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What would Uncle Jessie do?

Old 06-08-2018, 09:08 PM
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Default What would Uncle Jessie do?

Hello all, looking for some advice and maybe some empathy, or possibly a sympathetic ear and a drinking partner!

I bought a low mileage, dealer maintained A6 2.7T mt6 back in 2015. It was my second such car in the last 10 years. It had 65K when I got it, lived most of its life under a car cover in a NYC parking lot. I put in a new top-of-the-line timing belt immediately, then upgraded the suspension, brakes, whatever else it needed when it needed it. Added an APR tune at Waterfest, then found the factory clutch with 100K+ wouldn't hold so I backed it off. Kept it maintained with fresh synthetic oil and filter every 8K and whatever else wore down.

Since 2015 I put about 80K easy highway miles on it, getting ready for the next major maintenance.

I started collecting parts and upgrades over the last year: RS4 clutch kit when they went on sale, deluxe timing kit when they went on sale, and valve cover gasket set, plus misc stuff worth replacing when you had to pull the trans out to replace a clutch. Stuff like new transmission mounts, drive axle because mine had a torn boot, Fuchs trans fluid.

The usual suspects.

I planned to have the clutch done at a reputable recommended shop, and planned to do the timing belt myself. When I scheduled the clutch replacement (at 153K), I asked to have the timing kit added to the maintenance schedule since it was still cold outside and I figured the car was already in a maintenance state for this major job . Full RS4 Clutch kit pilot bushing DMF to throw out bearing, fluid flush and all seals, new c/v axle, timing belt kit and valve cover gaskets, and carte blanche to highlight whatever else it needed.

Shop did the job and got the car back to me and everything seemed great. I saw the flywheel and clutch that came out and it definitely didnít want to play anymore!

I figured all the routine stuff was done, fresh clutch, fresh timing belt, fresh fluids... I was going to get another 100K out of this car I loved to drive!

But fate was a cruel mistress my friend. On the way home from work, after finishing my 50-mile highway run home, the car dropped to (rough) idle on the exit ramp. The car shut off and I coasted to a side street. I tried to start the car, and I knew immediately what had happened.

Timing failure. With only 1,474 miles after a complete timing belt maintenance.

The car was towed back to the shop and, so far, the report is the idler pulley bolt snapped, resulting in the valves getting frisky with the pistons.

Catastrophic failure. #frowneyface

So after a couple of conversations with the shop owner, here is where I'm at:

- The shop owner claims they did not supply the parts. This is accurate, they did not, but a well-respected, well known supplier recommended on all the forums did, and I trusted the shop to perform a professional install. This wasnít a cheap installation,and it wasnít a cheap kit, itís the same one I used in 3 years earlier and had originally planned to put in myself
- Shop feels it is component failure and doesn't feel they are responsible for damages and repairs; they are willing to assist in repairs, and cap labor costs to the best of their ability.

I have not talked to supplier of timing kit yet

If I can persuade the parts distributor to provide a replacement timing kit, plus valve cover gaskets, plus intake gaskets, plus valves and seals to rebuild heads, free of charge, and the shop caps the labor at $2k, and I pay to get heads rebuilt, Iím looking at another $2,500 - $3K repair.

I know life isnít supposed to be fair, butÖ

If the timing belt failed due to neglect, I would just scrap the car. But itís got a brand new RS4 clutch, all trans and diff seals have been replaced, trans flushed, new timing kit, new valve cover gaskets, all other maintenance has been done (ie aux water pump), and I put brand new summer tires on it. Parts labor and tires Iím in $4,500 over the last month. For a car worth a maybe $4k.

But I love to drive it!

So that is what brings me here, looking for advice or sanity check or smack upside the head from anyone that s been in this position, or someone that can talk sense into me and tell me to sell it for parts or scrap and by an Infinti or Cadillac or god-forbid a Lexus!

But I love to drive it!

SO my question isÖ

What would Uncle Jessie do?
pballwizard is offline  
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