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Old May 31st, 2005, 06:40 PM   #1
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New car shopping.

Well, my clutch on my 4th gen is almost out the door and I have a buyer picking it up on Thursday evening. I have been looking for a 540i 6speed but the only one in my price range is a salvage titled one and I decided not to go through that hassle. My clutch troubles could't have came in a more acceptable time, as I was also promoted and received a lovely raise. I have narrowed it down to one car, a 98-99 Audi A4 2.8 QUATTRO 5speed manual in either red, black or silver.

I have found a 99 laser red/black leather with every option including sport suspension that I test drove this weekend. Wow, germans know how to build cars that feel like they are sucked to the ground at 80mph, the steering and suspension is amazing. The sound system sucked, even though it was Bose labeled and the engine pulled nicely from idle but didn't pick up steam until 2,800rpms and pulled even harder at 3,500rpm. Like the VQ, it seems to run out of steam as you rev it up, despite having a peak HP at 6,000rpm (190hp). The clutch is very light and gave little feedback on where it would engage but the shifter was a dream compared to the Maxima. All four windows are one touch down and the two fronts are one touch up also. The sunroof has a dial that is one touch, very neat and you can roll up/down the windows and sunroof with the key hole. VERY SOLID BUILD, doors make an expensive thud when closed. AWD launch is killer and the car could be floored through a corner and it sticks like glue. I really like this one and it has 76K miles on it.

Next up is to test out a black 99 2.8 quattro 5speed manual. This is a sport model also and should be great. I'm leaning towards the black one if it is in the same condition as the red one. This black one is suppost to have a new timing belt and water pump, which is notorious for going bad on these cars at about 80-90K miles.

I'll still be in the V6 family. I prefer this model over the 1.8T because I don't plan on doing anything more than intake/exhaust, RS4 rims, drop, debadged.
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Old June 1st, 2005, 12:27 PM   #2
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I put my deposit down for the laser red. I'm picking it up Saturday morning!!! I'm not worried about reliability of this year as consumer reports show that everything is average to excellent in reliability for the 99 model year 2.8L model. I'll have to get the timing belt and water pump changed within 15-20K miles here so that will give me time. Pics comming soon!
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Old June 1st, 2005, 02:05 PM   #3
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i have heard not so good things about the audi N/A v6s. just curious, why not get a 1.8t? or for another 10g, a S4 TT
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Old June 1st, 2005, 02:36 PM   #4
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Mainly I hate having a rough 4cylinder and I hate the sound of 4cyl engines. S4's are quite a bit more for maintenance, especially the turbo's on those things where there have been cases of failing Turbo's at even 60K miles. I've heard even worst things about the 1.8t model vs. the 2.8 models.

Insurance wise, for me, the 1.8t is cheaper and the S4 is more expensive, by about $75 more than the standard 2.8 Quattro. I'll eventually make my way up to a nicer higher model if this one treats me well

Last edited by Max on This; June 1st, 2005 at 02:39 PM..
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Old June 1st, 2005, 03:58 PM   #5
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A4's are sweet My mom was looking at those back in 2000 before she got her Passat. We drove the 5-speed manual 1.8T model with Quattro. It was a nice car, but was a little under-powered and under-equipped for a $30k car. So we passed and went to look at VW's instead. She ended up with a 2000 Passat GLX 5-speed.

The 2.8/5-speed setup you're looking at is pretty similar to what my mom had in her Passat, except hers didn't have Quattro (4Motion in VW terms). From what I remember, the 2.8 was a little weak-kneed off the line, even with the 5-speed, but it had a strong mid-range and decent high-end pull. VVT and a 3-stage variable intake manifold had a lot to do with that.

It also had a tendency to burn oil. Look out for that. Ours would go through a quart (sometimes two) every 3k miles

The only thing I didn't really care for was the clutch. It was extremely stiff and numb. Finding the engagement point was a pain in the ass at first, but once I got the hang of it, it wasn't so bad. Because I never drove the car that much, the stiff clutch would leave my left leg aching after anything longer than a 30 min. drive. Other than that, it was a fun car to drive.


And I wouldn't dismiss the 1.8T so quickly, if I were you. I've had plenty of experience with that motor in both stock and modded forms, and it's nothing to scoff at. My uncle had a 1.8T Passat at the same time my mom had her V6, which gave me plenty of chances to compare the two. The 1.8T suffered from some noticeable turbo lag right off idle, but once it spooled up, it offered surprising punch for a small 4-banger. Hell, it really wasn't much weaker than the 2.8, and with some help from APR, it blew the doors off the V6. My uncle had the APR (Audi Performance Racing) chip, and that made all the difference in the world. The power became downright explosive in the mid-range. It pulled so hard that 1st gear was pretty much useless at WOT. You could be rolling along at 20 mph in 1st, punch the gas, and it would burn out Obviously, that wouldn't happen with Quattro and I would love to see what all of that wasted power in 1st gear would've been like through 4 wheel drive.

One more thing I noticed about the 1.8T, it had better clutch feel than the V6. While still a bit numb, it was much lighter and therefore easier to modulate. So finding the elusive engagement point wasn't as difficult as with the V6's clutch. The shifter felt a little smoother in it's motions, too, but that may have just been a difference between the two cars and not the powertrain setups.


But, if what you say about the reliability of the 1.8T is true, then the V6 is definitely the way to go. Be sure to check the oil often. As I said before, the 2.8 is a notorious oil-burner. Not really a problem, just an annoyance.

