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  1. #1
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jun 16 2011
    AZ Member #
    76990
    Location
    Tacoma WA

    S4 Avant with a Blown Motor

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    Hey friends,

    TL/DR: My S4 needs a new motor and I have no idea what to do at this point. Do I keep it and repair it or do I sell it and recoup some of the cost?

    I just got word back from the shop and they found a single broken valve which happened to run rampant and destroy everything in it's path. They only found a single valve so far so they don't believe it's timing related.

    So here's the even worse part. I just bought the car about two to three months ago and everything seemed fine, the car idled and ran smooth, it accelerated well and didn't show any signs of falling apart during the two times I inspected the car. The car immaculate in physical condition, well aside from the motor and the previous owner had a stack of work logs from the dealership. Everything checked out so I jumped on it seeing as it was an S4 Avant with a 6 speed manual transition. After I bought the car I emailed Audi of America who replied back saying it was 1 of 3 black S4 Avant 6speeds in the country. Then all of a sudden a few months go by, replacing the spark plugs(they were shot) and the coil packs and do an oil everything was fine and then boom, the CEL starts flashing the car starts running really rough and now I have reports that it's time to find a new motor.

    The shop is quoting about $10-12k for a new motor and labor, plus what I owe on it to the bank.
    At this point do you think I could try and sell it from at least part of what I owe on the car? Are there people even interested in doing that?

    Thanks for any and all help and opinions.

  2. #2
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jun 16 2011
    AZ Member #
    76990
    Location
    Tacoma WA

    Bump

  3. #3
    Senior Member Three Rings badger.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 31 2014
    AZ Member #
    168335
    My Garage
    '05 S4 Sedan | '05 S4 Avant | '01 Lexus IS300
    Location
    KY
    Items for Sale

    What is is, b6 or b7? Any other mods on it? If the entire motor is gone, maybe $2k.. If the long block is still OK maybe $2-3k?.. I dunno.

    What did you spend on it/what do you owe? Since everything else is in "immaculate" condition, if you just bite the bullet and get a new motor in (make sure they use updated timing guides) you will have a car that should be quite solid for 150k+ miles or more.
    $10-12k for a new motor with labor honestly sounds like a pretty good price - is it an actual new motor or a "new" used motor?
    '05 S4 Sedan Arctic White: JHM Intake Spacers | JHM ATF Cooler | JHM Auto-tensioner | 034 Motor Mounts | Apikol Snub | Slotted & Dimpled Rotors | AQ1200D w/Dual 10" CVRs | 35% Tint | Piggies | Fast Intentions Catback
    '05 S4 Avant Brilliant Red: JHM Tune | JHM v1 Headers | JHM LWCP | JHM Ported IM| JHM ATF Cooler | Koni Yellows | Apikol Rear Diff & Snub | Thor Skid Plate | JHM LW Rotors | Fast Intentions Catback

  4. #4
    Senior Member Three Rings lyates1987's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 17 2014
    AZ Member #
    283288
    Location
    Austin/TX
    Items for Sale

    Your motor might still be fine man. I had the same thing happen to me with the flashing CEL and it was a bad coil pack. Did you buy OEM coil packs? If not that may be the issue. The car is fairly sensitive when it comes to non-OEM shit. Also, do you happen to have a code scanner?

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Four Rings JoshDub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 09 2008
    AZ Member #
    34021
    Location
    Seattle

    How much would you sell it for?
    The Awesome

  6. #6
    Senior Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 15 2015
    AZ Member #
    342719
    Location
    Rochester NY

    You could pick up a running engine from a total and just install that, maybe throw new chain guides in it since it would be accessible anyway.

  7. #7
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jun 16 2011
    AZ Member #
    76990
    Location
    Tacoma WA

    Quote Originally Posted by badger. View Post
    What is is, b6 or b7? Any other mods on it? If the entire motor is gone, maybe $2k.. If the long block is still OK maybe $2-3k?.. I dunno.

