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Thread: B6 S4 Avant from the PNW

  1. #1
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    Default B6 S4 Avant from the PNW

    Hey there! Figured I'd go ahead and make a thread for my car even though there's not much going on with it right now haha.

    Anyways, I'm currently a College student going to school to get my Associates in CAD Drafting. I have three quarters left, so hopefully I'll be getting a job with that soon enough and then this thread will start to speed up. I'm also hoping to incorporate my CAD skills in this build in a few ways

    So about 2 or 3 years ago, I was driving a Dodge Dakota, which was fine, but it was lacking quite a bit in the way sportiness and the overall "fun factor". I missed driving a stick and I've always been more of a car guy than a truck guy at heart. I hopped on craigslist one night just to see what was out there, and I decided to see how much S4's went for. After looking at a few, I decided that a B6 S4 Avant was the car for me and it was time to start saving. I really wanted to keep my truck for it's utility factor, and it was also my first car, so the sentimental value was there also. Fast forward a couple years to this last February (My "saving" included buying a new mountain bike, puppy, and laptop lol), and I finally decided to sell my truck to get myself into an S4. After fixing a few things on the truck, I ended up selling it before I even put it up for sale to a guy in my hometown. He's a car guy also, so I was happy to see it go to a good home.

    I had kept my eye on craigslist ever since that first time I looked at S4's and I realized just how rare finding an Avant with a 6 speed actually was. I ended up deciding that if a nice B5 or B6 popped up with a 6 speed, Avant or not, I'd go for it. There were a couple that caught my attention, but they either sold before I could get to them, or they were just a tad bit out of my price range. After about a month of just driving around in my parents' Suburban, we got a call from my brother in law saying that my pregnant sister was in the hospital and going into labor! I ended up staying up pretty much all night with my family until my Nephew was born around 6am. After getting home and taking a nap, I decided to try craigslist once again, and this time there was a new listing for a 2004 Dolphin Grey B6 S4 Avant with a 6 speed. It had 153,000 miles, but it had some tasteful mods and, most importantly, it was within my price range. I went to look at it, and it was a bit rough around the edges, but that was to be expected with a car with that many miles. I test drove it and it put a serious smile on my face! I went home to think about it, and within 15 minutes I was on my way back with cash to pick it up! It was quite a day becoming an uncle and the owner of my first "obtainable" dream car haha

    Here she is when I first brought her home





    And here she is all cleaned up



    The last owner only had her about a year, but in that time he had put on BC Coilovers, JHM 4:1 torque split center diff, Fast Intentions Catback, JHM 93 octane tune, 034 Motorsports Adjustabe UCAs, JHM Short Shifter kit with upgraded shift linkage bushings, and some Chinese (meh) wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sports. He did all that with the intention of doing some track days (he also has a dedicated E30 for Pro 3 racing), but then decided he wanted a newer S4 with a tiptronic.

    One of the reasons I liked my truck was that I ride mountain bikes quite a bit, so a couple bike racks came soon after. Here she is packed up for a weekend of racing. This is one reason why I really wanted a wagon haha





    When I sold my truck, I made a goal of having and S4 by the time the Leavenworth Drive came around. It's a drive over a mountain pass for any German car to a little Bavarian town up here in Washington. I had few friends going so I tagged along with them and their friends. Easily one of the best days of my life!

    Stopped outside a gas station on the way



    We decided to take the longer route which went on some twisty mountain highway, and ended up at a closed bridge, so we stopped for a bit to figure which way to go



    A few weeks after the drive, I started getting into photography. It's something I've always wanted to try but never actually to the plunge into it. My parents picked up a Nikon D5500, so naturally I had to borrow it for a bit haha







    Some of you may know the issues these S4's have with timing chains, but for those who don't, the guides in the timing chain system tend to crack over time which leads to skipped timing and ultimately engine failure. Mine does have a bit of a rattle on cold starts, but it's not something I'm too worried about. Given the higher mileage of the car, I've decided to not do anything about it, and if/when the timing skips, I'd like to swap in a lower mileage motor that would be a little more accepting to some power adders . One thing you can do with these motors to help reduce timing chain rattle is replacing the oil check valves. So she went under the knife for a night for that



    Recently I've started attending more get togethers and drives with the Seattle Cars and Coffee group as well as some people from the Audizine forums. Here are a couple from one of the drives I've gone on





    The stock front end on these cars are a little dull, so a lot of people opt for a lip from a Seat Cupra R. It takes a little bit of trimming on the lip, but it fits really well with the bumpers on the S4's. After putting one on myself, we got a nice flood so I went out and snapped some new pictures.









    I got the stock Avus wheels when I bought the car. Those are now on wrapped in Blizzaks.



