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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings Cousinphil's Avatar
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    1954 Ford Jubilee Tractor,1986 Ford Diesel Tractor, 2006 GMC One Ton Dump, 1986 Nissan Flatbed Truck
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    East Blue Hill Maine

    Tiptronic Vs. 6 Speed

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    I am now the proud owner of a second Avant. This one is a 2005 and it's almost identical to my 2004 but it has an automatic transmission. I found it online in New Jersey, rode down from Maine on the train, and drove it home. Sweet little car. Only 85,000 miles. Peppy motor and good transmission. Good highway car. $5000. This is going to be my winter Audi.

    Every car I've ever owned has had a stick shift. I've never found an automatic which was conducive to the way I drive. But this one comes close.

    The first time I ever drove an Audi, a friend loaned me her TT for an afternoon. But she warned me as she handed me the keys .Just be sure to keep the RPMs up.. I told her I didn't think that would be a problem.

    Managing RPMs is the name of the game. With the manual six-speed and the 1.8T, I've found that I want to be up in the 2200 to 2800 range to have the kind of pickup I want. Any lower than that, and the power just isn't there. At 2200 RPM you can put your foot down and feel that turbo kick in. Wind it up to about 3000 and shift gears and you're still in the 2200 to 2800 range as you accelerate.

    The Tiptronic is the smartest auto transmission I've had the pleasure to know. I left it in D all the way up to Maine and it behaved itself admirably at highway speeds. But when I had to drop down to 50 mph in traffic, the Tiptronic didn't quite know what to do. The RPMs dropped down to 1800. The engine was clearly lugging. You could put your foot into it and it would immediately downshift and you'd have plenty of power but as soon as you took your foot off the gas it would drop into fifth gear and you'd be lugging again. I was always taught that lugging would put excessive wear on the engine.

    So then there's sport mode. No problem keeping the revs up in sport mode. Couple of problems with sport mode though. First of all, there are times when you want to put your foot into it but you don't really want to downshift. You want to stay in that 2200 to 2800 range and you want to let that turbo goose the gear you're in. Sport mode won't let you do that. The other problem is, again, when you're doing 50 mph. Sport mode keeps you in fourth gear. Your motor is at 3000 RPM. Go a little faster, 55 mph and you're still in fourth. 60 mph and you're still in fourth. Your engine is racing and you're wasting gas. At about 65 mph the Tiptronic finally drops into fifth gear and the RPMs are back in the sweet spot. But don't slow down or you'll downshift!

    So I finally resorted to the Tiptronic's manual mode. OK. This works pretty well. Pretty easy to keep the revs where I want them. Definitely not as much fun as the six-speed though. I leave it in D most of the time and flick the shift lever to the right and downshift manually when the motor lugs.

    The new A4s have an 8 speed automatic. Maybe it's better than the five-speed Tiptronic. Maybe it even adapts itself to your driving habits.
    Last edited by Cousinphil; Yesterday at 06:44 PM.
    2004 A4 Avant 1.8T 6 speed mt Quattro

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Four Rings ADCS's Avatar
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    Jan 06 2009
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    Location
    Toronto

    *I am having a very hard time reading your post. * Tooo many ******* :-)

    I can tell you the B7 6spd TIP is exactly the same. It's a dog when in drive mode, super annoying in sport mode and TIP is laggy as hell. It seems like in drive mode it shifts from 1st to 2nd after the tire does half a rotation and then into 3rd when you are halfway through an intersection. It basically wants to keep the engine near its stall point at all times haha. In sport mode it is great when accelerating, similar shift points to how you would drive a manual trans, however driving at a constant speed/rpm is ridiculous as you mentioned. It won't upshift until you are beyond say ~3100rpm so when crusing on the highway it will just scream at ~3000rpm in 5th gear forever. And TIP mode, forget about it. Doesn't even remotely compare to a real manual.
    B6 2.7t -- F21 MF -- Tuned by Bische --
    B7 2.0t

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  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Mar 30 2015
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    My tip behaves the same way. When the car was new and there was zero vibration, I didn't notice so much since I was almost always babying it. Later I just figured it just was not a powerful engine. Then I took it across country and back a couple years ago. Going out I had my labrador with me so I drove safe and slow. I flew him back and drove back alone and that's when I really met my engine. The power from 3500rpm was surprising. I never had a car where I could pass someone in 90mph traffic like they were standing still. Still doesn't compare to a tuned turbo, and for the most part it earns it's nickname "3.slow", but it has some life to it.

