B6 420-TS - The Build

Hey guys!

I’ve just fallen back into B6 ownership, and this will be my third B6.

I’m a fan of the B5, though I have a soft spot for the B6, especially in Avant guise. I previously owned a 3.0 Avant Quattro Tip SE, and made it mine, with a colour change from dark blue metallic, to Ibis White, with a genuine Vortex kit, I prefer it to the more common Ultra Sport. The kit is no longer available, I purchased the last kit from Germany, via my UK dealership. [:)]

I also fitted a set of genuine Audi A8 D8 8.5"x18" Fat Fives.

This was followed by a 1.8T (163) Avant Quattro 5-MT SE, in Ice Blue Metallic. Kept totally stock, as I never really “bonded” with this car.

My just sold B5 was a 4.2 V8 40V swap, using the 340hp motor from my old 2005 D3 4.2 Quattro Sport, a first as far as I’m aware, using a D3 motor. That was my 5th V8 swap, my first was done back in 2009, which spawned a craze for B5’s, with a V8 rumble.

My newly-purchased B6 has engine issues, which the seller is not sure of. Not a big deal. I will be doing a 6MT 01E swap, using the 01E from a 2000 B6 A4 2.5 TDI Quattro. It’s being delivered on Thursday, then I’ll assess the non-start issues. If the motor’s dead, for convenience, I’ll throw in another 3.0 V6, though my plan is to toss a 4.2 V8 40V, from a D3 A8 into the engine bay.

Why not buy a B6 S4? My answer is simple. Reliability. The chain-driven 079-series V8 motors, is one of Audi’s modern day disasters. Toss scored cylinder bores into the mix, and you have a ticking time bomb. Oh yes, I’ve owned a 2005 B6 S4 Cabriolet, and I know what that was like. Ugh.

I will be updating things as I go along, the car has the original 7"x16" alloy wheels, which look pretty tiny, with the Votex kit. I will also be adding some genuine B6 S4 door blades.

My Dark Blue B6 3.0 Avant Quattro SE Tip, pre-Votex, Fat Fives and colour change:





My Ibis White B6 3.0 Avant Quattro SE Tip:





My Ice Blue Metallic B6 1.8T Avant Quattro SE 5MT:





My current Denim Blue Metallic B6 3.0 Avant Quattro Sport Tip:







Some of my chronology may be out of whack. This is because this project has started quite some time ago, and I’m copying and pasting what’s been done so far, so please bear with me.

The car was delivered this morning, just before 08:00 hrs. I was just about to leave for work.

Pretty clean, a depression in the rear bumper, left-hand side, about the size of a dime. I’ll get that fixed. It’s also missing a jacking point cover on the Votex skirt, left rear. Surprisingly, it’s still available from Audi, I expected it to be NLA.

I purchased a brand new battery from Audi too, tried starting it tonight. Just “click”. The starter motor is certainly drawing current, which suggests the motor is locked. Sounds like the timing belt’s bust. I can either pull the heads, and replace bent valves, or just get another 3.0 ASN / AVK and throw it in for now. My V8 swap won’t be happening until summer. Too cold to start it now, and building a V8 from the ground up, takes time…

With a snapped timing belt, I couldn’t really be bothered to pull the heads. My time is valuable, and if the carnage is worse than I thought, and any of the valves have snapped, the pistons would be a mess.

Since I want to swap in a built 077-series 4.2 V8 40V, to run boost, I’ll also be swapping the stock Tiptronic for an 01E 6-speed. I don’t want to fit the V8 just yet, as the weather’s changing, and building any naturally-aspirated motor to run boost will take time, and carefully selected parts, if done properly. I don’t want to stack gaskets.

I’m most likely going to purchase a complete B6 3.0 Quattro 6-speed manual, and simply yank out the motor and 01E, and shove it into B6 420-TS. At least, I can run the car as it is then, until summer.

I have measured the B6’s engine bay for length. It’s longer than that of the B5, that’s for sure, and I’ve managed to stuff V8 32/40V motors into those.

I washed the car today, so I could assess the paintwork. It was really filthy, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to find under all that grime. It’s actually pretty good. I might get a lower half paint, though, from the door mouldings down to the skirts.

The factory Votex kit is pretty good, I prefer it to the more common Ultrasport. The left-hand skirt was missing a jacking point cover at the rear, and it bugged me each time I looked at it. I called up Audi, to enquire about a replacement. Surprisingly, it was available as a separate part. The actual Votex kit is NLA, I purchased the last kit from Germany back in 2011, when I built my Ibis White car.

It’s supplied in grey primer, ready for paint. I also purchased a paint kit from Audi too, which is essentially a twin-pack. Base and clear coat, and after painting the cover, and letting it dry, I fitted it, so all good.

