I'm a fan of OEM configuration wherever possible especially with intake. Quite the contrast to my younger days when I thought car manufacturers were dumb for not making all cars with cold air intakes / cone filters. When I turbo the BMW I'll try really hard to use the factory air box. The B5's box has some Huffmods done to it (maybe it was the owner before him?), anyway, the snorkel was missing and the lower portion (pre-filter) was cut out. I posted a wanted ad on Audizine for the lower portion and snorkel, got it for $50 CAD shipped. I took the opportunity to clean everything as best as I could.

Myah and Sarah were at it again. I gave Myah the ratchet and showed her the bolt, and she took it out all by herself. This was the first time I didn't (barely) help her.

With all the attention the new Avant was getting, I splurged on a tuned ECU for the B5. I heard of a guy named "k0mpresd" on Audizine selling these for about $250 US. His business is Reflect Tuning and his ECU for the B5 got good reviews. Half the price of APR etc as well.

Installation is pretty easy. Unscrew the 5 screws holding the ECU cover in place, unplug the old ECU and install the tuned version.

It made a pretty big difference. Really woke up the car, pulls a lot harder and is much more fun to drive. Apparently it adds about the same HP/TQ as the APR tune, which brings the car from 150HP/162TQ to 200HP/243TQ. I can't wait to get the Stage 1+ installed in the Avant, because it's even more power :)

First picture is Myah opening the package. These two have been out with me everyday for the past couple weeks helping with the cars.

16 July 2016

We picked up the car from Viggen Automotive today. Once it was home I Rain-Ex'ed the windows, installed the seat covers, and installed the car seats.

I flushed the brake fluid this evening. It was actually pretty clean already but it never hurts. I will be doing all the fluids to baseline the car, considering there are no records.

25 July 2016

Spark plugs - NGK BKR6EGP 0.030in Gap
Old plugs were very worn. Valve cover gasket is leaking some oil into spark plug holes.

We just added another VAG vehicle to the fleet! Brittany (Lancer) has served us well but after our camping weekend last week in the B5 A4 it became quite clear we needed more room. The Lancer would have been the vehicle of choice for the camping but when I finally checked into the suspension noise a week prior to the trip I found DS/PS control arm ball joints blown, and the inner tie rod ends loose. And while the girls were driving the Green Beret leading up to the trip, I drove the Lancer to the bus stop a couple times (with the blown suspension) and ended up with a flat tire!

The other thing that really drove me nuts about the Lancer was the lack of part availability. The only 2 options were the Dealer and eBay.china. Dealer is insanely expensive (i.e. $350 for a control arm, $40 for an air filter, $120 for ONE sway bar link...) and eBay parts last about a year (3 sets of sway bar links in 3 years, latest control arm lasted about 1.5 years).

The requirements for the new vehicle were:
- Wagon, but not too big because it needs to share the garage in the winter with the B5A4.
- Budget was about $6-7k.
- Preferably VAG for part interchangeability.
- Not too nice since it's the girls' daily driver. I'd stress too much over a pristine example.
- Preferably manual, but auto is okay too.
- Decent enough condition that I don't have to rebuild the entire thing right away.

I went on Kijiji Ottawa and found a 2005 B6 A6 1.8T Avant at a little dealer on Wellington. Price seemed okay and the car looked clean. I called the number in the ad and along came... Bobbie. The fast talking stereotypical car salesman who claimed the car is in showroom condition and the best deal in town. He talked a mile a minute and on and on and on about anything and everything. I stopped in to check the car out last night (12/07/16) and he was telling me how he used to detail cars and has never seen the space between the vents and buttons so clean on any other car. I didn't say much during the 2 hours I was looking at the car, mind you I spent about 45 of those minutes on a solo test drive. I knew I wasn't going to get any reliable info from the guy. After the extended drive and a decent visual I said I'd take it. For about 30 minutes leading up to that decision he was going on and on about losing money on cars and dealing with people who low ball him and getting stuck with lemons, so when I mentioned $6k instead of $6.2 he nearly had a heart attack. I just said fine, whatever, if it got me out of there quicker it was worth the $200 bucks.

I named this car Bobbie as a reminder of the transaction, which in the end wasn't bad but definitely not straight forward.

2005 A4 1.8T Avant Automatic
Dolphin Grey, black leather interior
184000 KM with no service records. A gamble, I know...

Project Build

Project Build is about bringing together the community of car enthusiasts. Together we can build one central place to congregate and talk about cars. Project Build makes it easy for you to document procedures performed to your automobile, from changing your oil to swapping out your engine. Learn More...

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