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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After 4 years of ownership I thought I'd start a build thread. I've spent quite a lot of time gradually putting things on this. I don't have pictures of everything that has happened at every step, but I'll post the photos I did dig out from my phone.

Anyways, after 16 hours of driving, here is my new pride and joy post collection.

It was a really well specced car, basically missing blind spot monitoring, the rear window blinds, pre-heater, tow-hook and dual zone climate. The last bit I wondered about as apparently the first owner ticket every option but not dual climate... Weirdo. Anyways, highlights are ADS, ACC, panorama roof, memory seats w/heating. B&O stereo, highest option NAV, CD-Changer, adaptive headlights and high beam assist, rain sensors, mirrors that dim, heat, fluff AND fold. (Well, maybe just fold :p )
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Although I collected the car in early September, it was pretty much clear the absolute first step on the agenda was a better exhaust sound. Milltek Sport was ordered later that autumn. As a Christmas gift (from me to me), it arrived early January and quickly fitted. I was rewarded with a much nicer sound, the diesel rattle was gone, although the sound wasn't really much louder sitting inside the car. That being said, I had a friend do a drive by and it sounded fairly impressive as it flew past on throttle. Don't have much photos of it from the time tbh but this'll do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It became clear, as spring passed, that a lowering was in order. H&R OE Sport -35mm was ordered. I remember debating with myself long and hard of which to go for, sport or not. Like may other forum users, I was worried the -25mm drop wouldn't be enough and that I would end up paying labour for a set of springs that I'd eventually swap out later. As I specifically searched for a car with ADS I was also set on a set of springs and not coilovers to retain the adaptive suspension.

The car looks dope, but I found out it was just too low. The wheel starts to disappear into the arches, it scrapes EVERYWHERE and I have to laser scan the road for threats to my P&J.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My previous B6 Avant was a nice and solid car, but the 2.5 V6 Tdi had a reputation for eating cam-shafts if long-life service intervals were used and the tiptronic, whilst "ok", was an older 5 speed which could struggle a bit with the torque from the PD V6. All that aside, it was a really nice car to drive, felt incredibly solid. The main point though, was that it had a full ABT styling kit on it.

So with that setting the tone, I searched long hard and high for suitable bodykits for the A5. However I found the chin air intakes or spoilers on the ABT bumper a bit too "Darth Vader", and I also found Xenonz had a nice looking RS5 style bumper that promised good fit and excellent PU quality. So I settled for that, as well as ordering ABT side skirts for my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cosmetic upgrades were nearing completion. The eagle eyed amongst you will spot some continuity errors in my photos. I played with a colour theme for my car and decided to colour match the grey on the front bumper lower lip to the wing mirrors and rear diffusor. In my mind I think it works well.

Interior wise the car originally came with wood inlays, it certainly wasn't for me. I ordered from Audi a new set in the faux aluminium trim to match what surrounds the dash. Using one of the write-ups available on the internet I set about the task. The thought of it was daunting but in the end it was just time consuming. No photos of this though.

However I do have a photo of when I fitted the RS5 steering wheel, and boy what an upgrade that is. The car feels like new, the thicker rim, flat bottom and round airbag gives the cabin an incredible lift looks wise. That pretty much concludes the cosmetic upgrades for now. Crappy phone photo ensues...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After getting the summer wheels on after a long first winter and cold spring, it came apparently the shop that sold me the car had fitted just about the cheapest ditch finder ling-ling tires you could find. The rolling road noise was bloody horrendous. As much as I was a fan of the faux rotors with their grey colour and diamond cut edge, I ordered a set of Avant Gardes M510 in Dolphin Grey along a nice set of Vredestein 265/30/20's.

I bought the wheels blind hoping the grey would be somewhat similar to those of the rotor style wheel. I was wrong. They are much too dark for my taste though it doesn't show in these strong sunlight photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Getting spacers to fit was easy. Getting the old ones off the car were not. They'd probably been on the car for the full 5 years and whoever put them on didn't use ANY copper grease. I spent approximately 2 hours removing them, per corner! And there were 4 of them :/ I also ruined a couple of flat head screw drivers and wood chisels in the process.