If this car was just a stock SE or Sport, without the Votex kit, I would have gone the B7 RS4 route. The panels, bumpers, skirts, grille and all that’s required are cheap enough, certainly cheaper than the same for the B5, by at least £3,244. But, I actually prefer the exclusivity of the original Votex cars, which are becoming increasingly rare. The Votex kit precedes the Ultrasport by at least 2 years, being mostly fitted to early B6 3.0 and a handful of 2.5 TDI V6 models.

Some pictures, after a darn good shampoo, dry and wax:
























Short-term plans, are…


OEM B6 S4 grille.
OEM B6 S4 door blades.
OEM Seat Leon Cupra R front lip - matches the profile of the B6’s Votex front lower bumper perfectly.
OEM Audi 8.5"x18" wheels, similar design to what’s currently on the car, but powder coated Pearl White.
OEM B6 Xenon headlamps.


OEM B8 S-Line leather interior, or from the current A3 Sport.
OEM B6 A4 instrument cluster, with colour DIS.
RNS-E / Audi Navigation Plus.
Carbon fibre belt line trim.
OEM B6/7 electric rear blind, or retrofit one from a B6 Volkswagen Passat Variant.
B7 ESP, FUNK and rear blind switches, and matching blanks, to lose the cup holder.

I’ve just pulled the trigger on another Audi.

2003 B6 Quattro Sport 3.0 Manual. Picking it up tonight, and I’ll be yanking out the engine and 6-speed manual, and fitting it to my Avant auto.

So, I picked up my donor B6 3.0 Quattro 6-speed manual, and drove her 205 miles home.

I haven’t really driven a manual B6 3.0 any great distance, so I was pleasantly impressed. It pulled strongly through all the gears, and all the electrics work, bar the driver’s window regulator. Motor is working, but nothing happens. Broken cable. Still, it’s a moot point, as I bought the car for the motor, and the manual gearbox components.

I’ll begin the teardown over the weekend.

I drove the B6 3.0 Quattro Sport, 6-speed manual to work today, which is pretty much the first time I’ve seen it in daylight. Come to think of if, it’s the first time I’ve seen under the hood.

After letting the wash shop at work loose on it, it kind of seems a shame to tear into it, taking the motor, transmission and all the manual conversion parts off, then flipping the rest to get some money back. It’s that clean. But, needs must. Currently, it owes me £525 / $680, which is what I paid. I’ll make a profit on what’s left, including the tip transmission in B6 420-TS. I went through the service paperwork, and discovered that Audi supplied and fitted a brand new replacement transmission in April 2014.

Some pictures of both cars:

















Tomorrow, Saturday, will be the last time the silver sedan will be driven. Sunday is strip down day.

I’m just going to drop the motor, 01E 6-speed and front subframe as a single assembly, with the front axles and driveshaft attached. The clutch throw-out bearing is noisy, so I might as well throw a new clutch in there, while it’s all out of the car. It’ll also be an idea to do a gearbox oil refresh too. Depending on what the gearbox output shaft seals look like when it’s all out, I might replace them, too.

I’ll keep this thread updated, with pictures.

Ordered a genuine Audi clutch.

I did a bit of mixing and matching. The throw-out bearing is pretty generic across different platforms, and transmissions, the pressure plate however are flywheel type specific. So with this, I ordered:

B5 RS4 throw-out bearing.
B6 S4 clutch friction disk.
B6 A4 3.0 clutch pressure plate (flywheel specific).

My reason for mixing, are come next summer, I will be going back to my favourite motor - the belt-driven 077-series 4.2 V8 40V, with some major upgrades. I want a clutch that most parts could be reused. I could possibly use the 3.0 flywheel and matching clutch pressure plate on the V8, but I doubt the clamping load will hold up to 680Nm.

I will be going with my favourite flywheel - a custom TTV item, designed for the V8, with the same stack height as a 2.8 30V flywheel, yet designed to accept a B5 RS4 clutch pressure plate. I might look into a new design, working closely with TTV, using the same flywheel, but designed to accept a B7 RS4 clutch.

Progress today.

I pulled the motor and tip transmission from B6 420-TS, complete with subframe, lower arms, ARB, front axles and tip shifter.

I’m glad I’ve got a complete car as a donor, as the subframe of the blue car is quite rusty. On one side, where the rearmost lower arms attach, is pretty bad, with 2 extra holes that Audi obviously didn’t intend to be there. One of the CATs is also an aftermarket item, with dog shit welding. Both flexi joints were in pretty bad shape too. The donor car has a decent subframe, and both CATs are genuine Audi items, replaced 2 years ago.

I’ll pull the motor and 01E 6-speed tranny from the donor car in the week, separate them, and fit a new clutch.

Pictures of the day’s work. I had to get my angle grinder on the CAT / downpipe sleeve joints, as they were so rusty, PB Blaster wouldn’t work here either - the 17mm nuts had corroded to the point there was no Hex left, they literally crumbled when I attempted to bash on smaller sockets.


















A rare opportunity to thoroughly wash and wax the engine bay, and I’m going to use it. I might as well was the donor car’s subframe too, and get it painted in fresh satin black.

