For more details after the pre-meet, find my Facebook event link below:
For info about the Official Leavenworth Drive 2019 see:
We are going to do another late morning pre-meet, this time in Monroe. Like last year it will be around 10am and leave at 10:30am'ish. As a reminder this is a drive not a race, so there will be "no" excessive speeding.
For more details after the pre-meet, find my Facebook event link below:
For info about the Official Leavenworth Drive 2019 see:
The family just finished our first road trip of the year with the S4. About 600 miles round trip from Monroe, WA to the small town of Pilot Rock, OR. I averaged 30.1 MPG, but I'm sure it would have been better if I was driving the speed limit. It was a packed car with 3 adults and one kid, and still the ride was very good with the Solo-Werks coilovers.
I ran a can of BG 44k fuel system cleaner in the first tank just to keep everything in good shape. I normally run a fuel system treatment once every 6 months when I go on a long drive. EPL recommend this so I figured I give it a try. Honestly, I can't really tell any difference, but it's just preventative maintenance. My wife 2003 Toyota Highlander is having a high idle issue so I'm going to try a can in that car and see if it helps.
Anyway... all is good and looking forward to the Leavenworth Drive on June 15th!
Wherever I live, if I have a garage, our cars are parked in there, no exceptions. Well, it's been almost 3 weeks of my car parked out in the driveway since we moved and it has been driving me crazy. I was able to get the wife's Toyota Highlander parked on her side a few weeks back, but we just didn't have room for mine. Yesterday, we installed overhead storage shelves and finally that freed up enough space for the S4 to come inside. This garage is a little smaller compared to our last home, but I'm just super happy it is no longer a tandem garage setup. Anyway, the S4 is finally where it belongs and out of the elements during the night. Fingers crossed nothing comes crashing down on it.
And lastly, I put together a 30in tool chart. It's from Harbor Freight, so not the highest quality, but at least I'm not working from a bucket of tools anymore (no joke). I'm really trying to stay organized for any future projects.
Well my family just bought our first house end of last month. All if this happen within about 4-5 weeks, which is stupid fast for buying a home right now. I'm super excited to no longer have a tandem garage, but rather a traditional side by side. The downside is the budget got super tight, so no new "add-on" for the time being... just normal maintenance items.
If you are in the Seattle area looking to buy or sell a home, I highly recommend Cristina Zalavarria, she is an absolutely awesome real estate agent. If you give her a timeline and you needs, she will make it happen. I also, have to recommend Ryan Niles if you want to go with a mortgage broker vs. a bank . We learned so much from his team and he got a crazy good rate for us first time buyer.
Well it is finally time to do the first oil change... I normally use either Mobile 1 or Liqui Moly, so I went with the Liqui Moly Molygen New Generation Engine Oil 5w-40 as it will glow under a UV light. I do have some oil consumption, so I just wanted to see if I'm burning oil or leaking. I think the drain plug was not torqued properly so I believe that was the problem, but either way I will have a better idea come the next oil change.
Also, I installed a Stahlbus Oil drain valve plug. This way I can hook up a hose to the drain plug and cleanly have the oil drain without any tools (minus removing the belly pan). This should make all future oil changes super easy and most importantly spill free.
My car feels like a new beast post alignment at Achtuning. It just coasts forever! Also I noticed I'm rubbing a lot less. Two thumbs up for them!
Next, I found this on Audizine and man are they are great price for cf engine covers. I think I'll be adding them to my wish list.
The S4 is at Achtuning in Redmond, WA getting aligned today. If you are in the Seattle, WA area, I highly recommend them for alignements. They are the best in my opinion.
Also I did make some adjustments to the ride height. Fronts are at 25.5in fender to ground and rears are 25.75in (F2G). There is a little rubbing in the front, but I have to be going around corners hard. I might roll the front fenders in the coming months as I do have a fender roller.
The Solo-Werks coilovers are successfully installed. As it was a simple out with the old and in with the new, the install went pretty smooth. I think we were done in about 5 hours, but taking our time. The rear OEM shocks appear to have started leaking, so it was good to get these done. We reused the front strut mounts as they still looked good.
As for the ride height, I think I got the rears to the ride height that I like, but will need to drop down the fronts just a tad. I kind of have a reverse rake going on. Will get that fix tomorrow and then get an alignment at Achtuning in the coming days. I like to wait a few days to allow the suspension to settle before getting the alignment. As well the alignment shouldn't be that far off as we didn't replace that would vastly change the alignment.
