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2003 Audi TT Mk1 1.8T Quattro - Post Purchase Prep - Boost is Back


SiC

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Focus passed its MOT today.

Makes the £90 in two rear tyres not completely wasted. Not sure why it failed on light height but at least it's a free thing to be fixed.

Should now give the vehicle some monetary value to sell on. Also finally gives me a clear run to buy a TT Mk1 now. I can transfer the insurance on this when I find one and then sell this after.

Just need to find one now!

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On 9/11/2022 at 6:05 PM, AndyIggs said:

Yeah I did see that. Quite a long distance from me though and plenty similar price with that sort of mileage around. Revs look a bit high in that photo considering it's not a cold engine.

Problem is, I've convinced myself that anything less than a 3.2 DSG will be a disappointment...

So holding out for one that is decent. Budget upto 3k but as usual would prefer less 🤣 

Mileage unimportant but needs the powertrain fully working. Need to start somewhere that isn't buggered!

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I was hoping to say yesterday I had a perfect project in bound and had everything I was after in a car. Right price, right spec, right condition and right colour. Two hours before an agreed time (given the day before) for when I was supposed to be seeing it, I received a message to say it had been part-ex. I'm really quite cross and disappointed about it all. 

Anyone have any other suggestions or leads on a TT V6 DSG? I'm currently scouring AT, eBay, FB marketplace and groups. Not a huge amount on and very few at the moment that look worth the travel for.

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I have to hold my hand up - I was the twat. I had some business in Bristol and offered to make a detour by si’s house to let him look at the tt. On the way up I stopped off at a dealer and did a deal with the dealer for the bmw. As I explained to Si, I had some reservations about the functioning of the DSG- which I shared with the him and the dealer. At the end of the day my comfort level for offering a car  here is at a higher bar than when selling to the trade. I guess I don’t like to hear when cars I’ve sold in good faith go wrong for forum members. 
 

Apologies again to Si .

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  • 1 month later...

A bit of thread resurrection!

After the debacle trying to buy one from here, It knocked the wind and enthusiasm knocked right out of me for cars. Still does too tbh, especially posting on forums.

Anyway one came up really local and in an hours lunch break I've bought lunch, eaten lunch and bought a car. Not quite a record for me but close! I wanted a 225 or 3.2 V6 but this literally was down the road from me and an easy buy. Still quattro and the 180 has the advantages of simpler under the bonnet - less intercoolers, no extra electric water pump, stuff like that. Also they're all CAZ which makes things easier. It's not exactly a car for life either.

Needs wheel alignment, exhaust blows (£120 from ECP/similar) and dash has done the usual Audi pixel thing (still usable though). Thermostat may need doing but blows hot so maybe just the dash (another known issue). Could do with a service. Paint is in decent condition. Back rear wing lacquer is cloudy and a scuff.

Was up for £1250 and paid £1050. Don't think I did too bad. Especially in this market for a 180bhp AWD vehicle.

Link for the eBay advert while it's still around: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/334628721684


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I really think these are a great, thinkers, purchase at the moment. 
 

They are as cheap now as they will ever be, they’ll 100% go up in value soon and I imagine for a tidy unmodified one, they’ll command decent money too.

Handle brilliant and look pretty too.

 

How many dead pixels has the dash got? 😜

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Just been for a fill up as critically low with only 5 miles range left. Put in the special stuff. It won't be getting that regularly mind.

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Fuel economy is shite. This is reset just after fill up and gone for a smooth 40mph and 50mph limit drive. It should be doing much better than this.

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Did the diagnostic thing on the climate panel (yes I know the knob covers are missing - TADIS). Reckons the coolant is around 75c. This tallies up with both the dash and the engine computer (both use different sensors - climate panel is from dash). So looks like it'll need a thermostat. 

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Went for a root around in the engine bay. The car was valleted when they had it in a few weeks ago. Looks like they cleaned up the engine bay. At least it shouldn't be too horrible working in there.

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Checking the engine oil bought up an interesting problem - the top of the dipstick was snapped.

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I removed the dipstick with pliers. Oil was massively over filled. But wait, why was it so far down?

