[V8] Audi strikes again, or I am pleased to provide therapy for all of you who have been V8-ing too long...

Roger Woodbury rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com
Wed Apr 23 16:38:35 PDT 2008

Yes, it does please me to know that I have provided all of you with so much
canon fodder, and that you all can vent whatever over my "new" V8.

Yes, it cost a bit more than I thought that I wanted to pay.  
Yes, the tight seat back nets were a big turn-on for this car for me.
No, the gray interior over white pearl is weak and booring.
Besides, EVERYONE knows that a proper German car has black leather interior.

I had looked at this car for quite a long time, initially dismissing it as
simply too much money for a '90 without Servatronic, the updated A/C, and
the Bose CD changer.  I didn't know about any of the other "minuses".

But I have been looking and looking, and have found, basically, nothing that
is really any good.  There is the 4.2 car out in Kansas that I decided might
be worth a look, but with 139k on the clock and an issue with the
speedometer at 50K, even a price of around three grand was pushing it.  Nice
looking, and recent timing belt service were plusses, but....well...just not
hot for it.

The '93 in New Jersey that I looked at in March was OK.  It would have been
much better had the seller wash it before I looked at it, and if he had
replaced the right side front fender repeater.  Originally owned by a quack
of some sort...registered to a medical practice....but subsequently some
monkey lad tried to figure out how to retrofit some big speakers into the
rear shelf, and the results were, to put a term to it, shitty.  Car rode and
drove perfectly with new Bilteins, but a timing belt was going to be needed
soon, and at $4400 (firm, I was told), it was looking pretty average, a
bunch left to do.  106,000 miles. Pass.

The '93 in Colorado...well, it was smashed in the nose, and the pictures
when they actually were sent to me, showed that the airbags had deployed and
they hadn't even tried to push the doors closed.  Pass...don't even TALK to
them.  (53000 miles and wrecked....now just a parts car.  Sigh).

There have been at least fifteen others, all with miles, or other "issues",
some major and some not.

So, I found myself looking again at this '90 V8.  

Now, white pearl isn't my favorite, but the black interior scores large with
me.  The aero wheels are a LOOOOOOOOOOSER.  The Old Gray Mare has aero
wheels.  BUT, I know where I can get a set of nice A6 wheels that will be a
direct fit, and then there are others....lots of others....so a solution to
wheels can be found easily.  I will await developments, but I am thinking
about a BIRA system with Big Reds and sixteen inch wheels.  (Not larger
because this is Maine, land of frost heave wheel hostilities.)

Next was my questions about the 3.6 vs 4.2 cars.  It seemed that the only
real difference is that the 4.2 has a bit more grunt down low, and tends to
use more oil than a 3.6.  I have had both, and I took my first V8 to Florida
and found that it lacked nothing in the typical Florida west coast stop
light drag.  So, just as I surmised:  not a lot of difference, and for my
purposes, as a touring car, the 3.6 will do everything that is necessary.

I am bummed about not getting the new a/c and controller.  But the truth of
the matter is that in The Old Gray Mare, there are really only two settings.
A/C or economy, and automatic or slow speed for the fan.  Sometimes there is
defroster, but not a lot.  I can deal with a little disappointment if the
rest of the car cosmetically makes it worth my while.

The rest of the stuff...the ABS, the heated seats, timing belt question, the
cruise control...well, I know enough about the Type 44 cars so that these
issues are not a problem.  Frankly, I would rather have the timing belt a
mystery that I can solve, so I will have a baseline for the timing belt in
this car. 

The heated seats?  Well, if ALL of them are not working, then I know where
to begin the trouble shooting.  It may be easy.  Worst case, there won't be
heated seats, and my wife will be grumpy.  (Say, how about some Recaros with
seat heaters?....just think of the possibilities).

The cruise control.  Well, this is probably electronic and a failure that
will be corrected by replacement.  Unless there is a ground problem in the
instrument cluster, which might make me grumpy....I DO want cruise control
so I will keep my license after my first trip to Portland.

ABS?  Control box issue or switch, maybe.  This isn't a huge issue, but MUST
be fixed in order to pass inspection here, technically. But I know this

My ex-wrench has a new patent pending timing belt tool, and I am going to
ask him if he would be willing to tutor me in a timing belt service on this
car.  I WANT to do it, but I don't WANT to make it a career, so having a
retired master tech poke and prod me when I turn the wrench the wrong way
will make for an entertaining day or two.  We'll see.

I had a long talk with the seller.  If you talk with the seller and listen,
you can sometimes learn a lot.  I came away from the conversation with the
direct impression that this was potentially a real example of the illusive
ultra low mileage V8 that has not been abused.  Can I be wrong?  Of course!
But in the relative scheme of things, it isn't like buying an A6 2.7 turbo
just in time to find out that the turbo is giving out and the car is just
long enough out of warranty to elicit no sympathy from Audi AG whatsoever,
or getting a great deal on a BMW V8 just in time to have the oil pump bolts
pop off and ride around the cam chain, which prompted a LOT of BMW V8
recalls and legal discussions about ten years ago.

At the end of the day, I decided, as has been pointed out, that mechanical
issues can be dealt with, but if the body is really, really clean, then it
could well be worth a bit of a stretch to have a really nice, low mileage
torture chamber...ER..V8...THAT's V8 Quattro!


Then, too the Ebay feedback rating of the seller is strong, too.  And there
are ethical people who trade there.  This will be my seventh "sight unseen"
purchase using the Internet. Only the Black Mariah...the 20Valve Avant,
bought from a private party...was worse than expected.  All the rest were
just as advertised, and well worth the experience.  

I'll let you all know.  TRUST ME:  I will let you all know! 

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG. 
Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 269.23.3/1393 - Release Date: 4/23/2008
8:12 AM

More information about the V8 mailing list