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Working man's quattro - Audi TT - Car rejected, getting a refund


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The lease on my daily Hyundai SUV comes to an end at the end of the year and I wanted to buy a replacement car before Covid-19 restrictions kicked in again. I was in two minds what type of car I wanted. The 46 year old in me wanted a BMW E39 or a Mercedes W210 to waft around in but the enthusiast 49% wanted something more dynamic and involving. I viewed a BMW E39 earlier this week but it wasn't much good. Driving it (despite the potent 2.8 six cylinder petrol motor) left me uninspired. A Mk5 Golf GTi or the UFO shape Honda Civic Type R would have been fun but I couldn't see myself owning either. I started looking at Audi TTs and on Friday I looked at a 225BHP version, offered for a tempting sub £2k asking price, however that car turned out to be shabby, considering its 1 owner from new provenance.

Yesterday I bought this.

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It's a 2003 1.8t 180BHP quattro. I came across the car by pure coincidence. I called the seller about a TT that he had advertised on Auto Trader, however that car was already sold. The seller, a trader specialising in Audi TTs, said that he had another car, which has just undergone some repairs and once cleaned, will be offered for sale. I arranged to view it yesterday morning and a deal was done.

It's a 3 owner car. The first two owners had it for 17 years and maintained it to a high standard, however the most recent owner, who had the car for less than a year, wasn't so keen on spending money. The latest owner px'd this TT for a newer one, apparently having received a government employment grant. The seller presented me with receipts for a new dual mass flywheel and clutch, alternator and battery, all of which were fitted last week. Including labour, there's are receipts for just under £1k. Nice! The car came with 10 months MoT with only two minor advisories. 

The FSH included receipts for recent repairs and maintenance. A year ago, the second owner spend £630 on servicing, shortly before she sold the car to owner No 3. I checked out the second owner's details on the internet and found out that she lives in a country house with acres of farmland. The Google Satellite images reveal that she must be a very wealthy woman.

Anyway, whilst the TT was generally in good condition, it needed a good clean and a little tarting up. My specialty! 

Firstly, I spent a bit of time cleaning the interior, which came up a treat considering the car is 17 years old and has clocked up 133k miles. I am particularly pleased with the condition of the seats.

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All the toys work, including the a/c, however the aftermarket Sony head unit is a bit naff and is sending a weak signal to the front left speakers. I will probably replace the head unit with a spare Denon one that I've had since new and I know is in perfect working condition.

The boot liner needed a clean and is still a bit grubby, however I will be covering this up to prevent more wear in the future. Remember, this will be my daily and I will be carrying a bootful of surveying equipment. 

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I wanted to get the wheels off to enable a proper inspection of the brakes and suspension. I've only managed to look at the nearside yesterday, I'll do the other side today. First impressions are positive. The aged brake discs were an MoT advisory, however I can't see anything else that needs urgent attention and various new bits of rubber and fresh silver bolts hint at repairs / maintenance. 

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The bodywork is very tidy, apart from a handful of minor stone chips and scuffs, which I will deal with in due course. Paint has peeled off from the front lips on the sills (both sides) but there is no rot. I will paint these areas with silver Hammerite before putting the wheels back on. 

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One thing that really let the car down was the wheels. Three of them, actually. Evidently at least one of the three previous owners didn't know how to park without smacking the wheels into kerbs, causing unsightly damage to the rims. The offside rear wheel managed to escape major damage. The nearside front, however, looked grim.

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I gave the wheels a good clean, on the inside of the rim as well and checked for cracks. Apart from the kerbing damage, the wheels are good and straight, or should that be round. On the basis that the TT will be used daily, rain or shine, I would rather not spend hundreds of pounds on getting the wheels professionally refurbished, although that is something that would transform the look of the car. Instead, I touched up the damaged rims with silver Hammerite and polished up the spokes. I am pleased with how they turned out, at least for now.

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Plan for today is to finish the wheels, fit my private number plates (although I can't get the car re-registered until the logbook comes through) and sort out the head unit issues. Once done, I'll take some pretty photos. Watch this space.

 

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I never really liked the TT when it came out and you don't really seem to notice too many mk1s driving around these says, but looking at those pictures it looks fab, especially in that colour. Time has definitely been kind to the design and they are much more purposeful looking than I remembered

congratulations

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Well you set me off last night and I came across a mint 225 quattro on marketplace with similar miles to yours, full Audi history and recent belt and brakes done, was up for 1095 ono as he needed it gone . Contacted guy immediately but some one viewed and bought it this morning :( 

Yours looks like a goodun and I hope it is a reliable runner! 

