Sunday, May 31, 2015

First actual mod, plus a removal.

Installed the 42DraftDesigns "shifter base" bushings along with their shift cable bushings.  Didn't notice as much of a change as I thought I would, but I also haven't driven the car yet (it might be more noticeable when everything is moving).

During the install, the airbox has to be removed, which technically doesn't even require it to be opened.  Most guys remove the bracket that holds the box in place, since the bracket is flimsy and just held in with two 10mm bolts.  However, one of the bolts is hard to reach, and it's not the "factory method" to remove the airbox either.  The correct way to do it is unscrew a single female-hex bolt at the side of the airbox, and then the entire airbox is supposed to simply pull off of a pair of plastic supports - it has rubber bushings that fit over the supports and you just yank it off the posts, which takes quite a bit of leverage.  On other VAG cars (like my old Mk5 R32), the bracket is attached at 3 points and fairly solid; you can really pull to pop the airbox out.  Not so on the TTRS, mostly because this bracket is way too weak and isn't triangulated.

So where this all leads to is what I ended up doing.  I removed the airbox housing by unbolting the whole bracket like everyone else. However, I wanted to re-install everything the "right" way, bolting the bracket to the car first and then just popping the airbox back on top.

This required the bracket to first be separated from the airbox, which isn't easy to do when nothing is holding the bracket.  I decided to open up the airbox to push at the bushings from the inside.

I took the top off, removed the filter, and was greeted with this (holding the bottom half of the airbox here)...

Apparently Audi are now using mouse nests for additional filtration...  *eek*
Wonder how many HP I gained by removing this?  Nearly half of the airbox was clogged by this mess!

I'm now wondering when this actually happened... they took the car around the beginning of April and supposedly did the 15k service not long after that.  Did they not change the air filter?  Or did they change it and then the mouse moved in and ate the new filter while the car was sitting on the lot?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The long repair...

When I originally purchased the car from Mentor Audi, it was a "certified pre-owned" (CPO) car.  I assumed this would mean that the car would be in "like-new" condition, with the exception of some possible paint flaws.

Apparently the CPO inspector at this dealer didn't inspect so much as "gloss over."  In his/her defense, I actually missed this flaw until a few hours after I drove the car off the lot... but more on that in a minute.

I picked it up on a Monday, I took the day off of work to pick it up. I was supposed to come in around 11, ended up having to deal with work crap and didn't get there until close to noon.  I accept partial blame for gumming up the works, but I'm not sure why the hell I had to wait around for nearly an hour before I could just sign the damn paperwork and be on my way.  We had already "negotiated" the price on Saturday.

The "finance box" was awful, the woman working in it was apparently "too cold" so the room was warmer than I would've liked.  Tried to sell me the typical crap; I kind of wish I had sprung for the wheel/tire warranty just because our roads suck, but I've yet to bend a rim or fully blow a tire yet (I just tend to pick up screws).  OTOH, I did go for the "AudiCare," which I've been told is usually a pretty good deal.  It is basically pre-paying your next 4 scheduled maintenance intervals, which on Audis are at 15k, 25k, 35k, 45k, etc.  Since the car was sold to me at ~13,800mi, I figured that I'd be using the 15k service pretty quickly.  Oh how wrong I was...  After signing all of the paperwork, in the folder they gave me was a receipt for the 15k service, performed on the car a day or two after they received it back from the P.O.  *facepalm*  Sooo, guess that 15k service goes to waste?

On top of that, the documentation for AudiCare (which I don't believe I received a copy of before signing it) claims that it has a time limit - 5 years from "inservice date."  Any other time Audi mentions "inservice" they mean the date the car first hit the road, i.e. when the first guy leased it.  5 years from that date means I have slightly less than 2 years remaining...  why the hell would they even sell me something that I will never get full use out of in 2 years, unless they're trying to fuck me over?  Stealerships.

