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September 2012 Featured AZ'er: Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro

September 2012 Featured AZ'er: Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro

September 13, 2012 - Written by Richard Melick, Photos by Mike Selander
User Name: Operator
Real Name: David Knighton
Location: Wellington, Colorado USA
Year of Vehicle: 2007
Model of Vehicle: A4 quattro
Engine of Vehicle: 2.0T
Color of Vehicle: Brilliant Red
 
For some, buying an Audi means a step into a whole new realm of automotive ownership. For others, it allows the driver to really focus on the car's quality both inside and out. For David Knighton (AKA: Operator), purchasing an Audi opened his eyes to both the true potential of modifying and to the power of the Audi enthusiast community.

Three years ago, David became the proud owner of a 2007 Audi A4 in Brilliant Red, knowing full well that his new home was going to be best traversed by a car with all-wheel drive. While still living in Texas, David used the opportunity to pick up a quattro powered Audi for a great deal. Before even heading up to his new home in the Rocky Mountains, the mod bug had already bit.

David is not new to building and modding cars, but his introduction to the Audi brand really helped him refine his touch and find his true sense of style. With his previous ride being heavily tinkered with, after trading it in for the Audi, a fresh canvas was presented to him. Not waiting to even take possession of the ride, David started to outline his goals for the A4.

Growing up, David's interest was sparked while with his father looking at Saab Turbos. Remembering how those rides were so balanced with styling and performance, even in the 80's, David's previously fresh canvas has become a work of art. Starting with an intake from AEM and an ECU tune, everything kept building on; from the RAI Motorsport's K0R-GT Turbo to his work towards water/ethanol injection. Not every part that he initially installed has been kept, often upgraded later on with parts which were better suited for the direction of the ride. Two ECU tunes, two test pipes, and a slew of intercooler piping and front mounts have made their way on and off this beautiful ride.

With a great balance of go and show mods, David's car stands out in a crowded parking lot. On the outside, the car has a balanced style with DTM bumpers, Infinite Auto Designs carbon fiber hood, Rieger side skirts, and a slew of intermixed smaller parts that bring the full look together. Not only does the ride go quick, but looks the part while sitting still.

Although David has done most of the modifications himself, he's had to work with many of his local shops in an effort to complete some of the work he was unable to do. Like any good wrencher though, he took advantage of that time to learn from the shops so that if it needed to be done again, or repaired down the road, he would be better prepared to tackle the job himself. Seeing as how he's worked on F-16 fighter jets, learning complicated repair procedures is nothing new to him.

Standing firm to his belief of modding the car specifically how he likes and no one else, David is not afraid to make a statement wherever he goes. While his wife might think it's just a crazy hobby, the smile on his kid's faces when they go out in the A4 makes it all worth it in the end. Being able to drive confidently through the winding and often treacherous mountain roads of Colorado and Wyoming has really shown David the true bliss of owning an Audi.
 
Current Modifications

 - Engine/Exhaust:
  • RAI Motorsport K0R-GT turbo
  • Maestro custom tuning
  • OEM S3 injectors
  • HPFPUPGRAGE Stage 1 HPFP
  • HPFPUPGRAGE performance rail valve
  • RAI 4"-3" testpipe
  • OBX custom fitted downpipe
  • OBX exhaust
  • CoolingMist water methanol dual nozzle injection
  • RAI Motorsport FMIC
  • NGK BKR7E plugs
  • Custom heatshield
  • BG carbon cleaned FSI
  • Black Forest Industry clean catch
  • USRT TB w/m adapter
  • APR K04 software (removed)
  • VMR TP (removed)
  • Custom Fujita full CAI (removed)
  • AEM CAI/SRI (removed)
  • Treadstone TR6 FMIC (removed)
  • godspeed IC piping (removed)
 - Suspension:
  • Vogtland Jr suspension
 - Wheels & Brakes:
  • Advanti Denaro B2 19" staggered set-up wheels (Summer)
  • Fullway 275/30 rear and 235/35 fronts
  • OEM 17" Gunmetal coated wheels wheels (Winter)
  • ABT drilled & slotted rotors
  • EBC Redstuff pads
  • Goodridge SS lines
  • Pentosin racing fluid
  • RS4 RSB
 - Interior:
  • JVC KW-NX7000bt headunit
  • JVC 12-disc changer
  • Sirius satellite radio
  • DLS UP6i front comps
  • cDT ES6 rear fill
  • IDMAX 10" sub
  • Custom enclosure
  • JL Audio 1000/1 & 450/4 amps
  • JL Audio RCB-1
  • JL Audio mid RCA's
  • Directed Audio Sub RCA
  • Stinger digital distribution block
  • Stinger digital fuse holder
  • PHOENIX GOLD 0 awg wiring
  • Optima Redtop battery
  • Beltronics 995 radar detector
  • Rainbow SLC 265.25 front comps (removed)
  • cDT EF-61's rear fill (removed)
  • Whistler radar detector (removed)
 - Exterior:
  • DTM front and rear bumpers
  • Rieger Tuning side skirts
  • APR custom splitter and rods
  • Infinite Auto
  • Designs CF hood
  • Cupra Lip (remains on winter non-S-line bumper)
  • Coated calipers
  • Fly's V4 LED's
  • STI clear lens swap
  • Xenarc CBI D1s 3400lumen
  • DDM 5,000k fogs (remains on winter non-S-line bumper)
  • ECS clear sides
  • RS style grille
  • Red engine cover
  • Audi Sport all-weather floor mats
  • Custom Euro and US-spec plates
  • A8 rear Audi rings emblem
  • Red coil packs
  • Red engine cover
Future Modifications
  • Finishing my Maestro tuning
Q (Audizine): How long have you owned this vehicle?
A (David): Since the spring of 2009.
 
