for a big heavy pig of a car these are, the DRC suspension really isn't that bad out of the gate!

The DRC in this car seem good and solid, but figured if it went, there are now aftermarket shock/spring combos I can toss in for a fraction of the cost of DRC and ESPECIALLY coilovers! We'll cross that bridge when it comes though.

I just have to fight the urge to modify it "while it's apart," but thankfully - the costs of aftermarket parts (downpipes, etc.) are high enough that it makes my decision to "leave it be" a LOT easier!
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby Grillage » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:28 am

This thread is awesome - can't wait to see how it goes!
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart!

Postby jretal » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:10 pm

Let's see if these work...

Videos of #4 cylinder:

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/185527573[/vimeo]

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/185527569[/vimeo]
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby jretal » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:24 am

So things are progressing REAAAALLLLLLLY slowly. Life hasn't been giving me a lot of free time, unfortunately.

That being said - I'm nearing completion of the motor assembly... so what are folks recommendations for break in oils on these new fandangled Audi engines?

I've heard Hank has an oil he likes, but for the life of me can't find it... so looking for recommendations. When I did the 4000, I just used straight dino oil, but wasn't sure that'd be as highly recommended w/ the new motor.

Any insight is MUCH appreciated! I promise pictures will be here soon. Waiting on one last part order and I'll compile photos and do an update.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby PRY4SNO » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:49 pm

Hank recommended I use AMSOIL break in engine for the stroker.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby jretal » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:43 am

PRY4SNO wrote:Hank recommended I use AMSOIL break in engine for the stroker.


That's what it was! Thank you!

Where did you get it from? And what oil change intervals did he recommend?

With the new motor in my 4000 I did a change at 100 miles, and then another at 1000 miles. At 10 qts per oil change, I don't want to be draining oil needlessly if I don't have to! :)
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby PRY4SNO » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:07 pm

I got mine from a local distributor, I'm sure it'll be more available for you in the US.

That's basically the same intervals he recommended, two changes and then into synthetic.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby FFF » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:25 am

Not sure how I missed this thread, it is looking great- it looks as bad as my RS6... 80% of repairs on it the manual says to pull the engine. Fortunately there is a great support network out there for me... Even something as basic as the engine speed sensor and the manual says pull it. Now of course there are a lot of these things that you can do with it still in when the manual says yank it.

Slightly different motor than this but Jeff @FRP suggested Shell Rotella for my 3B for the break in then move to synthetic.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby jretal » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:47 am

Well, it’s been a while (unfortunately) since I’ve last posted progress on the RS4 resurrection. As with anything, life has its own way of slowing things down. Between family, house projects, baby #2 showing up, and waiting on parts, this has been a marathon run! That being said, I’m happy to say that the motor is assembled and waiting for me to have a little more time to mate it to the trans and toss it back in the car!

Instead of dragging an update out, though – I figured I’d break it up and provide work that’s been done thus far.

When I left you all off last time, I had the motor out of the car and was in the process of documenting ALLLLL the parts I needed to rebuild the motor. After many hours spent looking over the motor, scouring ETKA for part numbers, etc. and building a shopping list of over 60+ various bolts, nuts, o-rings, and gaskets… I was able to make a very large order, followed by countless trips to the local dealer for small gaskets, orings, bolts, and clamps that I forgot in the process…. Lol.

So around Christmas time – I finally got my present!
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It’s scary to think that in the 4 boxes of parts that I received, that essentially added up to the value of my poor old B5 A4! So much truth is in the fact that these stupid cars are worth more in PARTS than they are as a whole! But all that aside… we push forward!

Originally, my main plan was to cart the old motor up to PA where our family mechanic (Audi tech) was going to help me tear down the old motor and reassemble the new one, as I wasn’t trusting myself. Unfortunately, since he had left the dealer, and his friend subsequently left the dealer as well… he lost access to his database for assembly specs, as well as the access to all the specialty tools that you need to reassemble the motor! So with that in mind, I started acquiring all the things I needed to help counteract that issue. I picked up a Bentley Manual for the car, and then started finding all the various specialty tools I needed for locking the cams/crank, torqueing the cam chain gears, etc etc etc. Buying the Bentley manual made this a LOT easier, as there’s not a lot of info out there on the interwebs on the BNS motor – as it doesn’t seem that too many people tear into them as much as I have! Lol.