This is my second time using Solo-Werks coilovers (read more here) so I knew what to expect. Smooth ride, but still a little firmer. There is a little bit of bounciness in the rears but I know that will lessen over time like it did on my B5 S4. I'll update maybe around summer time on how the ride quality is.
Big thanks to Erik from IPM Auto Service for the help!
There is another addition coming next week for my S4, so check back soon.
Ordered and in the mail. Likely will have them installed in the coming weeks.
I just saw the video from IgnitionTube that Eli's B8.5 S4 was totaled. Very shocking. I sold my B5 S4 and bought my B8 S4 based off his videos alone. This is certainly a sad day in the B8 S4 community as a very nice ride is no longer with us....
Spring is coming, tax return on the way... time to plans my next project B8.5 Audi S4!
The most pressing thing I need to get done, is to flush my DSG. I'm looking to get this following kit and everything flushed in the coming months:
Next on the list, coilovers! Yes, I'm going with Solo-Werks onces again. As much as I would love to get some H&R or KW, I'm unlikely to track this car so comfort is the most important thing at this time. .
I will replace the front top strut mount, but will leave everything else in place unless it needs to be replaced. Most people have reported the rear mounts were still good, so I'll save some money there.
And lastly, I have two sets of tires (winter and summer) but only one set of wheels/rim and I really do not have to get the tire mounted every winter season. I really like what VMR is offering and I've heard nothing be awesome service from them. The funny thing, in all my years of tuning cars, I've never actually bought new wheels, so I'm struggling to decide which style I want to go for. I know for sure I want to do a gunmetal color as I'm not a big fan of the silver on silver looks with the stock wheels. As well I want to keep the size at 19x8.5" with a near stock offset. The V710FF are light weight and I love the concave design. On the other hand V708 are similar to the RS4 stock wheels, and you know how us S4 owner want that RS4 look. This is going to be a tough one...
What do you all think I should go for?
So far I'm happy with the Ceramic Coating. The biggest reason is that when I wash my car I can get 90% of the dirt off with just water. It just make the car easier to clean. The big plus is that water just beads up and flow off like nothing I've seen. Yes dirt will still stick to it, but it takes a lot. For example, the images below I haven't washed it in two week and still it's pretty clean. This includes a recent snow storm and a few hours of making donuts in a near by parking lot. Like I said I'm pretty happy with the coating even if it is a once a year thing or bi-yearly.
Read more about my Ceramic Coating here: http://www.mys4.org/b85--b5-audi-s4-progress/ceramic-coating-applied-carpro-cquartz-uk-30
Product Link: CarPro Cquartz UK 2.0 - https://amzn.to/2Xhdt8G
The one thing that has bugged me for a while is my cluster. One of the previous owners spilled something, likely coffee on the cluster and failed to clean it up. Likely they let it bake in the sun so it was game over at that one. I tried to clean it up with no success. I figured it must have gotten in the inside of the plastic lens. So today I decided it was finally time to fix this.
I follow some of the instructions and a few videos found in the link below:
To clean the cluster I took took the lens off the cluster by unscrewing about 8-10 small torx screws from behind the cluster, and the lens basicly snaps off the cluster. What I found after doing this was that the spills was actually on the outside of the lens. I know pretty stupid, but the spill was so etched into the plastic is was hard to tell.
Now knowing where to actually clean, I started with windows cleaner and then rubbing alcohol, but was not making any progress. I had some heavy duty glass cleaner so I figured I would give it a try:
I started in a small area with this stuff as it was pretty powerful. I quickly discovered this stuff worked just like it does on glass. One tip I would offer is to wear gloves, and also use either a foam pad or microfiber towel to start your polishing. After about 15 mins of polishing, 99% of the spill was finally removed.
I then went over the cluster with a fine swirl remover polish to removal any swirls this glass cleaner may have introduced. I only spent about 5 mins on this as this plastic lens is pretty soft, so didn't want to completely remove layers of plastic. I finished the polishing up with some more rubbing alcohol to clean down the surface once more and prep it for my next step.
My last step was to apply a layer of paint sealant to offer some UV protection so the plastic would not yellow like some plastic headlights do. Not to mention this would help hide any remaining swirl marks. I did a few coats of this stuff as I had it in the garage:
And as you can see below, this turned out pretty good.
