- Coilovers & rear sway bar
- Replace control arms... all of them
- New front hood.
- Replace all stock speakers (not sure on keeping stock or going aftermarket)
I know I sound like a 2 year old but, I can finally say after 6 years and a lot of $$$ my S4 is finally paid off. So maybe 2014 will be the year I can finally start a big projects or two.... assuming I can get the "OK" from the wife.
Over the weekend my wife and daughter went camping near Mt. Rainier. I joked with my wife that the S4 is going to be jealous that we got to go on some sweet twisty roads... little did I know that some how my S4 was tipped off about these roads. We get home, open the garage and find a nice large puddle of coolant sitting under the car as if it was giving me the finger. Oh, happy days.
So I got a coolant leak somewhere. Unlikely the Aux water pump as that was replace recently and the coolant temp sensor is looking fine and it was replaced recently as well. I hope it was just a hose that came off or something simple. In any case, I need to get my thermostat replaced (it's stuck open 75% of the time) so this might be the sign to get it done. Which also means I should replace the timing belt. Let's not forget the rear brake pads are in need of replacing (hope there is enough rotor left). Anyone got a credit card or two I could borrow? ;)
For the time being, the S4 is staying in the garage for a week or so since I don't have the $$$ for parts to fix it.
I have an aftermarket Alpine stereo installed and love it. No it's not as clean looking as the factory setup but, it offers the missing features the factory stereo just could not offer. That said the one thing that I really liked about the factory stereo was that it did not shut off until you pull the key literally out of the ignition. Installing the Alpine deck many many years ago lost that feature and I've always been searching for a way around that.
So for the past view days I've been literally sitting in my car trying to find something I could tap the "remote switch" wire from my aftermarket stereo into that I knew would not turn off until the key was pull out of the ignition. I only found two options, was the power windows or into the one of the small L.E.D. bulbs for the window and lock buttons on the driver side door. The down side to this is that once the door opens those stopped receiving power. Not exactly how the factory stereo worked before... but it was close.
I used the projected fog lamps that came stock off a MK3 Jetta GLX VR6. No, not my old car, but my little brother's car as he was donating it. His car had seen better days so I took what I needed before it was towed away.
Eye'ing the MK3 fogs and a spare set of stock B5 S4 fogs I had, there looked to be some possibility to making it work. Obviously I'm looking for simple functionality because the 3000k HID's I have in my stock fogs now just weren't being used to their full potential.
First time in years I can finally say... my S4 is error code free! Fixed a recent misfire and replaces the bank 2 sensor 2 O2 sensor. My Evap Purge Valve was acting up, but I put some Seafoam solution in it and to my surprise that cleared up that code. Let's see how long this last....
Ok well that didn't last long... just got a new code for the Bank 2 sensor 1 O2 sensor. I knew I should have replaced both. Oh well I was just trying to get past emissions at the time so another fix for another time.
If it hasn't happened to you, it will some day. Our cars have a weak point with the headlight washer pump that causes all of the washer fluid to leak out of the system. Likely it's related to removing the front bumper from over the years... not sure. Anyway, since I would rather not wasting my money on filling up the washer fluid once a day, I just let it go dry. The down side is that everytime I start the car I get a chime and Mount Saint Helens like animation goes off in the cluster. At the time I discovered the leak and found out how involved it was to get it fixed, I figured I could live with the washer fluid warning light.... 3 months later I'm getting sick of it! I know, "just fix the leak", you say, but replacing the EGT's was just a pain in the a$$ and I'm a little low on motivation and cash.
So I did a little reading online and came up with a idea, I'm sure I'm not the first, but I didn't find any exact D.I.Y.. Sorry no pics as I did this about 5 mins prior to leaving for work this morning. Steps below the break:
Finally replaced both my driver and passenger side EGT Sensors. One was completely dead and the other was having intermittent issues.
