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  1. #1
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Allroad 2.7T or 4.2 reliability

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    Soooo... looking to make a trip next summer.. doing the Trans American Trail (Google it). Mostly back roads and trails from Virginia to Washington state... it's a long trek.. designed originally for dual sport bikes, but 4wd recommended if going with 4 wheels... being an Audi guy, the Allroad immediately came to mind.. plenty of time to find the car and handle preventative maintenance items... what years (pre 2006 to keep expense down) and engine should I look for? The torque of the 4.2 would be great, but I really don't want to be stuck on a trail somewhere due to mechanical failure. Thoughts?

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  2. #2
    Established Member Three Rings JorisRS6's Avatar
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    Id go for the 4.2. No turbos and less things that could leave you stranded. The 4.2 is a good solid engine. This will be a great trip!


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  3. #3
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Thank ya sir! I'm of the same opinion, but wanted to get some other opinions... should be a really fun trip with my boys. Tent, cooler, bag of tools... good to go!

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  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    '99.5 A4 2.8QM
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    The allroad 4.2 is more similar to the later 4.2s with the ridiculous timing chain setup, I'd be careful with those.
    1999.5 A4 ex-2.8 now 1.8TQ 5 Speed Sport - ME7.5 ATW swap, Stern snub, H&R race springs on Bilstien Sports, S4 axle-back, 17" RS4 reps, A8 front BBK, Sport Leather, EFK, A6 Strut Brace, FSI coils
    2002 A6 4.2 6spd - beige on beige, totally stock and totally boring

  5. #5
    Senior Member Two Rings mr_dave's Avatar
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    C5 RS6
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    MN

    I made a conscious decision to stay away from this and stick to the timing-belted 4.2L engines.


    (timing chain 4.2L)

  6. #6
    Established Member Three Rings JorisRS6's Avatar
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    2003 RS6
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    But you will hear the chain rattle long before it will actually starts causing real problems. Maybe find one with the timing service done


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  7. #7
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Very aware of that nightmare chain setup and the failure points... any clue what years, if any, Allroad had the belt engine? Not scared of the work on the chains, just not something I want to surprise me on a trip... belt wise, I'd most likely do the service before the trip.

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  8. #8
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Or.. was the belt engine only in the earlier A6 and A8s?

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  9. #9
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JorisRS6 View Post
    But you will hear the chain rattle long before it will actually starts causing real problems. Maybe find one with the timing service done


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine
    Any time I go to look at a used Audi, I bring my laptop with VAGCOM and run a full scan... correlations included.


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  10. #10
    Established Member Two Rings WanaB5's Avatar
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    Manchester, NH

    Quote Originally Posted by Middleton7 View Post
    Any time I go to look at a used Audi, I bring my laptop with VAGCOM and run a full scan... correlations included.


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    That's a smart move! 4.2 timing chain Audis scare me haha!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Two Rings mr_dave's Avatar
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    C5 RS6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Middleton7 View Post
    Very aware of that nightmare chain setup and the failure points... any clue what years, if any, Allroad had the belt engine?
    All C5 4.2L Allroads have the timing chain. All C5 A6/S6/RS6 4.2L are timing belt.

  12. #12
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_dave View Post
    All C5 4.2L Allroads have the timing chain. All C5 A6/S6/RS6 4.2L are timing belt.
    Outstanding. Much thanks for that info.. there's a 4.2, engine with harness only, for sale locally for around 800 bucks. Need to take a look and see if it's belt. Any idea how compatible the two are? Like if you could do a clean swap from chain engine to belt engine.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Two Rings mr_dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Middleton7 View Post
    Like if you could do a clean swap from chain engine to belt engine.
    No. I believe the main reason the Allroads have the chain engine is due to having less space in the engine compartment compared with the widebody C5s. I'm sure there are also electrical and transmission differences too. Anything is possible but it's certainly not a direct swap.

  14. #14
    Active Member One Ring
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    I think people have done this swap (belt 4.2 into an allroad) with some small modifications; I suspect audi stopped making the belt driven 4.2 to simplify their supply chains (no pun intended).

