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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Jun 06 2009
    AZ Member #
    43406
    Location
    denver

    How did you learn to wrench? Cuz itís time I learned

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    Iíve got a 2001 b5 s4 avant 6 spd. Every time I think about selling it due to the inevitable expensive fix it needs, I have it towed to a shop who winds up fixing it and on the ride home from the shop I think to myself, ďthis car is too fun to sell, but I have to learn to do ALL the work myself.Ē

    Iíve been saying this for about a decade. Iíve learned how to do minor stuff, but now I have a garage and itís time to get my schooling. Iím done throwing money at shops unless itís absolutely necessary.

    So how did you learn? I want to be able to pull my engine and give this car the love and upgrades she deserves. Iím a Denver local who works all week and has a family, so my time is not that flexible, but if youíre needing an extra pair of hands let me know. If you know of a good person to learn from, let me know. If thereís a Audi class that I have no idea about, let me know.

    Happy motoring fellow Audi lovers.


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine

  2. #2
    Senior Member Three Rings CONative's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 06 2015
    AZ Member #
    331349
    My Garage
    B7 S4 Avant 6MT, '03 Subaru Outback
    Location
    Denver

    My best advice (which isnít that great lol) - read the various DIY threads on your platform, read up on the most common problems and how people dealt with. Buy yourself a VCDS license and cable so you can check codes before having it diagnosed. Ross-tech wiki will provide common symptoms and what to replace when the ECU throws a code. Buy yourself a donor car so you can A) work on it and learn without impacting your daily and 2) eventually have something to build (if you decide to go that route). If youíve owned any other car brand - Audiís arenít much different except for a few more bolts and sensors.

    I would also suggest going out to the various car meets and make some new friends. Iím doing my first motor swap this weekend and only because of the good friends Iíve met through this forum. Theyíve inspired confidence and offered their assistance and knowledge to get me through the most challenging task Iíve ever attempted when it comes to cars.


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine
    Cheers,
    Ry-man

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Four Rings jjvwg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 01 2012
    AZ Member #
    86019
    My Garage
    2004 A4 Avant
    Location
    CO

    also, get a 24 hour subscription to audi erwin and download any and all repair, maintenance and self study manuals pertaining to your car.

    https://erwin.audi.com/erwin/showHome.do

    just start small and work your way up to bigger, more advanced stuff. at the end of the day, if your mechanically inclined and have the proper tools, parts replacement can be done by anyone willing to put in the time and research. its the disgnostic part of it all that is harder to learn, thats where the VCDS website and the factory repair manuals really help, but at the end of the day it takes working on them day in/day out and on the job training that gets you really good at that. i know thats where i lack as a hobbyist/backyard DIYer.
    | 2004 A4 Avant | Gloss Dark Grey |
    | 2.7t K04 swap | 034 RSB | Apikol snub | 17z BBK |Vogtland GT1 Coilovers | Moog adj. UCA's | Peeler reps |

    | 2011 A4 Avant | Brilliant Black | Vogtland Coilovers | RSE's | 034 Sway/tranny mount | Q5 brakes |

  4. #4
    Senior Member Four Rings JD S4's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 07 2016
    AZ Member #
    372958
    Location
    Boulder, CO

    The best way to learn is to just get in and do it. Forums are incredibly powerful tools. For probably 75% of projects - just having confidence to get after it is 95% of the battle. There are maybe a half a dozen major jobs that you shouldnít DIY. Read a couple forums and google searches and just start.

    The more Iíve wrenched - the more I think that most of us have the same knowledge and skills. The only differences are having better/ďrightĒ tools and knowing little stupid tricks that help you in a bind.

    Just try stuff. Most of it isnít that hard. Maybe time consuming and frustrating. But rarely hard.


