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Rescuing my B5 S4 Avant

Never made one of these threads before, so I'll give it my best. I bought this B5 S4 a few years ago as I'd always wanted one, and when it failed its MOT it had to sit while my garage was being built. Needless to say the 2 years it sat weren't good to it, but I've been slowly bringing it back to life. Body is great, but everything that bolted to it fell victim to rust... bad. I'll try and see if I can add some photos of the progress so far. It was great finally finding AudiSRS and I'm looking forward to when it's back on the road and I can join in some track day fun.


and then it sat, and sat, and sat

It was at my neighbour's for about 2 years (no choice - don't shout at me), and when I dug it out, it looked surprisingly good, until I got underneath.


nature program

rear end

So the rear subframe and everything attached to it was toast. I sourced another rear subframe from Jimbo and some 034 solid bushes from Eddie at WOT, along with just about everything else I could think of courtesy of Stoke Audi. New absolutely everything including bolts, bearings and strut mounts. Polybushes and metal drop links. Refurbed the brake callipers, installed RS4 brake cables for future. HEl brake-lines and a 19mm ARB with brackets. Apikol diff bushes, etc.



It suffered because it was parked on grass/weeds, too much moisture under there!

I assume it wasn't left with the door open?

front not much better

The front wasn't much better, so I tracked down another subframe and refurbed it. More solid bushes. 034 track Density engine mounts. So on and so on. Cleaned up my engine bay, threw out my exhaust and downpipes.

I've cleaned up the motor and done a timing belt, water pump, thermostat, etc. New tensioners and fan, new pulleys. New water hard lines (seriously, everything was rusty).

Just today sent my turbos off to Ben at Turbo Unit to be rebuilt. Will eventually look for bigger power, for now looking to get the chassis sorted so I can do some track days with something I can hammer. It's not a car that owes me anything, and doesn't need to be a daily-driver. Today I refurbed the front callipers and tomorrow I'll press in new front bearings and make a list of more things I need from Stoke.


It was parked in a corner up against two block walls for a year too at my house, that didn't help either. I nearly forgot it was silver it went so green. At least once I moved it to my neighbour's I didn't have to look at it every day! One day a guy came buy and offered me 500 for it and I nearly cut my losses.

front subframe ready to go

painted with epoxy mastic


good progress, got to love a silver avant

Well done for keeping going! It'll be worth it soon.

That's a hardcore refurb.  Nice!

Got my turbos back from Ben at The Turbo Unit today. Nice guy, fast work and they look fantastic.

Also finally got my garage door on after 18 months - so at least if I ever do finish the S4 I can get it out now!


Keep up the good work, nice garage too.

Cracking thread; the effort you're putting in now should pay you back in reliability

Did you ever let the engine run (warm up) occasionally ? Or just left it for two years ?

Christmas came today in the form of many bags of washers and gaskets from Stoke Audi - test fitting the turbos now. Autobahn hoses showed up - they look pretty good I have to say, nice and smooth inside - except maybe the TBB boot, so I might run a Samco one there.

Ran into this bit of a problem. No matter what I do or which part I put on first - I can't get the banjo bolt to thread enough to clear the exhaust housing. Am I being think?


I started it every couple months and let it warm up. Rocked it back and forth a bit just to make sure it didn't get completely froze up.

Good job, would love to have a nice big garage to work in. I could start another project 😗

Great work mark. Good to see it all coming together.

hi mark , on my rs6 turbos i have to rotate the hotside slightly by first marking the postion of the hotside in relation to the chra with a stanley knife to keep the actuator lengh the same as it was. once the banjo bolt is fitted turn the hotside back and nip up the 10mm bolts. you dont need to do this on ko4,s so it sounds like they havent been lined up right.

I got it - it was so close it was ridiculously frustrating. Ended up just gently using a file to get one corner of the banjo bolt by - then I was home free. Everything else lined up perfect, and Ben was confident it was lined up right. It just got frustrating last night I can tell you. Today after work with a clear head I finally cracked it.

Car fund empty again, so I've been cleaning things up instead. Tidied up the engine bay and front fender wells. More HEL brake lines.