Tube completely cracked up. TADIS again. Brittle plastic and engine bay heat destroys the tubes apparently. Something else it needs. Could explain why it's not running economically with this big vacuum leak.

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Gear gaiter has done the obligatory splitting. Minor thing out of all it needs.

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I filled the washer tank up. Washer pump makes all the right noises but nothing comes out. Bugger. Likely needs a washer pump then. Hopefully not a cracked tank as it lives in the wing and no doubt a pain to change. Hopefully the pump is going to be easy to get to...

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So it looks like I've bought a bit of a project again! To be fair, the dealer selling this made it completely clear on the advert this is so. Sold as a trade sale, spares or repair, or whatever they like to say. Funny thing is that I have spent twice the cost of the Focus and I'll need to put a couple hundred quid into this to get it to the same state that I bought that in! However the £200 off should cover a large part of this work.

However it seems like a fundamentally okay car. It just needs some love.

I've only got paperwork for a service in 2014 and 2015. No idea when the Haldex was done last. I bet never! The 2014 service was a big one though with oil, air, pollen, plugs, brake fluid and cambelt a changed. Since then it's done 36k. It must have had tyres since then and hopefully at least one oil change. Just no receipts kept. At least that's what I'm hoping.

These are prone to sludging up. I don't intend to drop the sump anytime soon. At least I won't, I'd get a garage to do that. Rolling on the floor trying to remove a pan isn't much fun. Oh the 2014 service had the sump helicoiled too. Think I'll do an oil change by sucking it out to be honest.

So made a list of high and low priority.
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Some of these low priority are very low right now. At least until it's proven it's reasonably solid and reliable. I don't want to go through the hassle of fitting cruise control soon and then find the clutch goes or turbo blows.
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  • SiC changed the title to 2003 Audi TT Mk1 1.8T Quattro - Link on first post to skip to the purchase
25 minutes ago, JJ0063 said:

I really think these are a great, thinkers, purchase at the moment. 
 

They are as cheap now as they will ever be, they’ll 100% go up in value soon and I imagine for a tidy unmodified one, they’ll command decent money too.

Handle brilliant and look pretty too.

 

How many dead pixels has the dash got? 😜

This is unmodified but not super tidy. I'm okay with that though as it'll get bashed about on the train station and inner city parking.

Handling does seem a bit dead to me. I know the reviews all say it but it is pretty vague feedback. However that's exactly why I wanted it! Something I can cruise about in as a GT type car and feel planted.

I think they're going to stay cheap for a while tbh. Too much of a (deserved) reputation for flakey and neediness. Plenty 1.8t still about too, even if many are being broke for parts. They're pretty much at the bottom rung in the market of not only performance cars but cars in general!

Dash wise it's missing pixels but certainly not enough to make me want to fix that anytime soon though. New displays can be had on eBay for £15 or so. Nice easy job for when I get around to it.

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Plenty of other more critical stuff to sort first though! Not least the oil change as it sounds tappy when cold and the oil doesn't look that good. Dipstick and tube too, as that won't be helping with intake leaks or keeping the oil clean.

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Started doing some bits on this last night. Not received everything I needed but enough to start poking around.

GSF supplied me with air, oil and a pollen filter. The orange thing is the dipstick tube. Ridiculous they put a plastic one in but at least it's only a couple of quid.
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Upon coming to the car I noticed it was heavily condensated up again.
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The driver's footwell made it clear why
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Great. Another damp car.

I need to figure out why it's done this. My first area will be the scuttle section. I've ordered a new wiper puller as mine is a bit knackered.

