[urq] 1.8T or V8? Decisions, decisions...

jeffrey.goggin at cox.net jeffrey.goggin at cox.net
Sat Jul 23 13:00:41 EDT 2005

This past Thursday, I took delivery of a complete (including even the starter motor and coolant reservoir!) 1.8T engine setup that I plan to swap into my ’99.5 A4.  This engine has been bored and stroked to 2.0 liters, uses a hybrid Garrett turbo, has a modified fuel and ignition system, 3” exhaust, etc. When it was dyno’d last September, it made 335hp at the wheels running 29psi of boost on 101 octane unleaded.  Potent, to say the least, and since it’s basically a turn-key setup – I’ve learned my lesson about getting involved with complicated engine swaps! – I hope to have it installed and running within the next few weeks.

This will leave me with my present 1.8T engine setup: K04 turbo, 310cc injectors, PC_16 chip, RS4 intercooler, etc.  When I had it dyno’d earlier this spring (before I’d installed the RS4 I/C and fine-tuned the fueling), it made 184hp at the wheels and my butt dyno thinks it’s making a bit more than that now.  Not as powerful as breathed-on MC or 20V 5-cylinder engine setup, to be sure, but way more than a stock and, perhaps best of all, the 1.8T is approximately 50lbs lighter and 3” shorter than the UrQ's original 2.1L engine

Perhaps you can see where I’m headed with this: Pull the plug on my V8 swap and instead of selling the leftover 1.8T engine, swap that into the UrQ and sell the V8 setup instead.  I could then use a 4-cyl. 4000 subframe (with slight modifications) to mount the engine in the UrQ instead of having to fabricate custom motor mounts; the extra room up front will make it easy to install a front-mounted radiator and a/c condenser (as was also done in 4-cyl. 4000s); I can tie into the OEM exhaust system rather than running dual pipes all the way to the back; because the PS pump is powered by a separate belt instead of the serpentine belt the V8 uses, I can just swap the OEM UrQ PS pump for the A4’s Pentosin-based PS pump and not have to mess with swapping steering racks and hoses, etc. 
 well, the list goes on, but best of all, with some careful planning, I don’t think any permanent modifications to the car will need to be made (it may look funny to leave them in place, but I think I can even work around the OEM motor mount brackets), so that when UrQ’s finally become collectible and trade in the six-figure range (hah!), I can reinstall all of the original parts and no one will ever be the wiser.  

So, my question to this forum: Has this swap ever been done?  How difficult will it be to adapt a Type 016 tranny to a 1.8T block (or, conversely, adapt the A4’s 01A tranny to the UrQ’s chassis)?  Is there anything I’ve overlooked here (I understand there might be a problem with the A4’s immobilizer setup, but if people can swap these engines into Rabbits and Golfs, there's obviously a way to work around this)?

Performance-wise, I think the engine’s power and torque curve will be at least adequate, especially with the ~200lb. weight savings as compared to my A4, and of course, there’s more power available should I ever wish to spend the money.  The shorter, lighter engine will be a plus for handling as well, as it’ll take some weight off the front end as well as lighten the car overall.

Am I onto something here or should I just install the MC2 out of the ’89 200q I’ll be parting out shortly?  I'm certain that I don’t want to reinstall the original engine, as I think its technology is just too outdated by comparison to the alternatives I have at my disposal and frankly, it’s time to finally face reality and accept that it’ll be years, if ever, before I have time to finish my V8 swap thanks to all the fabrication required and my limited resources in that regard.

As much as I enjoy driving (and autocrossing) my A4 – as I’ve said elsewhere, in its present state, it’s without a doubt the best handling Audi I’ve ever owned or driven! – I’m still anxious to get my UrQ back on the road again, one way or another, and the more I think about it, the 1.8T swap becomes increasingly attractive.

Comments, anybody?

Jeffrey Goggin
Scottsdale, AZ

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