Some updates. Engine back in - new RS4 clutch and pressure plate. New shift linkage bushes and trans mounts.

Adjustable coil-overs planned for future, but for now I cleaned up stock suspension and fitted some Weitec springs (25mm drop).

New front bearings. New 034 complete front arm setup (thanks to WOT Motorsports).

Re-furbed and painted my wheels too as it was time-consuming but cheap to do.

Since the S4 is on jack-stands I put them on my Passat (18s planned for the S4 anyway). It's just a good looking wheel on pretty much any car in my opinion. Found some VW centres that fit too (after a little trial and error).

Fitting some RS4 ICs today and starting to reassemble the front end.
pdh 14a

Good work mate! nice to see someone keeping a car going! tidy size garage that too,would love mine to be that size!  

Maximum credit to you mate for the work you're putting in. I can only imagine the pleasure gained from driving a car you yourself resurrected.

Coming together well Mark and nice to see the progress!

Keep up the good work

Brilliant thread. Great man cave, can only dream of space like that.

+1 Great work and awesome garage

again, man cave envy right here!! nice work fella..
Marc R

Nice work man,i know that feeling all too well.

Good work there mate, will be worth it when its all done.

I am just wondering what size your garage is and how many breeze blocks high it is. I am currently in the process of having one built and just wanted a garage with an s4 in it to compare with.

Haven't updated this for some time, but it ain't because I haven't been progressing with the car.

It's safe to say things have taken a slightly different route though.

Warning, upcoming updates may not sit well with purists!

Fantastic work, wish i had a garage like that....

First some updates I'm confident won't offend anyone.

RS4 Intercoolers


Front end coming together

Some help from the next generation - it was cute until he started poking the intercooler. Actually it was still cute then.

034 pipework and snub mount.



On the wheels, MOT'd and running well. Had a few little things and had to replace the EGT sensors, but nothing major.

I may have a problem - spotted this clean B3 Quattro and had to have it. Not sure why.


Drove it for a few months off and on. Great car, especially with all the suspension parts. Little bouncy, but I couldn't decide what suspension to go with so it was still on stock shocks with drop springs. Sharp and predictable, sounded good, all the right things.

and yet...

It was boring. I just couldn't get to the limits easily without being an idiot and it was so composed on the road I didn't enjoy it much. I debated selling it, as it just seemed to be taking up space which seemed a waste. It was the S4 I'd always wanted, but it didn't excite me, and I'd gotten precious about it so I was hesitant about using it properly.

Put some 18s on it - staggered setup. They're E55 SL reps - I wanted something with a little dish and I like twin-spokes. 8.5s on the front 9.5s on the back. Got the rolling difference around 1% and it went great. Offsets spot on (30 front, 33 rear) and no rubbing at all or rolling of anything. 4 wheel alignment. Drove spot on. Little stretch, but I liked the way it looked and it was a bit more aggressive.


Round this time I'd been hanging with some cool guys locally that were into drifting. Nice guys, absolute loons in their cars - not afraid to destroy the car and then fix it again after every weekend. Now I love all motorsport, but I couldn't get my head around why anyone would ruin a car like that, and they had serious cars and put serious money into these things.

Then I went for a ride in one.

If you've never done it, give it a go. I've been throwing cars around for as long as I can remember, and my buddy Steve and I used to spend all winter in Iowa driving sideways in the snow. That's the main reason I love the Quattro.

Drifting is immense, loud and really stupid. It's car control at the extremes, and it was refreshing to be around cars that weren't perfect, but went like stink. Minimal time spent polishing, maximum time spent on the limit.

I decided to build one, naturally, and I can easily convince myself of doing just about anything when it comes to cars. I started looking for a 200sx.

Then I stayed up too late one night, drank too much wine and booked a place at the next practice day (2 weeks). Now I had to get a car sorted. I went out to the driveway, looked around and thought what the hell - I'll RWD convert the damn S4. That'll surprise 'em.

It did too. The guys thought I was obsessed with that car and tried to convince me to borrow one of their cars first to see if I even enjoyed. They didn't think I could handle it if I marked up the S4.

I thought back to being 16 and throwing cars together out of whatever I had around, and how as I'd gotten older while it was true I'd gotten more patient, I'd also turned into a big sissy. Fast cars should't be driven by sissies.

