View Full Version : To the Tiptronic guys...

12-13-2005, 08:30 PM
I have been seriously researching Level 10 upgrades for my Tip. I've read a lot of posts on the subject, but none that have really nailed down what to do to both maximize the performance and longevity of the Tiptronic transmission.

I have been emailing a guy from AW that recently sold his '00 Avant that had Level 10 upgraded torque converter (TC) and valve body. He firmly believes that the valve body is necessary and the TC is just not. The TC was set to a higher stall of 2,800 rpm, but there is some electronic monitoring in the transmission that wants to see a stall of 2,200 rpm. He said the TC made the car worse for every day driving. He wanted to go BT, but never did. He thought that the TC may have performed better with a BT due to the increased turbo lag. Makes sense.

Anyway, I had emailed Level 10 a few times with no responses whatsoever. A little pissed about it, I decided to call today and both get the information I wanted and to let them know I wasn't happy. The guy was pretty knowledgeable about Audi's and was very decent on the phone. I described my transmission performance issues and concern for longevity and asked him what he recommended. He suggested just one thing after asking if I had a Tip Chip. He said all I would need is the upgraded valve body. $800.00 and easy to install. Shifts under high torque would be much more positive and the transmission's increased fluid pressure would both increase torque capacity significantly and increase longevity.

The nice thing was that I never felt he was selling me. He just answered my questions with a good level of intelligence and kept his recommendation simple. He stated that they've been doing Audi's for a long time, but have focused on performance over the last four years. So in the end, I'm most likely going to order the valve body sometime after the new year. My plan is to have Blaufergugen do the install (supposed to be only a couple of hours max.). If anyone is interested, I'll keep up with my findings.

12-13-2005, 08:36 PM
very nice info dude, thanks for your work.

does any other place sell the valve body upgrade? i've heard a ton of shady things about level 10.

12-13-2005, 08:54 PM
I'm interested in your finding. Please keep me posted.


12-13-2005, 09:05 PM
i am installing a BT next month on my tip trans.

i changed the trans filter and fluid a few days ago to kinda evaluate the situation and decided to just run it till it gives then upgrade the torque converter or valvebody.

funny thing is i have called level ten twice in the past to get some info regarding upgrades and got conflicting info from both calls. one guy tells me all i need is the torque converter then call a few months later and another tells me just the valvebody[down]

i dont really have alot of faith in level tens knowledge. but they claim to have been building high HP transmissions for american musle cars for some time now.

keep everyone posted. everytime this subject is brought up nobody has ever gone through with the upgrade.

12-13-2005, 09:17 PM
I have another place I'm contacting tomorrow. I'll let you know how that goes...

12-13-2005, 10:23 PM
I have a 2000 1.8T tip quattro and recently got a GT2X installed, the power and torque is amazing but I'm starting to think about my tip tranny and what I can do to strengthen it to take the extra torque.

Today when I was driving on the freeway in auto not tip I felt and heard what seemed to be a shift going in rough and abrupt kind of jerking the car.
It happened a couple of times when I was in 3rd and was accelerating to pick up speed, should prolly shift with the tip at freeway speeds....

IS this a sign that my tip is starting to fail. What are symptoms of a failing tip? I recently had my tranny flushed. I'm planning on getting a tip chip soon as well, since this will speed up shifts etc

12-13-2005, 10:38 PM
was it a hard shift like a clank??? if you recently had your tranny flushed i would double check and make sure it's topped off. and you definately need a tip chip. where in the bay area you? i'd like to check out how the gt2x performs on a tip'd car.

oh...tj, from my research and talking to a few close friends that have tuning shops, majority of the information i received is that i should just upgrade the valve bodies and get a oem rebuilt tq. if i remember correctly, the level ten valve body would allow us to handle around 350lbs/tq. good luck tj...i gave up on my project and hope to start a new project soon.