So once all the tools and software was acquired, the next big step was bringing the motor south so I can get it in my own garage and work on it at my own pace! So in January, we made the trek to go visit my family (and get my motor :-P). It was a tight fit in the mountaineer w/ 2 kids and a slew of delayed xmas gifts… but the important cargo was in the back:

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The rest of the piddly stuff (duffle bags of clothes, etc.) was on the roof and on a cargo carrier on the back of the car… lol. It was a tight fit!

But within the boxes was a thing of beauty:

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And then the time came to kick the wife’s car out of the garage and have everything laid out! New motor w/ all the various parts on the tables behind, with the old motor to the right:

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And so began the teardown!

For having 101k miles on it, the inside of this motor was sparkling!

Cam chain tensioners/gears:

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More proof Audi engineers like to complicate things (overly) – coolant pipe to the heads go THROUGH the cam chain tensioner area… *sigh*
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Geeeee… something is missing here, no?

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This was the missing flap from #4 cylinder. The slop in the flap assemblies themselves was also horrific (video here: https://vimeo.com/213652500?utm_source= ... aign=29220). And to make things worse, this could have been 100% avoided if the mechanic the PO had sent the car to had actually performed a proper carbon cleaning! From looking through the receipts, he billed him for a CC… for $250. And I think it was the cleaner through the IM, NOT a full on removal. If he had pulled the IM the 5k miles before this catastrophic failure, he would have seen the slop in the IM and the PO probably would have had it addressed (de-flapped, new IM, etc.). It’s a real shame, honestly. But upward and onward!

With the motors side by side, it was time to start tearing down the old motor. I started with the pass side, b/c I REALLY wanted to see how bad it was… I’ll let the pix do the talking, but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty!

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Parts pile slowly growing!

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Cylinder #4 on the right:

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Just a few little nicks!

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And even Cylinder #1 got hit as well:

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And there were small witness marks on the other cylinders as well… not as much damage as #1 and #4 though:

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And these are little pieces of flap that were sandwiched b/n the head and the block:

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Or just jammed into the head itself (this is cylinder #1):

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With the pass side torn down, it was rinse/repeat on the driver’s side (which had zero damage):

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I will say though… these cam chain gears are truly a thing of beauty! Shame they have to be covered up! :)

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Just a little bit of oil in the valley… lol. Honestly, not terrible for a car w/ these kind of miles!

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Almost there!

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From this point, I left the remaining ancillary components on the old motor and started the (scary) process of assembling the new motor…

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Crank locking pin location for those of you curious – this is pass side of motor:

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As with everything… nothing is ever easy. The Bentley didn’t provide (from what I saw) a required tool for positioning the cams properly so you can lock them down w/ the cam timing tool. Luckily, I had some metal laying around from a house project (built my own handrail for the exterior basement stairs, as old ones were a safety/code violation if I had ever seen one) and a welder… so I buzzed up my own adjusting tool!

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And went to torqueing down the head bolts!

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Again… it’s a shame you can’t see half of this once it’s assembled… driver’s head. Soooo new and shiny!!!!

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Driver’s side rinse and repeat:

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A close up of tool in use:

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And pure mechanical sex… man this engine is a thing of beauty! Almost makes you just want to put it as a show piece in the living room…. If I weren’t married, with 2 kids… yeah, nevermind…

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And assembly continued…

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With the heads on and bolted down (and the remainder of the last minute parts runs that I had to do… ), it was time to start getting the new tensioners installed and cams timed properly, etc.

Driver’s side:

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Pass side:

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And assembled and ready for the next step!!!!

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From this point, I started taking off more of the parts from the old motor and swapping them over… with a small pit stop w/ a scrub brush and LOTS of degreaser!!!

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And of course, no work could be accomplished in the garage w/o my little helper! He was assisting w/ blowing the water off the alternator after its bath…

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Additionally… file another one into the “you’re making this too complicated, Audi.” The only thing on this motor that is driven off an accessory belt is the alternator. Otherwise, the power steering and A/C compressor are run off the timing chains on the back of the motor.

