[A4] Rebuilt 2.8l 12v? Mine is a write-off...

Brandon Rogers brogers at terrix.com
Mon Jul 12 12:40:11 EDT 2004

Frankly, it sound like the mechanic you've been using is building a nice
retirement nest egg with your money.  Find a new mechanic who knows what
he's doing.  The whole story just sounds fishy to me..


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sean Reifschneider" <jafo-audifans at tummy.com>
To: <a4 at audifans.com>
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 3:17 AM
Subject: [A4] Rebuilt 2.8l 12v? Mine is a write-off...

> I'm starting to think that the only way we can make any progress with
> our '97 A4 2.8 is to replace the engine.  I'm not having much luck with
> finding rebuilders that are well regarded.  Any thoughts on that?
> We've spent over $6k on the current engine this year, and it's been in
> the shop something around 8 weeks so far this year.  In the last 6 weeks
> we've had the car a total of 2 days.
> It all started back in January with some lifter noise.  Some pictures
> are at the bottom of:
>    http://journal.codeslinger.com/getentry.html?stamp=20040107_1544
> I heard it when I started it up, and took it to the mechanic right away.
> One totally shot lifter, which also toasted the cam.  In the end I asked
> them to replace both cam shafts and all the lifters, because having a
> reliable car is a good thing.
> Everything was fine until Memorial Day weekend, when the car died in the
> middle of Nebraska.  Broken timing belt.  The current belt, water pump,
> and idler pulley should have had only 20k on them, or around 3k since
> the cam work above.
> After the repair, within 10 miles of driving, the car died again, as if
> the belt broke.  Apparently, the belt slipped because the idler was bad.
> No valves were hurt, the shop replaced the belt and idler at their cost
> because he had said the idler was fine when replacing the broken belt.
> We got the car back Saturday afternoon, and within about 10 miles the
> check engine light came on.  On the way home, within about 20 miles, the
> car stalled out at a light.  I was able to get it to re-start, but it
> was running really rough, and the lifters are noisy again.  It idled
> fine for about a minute, then died out again.  I had it towed back to
> the mechanic in question and need to go have a chat with them.
> We love the car, but we're pretty sure that any more money going into the
> current engine would be a mistake at this point.  I found some
> indication that a rebuilt engine could be had for around $2500, and I
> figure about another $1500 for related parts to do an engine swap (might
> as well do CV boots and clutch at the same time, and there's no way I'm
> putting the current water pump and idler on there).
> At this point we've spent $6k on the car, and now I'm talking about
> another $4k in parts alone to get a car that's worth (at best) $10k
> running again.  The Audi is obviously worth more to us running than
> anyone else, but at some point we have to stop pouring cash into this
> car and just sell it for a fraction of what we've recently put into it.
> I'd like to be able to keep the Audi, because we really do like it as a
> car (we've had it since something around 12 miles).  There's not a lot
> of choice in AWD sedans, particularly of the fit and finish level and
> features of the Audi.
> I'd appreciate any comments or pointers to rebuilt engines anyone has.
> Thanks,
> Sean
> -- 
>  "The only thing more expensive than hiring a professional is hiring
>  an amateur."  -- Red Adair,  Oil Well Fire-Fighter
> Sean Reifschneider, Member of Technical Staff <jafo at tummy.com>
> tummy.com, ltd. - Linux Consulting since 1995.  Qmail, Python, SysAdmin
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