12-13-2005, 11:16 PM
wasn't really a clank more like a 'thump' kinda sound as the turbo hits full boost, happened when I was slowing down and then quickly accelerating

Also when I'm on the freeway and I'm 3/4 throttle I have noticed an occassional intermittent metal grinding kind of sound?!? Could just be the turbo at full boost whinning. Not really sure where this is coming from but I know the tranny fluid is about three quarters so maybe I'll just top it up completely tomorrow.

BTW I live in SF and work in Walnut Creek, I wanna meet some fellow AZer's in the Bay Area!

12-14-2005, 06:09 AM
Steve: What happend? Why did you give up on the Avant? What are you looking to start on?

I hope you're right about the valve body. I did do some searching on Level 10 and they do seem shady. That sucks.

12-14-2005, 10:14 AM
how is your tranny holding up with the k04? are you trying to upgrade to lvl10 because you're going for BT, or because your tranny can't handle a k04?

sucks to hear outkast, i always looked to your posts to see any Tip potential...

12-14-2005, 10:54 AM
joeya103: My biggest issue is the way the car shifts under full throttle. At 3/4 trottle or less, the car is awesome. It shifts very quick and solid. But at full throttle the car hesitates and is lazy to complete the shift.

I also had my transmission flushed and installed a new filter a while back. Things seemed better at first, but now I can feel the TC lock up. It's lazy now. Some time ago, someone asked if I could feel the TC lock up. I tried several times to identify the lock up and could not. I certainly could in my last car, but not the Audi. I sure can now. The car went from a 5 speed to what feels like a a 6 speed.

I am also concerned about longevity. I know I'm near the limits of the transmission and really don't feel like waiting until I have to do something (like replace the whole thing). I decided that there was just no good information about exactly what to do, so I'm going to get this all figured out the best I can and do something. I'm really hoping I can just do the valve body and improve things enough to be happy and secure. We'll see...

12-14-2005, 12:50 PM
I spoke with Joe from IPT (Import Performance Transmissions). Nice enough guy, but it was difficult to judge his knowledge. He was a little too matter of fact, vague, and a little bit smart ass. I didn't get the feeling he really knew his stuff, but this is just my impression.

I told Joe my concerns and complaints and he suggested I do the valve body to solve my problems. I asked about the necessity of upgrading the TC and said: "it just depends upon how much you want to spend." Not the most intelligent comment IMO. I asked if he thought I should or shouldn't need to upgrade the TC, and he repeated his statement. Not good. Joe lost my confidence when he told me I was about the 5th Audi owner with the same complaints. He said my HP was nothing, he was talking to guys that were running 600-700 HP. I don't know who he was talking to, but something smells bad around here.

Now at this point, what am I supposed to think? Level 10 has at best a questionable reputation and I didn't think much of Joe at IPT. IPT gets $675.00 for the valvebody upgrade and Level 10 gets $800.00. But Level 10 has the exchange program which is very nice.

BTW: I found a lot of information today on the ZF 5HP19 transmission. For one it has a max. input capacity of 300 Nm (221 Ft/Lbs.). Not good if this is correct.

12-14-2005, 01:10 PM
Nice info...too bad 2.8 doesn't benefit from that

12-14-2005, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by TJHUB
BTW: I found a lot of information today on the ZF 5HP19 transmission. For one it has a max. input capacity of 300 Nm (221 Ft/Lbs.). Not good if this is correct.

here is a table right from the ZF parts cataloge for the 5HP19FLA Transmission...I had written an entire tech artical on the transmission but the forum and topic seem to have been moved [confused]


12-14-2005, 02:17 PM
Yeah, I read that a while back. I searched for the 5HP19 not the 5HP19FLA so I could have the wrong one. Still, the max torque would be under 230 Ft/Lbs at 310 Nm.

I am starting to see why people don't move forward with Tip mods. The more you look into things, the worse it seems to get.