Removing the P/S was easy enough… it unbolts and you can “pop it right now…” once you remove the motor mount and various other things that were probably in the way while this was in the car…

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But the A/C compressor… they outdid themselves with this one. It’s amazing packaging… squeezing it in there w/ so little space… but it’s a maintenance nightmare! If you unbolt the A/C compressor, you can’t just pull it out… noooo, you have to dismantle its own mini driveshaft!!!

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But with a little time, and a lotta patience… we can start reassembling…

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Next on the list once those were swapped over was refreshing the o-rings on the cam gear covers. W/ 101K miles on the clock, I wasn’t going to be trusting these any longer! Unfortunately, the pipes seemed to be a press fit of sorts into the covers, and didn’t come out without a fight. I do love having an oxy/acetylene setup for the garage! It’s come in handy MANY times throughout this project.

Won’t move? Don’t fear – it’ll only hurt a little…

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Little heat, little twisting, and they popped out revealing their well preserved (though not as good as new) o-rings within:

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The o-rings that went into the head though were toast. They literally shattered when I went to remove them, so I can see how these are leak areas. Too bad you have to pull the damn motor to replace/service them!!!

But with the covers cleaned and o-rings refreshed, it was time to hide the engineering beauty:

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And cap things off. Unfortunately, one of the things that was NOT replaced on this engine was the driver’s side valve cover. As I have come to read on the interwebs, and found during my parts search/research – Audi updated the driver’s side valve cover to address oil leaks in the #8 cylinder spark plug area. They do not sell the seal for the old cover anymore… and a new cover and gasket run you a horrifying amount ($500+ w/o discounts, etc). But, it was a pill I had to swallow, as the alternative was to reuse the old one and put a liquid gasket down. I haven’t cut a corner at this point, so not starting now!

Here’s the old vs. new:

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And in case you can’t spy the difference… here’s a closeup of the old one (I cried when I pulled this off and saw it was the old one…) – cylinder #8 on the right side of this pic vs. left side above.

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But after a lot of time, mild amounts of cussing, and many moments of standing back and staring at the beauty… we have an assembled motor!

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But… not so fast… there’s more! When I removed the exhaust manifolds originally, the majority of the studs snapped off at the downpipes. I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me on these, but had no idea of the fiasco I was about to undertake. NOTE: the first one was obviously the hardest… I realized my mistake on the second one and that took 1/16th the time and zero cursing.

So on the one manifold, I heated up the studs and tried to get each stud out w/ my swanky stud tool…

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Which resulted in each of the studs snapping off shorter and not coming out.

So then came the welder and I welded nuts onto the studs…

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Which THEN resulted in 2 of the 3 snapping off INSIDE the flange!!!!! ^@(*#&$@(*#&$#^@(*

THEN came out the drill and tap set… and of course after successfully drilling out and retapping the hole on the first one….

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The tap then SNAPPED in the flange on the last one!!!!

So – how do you remove a hardened steel tap from a flange? Did you know that the hardened steel tap has a lower melting point than the flange? Ahhhh, oxy/acetylene torch… have I mentioned how much I love it? With the torch head (vs. the rosebud tip I had earlier) I was able to blast the tap (and the remainder of the broken stud) of out the flange and simply run a tap through it again to chase the threads! Amazing! And everything threaded together like it was supposed to… but way too much time later… success:

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And prepping the motor… this is one of the areas I wish I had the heads w/ me when I did the parts order. I probably ordered $100+ more parts than I needed b/c I didn’t realize they were ALREADY on the heads! They weren’t kidding when they told me they came fully assembled! But alas, new gaskets installed and we’re ready to go:

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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby jretal » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:48 am

And laaaast but not least… wiring harness fun! As I had mentioned in the previous post many moons ago, the coil pack plugs had seen better days. The majority of the tabs were broken off of them, and one had serious signs of mechanic ham-fisting to boot. At first, I tried to do the cheap/easy way and order the plugs via eBay, only to find that there are actually 2 different P/Ns for these plugs – and each P/N uses DIFFERENT terminals! Unfortunately, the listing I ordered from said it was the P/N I searched for, but turned out to be for the other plug. But that fiasco aside, I ended up having to bite the bullet and get new plugs from the dealer, at ~$20 a pop!

