View Full Version : No power after rebuild 1999 audi a4 2.8L 30v

08-11-2013, 11:36 AM
Hey guys,
So after almost three long months of working, i have rebuild my motor. New head gasket, head bolts, valve cover seals, random o-rings throughout the engine, crank bearings, rod bearings, piston rings, kickass spark plugs, fluids, fuel filter, oil filter, rebuilt heads (done by a shop), hot tanked block, machined surfaces. I also took out all of the lifters, opened them up and cleaned them in a vibrating kerosene bath for a few days (close to a week with regular changes in kerosene) and put them back together properly (with oil, I also compressed the lifters when submerged in oil until no more air bubbles came out). I replaced all of the vacuum piping throughout the engine as it was previously in pieces with many, many many rips, tears or just spots with no piping at all. The vacuum piping was carefully installed with the assistance of diagrams provided by parts source. I also painted the engine if that makes any difference (so much prep work *soab*)

So after all of this hard work, the engine finally runs (after a fixed oil leak from the from main seal and a few coolant leaks) but there is no power. I have a lot of lifter chatter but i understand that this is normal with a rebuilt motor to have this. Even so, after about a total idle time of 15 minutes and drive time of about 20, the lifters still havent pressurized and there is still chatter. The chatter is getting better but ever so slightly when i start it again.
So finally to the problem, the car can move on its own power and even make it up hills with a few people in it, problem is the motor will NOT reach 3000 rmp and if it does it is a really, really labored 3000 rpm. some performance upgrades that were done was a catback exhaust system off of ebay, cheap, but being cheap i guess means just less metal, the exhaust is pretty close to straight pipe ( you could drop a golf ball clear through the resonator and/or muffle. I also put a new high flow K&N air filter. the motor can maintain proper temperature (exactly 90 degrees C) as well as proper oil temperature. I checked the codes and there is no knock on any of the cylinders as well as no misfiring. there are no leaks anywhere as i just painted the engine and would easily be able to spot any leaks. Another quick note, when i timed the engine, I used the camshaft holder to hold the cams in position (tool only fits on one way, when the cams and in the proper position) while i moved the crankshaft into position by lining up the notch of the crank pulley and the arrow provided.
Please help! i have spent so much time and money and time on this car.

http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a617/colpic/IMG_1443_zpse0027dbc.jpg (http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/colpic/media/IMG_1443_zpse0027dbc.jpg.html)
http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a617/colpic/IMG_1485_zpse5e533dc.jpg (http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/colpic/media/IMG_1485_zpse5e533dc.jpg.html)
http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a617/colpic/IMG_1527_zpsdc16c9b5.jpg (http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/colpic/media/IMG_1527_zpsdc16c9b5.jpg.html)

08-11-2013, 03:48 PM
I took it for a drive today and listened for more sounds that the engine may be making. For some reason, one head sounds a little bit different than the other one has more lifter chatter noise than the other, the other head has a little bit of a louder knock-like sound. when i tried to go through the rpm range, i noticed that the engine pretty consistently petered out at the 2000 - 2100 rpm range, came back a bit from 2100-2800 rpms. any engine speed after this seems to be very labored although when car is warm, i got the rpms up to about 4500 rpms.
I'm not sure if i noticed this correctly but it is possible that the engine lost a bit of power as the motor warmed up?
I took note of the engine when i was coasting down slopes, as i let off the throttle the engine seemed to jitter a bit but went away when the throttle was applied.
The motor had a good amount of torque in the lower end (1000rpm to 1800rpm) and I can accelerate out of turns with less than pre-rebuild power but still a good amount
I have a couple of wires disconnected from the car which i am finding very hard to identify and properly connect into the car, here is a photo of one of the wires which is disconnected
http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a617/colpic/IMG_20130811_162852_756_zpsfe1243c7.jpg (http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/colpic/media/IMG_20130811_162852_756_zpsfe1243c7.jpg.html)

08-11-2013, 08:04 PM
I don't have any guesses to your engine woes (I currently have my heads in the machine shop following a TB failure...hopefully, I don't have the same trouble when I get it back together), but I'm pretty sure those wires go to your hood latch. Look up underneath the latch, above the radiator, and you should see two blades that are looking for something to connect to them. I don't remember which goes to which, since mine is in pieces at the moment, but it's only two...should be easy to figure out.