    I considered a 6MT swap but doing that when the trans is fine and still has less than 100K miles on it seems wasteful. The tip is too complex for most to rebuild so selling it would likely not cover your swap cost. It'd be smarter to keep it as is and get a second car for spirited driving (which you appear to already have). Maybe an older golf or something like that.

    If you want to make it more lively, there is an option. JHM has an ECU and TCU tune for the 3.0 that seems to work well enough. It's a little over 1100 bucks in tuning and even then you'd need their custom downpipes to take full advantage at $500 for catless and 750 for hi-flow cat version. Check it out if this interests you. If it's just a winter car, then my advice would be to enjoy it as is. You can alway readdress new downpipes when the cats go. Then unless you spend 3K for OEM or weld your own, or gut them and use spacers to fool the ECU, a tune would be required to get rid of the CEL from any catless or hi-flow setup.

    +2 on the asterisks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Two Rings Gin+'s Avatar
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    Apr 16 2015
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    CNY Syracuse

    Let's not forget the 5hp19 was derived in 1996, so it's pretty much an antique. My gripes are the delay in power (load) between up-shifts and sport mode tries to down-shift even when the revs are already in the 5k range thereby redlining the motor where there is no power being made anyway.

    The 6hp19 is a different beast, but as ADCS pointed out, it still lacks the ability to mind read. I drive both regularly.
    They're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent to 'em.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Three Rings john_gonzo's Avatar
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    Feb 03 2009
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    Location
    Florida

    Scrubbed version:

    I am now the proud owner of a second Avant. This one is a 2005 and it's almost identical to my 2004 but it has an automatic transmission. I found it online in New Jersey, rode down from Maine on the train, and drove it home. Sweet little car. Only 85,000 miles. Peppy motor and good transmission. Good highway car. $5000. This is going to be my winter Audi.

    Every car I've ever owned has had a stick shift. I've never found an automatic which was conducive to the way I drive. But this one comes close.

    The first time I ever drove an Audi, a friend loaned me her TT for an afternoon. But she warned me as she handed me the keys .Just be sure to keep the RPMs up.. I told her I didn't think that would be a problem.

    Managing RPMs is the name of the game. With the manual six-speed and the 1.8T, I've found that I want to be up in the 2200 to 2800 range to have the kind of pickup I want. Any lower than that, and the power just isn't there. At 2200 RPM you can put your foot down and feel that turbo kick in. Wind it up to about 3000 and shift gears and you're still in the 2200 to 2800 range as you accelerate.

    The Tiptronic is the smartest auto transmission I've had the pleasure to know. I left it in D all the way up to Maine and it behaved itself admirably at highway speeds. But when I had to drop down to 50 mph in traffic, the Tiptronic didn't quite know what to do. The RPMs dropped down to 1800. The engine was clearly lugging. You could put your foot into it and it would immediately downshift and you'd have plenty of power but as soon as you took your foot off the gas it would drop into fifth gear and you'd be lugging again. I was always taught that lugging would put excessive wear on the engine.

    So then there's sport mode. No problem keeping the revs up in sport mode. Couple of problems with sport mode though. First of all, there are times when you want to put your foot into it but you don't really want to downshift. You want to stay in that 2200 to 2800 range and you want to let that turbo goose the gear you're in. Sport mode won't let you do that. The other problem is, again, when you're doing 50 mph. Sport mode keeps you in fourth gear. Your motor is at 3000 RPM. Go a little faster, 55 mph and you're still in fourth. 60 mph and you're still in fourth. Your engine is racing and you're wasting gas. At about 65 mph the Tiptronic finally drops into fifth gear and the RPMs are back in the sweet spot. But don't slow down or you'll downshift!

    So I finally resorted to the Tiptronic's manual mode. OK. This works pretty well. Pretty easy to keep the revs where I want them. Definitely not as much fun as the six-speed though. I leave it in D most of the time and flick the shift lever to the right and downshift manually when the motor lugs.

    The new A4s have an 8 speed automatic. Maybe it's better than the five-speed Tiptronic. Maybe it even adapts itself to your driving habits.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Four Rings Spike00513's Avatar
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    Mar 05 2013
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    110766
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    Ye
    Items for Sale


  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings All_Euro's Avatar
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    Oct 07 2008
    AZ Member #
    33928
    My Garage
    04’ A4 Avant 1.8T & 05' GLI 1.8T_4 mo.
    Location
    Calgary, AB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gin+ View Post
    Let's not forget the 5hp19 was derived in 1996, so it's pretty much an antique. My gripes are the delay in power (load) between up-shifts and sport mode tries to down-shift even when the revs are already in the 5k range thereby redlining the motor where there is no power being made anyway.