But, out of the eyes of despair comes light… I can buy new tools! :) I don’t know if any of you have ever tried pulling terminals from these plugs, but it’s an ordeal w/o the proper tool. I used to get them out by finagling in jeweler’s screwdrivers until I got it. With 32 terminals to remove, I didn’t have it in me to deal with this. There were cheaper kits out there to pull this off, but this one came in a nice little carrying case – and I figured, I’d be doing this type of work in the future on our UrQ restoration anyways, so might as well get the nicer kit!

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And then I commence family time by bringing the wiring harness into the living room and spending quality time w/ the kiddos and wife as I slowly dismantle, repair, and reassemble the harness!

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First… split the casing where all the wires/plugs hide:
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And use the swanky little tools to pull the terminals out (the tools make this stupidly easy!)

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New plugs installed:

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Conduit reinstalled:

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Annnnd rinse and repeat for the other side…

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In reality, it was a good thing that I replaced all the plugs, as they were VERY brittle. The inner pieces where all the terminals snapped to literally broke off as I was popping the terminals out.

Here was the worst from previous mechanics (not sure how you manage to do this w/o just being clumsy/foolish):

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And all the plugs off… of the 8 I removed, only 1 didn’t break in some way/shape/form!

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So at this point… I have the harness installed on the motor, a new PCV setup installed, and everything buttoned up. The next step is to pop the motor off the stand and reinstall the flywheel, install the new clutch, and mate the transmission to the motor!

Before the motor goes in, the only other things that need to be handled on the car are to fix the driveshaft boot that’s torn, R&R the inner CV boots that are also torn, replace the heater core coolant hose that I broke, and install a USP metal slave cylinder and braided line while everything is out and easily accessible.

With luck, I can spend a few hours in the garage this week, and who knows… maybe I’ll get the motor installed this weekend! Crazier things have happened! Though in truth, with a kitchen reno about to start in the house in 2 weeks, I need to get the RS4 running and out of the garage, as I need the space for cabinet assembly and staging!

So more to follow, but there IS light at the end of this tunnel!!!!!
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby the german » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:56 pm

So I have to ask, how deep are you in parts on this thing? The new block and head alone can't have been cheap..
Kirk

1990 ABZ CQ
1990 lifted CQ
2005 S4 6MT
2011 A4 2.0T Avant (ok, it's my wife's car but it's sexy and I love it)
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby heartlessnomad12 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:48 pm

Damn, so much work but cool to see the engine torn apart and how different it is from a B6S4 4.2. Good luck getting it all buttoned up and back on the road.
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby PRY4SNO » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:18 pm

Love the detail, and enjoy learning about the process with these cars. The B7 RS4 is a special beast, truly worth the time and attention (and funds!) to keep on the road.
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|| 2010 Golf Sportwagen TDI /// Farmenwagen
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Re: Justin's B7 RS4 - needs a new heart! Break in Oil Recs?

Postby jretal » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:04 am

the german wrote:So I have to ask, how deep are you in parts on this thing? The new block and head alone can't have been cheap..



LOL.... I admittantly have a spreadsheet that tallies all this up, but I try VERY hard not to look at it! That being said, I flipped 2 cars and sold my B5 A4 to fund the majority of it, so out of pocket it's not TOO bad. But yes, the tally is in the 5 figure range! The deal I got on the car was good enough, I'm still far ahead of the curve investment-wise, though. All the hoses, gaskets, bolts, nuts, and clutch that I initially ordered essentially took every dime I got for my A4 (As sad as that is). Then I ended up ordering the remainder of the coolant hoses since "I was already in there" and there's barely ANY room to get in there and fix any of this stuff once it's in the car.

heartlessnomad12 wrote:Damn, so much work but cool to see the engine torn apart and how different it is from a B6S4 4.2. Good luck getting it all buttoned up and back on the road.


It really is amazing how different this is... the only info I was able to find on the web was the BHF. So w/o the Bentley, there was no way I was going to be able to figure out what tools I needed, etc. And I still didn't have a complete grasp until I started to open everything up. This has been one helluva learning experience! I can attest to that!

PRY4SNO wrote:Love the detail, and enjoy learning about the process with these cars. The B7 RS4 is a special beast, truly worth the time and attention (and funds!) to keep on the road.


Thanks! I'm really looking forward to driving this thing when running properly. I've never driven one before this one (only instructed in one on the track), so I know what they can do - and how much pain this was in before I opened it up!!
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