    My understanding is that the BEL cars share the same ECU as the 2002/2003 S6.

    I would avoid a 4.2 chain driven version because the ramen tensioners scare me; I would avoid the 2.7 because I'm not sure how well the turbos would do with lots of mud on them; a frankenroad with a belty 4.2 and the TDI 6mt would be a sweet sweet build.

    Regardless of what you do put a big fat skid plate on it.

    The 2.7 is probably the most reasonable choice because it is the most economical, has the 6mt option from the factory, and the turbos would probably help at higher altitudes...

    Don't forget to get a car with on-star so you can listen to it trying to call someone with the antique cell phone when you get stuck.

  15. #15
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_dave View Post
    No. I believe the main reason the Allroads have the chain engine is due to having less space in the engine compartment compared with the widebody C5s. I'm sure there are also electrical and transmission differences too. Anything is possible but it's certainly not a direct swap.
    Makes sense... ish... I must research... hard to imagine removing the chain components and adding the belt components making it longer.

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  16. #16
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdu View Post
    I think people have done this swap (belt 4.2 into an allroad) with some small modifications; I suspect audi stopped making the belt driven 4.2 to simplify their supply chains (no pun intended).

    My understanding is that the BEL cars share the same ECU as the 2002/2003 S6.

    I would avoid a 4.2 chain driven version because the ramen tensioners scare me; I would avoid the 2.7 because I'm not sure how well the turbos would do with lots of mud on them; a frankenroad with a belty 4.2 and the TDI 6mt would be a sweet sweet build.

    Regardless of what you do put a big fat skid plate on it.

    The 2.7 is probably the most reasonable choice because it is the most economical, has the 6mt option from the factory, and the turbos would probably help at higher altitudes...

    Don't forget to get a car with on-star so you can listen to it trying to call someone with the antique cell phone when you get stuck.
    Ha! No OnStar for this guy! I'm an RF engineer by trade that just happens to be working as a mechanic now... lots of great info. Sounds like an ideal situation would be a belted 4.2 with the 6mt. Wiring isn't difficult, so not worried there. Fortunately the little shop I work at also has a fab side with a huge plasma table... skid plate is a definite! Given 9+ months, I think I may be able to piece this together. Biggest worry is the airbags... shocks... do NOT want to be out there and have them fail... ground clearance will be kinda important.

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  17. #17
    Active Member One Ring
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    I wouldn't worry at all about the air suspension as a failure point if you replace all of it prior to trip and bring spares. All of it should be pretty easy to fix in the field.

    I got a whole new spring set from http://www.air-suspension-shop.com -- there are plenty of examples of modding the ar to go from reasonable clearance to 14inches of clearance using nearly stock suspension and bigger tires.

    The "thor" alloy skid plate looks to be $350.

    A landy with a rusty frame might be more rational but I definitely want to see a 6mt 4.2 ank build...

  18. #18
    Senior Member Two Rings mr_dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Middleton7 View Post
    Sounds like an ideal situation would be a belted 4.2 with the 6mt.
    The options for belted 4.2L are (in order of rarity):
    • 450hp TT from C5 RS6
    • 360hp from D2 S8
    • 340hp from C5 S6
    • 300hp from C5 A6

  19. #19
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_dave View Post
    The options for belted 4.2L are (in order of rarity):
    • 450hp TT from C5 RS6
    • 360hp from D2 S8
    • 340hp from C5 S6
    • 300hp from C5 A6
    I feel that 300hp and ??? Torque should be adequate and an attainable engine. Can't imagine I'd find one from an S6 very easily, much less an RS6. However, it can't hurt to look.. lol