12-14-2005, 07:36 PM
tj, i have decided to get rid of my avant to get a b7 s-line avant. time for some change. plus the 6 speed tiptronic tranny is the same as the rs6 which is rated at 450lbs/tq. i can't argue about that!!!

12-14-2005, 08:03 PM
Steve: Hope it works out for you. A B7 S-Line would be sweet. I was actually looking at B7 A4's about a month ago. I looked at my wife and said: "I'm thinking about it." She said: "Do what you want." That was very nice of her, but since I drive almost 20,000 miles per year just to work, I'll skip destroying a new car. My plan is to purchase a used '05 M3 for the third stall in my garage in about a year or so. Until then, I have to play with my B5 (but that's okay with me).

12-14-2005, 08:29 PM
great info TJHUB, good luck with your search. i wish there was some way to swap in a DSG tranny into our cars =D the more i read about it, the more godly it sounds.

12-14-2005, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by OutkastSL
tj, i have decided to get rid of my avant to get a b7 s-line avant. time for some change. plus the 6 speed tiptronic tranny is the same as the rs6 which is rated at 450lbs/tq. i can't argue about that!!!

You really getting rid of your Avant? I love your A4 =(

TJ - Do you have AIM or MSN Messenger? I'd like to ask you a few questions, thanks.


12-15-2005, 06:25 AM
No, I don't have AIM. Just PM me if you have something.

12-15-2005, 01:01 PM

I spoke with Sam at Level 10 today (different guy than last time). I asked one more time what I should do with my situation. I explained pretty much everything I have stated in this thread and Sam told me to go with the valve body to start. He said the valve body will solve all of my issues that I have decribed. I asked about a TC, and he said while he would definately recommend getting one, it's not necessary. He recommended to start with the valve body because it's easy to install and will most likely solve my issues. He said you can always to the TC later since it requires much more to install.

Here's the interesting stuff. I asked Sam what would be the increase in torque capacity (Ft/Lbs) with a valve body, with a TC, and with both. He said ~100 Ft/Lbs for the valve body, ~50 Ft/Lbs for the TC, and ~150 Ft/Lbs. for both. He said the TC is a good idea because there is a seal on the lock up that deforms and leaks (will give you a code if it happens) and the clutch is literally made of paper. He said the valve body will greatly reduce the risk of damaging the TC even at stock HP. So there it is if you trust Sam.

Now this may be stupid, but I'm really leaning towards the Level 10 valve body over IPT. Level 10 has the swap program and a much better attitude. Sam also said I could get a group buy, but I would need at least 5 guys (15% off).

Now I'm just waiting to see what Blaufergugen wants to install the valve body. I'll make my final decision then.

12-15-2005, 01:20 PM
i'm in for the valve body...

12-15-2005, 01:25 PM
Cool! Help me find more!

12-15-2005, 02:48 PM
You may want to post in Classifieds | Groupbuy to see if you can drum up more interest for this.

I would join in, but with the holidays right around the corner, funds are a bit tight.

12-15-2005, 02:58 PM
I don't need to do this tomorrow. I'll probably wait until sometime in January.

12-15-2005, 05:13 PM
^^^^ great collection of info going here.

did sam happen to mention anything about the install.

last time i asked and heard they will only warranty the valvebody if they install it.

12-15-2005, 05:28 PM
No, Sam didn't say anything to me. He was just happy to hear that I had someone professional doing the install. I'll call tomorrow and see what he says.

I have 3 potential people so far...

12-15-2005, 05:39 PM
i would also be interested....... but would be like feb/mar if the T-28 doesnt destroy my trans by then[hail] [hail]

12-16-2005, 05:17 AM
I would also be interested. Keep me posted.

12-16-2005, 06:22 AM
I'll setup an official group buy today when I figure out how Sam wants to do it.

