View Full Version : Audi maintenance/running costs... can you help make it chee

03-30-2004, 04:07 PM
Well I am getting some crap for not being ready for the first race in NER. 1 barrior of mine this year will be $$$. So after realizing I have depended on 1 source for the following things, maybe someone knows of a better source...

The Maintenance cost things on the Audi's are:

Tires: yah we all have that problem http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/wink.gif

Gas: yah we all have that problem also... we just run cheep pump gas, sometimes if we are feeling rich we find some 94 octane at the local Sunoco station (We try to never get gas at the track to much $$$).

Brakes: yah many of us have that problem, but not sure if anyone can help. We only know of 1 place to get brakes, that is Portafield. With major inconsistancy in reliablity of the pads we are not confident in the company or the product. At $150 for about 3 hrs of track time (if they ship "a good set" isn't well spent $$$. Anyone know where to get good racing pads for an Audi?

Alt Belts: I am constantly loosing those darn things. I can't stand it! My brothers car doesn't have the problem but I do. I found cheepo belts for 3.00 each from Auto Zone. They seem to work better that the $15.00 Audi ones so I run the cheepo ones and replace when needed (sometimes every session). Someone suggested putting a larger pully on the alternator to lower the RPM of the pully... is that legal?

Wheel bearings: Currently cost about 50 Each for hub and bearings then $50 for someone to press them in. They need to be replaced every 3-6 weekends, depending on how daring you are. If we run a 3hr enduro we consider them spent and replace them as part of a PM. Havn't had any problems for a while so maybe with the new suspension setups they would last longer.. Not worth the risk so we replace.

Axles/CV joints, we seem to have trouble with them http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/frown.gif : Cost about $75.00 for re-built ones (when you turn in the borken one) then we need to get grease and stuff seperatly cause the stuff that comes with them is junk. Generally they will last at least half the season but for some reason when they go then just keep going till they find ones they like again... fustrating at the least.

Other than adding bondo ( JK http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/wink.gif ) all else seems to be very reliable. We can run the entire season it seems on everything else.

Major thought for help was for the brakes... anyone have any suggestions?

Raymond Blethen

RST Performance Racing
www.rstperformance.com (http://www.rstperformance.com)
1st and 2nd 2003 ITB NARRC Championship
1st and 6th 2003 ITB NERRC Championship
3rd 2003 ITB ARRC Sprint Race
4th 2003 ITB ARRC Endoro
1st 2003 AS NERRC and NARRC Championships

m glassburner
03-30-2004, 04:25 PM
We have had good luck with hawk blue and panthers from carbotech...as far as the hub bearings go FAG seem to work the best ,get a press to save on the labor... its good for other things too!!we had a problem with a driveshaft this weekend... clearnce was the issue raised the car up that seemed to help!! g burner good luck!! p.s. check my other post!! http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif

03-30-2004, 05:57 PM
Raymond--None of your listed items seem unique for a racer. Speed costs money...how fast you want to go??

Other than changing car brands (Honda and Miata parts do seem to last forever), perhaps you should try the following:

EBAY for bearings, hubs and axels, etc. Ebay keeps my car on the track because it is truly vintage. This discipline requires you to "stock-up"--bid on anything (and everything) NOS and OEM for your model of car that is not removed per the ITCS. Know your part numbers. Not expensive over the long haul, especially if you are committed to a particular model car.

Import Carlisle--if not conflicting with a race weekend (or similar Euro-car friendly flea markets).

Carbotech for brakes (Metal Masters if $$$ is a real issue).

I am sure there may be other good suggestions.


John Herman
03-30-2004, 06:39 PM
Tires, as was stated, how fast do you want to go? Toyos will last longer than Hoosier or Goodyear but at a trade off in speed.

Gas, ditto what you said. Also, check to see if you can get a refund on the road tax portion. In Michigan, I fill out a form at the end of the year and attach my receipts. Its only $30, but I'd rather have it.

Brakes, try Carbotech.

Alt. belts, if your brother's car doesn't have the problem, switch ALL the components which touch the belt on the two cars. Does your problem go away? If not, maybe a driver difference (high revving on downshifts?) If it now occurs on your brother's car, compare the swapped pieces carefully.