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  20. #20
    Veteran Member Three Rings Nogaro Nitwit's Avatar
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    2000 S4, 2005 allroad 2.7t, 2004 allroad 4.2
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    I have both the 4.2 and 2.7 allroads. I guess it is a toss up. I really haven’t had too many mechanical issues with either. I guess it depends if you want to row gears or just use a tiptronic. The 4.2 gives you immediate torque vs the building torque on the 2.7. I haven’t had many mechanical issues with either. The 4.2 had a bad crank sensor, oil sensor and an accessory belt shredded itself. On the 2.7 I have had O2 sensors and the torque converter was going so I had it converted to a manual. When the 4.2 does that, I will go manual there too.
    2000 S4 - ASP Stage 3, ER ICs, ASP DPs, ASP True Dual Exhaust, 710Ns, Neuspeed 19mm swaybar, ASP phenolic spacers and many more goodies
    2005 allroad 2.7t - 6mt conversion, Daz Stage 2 tune, S6 seats/headliner, Podi boost gauge w/ custom pod, Arnott Gen IIs, H-sport swaybars, Magnaflow exhaust, 19"x9.5" Miro 111's, Euro roof rails, OEM spoiler, LED Tails
    2004 allroad 4.2 - APR tune, OEM spoiler, H-sport swaybars, OEM hitch, BFG K02 all-terrain tires, Yakima roof basket

  21. #21
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nogaro Nitwit View Post
    I have both the 4.2 and 2.7 allroads. I guess it is a toss up. I really haven’t had too many mechanical issues with either. I guess it depends if you want to row gears or just use a tiptronic. The 4.2 gives you immediate torque vs the building torque on the 2.7. I haven’t had many mechanical issues with either. The 4.2 had a bad crank sensor, oil sensor and an accessory belt shredded itself. On the 2.7 I have had O2 sensors and the torque converter was going so I had it converted to a manual. When the 4.2 does that, I will go manual there too.
    Just thinking that instantaneous torque may come in handy for what I'm going to be doing. I'm going going to call these folks and see what it came from to determine if it's a belt engine..

    2000 Audi A6 4.2 engine

    https://charlotte.craigslist.org/pts...691917096.html

    Car was in an accident engine has 130000 miles

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  22. #22
    Established Member Two Rings
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    '02 S6 Avant, '17 Mk7 Golf Wolfsburg
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    Santa Ana, CA

    That is a belt engine.

  23. #23
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gogeees View Post
    That is a belt engine.
    Excellent!

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  24. #24
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Keep in mind that a belt 4.2 isn't exactly a plug & play swap into an allroad, Bordom has a pretty extensive thread about it.
    1999.5 A4 ex-2.8 now 1.8TQ 5 Speed Sport - ME7.5 ATW swap, Stern snub, H&R race springs on Bilstien Sports, S4 axle-back, 17" RS4 reps, A8 front BBK, Sport Leather, EFK, A6 Strut Brace, FSI coils
    2002 A6 4.2 6spd - beige on beige, totally stock and totally boring

  25. #25
    Established Member Two Rings
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    '02 S6 Avant, '17 Mk7 Golf Wolfsburg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Cow View Post
    Keep in mind that a belt 4.2 isn't exactly a plug & play swap into an allroad, Bordom has a pretty extensive thread about it.
    https://www.audizine.com/forum/showt...2-V8-Swap-Info

  26. #26
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    I appreciate that greatly! I'll read through it tonight. Not too worried about minor mods... I'm not dropping an LSx in it... yet... lol. Although my shop owner does have a 92 Skyline GT-R with a sexy Lil RB26DETT sitting in the shop... fresh new upgraded turbos... hmmmm..

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  27. #27
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    05 allroad FBP 6mt, 06 VW Passat Komfort, 08 VW Touareg V8 FSI
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    pennsylvania

    Might get crucified for suggesting this but...…….have you given any thought on early T1 and T2 VW Touaregs? 04-mid 07 has belt driven V8 as an option, mid 07-09 they offered a chain driven (far less chain issues but FSI carbon can be an issue) V8 FSI engine option. Built in the Bratislava Slovakia Porsche plant, they came with (as options) a stout 4Xmotion system, locking diffs, air ride. now a days, these can be had for very reasonable prices and your still in the VAG family. Just a thought and wouldn.t need to deal with engine swaps.

