Audi A4 drift project - AKA Arnold

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by VAG-Slag, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    As my name may suggest, I'm a bit of a slag for many things VAG and I've been thinking about doing a drift project for a while... We had a little MX5 (aka the drift shed) that we used to tow about to a few drift days but that blew up last year, which no great loss to be honest!

    But in November last year an opportunity was presented to me that was simply too good miss out on – Enter Arnold!


    Arnold is an ex-rally car (2.8 v6 quattro) fully MSA logged, which means he comes with everything you would expect from a MSA spec rally car including:


    Fullcage
    Buckets+ harnesses
    Hydro hand brake + brake bias valve
    Ally fuel cell in boot
    All cut off's/kill switches
    Plumbed in fire extinguisher
    Relatively new Koni Coilovers
    034 motorsport cams
    Straight through exhaust
    Perspex windows
    All lines run inside car


    I only paid a grand for the lot, but I had to complete a mammoth 900mile round trip to Scotland and back to get him, which we completed in one day. Here's how he looked once we got home:
    DSC_0084.


    DSC_0085.


    DSC_0087.


    Pretty rough, I know! The fella I bought it off had stripped it down with the intention of respraying it but never got round to it, hence why everything is just chucked in and the seats aren't even attached! But the main thing is he's a runner... Sounds good too!


    Everything's there though and on top of that, even came with an unreal amount of spare parts:
    DSC_0088.
    DSC_0089.


    As you can see, I have pretty much at least one spare of everything, I'm not even going to bother listing stuff... And they're just the bits I couldn't fit in the car!


    I've not had a chance to touch Arnold yet as I've been finishing my hybrid turbo'd/forged engine Audi A3 build, which has been one hell of a drawn out build, mainly due to an unreal amount of bad luck. But she's nearing completion and should (fingers crossed!) be ready for mapping very soon!!!


    Now I know the A4 is not the best base for a drift car (engine too far forward, awkward suspension set up etc etc) but I don't really care as I'm never exactly planning on being competitive and not going to make any huge changes that means it can't be turned back into a 4wd rally car in a weekend...


    So the plan is simple – Going to get it all back in one piece and give it a bit of a tidy up, weld up the centre/rear diff + take out the front drive shafts, perhaps perform some sort of lock mods and go drifting. . . Well at least it sounds simple doesn't it!? Quite how the plan will actually unfold, only time will tell.
     
    #1 VAG-Slag, Feb 9, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  2. Lucasdemoley

    Lucasdemoley Member

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    Should be an interesting build! Certainly a few spare parts if you break any lols!
     
  3. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    Should be interesting indeed! . . The parts are double handy as my daily is also an ancient A4.

    It's never going to be a flashy car though, mainly cos the A3 has soaked up all my money over the past couple of years! If he performs well though I might treat him to a rattle can job or something lol

    There's a drift day on the 27th that I wouldn't mind making it to. And in theory I should able to do what needs doing in a couple of weekends, but I aint holding my breath! . .
     
    #3 VAG-Slag, Feb 9, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  4. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    Among doing 1 billion other things over the past few week's, I've managed to spend a bit of time on Arnold. A few weeks a go I got to work on getting all the bits out that needed modifying for RWD conversion.

    First I dropped the center section to allow me to allow me better access to get the prop shaft out, which came nice and easily:
    [​IMG]

    Next I undid all the bolts to the center diff housing and gave it a wack with a hammer to brake the seal and drain any oil sitting in the back.
    [​IMG]

    This all happened a lot easier than I was anticipating if I'm honest, so it was back to the garage with the center diff and my spare rear diff to have a closer look at things. One thing I didn't realise was how easily the rear diff came out it's casing:
    [​IMG]

    If I'd realised this I probably would have just dropped the diff out the casing in situ, no biggie though.

    And here's the gears that needed welding up on the center diff:
    [​IMG]

    That was a good few weeks ago now, I literally just got all those bits back from my mate last night. Here's both the diffs all welded up and completely locked up now:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I was expecting a bit more welding than that if I'm honest. But my mate who did it (who's a proper coded welder) says he's done loads of diffs for drift cars before and rekons that'll be fine.

    So I got the center diff back in it's housing, and the rear diff back in it's casing (which is slightly worrying it's ally) ready to go back on the car:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There's a drift day next Saturday (May 7th) that I'd quite like to get down to. I'm confident I can get the car in some sort of drift worthy state, just needs these bits putting back and some tidying up really! The main issue being, we found a cracked piston in our Transit flat bed which we were going to use to cart Arnold about :( still, the engine's apart, if I can get a piston in time I'm sure I'll be able to get it back together even if I have to do it in my evenings next week.