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Nice! Funnily enough I spent all day yesterday helping my dad get his prepared ready to sell. It’s a 225, but quite possibly chipped to 250bhp by a previous owner, he’s had it 10 years and it’s done 48,000 miles.  Its a lovely dark blue metallic with slutty red leather interior.  He loves his, and is really going to miss it. I’m not particularly an Audi fan but I think these mk1 TTs are great, underrated cars. The prices are going to go bonkers at some point soon once the rough ones get thinned out. 

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1 hour ago, inconsistant said:

helping my dad get his prepared ready to sell

How fucked is it and how much does he want for it?

Don't judge me  - someone had to ask.

@Peter C may be a dull question - do the rear seats fold down ok in yours? I had to 'ease' the ones on ours before selling - really stiff and wouldn't go all the way. Looks really good for an old banger😃

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It's got to be one of the last cars of its style and age left that you can buy an alright one out of. Being a vag parts bin special has probably helped it. 

What other late 90s/early 2000s coupe could you buy nowadays that will be ok* as is? Wouldn't want to put a cheap Ford Puma through a test after a winter of fun! 

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I'd quite like a Mk 1 TT they are much better looking than the newer version and nearly all of them were quattro. I reckon either the 180 or the 225 version is a good bet, you could probably remap the lower powered version up a bit if you were feeling a bit short changed in the power department.  

With six speeds, a 4 pot turbo engine and awd they are also the spiritual successor to my Calibra Turbo.

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16 minutes ago, Garythesnail said:

How fucked is it and how much does he want for it?

 

Not at all fucked. Regularly serviced, looks great at 3 feet but some odd wear and tear close up. Interior absolutely immaculate. It's been garaged for at least 15 of it's 18 yrs. He's done some long trips in it, N Scotland and Swiss alps, and delights in telling me he manages to get 32mpg. I tell him he's driving it wrong.

The prices for these seem to be all over the place, there appear to be good ones like Petes for a couple of grand, but low mileage really good condition ones are selling for £5k. Now definitely the time to buy one. I think my dad's more inclined towards £5k than £2k So probably a bit off the AS radar. 

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4 hours ago, Agila said:

Lovely 😍

I'd definitely get the wheels done properly after winter though.

I think it deserves it.

It does deserve it but the trouble is that if I have the wheels refurbished, it would make sense to fit new centre caps and truth be told, it would be sensible to fit new boots. All in, I reckon that, if done properly, this little task would set me back approx £600-£800, approx a 1/4 of what I paid for the car.

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3 hours ago, omegod said:

Well you set me off last night and I came across a mint 225 quattro on marketplace with similar miles to yours, full Audi history and recent belt and brakes done, was up for 1095 ono as he needed it gone . Contacted guy immediately but some one viewed and bought it this morning :( 

Yours looks like a goodun and I hope it is a reliable runner! 

That is just too cheap. There had to be a catch.

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43 minutes ago, Garythesnail said:

 

@Peter C may be a dull question - do the rear seats fold down ok in yours? I had to 'ease' the ones on ours before selling - really stiff and wouldn't go all the way. Looks really good for an old banger😃

Both rear seats drop down absolutely fine. 

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25 minutes ago, warch said:

I'd quite like a Mk 1 TT they are much better looking than the newer version and nearly all of them were quattro. I reckon either the 180 or the 225 version is a good bet, you could probably remap the lower powered version up a bit if you were feeling a bit short changed in the power department.  

With six speeds, a 4 pot turbo engine and awd they are also the spiritual successor to my Calibra Turbo.

The 180 hits 60 in 7.5 secs. The 225 does it in 6.4 secs. For an old man like me, the 180 will do just fine.

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First thing this morning I tidied up the ends of the sills. The nearside front just needed a little rub down and lick of paint. The sills are 100% clean and solid.

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My heart skipped a beat when I took the plastic liner off and saw enough mud and crud to fill a medium sized plant pot. Once washed out, the metalwork beneath was absolutely perfect. Well built cars, these Audis.

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Not much to do in the engine bay. Everything is concealed beneath plastic covers, which just needed a wipe over. The alternator is definitely new.

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I replaced the Sony head unit with the old Alpine (not Denon) that I've had for years. It works perfectly and I  get decent sound quality from all the speakers.

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The bodywork still needs a good mop and polish and a few stone chips touching up but with the wheels tidied up the car now looks presentable. I love the colour. In photographs, the offside rear panel looks a different shade of silver but I haven't noticed this during the past two days of fettling. Have some pics, I'm knackered.

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When you look at that side on shot- they’ve still got a bit of a concept car/ wow factor. They look more taut and purposeful that the successor- which maybe technically a better car (?) but looks lardy by comparison.