    You can tell in the pictures that the lip bows down a bit right in the middle. There are two posts on the lip that need to be shaved down to get it to fit, and they just needed to be shaved down a bit more. This is how I got the lip this last weekend. I could still shave those two posts down a bit more to make the center of the lip more flat, but it's closer than it was before.



    Anyways, that's my journey with this car so far. Ultimately my goal for the car is to have a car that I can reliably daily drive, clean up and show it off at a car show, and still hold it's own on a track. I love the idea of air suspension, so that's my next "big" step. Don't expect it to happen soon, though haha

    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  2. #2

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    I like that instead of fixing an old motor you're just going to let it go.

  3. #3
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    I like what you have done! Keep it up.

  4. #4
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    Great car! I really wish I had been able to get an Avant, but for now my sedan will have to do haha. Can't wait to see where you take it!


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  5. #5
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    Very nice! I had a blast in Leavenworth this year too.


    @projects_always

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the kind words, guys!

    Finally got a chance to take her out in the snow today. The Quattro paired with the Blizzaks did amazing and didn't lose traction until I wanted them to

    There was a spot along the highway with a cool rock face that would be good for pictures, so I pulled off over the pile the plows left and realized I need some heavier duty hardware for my lip lol






    Got it back on good enough and took some shots!








    The drive to Leavenworth is always really pretty, and it's just breathtaking in the snow. Highly recommend it if you live up here!





    Anyways, right now I'm wanting to refresh a few things on the car. I keep hearing a little knocking noise that I think is coming from my LCA's, so that will probably be next. I also have an oil leak somewhere so I need to figure out what the deal with that is. Really just want to get her in top shape before I drop the money on bags and such.

    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  7. #7
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    Me likes this thread. Do continue
    -Christian.

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  8. #8
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    The three seasons of Stevens pass

    Winter:


    Quote Originally Posted by REVOofRustler View Post
    The drive to Leavenworth is always really pretty, and it's just breathtaking in the snow. Highly recommend it if you live up here!

    [/URL]
    Spring:



    Summer:

  9. #9
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    wow those wildfires are intense.
    Quote Originally Posted by s t a y g o l d View Post
    and don't trash talk people, that's for hos at the club.
    S4 Avant - Build Thread

  10. #10
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    Awesome pictures! Those are surreal.

    I love the avants.. I have a B6 ultrasport sedan that I love to death!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlyons617 View Post
    The three seasons of Stevens pass

    Winter:
    [pic]

    Spring:
    [pic]

    Summer:
    [pic]
    Ahhhh, how (unfortunately) true that is!

    Quote Originally Posted by btns44 View Post
    Awesome pictures! Those are surreal.

    I love the avants.. I have a B6 ultrasport sedan that I love to death!
    Thanks! I really wish Audi would import more Avants over here. We really get jipped on all the good models haha


    Nothing else has really happened with my car lately, except for going and putting actual nuts on bolts on my lip so it doesn't get ripped off again lol. One of my friends recently picked up a "new" WRX, so we've been going around doing wagon things!

    There was a meet with Seattle Cars and Coffee at Alki beach that we ended up going an hour late to. The sun had just gone down, but I thought these shots turned out ok.








    Then we ended up going back over Stevens with a few other friends to have some fun in the snow!







    This thread is more or less going to turn into a picture dump for me in the near future. I've been really enjoying the photography stuff, so I'm gonna be buying myself my own DSLR hopefully within the next couple months so I don't have to keep borrowing my parents'. I wanna move up to a full frame, so I've decided on a Nikon D750. For lenses I'm just gonna start out with a Nikkor F2.8 24-70mm lense. Like I said in the first post, I do a lot of mountain biking. I'm thinking that instead of competing in the races this year, I'll go and get photos of all the races and potentially make a bit of money on top. So that's all for now!

    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  12. #12
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    Time for a sort of update. I recently noticed a tick/rattle coming from the front of the car. I dug into it the last couple days, and I think the noise was coming from my serpentine belt. I took the belt off and ran the car for a second and I didn't notice the noise at all. While I have it all apart, I'm gonna be trying to find where my AC system is leaking refrigerant. It would be nice to finally have AC haha. I've also noticed I have a bit of a coolant leak. I think it might be coming from the radiator, so I'll check that over tomorrow.








    I'm starting an internship in a couple weeks and also getting close to graduating, so hopefully I'll be able to get a "real" job once all that is finished and then I can really get to doing some more mods on it.

    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  13. #13
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    keep it coming!

    2001 BMW 560i 6.0 LSx/T56 SOLD


    2000 Corvette Hardtop FRC

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsogiba View Post
    keep it coming!
    I'll do my best!


