'93 S4 - Melted a piston. Now what?

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'93 S4 - Melted a piston. Now what?

Postby Neacail » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:20 pm

Thought I should start a thread to share, and track progress.

1993 URS4, bought in may of 2016.

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At that time, it had a broken water pump, a bad MAF and a bad internal map sensor in the ecu. I fixed that stuff, and enjoyed driving it for a while, installed a Kenwood head unit integrated to the stock Bose amps. Made several different exhaust systems, didn't like any of them.

Started collecting parts to make it a wee bit quicker. Got an Aeromotive 340lph pump, RS2 replica manifold, Bosch "green giant" 440cc injectors (flow 480cc@ 4 bar which I'm running) a Volvo S60R K24 7400 turbo and a billet wheel for it. Also scored an early Stromung stainless downpipe, and modded it with a flex coupler and a V-band flange to make it easier to work with and less prone to cracking. Got a very large e-bay intercooler from a kid on kijiji for almost nothing.

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Once I had this stuff together, I stalled for a while trying to figure out how to tune the Motronic 2.3.2 .

Not a lot of info, and I'm no hacker, so that wasn't gonna happen.

So I got a VEMS PnP

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Now that I had all the ingredients, I went ahead and put it all together. Fabbed up intercooler plumbing, flow tested the injectors, made a breather tank, installed fuel pump. It started up on the first crank with the VEMS after setting the injector constant. I was able to get a fairly close base map for an RS2. Tweaked the fuel map quite a bit to get it running strong around 0.85 lambda under boost. RS2 ignition map works well enough, but I really need to get it on a dyno and get a real tuner to set up the ignition advance map to get every last drop out of it. The closed loop boost control really threw me for a loop until I got the PID dialed in. Now it peaks at 2 bar of boost and holds ~1.7 to the rev limiter which I set to 7700rpm.

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Next up is 6 speed swap, dyno tuning, brakes and suspension. Still have to make a better intake setup, I'm not too happy about the cone filter 3" from the exhaust manifold, though in 30 degree C weather, my peak intake temps were 38 degrees C under full boost on the drag strip. Picking up a set of H&Rs assembled on Bilsteins today, and I've got my 17z brackets ordered from Brydon Engineering. Calipers and rotors should be here soon as well.
Last edited by Neacail on Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby Neacail » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:26 pm

Also, I'd really like to thank the members of this forum. I've found the information here invaluable for charting the course of my upgrades and maintenance. I've been lurking and absorbing info, and hope to become more of an active contributor in the future.
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby Afterthought » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:05 pm

Looks good . The bronze wheels look good on the red .
I really struggled with the boost control initially . Somewhere I found a thread (I think by edigreg) with some suggested PID settings that helped me with where to start. I just found that small changes went a long way sometimes in the wrong direction . Also it’s hard to find a place where I can go WOT all the time .
Props for doing everything yourself . The welding looks good . I have a similar set up on my catch can , currently venting to atmosphere but I wasn’t sure If it needs to be tore into the intake . See anything building up in There ?
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby PRY4SNO » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:43 pm

Good to see you post brother! I didn't realize when we met up today that you had a build thread posted :)

Looking forward to the upcoming stages at hand, and I really need to get a ride some time. By memory, that suspension is firm but not enough to rattle loose any fillings, and I'm sure that the Bilstein B8's fronts you scored for nearly free will help even more.

Have any acceleration or 1/4 mile vids for us? The masses are a demanding bunch, haha
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby Neacail » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:22 pm

Afterthought wrote:Looks good . The bronze wheels look good on the red .
I really struggled with the boost control initially . Somewhere I found a thread (I think by edigreg) with some suggested PID settings that helped me with where to start. I just found that small changes went a long way sometimes in the wrong direction . Also it’s hard to find a place where I can go WOT all the time .
Props for doing everything yourself . The welding looks good . I have a similar set up on my catch can , currently venting to atmosphere but I wasn’t sure If it needs to be tore into the intake . See anything building up in There ?