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4 hours ago, Peter C said:

The 180 hits 60 in 7.5 secs. The 225 does it in 6.4 secs. For an old man like me, the 180 will do just fine.

My experience of awd cars is that the quoted 0-60 is a little irrelevant anyway, driving away hard from a standstill always feels a bit mechanically unsympathetic to me. That said I drove a 310hp Golf R the other day and that put down the power beautifully on a soaked puddle strewn road. 

It's a real beauty. The only thing that I don't like on VAG cars of this age is doing the cam belt change.

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3 hours ago, HMC said:

Nice one, good preventative maintenance just before winter! Love the alpine head unit- it looks right at home- maybe similar vintage?

I bought the Alpine head unit new approx 6 years ago. It looks older than it is. It doesn’t have a CD player, just a radio and USB and aux sockets.

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3 hours ago, HMC said:

When you look at that side on shot- they’ve still got a bit of a concept car/ wow factor. They look more taut and purposeful that the successor- which maybe technically a better car (?) but looks lardy by comparison.

Agreed. For me, the Mk 1 is the best looking TT. That said, I think that the W219 I had a few years ago was the best looking CLS and Mk 1 MX-5s have not been bettered....

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That looks lovely and even better for a bit of fettling. I must admit I was a bit disparaging about TTs when they first appeared, but they've really grown on me.

I agree about values going up soon enough. They have future classic written all over them.

Sent from my Moto G (5) using Tapatalk

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9 minutes ago, warch said:

My experience of awd cars is that the quoted 0-60 is a little irrelevant anyway, driving away hard from a standstill always feels a bit mechanically unsympathetic to me. That said I drove a 310hp Golf R the other day and that put down the power beautifully on a soaked puddle strewn road. 

It's a real beauty. The only thing that I don't like on VAG cars of this age is doing the cam belt change.

Agreed. I’m happy with a 180 and its limited performance. I never drive my cars hard because I know how many expensive rapidly moving elements make up a car and what happens to them when they get abused. I will give it some beans but only once fully warmed up and with the clutch fully engaged, most probably in second or third gear. Unfortunately, I will have to wait six weeks before I’ll get the chance to drive the TT, as the private reg transfer will take a little a few weeks and I have a few work related trips planned in my Korean SUV in November.

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7 hours ago, inconsistant said:

Nice! Funnily enough I spent all day yesterday helping my dad get his prepared ready to sell. It’s a 225, but quite possibly chipped to 250bhp by a previous owner, he’s had it 10 years and it’s done 48,000 miles.     Its a lovely dark blue metallic with slutty red leather interior.  He loves his, and is really going to miss it. I’m not particularly an Audi fan but I think these mk1 TTs are great, underrated cars. The prices are going to go bonkers at some point soon once the rough ones get thinned out. 7D9F72D6-F52F-4F20-9A85-F76812A11A99.thumb.jpeg.377c6ac92722a80840063d747a83f0ea.jpeg

Ooooofff

 

Thats nice

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7 hours ago, sporty-shite said:

Can confirm these are a decent steer.  Mine needs a bit of fettling, mainly.ly a thermostat and the wheels painting silver or grey. Enjoying driving it, though it doesn't seem to be as quick as I'd imagined it might be! 

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The 4wd system does seem to make these feel a bit less lively than the FWD ones do.

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6 hours ago, Peter C said:

First thing this morning I tidied up the ends of the sills. The nearside front just needed a little rub down and lick of paint. The sills are 100% clean and solid.

My heart skipped a beat when I took the plastic liner off and saw enough mud and crud to fill a medium sized plant pot. Once washed out, the metalwork beneath was absolutely perfect.

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They go seem to get a lot of crud in.  Make sure you ensure they're properly reattached as the rattling and rubbing can and does wear through the paint, which is when you usually find galloping rot rather than just a ton of crud.

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  • Peter C changed the title to Working man's quattro - Audi TT - Headlight polishing fun

I had a go at polishing the headlight covers today. The offside headlight was not only faded but also had some nasty scratches and a small crack.

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I started by rubbing down the plastic with 600 grade wet and dry paper, followed by the same with 1200 grade paper. I got rid off the scratches and most of the mistiness but the process took a good 45 minutes.

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Then I masked off the paint and polished up the lens with a cutting compound, with the help of my rotary polisher (best thing I've ever bought) and followed this up with a coat of Autoglym Super Resin Polish. The plastic came up clear and shiny and looked infinitely better than before. I applied a line of black insulation tape over the base of the headlight to cover up the crack, which looks like a slightly wider version of the original black border.

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I did the same for the nearside headlight.

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What a pleasing result.

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  • Peter C changed the title to Working man's quattro - Audi TT - Car rejected, getting a refund

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