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draggy brakes, out, out darned cat!
Draggy brakes after short time running, getting progressively worse - no
lights, no warning, not a peep from (Dave, the air lock is open) Hal. Stop
and wait, let everything cool, OK till next 20 minute ride.
Was bad master cylinder on my 86 5Ks. Didn't make much sense to me, but
local Audi guru said that was it, so went to Discount Auto parts and spent
$35 on rebuilt, guaranteed replacement.
Installed in 20 minutes, bled brakes, problem absolutely solved.
Theory was old glop (rubber crud) blocking return port, but who cares?
Problem completely over. (9 months & many miles ago).
Item 2: Cat problems -
Nomex on. As I understand it, US cars are required to meet federal emissions
standards for five years/50,000 miles, whichever is first. After that, Uncle
Sam doesn't care (although some cities/states/jurisdictions have ongoing
It should therefore be legal to remove the offending cat (clogged, rattly,
rusty, whatever) and replace it with a plain old length of straight pipe,
such as the "Catalytic Converter Test Replacement Pipes" which JC Whitney
sells for a whopping $12.95.
Guy I know did this (old Furd Escort), saved himself $700 over what the
local muffler shops wanted to replace the converter and exhaust system.
Rationale: Car is 8 years old, worth about a grand total, why spend $700 on
brand new parts to comply with emissions standards which no longer affect
this car anyway? (He did try to find a used converter in a junkyard to put
on his used car; no luck.)
We won't mention the "ethics" of this - deliberately polluting the air,
etc., but if Uncle Sam, in his infinite wisdom, says that after 5/50K it
doesn't matter any more, then why are we buying these expensive parts that
we are not legally required to have any more?
Government's rationale is that most driving is done in first five years of
car's life, and after 5 years, 50,000 miles, the car gets "demoted" to
around-town-second-car status. Mileage driven each year (and thus pollution
exposure) decreases drastically, until car is junked at average age of about
Let's not tell 'em our cars are just getting broken in at 5 years 50,000
miles. Heck, If I saw a mid 80's 5000 with that mileage on it, it would be a
"low mileage" car!