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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This FEELER has gone ACTIVE. You can go to current buy thread here.

Mods: please lock up this thread.

Note: this may also work with the B5—I have not inspected a set of B5 hinges as yet. If they are the same design, then we can all rock on together.
;)

I have been getting prices on CAD machining of the self-opening trunk hinge parts I fabricated last month. I have an early bid back using 304 Stainless Steel, 5mm thick, machined flat and then I would form and tap the blanks.

All hardware would also be stainless, except for the connecting nuts (used to set off the spring from the arm and extension) which will be in polished zinc plate and the extension springs which will be in matte zinc finish.

I have updated the design to work with non-Audi extension springs, which saves a lot of money, and since the parts will all be stainless, I am probably going to offer these in brushed or polished finish with clear coat.

Here's a look again at the prototype, the stainless version with the non-Audi springs will be assembled as soon as I get the parts from Fastenal.

The stainless version has thicker brackets for strength (brackets pictured are ~3.25mm or 1/8", 304 stainless parts will be 7-gauge or 3/16"), more radius corners, and flush-finished connector bolts where threaded through.



And here's a look at the mod in action:


So I have been adding up the costs and the parts fabrication is the big ticket, but I think I can make it work at $160/set, including USPS Priority Mail shipping. Price will likely go down a bit once I get some competitive bids for parts machining and/or if initial interest is greater than 25 sets.

So with $160 as the cap, who's interested? (new price from local parts fabricator, post amended 3/22/2012)
Keith :wrench:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can you shoot a picture of your trunk hinge from several angles? I just don't have a B5 layin' around to poke under the deck lid...

;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Running list of interesteds

I am subscribed so I will update this periodically as more join the party:
  1. keithwbloom
  2. mrgreek2002
  3. Paladin Rider
  4. ElliottG
  5. flashburn
  6. mcseforsale
  7. pablitormDub
  8. DerhsLacidar
  9. swcrow17
  10. vwb5t
  11. VAGguy (B5 A4)
  12. macaddict (B5)
  13. shaggy1071 (B5)
  14. radhoo
Estimate update 03/14/2012: With a design change, I have simplified production and reduced cost by $5 per pair from original bidder.

:wrench:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
me too, but Keith you will need to help me with the install
Sure Pablo! Installation is 15 minutes and a cordless drill. Can do at VAGFest if they are ready. Else the driveway at your office over coffee and we're done. ;)

:wrench:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
no redrilling right?
Redrilling? In the trunk lid? No. Two 6mm holes need be drilled in each hinge arm for the extension brackets, but the anchor bracket mounts using the existing 14mm flange nut that secures the hinge to the trunk lid.

I need to add that B5ers with stiff/binding hinges, this mod will not in itself make your trunk hinges work as they should. If you did not do the trunk hinge replacement recall service, then I will try to work on a solution for that. I went to a scrap yard this morning and found several B5s with intact trunk hinges I may harvest to rework off the car so I can drill them on my drill press more precisely. In checking each of the donor cars, I was reminded about the pre-recall hinge performance on my B5.5 (it sucked, needed a winch to pen the lid some days). There is probably a fix for that. And I expect I can cycle some hinges through my shop with the fix and the self-opening mod installed for those who would want to trade out/send me their cores.

And let me say OMG! I have now definitely been bitten by the junk yard bug. It is going to take a lot of will power not to veer off the roadway at every one I see now to poke and root through VW and Audi carcasses. I got a wood grain Climatronic trim piece for $1 that I am going to use to test a refinishing process to convert my walnut burl pieces to onyx persimmon birdseye maple veneer. What fun!

BTW, I found at least three intact B5 tails in very good condition (two R one L) that I may grab for my custom LED tails project to cater to the B5ers.

Keith
 

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Junk yard fever is fun! Normally everything works out so expensively on these cars... It's awesome when you get something cheap!

My vehicle is going to the paint shop soon... Any idea if one might be available soon-ish?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Working the stainless machinist bids now. Not likely ready to go for another 3-4 weeks, minimum. Do you need your hinges painted? I am thinking the stainless will look cool brushed and lacquered/clear coated.
 

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Wow! You are on it! My car will be in the paint shop more than 4 weeks so it may work out that THEY can install the new hinges when they put the trunk back on :) that's all I was thinking... But no rush on my sake, I'm sure I can figure out a way to do the install even if the shop has already finished by the time these are ready


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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I'm in!. Maybe you could save a bit on shipping by sending mine with mrgreeks.. then we could have a garage minute installing these! Sweetness. I'm thinking this looks like a sweet trick... what else do you got up your sleeve?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
UPDATE: Price cap lowered $15 from $175 to $160 due to lower local fabrication bid for stainless parts. Does that motivate any fence-sitters? ;)

B5ers: I am picking up a set of B5 hinges this weekend to apply alternate .120 gauge spring mod to for confirmation, but I think those who have discussed theirs with me are all on board it will work.

B5.5ers: It works. No confirmation needed. Hit myself chin several times with opening boot lid until I reprogrammed myself not to lean in and reach down after popping trunk lock with remote. :cool:

Keith
 
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