Progress & The Week From Hell (Part One)

We’re coming up on a month now since I last posted an update, and there’s been a decent amount of progress made. Some progress plus an absolutely garbage last week, but we’ll get to that near the end…

When we last left off, the new cylinder head had gotten delivered and we were waiting on the correct tool to torque down the head bolts. Well, long story short, that shit got did:

The process of putting down the new head gasket and installing the head was surprisingly easy. Torquing down the head has a specific process – what order to hit each bolt, and what torque to tighten them to over each pass. Went well, for sure! Turns out there was a lot of stuff that wasn’t included in the new head that needed to be either brought over from the old head or replaced altogether. New cam chain tensioner, new cam chain itself, new cam seals, Hall sensor and intake cam timing plate. A whole bunch of stuff, but it all went together.

From there the process of putting everything back started ramping up. Installed the new Gates timing belt – even though I just did the timing belt not too long ago. Makes sense to bang that out quick while it’s out in the open. Re-used the same timing belt tensioner, and left the water pump alone. Put the valve cover back on with new gaskets. Got the accessory belt and tensioner reinstalled, along with the new oil dipstick and tube:

Next up was the exhaust manifold, intake manifold, squaring away all of the vacuum lines, coolant lines, and other little bits and pieces. New injector seats, cleaned up the injectors themselves, new gaskets, pretty good times:

It got to the point where we were waiting for the new turbo to show up. A FrankenTurbo F23 hybrid turbocharger. I was pretty amped to finally get it. But in the meantime, I thought I’d fab up the old turbo just to make sure I had all my ducks in a row. That’s when we hit a mild roadbump.

I had picked up a turbo install kit from UroTuning. It basically had new turbo bolts and a gasket to install your turbo the right way. Well when I went to fab up the old one, it turned out that the new bolts weren’t going to work. There wasn’t enough space around the recess in the exhaust manifold to get a socket on the bolts to tighten them down. Pretty cool stuff, for sure.

The item on UroTuning had the Audi TT 225 listed as compatible, but clearly it wasn’t. I reached out to their customer support to let them know, and after some investigation and correspondence, they refunded me the money for the kit. It was pretty painless, so I ended up picking up a different turbo install kit they had specifically labeled for the Audi TT 225. It was a good choice, albeit more expensive, because when the FrankenTurbo got here, it didn’t come with downpipe studs or any of that.

But boy was she pretty:

Looked like a million bucks. Ceramic coated, the whole nine. But naturally, there were some issues. Because of course there were…

I lined up the new turbo on the manifold and started comparing to the old K04. The issue was apparent right from the get-go. The compressor housings weren’t aligned in the right direction. With the turbo bolted to the manifold, there would have been no way to get the oil and coolant lines bolted up in the right orientation. Likewise, the outlet of the housing was bumping up against the top of the cylinder head. What the fuck…

So after furious Googling and research, I came to the conclusion I’d probably be safe to loosen the housings to rotate them and get them lined up correctly. I was nervous as all hell because, well duh, I had never done any of this stuff before.

I loosed the four bolts around the exhaust housing to the point I could rotate it, then I lined up the oil and coolant lines to make sure the banjo fittings and the support brackets lined up. From there, once all of those were square, I tightened the exhaust housing bolts back down and that was set. Because the exhaust housing mounts to the exhaust manifold and is one single piece, I knew the downpipe would be okay, and that we were 2/3s lined up. All that was left was the intake compressor housing. That I had to eyeball since none of the brackets attach to it. There were six bolts there, but it lined up easy enough, and we were able to call it a day.

Looks good! But as with all things, nothing ever goes as smoothly as we expect. I’ll try to continue with my trials and tribulations tomorrow. Last week in particular was a shitshow, but I’m getting tired and I’m watching The Expanse for like my third playthrough, soooooo yeah.

Hang tight for more TT talk baybeeeee.

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