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  1. #1
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    Audi a4 b5, which engine is better?

    I'm going to be adding an awd vehicle to the fleet, and I have my eyes set on a 2001 a4 avant. Coming from a bmw background, I don't know much about these cars. Which engine is better? The 1.8t or the v6?

    Also, if you have any other advice about picking up a used a4, please share it. These cars are getting pretty old.

    I'm not terribly excited about either engine, honestly. A VR6 may have to go into it eventually.

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    Definitely the 1.8t over the V6.

    Why not get an S4?

    VR6 swap is one of the baddest swaps you can do.

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    I've had 2 1.8t avants, 1 2.8 avant and 1 2.8 b5 sedan and 1 b5 1.8t passat. I would say without a doubt the 1.8t is an assload more fun than the v6. The v6, when all the leaks and hoses are all together, is a really nice engine, it pulls really well and sounds pretty nice, but all 30 of those valves make it easy for it to burn a bit of oil. So, get an Avant, make it a manual with the 1.8t and have fun. The Auto is a dog on both engines. All the Avants are quattro, so that's all good. The engine MUST have it's timing belt and water pump done at or before 105k miles. If it made it that long, it's on borrowed time. The front control arms wear out pretty quickly, but I always got more than 100k out of them. Other than the control arms and timing belts, it's a pretty reliable setup. If you get a tune and a downpipe for it, it really wakes up the 1.8T. Labor for the parts is expensive, because everything takes a lot of time, but it's all pretty easy. If you need a Bently manual, I can email you a digital copy.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Why not get an S4?
    I think S4 avant's are pretty rare in the US.

    An S4 sedan will be too similar to the zhp to justify buying.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Ryan Mills Click here to enlarge
    So, get an Avant, make it a manual with the 1.8t and have fun. The Auto is a dog on both engines.
    Making it a manual will be the first mod, for sure.

    Thanks for your awesome post, Ryan. That's exactly what I needed to know.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by metrik Click here to enlarge
    I think S4 avant's are pretty rare in the US.

    An S4 sedan will be too similar to the zhp to justify buying.
    How would the S4 be too similar? It's just a better A4.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    How would the S4 be too similar? It's just a better A4.
    I'm keeping the 330.

    I don't want two sedans, seems redundant. 330i sedan and a4 wagon seems like a good combo.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by metrik Click here to enlarge
    I'm keeping the 330.

    I don't want two sedans, seems redundant. 330i sedan and a4 wagon seems like a good combo.
    Ah, I gotcha.

  9. #9
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Definitely the 1.8t over the V6.

    Why not get an S4?

    VR6 swap is one of the baddest swaps you can do.
    How much are vr6 swaps?
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
    How much are vr6 swaps?
    I'm looking into this.

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    1.8t all day. It's much better motor and easy to work on. Vr6 swap isn't hard. Can be done pretty cheap if you visit junkyards. @RabbitPusher and I were at the junk yard last week and there were a bunch of them, some just sitting on the floor. They can be had for $100.

  12. #12
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BoostAddict Click here to enlarge
    1.8t all day. It's much better motor and easy to work on. Vr6 swap isn't hard. Can be done pretty cheap if you visit junkyards. @RabbitPusher and I were at the junk yard last week and there were a bunch of them, some just sitting on the floor. They can be had for $100.
    Ya but they the associated parts for the swap...

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    This is one of those 6 in one hand half dozen in the other kind of situations. Both the vr6 and 1.8t will do just about the same things ultimately. One perk of having the 1.8t is less weight in the nose of your car so you don't run into as many issue with understeer. My personal preference is for the 1.8t.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by RabbitPusher Click here to enlarge
    This is one of those 6 in one hand half dozen in the other kind of situations. Both the vr6 and 1.8t will do just about the same things ultimately. One perk of having the 1.8t is less weight in the nose of your car so you don't run into as many issue with understeer. My personal preference is for the 1.8t.
    Why 1.8T over VR6?

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    Less weight, fewer parts, and a better flowing head.

  16. #16
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by RabbitPusher Click here to enlarge
    Less weight, fewer parts, and a better flowing head.
    Interesting but for power potential seems the displacement penalty is just too big to get around.

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    You would think so. A head that flows poorly generally will need to be "squeezed" for power. However I am assuming we are talking about the old 12v 2.8l vr motor. The 24v is a different breed.

  18. #18
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by RabbitPusher Click here to enlarge
    You would think so. A head that flows poorly generally will need to be "squeezed" for power. However I am assuming we are talking about the old 12v 2.8l vr motor. The 24v is a different breed.
    Good point, the 24v breathes quite a bit better from what I understand.

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