1985 Euro Spec. Ur-Quattro.


Pictures from Germany.

Pictures from Canada

Pictures of Sport Quattro Brake installation

Pictures of Rear Sway Bar installation

Pictures of the 3B engine swap

She’s back!!



So I did it.

After a couple of minutes of thinking ;o) I decided to purchase and import a car from Germany!

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 Poland and set off for Regensburg. The train ride was very long and tiring. I  arrived in Krakow at around 20:00 and waited for the 22:30 to Prague. I arrived in Prague at 8:00 the next day and caught a train  to Regensburg. I arrived in Regensburg around 16:30 January 7th,  almost 20 hours after my departure. Luckily  for me,  the train system is pretty good and (considering the  price of gas) dirt-cheap. Ralf was nice enough to pick me up from the train station, dropped off my belongings at his house and immediately set off to see the car. When I saw it in real life my capacity to reason  practically  disappeared. The car could only be described as one of the better ones that I had ever seen.

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 Poland no one would serve us (even though I was showing them my Canadian passport). At the next place we were  smart enough  not to mention Poland at all (those Poles really did themselves in with respect to car thefts). Once we had the  insurance it was time to get the plates. The neat thing was that Germany has special transportation plates which  have a red stripe on the right side instead of a blue one. There was one more thing to do though. Once you get the plates you have to go and install them on the car, and then drive the car back to the registration office for inspection. The issuing officer checks the VIN # and makes sure the car is in road worthy condition (visual inspection), which is a nice thing as this eliminates all the junk that tries to enter the roadway.

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.

I left Regensburg at ~14:00. Destination, Gdynia (Poland), where the car was to be placed in a container and shipped to Canada. The German Autobahn is a great place to drive this sort of car, and although I was not sure of the reliability of the car I was able to get up to 160km/h without any need for boost. The trip computer was registering between 12 and 13 l/100km, which was not that bad considering the pace. By 21:00 I was at the Polish/German border in Szczecin. I showed my Canadian passport to the German side to avoid any unpleasantness and my Polish passport (I love doing that) to the Polish side ;o)... I was asked "Is the car to be declared" I said "No" and was on my way. Actually the border crossing had me worried a bit as I do not need someone going through my car especially since I didn't  know what might have been hidden there ;o). The entire crossing took about a ½ hour due to the line up. The roads on the Polish side are not as nice; the East (former Communist) side of Germany did not have nice Autobahns either. By 11:30 I could not keep my eyes open. The H4/H1's did a great job in letting me see where I was  going, but once the eyes stop registering what is out there, it's time to stop. I decided to look for a Motel in Slupsk, which was about 2 hours away from my destination. Since the shipyard was closed at that time anyway there was no point in continuing.

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 Gdynia at around 9:00, and arrived by 11:00.  Thank God  the paperwork and customs checks (even though the car was only in transit through Poland, can you say bureaucracy??) took 4 hours. At 15:00 the car was finally driven  into a container, the  customs seal applied and I was thrilled. By 17:30 I was on a train back to my hometown. The car had traveled almost 1200km in about 11.5 hours (I stopped twice for fuel and food and once for food only). I had not pushed  the car, as I wanted to make sure that I made it to my destination. Now I know that even if I had  pushed it nothing would have happened. I would like to thank Ralf for his hospitality and help. I could not have done it by myself.

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 Canada (as if it's holy or something).

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 2014… as luck would have it I was given a chance to buy Sheila back.  So happy to have her after all this time… seams like it had stood still.  Driving her home was just as nice as driving her for that first time in Germany.  Here is to many more happy miles together!!