My last oil change was a 6500km interval of hard driving, tuning, drag strip runs, and there was about 15-20ml of oil in the can, and the little filter is dry. The inlet to the catch can has a 90 inside pointing toward the bottom, extending down about 3". That's the extent of the baffling. It baffles me. I guess my engine is pretty tight. The compression numbers were all between 165 and 170.

I do everything myself within the limits of the tools I have available. TIG welder is the best tool investment ever, in my opinion.

Now that I own an Audi repair shop, it's getting easier to buy tools for the shop (myself) although I doubt I'll ever get to a point where I'm getting a large metal lathe or milling machine. My next purchases will likely be a metal bandsaw, and a large belt grinder for doing exhausts.
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby Neacail » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:35 pm

Up next, 17Z conversion (should have my brackets in mid-feb) Bilstein B8s, and H&R 29921s.

Got these Cayenne calipers from a local wrecker, bead blasted them and hit them with 3 coats of VHT yellow. Baked each coat, applied the decals, and then 2 coats of VHT clear coat, also baked to cure.

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I'm gonna try it with an S200SX-E 7070 later in the summer. Trying to find a K26 #8 hot side housing to machine for this, otherwise will try a #6 and see what happens. If this doesn't pan out, I'll have to get a T3 flanged manifold and go with the Borg Warner housing.

The 6 speed 01E I have to put in (B5 S4) is very stiff in the 1-2 gate. The JHM 1-2 shift collar kit should fix this, right? Sometimes if I bork a shift on my 5 speed it gets stiff for a while, but then clears up...
Does anyone have the contact for the fellow that sells the center torsen washers? I'd like to do the high-bias diff mod while I have it apart.
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby PRY4SNO » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:58 pm

Calipers look great!

The JHM kit is very likely to be what you need. The updated version is the carbon kind.

And the trans guru is Scott DeWitt of Advanced Automotion. Tell him I sent you!
Find me on Instagram @pry4sno

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|| 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 24vt 4x4 #bertancummins
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby morris400 » Wed May 30, 2018 1:11 pm

all my 7400 stuff has came in. going to have to swing by the shop soon to pick your brain on some stuff. also running Vems.
2016 VW GTI DSG Daily Driver
2016 VW Jetta 1.4T Daily Driver
1994 UrS4 - K24 7400 EFI tuned ( EFR build in progress )
1990 Audi Coupe quattro (Sold)
2001 B5 S4 Stg 3- (Gone)

IF YOU CANT STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS...FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM!
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby vt10vt » Thu May 31, 2018 11:00 am

VWVortex user "sellingb5stuff" has the washers for the early S4 diffs. I bought his but ended up laving a later center diff (still B5 though) so I machined down his washers. Seems to work well enough. JHM parts should fit all 01e's so you should be good there. Won't improve shifter feel hugely, but it won't lock up 1/2.
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby Neacail » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:30 pm

I'm picking up a '94 parts car today, with an allegedly blown engine. There's nothing poking out of the block that I can see, and the coil cover hasn't been off in a while by the looks of it. I'm hoping it's just a burned valve or crispy piston and will be a buildable block for future endeavors. It's got an Ecru interior as well, so I'll finally get my shitty drivers' seat replaced.
Will be a for sale thread soon in the swap meet for all the stuff I'm not keeping (carbon trim for example...)
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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby IslandRinger » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:43 pm

Just found this. Great stuff! More Canadian content! I'm more or less going the exact same route as you. I've got a very similar hardware profile too. Going to be a bit of a learning curve figuring out VEMS. Mine come with an RS2 basemap file as well. Subbed. Will be posting more info on my build thread shortly as well.

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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby Neacail » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:27 pm

So it's been a while, but I've got an update now.