    So plenty of work to do as you can see... Feeling absolutely bless for the 3 day weekend ahead but it's still going to be a push. Would love to see this thing on the drift track come next Saturday though!!! :cool:
     
  5. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    So I never made it to that drift day on may 7th, it was always gonna be tight! Not helped by the fact I spent most that 3 day weekend in the lash :wack: But I have managed to get a fair bit done...

    First up - The rear diff carriers on these, being made of cast ally, are fairly prone to breaking. Half the theory towards this is the old knackered bushes letting it slopping around too much. I had a spare rear diff carrier knocking about, as well as difd/prop mount, and sure enough the bushes were like marshmallows!

    Being my usual tight self, I didn't fancy spending £200 quid on poly bushes, so I went about making my own :D with the rear carrier I drilled the bushes out, made a mould out and filled them with poly-resin... Wasn't quite sure how it was gonna turn out but was over all please with the result:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And the prop mount was even easier... Just taped it up round the bottom and poured in some resin:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Armed with these I went about fitting the diff/center diff... At which point I was grateful there's no fuel tank in the way, loads of room to maneuver there:
    [​IMG]

    I'm expecting the stiff bushes to create a lot of transmission noise, seriously not fussed though.

    Following that I fancied getting some lock mods involved, so I went about fitting some 6mm rack spacers I had left over from the MX5 we had... Apart from a properly seized tie-rod, and the added complication of a steering damper (cos it's an old mans car), turns out the rack only retracts another 3mm or so before it's at the end of it's gears anyway.

    I'm not expecting the rack to last long like that though... Luckily I got about 4 spares! lol
    And with the aid of this handy app I found, worked out I have 45 degrees of lock:
    [​IMG]

    Also been scavenging tyres over the past few months, so quickly went about getting him on all fours for the first time in a while. Few other little touches like bonnet pins, and panel springs for the boot, then got the last few body panels on:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So there he is, sort of drift ready I suppose?.. I'm hoping his debut outing could be at Skid Risk in B'ham, but there's a couple of things that may be standing in my way. Firstly, I get back from Ibiza the day before :-/ and secondly the bloody transit! Managed to get the cracked piston out on the weekend, and not only was it cracked but badly scored.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And unfortunately it's also taken the bore with it. Luckily we've managed to source an engine very locally, and it's still in the donor vehicle so have heard it running. The chap reckons he'll have it out on Friday, if so we'll do our best to get it in Saturday. I'm flying to beefa on Sunday, so long as we can get the van running before I go then I'll book myself in for Skid Risk... As always though, time is tight. But things are starting to come together...

    Wish me luck!
     
  6. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    So we've had a few problems with our tow vehicle which we've only just got round to sorting out... To give you an idea - after the engine swap we were struggling to get it started, turns out the slightly newer diesel pump on the newer engine fried something in the ECU which took fapping ages to diagnose! . . Anyway, we've converted to mechanical pump now, so been able to focus back on Arnold...

    So after digging him out the yard, bearing in mind he's been sat there since November 2015 now (!?), we took him out for his first test drive... We just about established that everything works, all is ok with the RWD conversion and he will go sideways before developing a miss-fire:
    [​IMG]

    None the less, still happy with that... We'll chuck a set of leads and plug at it which we're optimistic will sort the miss-fire. Other than that we'll be looking to book a drift day ASAP! :D I'd like to set the ride height a little lower, but it already scrapes when loading on the beaver tail. The Koni's are damper adjustable though so I might just ramp them up instead...

    Now I know this ain't your usual s-bodied Saab engined 2jz v8 e30 build that seem to be popular round here, but it's different at least ey!?.. And is only a bit of fun at the end of the day.

    Something interesting I found though is this A4 drift car across the pond:


    Admittedly a 1.8t, but still, proof of concept! . . However I have the feeling the main limiting factors in this project will be the drivers though, ha ha!
     
    #6 VAG-Slag, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  7. r3served

    r3served New Member

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    This one is interesting AF. There's a pro drift A4 B5 wagon in Lithuania. Looks strange, but gets the job done!
     
  8. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    I think interesting is the word!... I'd be keen to know more about the Lithuania B5, know were I can find some info on it?

    Also worth mentioning - I do happen to own a B5 S4 which is nudging 500hp ;) never know, if things go well I suppose I could swap the engine over for a season!?
     