    Sent from my
    2018 SQ5 - Daytona, Prestige

    *Sold*2011 S4 - EPL Dual Pulley + TCU - 20" BBS LM - Bilstein B12 - APR RSC Exhaust
    Deval CF Diffuser - Maxton Splitter - USP Intake - MercRacing HE - CR15 -AutoTech HPFP

  5. #5
    Senior Member Four Rings HazeMyth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17 2015
    AZ Member #
    343053
    Location
    Colorado

    Quote Originally Posted by JD S4 View Post
    The best way to learn is to just get in and do it.
    This right here. To add to that though, I'd say that if you find yourself in a bind where a certain tool would be useful, just go buy it. People often times just borrow tools from friends, and that's fine, but if you own the tool it's a lot easier to convince yourself to do the job. Obviously that's not the case with highly specialized tools that you might only use once though.

    I always tell people to not be afraid to jump into forums where other enthusiasts drive the same platforms. You can learn a lot from challenges others have already faced. Lots of DIY guides and DIY videos can be located for pretty much any car, but it's more-so the case when you own a car frequently owned by enthusiasts.

    Hell, just last night the wife and I had to do a bit of wrenching on the Evo (adjustments to upper IC piping, new radiator fan, a touch of electrical work, and small relocation of BPV). Everything we've learned about that car over the last 11 or 12 years has come from trial and error, DIY videos, forums, and friends with the same platforms giving valued opinions. What we've learned on that car and others in the past carries over to other platforms.

    From yesterday, after she made fun of me for how dirty my arms got without realizing how dirty hers were. Not my fault 4G63s are always caked in oil...
    2013 Audi S5
    2011 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport
    2003 Evolution VIII (Cammed, etc)
    2004 Subaru STI - Stg. 2 (Sold)
    IG: @MrHazeMyth

  6. #6
    Active Member One Ring Chimpzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 13 2004
    AZ Member #
    2784
    My Garage
    Yellow 1958 Buick Special
    Location
    Colorado

    I got a b5 s4 avant as well, but I'm in a similar boat as you. I'd be happy to provide an extra set of eyes and hands if you want someone to simply learn with you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Three Rings mark_ma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 25 2015
    AZ Member #
    317253
    Location
    Denver/Colorado

    How did you learn to wrench? Cuz itís time I learned

    If you want to read my build thread you can. Iím no master mechanic. A lot of the things I did was through reading and researching DIY for my platform. And also got to meet a few on here that have helped me along the way too which is really encouraging to see what they have done.


    Le build thread of mark_ma
    https://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=820518
    500px , Instagram, flickr_mark_ma
    4 wheels with tires, 8 pistons, two mufflers , ultra light weight seat warmers, see through windows, carbon fiber turn signals, wireless key fob, photon reflecting side mirrors

  8. #8
    Registered Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Sep 01 2018
    AZ Member #
    425905
    Location
    Denver

    I was a mechanic for 10 years, for Nissan, and the way I found to learn was take it slow and really pay attention to what you are removing and how things came apart. Take pictures with your phone, try to keep bolts and nuts and things in some kind of organized placement, read forums and find videos before you start, don't be afraid to ask questions in forums or from other people who know more than you, and most importantly...enjoy doing the work with you're own hands.

    Honestly you're going to make some mistakes but it happens. Sometimes you are going to start something and it's going to take way longer then you thought.

    Also it really helps to have a friend there who either knows a little about working on cars or is learning along with you. Having a friend there makes it easier and gives another car to run down to a store if you need tools, parts, beer or whatever.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Three Rings Club Cheetah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 28 2009
    AZ Member #
    49924
    My Garage
    03 allroad
    Location
    CO

    I just started doin it a long time ago, now I do it cause I'm too cheap to pay a mechanic. I always tell people to start with the simple maintenance stuff. Oil changes, brakes, stuff like that. Then control arms, axles, simple things. Then one day you need to replace a clutch fork pivot and are forced to pull a motor.

    I'm balls deep in a motor swap in an Allroad at the moment. Wish I saw this earlier cause I put about 4 hours worth of work in this morning. Next up is rebuilding a couple of axles, which is a simple and very useful skill if you'd like to stop by.



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