MOT write up:-longish

Graham Thackrah ggthack at
Sun Feb 18 15:48:55 EST 2001

Hi List,

Before I start, UK listers, Halfords are getting rid of their in store stock of
Facom bits, picked up spanners for 4-5 quid and a set of pliers for 8 the other
day, may be worth a look at your local one. You can still order Facom bits from
them they are just not holding stock in store anymore.

Having just got my 90 quattro through it's last road worthiness test I
thought I'd share a few things I sorted out.

It failed first on saggy rear springs, number plate lights working
intermittently and a non-functioning o/s/r hand brake cable. The wiring and
hand brake problem were fixed easily enough by redoing the previous owners
attempts at wiring and replacing the handbrake cable (easier if you slacken off
the adjuster under the handbrake lever as far as it goes, that helps you take
the old cable off and put the new one on)

The rear springs were the nightmare. I got a new set from Dialynx performance
again as though they are cheaper than they were from the dealer (only 70 GBP
each now rather than 110) it's still a lot for two and a set of strut mounts.
The Boge part number was 25.A07.0 which I have still to check with a UK
Sachs-Boge agent if it is a correct fitment for a 1985 UK Audi 90 quattro
(US 4kq). They fit fine and seem to give a stock height and ride, as far
as I can tell _but_ they don't have the same number of turns as the old ones.
140 odd for the pair and strut mounts. 

I've done rear struts twice before and had no problems. This time one side went
without a hitch in about an hour and a half. Rear parcel shelf out to reach
the upper strut nuts, all ball joints separated fine, drive shaft came out of
the hub easily and my Macpherson strut tools were an absolute blessing, no more
screwdrivers and hammers for me:)) Just need one of those neat spring
compressors that are two 'U' shapes with a common bolt between them rather than
two separate long bolts with hooks and it'd be dead easy. They take hardly
anytime to compress the springs rather than 10 minutes fiddling about
alternating between each side, grrr.

The other side was horrible. Firstly the ball joint nut stripped it's threads.
Then I couldn't separate the tie rod from the strut:(

I managed to saw off the ball joint nut and pulled the strut by undoing the tie
rod from the subframe. I replaced the ball joint but sheared off one of the
retaining bolts for the old one in the strut. If you do a ball joint on the
rear struts, take it slowly, these were original (120k miles) AFAIK and the
threads were a bit tough. Also the ball joint was tough to remove even after
removing the bolts, had to lever it off with a screwdriver in the end! I took
the car as it was to have it re-tested and got them to extract the old sheared
bolt, replace the rear tie rod (from Quattro corner in Birmingham, half the
price of the item from VAG!!) and sort the mixture out. If anyone remembers I
had to adjust the timimg a while back to prevent pinking at high revs, turns
out the mixture was way lean and this was causing the pinking rather than the
timing. I don't really know how to tell if the mixture is lean apart from
testing the emissions so I was stuck with changing the timing back then.

Anyway, the garage managed to extract the broken bolt, change the tie rod and
set the timing and emissions so the car flies now:) They did an alignment too
and the difference is great. It is about 10mph quicker through a nice set of
bends I know and no-longer feels anywhere near as fidgety as it did. The car
idles and sounds much better from cold too:)

Cost us a bit to sort out though and left me with 17p till the end of the
month!! pesky thing.



1985 90q

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