[V8] RE: car shopping

Ben Swann benswann at comcast.net
Wed Jun 16 22:41:43 EDT 2004

I don't agree with this.  I know that in theory this is considered to be true.  Howeve in my opinion after owning and servicing many of the older quattros as well as the FWDs, autos, etc., I find the quattro portion of the system - drivetrain, etc. to be more reliable.  I have rarely seen rear CV boots needing replacement - they don't fail as quickly as the fronts since the wheels don't steer.

Less  failure due to fatique overall to the drivetrain - I beleive because the load gets distributed between the 4 wheels.  

I know the types of problems one expects with an '87 I5 turbo - probably the coolant lines to the turbo, as they need to be replaced at around 130K miles.   The exhaust manifold cracks too and that may be one of the larger expenses.  Ignoring the broken motor mounts will fail the manifold and/or downpipe.  If the car has been kept reasonably salt free, then I'd expect the rest of the car to be in pretty good shape.  Replace the worn suspension components and brakes and it will be like a newer car.

Other things:
Timing Belt water pump - should be done.
vacuum lines and hoses- sort it all out.

Once everything is up to snuff, it is easy to keep it that way.  I feel somewhat quatlified to mention this point of view because I just finished putting together a complete avant - engine, suspension, interior, incl. dash and wiring.  This was because the car was being parted out when I got it.  Not much to say was broken, but some things were very neglected.  Knowing how the car is put together, I think these cars were built overkill!

I know the drivetrain adds mass, but the '87 avants I've had - about 3 of them had pretty good mileage, around 24 city and 28 highway - once sorted and tuned that is.


[I know many people on this list covet the Quattro system, if they need
it or not.  But, remaining purely objective, the Quattro system
1) Extra mechanical parts that will eventually fail.
2) Extra weight, both sprung and unsprung(bad).
3) Increased fuel consumption from turning extra parts.

However negligible or transparent these concerns are, they are

As I had said before, where you will be driving is a factor.  If you
drive in areas where you need 4WD, any disadvantages to Quattro are

I am not so sure the V6 maintenance would be lower, timing belt changes
are more costly, oil leaks are common, and forget trying to get any
power from them without emptying the bank account.]

More information about the V8 mailing list