    So after playing around with some soapy water and my air compressor, I found that my AC compressor has a very large leak. Everything up to this point has been pretty easy and straightforward, but I think getting the compressor out might give me some trouble. I have everything disconnected from it, and it's completely unbolted from the car. Only thing is that I have to take out my driver side motor mount because it's built around the compressor in a way that makes it impossible to get out. The only thing driven by the serpentine belt on this car is the alternator. Everything else is driven off of the timing chains on the back of the motor, so that obviously makes things a bit more complicated.




    Other than that, I pulled the water pump and coolant reservoir off. The water pump didn't seem like it turned as smoothly as it should, so I have a new one of those on the way with everything else. I couldn't find anywhere where coolant was leaking from, so I'm just gonna see what happens once I get everything back together. If it's still there I'll just make sure to top off my coolant every now and then haha. Along with the compressor and coolant tank and such, I ordered an aftermarket belt tensioner from JHM. The stock tensioner requires that you use a torque wrench to manually torque the tensioner, and then you tighten down a bolt to keep it all in place. The JHM one is an automatic tensioner like you'd find on just about anything, so that'll be nice to have on there.

    I have Tuesday off of school and work, so that's when I'll figure out how to get the compressor out. I'm really looking forward to not burning up my car this summer lol

    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  15. #15
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    Made a little bit more progress today!

    So all the bolts that hold the compressor in place are pretty easy to get to and take out. The problem is that the prop shaft that drives the compressor is screwed into the back of the compressor. There is a 17mm hex on the prop shaft side, and a 19mm on the compressor side. I tried undoing that connection without taking out the motor mount, but to no avail. So I got the motor supported with a hoist so I could take out the motor mount and brackets.






    After getting all that out of the way, I tried to undo that connection once more, but I still could not get it undone. The part of the compressor that the prop shaft screws into is held on by six smaller allen head bolts, so I figured I'd take those off and see what happens. I took out the ones that I could easily reach, and then I cranked the motor for a second with my fuel pump fuse pulled so that the prop shaft and compressor would rotate and I could get to the rest of the bolts. It worked! I may still try to get those parts unscrewed from each other, but I don't see why I couldn't just put the new compressor in the same way.







    After getting the compressor out, I saw that the drive shaft had also broken in the compressor. I was kind of expecting it, though, because that's what usually happens when the AC stops working on these cars.




    So I have load of parts coming from JHM and ECS that will hopefully be here by the weekend. I'll have a lot of free time next week, so that's when I'll work on getting everything in. I also ordered an AC manifold gauge set, AC flush kit, and a vacuum pump so I can do it all the right way.

    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  16. #16
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    Alright so here's where I'm at right now. Got my new compressor, dryer, orifice tube, coolant expansion tank, belt, auto tensioner, water pump, and coolant temp sensor all installed. I got the core support on, and I figured I'd hook my vacuum pump up to the AC just to test it before I put everything back together. It would pull a vacuum around 15-20 inHg, but it would go back to zero within about 10 seconds if I sealed the system off from the vacuum pump. I heard air hissing back in from around the compressor, so I pulled the core support back off. Found out one of the new O rings I put on one of the connections was a bit too big and had been pinched in half, causing the leak. So I threw a different one on, and that fixed that issue. AC system holds a vacuum really well now.

    So as I mentioned earlier, I noticed before all this that my car had a bit of a coolant leak. When I had the core support off, I hooked the hose up to my radiator, but I didn't see anywhere that was leaking. Fast forward to yesterday, and I decided to start the car up and just check things over. So I filled up my coolant and power steering fluid and started her up! First thing I noticed was a leak from my power steering where the lines had to be disconnected to to get the core support off. When I took everything apart the first time, there were two hose clamps on one of the power steering lines. I only used one when I put it back together, and that's the line where the leak was coming from. Threw the second one on, and that fixed that. So then I started the car again, and sure enough, now there's a leak coming from my radiator. There was a crack about an inch long in the plastic passenger side end tank, but it was also leaking from where the end tank meets the aluminum core of the radiator. So the new radiator will hopefully be here wednesday, and then she should be good to go!


    New compressor in it's new home




    New orifice tube compared to the old. I was expecting the filter to be clogged with metal debris from the seized compressor, but it was really pretty clean. I flushed the AC system to make sure it was good to go for the new compressor.




    JHM Belt tensioner. So much better than the manual factory tensioner!








    The core support has to be clearanced a bit since the aftermarket tensioner sticks out a bit further




    And here's the crack in my radiator




    I have to say, I'm really excited to drive her again after driving my parents' Suburban the last couple weeks. Maybe she'll feel fast again lol


    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  17. #17
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    Nice to see someone doing all their own work on the car!

