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Re: Get a 4000?

At 07:51 PM 12/8/96 -0500, you wrote:
>I'm giving some thought to a 4000 as my next car. I'm currently an 
>impoverished student, so any decision is a year and a half off, but all the 
>more time to research the matter! Now, prepare to have your ear bent! :)

My very first car was a 1986 Audi Coupe GT.  This is an interesting
conglomerate of an Audi.  It has the 4000 chassis and body, with 5000
mechanicals (e.g. the 5-cyl. engine)
>First, how troublefree are the cars? Most owners I've talked to have had good 
>experiences (one of my teachers had a '79 4000 in the family that went nearly 
>300K miles), but I get the occasional person who says, "It's a can of worms!" 
>Particular trouble areas, good/bad years?

I bought it from a commercial real estate agent who put 25k/year on it but
maintained it religously.  When I bought it it had 142k on the clock.  I had
to put an exhaust, tie rods, CV joints, a fuel pump and starter on it.  All
things that are not out of the ordinary for a car that old.  If an Audi is
well maintained it will not give you too many problems.  Make sure it hasn't
been in an accident.

>What about cost of parts and routine maintenance? I see a certain amount of 
>grumbling about parts prices on the list, but I've heard a bit of that about 
>every make of car I've owned (Saab, Fiat, Peugeot), so my inclination is to 
>take it with a grain of salt. I've also heard that even parts for American 
>cars aren't cheap any more. Is the 4000 really much worse than other cars in 
>this regard?

Well the exhaust from the cat back cost $215 from midas (Hey, I was sixteen
at the time)  But the Tie rods and the rest of the front end added up to
about $800.  But I suppose that is not too much worse than any other luxury
car marque.

>How crashworthy is the 4000? I've had a couple of bad crashes in 25 years of 
>driving, and I once dated a nurse who worked w/paralytics, some of whom got 
>that way in crashes, so I don't kid myself that it can't happen to me. If I 
>heard some stories about people walking away unhurt, or w/minor injuries, from 
>a really epic crash in a 4000 (the kind of stories you hear about Saabs and 
>Volvos), I'd really be impressed. If not, so be it.

On ice in January of 1994 a Honda Accord and I slid into each other on the
ice.  The Coupe suffered a quarter-sized hole in the plastic bumper cover, a
broken side marker light and a bent trim piece.  The Honda, well $3500 and a
whole new passenger side later it was fixed.  On the same note however.
When a Ford F-150 backed into the same corner two months later and broke the
headlight, bent the fender, cracked the bumper cover more, and the bumper
itself, the cost to fix it was about $3300.  No experiences with bad
crashes, knock on wood.

>Much as I'd like to have a 4000 Quattro, I assume that it'd be more expensive 
>to register and insure, and the Quattro-specific parts would be pricy. Right?

Don't know, hope not though, 'cause a Coupe Quattro is next on my shopping list.

>What about the VW Quantum? I understand it falls between the 4k and 5k in 
>size--I once even read an article that termed it, tongue in cheek, a VW 4500! 
>I assume it shares engines and at least some drivetrain bits with Audis. While 
>I haven't done a rigorous year-by-year comparison, perusing the want ads 
>suggests that those 4 rings on the grille of a used Audi cost at least $125 
>apiece! I'm wondering if the Quantum is a decent car that just doesn't have a 
>sporty image and isn't in demand--that's certainly been true of the Peugeot 
>504's I've owned. I also see that used 4k's sell for more than 5k's--again, is 
>this a supply and demand issue? I won't say that I absolutely couldn't be 
>talked into a 5k (my current Peugeot 504 certainly isn't a barge), but I don't 
>really need a bigger car than a 4k.

Close, the quantum is a 4000 with either the 4-cyl or 5-cyl (Quantum GL-5, I
think) engine.  many of the interior switches are the same as are most of
the mechanicals.  

>I know that at some point in the late 80s, the 4000 got European-style 
>headlights replacing the previous 4 rectangular units, but did they or didn't 
>go to a whole new body shell at that point?

1985 the 4k got euro lights and a redesigned body through 1987, 1988 Audi
introduced the 90-series cars

>The 4000 would be my first fuel-injected car. For the last 15 years I've been 
>going to a very good self-taught back-yard mechanic in Seattle who's 
>competent, as fair and honest as the day is long, charges only $25/hr, and 
>makes house and road calls--but he isn't equipped to deal with FI-equipped 
>cars. Naturally, I don't want to fix what ain't broke! I know that some of his 
>other customers have FI-equipped cars (Saab 900's, Peugeot 505's), but I'm not 
>sure how they deal w/tuneups and FI work. Of course, I wouldn't be so tactless 
>as to tell a garage straight up, "You're really too expensive, but I'll use 
>you when there's no alternative," but the issue is still there. Thoughts?

Not too much insight here, so I'll keep my mouth shut.

>Anyway, you now have a new participant, with an attitude, so get used to
it! :) 
>Thanks for your insights!
>--Andrew Buc, Seattle, WA; Internet: 72220.443@compuserve.com

Hope this helped.

Bryan Bowen
Junior, Ohio State University
(Soon to be Elon College again)
International Business and Spanish Double Major

Currently without a car
(Looking for a Coupe Quattro)