My Prep Work Process:
As for my prep work before I applied the ceramic coating, I washed the S4 like normal with few ounces of "SuperClean" in the soap to help strip all the grease, wax, and dirt away. From that point on I opted out of the typically clay bar for a no touch chemical clay bar process. Why? Well... clay bars are great for really really contaminated cars, my car was already detailed back a few months back when I got the car, and I garage it at home and at work keep it away from all trees. Yes, I know you can still pick up a lot of crap just from driving, but I don't live in area with tons of bugs and I haven't been on any long road trips. Not to mention I really wanted to see if a chemical treatment was just as good if not better than a clay bar. Once the wash was completed, I air dried it with electric air blower (I love this thing) and started the first decontamination treatment with CarPro Iron X.
Decontamination Stage 1:
Basically you spray CarPro Iron X everywhere on your car (avoid your brake rotors or any exposed metal) and let it sit for 5-10mins to react/disoval any iron contaminant. I think I had it on there for maybe 15min. Minus the bad chemical smell this give off, it is pretty cool how it turns purple (dark red) when the reaction with iron starts. I didn't see a lot of reaction on my car so that appeared to be good sign my car was already in good shape. That said, I'm not sure if this is a chemical trick or not, so I can't really say for certain how well this work. If you are looking for a warm fuzzy feeling, this might help with that.
Decontamination Stage 2:
This next step I knew was really where things would get removed. Just like the Iron X, I sprayed on the CarPro Tar X everywhere on my car's surface and allowed it to sit for about 10mins. Luckily this stuff smells pretty good (like Oranges) so no issues here. After about 10mins I went over it again with a wash meet and sprayed a little more Tar X to make sure I got all areas of the car and to help loosen up anything that the Tar X already loosened up. Finally I finished it up with a nice long water raise with my pressure washer. After air drying my car, it was butter smooth. This Tar X really did do a good time to remove all the crap.
Nothing special here just just a decent polish to help lessen any swirl marks or light scratching. I used a TORQX Dual Action Polisher with the red ultra light cutting pad.
IPA Wipe (Isopropyl Alcohol):
This is a new step for me but it totally makes sense. If you ever do any type of gluing or applying tape, you know the first step is to clean there surface with Isopropyl Alcohol. As we want the ceramic coating to bond as best as possible to the surface you need this wipe down to get it as perfectly clean as possible. Some people at this point will go back and do another wash, but a good IPA is just as good and faster in my opinion. I went with a 9:1 (water to 91% Isopropyl Alcohol) ratio and wiped down all of my car's surface.
I won't go into too much depth here as there is a lot of videos and sites that go over the steps, but in summary apply a little of the liquid ceramic coating on to the application pad and work on small 1 to 2ft areas at a time. This was likely the best directions I found:
Results & Thoughts:
While this stuff says you can put it on nearly any surface, I would avoid glass. Nearly all of my windows had hazing issues after another 2 days of curing. And yes I made sure to wipe it off good before it flashed. I can only guess that I didn't clean my windows good enough or something. I have some great glass cleaner/polisher called "Driven Extreme Duty Glass Cleaner" that I completely forgot to use. Luckly it worked great to remove the ceramic coating from the glass. I did leave it on my headlights as there was no issues there. As for the rest of my car, I couldn't really say if this looks better than a traditional wax or synthetic sealant as I've never done that on this car. or this color before. Per my research it takes about 30 days for the ceramic coating to fully cure and become it's glossiest... so we will have to wait and see. I'll post some picture and video in a few weeks so we have a record of what it looks like.
I will say this is fair more expensive than a traditional wax, but it makes sense as this is marketed to last 2 years. Only time will tell.
I'm really not going to go over the steps on how to install new HID bulbs in a B8.5 S4 as there is many Youtube videos out there to cover that. I will let you know that you will need to remove the Air intake box on the passenger side, so plan a head on that. I will warn you these are 4200k color so they are white with a hint of yellow. For those of you that want the pure white, well these aren't going to be your bulb. I like them because simply because this color works better for all weather situation. 5500K and higher bulbs have a hard time illuminating wet roads like what we experience in the Pacific Northwest, so the 4200k is the ideal color.
In summary way brighter, and I'm happy I got them. Sorry pictures won't do justice so you will just have to take my word for it.