    Should be interesting to watch this car transform once you start making "real" money
    Current Car: 04 Ford Focus SVT

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlyons617 View Post




    Summer:
    Is this photo real? Because this is a mind-boggling image.
    Last edited by alexandermjoyce; 05-21-2016 at 10:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexandermjoyce View Post
    Is this photo real? Because that is mind-boggling image.
    seriously. i cant get over that

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiskerz View Post
    Nice to see someone doing all their own work on the car!

    Should be interesting to watch this car transform once you start making "real" money
    Thanks! There's definitely a sense of pride in doing it yourself. As for what will become of the car, it won't be anything "never before seen". I really want to make into a jack of all trades of sorts. I've been really wanting to go to some track days with it, but at the same time I want something I can show off at the meets. Eventually I'd love to have air suspension to give it the show look, but still capable enough for a track and daily driver duties. Other than that, there's a company that makes a pretty solid supercharger (VF Engineering), that'll put the car at almost 500awhp on 5 psi with meth on stock internals. That's 10 grand I don't have right now, though hahah

    Quote Originally Posted by alexandermjoyce View Post
    Is this photo real? Because that is mind-boggling image.
    That photo is indeed real. That photo was taken probably within a mile or two from a Bavarian town (think SoWo) called Leavenworth which is the destination of a big yearly drive for Euros. It's really wild seeing green plants and healthy trees on the highway side of the river, and then just burnt hillside on the other.

    On another note, I'm really diggin your Avant! I wasn't really planning on posting this, but I guess I'll throw it up anyway. It's just a photoshop of what I'd love for mine to turn out like. I'm going to school right now for 3D modelling, and I've really been playing with the idea of building a set of wheels with completely custom, one off centers.



    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  21. #21
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    3D modeling... is the program based on 3D printing programs and such? That's really cool. I just graduated a few weeks ago.. So I know where you're at.

    And thanks Been working a lot lately on the avant. Are you planning on getting bags? Yours looks good already... but low always makes things better...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexandermjoyce View Post
    3D modeling... is the program based on 3D printing programs and such? That's really cool. I just graduated a few weeks ago.. So I know where you're at.

    And thanks Been working a lot lately on the avant. Are you planning on getting bags? Yours looks good already... but low always makes things better...
    I am starting to do a lot of 3D printing and Laser Cutting right now in my classes. I've done a couple quarters of solidworks, and one in AutoCAD, and then just a lot of other "design" classes in between. I'm starting an internship at a civil engineering place on monday where I'm gonna be using a lot of AutoCAD and a bit of microstation, but the program I'm in at school is focused more on mechanical design. I've got a couple quarters left and then I'll be done!

    I definitely wanna put bags on my car eventually. I want to go lower, but I really don't want to destroy the underside of my car to do it haha. I also wanna keep it sporty so that I can spend some time on the track, so I think bags are the way to go.

    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  23. #23
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    Got this pretty thing from FedEx today!




    This is an OEM radiator for a B7 S4 (Mine is a B6). The B7 is basically a facelifted B6, so the parts are all very similar. If I were to get an OEM rad for a B6, it would've cost me about 800 bucks. For some reason, the OEM B7 rad is only 300, and all you have to do to get it to fit is shave down the support bracket for the hood bumper, and bend a sensor out like 10 degrees. Other than that, everything fits just like it should!






    After getting that on, I filled my fluids all back up, and I also got my oil change out of the way. All that's left now is to recharge the AC and get the bumper back on! I've been driving my parents' Volt to school and work (which I'm extremely thankful they're letting me do), and although the gas mileage is great, I REALLY miss pretty much everything about my car hahaha. So I'm hoping I can get it all buttoned up by tomorrow night, or friday night at the latest.

    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

  24. #24
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    Well I got it all finished! I got home from work on Thursday, and decided to charge the AC before getting it all back together. I checked to see if I had lost any vacuum from how I left it a week ago, and it was all good! So no leaks in my AC system! I hooked up a can of R134a to my AC manifold (I needed like ~1.5 cans), started the car and got to filling it up. The low side pressure was climbing, but my compressor wasn't kicking on. I put almost the whole first can in, and still nothing was happening. My low side pressure was at 55 psi, which should've turned the compressor on. I decided to try hooking up my vagcom to the car and clear the fault code I had for the AC. The code was for low pressure at the pressure sensor, which will turn off the compressor to keep it from running without a load. As soon as I cleared the code, the compressor kicked on! The pressure went down to where it should be and the air inside the car got nice and cold!

    All that was left after that was to get the bumper and wheels on which was smooth sailing. So happy to finally have her back on the road! I needed more pictures, so I took her to the top floor of a mall parking garage today.










    Fun fact: The copper building in the back right is where my internship is







    That's all for now!

    Pic/Build Log: Here
    Instagram: tha_notorious_b

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