So first step, take apart the car I'd just built...

I removed the front shafts, disassembled the CV joints so I just had the cups and put it the front wheels back on.

Back of the trans off so I could get the centre diff out. Rear assembly off to get the rear diff out.

Weld them up - put them back in. I wasn't too worried about the rear shafts as I was on standard power.

Next step fit a seat - made a frame so I could mount a slider, and the floor in the B5 chassis is goofy. Yes I know the mounts are the wrong way around in this pic.

Then I made a mount for the handbrake. Plumbed it into the rear brake lines, mounted it in a comfortable position that meant I could still move the passenger seat back and forth. Trimmed my centre console around the handbrake (I'd picked up a spare so I could hack one up a bit). Mounted a 3 gauge cluster from a 80 in the centre console for a boost gauge (still a little bit of a purist). Made a relay so I could turn on my fans to help clear hot air. You spend a ton of time sitting with the car hot - and I was worried about cooling. Turns out it was absolutely fine.

If anyone is wondering if a welded RWD S4 on standard power can smoke 18s on 235s - yes it can - lots. I ran 17s for the event through, and had a great time. Bumped a tire wall on the 2nd lap which was probably the best things that could have happened, as it meant I 'd already marked the car, so I stopped worrying about that.

Turns out a S4 Avant isn't a very common drift car and drew some attention - it wasn't as pretty by the end either - but it sounded fantastic on full whack and was a nice contrast to all the Japanese cars there (which also sounded great). It was time to sort some more upgrades - no going back now.

That last pic is wicked!!!!

Hats off for DIY


Hats off to you for doing something different

So I got to thinking - I've already got an Avant - and now I've got a need to haul a load of tires and wheels around. Probably should make a roof rack.

So I got out the welder and made one that would haul 6 - 18s on flat.


One of the things that helps traction at the front is having some more negative camber. I moved the lower points out to the RS4 holes and it made a big difference. These cars really want to push and anything that can help get the wheels flat at lock helps. I'll have to see what my arms think about it - but so far so good. It stressed the ARB links - I think I need to find a RS4 front ARB - I'm guessing they are that little bit wider.

I started filming and editing some videos of the various events I'd gone to as publicity for these guys. Originally I just thought I'd do videos, as I got bored standing around at the events. However ODC R3 and R4 both have clips of the S4 sideways in them. I'll post the link below - hopefully it works.

That is a proper roof rack  

So then I got to wondering what kind of power I was making - and how I could get some more. It was still on standard map.

So yesterday I took it to Indigo-GT (they seemed to have every EVO in the UK there for some kind of performance upgrade) for a dyno run and a Stage 2 REVO map.

The S4 wouldn't settle on the dyno for some reason and was bouncing. If we strapped it down it affected the numbers, if we left it any kind of loose it bounced.

I was making 288hp and 312nm at the motor. Pretty pleased with that as it was all bolt ons.

Then we mapped it - it's a really early S4 and the ECU didn't really want to play nice - at one point the ECU just spit itself out and needed recovery. They worked it out in the end, but then it really didn't want to play nice with the dyno. Got readings of 328hp and 351nm and then had to finish mapping on the road.

Pulls so much nicer now and sounds epic - especially in 3rd. Now I need to get the suspension sorted, and figure out a way to get more lock. Hopefully I can get a clear dyno run at some point so I know where I'm at - oh well.


Lovely car and a super thread. Thank you for posting it.

Can we move it to the 'Projects and Builds' forum please?

Is that something I do? Sorry if I put it in the wrong place.

Nevermind - I get it now. It would be a cool to be in the 'Projects and Builds' section!

keep the updates coming


How have I missed this thread??



Could it have been in settled on the rollers due to the welded diffs?

Moved to 'Projects & Builds' forum

Awesome !!

QuattroMEK wrote:
So I got to thinking - I've already got an Avant - and now I've got a need to haul a load of tires and wheels around. Probably should make a roof rack.

So I got out the welder and made one that would haul 6 - 18s on flat.

That's what you call a BIG BOY roof rack     Forum Index -> Projects and Builds
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