I also started thinking about power and drivetrain mods. Eurocode Alu Kreuz was ordered via E-bay as well as AWE swapped their air intake and filter + SPC adjustable upper control arms for cash. No photos of this bar the intake. Gloss carbon fiber looks good. If only I could capture it well enough on a camera :p

As I recall, some cutting of the grille shroud was needed. AFAIK cold climate cars have some small mods and in this case the air intake and the plastic shroud barely visible here matched fine on the outside, however on the inside I had to cut a bit of the shroud away in order to fit what is probably called a snow deflector. The AWE takes air in directly ahead, whereas the OEM unit has it's intake facing the ground. Some cutting was required here in order to get this to fit to the AWE intake. No big deal IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
During my daily browsing of the classifieds, car-related or not, I came across a set of S5 seats a guy was selling due to making his a track car. E-mail sent, phone call made, and not long after was my father on the way to collect them. Advertised as done "only" 2000km I had high hopes, but were disappointed to see some normal wear and tear, especially on the bolsters. They definitely had done more than 2000km. But what was more annoying were several of what I call storage marks, dents and prints on the leather simply formed over long term pressure.

I did my best with a heat gun, the local Audi dealer helped fit the rear seat bench and swap the locks over. I had to wrestle a bit with the front seats module, but managed to circumvent the dreaded component protection by just using my old seats module.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now I guess here starts the real modding, and what I at least to myself am quite proud of (sort of anyways). I have long lusted after BMW, Porsche and Mercedes and their adjustable seat bolsters. They have had this since the early 2000's and I could not fathom how "interior king" Audi didn't have this on their seats. Well I guess Audi listened, since a lot of their new cars now have much upgraded seats.

Hell bent on adding this feature to my seats I scoured the internet for possibilities. Comflair in the Netherlands provided, and whilst they really only wanted to sell their products to a shop or major vendor, they did listen to my plea and let me buy a set for me to fit to my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I say me, no way I was going to undertake this major upgrade on my own. I phoned a couple of upholsteries and one told me they could do it. If only they hadn't faffed about with other clients and completely de-prioritised me as a customer. It took them 3 months to deliver it, but only 2 days to do the job. I only accepted this due to logistical reasons/distance.

The leather covers were removed, the foam split, bolsters added. The compressors were put in the seat back and the buttons were added a bit further behind the normal seat controls.

Comflair to my knowledge provides these components to the big OE. Whilst my installation was done professionally, it's not an OE solution. That being said, it works very well but I think the downside is after some spirited cornering the added sideways pressure triggers the overpressure valve in the compressor. It all works, but I have to occasionally re-inflate the bolsters. Though the feeling of being squeezed is really quite special :) All in all, considering the long wait it was still worth it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now well and truly finished with cosmetic upgrades, parts from Darkside Developments arrived. Hybrid turbo, larger intercooler and what I call the "ultimate VAG emissions cheat". Darkside intercooler over Wagner as I was worried if it would fit alongside the ACC radar. It did, though I recall the body shop fitting it had to be a tiny bit creative. That creativity also had to be extended to the extra oil cooler in the grille which ADS equipped cars have. (I doubt the Wagner cooler would even be compatible to fit with it?)

I don't have that many exciting photos of this unfortunately. The garage fitting my turbo spent a good day doing the swap as the bolts were seized completely. Not a job I'd take on myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
To make a long story short. I've had the car on the dyno twice. The first time we struggled with the dreaded flashing coil light on WOT shifting from 3rd to 4th. Draconian speed limits in my home country ensures a free stay at the county lockup should I ever be there on the public road anyways, but I want a car that works. A stellar effort from the tuner after 14 hours on the dyno but to no avail.

A year later:
"Fuel rail pressure too low" was what VCDS said. First step to alleviate this was to fit an extra fuel pump. A Walbro unit from E-bay, which I think manages 5.5 BAR from memory. Placed between the two torpedo walls in the engine bay and hooked up via a relay to the in-tank circuit so it operates as it should (e.g. cuts in case of a crash etc).

I had high hopes for this to work, but turned out a new Mahle diesel filter was the saving grace for my woes. A new session on an allegedly conservative Mustang dyno ensued, and with an estimated 20% drive train loss the end result was about 350 ponies as well as torque to roughly 750nm.

Edited to add a pic of the dyno from the first round.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After a couple of winters scraping just about everywhere all the time, I got fed up with riding in such an unusable car. But as I like my toys, gimmick or not, I was adamant to keep the adaptive suspension. Initially I thought air suspension would be the way, though I cancelled my Accuair order after I realised I would face hurdles with the local bureaucratics that would be unsurmountable in order to get this legally on my car.

Some more pondering, and in the end I bit the bullet and ordered from KW their DDC with HLS4. Quite a mouthful of acronyms. Dynamic Damping Control and Hydraulic Lift System, the 4 signifies all 4 wheels to lift as opposed to just the front. Still a mouthful. Yet again a long wait, I ordered this stuff in April and it didn't arrive until late June.