  9. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    I was just looking at cars-data.com (which is a really fucking hand website if you've not heard of it) and comparing the v6 in this to the tried and tested e36 328 lump (m52?)...

    Coincidentally both engines have the exact same peak torque and power figures of 193hp and 280nm - However, where as the m52 has peak torque at 3950rpm with power peaking at at 5300, the Audi lump shows peak torque at 3200 and power at 6000... Which should make for a much more usable power band! Mainly due to the proper v6 formation I'd imagine. . .

    However I know very little about the cams in it and how that may have changed the power band, I guess well have to wait and see on track...

    Talking of which - WE HAVE BOOKED HIS FIRST DRIFT OUTING!!!!!!! So long as nothing goes drastically wrong (anything's possible!) we will be at Pembrey with the Drift Inc boys on March 12th. . . Anyone else here coming down?
     
  10. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    So we had our first day out in Arnold last Sunday at the very wet a slippery Pembrey kart track...

    Before that though I changed the suspension... The seller was wrong, the coilovers on there were Spax RSX damper adjustable gas jobbies. Over £800 quids worth of coilovers I didn't fancy smashing around a drift track, and would be much better suited on my road going S4!

    I bought some ebay cheapies for £180 quid delivered and wasted no time in swapping them out: DSC_1649. DSC_1656.

    For the money they seem great... General construction quality seems good and ride quality is good too. Not mega firm like a lot of cheapies are but still firm enough for the job!

    After a quick test drive round the industrial estate where my friends garage is, everything was feeling good, and with a new set of plugs and leads we experienced Arnold at full power for the first time, and things were looking GOOOOD! . . So we loaded him up ready for the long rive to Pembrey:
    DSC_1661.

    With Pembrey over 3 hours away we drove up the night before and stayed in a local B&B. . . Next morning (after the owner of the B&B had to drag us out the pub the night before like naughty boys!), we hit the circuit...

    Apart from the overly slippery conditions, things initially looked good... However 2 things came quickly apparent – 1) the car was over heating, and 2) there was a leak in the heater matrix steaming up the car! . . Not sure if the latter was a result of the former, never will

    So after three laps or so we came into the pits, bypassed the heater matrix with a bit of sawn off broom handle (no jokes) and let him cool down for a while, and after a little poke about established the overheating is most-likely a water pump issue.

    Once the engine had cooled we queued up for another 3 laps, hoping it wouldn't overheat too much in those three laps... However 2 laps in and red flags go up, after everyone had stopped a marshal runs over to Arnold and gestures him off track (my friend Tom was driving at this point).

    We were sent off due to reportedly leaking oil everywhere, and as soon as Tom pulled into the pit I could smell gear oil... And a quick sniff around showed a crack in the center diff housing:
    DSC_1664.

    A strange fault, not exactly sure what's happened... It's out the way enough I couldn't imagine anything's hit it from the outside, and it doesn't look like a stress crack. Looks more like something has come through from the inside, but no strange noised from gearbox or anything. No bout I'll find out when I get the chance to take it apart!

    Still, should be a cheap fix, and probably saved us cooking the engine on the day!

    So that was it, by 11am we were loading up the trailer and heading home... But bearing in mind the car hasn't driven anywhere in god knows how long, I still consider the day a success – bar the overheating the car and engine ran well, it drove/handled well and actually drifted, and we didn't bend it or inflict any long lasting or costly damage. . .

    We now know what does and doesn't work and what needs sorting/adjusting, and no doubt it won't be long until we're back in track!

    p.s also promise to get some footage next time!!!
     
    #10 VAG-Slag, Mar 15, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  11. Demonte S Captain

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    Yes next time I want to see that thing slide. Sounds almost like the welds broke off or something to have put a hole in it. That's why I'm RWD drifting it.
     
  12. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    Got Arnold in the air last weekend and started taking things apart to try see what happened... And I don't think anyone will be surprised to learn it was those petty welds in the center diff that went!
    DSC_1687.
    DSC_1689.

    I said at the time I didn't think they were enough... Won't be using that guy again! Anyway, sent that and the housing off to another mate who's going to do a PROPER job of welding both up for me. Will also send him the diff to strengthen that up a bit, as well as get my spare diff welded. Somehow I think I'll be needing it at some point!

    There's another drift day on Sunday April 2nd, which although is 2 hrs away in Birmingham, is actually one of my more local drift days. . . Gonna spend this weekend trying to sort out the over heating issue, and if everything's all good there book on for April 2nd!
     
