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Audi fixin' weekend...

Hello everyone, I'm back after a long hiatus.

This weekend I was in New Jersey working on my other car to get it ready to
sell, but I also spent some time fixing some of the problems on my parent's
two cars, an '85 Turbo and an '86 Wagon.

The '85 Turbo was running very badly, it was very tough to start and would
stall unless you kept one foot on the brake and the gas at stoplights ... this
was preventing my mom from driving it.  The car had been in for service at one
of the local Audi specialist shops several weeks before for new PCV breathers
and a new starter motor, and my dad was loathing the prospect of another
several hundred dollar repair on the car.  I suspected the IC/TB hose, and lo
and behold, a little probing revealed that it was split in several places.
Put the new hose on ($90 from the dealer - yikes!) and the car is running like
new with 140k miles, developing 1.3-1.4 bar of boost easily and the idle is
steady again, with no starting problems.

Also the rear passenger-side door would not open - the lock mechanism had
broken in the "down" position (on _both_ rear doors) and the power locks had
become mysteriously disabled.  I removed the back seat and pulled the vacuum
hose off of the power lock pump and blew into the hose - voila, all four locks
popped up.  Removal of the door panels revealed that the hard plastic pieces
that join the two halves of the lock rods had snapped in exactly the same way
on both doors.  Lacking replacements for the plastic bridges, I wired the two
halves together carefully with some thin, stiff wire from the back of a TV set
(using the wire-wrapping skills that I had gained back in my dirt-bike days)
and then wrapped them with duct tape - they should stay together for a good
long time now.  The fuse for the power-lock mechanism had blown, but my dad
said that he might have accidentally shorted the wire to the rear defroster
when he installed a new power antenna - the locks had quit the same afternoon,
along with the defroster and power mirrors.  In any case, I replaced the fuse
and in three days of operation the locks, mirrors, and defroster worked

Then on to the '86 Wagon, which had had a replacement steering rack installed
by a local "service station".  Unfortunately they had neglected to push the
steering wheel in while tightening the pinch bolt from the column to the rack,
so the steering was making horrible grinding noises whenever the wheel was
turned.  My dad knew what the problem was but, big guy that he is and having
put on a "little weight" over the last few years, he had decided to wait until
someone a little younger could get under the dashboard (me).  Ten minutes
later the steering was working perfectly.  Now the wagon will be back on the
road again soon, running well at 170k miles.

Anyway, my dad was amazed that all of the problems were fixed so easily and
cheaply, and I just smiled and said, "well, you ought to check out the Qlist
every once in a while and it wouldn't seem like such a miracle".

Best Wishes,