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1991 200q 20V 3B Failure - Swiss Block, Anyone?

To begin, thanks everyone on the 200q20V list for the responses, help, and
encouragement. Individual responses are coming....

So, sorry for the informality of a 'mass response', but I've been busy
checking out options on the leads you all provided, and I haven't had time to
make individual responses (though I appreciate everyone's thoughts greatly). 
I've also cc'd the main list, as this issue is of interest to all 20vt cars.

I have a partial shortblock coming from Chris Semple at Autobahn, and the
remaining parts from Max at AVS. I will have a brand new K24 turbo from a
local S4 friend who replaced his failed K24 with an RS2, (Audi shipped a new
K24 under warranty - it only made it as far as a shelf in his garage).

So, the end result will be a totally fresh motor and turbo, hopefully for
under $3k, all said and done. 

I greatly appreciate everyone's help and condolences. I doubt I will keep the
car, as my employer is pushing me toward a new "more reliable" car. (I am
leaning toward a new Passat or A4). It pains me to do this, as I've invested
more than most of you paid for your cars in maintaining/upgrading this one. It
is very much 'better than new' at this point.  

If I sell the car (quite likely), I will post a detailed ad, but it is
basically a 9.5/10 both cosmetically and mechanically. Others have called it
an 11/10; I'm a perfectionist. Details will follow with the official sale
offering (FYI: Stebro, Bilstein/Eibach, Euros, high-end hi-fi, S4 (non-UFO)
brakes, etc etc). Everything works, except the driver's seat heater (I live in
San Diego; not a lot of incentive for me to fix that). The new motor will run
with a stock ECU for break-in purposes.  

Again, thanks for all the assistance and concern. It should be up and running
in a few weeks. I will take photos (you can see cylinders 1, 2 and 3, and you
can see clear through #2. The head was not damaged, save 4 valves). The #2 rod
snapped in the middle. The new motor will use low mileage rods and pistons,
with new bearings/rings/seals/gaskets/valve guides/Tbelt/h20 pump.  

This all happened as a result of a 'miss' or 'stumble' that would occur during
the transition from steady-state cruising (.9-1.1 bar) to full throttle/full
boost, in the 3-4k RPM range (75-100 mph in 5th). The engine would stumble
hard at 1.4-1.5 bar, and on prolonged acceleration (from a stop up through the
gears) it would accelerate like an average car, backfiring occasionally.
Unfortunately I was not able to sort out the problem in time. I know the IC
and related hoses were full of oil, as the turbo seal was starting to go bad
over the last few weeks. At the same time, I had switched from Valvoline 20-50
Racing (yes, it still has detergents; it is not true racing oil) to Castrol
20-50 (both dino oil). The castrol was like water, and seemed to be allowing
significantly more oil through the seal and thereby the IC, and up to the
combustion chamber. 

Upon discovering that, I switched to Valvoline SAE 50 Racing, which is darn
thick motor oil. I thought I'd try it for a day or so (what can it hurt for a
day or two - and, hey, this is SoCal, not Siberia...) to see how it effects
the smokey startup/stumbling problem. Immediately, the turbo was spooling
faster than ever (thicker oil floated the bearings a bit better, perhaps?),
but the stumbling was worse. As I tested the transition from steady state to
full boost (5th gear) I was experiencing more stumbling than previous, until
the rod let go, effectively putting the kabosh on my 'research'.

Bottom line: I will only run dino 20-50 valvoline racing in the new motor (in
SoCal), and will switch it ito synthetic after break-in (~3k miles). I will
not run high boost unless everything is running smooth. It was the 'stumbling'
that caused the extra stress that broke the rod. Had the car not been
'missing/stumbling', I have no doubt the motor would still be fine.  My
symptoms were similar to what I understand others have experienced with 3B's,
though with more than the 1.2 bar of boost I was running. For those of you out
there with this miss/stumble symptom, be careful. The rods are weak. 

I will post updates as I learn anything new, especially as to the cause. If
you or anyone might be interested in purchasing this car, let me know. It will
be about the best example available when finished. Photos (not recently
updated) are at Henry Harper's site:


Since then it has received a full Stebro exhaust (inc. cats), as well as body
color waistline trim, doorhandles, V8 D-pillar caps, and an ABT grill. I looks
quite nice, and can be returned to stock appearance fairly easily, if that is
your preference. I will have updated photos when it is back together, probably
3 weeks from now. 

In the mean time, thanks for the assistance, it is much appreciated. 


Sargent Schutt
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-200Q20V@pdikeman.ne.mediaone.net
> > [mailto:owner-200Q20V@pdikeman.ne.mediaone.net]On Behalf Of Sargent
> > Schutt
> > Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 1998 3:36 AM
> > To: 200q20v list

> > Subject: No more stumbling - bad news is...
> >
> >
> > There's a piece of my block missing. And one piston is no longer
> > connected to
> > the crank - it has made fast friends with Mr. and Mrs. Valves.
> > Valvoline? I'll
> > show you valvoline...
> >
> > Anyone have any good (read "inexpensive") sources for a short block?
> >
> > The car has 185k on it, so I may not fix it. Trying to find a
> > cheap solution
> > first...  If I scrap it, It will go whole, not for parted out (by
> > me), most
> > likely.  It looks great, and drives great, save the motor...
> >
> > Sarge
> >
> > 91 200q TAP, Stebro, Bilstein/Eibach, 16 valve four banger turbo.
> >