  13. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    Yea dude, I was RWD drifting it! . . Funnily enough there was a guy marshalling at t he drift day who's local to the track and usually drifts an oldskool Audi 80 (which is pretty sick by the way!). Anyway, he showed me how he welds up one of his centre diffs, he even welds the gears to the body:
    received_10155098677611499.

    His car is epic though... 2.7tt, over 400hp and a more than adequate drifter. Again, another "proof of concept" car!

    Here's a couple of it in action:
    FB_IMG_1490307426898.
    FB_IMG_1490307458115.
     
  14. crazyae86

    crazyae86 Well-Known Member

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  15. Demonte S Captain

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    @VAG-Slag that 2.7tt looks awesome. Need pics of you bro . How much hp are you dealing with?
     
  16. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    The past few weeks has been eventful, there's a fair bit to catch up on so I'll try get this all up to speed as quickly as possible...

    First of all, lots of things needed welding or re-welding... So I went to see a pal who was able to weld up the cracked center diff housing, and have a more serious go at the center diff, rear diff and also got a spare welded up. DSC_1703.

    DSC_1706.

    received_10154758486779652.

    received_10154758486784652.

    MUCH more confident those welds will hold up... While he was doing that I had the thermostat out and checked the water pump to try work out why it was over heating so bad. Thermostat opening fine and water pump also fine, I took the stat out though and then put the rest together.

    While I was poking around I noticed that the viscous fan had been removed... I also worked out the smaller fan (AC fan?) had been wired up into the cabin. So I got a 10amp switch on that and lone behold had a switchable fan! That plus a new rad was making me optimistic of NOT over heating next time!?

    So, Sunday February 2nd got up early doors and headed to Skid Risk in Birmingham for drivers briefing at 9am... They've got a play pen there as well, the guy taking the briefing said to all the new comers not to spend all day in the pen as you won't learn anything recommending that once you've got figure 8's round the cones down to come down to the main arena.

    So here's what happened in the play pen:


    As you can see it all kind of just worked... Have to admit it was getting hot towards the end of the run, even though I had the fan running the whole time. Also the fan wiring in the cabin was getting a bit hot and melty!

    One of the organisers said if I came down at lunch he'd let me out on my own just to get a bit used to the higher speeds, with clear instructions just to go straight on the straights... With my front bumper and bonnet now removed to aid cooling, I was optimistic the higher speeds would keep air flowing over the rad and help keep temps down also.

    So off to the big boy track I went!


    So yea, that didn't go quite to plan for obvious reasons! . . Here's the damage:
    DSC_1711.

    DSC_1710.

    The front end was very much not straight, but by some absolute miracle I managed not to pierce the rad... So I cued up among a sea of BMWs (and a Volvo) and headed back out! DSC_1714.

    Managed to get a few more runs in... But by this point the fan wiring had completely melted, and I had an intermittent misfire which I think was caused by wet HT leads as the car over heated after every run and popped it's cap! . . Still, here's what the last run of the day looked like:


    Visibility from the camera isn't great as it was so sunny and smokey out side! . . Still, hopefully you get the idea.

    Bar the crash, and considering a drift A4 is a completely unknown area, I think the day was a success... I know what worked, what didn't work and what needs fixing/adjusting before I hit the track again.

    I stripped the car down on the weekend to assess the damage a little further as well, will post that up later in the week
     
  17. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Good work using something different but do the front wheels self-centre or do they sit on lock and not want to come back?

    You seem to be having a battle manhandling it when it counter steers or switches back. It'd be interesting to see how much front caster it is running
     
  18. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    I guess it must do, I wasn't conscious of it not doing so... All cars do unless something's wrong, right!?

    It's probably just me being a noob and frantically trying to point the thing where I want it to go!... Any constructive criticism of driving tekkers welcome

    I might get a basic wheel alignment done soon, if so I'll check the caster.

    If the project goes well over the summer I'll be looking to do a few things during the winter, one of them being drifty geo... Which I have a few ideas about!
     
  19. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Drifting without getting the alignment checked is pointless imo.

    Car's can drive completely different before and after, so you're not doing yourself any favours by not getting it done

    Might pay to ask the Latvian A4 driver what settings he's used in the past as he seems to have developed his quite a lot so should know what works
     
  20. VAG-Slag

    VAG-Slag Member

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    Well there's not a lot at the front end that's straight at the moment to be honest, so a wheel alignment might be pointless before I rectify the other issues! :D

    Yea, that thing is a monster... Nice to see it actually looks more than competitive ass well!

    I do actually own an S4 nudging 500hp as well.... It's too nice to drift though!!!!
     

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