91 200 things to look for list

SuffolkD at aol.com SuffolkD at aol.com
Tue Jan 20 22:02:49 EST 2004

200q20v at audifans.com is the specific list for 200 20V questions.
HTH - Scott by BOSTON 200 20V x2

Subject: RE: 91 200tq-what to look for?
Will be checking the above in a few days. I'm familiar with the "normal" 
> things to check on a used vehicle and have kept an 87 5000cstq running to 
> present 302k miles, so am familiar with many "quirks" of this model. Anyone 
> to comment?
> Also-how does one check that the diff locks are functioning on the 91 model?

There's a few things that are special to that model. As with any 5 cyl, 
get records of the last timing belt change. If the seller doesn't have 
records, plan on changing it asap as a failure will wreck havoc. And the 
20v timing belt change isn't much more than the 10v.

The distributor gear is a problem on these engines. It's plastic, and 
around 140-160k miles they tend to break. Audi doesn't sell replacement 
gears, but the replacement distributors come with metal gears for a 
bargain price of ~$280. Rod at TPC, and Scott at SJM both have them on 
hand most of the time. The 20v list commissioned a place to make a run 
of just gears. At the time they were ~$45, but they sold out quickly. 
Occasionally one comes up for sale in the market place but they are 
usually sold within seconds. Ones I've seen on Ebay often go for upwards 
of $80+. If the gear fails, it doesn't damage anything. Though, I 
suppose if someone tows you incorrectly to home/shop, that could damage 
something. Mine let go for no apparent reason. Just cruising down the 
road and it's like turning off the key.

These cars *may* have different front brakes too. They're referred to as 
UFO's. It's in inverted caliper design, and is actually pretty cool. But 
they are prone to warping and can be costly to replace. I believe Audi 
offered a recall where they'd switch the front brakes to the G60 
calipers and regular rotors for free. Those don't brake as well, but are 
dirt cheap to maintain.

The radios can be problematic too. There's been cases of interior fires 
where the rear amps have caught the speakers/interior on fire. And the 
buttons on the headunit can stick often. Several people have pulled the 
whole system from the car and just used normal speakers and 
headunits/amps. That's my plan as well.

There's sometimes problems with the dash like speedometer jumping 
around, or lights behaving strangely, but it's usually a quick fix where 
a wire broke on the back of the IC.

Other things to consider are emissions. If you live where you get 
emissions checked, then you should be aware that new replacement cats 
are spendy. Many have gotten universal cats installed with differing 
success. Exhaust systems for the cars are pricey in general too, so 
check that out.

The cars use the same steering/braking system as the other 5k turbos, so 
all the same maintenance applies to these areas. Ditto on the power 
windows, climate control, heated seats, and sunroof

The diff lock button is a momentary switch mounted on the center console 
next to the E-brake. A LED by the button will light up once the diff is 
locked (based on diff engagement, not tied to switch directly). I 
believe the diff lock is automatically disengaged once the vehicle 
reaches 15 mph.

Oh yes, radiators....the plastic nipples on the radiator (Especially the 
upper hoses) can deteriorate and break off. New radiators are ~$275 as 
well. The radiator is specific to this car though. Other 5k radiators 
will fit, but the 91tq has an auxiliary radiator that connects to the 
front side of the pas. side tank. I currently have a regular 5k radiator 
in my car, but recently acquired the *correct* one that I'll be 
installing before the summer. Audi used to sell a kit that epoxied a 
metal bushing inside the nipples. This could help a radiator nearing 
failure last a little longer. Full metal, or aluminum/plastic radiators 
are available for similar prices. Some like the all metal for longevity. 
Others say is doesn't cool as well, and a new plastic/aluminum will 
probably last another 14 years anyway.

You may want to check out Chris Millers site on the 20V. It's at:

Also, I didn't notice you posting to the 20V list. Audifans has a list 
specifically for the 91 200 20v. Many from this list are on it, but 
they're all helpful for car info. You may join that list and post an 
intro to it.

I love both my audis. I have a 87 5kcstq and a 91 200 20v. I love the 
5k, but it doesn't even compare to the 20v. Power delivery is smooth and 
flat, and the torsen center diff is great on pavement, dirt, and gravel. 
Some like it less in the snow though. It just seems much more refined 
than the 5k models. I'm keeping my 5k to turn in to a awd hot rod, but 
love the 20v just how it is.

For 20v upgrades, the RS2 exhaust manifold is recommended, as is the 
turbo if you can afford it (stock k24 runs out of breath at much more 
than stock boost). Several people are tuning the 20v very well now days 
and will have many ideas for you beyond the above.
Hopefully this doesn't scare you away from the car. They really are great.
Dan Cordon
Mechanical Engineer
University of Idaho - Engine Research Facility

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