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maintenance notes


I thought I'd share some of my experience maintaining a pair
of Quattros with 300,000 miles between the two of them, an
84 and an 86 4000 of the quotidian variety. 

There's not much info I can offer regarding the engine, clutch,
transmission and so forth, from what I can tell they're good
as new with regular oil, filter, plug, and ignition parts changes.
The OXS sensors seem to last a long time, although I had one crap
out at 75,000 miles.

So that leaves mufflers, brakes, and suspension. 

The exhaust parts are horribly expensive, although Shokan sells
new parts at a pretty good price, my local independent parts
store has done even better on some occasions.  Shop around, you
should be able to buy at less than half the dealer quote.

The 84 lost a master cylinder at 180,000, a "one year, one model"
part.  Note that you can lock the center differential in this
circumstance and have some braking from the rear brought forward
until the emergency passes.  At any rate they wanted hundreds of
dollars for the thing.  If you are as bullheaded as I you may
consider using one from a late 70s 100LS.  It's virtually the same
part, although I had to heat and bend the resevoir nipples to
fit, but brake function and balance seems to be as original.
I don't want to know what slave cylinders cost and have been
careful to flush the system every year or so and to renew
the seals every few years.

Also years of salt an wear wasted the rotors, here again the
100LS part is servicable if you're on the cheap.

Wheel bearings are cross referencable through a full blown
bearing supply, I found three brands from $40 to $80.

After 70k to a 100k the handling can get funky due to tierod
and ball joint wear, also an alignment with these parts worn
is pretty meaningless.  One thing I did notice as parts wore
was that overbearing understeer is not necessarily a fact of
life with these cars.  What I suppose was happening was that
with enough wear power-on toein becomes power-off toeout yeilding
trailing throttle oversteer becoming less subtle and more
dramatic as things progress.

So what I've done is keep a close eye on the tierod ends and
such, keep them tight as I can afford, and then adjust the
toe at the maximum toeout allowed by the spec, or even as much
as the turbo coupe spec allows, and have been very pleased with
the results.  Also I like the camber as positive as allowed.

I've had good luck with rim subsitutions, steel rims from
late 70s 100LS and early 5000 are a proper fit, which I use
for snow tires (and you haven't lived until you put out-and-out
snow tires on a quattro).  Also 14" four-bolt 924 rims can be used,
but they sit maybe 15mm further out and may interfere with
the plasitc fender liners if they don't sit just so.  I had to
reinstall them on two wheels since they hit very slightly on
hard corners.  Also you lose some of the Audi "on rails" feeling,
but seem to gain throttle pointability. 

I put in a new set of Boge "Turbo Gas" or some such on the 84
and like them a lot, at least compared to stock, but I like to
keep things reasonably soft since good handling in bumpy snow
is the primary mission for me.



Eliot W. Dudley                       edudley@rodan.acs.syr.edu
RD 1, Box 66       
Cato, New York   13033                315 437 0215