I had a look under the pollen filter section as this is easily removable. Looks damp under there but can't see the drains. The pollen filter is filthy which is never a good sign to say a car has been looked after. The few records I have say 2014 and 98k miles last changed (now on 133k). I didn't change it as I'll come back to this area once I have the tool to fully access the scuttle.
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The TT is full of fancy finished plastics under the engine bay. These may look pretty but are in the way for what I need to do
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So off they come.
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Next was the dipstick tube or what remained of it. This involves removing the metal plate below the manifold and injectors. Access is reasonable then. I'll be back here to do the thermostat.
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The last remains are the yellow bits you can see deep down. I snapped off the brittle remains and fished as much of the tube as I could out of the metal portion.
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This is what was left. The plastic section on the dipstick also broke to pieces when separated from the old tube.
I have a cheap Amazon dipstick and tube on their way to replace this.
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Air filter next. Not difficult. The filter medium itself was surprisingly clean. I reckon it must have been changed reasonably recently. At least not on the last 2014 record of when I had it changed.
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While I was there, I checked to see the condition of the MAF. A mate of mine was big into his VAG 1.8T back in the day and he said these engines seem to like to eat MAFs.

This one is a BBT unit and looks quite new. I'd rather it was a Bosch to be honest. I'll probably replace this in due course once I know the car is a good, reliable runner. I'm trying to keep spending low as if it royally shits itself in the next month or so, I'll not lose out too much if I haven't spent much more.
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Gave the headlights a quick scrub. Needs much more work but it should be enough improvement to light output. Clean, clear lights massively improve the look of a car ime. Especially on the TT where they're so integral to the look and design of the car. Again if this car works well, I'll get these professionally sorted.
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Put some nightbreakers in as well to hopefully improve things too.
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While there, I noticed the left hand headlight was missing it's back cover. Stuff like this makes me think someone was a bit kack handed when working on this car.
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I did check the section of the bumper underneath the light unit but I couldn't find the cover.
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I did however find this. Looks very much like the battery clamp to me.
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Headlights are a small improvement. Anything is better than how they were.
Started sucking oil out with my Pella. Slow going as I think it has an air leak now. Plus the oil was cold and thick. Took a good few hours to suck it all out - admittedly it was a gap between times when I pumped the vacuum back up.
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Back to the battery. Yes the hold down clamp was missing. The negative terminal wasn't even tightened up either. Literally just pulled off with no resistance. Might explain the slow starting this car has.
Voltage is very low at 12v, so possibly not charging properly from that badly fitting terminal and/or simply the battery is kippered. I'll stick it on charge later to give it a bit of a boost.
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Battery clamp reinstalled.
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Quick check of the PAS fluid found it was clean and at the correct level. The lid needs a flat headed screwdriver and was mullered. So at least someone has been checking it. Hopefully not because there is a leak!
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I bought this with an apparent exhaust blow. A quick look at the back box showed it was very new. At least this is one less thing I need to buy. Maybe the rest of the exhaust has a leak or that coupler. Or might just be a shit aftermarket OEM exhaust.
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Final thing for the evening was to look at the non functioning washers. They made noise but had no action. I've got a new pump arriving today but I wanted to double check it wasn't something simple.

The correct procedure for this is to jack it up and remove the wheel. As it was getting late and I'm working outside, I didn't want to make a whole load of noise with the jack. So I attempted to do it in situ. This is one of those things that while I may have the tools and able to do it, sometimes because you can it doesn't make it a good idea!
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Maybe if the wheels were smaller this would be easier. This has four reasonably recent 18 inch ditchfinders on it.


I pulled out the pipework and water flowed out the pump from gravity. Then I removed the check valve and blew through to make sure it was clear.
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I rested the valve on the wheel and actuated the washer pump to see if it would pump from down here. Which it did very well!
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Put it back onto the main feed pipe and tried the washers again.
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Success!

Not sure why it wasn't working before but it was empty when I bought it. Maybe the check valve stopped water getting in, to prime the pump? In hindsight I should have blown compressed air into the tank to help things along.

At least it means the £9 for the washer pump can be refunded.

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Haven't updated this in a while but I've got a few bits and pieces done.

The first concern was trying to stop the water leaks into the cabin. One of the main areas of this age VAG is the scuttle area under the wipers. This required removing the wipers. A job I usually hate. I've used the claw type pullers but found them invariably rubbish. This time I invested in a more expensive, robust looking tool.
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This popped off the windscreen wipers in seconds.
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Looking underneath, it wasn't too bad.
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I flushed through and didn't find too many issues. The wheel arch liners are a big dirt trap and these were particularly awful.

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The next area is this connection box for the loom through the scuttle between the engine and cabin. So I went to town to seal it up.
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I remembered this morning that I want to install cruise control at some point. However I will need to get to this for the wire between the stalk and the ECU.

One of the known issues is the tracking needing doing. However looking at the wheel gaps, one side is greatly bigger than the other.
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I thought it was a broken spring at first. However a Google brings up a common issue with springs. Basically the 2003 on facelift they lowered the car. However part suppliers invariably call this "sports suspension". As these springs are also more expensive and presume this is just a cooking model, they get the wrong part.

Looking through the MOT history, this front right spring is the only one that hasn't been replaced. So probably the original and correct! Now I need to decide whether to put the older spring on that front right or just replace them all with correct.

Does explain why the steering wheel is at quite an angle. No point doing wheel alignment until it's got the right ride height on every corner.

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11 minutes ago, Wgl2019 said:

Eibach springs are generally well regarded and also not ridiculous ££££. May be an option worth considering.

Personally I think new shocks also make a massive difference to how a car rides but that does increase the costs.

Eibach only appear to lowering springs from what I can see? Plan is to keep it stock but debating whether facelift stock (more to replace) or pre facelift stock (higher ride height - not necessarily a bad thing!)

I have been debating new struts and shocks too but then I'd probably need to replace the top mounts. Then could argue bushes. Where do you stop?!

Also I want to keep the spend low on this for now as only when I start using it will I know if there are any major issues like clutch slippage, turbo blown or smokey engine. All things that could mean it's not worth fixing. 

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The gear change on this is _okay_ but not great, especially trying to select 1st and 2nd. One of the things recommended is to do a gear linkage reset as it's free and easy. Bushings can wear and are only a fiver or so for parts but a bigger job. I have just written a long explanation on how to do one but have managed to accidentally delete it.

So instead here is a brief version.

There is a pin on the gearbox that you push in to lock everything into place. Can require a wiggle of the mechanism to find the right place.
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Once that's done, the linkage clamps (things on the gear wire with springs on) are pushed back and locked.
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Then inside the cabin, the gear surround is removed.
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And a 5mm pin (I used a drill bit) is put in to lock that into the correct position.
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Give the mechanism on the gearbox another wiggle to find its right spot, release the linkage clamps, pull out the pin on the gearbox and pull out the pin on the gearstick.

Definitely improved the 1st and 2nd change and made 5th and 6th easier to find too.

The gear gaiter is ripped on mine. I believe these are NLA and only good used replacements are around. There are leather aftermarket ones but these rubber gaiters are a key part of the interior design and I want to keep it as one.

I glued together the worst of the rips but I won't show you the after results as I'm crap with glue! However it's at the back of the gaiter so not that easy to see.

If reliable, I may pick up a decent used to replace it.
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Those wiper pullers are notoriously shite as you say. The one you’ve got looks decent quality at least. 
 

Having worked in the world of fitting windscreens, we were supplied wiper pullers but due to them usually being shite, the old trick of the trade was to undo the nut and remove it, then push on the spring hinge part of the wiper arm a few times and they pop off then. Never had a car where I couldn’t get the wiper arms off by doing that.. sometimes just have to push it a few times 

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48 minutes ago, JJ0063 said:

Those wiper pullers are notoriously shite as you say. The one you’ve got looks decent quality at least. 
 

Having worked in the world of fitting windscreens, we were supplied wiper pullers but due to them usually being shite, the old trick of the trade was to undo the nut and remove it, then push on the spring hinge part of the wiper arm a few times and they pop off then. Never had a car where I couldn’t get the wiper arms off by doing that.. sometimes just have to push it a few times 

This is the one I bought:

BGS 7793 | Windscreen Wiper Arm... https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0176G5U5A?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

There is a piece on the end that made it too big, even though this is the bigger version for Audi. I pulled it off and used without to give more clearance.

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I've tried the wiggle method on cars before and found it to be a right war sometimes. The worst was my Clio 172. That was properly stuck and nearly broke the arm.

These had a fair bit of rust on the splined but got it undone in seconds with no bother after wrenching hard on the bolt on the tool. Did let out a satisfying clunk when it finally let go.

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These 1.8t engines are prone to sludging up. Suspected that it's not helped by long life service intervals, wrong grade of oil and the heat the turbos put out. The last paper record of service history on this car was 2015 and 35k miles ago. I knew I should really do a sump drop but really couldn't be arsed to be rolling on the floor with oil dropping on me trying to remove/replace it.

However googling the cold rattle at startup on these points to checking for sludge. I suspected tappets but not worth the risk. The pipe, gaskets and sump goo was £45 shipped. It also a job that many like to know has been done if I ever sell on.

Didn't turn out too be a bad job in the end. The sump bolts on the flywheel end had one being a right war to get back in. I did it in the end though, after having to go magnetic fishing the bolt twice from the gearbox bell housing. It'll be 24hrs before I put the oil back in. I know it doesn't need to be that long but it was late last night and I didn't want to be long cranking engines outside at nearly midnight.

Quite pleased how it looked to be honest. Barely any sludge and pickup was generally clean. There were a few chunks of metal stuck to it, I think these might have been from when the plug was helicoiled and not cleaned up after properly.

Felt like possibly a wasted job but it's reassuring that it almost certainly has been serviced regularly but paperwork not kept.

The pickup and seals were replaced anyway as I bought them with the expectation they'd be bad.

 

I did clean the bottom of the sump first to make this less of a grim job.

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Secondary air pump has two knackered mounts. Not expensive but it's not going to fall out. Only comes on when the car is stone cold for emissions reasons anyway.

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Bolts all cracked off without issue thankfully. I'm almost certain this is the first time someone has been in here since the factory put it together.

Not sure if it's deliberate but a pry bar fits here perfectly. Least risk of ruining the sump as well away from any main mating surfaces.

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I used my Pela to suck up the oil out first. However it does seem to left a bit. But then not sure if pulling the sump plug would have got this out either.

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Draining the oil left the remains. While a little thick, it certainly wasn't sludged badly.

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The only evidence of sludge was in this corner.

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The pickup is just two bolts to remove.

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Again this wasn't too bad. No sludge that I could tell but some debris. Bits of metal and bits of dipstick tube plastic.

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Some of the metal I suspect is from when the sump was helicoiled. It does seem whatever garage worked on this car was slap happy with their quality of work. Almost all of the issues this car has are from people working on it.

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The replacement pickup pipe and gaskets were all new genuine parts.

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Oiled up the o-ring and fitted.

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Original sump I spent a good 45mins scrubbing completely clean. In my usual trademark style, I probably went overboard with the gasket goo. Again, left 24hrs to properly seal.

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Refitting was straightforward.

If it's not chucking it down tonight, I'll refill with oil. Before proper starting, I'll pull the fuel pump fuse and crank it over for a bit to get oil flowing first. As typical with moderns, the oil pressure light goes out immediately and only shows after 3 seconds of engine running if there is no pressure. I might be able to live data the switch with a scan tool to monitor it though.

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  • SiC changed the title to 2003 Audi TT Mk1 1.8T Quattro - Post Purchase Prep - Sump Drop and Clean

I personally think the latter - bottom of the curve and so they are well worth a punt, I was looking at them recently before I bought my A4. 

You can get coupe versions with the 1.8t for under a grand and even the odd convertible f you don't mind some risk / buying from a scratter. 

I've seen acceptable looking coupes for £750, don't think you can go far wrong at that price. 

It is just a mk4 Golf with no rear legroom so they are not especially complex or expensive to fix and everything is well documented.

Lowest liability has to be a 1.8t manual, wouldn't personally go for a V6 or DSG.

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Can spend a lot more if you want to @Nyphur Ebay Ad for 8k mile example. Still plenty out there for £3k-£8k and I think this is about as cheap as they'll get to buy.

The TT is still kind of aspirational for many, but as but they've fallen into the hands of some who cant afford to properly maintain. I have always liked them and still look occasionally.  Although PeteC did put me off a little.

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I am a "buy the dip" kinda guy so I will always buy the shittest/cheapest version of something.