    What did you spend on it/what do you owe? Since everything else is in "immaculate" condition, if you just bite the bullet and get a new motor in (make sure they use updated timing guides) you will have a car that should be quite solid for 150k+ miles or more.
    $10-12k for a new motor with labor honestly sounds like a pretty good price - is it an actual new motor or a "new" used motor?
    Quote Originally Posted by lyates1987 View Post
    Your motor might still be fine man. I had the same thing happen to me with the flashing CEL and it was a bad coil pack. Did you buy OEM coil packs? If not that may be the issue. The car is fairly sensitive when it comes to non-OEM shit. Also, do you happen to have a code scanner?

    It's a bB7. Well the mechanic from the shop I took it to said he was holding the valve in his hand when we were talking...not sure how they got it without taking the motor. Pretty confident at this point that it's not a coil pack sadly.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshDub View Post
    How much would you sell it for?
    You're local, how much are you willing to spend? Would be a great car after the motor is replaced.

    Quote Originally Posted by neilpaku View Post
    You could pick up a running engine from a total and just install that, maybe throw new chain guides in it since it would be accessible anyway.
    That's what the shop is trying to do now to quote me a definitive price. So far we are looking $11-13k with new chain guides.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 15 2015
    AZ Member #
    342719
    Location
    Rochester NY

    11-13k seems high to me when entire cars can be bought for that much. I'd want it to come with a warranty for that price, that does not exclude guides, etc.

  9. #9
    Active Member One Ring gwodark's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 01 2005
    AZ Member #
    6306
    My Garage
    20005 S4, 2001 s4, 2001 Allroad
    Location
    Wodark

    I was in the exact same position as you! I have a early 2005, B6 Avant. At 175k, the transmission went ( mine is an auto.) I elected to replace it for $9,000. I still owed $20k, on the car ( bought it after the lease). I decided to gamble, that engine would last maybe until 250k miles.Bad bet! At 200k, the timing chain and related assembly went bad.

    So now, I was in your shoes. I still owed a lot, and I had already sunk $9k in the trannny! I chose to go "all in". I bought a crate motor from 2004. While I was at it, I did several key upgrades from JH Motorsports ( intake manifold mod., downtubes and carbacks, ECU, center and rear ltd. slip diff.,etc.) We are now talking 20 grand!

    I was thinking, " Ok, I have a new engine and transmission that should last at least 100k, if not 150k.That is 3-5 years for me. Why not upgrade everything like new car? So, I could enjoy the ride, instead of putting up with a beat up old car!"

    That is the kind of thinking that put me on the road to the money pit! I did a vinyl wrap, custom valves Bilstein Sport Shocks ( Fat Cat Motorsports), swapped my problematic Stasis coil overs, for air suspension, carbon fiber hood, modified front bumper and airdam, LED driving lights and accent rings around the headlights, etc. Then, for the grand finale, a $5,000 sound system with navigation, Apple Airplay, custom sub woofer cabinet, and high res. ( 24 bit, 96 KHz., capable). Sound insulation, for good measure!

    Yes, it is now a pretty cool ride ( even has a suede headliner!). Unfortunately, the customization of the suspension turned out to be almost a worse minefield, than the engine! The problem was, IMO, every time you decide to go with a custom solution, it ends costing 3 times as much! Also, probably taking 3 times as long. That combined with the fact that at that mileage, the whole suspension needed replacing any way.

    However, because of the problems of customizing a "one off", design, I ended up replacing EVERYTHING at least twice! Upper and lower control arms, bushings, endlinks, front and rear upgraded sway bars, front axels. On top of that, the transmission had to be replaced, due to a freak problem of the case somehow getting damaged where the driver side axel joins the transaxle.

    I am still not done with the suspension, after two years! The engine was originally replaced five years ago. Ironically, for your situation, after 12k miles, the valves failed!!!! Fortunately, the company from whom I bought the engine, fixed it. They determined that early S4 V8s had too weak of a valve spring design ( Audi used the same spring as the 4 cylinder). So, they upgraded the springs to 55 lbs., from 38lbs), and redid the head and the valves.

