Restricted year—time to tamper!
In the third instalment of this series, Jeremy Walton explains the latest improvements carried out on his modern classic Audi TT quattro sport – the car is fun to own and is getting better and better!
(Kim adds: If you are interested in reading the two previous instalments of Jeremy’s story of his ownership so far of this car, please enter ‘Audi TT quattro sport’ into the search box on our Wheels-Alive website, to bring to the fore these features).
All text and photographs copyright Jeremy Walton.
Over 2 years, and 3,704 Covid constricted miles, our 2006 last edition of Generation 1 Audi TT quattro sport, passed a second MoT without advisories. Now that ‘ROO’ could be a longer term keeper, a shower of preventive maintenance moved up the to do list.
What is it? The quattro sport version of Audi’s popular first edition TT was effectively an 1,165 run-out model for the first series, up to to 900 shipped to RHD UK quattro TT loyalists. My example is a 2006 model, NOT clever, as that late date means a stinging rate of annual UK road tax [£585], more than the same model in 2005.
The specification included weight loss diet and power up. Thus the 4-cylinder turbo with turbocharged 5-valves per cylinder reported 240 hp instead of 225: enough for a credible 0-62 mph in 5.7 seconds and a 155 mph maximum. I usually average 31 mpg, but a longer run with constant speed limits sees 35-36 mpg from this 15 year-old 1.8 litre.
Limited edition TTs optionally offered Recaro Pole Position race-seats that I happily use. More detail dietary moves deleted the rear seat, simple but rugged brace bar and boot-mounted large capacity battery. Cosmetic modifications extended to light grey Alcantara cockpit trims for steering wheel, gear knob, handbrake and seat inserts, delivering a unique specification, but the Alcanatara wears badly on well-used gear lever and steering wheel locations. Externally, Retro duotone paint and specific 18-inch diameter wheels, half inch wider rear rims [8.5 inch] legally required modest spats.
After I had the radio code efficiently restored by an official Audi dealer – there was practically no paperwork with this 2019 secondhand dealer buy – an ABS light appeared on the dashboard, which demanded £148.88 to eliminate at P&L Motors in Warminster. Once again they commented ‘noisy gearbox.’ As the TT now spent so much time sitting in the garage rather than in use, I decided it should have an annual service a few months early. Plus an independent check on that reported and audibly apparent ‘drone’ in motion.
I took the car to Auto Services in my local town for further investigation as I knew any transmission rebuild would be an expensive specialist job. Family and I had used Auto Services repeatedly over 15 years, including purchasing and maintaining the BMW Z3 we featured in Wheels Alive recently. This Audi had never visited those premises as proprietor Pete Jenkins had disliked working on earlier TTs, but he is fearlessly honest and tenacious in tracing obscure faults.
There was one glaring setback that took priority over an early service and that droning diagnosis. Even in warm weather I could barely keep the aged Varta battery [probably original] alive enough to fire up the TT after a garage week. By the time Auto Services got it there was very little life left, even for hot restarts. The original 680 Ampere Varta — probably specified because of the long cable run from front engine to rear battery– yielded 436 tested Amperes. A fresh Bosch 700 Amp battery at a discounted £161.93 became a priority: it actually harvested 974 Amps when tested!
Yes, it does start rather well now, kiss the key and we’re off!
Now down to the longer term work, which would cost £853.58 over two visits, including £142.26 in VAT. A full service was routine as I had cam belt and Haldex attended to a year earlier. Hidden items that could have cost me the car included the £19.52 brake light switch that aggravated not just the fault codes, but also deleted brake lights on a whim. Surprised I never had an angry traffic queue reaction to that one!
Second secretive items were the corroded rear brake pipes, which were promptly pictured and replaced on my second visit. Much labour time went into analysing that reported mutinous gearbox soundtrack. Finally two men tackled the investigation from road test and final jacked up stethoscope trace to the nearside front wheel bearing race as the source.
I’d spent slightly over half that total £850 bill, but the most important work was completed next, the £58.72 wheel bearings replaced along with those £115.10 rear brake pipes, which were visibly scabby. As Pete Jenkins tackled the rear brake pipes, he found evidence of wear in the vital — and substantial — rear suspension pinch bolt. The item cost only £2.90, complete with lock nut, but like the brake light control switch, failure could cost spectacularly more…
I am ecstatic that the prominent main road whines have been eliminated by the wheel bearing diagnosis and replacement, especially as I had financially braced myself for a gearbox rebuild. A prompt to that independent second opinion came from the opinions of Yeovil Audi, who had replaced only one Audi gearbox and that was on a different hatchback model, not a TT. Worth getting a second opinion if you are unsure/overawed by the likely cost of the original diagnosis.
Next, a furry life revival for soft Alcantara finishes around steering wheel, seat cushions, gear knob and hand brake. I just could not bring back that steering rim to my satisfaction, whatever specialist treatment I tried. The underside remains unpleasantly tacky in hot weather, so it has been booked into specialists Piper Leather outside Yeovil. That meant joining a 3.5 month waiting list, such is the demand for their leather automotive and household furniture trimming services.
The next two images show that the original equipment luggage net was pretty saggy by 88,000 miles. Replaced by non-factory item at a third of the cost, but the cheaper item not nearly so efficient or well made and has already broken a plastic securing clip…
I am enjoying this TT a lot more than when I bought it. Now I am anticipating adding more road trip adventures to the limited recent classic race track outings (two of which are pictured below).–Jeremy Walton