Good luck with the new car

Can't wait to see pics!
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Old June 1st, 2005, 07:55 PM   #6
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I agree, I prefer the progressive clutch of the 1.8T over the 2.8. This 2.8 clutch is extremely light compared to the Max (which is VERY stiff) and harder to modulate. Chipped 1.8t is almost always quicker than a stock 2.8 but I'm not getting this car for that reason
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 11:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max on This
I agree, I prefer the progressive clutch of the 1.8T over the 2.8. This 2.8 clutch is extremely light compared to the Max (which is VERY stiff) and harder to modulate. Chipped 1.8t is almost always quicker than a stock 2.8 but I'm not getting this car for that reason
I see You're going for the pimp factor with this one

Will you take it to the track at all when you get it? Ya know, just to see how she stacks up to the rest of the cars you've owned?

The 2.8 is no slouch. I remember a guy running a 15.3 in a Passat GLX manual a few years ago, and I can't imagine an A4 2.8 Quattro manual being more than a few tenths slower than that. It has more than enough power, especially if you just plan on "pimpin' it"
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 09:09 AM   #8
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Of course I'll take it to the track. AWD launch=2.0-2.1 60ft times. Its a 3,300lbs car with 190HP, so it won't be trapping very high. I'm going to guestimate a time of [email protected]
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 05:21 PM   #9
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Here are some numbers I came up with in CarTest.

Best-case scenario - [email protected] with a 2.04 60' time and perfect shifting
Worst-case scenario - [email protected] with a 2.22 60' time (bad launch) and so-so shifting

I'm thinking you'll be close to the best-case scenario time
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Old June 4th, 2005, 04:40 AM   #10
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Congrats

From a V6 with FWD to a V6 with AWD, not bad .



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Old June 5th, 2005, 12:31 PM   #11
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TH23 what RPM are you using for that? That will give me an idea of where to launch at. Unfortunately, the person I was about to purchase the red car from said the car overheated and blew its engine. He told me when I called to confirm the purchase that it happened a couple days before, but personally I think he received a better offer and couldn't tell me....

It all worked out well, because I found a 99 Pearl White with some sweeeeeeeeeeeeet rims. The car isn't lowered, but the factory sport suspension makes the wheelgap minimal. Love the car, but I had an unfortunate occurance where I went over a parking-lot bump (those things they put on in parking spaces to prevent your car from rolling foward) and I think I cracked the lower oil pan because I'm dripping oil from the pan. I checked the oil this morning but I didn't have to add any oil yet but will get it checked out. I'm glad the lower oil pan for this car isn't expensive either, heck most parts are rather average in prices (sensors ect...) its just the dealer labor that will rip you a new whole.

Its been raining on and off so I didn't get to wash the car yet but here is a pic. It has a black interior with some hint of blue.

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Old June 5th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #12
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very nice car congrats
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Old June 5th, 2005, 11:41 PM   #13
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Nice car

It looks sweet. The rims look good, too, very tasteful. At first I was worried when you said it had rims because I was expecting some huge ghetto chrome rims

Pearl white is one of the best colors, IMO. My friend's 5th gen Prelude SH is that color.

Very nice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max on This
TH23 what RPM are you using for that? That will give me an idea of where to launch at.


You might want to sit down J/K

The best launch rpm was 5500. Yes, a 5500 rpm clutch-dump launch

But since you don't want to do that to your clutch, you should be able to launch
as low as 3000 rpm and still pull off 60' times in the 2.1-2.2 range with an ET of about 15.3 with great shifts and 15.5 with average shifts.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 01:39 AM   #14
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Nice, no doubt the AWD will be a vast improvement from the world of FWD, even the almighty 4th gen Maxima. Besides, high-rpm AWD clutch drops are good for the tranny, that's part of the fun of having an AWD.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #15
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Holy crap 5,500rpm?

Here are better pics after washing http://sio.midco.net/loe1/
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Old June 10th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max on This
Holy crap 5,500rpm?

Here are better pics after washing http://sio.midco.net/loe1/
Yea, pretty high, huh?


Lookin' good

Interior looks nice as well
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Old June 13th, 2005, 08:07 AM   #17
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5,500RPM is right where the car feels like its TQ curve rises. But I think I'll spare my clutch and do a normal 3,500rpm slip clutch. This car is strange, compared to the VQ, although this isn't apples to apples since its FWD vs. AWD

AHE is less vibrations below 1,000
AHE feels slightly more peppy from idle to 2,000
VQ feels slightly more peppy from 2,000-2,500
AHE picks up CONSIDERABLY at 2,500 and pulls strongly to 4,500rpm. It feels a good deal more energetic than the VQ
AHE feels flat between 4,500-5,500rpm although its still accelerating hard.
VQ feels alive at 4,500-5,500rpm and falls flat on its face afterwards
AHE picks up again at 5,500-6,200rpm and then slowly flattens out at redline (6,500rpm)

Optimally, I think shifting past redline is best for the AHE, but I'll have to view dyno curves first. An upgraded ECU is suppost to get rid of the flat spot between 4,500-5,500rpm (VI switchover is at 4,500rpm and is ECU controlled, so I guess they remap switchover and air/fuel+timing)
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:31 PM   #18
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I don't blame you for wanting to save your clutch. I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable abusing my car with a 5500 rpm dump launch

As for the differences you've noticed between the 2.8 (AHE) and the VQ30DE, the shape of the torque curve has a lot to do with it. The VQ has a series of peaks and valleys in it's torque curve that make it feel stronger at some points and weaker at others. The AHE has a variable intake and variable valve timing, which help to smooth out the curve and make the engine feel stronger overall because the curve is more linear. The two motors are extremely close in output though, but my guess is that the AHE has more area under the curve thanks to the VIM and VVT
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