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Re: 5000 CST: to buy or not to buy?

welcome to the list, Eugene.

On Wed, 26 Nov 1997 11:05:17 -0800 Eugene Sokolovski
<esokolov@glue.umd.edu> writes:
>Hi all 
>  I am new to the list and would like to hear any 
>comments/opinions/suggestions about subject .I am 
>thinking about buying an '86 5kcst with 127K on the
>clock. It's not quattro, but it is 5-speed.The car seems
>to be in good shape, and all the electrical works except
>cruise control.Yes,it does have a power steering pump leak,
>(~ $300 fix)

Not really. I rebuilt 3 of those so far, each time with a $15 seal and
O-ring kit. Piece of cake.

> and the owner wants $2000 for it. Does this sound
>like a good deal?


>I know that Audi parts here in US are expensive,

Also not entirely correct. The key is to know what to fix and where
to buy parts. You'll find boat loads of info about it on this very list.
I found that my 200 costs me a_lot_less to maintain than a Buick
is to my neighbour or a Maxima is to my cousin. You will find Audi
parts in a lot of places that you'd never expect, like Pep Toys for
Naturally, I am not speaking about performance mods here, but
that's a whole different story.

> but I am familiar with cars and have always fixed my cars by myself.

In this case you should have no trouble maintaining your Audi in 
a top notch condition.
Audis are built_very_well engineering-wise and are very easy to
work on. Much easier than most of the Japanese cars that I 
worked on, let alone anything that left Detroit assembly lines.

Audis do have a few quirks, though.
Number One: a timing belt tensioner, which is combined with
the water pump. Break the pump loose in order to relieve the
tension on the belt and voila! you've got a coolant leak. A totally
moronic design IMO.
Number Two: a clutch Master Cylinder, which not only shares
the reservoir with the brake MC(!), but is also mounted in the
passenger compartment under the clutch pedal. A light coloured
carpeting in your car would make for a very easy diagnostic: once
you saw a tan puddle by the left kick panel and saw the beige
leather on your $120 left Bally shoe being eaten away by the brake
fluid you'd instantly know that it's time to replace the clutch MC.
Don't ask me how I know this:)
Lucky us, left-hand-drivers. The job is so easy it should be outlawed.
On the UK and other right-hand-drive spec'd cars it is quite a project.

> I never worked on turbos though. Are they
>much more complex to work on?

I once owned a N/A 5000s, now own a 200TQ, worked quite
extensively on both.
No comparison.

> Are they reasonably reliable?

Yes they are, provided your '86 has a single oil filter and a water
cooled turbo.
>Any other "common" problems with these cars?

Jeez, where do I start? =8)

Seriously, except for a nightmarish hydraulic sys and a poorly 
designed exhaust mnfld, that likes to stretch and to break studs
along with it, I don't see too many of the Achillean's heels on the
turbo 44-chassis Audis.
Oh, Audi might have some random electrical problems too, but
they are generally a lot easier and much more fun to fix than,
for instance, a vulgar and messy P/S rack rebuild or some such
dumb and strait forward repair.

Igor Kessel
'89 200TQ - 18psi (TAP)
'98 A4TQ - coming soon
Philadelphia, PA