[urq] Motivating Audi to produce Parts
JackW at ihco.com
Fri Jun 30 14:35:58 EDT 2006
I totally have to agree with Mike,
If I was trying to reproduce an UrQ, I can see a lot of the point. My
car is so far from being a purist it isn't funny. With that said I also
have a very strong sense of loyalty to VAG. I've owned Audis since 1986,
don't plan on stopping now! Have 3 right now an 83UrQ, 93-S4, 95.5-S6
Avant. Have owned a 86 4000CSQ, 91 TQAvant, a 85 CGT, a 912E, 911SC, and
sooo many VWs I can't remember them all! My wife is looking to replace
her Cadillac SUV with a Porsche. Believe me when we show up at the
dealership this conversation is going to come up. So selling only new
cars shouldn't be VAG's only concern!
Although I've been looking at what it costs to ramp up a Subie rather
than a 95.5 Avant!
From: urq-bounces at audifans.com on behalf of Mike Fitton
Sent: Wed 6/28/2006 4:18 PM
To: urq at audifans.com
Subject: [urq] (my thoughts on) Motivating Audi to produce Parts
I'm going to attempt a post here. I was one of the guys having trouble
posting, so we'll see...
I'll start by saying that I'm in the middle of a ground-up restoration.
I'll also say up front that I am not an Audi purist. I'm on my 4th Audi
and 6th VWAG product, and I feel a strong sense of brand loyalty right
now. I think modern Audis are among the best cars on the planet. That
said, there are some other heavy hitters in the automotive world whose
engineering I have a great deal of respect for. Honda, Mazda, Volvo,
and Subaru are on the list. Even though I like modern (say, early 90s
and up) Audis, I think they have a lot of technical shortcomings. It's
not that Audi couldn't build the car I want; they just choose not to.
They're more interested in a luxury segment than a sportscar segment.
That's for the board to decide...I'm just a poor civil servant on a
Back to my Quattro restoration. I want the blue strut tops only
slightly more than I want the green ones. What I really want is a
spherical bearing at the top of each corner. I don't want a center
support bearing. Instead, I want a carbon fiber driveshaft that can
take real abuse. I don't want stock swaybar bushings. I want enormous
custom swaybars with appropriate polyurethane bushings and hemi-joint
endlinks. I don't want original ball joints. I want custom chromoly
control arms that accept a generic, maybe Truchoice, ball joint. I
don't want stock front fenders. I want fiberglass A2 replicas, which
I could go on. Basically, I want my car to be the best it can be.
Mechanical fuel injection, counterflow heads, and oil-cooled K26s fall
pretty short of "best." I recently picked up an urS6. I knew Audis had
improved in that 12 year difference between my two, but I was astonished
to see just how much. It's staggering how far Audi came between 1983
and 1995. I suspect I'd feel the same way if I owned a B7 RS4...too
poor right now, but someday. My point is, I'm not interested in
replacing what are by modern measurements crappy broken parts with brand
new crappy parts. Let's say Audi makes a run of ball joints for us.
Then what? We'll be having this discussion all over again in another
100k miles. We can't realistically expect Audi to support our cars
indefinitely. We may only feel justified because VWAG has deep pockets.
What if we were all Countach/Esprit/whatever-superesoteric-car
owners? Then we wouldn't even have that justification.
So I say to hell with Audi. Their parts supply doesn't have anything to
do with the fact that I think new Audis are cool. But it does mean I'm
on my own for this restoration, but I really can't say I'd have it any
other way. A showroom condition Quattro doesn't hold a candle to, say,
a new STI. For some of you, that's not the point of owning one. For
me, it's exactly the point. I believe the Quattro was so well-designed
that it can stand up to any of the modern Japanese hardware with only a
few relatively minor changes. Those changes just don't include many
stock parts. Think about it...our cars are 20 years old. In 2025,
where is today's brand new STI going to be? I think it'll be forgotten,
with a small cult following that's as devoted as they are deluded.
Point of reference: modern day DSM heads. Sure, there's lots of support
and aftermarket for old DSMs, but how much longer is that going to last?
Mitsubishi's not doing so well in North America, and I wouldn't be
surprised to see them pull out completely in the next few years. And
then all those DSM heads will be wetting their pants in parts supply
frustration. And for what? A car that totally sucks. At least our
cars are awesome already. We have at least that much on our side. Our
cars will never be forgotten.
Look what that guy Hap did in the C4 world. All he did was make a big
honkin rear swaybar, and now he's almost a household name among those
that care. Same goes for Javad Shadzi. All he did was make a tubular
header and a fuel-only ECU that didn't shit the bed when faced with an
odd number of cylinders. He then built an entire business around that
initial product, and appears to be doing very well. If you live in
North America, and you wanna get nutty on a 5cyl Audi engine,
particularly a 10v version, "Pay to the Order of: 034MS" is the first
big check you write.
So let's get dirty and start fabricating/commissioning our own parts to
our own specs.
The Irwin-Hodson Company
2838 SE 9th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97202
jackw at ihco.com <mailto:jackw at ihco.com>
503) 419-4601 Direct Line
503) 807-3807 Cellular Phone
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