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Goodwood, sun tan cream and goggles.

In message <199706241013.LAA03491@mailserver.nhm.ac.uk> gnt@nhm.ac.uk (Grah=
am Thackrah) writes:

> The ukqc stand provided my first view under the bonnet of a quattro
> turbo. Which was fun. Seriously, I loved every minute of wondering how
> owners of these cars manage to work on them. I thought it was tight
> changing the cam belt on my car. I now have a problem however (and am
> REALLY looking forward to the suggestions you may have) I would like a
> coupe quattro turbo, badly. My overdraft is GBP4500 ish.

What did you look at - a WR or an MB?  The MB is _BY_FAR_ the worst,
because the hydraulic pump has to come off to release the cam belt
cover, and the pivot bolt won't clear the pump bracket without the
auxiliary radiator being removed.  Which, in its turn,  requires the
transom to be removed.  Which, in its turn, requires the bonnet catch
cable to be clamped and disconnected at the far end.  H@ll of a job.
All this as well as the common ur-quattro problems like having to take
out the right headlight to change the bulb.  Or the air filter.

Martin at BR Motorsport can get the pump off without removing the
radiator, but he won't tell me how he does it, apart from: "It's one of
the advantages of a full Snap-On tool kit."  Which is exactly what he
has: 9400GMB, all GBP13k of it. I strongly suspect he's not removing the
pump alone, but the whole bracket.  The two upper 13mm bolts are easy -
and I can get a socket onto the lower mounting bolt, but I can't get
anything in to drive it apart from a 1/4" universal joint that wouldn't
take enough torque to stir tea.  Not the tea I make, anyway.  I suspect
he's using Snap-On #FLXM13 (page 68) which seems purpose-designed for
the job. It's GBP32 ($50) so I won't be buying one just yet - but it
would be worth it if it works and I ever have to take the damn pump off
again.  It would save at least 90 minutes work.

On the cash subject, beware not of the purchase price but of the running
costs.  My MB has cost me over GBP10,000 in parts and labour alone over
the last 4 years and 65,000 miles.  It was the last GBP2,000 bill that
made me decide to take up my spanners again - so far, quite
successfully.  Add insurance, and GBP600 a set for tyres ...

> There is another question I would ask, regarding the failure of the
> cam belt on the S1, why do cars have rubber bands driving valve
> trains? Is there a good reason why a chain isn't used? I realise that
> weight savings on rapidly rotating engine components reduce frictional
> losses etc but surely the avoidance of failure is something to be
> borne in mind? Do they figure that one failure in so many races/years
> whatever, is worth the increased performance in the mean time?

Belts, if _PROPERLY_ maintained and changed at proper intervals, are no
less reliable than chains.  The problem is that the S1 is stored 364
days a year in David Sutton's toybox at Historic Motorsport in Daventry
and so the belt doesn't move for months at a time.  It probably hasn't
even been started up since last year's Goodwood.  Personally, I would
have considered changing the belt part of "preparing" a car - especially
one that has not been run for a year - since the publicity material
scattered far and wide described the car as "prepared by Historic
Motorsport". The mechanic who built the engine no longer works for
David, and I'm not sure what skills his present mechanics _do_ have.
Historic Motorsport is very far from being exclusively an Audi operation
- it builds and trades in replicas of all types of rally cars from the
last three decades, especially Escorts and Minis.

Historic Motorsport has not covered himself with glory over this
incident - most especially concerning the complete lack of backup
logistics for such an eventuality.  Given that it happened on Friday, it
should have been trivial to rebuild the engine overnight for a practice
session on Saturday.

Michele complained last year that it had the wrong gearbox (a five-speed
instead of the six-speed it should have) and that it was tuned for pump
fuel instead of racing fuel.  I wonder if those problems were addressed.
I doubt it, somehow.

 Phil Payne
 Committee Member, UK Audi [ur-]quattro Owners Club