Wait what? Let me explain. So I was looking at the old supercharger pulley and took some measurements and it is nearly same size as the pulley I put on. (Little over 57.5-57.7mm depending on where I measure it). I know this is smaller than stock so this means one of the previous owners had a stage 2 tune on this car. Also when I went to stage 1 I noticed a major hit in my MPG as my car was likely running too lean as the supercharge was spinning faster that stock and blowing the air to fuel ratio out of whack. I think the previous owner likely flashed it back to stock as the stock tune would be able adjust for the different boost from the supercharger, it just the stage 1 was not designed for the pulley to be there so that likely where the problem is. I'm going to give the stage 2 tune a few tank fulls to see if now my MPG comes back up.
That all said, I did look over my install pictures and the car itself and sadly I can't find any other major upgrades that I should be aware. I was really hoping to find the crank pulley and cooling upgraded, but it wasn't. The real question is what tune was on this car before? I've emailed all the major tuner and gave them my VIN to see I can find who it was. Kind of a shot in the dark if any of them reply.
As for the EPL Stage 2 single pulley tune, it certainly has a lot more low in torque and generally more power along the full range. It is simply stupid easy to break loose my all season tires on a slightly wet road with traction control set to off. I'm ditching these tires went spring comes as I'm getting winter tires install this weekend and hope to run summer tires next post winter. As for the tune I'm happy with it. I've very interested to see if my MPG improve now that everything is back in sync. Only time will tell...
I couldn't pass on a Black Friday sale with EPL so I decided it was time to upgrade to Stage 2. There are many videos and guides out there, so it's kind of hard to screw it up. It took me about 4-5 hours to complete, but I was going super slow to make sure I didn't break anything, and or lose any bolts. The most time consuming part is just getting the car into "Service Position". After that point it was about 5mins to get the supercharger pulley removed, using a proper pulley puller tool. I had the new pulley heated in my oven for about a hour at 400F but sadly that was not enough as the pulley would not go on. So I did 500F for 20mins and the pulley went on like a glove. I used a mini blower I have for blowing off water from my car and 10mins later it was cool enough to the touch to install the belt. From there put everything back in reverse order. And Another few mins to flash the EPL Stage 2 tune and I was on my way for my test drive.
About 10 mins into my drive I heard a horrible flapping slapping noise. Crap, I was so excited to drive I didn't bring any tool and immediately thought my belt snapped. I pulled over to take a look and found no issues... the belt was fine. So I continued on my drive heading back home and the sound did it again.... At that point I remember one thing I forgot to snap back in place and it was the garage door homelink transmitter between the grill and heat exchanger. It was basically flapping in the wind at certain speeds. Luckily all was ok and it still functions... but it sure did scare the crap out of me.
I'll give it a week to allow everything to adapt, before I push it. I hope to give it a review in the coming weeks.
This weekend, I replaced my stock fog lamps as they were pitted like crazy. I found a pair of new Depo's on eBay for a little over $100. To prevent this pitting from happening again I went with Lamni-x and got a some film with a slight tint on it. I wet applied the Lamni-x with "Rapid Tac" which is a great spray to use for vinyl or other wet applications. It made it some much easier to align the Lamni-x as it only cover the visiable part of the fog lamp when the cover/grill is back over it.
While I was working on my fog lamps I updated to 3000k HID's. I do miss my retrofit projected fog I had in my B5 S4 as they was zero glare with them. As my current B8.5 S4 is using a reflective housing, glare is a problem. Typically what I will do is measure from the ground to the top of the fog lamp and then put a line of tape on my garage door at the same height (showing below). I try to get the hot spot of the beam to be slightly below the line to minimize glare as the beam is angled down.
I do recommend that if you want HID's in your fogs, it's best to turn off the "corning light" function in VCDS (VagCom) or OBDEleven. The corning light will turn on the fog light for which ever side you are turning too at low speeds like in a parking lot for example. This is just not good for HID as you don't want to turn them on and off in short intervals. Plus there is a warm up period of HID bulbs, a quick on and off is just damaging them.
So far I'm pretty happy with the setup. The fogs are slightly less noticeable when off, but when they are on, the light is perfect for our often rainy Seattle roads. I'm be looking for a different setup of HID bulbs as the color is a warm yellow, but not the golden yellow I am after. We will see...