After 92,000 miles, the engine bay was looking decidedly grotty. Baked-on oil, and road grime.

With the engine bay free of the ASN motor, I attacked the dirt. First, scalding hot water, then more hot water, with regular car shampoo, using a medium-duty brush. The oil / road grime was so baked on, I ended up bringing in my favourite reinforcement.


It broke the dirt down with ease, after letting it soak for a couple of minutes, it just washed off, with nothing more than a microfibre to agitate it. I followed this with more hot water and shampoo, using a toothbrush to reach into the tighter nooks and crannies.

I dried it all, then applied a liberal coat of tyre shine foam, then rinsed it off after 5 minutes. It’s looking great. Tomorrow, I’ll apply a coat of protective wax, to finish it all off.

Both scuttle area drain bunts were blocked solid with sediment. I pulled both off, cut off the cross-split ends, then refitted them. Nice and free, I thoroughly washed the scuttle chamber, and dried it all out.



















So today, my clutch turned up, or at least, part of the kit. Friction disk, and throw-out bearing. The pressure plate was on back order, and will be with me on Friday.

And the B6 “S4” grille I purchased off eBay turned up, too. In going with my desire to keep the aesthetics OEM, I have shied away from the many black plastic diamond mesh grilles out there, as well as the OEM-look slatted ones that have been debated. I’m super pissed though, as it turns out, it’s just a stock B6 A4 grille. I purchased it used, and it clearly said B6 S4. I’ve gone through eBay / PayPal to get my money back, due to a misrepresented item.

I’ve ended up ordering the correct grille from Audi. I originally purchased one for my Ibis White B6, and at the time, I was not aware there were two options - chrome, or satin black surround / trim. Oddly enough, the black grille costs $14 more, and as it has to come direct from Germany, I won’t see it until next week. But, I like the look of the satin black surround, and I’m more than willing to wait. It’s not like I can drive the car without an engine and transmission, anyway.


One issue that arises when boosting an engine that was originally naturally aspirated - in this case a 4.2 V8 40V, is controlling it. The hardware side is easy, a tune, less so.

I have looked at different means, whilst retaining Bosch Motronic, ME 7.1.1 as I’m not really a fan of aftermarket ECM’s in a street car, that are likely to leave a lot of systems - cluster, ABS, climate control etc with limited functionality, or none at all. I am also aware of the PWM-driven cooling fans, which are controlled by the engine ECU.

I could very likely modify a C5 RS6 harness to work here, but with the C5 RS6 ECU working best when it can “talk” to the ZF5 HP automatic transmission, this won’t be my favourite route. It will also not control the B6’s cooling fans, without an external controller, like the controller utilised in the B5 S4.

I have opted for a different approach. It will retain 100% functionality in any linked sub-systems in the B6, and plug into the stock BCM / chassis connectors in the ECU plenum.

A pair of B6 1.8T 190 (BEX) harnesses, and ECU’s. I have just purchased a pair. These will run the V8 40V motor, I intend to code just one of the ECU’s for the immobiliser, and have the second one defeated. The main ECU will be linked to the cluster and various sub-systems via the chassis connectors, with the second one only connected in terms of the power inputs. The firing order for both coilpacks and injectors is easy to take care of.

I will most likely run 2 separate throttle bodies, the rest of both ECU inputs - VR signal, CPS, CKP, VVT, Lambda inc. wideband etc. will be split between both ECU’s, using diodes where required to prevent feedback.

I have built Bosch harnesses in the past, when I first built my 1989 VW Golf II 1.8 16V turbo, controlled by a modified Audi S2 ECU, which involved cracking open the case, and modifying the internals to control a 4 cylinder motor. This was pre-1.8T motor, and it worked well, producing 347hp / 422Nm. It sounds pretty low by today’s standards, but hey, this was 1992!

The twin ECU set-up I’m going to use here will also make engine control more flexible, and allow a higher rev limit for a V8 motor that isn’t an 079-series high-revving unit found in the B7 RS4.

I will likely have to purchase a cheap FWD R&D B6 A4 for test purposes, when the time comes.

I have spent the last night going over the control systems of the BEX motor. The only snag I can actually see right now, is the MAF. I was planning to run a single fat snail, but with 2 separate ECU’s, I might well need to make the snails twins, as it may not be practical to split the MAF signals between both ECU’s via the twin harnesses.

Using diodes though, could possibly eliminate feedback and false readings if I decide to stick with a single. I guess it’s a case of, suck it and see.

Yesterday, I pulled the engine and transmission, from the Akoya Silver car.

I’ll be removing the clutch and smaller brake pedal, as well as the hydraulic lines and both cylinders. It’s easier to install them into the Denim Blue car, with an empty bay.

I can then turn my attention to the driveline. I’m pulling the gearbox off the motor, to fit a new clutch, then I need to get the lot pressure washed, before installation. I’m also replacing the timing belt and tensioners / idlers.

The dead donor: