So I did it.
After a couple of minutes of thinking ;o) I
decided to purchase and import a car from
Crazy you might say!
The car belonged to my long time Internet friend Ralf Wiesner. He was persuaded to sell it to me for a very reasonable price. I received a few pictures of the car, which worried me at first as they really concentrated on the " bad" areas of the car.
On January 6th I left my hometown in
Not only was it complete ( right down to the radiator and oil cooler shrouding) but all of the other normal "throw-aways" were also there like the near mint injector cooling fan that actually worked. For the most part it was almost all stock and un-butchered. The car had only 132,000 km and in very good shape. No surprise as very little salt is used on German roads in the winter. Even the suspension and underside had no rust and most of the components looked in very good shape. For example the radiators and rear muffler looked like new (a first for me). Also (what usually ends up as the biggest nightmare) all the electrical connectors had 0 corrosion on them. The car also has H&R springs, Koni shocks, Schrick cam and valve springs as well as original Porsche 993 rims mounted using special adapters. Leather interior, ABS and no A/C from the factory. Oh Joyyyy. ;o)
The largest obstacle was the cylinder head gasket failure. Looks like the previous owner liked to have the boost cranked up a bit (the wastegate screw was nicely all the way in). We had to get the car running again in order for me to be able to buy it. After inspecting the gasket it was clear that it was the problem, not the cylinder head. We spent most of the Monday (Jan 8th) installing a new cylinder head gasket and all the other stuff that is associated with that job. At the same time I welded a (yes you guessed it) crack in the exhaust manifold. When the engine was started we were given a bit of a scare, there was some kind of a mechanical noise being emitted from the exhaust area. Once the engine warmed up and ran for a couple of minutes the problem had gone away and I was happy with the way it ran. We did not actually drive the car, a mistake that will show up later on.
The next day Ralf and I had lots of fun
trying to get the car legalized for road travel. First was the insurance. The
minute I mentioned the car was being taken into
There was another neat surprise. The car idled perfectly and had good response. However if you tried to drive the car away it refused to make any kind of respectable power. "Oh No" I cried out. "How am I going to make it to the shipyard with the car running like this?" Well, Ralf suggested we visit one of his friends and an Audi specialist Mr. Koch. Mr. Koch is a very friendly gentleman that rallies an Audi S2 (please visit his site for more information). The funny thing is that on the way to visit Mr. Koch something happened and the power was back on. The theory is that the turbocharger turbine had ceased and was restricting both the intake and exhaust side of the engine. Now with the power back and all the legalities taken care of I was able to pack up and set off for the shipyard.
Well... first I needed some cash, and looking for a bank machine presented some challenges, as well as attracted the attention of the local police enforcement who pulled me over. Well... My excuse was "I was tired". The police officer opened the passenger door and I watched as my map fell into a puddle beside the car... Doh! I said a few phrases which I rather not repeat here and was told to get out of the car and show some ID. After a couple of minutes of explanations I was pleasantly surprised to hear that not only would they show me where a bank machine was, but also show me a good Motel with secure parking. That was nice! I had a great night's sleep dreaming about driving the car the next day (sick isn't it?).
Next day I set off to
Feb 07/2001, I get a phone call.... she's here!!!
I am told I can go ahead and pick up the papers to start the customs proceedings. That same night I showed up at customs, fill out a few forms, pay the duty (6.1%) and GST (goods and services tax at 7%) and get it cleared. They did not even want to look at it. The most important thing for them was that the car was 15 years old.
Excellent. The next day I called the warehouse and asked if the car was ready for pick up.
The lady asks me if I have it cleared, I say "Yes".
"Do you have a blue customs stamp?", "Yes",
"Do you have a green stamp?", "No, what's a green stamp????".
"Oh no, I can't release your car".
My heart drops to the floor... Why not???.
Well... Apparently the Ministry of Agriculture has to examine the car before it gets released. I just wish there was something or someone to have told me this in advance.... Oh well... live and learn. I asked what needed to be done. Ehem...
The ministry officer came over to see it and, of course refused it entry.
Oh no!!! What now?