    If this tale has not convinced you to throw in the towel, I have a few suggestions! Here they are:

    1) Consult with JH Motorsports about options and upgrades. They have done far more work on this engine than any other tuner-shop. Plus, they are a repair shop as well. So, they are best equipped to give you worthwhile options.
    My engine is way more fun with just a few of their mods!

    2)DO NOT CUSTOMIZE, or BE A PIONEER! You will end up with arrows in your back!!!
    Go with tried and true designs that are proven to work. For example, I went with a little known front bumper design. While it looks great, I think, it has caused a veritable " shitstorm", of unintended consequences! First, despite their claims of "OEM" like fitment, it did not fit at all. My shop had to modify the hell out of everything just to barely get it to work. Then, because it extended lower, and much further forward than stock, it hit every driveway imaginable ( because of the approach angle problem). It played havoc with the headlights, and started to separate from the car. So, I then went with an air suspension system, so that I could raise the car when needed!

    Of course, I could not find an off the shelf air system for this age car. Plus, I wanted a performance suspension, not just a low rider! My naive research indicated that it was possible! FAMOUS LAST WORDS. It actually is possible, IMO. Once again, only after way, way, way, more time and money has been spent!!!

    I won't tell you about the carbon fiber hood problems. I am sure you get the drift.

    3) Think long and hard before you mess with the emission control equipment ( catalytic converters, primarily). Especially, if you live in California! What a nightmare. I won't tell you the whole ugly story (if you care, ask).

    4) Get some objective advice from a knowledgeable tuner. You need to hear about the whole plan. If I had to do it all over, I could saved 2/3 of the cost! Mostly, by avoiding mistakes. That is why I say, talk to several good tuners. It is possible to build a dynamite vehicle, if you do it right. Do not just " wing it". Get a whole plan mapped out, and budgeted. If you then can afford it, and have a trusted tuner- shop on board, you have a good shot.

  10. #10
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Jun 16 2011
    AZ Member #
    76990
    Location
    Tacoma WA

    Thanks gwodark, that opinion does help and I think I'm going to throw in the towel.

    I've been in similar shoes with the whole air suspension, I bagged my old A3 years ago and it had it's kinks but I was able to find a kit.

    Quote Originally Posted by neilpaku View Post
    11-13k seems high to me when entire cars can be bought for that much. I'd want it to come with a warranty for that price, that does not exclude guides, etc.
    You're totally right, I need to talk to the shop and get more opinions.

  11. #11
    Active Member One Ring gwodark's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 01 2005
    AZ Member #
    6306
    My Garage
    20005 S4, 2001 s4, 2001 Allroad
    Location
    Wodark

    Glad my experience was helpful to someone!


    Sent from my iPad using Audizine

  12. #12
    Senior Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 15 2015
    AZ Member #
    342719
    Location
    Rochester NY

    Well and also my wife's completely stock car gets up and goes day after day, every day with new piston rings, timing chain service, and valve guides. I know a lot of guys like to mod their cars and all power to them and I'm not knocking them at all, but in my 37 years of driving, I've found a stock car spends more time driving and less sitting in the shop. It's still a v8 manual so it's still fun to drive around in.

  13. #13
    Active Member One Ring gwodark's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 01 2005
    AZ Member #
    6306
    My Garage
    20005 S4, 2001 s4, 2001 Allroad
    Location
    Wodark

    How much did all that engine service run? I am considering doing the timing work early, as a preventative measure. The timing issue killed my last engine!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Jul 15 2015
    AZ Member #
    342719
    Location
    Rochester NY

    Just the engine parts and outsourced work would have run 3-4k - $800 for new valve guides and seals at a machine shop, and then 800 for new piston rings, two new mechanical adjuster sprockets (750!), the timing chain guides etc. and then a bunch of seals, gaskets, and bolts. I did a lot more than that (clutch, transmission) but just the engine would have been around that mark.

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