The Volvo K24 was a lot of fun, but I started running in to an issue where it was knocking VERY hard under boost. Bad enough that I figured it did some damage. Looked in the bores with a camera, it appeared that my #3 ring land was broken. Parked the car back in May, due to this issue. I hadn't changed anything in the tune, I flow tested my injectors and everything, everything looked good. No peppering or damage to the plugs at all, color looked okay. Bought an extra set of stock pistons, ordered some rods to throw in while it's apart.

Fast forward to this December, I finally collected enough parts to want to start. I'm using a Borg Warner S257SX-E, with a ceramic coated AGP .63 T3 flanged turbine housing. Mounted on a china header with Cerakote ceramic coating. Got some h-beam rods, using the 034 coated rod bearings. Got some Seimens-Deka 630cc injectors.

So I pop the head off expecting to find some pock-marked wrecked up pistons, and maybe bent rods (I can't express how hard it sounded like it was knocking under boost) and found a perfectly nice looking engine. All pistons measured within a few thousands of the same deck height, which is probably within the error of my measurements. That ruled out bent rods. The pistons were all in excellent condition, actually nicer than the other stock set I bought from a member. There wasn't even carbon blasted off from detonation. What looked like a broken ring land on #3 was just an illusion, just the way the carbon looked. Now I'm really baffled. Pulled the pistons and rods, the bearings looked mint and had good clearances. I really don't know what the knocking is/was now. Maybe the dual mass flywheel, maybe the driveshaft CVs? I'm really stumped. Gonna do a single mass and rebuild the driveshaft, I guess. The knocking is/was only under load, when the torque peaks, so it really seemed like pre-ignition or detonation, and sounded exactly like it. My knock sensors were reading as such as well, the "Worst knock" display in vems was going off the chart. Main bearings and thrust bearing also checked out.

So anyhow, I ceramic coated my stock pistons after ultrasonic cleaning, installed them with the new rods and bearings, and new rings set to the middle of the stock range for gap. Powder coated the intake, valve cover, wastegate cap, misc. brackets. Also disassembled wastegate and ceramic coated the lower housing. Just finished up oil plumbing to the turbo, now focusing on the crankcase breathing system. What are people doing plumbing wise for crankcase breathing? I have seen it recommended to delete the check valve that vents in to the intake, and not vent any crankcase gasses to the intake. Just block it off and run the valve cover vent and the block vent to a breather tank? Seems like it should work well enough.

Everything is close to assembled now, just getting over an illness and then I can finish it up, build a downpipe and exhaust and get it out to a dyno.

Here are the latest pics, in no particular order.

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Re: My 1993 URS4

Postby Grillage » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:39 am

Great looking car!
I'm in for Breather info as well. I have my B4 aan swap taken apart so I could do the transmission work (JHM kit and getting a proper reverse lockout for the small chassis) and also to fix my breather system. I am boosting my crankcase and expelling oil out of any place that's handy at high boost (EFR 6258 on e85 at about 31psi)

Again, great looking work!
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Re: '93 S4 - S257SX-E build for 2020

Postby Neacail » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:58 pm

Built a turbo hanger today, it can fully support the weight of the turbo on its own, and is quite sturdy. Made with stainless, trying to decide between leaving it raw or powder coating it. Also made a heat shield for the turbine housing to try to keep heat off the fuel filter and lines. Might revise that idea though.

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Re: '93 S4 - S257SX-E build for 2020

Postby TCombs » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:31 pm

Super jealous! Good work. Looks awesome. I have seen some other guys with big turbos relocate the fuel filter else where.
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Re: '93 S4 - S257SX-E build for 2020

Postby morris400 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:59 am

Looks really good. Went pretty quick all things considered. Excited to see it running.
2016 VW GTI DSG Daily Driver
2016 VW Jetta 1.4T Daily Driver
1994 UrS4 - K24 7400 EFI tuned ( EFR build in progress )
1990 Audi Coupe quattro (Sold)
2001 B5 S4 Stg 3- (Gone)

IF YOU CANT STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS...FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM!
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Re: '93 S4 - S257SX-E build for 2020

Postby Neacail » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:48 pm

Well, she's up and running, no leaks or anything so far.
My cam timing was advanced almost a tooth due to a broken crank sprocket. Glad it didn't come loose and bend any valves.
I think that may have contributed to it not being as responsive as I would've liked with the Volvo turbo.