It had to be
washed. Not a regular wash I might add... This is the bio/chemical warfare kind
of wash (check out the pictures below). Made my wallet ~$150
lighter. Basically the dirt cannot touch
What I thought would be a lunchtime affair turned out to be an entire afternoon of running around and organizing inspections, washing and more inspections. By 18:00 the car was mine. Woohoo...
The fun part was driving home with the German license plate. I knew it was expired but who else would have known??
I then had a few things that needed sorting out. The car made boost and had perfect compression all across. However it felt like there was something holding it back. There were a few choices: fuel, ignition, intake leaks and exhaust backpressure (although this one was unlikely).
Once she finally passed the emissions and certification tests I was able to take all of my paperwork and make my way to a local Ministry of Transport to register the car in my name.
Well.... the lady was not very pleased to see me as she threw the German ownership at me and told me I had to have it translated, as she couldn't read German... I said, "All you need to read is my name and the VIN#". I mean they were not going to print, "This is not this person's car" and my name beside it. Obviously it was mine if my name was on the ownership.... O.K., cool down mode.
Impossible since most of the quotes for translation were above $100!!
I decided to try another office.
Walked in as if though it were my first time, acted ignorant and handed over all of the paperwork. The lady looked at it and started entering it into the system just like that!! Wow... Woohoo I thought...
Excellent... Done. Over with... The car was on the road, legal and free to roam...
Finally I found the power problem. It was the exhaust. The previous owner (not Ralf) installed some sort of a resonator in place of the middle muffler. It looked to have too small of a diameter to work so I swapped it with the exhaust pipe from the red car, which BTW no one is showing any interest in purchasing : (... The power was back. Not only that, it was incredible, had a bit of a play fight with the new Scooby WRX and the car had no problem keeping up with it. No need for any chips etc. for now anyway ;o). I would say it's just as quick if not quicker at higher RPM (perhaps the Schrick cam) than the '83 with MC and chip. Anyhoo, I am happier than a pig in mud.
At the same time I upgraded the front brakes to the sport Quattro spec. The process was very simple. All the components were bolt on. The only part that might have to upgrade is the lug bolts, as the sport Quattro hat is a lot thicker than the stock unit. Perfect time to upgrade to studs ;o)... Pictures of the upgrade are in the picture section. I got the calipers from a German fellow Heiko Thoms. Thanks Heiko!!
Well... after driving with the brakes for a while I must say nothing comes close to the pedal feel with those AP calipers. I thought the brakes were good on my '83 (G60's up front and V8 vented in the back) well... these are 10 times better. One thing, the sport Quattro rotors have to be "shaved" to fit the Ur-q hub properly. Picture of the stock rotor and fixed one can be found in the picture section. I also used the stock factory holes to center it, which meant drilling and taping two holes into Ur-q hubs. No big deal, but now there is no pulsation whatsoever as the rotor sits squarely on the hub.
Finally the rear sway bar is on the car. It came from a Coupe parts car, complete with control arms (blasted and painted) as well as the links and mounting brackets (cut from the donor subframe). Installation was very straightforward and I am pleased to say looks very much factory standard (unlike most of my sway bar installations :o).
Pictures have been posted.
The car is very neutral now and I would say I could use a bit more oversteer. So next will be a Quattro front bar installed in the rear.
I was running the Camaro 34mm sway bars front and rear on my 4kq and loved the balance so I think this car also needs same sized bars front and rear.
I sold the Porsche rims. Sad to see them go as I was getting a lot of positive comments. However this gave me money to refinish the original 8" Ronals and enough to buy a new set of summer tires. I love the original look of the car with those rims.
April 2003.... thanks to Ralf again I had a chance to buy a 3B engine from an S2. Ralf bought the car to part it out. He kept the drivetrain minus the engine which he offered to me.
July 2003... the 3B is finally here... I was able to buy a Torsen 016 transmission to go with the engine... also from www.quattro.se I was able to buy a genuine RR airbox... I know this will mean a lot of surgery to the pass side inner fender... but somehow I will make it work.
Unfortunately I had to sell the car in late 2006 to finance a new house.
Fast forward to Jun 2014â€¦ as luck would have
it I was given a chance to buy Sheila back. Â So happy to have her after all this timeâ€¦
seams like it had stood still. Â Driving
her home was just as nice as driving her for that first time in