Don't have too many shots of this but you'll be able to see the SPC adjustable upper control arms in one of the photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The ride quality compared to OEM with lowering springs are staggering. It is just so comfortable. And with a switch I can adjust the hardness in 3 stages. I also added the WLAN module and downloaded the app to my phone.

Whilst I discarded the whole KW option initially simply because of the added button, in hindsight I actually find it more usable now that the damper button is separated from the rest of the drive modes, kind of like Ferrari have done with their bumpy road button. In addition I can add approximately 4cm of ride height with the HLS making extra rough and bumpy roads, kerbs, parking garages and just about anything a complete non event. Result!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
After all this I thought it would be suitable to tighten up the drivetrain and subframe components. So I basically raided Powerflex' online shop for parts. For the front the lower inner radius arm, the lower inner control arm and damper bushes were swapped for Powerflex purple. 034Motorsport also have their durometer insert for the damper inside the strut tower, which was added for a total refresh of 4 bushes per corner at the front.

At the rear the camber adjust arms bushes were swapped as well as the lower arms inner bushes. Again 034Motorsport toe arms replaced the OEM arms and I think they have spherical bearings in them. In total 4 bushes and an arm per side refreshed.

034Motorsport rear subframe inserts were added, though only the rear ones fit weirdly enough. I've got Powerflex black for the front sitting in my garage waiting to go on for the fronts. Powerflex rear diff mount insert was also fitted. Nice and purple H&R anti-roll bar was fitted at both ends with 034Motorsports end links both front and rear.

All in all it was quite a nice and fair refresh of the drivetrain and subframe bushes, I spent close to £1000 on bushes and parts alone, not excruciating but not an insignificant amount either. However the labour to fit all this.. Well the car was in the shop for a total of 4 days getting it all in place :O

Some various rubbish photos after the fact, not sure how interesting it is for you all to have a look at...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Getting closer to up to date upgrades now.

Ever since the VAG "cheat device" was fitted I reacted to how incredibly loud the car got. The MOT man concurred and was also not pleased. With some "greasing of palms" and innovative use of steel wool I got it through, but I thought that there has to be a better way to solve this. Or in true Mr. Wreckless fashion, how can I solve this with a toy? Most valved exhausts are for petrol engines, so I was looking at that, but the tube dimensions were all wrong and not compatible with diesel so it was clear something custom was needed. I was also sceptical how an exhaust tuned for a petrol would sound on a turbo-diesel too.

Well, another substantial round of googling lead me to Australian company X-force, who has a line called Varex. Now perhaps not the most ingenious naming ever, but I'm sure some of the resident geniuses can take a guess at where this will lead. Some crude measurements were taken and I found one of their mufflers would fit.. just..

Also, if you love Milltek, look away now... Basically I've had parts of the exhaust dismantled, I've made a primitive jig and used laser technology to measure out where the Varex will go :p
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Over the coming weekend I'm meant to meet at a local heros well kitted out garage and have made arrangements with another local enthusiast who has a black belt in TIGing. I'm quite excited about this exhaust upgrade.

Whilst I wait eagerly, here is a couple of gratuitous shots of the car in all it's winter wheeled glory. Japan Racing JR11 19x9.5 ET22 on 235/40/19. The summer rims I've sold as I wasn't happy with the colour, also I fancied a different style. I got a nice set of wheels on order for the past 4 months (things just seem to take 3-4 months for me on this car :/ ) but what they are shall remain a secret for now.
 

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Great work, wreckless, and a great result. I particularly liked all the attention paid to suspension and driveline stuff - areas we sometimes neglect beyond “yep, KW coilovers and I’m done”. Kudos, too, for being prepared to slaughter an off-the-shelf exhaust system for better results.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great work, wreckless, and a great result. I particularly liked all the attention paid to suspension and driveline stuff - areas we sometimes neglect beyond “yep, KW coilovers and I’m done”. Kudos, too, for being prepared to slaughter an off-the-shelf exhaust system for better results.
Thanks :)

Well to me personally the seat mod is the real detail stuff, but I get your point. I'll bury my head in shame and say that the bushings etc was really only a choice after the garage really struggled to center the steering wheel for the alignment. I thought "f**k this" and decided the idea to refresh all the bushes would lead to a very solid suspension system where the KW's will do their job and the rest of the moveable parts just move without any flex. The irony is the garage still struggles with the centering the steering wheel after all the bushes but I guess I'll get it sorted eventually.

I've not had any spirited drives due to my car being on soft winter tires but the car definitely feels firm, yet it is compliant as the suspension is allowed to work. I'm curious how this will translate once I get rid of the soft winters and put on a set of low profile stiff summer tires.

Regards
 

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Great thread Wreckless love it!!!
 
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