Progress & The Week From Hell (Part Three)

Ayyyyyy we’ve arrived! Part Three all up on your screen finally. Sorry (not sorry) it took so long, it’s been a wild few weeks and I’m just now getting caught up on the adult essentials. So where we last left off, the engine was more or less back together, the transmission was re-mounted to the engine, and we were ready to put everything back in the car.

At this point, I was feeling pretty solid. Thus far everything had gone without a serious hitch. A few snags here and there – mostly realizing I didn’t have the proper tools or parts to proceed any further. So when it came time to reinstall the engine and transmission into the engine bay, I thought I had this shit on lock. Little did I know, the Car Gods decided to rain on my parade.

It started on the Monday following my day at the office. Got to the garage, double checked my work, and got the engine bay all ready by moving the wiring harness and other pipework out of the way. Hooked up the engine crane, then wheeled it all into place.

There’s not a tremendous amount of space in the bay, what with the engine being transverse mounted and all, but with some help from my dad, we got it lined up. First hand-tightened the bolts connecting the mount to the engine, then did the same with the transmission-side bolts. After everything was relatively lined up, we properly tightened and torqued all the bolts. Following the two main mounts, I went and got the dogbone/pendulum mount underneath bolted up as well. The dogbone mount acts to hold the engine in place against its lateral twisting motion under torque. Plays a fairly integral part in clutch engagement, launch control and engine stability. And in my case, it also used to cause all sorts of rattles when the exhaust touched the surrounding heat shielding. TheMoreYouKnow.jpg

Now at this point, I went to check all the other parts that still needed to be hooked up. Primarily the driveshaft (propshaft for all the Brits out there), CV axles and exhaust downpipe. This was my first of many mistakes. Note to anyone reinstalling their engine:

LINE EVERYTHING UP FIRST

And I mean line it all up before you secure any of the mounts. When I went to check the axles, they were fine – freely able to move and they were relatively lined up with the transmission. The downpipe however, as you can see in the picture above, was wedged on the turbo’s downpipe studs. There’s three studs on the hot side of the turbo that the downpipe mounts to, and the exhaust itself was caught on the studs with no way to move them free. I tried prying it away, lifting it off the studs, everything in my power to get the exhaust free. No joy. After fighting for an hour or so to get it free, I decided to call it quits and come back to it the next day…

The Next Day Arrives…

Blah blah blah I went to work, yadda yadda, then got back to the garage to look at the exhaust. I went to move it, and dubya tee eff m8 it just dropped right off the stud and I could move it around…

Yep. Apparently the engine settled on the new mounts and I was able to move the exhaust around and get it bolted up. I also realized that the entire exhaust system was being pushed back towards the rear of the car, which limited how much it could move.

So if your downpipe is giving you issues, try to move it in all 3 axis, up down, left right, and forward and backward. It might just make that bit of difference you need to get it properly aligned.

Now I was emboldened and thought that it was smooth sailing once again. Well. I was wrong.

Next up was the driveshaft. Went to get that bolted up to the transfer case, and low and behold, it wasn’t lined up. The driveshaft itself, which runs to the back of the car, was wedged into the middle of the transfer case coupling:

Granted that was when the engine first came out, but you get the idea. The driveshaft is supposed to fit over the center guide and have three triple-squared (I think) bolts holding it to the rubber bushing. So now, it’s Tuesday, and I’m fighting with the driveshaft to get it aligned and bolted up.

I got the little floor jack underneath with a block of wood and tried to slowly push the driveshaft off the edge and into the center, but quickly realized that wasn’t going to work since the coupler has a pin, so to speak, that the driveshaft has to ride on. No way no how was I going to be able to force the driveshaft into place.

Also couldn’t rock the engine in either direction, because the dogbone mount was fully attached and bolted in place. Great. So after another hour or two of fighting, I called it quits for the night and went home. Wednesday would surely be my day, right?

Wednesday Was Not His Day

Of course it wasn’t. So after stewing on the issue all night, I decided to pull the dogbone mount, sacrificing all four single-use TTY bolts, so I could move the engine and line the shaft up. We’re on day three now, and I was getting thoroughly fed up with the car and all these issues. But on the plus side…

That did the trick! Hooray! Was able to move the engine just enough by hand to get the driveshaft lined up and properly centered on the transfer case. Tightened up the three surrounding bolts, and then began the debate of how I should reinstall the dogbone mount…

VW and Audi have the propensity to use these damn single-use, torque-to-yield bolts just about anyone that could potentially piss someone off. The correct move at this point would have been to order a set of 4 new bolts for the dogbone mount, and torque them properly. Unfortunately, that’s not what I did. And the disastrous consequences of that decision still make me cringe even now.

I re-used the TTY bolts and stripped out the transmission holes.

So yes, the week from hell would surely continue, but I’ll conclude this three day shitfest and start with a new title for the next post. At this rate I’ll be at like Part 19 by the time I make some actual progress in the build.

Also, before I forget. I’d like to take the time to recognize all the lurkers and people keeping tabs on my progress in icy, internet silence. Thanks for reading my crap! Really, it means a lot to know people are enjoying the stuff I’m doing, the pictures I’m posting, and the rambling-to-self posts I’ve been putting up. This has been an insanely fun and incredibly fulfilling project so far, and I’ve been loving every minute of it despite the setbacks and issues. If you’re enjoying the ride too, just gives me all the more reason to keep documenting and keep posting.

Thanks, and hang tight for the next installment.

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