Back to the flaws, one blatant, two minor.  The first minor one I actually noticed in the "delivery room" where my car was sitting with a stupid bow on it.  :P  There's a small (~1") vertical black mark just above and near the rear of the passenger door handle.  From straight on it just looks like paint transfer, but there's actually a small dent visible from along the side of the car.  How does CPO overlook that?  The second minor flaw, the silver coating appears to be peeling on the inside of the passenger side mirror cap.  It's noticeable due to the wide angle at which I set the mirror on that side.  There's no metal under there so I'm not worried about corrosion or anything, but I am afraid that the peeling could get worse and lead to the matte aluminum coating bubbling or coming away from the skin of the cap.  :(

The major flaw was far worse though.  I had been told during the sale that the car had been in a minor (low-speed) incident with a garage corner, but that "it was all fixed."  This wasn't really the case though.  The driver's side headlight had a cracked mounting tab, visible with the hood open.  That headlight was also not aligned correctly with the body and looked "pushed in" from the outer corner.  :o

I documented this as soon as I noticed and sent pictures to my sales guy, Dave Silver.  I have to say, while the financing / add-ons portion of Mentor Audi was a pile of shit, Dave has been fantastic.  He arranged to get me a loaner and have my car picked up to have the headlight issue resolved.  They brought me an A4 loaner, and the porter managed to stall the TT immediately after backing out of my driveway.  It apparently made it back to them without issue, but then they took 8 damn days to repair the tab and realign the headlight.  Additionally, during this process they discovered a cracked radiator mounting bracket (apparently plastic?) and replaced that as well.  Ironically, I told them from the beginning, "order the headlight tab repair kit from Audi so you have it when the car comes in," but they couldn't do that... and the body shop they sent the car to just plastic-welded the tab instead.  *rolleyes*  Thankfully they ordered the correct part for the radiator support and that was replaced.

The driver's headlight still isn't lined up quite as nicely with the body as the right side, but it's not horrible like it was before.  Dave gave me the tab repair kit since it had already been ordered, but I can't see myself bothering to cut off the repaired tab unless something else happens to it.  Dave also told me that if I brought it back another time they could have their dent guy take a look at the dent, presumably at no charge to me. What I don't understand is why they "didn't have enough time" when they had the damn car for 8 days.

Day after getting it back home, took it to my autocross acquaintance Dave Levy at Firestone, to get summer rubber installed (came with Conti DWS no-seasons).  It's now wearing Michelin Pilot SuperSport.  :)

I did finish one "mod" already as well - OEM TT trunk mat obtained for like $40 (after shipping) from  Hooray for sales!  :P  Also got the car washed, clayed, and waxed over the holiday weekend; it's not show-car but it's significantly better than it was.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Frist Pots

The year is 2015, and this is my first ever blerg post.

I purchased a "Certified Pre-owned" (CPO) 2012 Audi TT-RS from Mentor Audi on May 4th, 2015.  Interestingly, I purchased my previous car (2008 VW R32) on May 5, 2008, I believe. (FIXME!)  I traded the R32 for the Audi, and I'll miss it... but it was time.  Stuff was starting to break, expensive stuff (alternator, paint, LED tail lights, etc).

This blog is going to be where I keep details on the mods done, and potentially do some DIY posts.

Car is absolutely amazing thus far.  When it released in 2012, it was instantly on my "dream car" list, and thankfully with someone else taking the depreciation, increases in my pay, and the graciousness of my wife, I'm now in a position to be able to afford one comfortably (at least with a 6 year loan).

There are some minor issues with the car, but Mentor Audi, and specifically Dave Silver, my sales guy, have been great about fixing them so far.  I highly recommend Dave in Mentor if you're looking for an Audi.

I don't feel like typing much more now, I'll probably make another post later with more specific details, but I wanted to get something on this page as a start.  I have a pile of parts ready to go on already, so there should be changes here regularly, at least at first.  I'm thinking the next post will be a baseline overview of what was immediately wrong with the car and my experiences over the first few weeks.