Anyhow, with the timing back where it should be, damn it's nice to drive. Good off-boost driveability with the 7A cams and tube header, and I start really building boost before 3500rpm. Above 4000rpm it's easily as responsive as the Volvo turbo setup was. Only running 10PSI right now during break-in and testing, but it already pulls as hard as the Volvo turbo did at 26psi.

What's a good RPM limit for stock valvetrain? I'm set at 7400 right now, and with this turbo it just keeps pulling and hits the rev limiter before I know what's going on. Is it safe to go higher?
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Re: '93 S4 - S257SX-E build for 2020

Postby PRY4SNO » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:09 pm

You're limited to below 8500 rpm by the oil pump and lifters. Most people who want to rev out cap it at 8k and call it a day.

Do you have OEM lifters, or the lightweight versions?
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Re: '93 S4 - S257SX-E build for 2020

Postby Neacail » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:36 pm

I'm just running the original lifters. I had read that the lightweight ones were junk, and the only other robust option was solid lifters and shims.
I was thinking 8K should be okay, it really feels like it wants to go there.
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Re: '93 S4 - S257SX-E build for 2020

Postby Neacail » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:14 pm

Welp, I melted the #2 piston and possibly exhaust valves. Pictures will be up when I tear it down.
Was running really well, got it to run 12.65 @ 111 mph with a slipping clutch.
On friday at the drag strip, it slowed down a bit and was misfiring, which I attributed to my water meth possibly flooding my IC piping (happened before)
Part way through my second run I just barely heard it knocking (wearing a helmet, hard to hear) and start misfiring so I let out. Pulled the #2 plug and the ground electrode was melted off and the ceramic shattered. All other plugs looked absolutely perfect. Lambda, boost and EGT in my log looked normal. Compression numbers are 170, 90, 160, 155, 170. This is on a 330kkm engine with stock pistons just re-ringed. Leak down test on 2 showed 90% leak down, lots from the crankcase, some from exhaust. Stuck a borescope in, edges of the #2 piston are melted, the rest look just fine.
Flow tested the injectors, #2 was actually up about 3% compared to the average, even tried warming the injectors with a heat gun while in the flow bench to see if it was being a jerk when it was hot. Doesn't seem to be the injector itself. Re-checked my base timing, it's dead-on. #2 injector connector the pink plastic insert is all busted up, perhaps it was making a bad connection and ran lean because of that? Can't think of any other reason the #2 cyl would get so dang hot when the others all look perfectly fine. Either way, I've got a good stock of amp junior connectors and I'm going to replace all my injector connectors (pins and housings) so I don't blow it up again.

I am pulling the head soon, gotta see what the cylinder walls look like. If it's scored or messed up and I want to go 81.5, what's the recommended place/brand to get pistons these days? I'd like to stay stock compression or 8.5 at the lowest as I daily the car in the summer and still want something resembling off-boost response. Selling my Nissan March Super-turbo to fund the next round of nonsense, will have enough for pistons, machine work, an ECUmaster pNp setup and dyno tuning.
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Re: '93 S4 - Melted a piston. Now what?

Postby PRY4SNO » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:49 am

What's your timeline and budget?

Mahle makes some nice custom units since I put a bug in Martin's ear and he followed thru with it.

Wiseco, Wossner, CP, JE and many others make slugs for our engines. I'm going to say it would mostly come down to your specs, budget and timeline.
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|| 2010 Golf Sportwagen TDI /// #farmenwagen
|| 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 24vt 4x4 #bertancummins
|| 1992 80 quattro 20v /// Eventual AAN'd Winter Sled
|| 1990 Coupe quattro /// Because Racecar
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