    The 6hp19 is a different beast, but as ADCS pointed out, it still lacks the ability to mind read. I drive both regularly.

    I really like my TIP for the purpose of this car but I do wish it had the 6-speed version... donít imagine we can use the 6hp19 but Iím thinking a TIP tune would be worthwhile.
    Work - houzz / linkedin
    Play - haldex swap

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings ADCS's Avatar
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    Jan 06 2009
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    Location
    Toronto

    Quote Originally Posted by All_Euro View Post
    I really like my TIP for the purpose of this car but I do wish it had the 6-speed version... donít imagine we can use the 6hp19 but Iím thinking a TIP tune would be worthwhile.
    You're not missing out. I cringe everytime I drive my TIP B7 instead of the manual B6.... could also have to do with the 2.0t vs 2.7t haha.
    #savethemanuals
    B6 2.7t -- F21 MF -- Tuned by Bische --
    B7 2.0t

    Detailing questions? Email me:
    Detailing District

  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings Cousinphil's Avatar
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    Jan 29 2015
    AZ Member #
    312042
    My Garage
    1954 Ford Jubilee Tractor,1986 Ford Diesel Tractor, 2006 GMC One Ton Dump, 1986 Nissan Flatbed Truck
    Location
    East Blue Hill Maine

    [QUOTE=ADCS;12724767]*I am having a very hard time reading your post. * Tooo many ******* :-)

    Hey! WTF! Where did all those * come from? I didn't put them in.
    2004 A4 Avant 1.8T 6 speed mt Quattro

  10. #10
    Registered Member One Ring
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    Oct 07 2017
    AZ Member #
    408021
    My Garage
    64 Chevy k2500, 66 Chevy c2500, 2001 Maxima GLE
    Location
    805, CA

    [QUOTE=Cousinphil;12725996]
    Quote Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
    *I am having a very hard time reading your post. * Tooo many ******* :-)

    Hey! WTF! Where did all those * come from? I didn't put them in.
    I haven't seen them in the last two times I read through it with a refresh.
    Thanks for the insight of the low end and the auto. I'm coming from a torque heavy background so this was very insightful on what to expect when I put this engine in.
    So, no way other than firming up the suspension can we gain torque on these 1.8t with auto? Is there not a program to change the shift points? Sorry I'm new to Audi's but it has been 13 years since my car came to life, I would think some line of software exists by now.

  11. #11
    Established Member Two Rings All_Euro's Avatar
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    Oct 07 2008
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    33928
    My Garage
    04’ A4 Avant 1.8T & 05' GLI 1.8T_4 mo.
    Location
    Calgary, AB.

    [QUOTE=805mAc;12726315]
    Quote Originally Posted by Cousinphil View Post

    I haven't seen them in the last two times I read through it with a refresh.
    Thanks for the insight of the low end and the auto. I'm coming from a torque heavy background so this was very insightful on what to expect when I put this engine in.
    So, no way other than firming up the suspension can we gain torque on these 1.8t with auto? Is there not a program to change the shift points? Sorry I'm new to Audi's but it has been 13 years since my car came to life, I would think some line of software exists by now.

    This is the only one I know of... http://tunedbygts.com/software/audi/a4-sw/b6-a4/s1tip
    Work - houzz / linkedin
    Play - haldex swap

  12. #12
    Established Member Three Rings VinnysS4's Avatar
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    Nov 12 2015
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    364349
    Location
    Oregon

    I have a extra 6 speed tip of you new one :)

    Sent from my SM-G550T1 using Audizine mobile app
    1997 VW GTI VR6 (sold), 2003 Audi RS6 (sold), 2010 Audi A4 2.0T (RIP Totaled on 11/2/2015 ) 2005.5 Audi S4

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  13. #13
    Veteran Member Three Rings 3 bar's Avatar
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    Feb 11 2004
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    91
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    91 Corrado, 02 Passat wagon, 99.5 A4 TQM
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    My friend Ian Nelson / Reflect tuning does TCU as well as ECU tunes which will take care of the lag and provides firmer shifts. I'd do both cause the Avant is heavy and really needs the extra power a tune can deliver. Mines an auto as well but I have a six speed swap at my house ready for when I have the time to swap it out.
    2004 Atlas Grey A4 Avant
    1999.5 Volcano Black Audi A4 1.8TQM
    2002 VW Passat wagon 1.8t 5 speed
    1991 VW Corrado 1.8t w/matching trailer Waterfest 03/04 winner (show)
    1980 Chrysler Cordoba LS 371ci 450hp 12.68(go)