Wheel bearings, BUY THE PRESS. They're only a couple hundred $ from various places. Sounds like it would have been paid off a long time ago.

CV joints, two different styles exist for my car. Check the various models and years to see if its may be the same for you. The "wrong" ones will last me a day at some tracks. The right ones will last years. I can visually tell the difference, but they're all throw in together by the rebuilder. The parts store lets me go through their stock till I find the "right" ones. BTW, if you're tearing them apart to clean and grease, save the rebuilding charge and buy used from salvage yards.

03-30-2004, 08:34 PM
Good advice here. Definately call Carbotech, and you can pickup a press for as little as $100 at Harbor Freight or Northern Tool. Toyos last forever.

I know my MR2 is very different than your Audi, but I ran all last season on a single set of Toyo's and they still have a few races in them. I'm still running Carbotech Panter Plus pads that I put on in 2002. Carbotech will make them for any aplication. Plus they are easy on rotors - so those tend to last forever too.

03-31-2004, 12:55 AM

I don't know about the other stuff, but I have some observations about CV's:

Stay away from any remanufactured units!! They just don't hold up to racing. The reman companies just hone the CV parts and install larger ball bearings, but the heat treating gets honed away and causes premature failures under excessive pressure and loads. When you lower an IT car, the CV's take a beating because they're always operating at an angle.

I have always bought new Lobro CV joints and built my own axles from scratch, using OEM boots. It's a little pricey the first time but they last forever with a little TLC.

At the end of the season I take each axle apart completely and clean/disassemble/inspect/repack each CV joint individually with Swepco grease. I just follow the Bentley manual procedure and make sure each ball stays in the same slot/hole in the cage. If you find a CV with excessive wear, just replace that CV. Just buy the CV band pinch pliers and you can put those on by yourself in seconds.

I find NOS CV's for VW's on Ebay all the time and snap them up (oh great...my secret's out!). I have enough now to build two or three sets of new axles.

I've replaced one CV in 6 years of racing following this schedule. Knock on wood!


Mark Coffin
#14 GP BSI Racing/Airborn Coatings/The Shop VW
Zephyr Race Coaching and Consulting

03-31-2004, 11:47 AM
Some observations based on some common parts...

wheel bearings - that's already been well covered, get the press!

alternator belts - I used to have the same problem. Are your pulley dead-nuts on alignment, or are they a little off parallel? Perhaps the mounting bushings on the alternator are worn and need to be replaced? Or, better yet, replace rubber with nylon for improved durability. I never have this problem anymore.

CV's - rebuild your own, I repack every year, and the only times I've blown them out are when Fear-o's and walls hit me in the rear wheels! http://Forum.ImprovedTouring.com/it/wink.gif I also make a point to use synthetic - Valvoline, since Mobil 1 is not acceptable for CV's (Valvoline is, explicitly). Yeah, suspension geometry, if extreme, could be an issue too, I could see.

Good luck!

Vaughan Scott
Detroit Region #280052
'79 924 #77 ITA/GTS1

03-31-2004, 02:29 PM

That wall just jumped out a bit you didn't it


03-31-2004, 03:49 PM
Yeah, I have no idea who put it there!!! I'm gonna make sure it's moved when the sound wall construction gets there! Obviously some clerical error in the surveyors office!!! It had no business being there on a hot racetrack!!!


Vaughan Scott
Detroit Region #280052
'79 924 #77 ITA/GTS1

04-03-2004, 12:50 AM
Ditto on what has been said, but I wanted to add a few points about re-man axle. We are in the same boat you are. VW wants way too much for new and the re-mans are junk.
In my never ending process to gather all Sciroccos before they make it to the junkyard I have seen re-mans that very in length by almost 1/2 inch. Some re-mans even appeared to have been cut and lengthened or shortened I’m NOT a mechanic or an engineer of any sort, but I know that cant be good.
I have spent hours, no make that days re-building axles for all our cars + spares for each vehicle. It is worth the time and $ to disassemble, clean and look closely at them. It cost you a boot kit, some time and dirty hands (your crew can do this). I have got to the point (with Dicks help) that I can spot small signs of wear before they become failures. Now I am not saying that I am a stress analyst guru, but attention to detail in this process will go along way. Start with some spares and use the Bentley manual and before you know it you can have a few good sets ready to go.
I have found that it helps if you have a “reliable” set take that apart for comparison. (Again I am NOT a mechanic or engineer)
As for the wheel bearings, we are required (by Dick) to do ours every few race weekends.
But I thought that your vehicle had the larger (than mine) bearing and didn’t require this. Are you replacing the bearings and the hub? Or just the bearing?? And do you tighten that BIG nut every time the car goes on track?

