1.5 years later the planets aligned and finally got my box of parts installed. I have no plans to slam my S4 but i did lower the front by 1-1.5in and the rear 1in. A full review will come likely early July after I give it a month to settle down.
I know.... what happened to the Coilovers? Well they are still in the box as I just haven't had the time to install them yet. Maybe some time after Xmas if I'm lucky. As for now, I replaced my spark plugs with a new set of copper NGK BKR7E from ECS Tuning. This is my second set of these plugs and they have been working flawlessly. I normally keep the gap between .020 - .024 inches but figured I try the gap of .026 to see how the car runs. In the past I've had issues with misfires because I assumed the gap recommend on forums were correct, which there weren't. OEM spec is between .016 - .024 inches, so lets see what happen. The drive to work today with a few WOT's and no issues so far.
Next I installed the Aero Wiper kit from ECS Tuning and cleaned/re-lubricated the Wiper Transmission (linkage) found under the windshield. I used the steps from this YouTube video to learn how to take the wiper transmission/linkage out to perform the cleaning. It's actually a rather simple process, but as with anything on this car, you got to get a layer of unrelated parts out of the way. For this case, it was getting the ECU box and the ECU itself out of the way. Breaking down to clean/lube the wiper transmission/linkage was a breeze. I didn't go crazy with specialized grease, but rather wiped away any junk at all friction points (aka, any points that moved, minus the motor) and reapplied with a small amount of white lithium grease. Re-installed and even with the stock wiper arms still on, everything was noticeably smooth in the wiper's motion.
The following day, Aero kit arrived so I got that installed. That is literally just popping off the plastic caps on each stock wiper arms, remove two 13mm nuts, and gently pry off the stock arms. I used a 13mm wrench and slid the open-end of the wrench under the stock wiper arms to pry them off. Apparently there is a specialized tool that can do this, but the wrench method worked just fine for me. Install the new Aero wiper arms and a few rounds of aligning those arms via trial and error I was good to go..... I do have to warn, DON'T leave your hood open with the wipers on. The driver side wiper arm will come into contact with the top of your hood. I learned the hard way. Wipers work great now and they are fully ready for winter's worst... with a lower profile look.
After 5 years of waiting, my S4 is going to get a nice well deserved upgrade.....
What did I get?
First I got a complete front control arms kits. No, I didn't go with any "HD" kits as the price is just insane for them. Let face it, for most control arms kit the only major difference is how long they are going to last. I have a very short commute to work, and living outside of Seattle, the environment is not at all harsh to my car. This low budget kit is likely going to do me very help. Not to mention, I'm likely not going to have this car longer than another 3-4 years... assuming my stock turbos hold out until them.
As for the coilovers, I went with the Solo Werks S1 Coilovers. I first read about them on the Audizine.com forum a little over a year ago and have been tracking all the user reviews very closely. These coilover are said to offer a stock like ride quality and a great range for the ride height. For the most part claims like that aren't backed and the poor souls that purchase the kit typically finds out the hard way. That said, every review I've found for these has in fact reported very positive results. The common response was that they are "slightly" firmer than stock, but not at all as harsh or bouncy like other low budget kits. Keep in mind these coilovers are not designed for "race" setups but more the enthusiast commuter. Simply put, this is exactly the quality setup I'm looking for.
I'm going to try and get all of these install sometime this month if time permits and if I can get a open lift from my buddy Erik at I.P.M. Auto Service. I'll post a initial review and lots of pictures after that install is completed. The real test is how they feel after a couple of months of use.. so I'll make sure to post another review after that point. Until then...
My valve cover gaskets have been leaking for a few years now, but this spring it was getting really bad. To the point that the oil was getting on the exhaust and creating a lovely burning smelling within the cabin. Using the re-circulate is fine during the summer, but it would creating a fogged up mess if I had to use that during the winter. So I order the following kit from ECS Tuning:
I.P.M. Auto Service) and started the open heart surgery, as he likes to call it. As with most projects within this engine bay, 50% of the time is just getting stuff out of the way before you can even start replacing all of the parts. We didn't use every part in the kit, but here is what we did replace:
At the end of the day it was about 5 hours including a oil change to complete. The end result is to be determined at this point. When the the Valve Covers were removed, there was a fair amount of oil that leaked so it hard to tell what is new and what is previous. I'm think a few more days of driving should burn off the residual oil and then we can take a closer inspections to look for any leaks. With the oil change, I put in 0w-40, so if there is a leak, the thin nature of this weigh should find it when warm. Hopefully we are leak free.
Well we had a threat of snow this past weekend. Only 1-3 inches, but for the Seattle, WA area that considered a good amount. Sadly we only got a dusting and icy roads. Very lame that I could not take the S4 out in the powder and have a little fun. I can say that I'm very impressed how long my Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires have held up. I'm on my fourth season with them and they still look new with tons of tread left. Don't get me wrong they aren't crazy ice mastering tires like Bridgestone Blizzaks, but for a Performance Winter Tire they really do a great job on all surfaces when temps get low.
Go a dashcam for my bday and figured I might as well us that so you can see what these retrofitted fogs look like from the drivers point of view. Honestly I can't figure out why Audi didn't do this from the start, but it's parent company VW put it on MK3 Jetta's and GTI's. Seems a little backward, but oh well it working good.
To see the original DIY click here.
Not a lot has been happening lately. Proudly I can say the S4 has been pretty problem free for some time now. That said, it kind-of feels odd when something isn't wrong.... so, you go looking for something to fix. In that past that can get me trouble so I figure I keep it simple. I put in my K&N Air Filter back when I first got my car, 80k miles or more ago, and I'm sure it likely due for a cleaning. If you have a K&N filter you know it comes in a cherry wood red like color, but mine was more of a charcoal gray.... clearly it needed to be cleaned. Ordered the cleaner and oil kit from Amazon and two days later went to work.....
Not a lot going on lately. Thought I had a bad battery or alternator as I was getting low voltage warning and a poor start. Later discovered one of the terminals under the dash that I have my radio connected to, came loose. After tightening it up the voltage warning went away. So that was the only recent scare.
Anyway some pics of the clean S4...
If you haven't done the timing belt before on your S4 but read how large of a job it is... it's no joke. Soooo much stuff to move out of the way. Basically everything on the front of the card minus the inner coolers needed to be removed. Erik from I.P.M. Auto Service again helped me out a ton. Let's be honest I was more of his assistant on this job (like I normally am). Messing with anything in regards to the engine's timing is not something I wanted to learn the wrong way.
I know I sound like a 2 year old but, I can finally say after 6 years and a lot of $$$ my S4 is finally paid off. So maybe 2014 will be the year I can finally start a big projects or two.... assuming I can get the "OK" from the wife.