  14. #14
    Registered Member One Ring
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    64 Chevy k2500, 66 Chevy c2500, 2001 Maxima GLE
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    805, CA

    The last thing i want to do is install this motor and be pissed at the low end and shift points while rocking hwy 1 going camping. Six speed swap huh? Only thing that screws me is I'm in Cali. My new house and shop don't have a lift so modding this thing just to de-mod it every two years makes my joints ache. Time for some research. Thanks for the insight! Maybe a pm if I can swing it

  15. #15
    Registered Member One Ring
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    Oct 07 2017
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    64 Chevy k2500, 66 Chevy c2500, 2001 Maxima GLE
    Location
    805, CA

    [QUOTE=All_Euro;12726382]
    Quote Originally Posted by 805mAc View Post
    I'll look into the reflect. thanks for the heads up.
    Sorry Op wasn't trying to spam your thread. Awesome insight!

  16. #16
    Established Member Two Rings yanni6556's Avatar
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    Personally i wish i had a manual in my 3.0, Just had my 5hp19 rebuilt and it is still pretty slow and sometimes gets confused and thunks. They aren't for spirited drivers! I did see a video online of someone chipping theirs and raving about the bet performance.

  17. #17
    Established Member Two Rings
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    San Francisco, CA

    Quote Originally Posted by 805mAc View Post
    The last thing i want to do is install this motor and be pissed at the low end and shift points while rocking hwy 1 going camping. Six speed swap huh? Only thing that screws me is I'm in Cali. My new house and shop don't have a lift so modding this thing just to de-mod it every two years makes my joints ache. Time for some research. Thanks for the insight! Maybe a pm if I can swing it
    I don't think you would have to do that. I'm pretty sure you can swap your transmission and still pass the ref.
    2004 A4 Avant 1.8T 6MT
    2005 A4 1.8T 6MT

  18. #18
    Registered Member One Ring
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    64 Chevy k2500, 66 Chevy c2500, 2001 Maxima GLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by asg1290 View Post
    I don't think you would have to do that. I'm pretty sure you can swap your transmission and still pass the ref.
    oh for sure, I'm just poking at getting the most out of a trans swap

  19. #19
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanni6556 View Post
    Personally i wish i had a manual in my 3.0, Just had my 5hp19 rebuilt and it is still pretty slow and sometimes gets confused and thunks. They aren't for spirited drivers! I did see a video online of someone chipping theirs and raving about the bet performance.
    How many miles did you have when you had it rebuilt? Was it devastatingly expensive? Also, were you the original owner and did you do fluid and filter changes at all? I'm curious because I'm trying to gauge how long mine has before it needs rebuilding or a 6MT swap.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Four Rings Kevin C's Avatar
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    1987 Dodge Raider G54B Turbo
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    Portland OR, United States

    Quote Originally Posted by asg1290 View Post
    I don't think you would have to do that. I'm pretty sure you can swap your transmission and still pass the ref.
    I have done transmission conversions on CA registered vehicles and it was not an issue when I got it smogged. If you do it right the rules in CA are pretty easy to deal with. I have even converted non turbo vehicles to turbo by swapping in a later year motor. As long as I used the smog parts from a model the met the same or higher emission standards it was not an issue. I did have to go to a referee station to get the engine swap certified. No one ever even mentioned or noticed the transmission conversion.
    03 A4 Quattro, 1.8T, 02X six speed conversion/ GJW (4.11 final drive). RS4 RSB, H&R FSB.

  21. #21
    Established Member Two Rings yanni6556's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2004a4b630QT View Post
    How many miles did you have when you had it rebuilt? Was it devastatingly expensive? Also, were you the original owner and did you do fluid and filter changes at all? I'm curious because I'm trying to gauge how long mine has before it needs rebuilding or a 6MT swap.
    I just had it rebuilt around 15k kms ago, i was not the original owner so since i bought it around 3 years ago at 150,000kms it was having issues. I found doing a fluid change helped it but probably made it worse. Only reason i rebuilt it though was because the torque converter went which is a common problem for these, at the same time the valve body was modified by the shop as this was also a common issue. As far as pricing goes it was pretty expensive at around 3500 AUD, however the job is quite massive so the price is quite justifiable. This also included a front diff oil change. Other shops however were quoting me around 5k just to remove the box and do the torque converter. I can post some images up of how the gearbox looks taken apart if you are interested. At the end of the day though its worth it if you are not planning on ever changing motor, if mine blows then swapping to a 2.7t for example would just be plain silly as i would have to swap over a new gearbox which would just be a waste of a fresh rebuild :(

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