Q: How has your ownership been with it overall?
A: As of yet, no major issues. I picked the car up used, but still under warranty, so I had many of the normal B7 issues fixed. I did have to get my car towed due to failed coilpacks, but AOA fotted the bill. To this point it's the best car I've owned, and Audi has done a good job of making me a future loyal customer.
 
Q: Where did you find the car, and how was the buying experience?
A: In Arlington, TX. I knew I was moving to the Wyoming/Colorado area, and figured, I should have an AWD car. From what I've seen price wise, Texas is a prime spot to get a deal on an Audi with quattro. It was a pretty nice feeling driving away even though I had just traded in the first car that got me into the modding scene.
 
Q: Think you'll get another one in the future?
A: Next new car goes to my wife, so it may be some time. Though I'm planning on getting a 911 as a retirement present, in about seven years.

Q: Is this your first Audi? If not, what other models and years have you owned?
A: First Audi, and first European car. Though my dad has driven a Volvo since 1985, so European cars are not new to me.

Q: How long have you been into Audis and in the European tuning scene?
A: I honestly never paid much attention to them until recently. My parents actually owed an Audi back around 1984. But I probably didn't start to notice them until the first TT came out.
 
Q: How long have you been into cars in general, as an enthusiast?
A: Since 2000, though I had a very rough uneducated start to modifying cars.

Q: Where do you think that passion and enthusiasm comes from, can it be traced back to anyone or anything?
A: Maybe my dad. I can still remember how excited he got over seeing the old Saab Turbo's, back in the mid 80's. Every time he saw one he'd point it out. So I guess a small spark was started then. But from that point on, I guess it's just been my curiosity.

Q: What do you most love about the car?
A: The combination of style and performance.

Q: What's your biggest peeve in regards to the car, the one thing you dislike the most?
A: Dealing with CEL's that randomly pop up.

Q: When did the modding bug bite?
A: The day I purchased the car. I might have actually been shopping for mods before I actually purchased the car. But I had been bitten on my previous car so I didn't have much of a chance.

Q: Can you explain your modding style? Do you prefer more go, more show, perhaps a combo of both?
A: I prefer to have a combination of show and go. I want to be well rounded.

Q: Do you prefer to do the work yourself, or do you have a shop or specific person perform the work?
A: Depends on the job. Many of the mods I've done myself. But for some of the engine work, I've let one of the local tuners do some of the work, and just learned from him.

Q: What was your first modification to the car?
A: I grabbed an AEM CAI while they were on sale. Along with my ECU tune.

Q: Which was your last, most recent mod?
A: Moving onto a dual nozzle set-up for my water/methanol injection system.

Q: Which mod are you the most proud of or happy with?
A: The K0R-GT from RAI. It's made that car a blast to drive.

Q: How has your ownership been with it overall?
A: It's made me a an Audi fanboi.

Q: Describe your fondest memory of owning, modifying, or driving the A4.
A: Just about all the cruises I've gone on with other car enthusiasts. Being able to drive through the mountains and hills of Colorado and Wyoming is pure bliss. Though to be honest, it probably wouldn't matter what car I'm in, this place is just that awesome.
 
Q: While the car you have now is amazing, what if money were no object? What's your dream car, or cars?
A: You can thank "The Fast and the Furious" for this one, but a fully built Supra is still a dream car of mine, and recently I've really found Zondas to be my dream supercar.
 
Q: What do your friends and family think about your passion for Audis?
A: My wife of course thinks it's mainly a waste of money, but my kids think it's pretty cool.
 
Q: How does your love for cars and Audis affect your life, does it play a pretty big part?
A: It does take up a bit of my time, but I try to keep things balanced.
 
Q: What brought you to Audizine, and how long have you been with us?
A: With my last car I was so heavily involved I became an admin for the site, and that kinda carried over once I picked up my Audi. I checked out the other Audi sites, and they just weren't as active, so I found myself surfing Audizine. This February will mark four years.

Q: When you're not on Audizine, or out wrenching on the Audi, what do like to you do for fun?
A: It may sound tacky, but just about a little of everything.

Q: Have an interesting day job? Care to talk a little bit about it?
A: I've been in the USAF for 13 years. I started off doing avionics on the F-16. Now I work at a Nuclear Alert Missile Facility.
 
Q: Any word of advice for your fellow enthusiasts, a bit of wisdom you'd like to impart on the masses?
A: Mod your car how you like it, not to please others.
 
Q: And lastly do you have anyone you'd like to thank, any shout-outs?
A: Forest, my local tuner who's helped me with a lot of my engine work. Ray at RAI who's been on the phone with me many times to answer just about any question I can come up with. All my fellow Colorado Audi enthusiasts (JR, Seth, Andrew, Arjun, Keith, Edgar, Kyle, Lyssa). The B7 community that gives me constant entertainment! And, the Man upstairs!
  1. Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro - photo by Mike Selander

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  2. Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro - photo by Mike Selander

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  3. Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro - photo by Mike Selander

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  4. Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro - photo by Mike Selander

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  5. Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro - photo by Mike Selander

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  11. Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro - photo by Mike Selander

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  12. Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro - photo by Mike Selander

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  15. Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro - photo by Mike Selander

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September 2012 Featured AZ'er: Operator's 2007 A4 2.0T quattro
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