Hope this gets you pointed in the right direction.

Matt Bal

04-03-2004, 06:45 PM
We have the small VW size bearings and hubs (small brakes too!!!).

We replace BOTH to ensure no problems. We tighten the "big nut" every race. Generally you can tell by how much that nut needs to be tightened. If it is more than normal we are past time for replacement. I always check this on my car and Stephen always checks this on his car to keep consistency.

Thanks everyone for input, you have shown that their are ways to save even more money!!!

Tires: yah we want to win so we will pray for rain as we have brand new dirt stockers gathering dust for over a year now.

Gas: We will travel to NJ to get the gas (JK)... anyone ever notice they always are a lot cheaper???

Brakes: We will be getting the new panthers from Carbotech to try out. They will be making the pads for us (If we send them baking plates) as they only sell them for the larger (updated) brakes which almost all Audi's other than the early early 80's have. Still cost is about $40 a set cheaper so its well worth a try.

Alternator Belts: I think if the problem continues this year then I am going to replace the crank pulley and all the mounts and possibly the Alternator... maybe that will fix it,this shouldn’t be an expense.

Wheel bearings... we are going to buy a press... anyone have any suggestions where or what one to buy???

Axles/CV Joints: The parts store we use is going to warrantee the reman axles (includes all parts) and we will disassemble, grease, and put back together after inspecting. Good idea to take apart and rebuild every once in a while and examine for wear and check for the actual cause of failures.

Thanks again for the help,


04-17-2004, 02:46 AM
Raymond, I usually listen to the WOKQ flea market on Sunday mornings. That is a wonderful place to find tools sometimes very cheap. Also, check online on the WOKQ website to the online flea market and also post on their wanted list. I have to post there on Sunday after the radio show to sell one of Bob's trucks, so I'll post a wanted for you guys as well. Have you tried Ferodo for brakes? I always got good deals when I had the business from them. I'll try to find the phone number for you. If you are using the VW brakes, they had good DS11's back when. I'll check it out for you.
I can also try the old sponsor a race promotion for you and Stephen, if you like...like I did for your Dad one year. It's an interesting way of getting the gas or something paid for to help with the finances. Call me and we'll talk about it.
I'd love to help with anything I can for you guys.

RST's Biggest Fan

04-28-2004, 10:14 AM
For VW/Audi wheel bearing replacement, get the Snap On wheel bearing puller. It allows you to replace the bearings without removing the strut (Audi) or upright (VW). Once you use it you'll never want to go back to the traditional way. It only takes about an hour total to do both front bearings, and two hours for the quattros. When I got mine 6 years ago it cost around $250 but has since paid for itself many times over.

KCRaceware (816) 257-7305
[email protected]

04-28-2004, 04:48 PM
And you wonder why the two Coupes I have are for sale?

Buy a press; you'll be amazed at all the things you can use it for. Although Chris has been known to use the trailer hitch and a floor jack in a pinch at the track, it probably isn't a good choice for most people.

Re-man axles are trash. Ask Chris how many we went through in Atlanta one year. I bought 6 one year for a single weekend. Buy the good ones and take care of them.

Brakes are a personal issue. While Chris' personal preference is not open for discussion, using good tires to go fast is a moot point if you can't stop the car when you need to. The Audi is a pig on the front brakes, and the brakes Chris was looking at for it weren't cheap, but he was pretty confident that they would work.

Try buying wheel bearings in a larger quantity, especially if you are changing them that often. You might get a parts store to make a deal.

Lesley Albin
Over The Limit Racing
Blazen Golden Retrievers