[torsen] Re: T-giving play and some notes...

QSHIPQ at aol.com QSHIPQ at aol.com
Mon Nov 27 12:26:03 EST 2000

A great Tgiving trip to the Catskills this past weekend sure did solidify my 
preference for the best all round tire (cautiously adding occasional winter 
use to the fold).  After watching the weather like a hawk, went for the trip 
with the Big Reds and 235/4517 HTRZII's.  Despite the weather hawkers 
assurances of smooth sailing, the trip managed to throw everything from rain, 
sleet, ice, snow at our qwagon.  This included a couple hours driving with 
both C/R diffs locked in eastern PA.  Report is good, mucho better than the 
SP8000 which was a non mover in snow.  No question that a proper ice/snow 
tire would have been a safer way to fly, tho the predictability and stability 
of the HTRZII's proved to be beyond expectation.  Obviously snow was it's 
biggest downfall, but I was happy to find that with locked diffs, 2in of it 
on the roads was quite fun (as apposed to quite stressful, btdt with both 
8k's and 008's).  In between the nasty weather, still got some fun dry runs 
on some of my favorite back roads as well.  I will say that I won't do this 
again, however, since my enjoyment of Tgiving was tempered with a constant 
obsession with the next days weather (I figured if the snow got over a couple 
inches we were in big trouble).  That said, for most winter conditions, 
HTRZII's are most acceptable with quattro.  

To other subjects....  First and foremost is the T*rsen discussion.  I think 
you S car and 20v/t guys are going to have a hard time discussing *any* 
suspension mods without discussing the device that affects chassis dynamics 
the most in terms of U and O.  Jimmy, there are no archives for Torsen List 
yet, never have been, so the "banishment" of torsen discussions is only a 
black hole, maybe intentionally.  

To my learned collegue in NZ:  Read the posts, I shouldn't have to repeat 
that A4's btcc don't use traditional a arms, traditional ARB's, traditional 
engine, diffs, or placement of said any (including engine 6in back).  The 
adjustable blade type ARB's allow driver preference, but remember, just like 
the "or T*rsen" comments audi uses, the blade type ARB's can allow -no- 
affect in the adjustment range (like when you get the coil overs just right 
for the track conditions).  If one wants to argue adjustable blade type ARB's 
on a street car, I'd sure entertain that, but given the suspension travel and 
inconsistency of a multitude of driving environments, it's really not 
applicable to a street car anyhow (certainly no type 44 car either).  In 
terms of 'your' torsen understanding, you must first come to grips with why 
all the M/S race teams of the new S4 (clean slate, designed for torsen 
application) welds them to get 'faster', championship winning lap times.  If 
you can't explain that in terms of T vs L, then you've missed the 
cummulative, hence subjective results, many of us haven't (includes StigB 
hisself):  predictability. 

Locking rear only diffs:  Glen has some success with it on a tight course.  
My experience isn't on tight courses anymore (I remember them well though, 
having CRX guys setting up courses that my GLH turbo couldn't turn).  I don't 
advocate this move on open courses, unless you have to put down a whole lot 
of HP (I haven't seen a whole lot of HP yet).  OR you reduce cf.  Most tracks 
will give massive rewards for center diff locked, but the rear doesn't seem 
to affect times positively, IME.  I could see it for a full race car where 
wheel lift will still have the outside rear with traction (supporting Glen's 
race car experience, and the M/S rear welds).  I don't advocate tuning street 
cars to have this effect, it's no fun, and expensive on tires.

Rear diff locked torsen center cars:  I watched Dave Lawson try to work the 
rear diff lock on the torsen car in his qwagon a couple years ago at 
steamboat, it sure didn't look pretty, more tail waggin that without it.  
FYI, he had also disconnected the 15mph cutout.  I do know that it is very 
useful (just like the center/rear diff lockers) at steamboat coming out of 
the hole past the apex, btdt with a well seasoned student in a 92 S4, mucho 

Cam chains in multivalve cars:  The 20v/t motor has a belt and a chain, the 
belt is attached to the exhaust cam.  The exhaust cam is referenced to the 
intake cam by a chain that sits under the valve cover at the front of the 
motor.  *Both* cams need to be removed completely to remove the chain, so 
those lifters are easy to justify (like 5minutes more).  IME with the cam 
chain, it makes a huge difference to idle and just off idle characteristics.  
IME2, a new cam chain has -no- slack in it whatsoever, I've seen old ones 
that can give almost a full tooth out of synch.  BTW, I had one 20v n/a car 
that failed emissions because of the cam chain was so sloppy.  The v8 is 
similar (2 chains for four cams) in concept, just a bit different in 

All for now, looking forward to next weekend when the dual locker 
conversioned 83 goes to northern MI with it's upped "rally" suspension and 
real snows....


'875ktqw - Pearl Black
'84 Urq - Tornado
'83 Urq - Amazon

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