08-12-2013, 04:16 PM
Sounds like an out of time issue, with that much chatter and some knocking.

08-12-2013, 04:57 PM
So when i was timing the cams, i found this guide online that showed how to do it, im pretty sure that i followed the assembly procedure correctly (this site showed each head to by set identically) although i was reading other forums and saw that the heads for each side of the engine are timed slightly differently? Which way is correct, identical setting for each head or different setting?

this was the site where i found this info,

this is the photo that i got from it, it shows position of each cam exactly where they need to be,

http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a617/colpic/threadphotos_zps11bb5b79.png (http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/colpic/media/threadphotos_zps11bb5b79.png.html)

Is there a way i can easily check if timing is off? as in taking valve covers off and counting links? or possibly doing anything else that doesn't involve major dissasembly? [confused]

Thanks ryno007, ill take a look at that, i couldn't figure it out for the life of me ahah

08-14-2013, 07:29 AM
You should be able to see those marks with just the valve covers off. Even a tooth off will cause some timing problems. Set the crank at TDC, and your cams should be nearly aligned if you did the timing correctly in the first place - that way, when you pull the valve covers off, the marks should be at the top (or almost) and visible. If the cams/chains seem to be correct, you'll need to use the Audi tool to align the cams and be sure those are in time with crank at TDC. You'll still need to put the front end in service position to do this, but I wouldn't call that "major disassembly", rather an annoying inconvenience. Hopefully it's in time and the cause is something else, since if you've been driving it out of time, you may have already bent some of your valves. Probably wouldn't hurt to do a compression test before you do all of this; would be interesting to hear if you've got good compression after all that rebuild work.

08-14-2013, 06:07 PM
yeah i will check the timing in tdc and count chain link rollers. But this diagram that i have shown you, is it correct? I am pretty sure that this timing position is identical for each head, but i read in other forums that the driver side is something like 16 rollers as shown and the passenger side is 14? I almost 99% sure that they would be the same, but if not than this would be my issue. But hopefully i got it right ahah, i really really hope that i didnt bend any valves, because that means taking off the heads, new head gasket, head bolts... etc ugh.
Yeah i have had to put the car in service position countless times, but should the cause be something else what could it be? i mean is it possible that the ECU is messing with the timing for some reason? I mean i checked the gas lines, they are untouched the whole way, i didnt check underneath the fuel filter (there is the slim chance that i have managed to bend the lines when installing the new fuel filter) but i am quite confident that they are ok. What could be causing this because if it isn't timing, what in the f*** could it be?

09-08-2013, 06:56 PM
What's the update on this? Sounds like mine..I dont have the noise, it runs fine but no power... did you find the problem?

09-10-2013, 08:34 PM
im taking it to a shop, first time rebuilding an engine and could use a bit of expert advice. update on its way

10-02-2013, 06:52 PM
So problem was a combination of two things. First i had the driver side cams 1 link off, and the cats BOTH clogged and was causing the power issues (i guess that the disturbance caused from taking them off was enough to clog them). I am in the process of gutting the cats as a temporary fix but would like to put in high flow cats as i am not looking to have a rolling screamer with the already very unrestricted muffler and resonator. Does anyone know of a site to order such a thing or would getting them done at a shop be my best bet?

10-15-2013, 07:42 PM
problem was actually different from what i thought, turned out to be a cam position sensor was throwing a code and it put the car into 'limp mode' which was why i didn't have any power. the cams were actually perfectly ok, the first guy didnt know what he was doing, second guy backflow tested the pipes, perfectly ok.
Im not sure if it may have been the cleaner which i used to clean my whole engine bay and wiring harness. Im sure that it is possible that brake cleaner might have an effect on the sensors as well as wiring in my car.
Still have a possible malfunctioning alternator. Running car->battery disconect test will be done shortly, leaking exhaust manifold may have caused clicking noise although i am unconvinced.
Limp mode will be checked by trying new CPS's, and then wiring should that be the problem. I heard that it may be a whole slew of problems, anyone have any common or likely problems to the CPS situation?