Day 5 of my adventures... many hundreds of dollars later in parts and maintenance items and absolutely no labour having been performed.
Today I went to the junkyard (Standard Auto Wreckers on Fallowfield), I had gone to scout there earlier this week and scored 2 year old winter tires with excellent tread off of a 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E (185/65R15).
I went there with the intention of seeing which parts were really worth pulling out of the Audi A4 on Row 54. Grabbed a wheelbarrow, loaded my toolbox and socket set on it and walked what seemed like a frozen eternity (-13 and some nasty winds) to reach the end of the lot to find the silver, almost mint condition, 2000 Audi A4 2.8 V6 30V Quattro manual. Unloaded my tools, got under the hood, and decided it would be an excellent idea to pull the spark plug wires and coil packs off (since mine were probably drenched in oil thanks to destroyed valve cover gaskets).
Of course with a German car nothing is straightforward about simple maintenance... to pull the wires out first you have to remove the main engine cover, held down by 4 plastic Phillips head screws that are massive, then the two valve cover plastic covers with “5V” writing on them are held by 2 plastic screws... of course the driver’s side needs you to remove the coolant expansion tank, held down by three pesky 10mm nuts. Once all of that is off the spark plug wires are available to remove... but with the bitter cold they were more than a handful to remove. I decided removing the coil packs first would be a better idea. And here we go again with German engineering.. T30 screws were holding down the coil packs to the coil pack frame.. my T30 socket fell down some void where I could not retrieve it. So now what? With no T30 socket I had to resort to my T30 bit on the 3/8ths screwdriver. So thinking that would get it off I removed them from the frame but they were connected to the main frame due to the wiring, so I started removing the 10mm bolts that were holding down the frame to the block... once those were loose I could remove the entire thing. Oh wait, there’s a connector that does not seem to be able to disconnect... oh now it broke thanks to the bitter cold. Okay screw this, I snipped the wires on the connector’s side and took it all out finally... after 45 minutes of bitter cold
55 dollars later, back at home, I wanted to see what was under the engine cover. With it off I discovered that the engine was one oily mess. Hackjob repairs to the breather hose, spark plug wires drenched in oil... I took a few pictures and called it a day.
See, with a Honda Civic I would have been able to easily do all of this in half an hour and have a great running car, but no! German engineering dictates that everything must be obnoxiously complex. And that your Audi A4 takes Dex-Cool according to the parts store.