Some shit looking mods but you could easily undo: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/464621925579743

More standard looking but "needs TLC" could be doing some heavy lifting: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/551452676839545

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1 hour ago, Nyphur said:

These are a lot cheaper than I thought they were.

This is about as safe as you can get as a 180FWD:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/725668784159423/permalink/5833729023353348/?ref=facebook_story_share

Sounds well kept. Bet you could knock them down some more with that mileage. 

Bonus is that it's not far from you.

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17 minutes ago, Nyphur said:

I don't have a Facebook account so can't see it. Please could you screenshot it, just for my own curiosity?

Thanks

Didn't help I posted it to a closed group. I'm now actually only on FB for the marketplace and associated marketplace groups. FB really doesn't like it though when you have no friends added.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/662705655339635/

 

Screenshot_20221123-231031.png

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2 hours ago, Nyphur said:

Are they basically all fucked in one way or another, or just at the bottom of their price curve at the moment?

As Dave said, both as your points. 

But also they have a well deserved reputation for flakiness. As the garage I bought mine off said, back when they used to sell a shed load of them, they used to have far more problems than the equivalent Golf IV they sold. Usually it's little things too. As the Americans say, they nickel and dime you. For that reasons you need to be handy DIY otherwise going to the garage everytime something like a window switch breaking, engine vacuum leak from split vac line, error light or what not comes on will get expensive quickly. 

As an example, it's not unknown for the ESP light on Quattro cars to come on just because a tyre is flatter than another. Confuses the system and triggers a code.

Another point is simply fashion. Same reason the TT MK2 is a fair chunk cheaper than a Golf V GTi, despite the TT being a better car technically than the Golf. Many of the demographic TT buyers (i.e. 20 something individuals with no kids yet or 50 something individuals where their kids are old enough to sort themselves out) will simply want to buy the latest and shiniest version. Possibly or probably to show off. 

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On 11/23/2022 at 9:49 PM, Dave_Q said:

Lowest liability has to be a 1.8t manual, wouldn't personally go for a V6 or DSG.

Liability wise seems proportional to power and original purchase price.

Least to max liability on the coupé:

180FWD 

180 Quattro

225 Quattro

V6 Manual

V6 DSG

180FWD Automatic

Sitting in mine tonight reminded me that it's a stack load of car for the money. I still would like the V6 DSG if I find one at a good price (sub 2k) and runs+drives for that. 

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Nothing exciting tonight. Most exciting thing was the tremendous chest thumping thunderstorm and lightening we had tonight.

Just filled it up with oil, cranked the engine over with the fuel pump fuse out and then started up. It did take nearly 5 litres of oil. Book says it should be 4.5l with filter. Not sure if the Chinese Amazon special dipstick is wrong or I haven't pushed the dipstick tube far enough down (as far as I can push it though). Or simply because it's been sat draining for ages and I've emptied the sump from all residue that might not come out normally. 

Engine is still rattle/tappy when revved. Hopefully not the cam chains/tensioner. Maybe just hydraulic tappets needing oil to flow through. My experience of VAG 4cyl engines is they sound mostly dog shit anyway. 

While it was warming up, I put the wipers back on and tightened them up. Always a pain to get them back into the right place. I suspect they could have gone a tad lower. 

PXL_20221123_220538745.thumb.jpg.bb6b81d14301c9f4679fdd858f9bb04a.jpg

Fuse 28 - farthest row is the fuel pump fuse for those that (didn't) wonder. Fuel pump relay is hidden deep under the dash.

PXL_20221123_211512669.thumb.jpg.f6bd12bb60cfea98cf1807d9c20ca1c5.jpg

 

Quick code scan only bought up the oil level sensor that I disconnected during the sump drop and the alarm siren disconnected that I already knew about. I still need to replace the thermostat. Another hateful job but will sort all the high priority issues, providing the battery behaves itself. Lower priority job though as it's about usable as is. Just would like to get the fuel economy up from around 25MPG to 30MPG. Hopefully the thermostat change will sort that. 

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  • SiC changed the title to 2003 Audi TT Mk1 1.8T Quattro - Post Purchase Prep - Boost is Back

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