Project Car SOTU: Funf Zylinder and Project Hoonda

Rowdy 3 Despite my best efforts, I have not yet been subjected to a breakdown in the 19 year old, 180,000 mile, turbocharged German luxury sedan. I got the car in July of 2012, and two years later, it’s been nothing but great to me, and I to it. The car has moved with me across the country to Reno, NV, and I rather think it relishes the thinner air at 4,000 feet above sea level. Much like beloved pet, the Audi has several nicknames, including Angela (as in Merkel), Funf-Zyl, and Rowdy the Audi. As much love as ol’ Rowdy has gotten in the last two years, Project Hoonda the fast fiddy has gotten practically none. It’s sat, unloved, in the corner of the garage. She’s in a rough state right now, and really needs a thorough going over. Full updates and more fancy pictures included after the jump! So, just because Mr. Odell has given indications of doubt that my half-German fleet can be anything related to “reliable”, I’m going to give a quick rundown of the failures that the car has experienced in its life.

Project Funf Zylinder –

1. Back when I still lived in Ohio, the first thing to fail (about a year into my ownership of the car) was the #1 cylinder coil pack. The most annoying part of this was that the car was about 50 miles from home at the time. Actually, even more annoying than that, was that the Audi solution for fixing one burned out coil pack was to buy 5 coil packs, because they were all on one shared wiring harness.

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If you want to cobble together some aftermarket coil by splicing it into that harness, replacement AAN ignition coils are well in excess of $100 each, and the twin “POS” igniters mounted to the firewall can also be over $150, so replacing all of the ignition components would cost more than eight-hundred dollars.  My solution, though, was to use a well engineered solution from 034 Motorsports. The kit I bought upgraded my coils to use the newest VAG 2.0T coil packs with integral igniter units, and it was under $390 shipped to my door. 
After the installation of the coil kit, the stumble feeling of the dead cylinder was completely gone, as expected.  The unexpected part, though, was that the old near 200,000 mile engine now seems to run more smoothly, and deliver power more readily.  I’m not sure that it is necessarily delivering MORE power, but it does FEEL better.  Either way, if any of these coils decide to kill themselves, now it’ll only cost about $20 to replace each of them. It was truly plug and play, installed in a matter of about 2 hours, and that was only because my friends and I had to find the bottom of a case of beer in the process… 2. Shortly after moving to Nevada, the rear trunk latch failed, and would not hold the trunk shut anymore. I replaced it with an ebay sourced used piece for $29.99 shipped for free. Rowdy 6 3. Sunroof motor failed in the middle of the summer. I lived without a working sunroof for a while, but last year I replaced it with an ebay sourced used piece for $42.00 shipped for free. 4. Last week, I broke one of the headlight washer nozzles, because Hulk SMASH. I have not yet fixed it. Outside of that, my expenditures on the car have been cosmetic stuff, a set of summer tires, a set of brake pads, oil, and gasoline.
Last weekend, I had some spare time, and needed to address a couple of cosmetic issues with the front of the car. issue number one was the little strip below the headlamps. Since I have had the car, this section has been coated with rust bubbles that have bothered me. The rust was covered over by some of that clear vinyl rock chip protectant stuff, and when a corner of it peeled up, the rust and paint peeled up with it. That was when things came to a head, and I had to do something about it. The pearlescent white paint on this car is one of the hardest colors to paintmatch in the entirety of the world. As such, I decided that I would just take the strips off, wire wheel them down, blast them with an etching primer, and then blast them with some black paint I had laying around. Whether you say that she now has eyeliner, or something tougher like Quarterback’s Eye Black, it’s certainly better than the old rusty bits that were there.
Rowdy 1
At the same time as the rust-ectomy was taking place, I also determined that I was going to de-chrome the front of the car by painting the chrome grille surround, the S6 badge, and the chrome Audi rings in a matching semi-gloss black. The grille removed easily, and the three pieces came out with little push in clips. It was easy to hit the pieces with a quick low-grit sanding and then hit them with a black rattle-can of paint. The grille itself was looking pretty sun faded, so I threw some of that Krylon Fusion paint for plastic on it to clean it up a little. Rowdy 5 In keeping with the spray-bombed theme of the car, this spring I got a set of B6 Audi A4 17″ wheels on craigslist for 200 bones. I, being a not so smart human, didn’t pick them up until well after 9PM, and didn’t get a good look at them in the light. Once I got them in the garage, I noticed a lot more curb rash than I had expected. Making the best of a bad situation, I got some heavy duty industrial floor paint in a semi-gloss black, and went to town on those bad boys. The final result, with one small ring of chrome retained on each of the wheels, is about what I was going for. I still love the car, and so far it isn’t eating me out of house and home (knock on wood). It’s getting to the point where it is going to need a timing belt and water pump service soon, though, and from what I’ve heard, those can be quite expensive.

Project Hoonda –

Unlike the Audi, my ‘ol Honda has not gotten any love as of late. The plan, back in 2012, was to try my darndest to get the little bike up to 100 miles per hour on 100 ccs. The idea began to fall apart when I could not source a 100cc engine for the thing. Honda’s H100A commuter bike was only sold “ROW” (rest of the world), and importing an engine from one has proven difficult. I have found a number of bike breakers that have had one or more available for sale, but getting them to respond to an e-mail is hurdle number one, and when they finally do, getting them to agree to ship one to the United States has been the as-yet insurmountable hurdle. If one of our dear Euro readers has the ability to track a good working engine and carburetor down for me and ship it over, they’d be rewarded appropriately.   Hoonda 1 When it was found out that I’d be relocating from Ohio to Nevada, I quickly assembled the bigger bits of the bike, and threw everything else in a rubbermaid container. It has been sitting in the corner with a cover on it ever since. My garage is a mess, and I really need to get it organized, so I can pick this project back up. Once its all assembled (hopefully with a new engine), I’ll go about getting my motorcycle endorsement, and you can enjoy the fruits of this project again. There are plenty of places out here in the Desert where I can hit 100 miles per hour, right? Hoonda 2

Project Piece-o-Porsche –

When I left Ohio, it was decided that the Rowdy Audi would be shipped out, and we’d drive the worlds most boring Mazda3 across the country. The problem here, was that I had a third car, my beloved 944, that would neither make the cross-country drive, and wasn’t worth the cost of a cross-country shipment. It just isn’t fiscally responsible to ship a $2000 car just over 3000 miles at 75 cents a mile. Therefore, It went up for sale. It is still owned by a BMW loving friend of mine, but I do miss it dearly.

Project Boxster Clubsport –

84 Not to worry fair reader. I have replaced the 944 with a Porsche of a different persuasion. I recently acquired a 1997 Porsche Boxster for $7500, and after 4,000 care-free miles, I’ve really grown to love it. The perfect mid-engine handling of the car is exactly what I needed, and driving it every day certainly brightens my commute. This car is a full-blown project car for another site that I write for, You can read the first installment of the project over there! All images ©2014 Hooniverse/Bradley C. Brownell, All Rights Reserved.

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