    I'm allowed to offer this advice since I own them both. Haha! Either way, you cant go wrong IMHO.

  28. #28
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n8henn View Post
    Might get crucified for suggesting this but...…….have you given any thought on early T1 and T2 VW Touaregs? 04-mid 07 has belt driven V8 as an option, mid 07-09 they offered a chain driven (far less chain issues but FSI carbon can be an issue) V8 FSI engine option. Built in the Bratislava Slovakia Porsche plant, they came with (as options) a stout 4Xmotion system, locking diffs, air ride. now a days, these can be had for very reasonable prices and your still in the VAG family. Just a thought and wouldn.t need to deal with engine swaps.

    I'm allowed to offer this advice since I own them both. Haha! Either way, you cant go wrong IMHO.
    Man... I hadn't even thought of it recently. Was watching a Touareg a while ago on CL with the 4.2 for dirt cheap. I passed unfortunately. That's an extremely valid option. So, that gives me another option to keep an eye on. How are they reliability wise? Any known bad failure points? Obviously I'll want to address everything I can before the trip. I appreciate that tip!

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  29. #29
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Middleton7 View Post
    Man... I hadn't even thought of it recently. Was watching a Touareg a while ago on CL with the 4.2 for dirt cheap. I passed unfortunately. That's an extremely valid option. So, that gives me another option to keep an eye on. How are they reliability wise? Any known bad failure points? Obviously I'll want to address everything I can before the trip. I appreciate that tip!

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    Guess there's the V10 TDi option there as well... think I can find one for under 5k?!?!?! Good luck right?!

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  30. #30
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Haha, good luck is right. well kept, well optioned V10 options are still fetching a pretty penny. I'd seen some low mileage, well kept examples (2008 T2 I believe) fetch $30,000 range. Shit tons of torque though : ) They made a V6 TDI as well in the later T2 (08-10 range if Im not mistaken) but to my understanding, they are like finding a needle in a haystack. I believe they were affected by the "buyback" as well so that could potentially be another can of worms.
    Like any slightly older euro, maintenance history is key. The Aisin 6 speed auto gearbox is a potential issue (as no manual option was offered) but to my knowledge is not as prone to failure as the earlier tiptronic AR autos.
    I had often asked myself, where to go vehicle wise, once your used to the versatility of the allroad and this is a damn good option/comparison. My thought is, why wait to replace the AR, lets add it along side in the stable. Haha! We opted for the FSI V8 and we love it.

  31. #31
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    05 allroad FBP 6mt, 06 VW Passat Komfort, 08 VW Touareg V8 FSI
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    one other thing to add...……. the newer body T3's, although pretty sharp to look at, became rather sedate "soccer mom-ish" sport ute's in comparison to the older T1 and T2's. VW no longer offered many of the mechanical items that made it a Touareg such as 4Xmotion (went with Vw's 4motion on demand AWD), No air ride in NA, no locking diff option either if im not mistaken but...….they do offer a sweet diesel option.

  32. #32
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Any of the diesels would be good... not sure about the 4motion system. Audis Quattro system is my favorite based upon how it works. I like the all there all the time thing. I'll have to dig into VWs version.

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  33. #33
    Veteran Member Four Rings PaperToast's Avatar
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    fwiw, i have 243k-244k on my 2.7, with just the usual stuff done (timing belt x3, VCG)
    getting geared up to make a ~1100 mile trip in it next weekend
    Rockin' the Rockies
    '01 allroad, 240k woot woot, still boosting on original turbos and tippy, slightly more modified. . .

    Scotty@Advanced, "Push it off a cliff, when it hits the ground you should have a few thousand horsepower available for a brief second."

  34. #34
    Active Member Two Rings Middleton7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperToast View Post
    fwiw, i have 243k-244k on my 2.7, with just the usual stuff done (timing belt x3, VCG)
    getting geared up to make a ~1100 mile trip in it next weekend
    One of the good guys that keeps up with maintenance. Nice! And good luck on that trip. I'm sure you'll have zero issues... but take a laptop with VAGCOM with you just in case.

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