Brett Dikeman brett at
Sun Mar 28 21:50:59 EST 2004

At 5:12 PM -0800 3/28/04, Bernie Benz wrote:

>5KQ and 200Q trannies may also be interchangeable?

The gear ratios are different since they are designed for different 
engines, they don't have the procon/TENS bracket(which cannot be 
bolted on) and they do not have center torsen differentials. 
Some(many, actually) don't even have the same final drive ratio.

>   Having yours rebuilt was worth about $1K 6 years ago.  The
>best being German Transaxle in Bend Oregon. (PO paid on my 01A in the
>90Q-20V) Talk to them.

I have an estimate from a rebuilder for $1700 for all new seals, 
bearings, and syncros on the used and known-good transmission I now 
have courtesy Mike Sylvester, and he suggested bringing both trannies 
so he could utilize any good parts from the destroyed original if 
they were in better shape than the "new" unit.  It would be closer to 
$1500 if I opted to not have the bearings done.  He's local, so 
unless German Transaxle will cover shipping both ways as part of that 
6-year-old price quote- no deal, since shipping a several hundred 
pound transmission is rather expensive, especially in any reasonable 
time frame and over such a distance.

>You've known that you have had a shaft seal leak for how long, and what had
>you done to correct it?

It appeared to be a very slow leak and the transmission was filled to 
overflowing shortly after the leak was noticed.  I was already 
weighing options for how to deal with the problem before it seized. 
Obviously I miscalculated on how much time I had to take care of it.

>   If nothing, why had you not added 1/2 can of engine
>seal restorer when first discovered, and an especially easy task having just
>changed fluid.

Because I did not believe engine seal restorer was proper for a 
transmission and the mechanic or two I discussed it with felt the 
same way.  Transmissions are for the most part unvented(save the tiny 
little vent up top) and obviously run at temperatures well under that 
which engine oil does, so it was unlikely the ingredients in the seal 
"restorer"(which is actually a seal "sweller") would not "burn off" 
or evaporate.

>  If this seal treatment doesn't do the job in 1K miles the seal's 
>broke!  Replace it!

Under 1000 miles were put on the car from when the leak was noticed 
to when the transmission seized.

>Why did you change fluid?

Because it had never been changed and I knew some fluid had leaked out.

>Is your normal parking spot on a smooth pad where you can easily and often
>monitor for fluid leaks of all kinds?

No. I do periodic undercarriage inspections.

>A clean heat shield is enough, and it is there primarily to protect the CV
>joint, not the tranny seal.  The tranny seal should be well cooled by the
>circulating tranny fluid, if any.

If that is the case, why is the failure rate for the right seal 
higher than the left, which is not exposed to exhaust heat?  And last 
time I checked, my tranny fluid doesn't circulate after I park the 

>   "jethot coating" is best used on fat wallets, not your current problem.

I'm sorry, but I'll trust the opinion of a man whose livelihood is 
fixing these cars, and is widely respected as the best mechanic in 
the northeast, over your opinion.

Coatings are not a joke; ask anyone who has used them.  When applied 
to the inside+outside of exhaust components, it significantly lowers 
their surface temperature and underhood temps; it is superior for 
street applications compared to wrapping, which causes the metal to 
get hotter and can also cause problems if you go through puddles with 
the exhaust hot.  Both have proven results with lowering underhood 
temperatures dramatically(which increases component life throughout 
the engine compartment) and wrapping is sometimes preferred for race 
applications if the exhaust specs are restricted, since you loose 
some interior diameter with a coating.

   The right front engine mount is also shielded and even has a duct 
system that uses the duct for the oil cooler to cool it.  Yet on 
virtually every I-5 Audi, that engine mount fails numerous times over 
the life of the car while the driver's side mount keeps on keepin' 
on.   The turbo bypass hose is shielded from the exhaust but gets so 
cooked it needs replacement on a regular basis.  You draw your 
conclusions, I'll draw mine.

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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