Quick wrenching on my "pristine" A4

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Wednesday, i worked on my 2006 3.0 TDI A4 which is pretty much a project car (i paid 1500€ for it in november) with its 330000km (~200000mi).

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Here is what i did :

  1. Change one of the front headlights
  2. Cleaned the intercoolers
  3. Changed the front engine bumpstop (its like a motor mount but only attached to the engine)
  4. Replaced the engine thermostat that was not working
  5. Changed a bit of coolant hose that had a sketchy repair

I initially planned to to the work last week but just when i arrived at my mother’s (where i do the heavy wrenching), it started to be cloudy then it rained, it did stop a couple of hours later but it was too late (and wet) to do the job so i drank a beer instead (the OP picture).

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I finally managed to do this wednesday, i was up since 6:30AM and i went to my mother’s around 11:00 to start working, it took longer than expected due to many seized intercooler hoses and bent things that were making it worse ; not to mention that i didn’t check how to do the job before starting to do it.

I started by removing the front bumper that is, as most of the exterior of the car, in impeccable condition :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

Started with the passenger side, some things are bent and broken, not unexpected considering the condition of the fender :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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The intercooler has a... cool look :

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The two 10mm bolts that are linking the fender and the front bumper (just on top of the intercooler), a little bit annoying to access to, especially with the bent fender that makes everything tighter here :

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With the bumper off, which is also broken and torn in multiple places :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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The passenger intercooler is indeed... compacted (but fortunately does not seems to leak) :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

The driver side intercooler has it’s own issue that is fortunately easier to fix, the oil seems to be descending from around the oil filler neck (and the anti shudder valve).

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Knowing that is was also in a similar state up there when i had the car and had to use brake cleaner to clean it, i don’t think there is still an oil leak.

Probably someone spilled oil when filling or someone fixed a leak and did not clean after :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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Time for a beer (a cheap pils from Lidl) :

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The old headlight on the left which is cracked on the left side and had the top mounting tab holding by a hair and its mounting tab (on the right) broken in 2 pieces (not to mention the dubious white substance on it) :

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Back at what lies on top of the driver side intercooler (the part on top is the anti shudder valve, which is just before the intake collector ; we can also see the intake air temperature sensor in top of the intercooler :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

Time for a steak and some ratatouille :

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After i did remove the crash-bar bolts (i needed more space between the engine and front fascia to remove the thermostat and the bump-stop), i added a second jack stand after taking the picture :

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The intercoolers are not serial but rather in parallel but with the flow exiting the first/passenger side (on top in this picture with its exit pipe on the right) and entering the second one of a separate in-tank (you can see there is no “rows” at the bottom of the second intercooler) :

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The air coming from the first intercooler is entering on the bottom (in the picture) intake while both are exiting on the same pipe (the one on the left of the first picture) :

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At this point is spent quite some time cleaning them, the passenger side was quite clean inside and out considering the age and mileage ; the driver side was dirtier but neither were having any great quantity of fresh/liquid oil in it.

Front engine bump-stop, didn’t take a picture before removing it but the old one was dislocating and cracked open on one side :

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After being mounted, back of the radiators is in top in this picture :

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One of my useless assistants (there was also the dog but i didn’t take a picture of him) :

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Now checking the accessory and high pressure pump belts (the one on top) :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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The passenger side of the block, at the bottom you can see the Y pipe that come from the turbo behind the V and goes to each intercoolers and more importantly, the thermostat housing that is tucked tight behind the serpentine belt :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

At this point i tried to find the coolant purge valve that i did see in Youtube videos and on tutorials but it seems that it does not exist on the V6 TDIs...

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Then i tried to remove the lower hose on the radiator but it didn’t budge (probably a sticky gasket), i did pull the locking pin but it was not moving and being plastic on plastic i didn’t want to risk breaking the hose or the radiator so i ended up removing the other side of the hose which is arriving at the thermostat (that you can see in both previous pictures) and only replacing around 5 litre of coolant instead of the 12.5 of the whole circuit (i already replaced more than 5 litre previously).

The old and the new thermostat, both ears that hold the plastic “thing” holding down the spring were snapped off, no wonder the car had a hard time heating (you can also see how grimey the coolant was at once in this car) :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

The coolant hose with a sketchy fix that i partially replaced with a stretch of... fuel hose ; unfortunately the long one was too tight and the other was too short so i has to keep a bit of the old one but at least its not using old electrical tape with zip-ties over a cracked hose anymore :

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After that, i started to mount things back (it was around 9pm i believe) but did not take any picture of it.

The fender was a bit too bent to mount the new headlight, i took pictures of it before i used a pair of pliers lying around (and a paper towel to avoid scratching too much the paint ; i plan to replace the fender, don’t worry), i didn’t take a picture after the fact but it’s now better (but with with minor scratches), it was already 10:45 :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

I was in the process of putting back the nuts on the drivers side that holds the front bumper to the fender and stupidly lost the nut and searched for it for 10-15 minutes even going under the car behind the wheel to see if it had gone there and taking pictures of behind the wheel before realizing it had just fallen next to where my arm was, just under my nose (it was 0:45).

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Here are some of the pictures i took at the time ; the scratch on the first picture is worrisome (knowing that i have a chassis issue on this corner it might help me find the culprit) :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4
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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

Then i was about done, you can see the murky coolant that is still way better looking than when i first had the car (i already did replace more than 5/12.5 litres of it with proper G13 coolant) :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

You can see the fixed coolant hose that goes from the center of the V to the Y after the coolant tank :

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After cleaning up everything and putting coolant back i took a detour by the “scenic” road (that is going between the top of the villages around) as i had to correctly set the headlights, burp at least once the coolant and at least i could cruise back down in case of a coolant leak.

Fortunately i was driving slower than usual because i did encounter two hedgehogs (i took pictures of the second one), a fox and two cats (including one that was on the inside of a tight corner, fortunately he ran following the road (and me) and not across the road) in like 15 minutes :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

On one of my 3 stops to set the headlights correctly (i always have a hard time finding a proper place to do that on a static position) that i did chose to take a nice picture of the valley with its ligths... that i forgot to take, i did realize that one of my headlights had spiderwebs in it :

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Then, when i was back in the city... i took a last detour to fill the tank (57.63L at 1.389€/L = 80.05€ including VAT ; i did 447km since the last fill up so it was around 15.1L/100km or ~15.6mpg), it was 2:38 and i was finally done.

Yesterday i took the A4 for a little drive to check if it was heating properly (seems to be) and was able to park it next to my other car (the A3) ; you can see one of the three “project” Astra G Bertone coupé on the parking lot (the other two are in different shades of blue) and on the right, the Corolla that most probably did hurt the rear bumper of the A3 (it’s a very old guy that is painting flying saucers of the street) :

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Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

As a bonus, one of his “street-art” paintings (he even put his name on it) :

Illustration for article titled Quick wrenching on my pristine A4

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