Passenger side was easy to replace, but the driver side was not fun... not fun at all! I'm convinced that there is some sort of speciality tool to get it out. I'll put it this way, it took way longer then the suggest 2 hours. Even with help from my friend Erik from I.P.M. Auto Service, it took a while to get it out. I hope I never have to replace those again.
Last on my list to replace is the Bank 1 & 2 Sensor 2 O2 Sensors. Those are the very rear sensors that you can easily get to from under the car. And finally replace a leaking EVap Purge Valve. Again another easy fix when I get the parts.
I can say that the car pulls harder with the EGT Sensors replaced. It's still hitting the same boost level but likely has a better air to gas mixture. Not really sure as I'm no expert. I'm still running into issues were the car will do this randomly and light bucking/surging when on partial throttle. Very noticeable going down a slight hill with the cruise control on. Already replaced the TB and now the EGT, so I'm running out of possible causes for it. Maybe there is bad motor mount allowing too much movement. Or a ICM is going bad. Not sure and I don't want to throw parts at it. Need to do some more research and testing....
If you've seen my car in person there likely one thing you've noticed is my low hanging exhaust piping. Not a subject that I've wanted to talk about as I could have likely gotten it fixed a few years back, but I really did not like the place that I went to. When my wife noticed it a few weeks back I knew it was time to get it fixed.
So I went to a local muffler shop (mufflerkingperformance.com) just down the road and had them fix it. Told them while they were at it to go a head and remove the resonator as my exhaust just seemed too quiet for my likely. I don't want to wake up the neighbors... but I still DO want people to hear me as I'm passing them at full WOT!
Anyway, two hours later and for $120 my exhaust was finally the way it was suppose to be. They replace the piping from the cats to the muffler. Now I just need to clean it up and give it a wash, polish the tips, and likely take some steel wool to get ride of a little rust around the old welds. I'll give it a few months and will do a new videos so you can compare the sound difference.
I've been wanting to convert my brake lights to LED's for some time now, but simply the technology was just not there yet. I did replace the bulbs for my center brake light in the window some time ago which has worked flawlessly ever since. As for the actual brake lights it was going to be a little bit of an investment. This bulbs aren't cheap. About $17 a bulb which will likely to out last my car. As always I went with Superbrightleds.com. I order two 1157-R3X1W bulbs.
Front Rotors & Pads, Right Rear Bearing, and Rear Swaybar Links. Plus possible Coilpack 2.0t Conversion
The S4 is back under the knife. Finally I'm getting my Power Slot Cryo Slotted Rotors and the Akebono Ceramic brake pads all installed at I.P.M. Auto Services. Also my right rear bearing decides it was going into retirement so that is getting replaced. I just had the rear driver side replace 2 months ago, go figures. Rear Swaybar link are pretty shot so those are going to be replaced as well. And lately the bots that adjust the camber are likely going to need to be replaced. I can't remember the technical name of them but my right rear tire was maxed out and my last alignment Firestone could not get it perfectly in spec.
As for Coilpack conversion this has been something I've been following for a little while. As we all know the B5 S4 does not have the greatest record when it comes to our expensive Coils and ICM. I have been through 6 coil at this point. The great thing for this conversion is for one, you eliminate your ICM's. Keep in mind that if once of your ICM goes bad you are going to be misfiring on 3 cylinders as each ICM controls half the block. The 2.0t coils have them build into either coil, which cost $15-$25 each compared to the stock coils of $50-100 each.
Also, the 2.0t coil have a easy twist on/off feature which makes replacing them extremely easy and insanely fast. And lastly they offer a much improved spark. Some Audizine users have said they have gapped their plugs up to .044" to experience a butter smooth idle and power delivery. No results on if this improves MPG but I have a feeling it likely will help maybe 1-2 mpg. To learn more about this conversion feel free to check out http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/452609-Teaser-2-0T-Coil-packs.
I just learned that 034motorsport.com offer the complete kit, but it's a pretty big investment. I might be interested in getting the wiring from them but I'm still pricing around for the coils and checking if a local machine shop could make the brackets if I can find the specs.