12-16-2005, 11:48 AM
I spoke to Sam about a few additional things this morning. He said they would warrant the valve body for 6 months. He knows I'm having mine installed by Blaufergnugen. I asked him about some of the bad things I've seen posted on the internet about Level 10. He defended himself well. He gave me plenty of examples where things were just installed wrong. I basically just asked him how the valve bodies are. Are they risky or pretty solid. Does Level 10 have many or any failures. Sam said that a few years ago when they were in more of an R&D stage, they had some problems with new changes. But over the past couple of years the design has settled in and is very solid.

12-16-2005, 12:22 PM
good stuff, man this valve body thing just came outta nowhere. before this, all tip owners ever heard about was torque converter upgrades. valve body can handle 50 more torque than just a torque converter upgrade alone? AND it's cheaper?

good job dude, keep us posted on how this goes =)

12-16-2005, 12:42 PM
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. That's why I decided to go digging for information. Back in the 80's when I was screwing around with 350 V8's, you put a shift kit (valve body upgrade) to get crisper shifting. You put a high stall TC for better launches. The whole thing is really simple. The valve body controls the fluid pressure which ultimately controls the shifting. The TC is nothing more than a clutch that is for the most part controled by the pressure from the valve body. Increasing the pressure in the valve body gives more pressure to the TC which in an auto is better for shifting and longevity. Of course at some point the limitations of the TC come into play and it's clutch can only do so much in stock form. The paper thing is a little surprising.

I found a couple of threads in the S4 forum where a guy installed an upgraded TC only. And while it did improve things, it's not what a valve body can do. In a perfect world where money grows on trees, both the valve body and the TC should be done together. One needs the other. The point from Sam at Level 10 was that the valve body will do more and it's a lot cheaper (easier) to install.

12-21-2005, 03:25 PM
Great info TJHUB. You've done your homework it sounds like. I like that!

I only wish I could afford to get in on the group buy of the valve body, I sure would love one!! I'll have to start buttering up the wife, lol.

12-21-2005, 05:59 PM
I also spoke to sam at lvl10. I was going with the TC because I did not know that our gay trannies dont like anything over 2400 rpm. As it is these boats cant launch well because of the weight, but limiting us to 2400rpm is a joke.

I will want in on the group buy. January is plenty of time to get the money.

It sounds to me like the valve body does what the tip chip is supposed to do. Is it redundant to get both? I would prefer the valve body first, as 500 for some software to control a stock tranny is kinda silly.

12-21-2005, 06:03 PM
Tip chip is $250.

12-21-2005, 06:16 PM
The Tip Chip is still a good buy. It's $250.00 (I paid $200.00 when I purchased it with an ECU chip) and basically it makes the transmission react faster to input from the Tip lever. The valve body makes the actual shift faster, not the reaction. You really should have both for the best possible performance.

12-21-2005, 11:33 PM
hey terry, i think im keepin my car because i don't want any payments on a b7 a4 since my b5 is paid off. i'm probably gonna get the valve body upgrade soon, i want to get a big turbo!

Howard Hughes
12-21-2005, 11:57 PM
Nice....I like seeing TIP's built up....I probably will upgrade the turbo on my TIP pretty soon.

12-22-2005, 06:59 AM
Guys: Please let this thread die. Only use it for reference. Please post any responses to a new thread I started called "New Tiptronic transmission information". I'm getting too confused trying to keep up with both of them.

Thank you.

12-22-2005, 07:00 AM
Originally posted by OutkastSL
hey terry, i think im keepin my car because i don't want any payments on a b7 a4 since my b5 is paid off. i'm probably gonna get the valve body upgrade soon, i want to get a big turbo!

[up] [up]

12-22-2005, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by TJHUB
The Tip Chip is still a good buy. It's $250.00 (I paid $200.00 when I purchased it with an ECU chip) and basically it makes the transmission react faster to input from the Tip lever. The valve body makes the actual shift faster, not the reaction. You really should have both for the best possible performance.

Doh!, I was confusing it with the giac regular chip I was also looking at...[:o]