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Was up 6am both Sat. and Sun. to work on the car. Spent a good part of Sat. doing the timing belt, vacuum hoses and snub mount. Overall the job was pretty easy, it's amazing how little there is up front. The write up here and at audiworld were a huge help. Once the radiator is out it's a cake job. Got the water pump in, the new thermostat in, the new belts in, the new tensioner and pulley and the new snub mount went in like butter.. With the radiator out too the DV was easy to get at and cleaned it again for good piece of mind and then proceeded to put in all the new silicon vacuum hoses. Took an afternoon break to BBQ and drink with some friends, then messed with the thermostat piping to no avail and gave up finishing the job until Sunday. Sunday messed more with the PITA pipe over the thermostat and finished the job, lowered the car, started it up and it ran sort of funny, didn't have enough coolent so it sounded very 'grindy' and then I added more coolant until it was full and no more was going into the engine. It sounded great, I let it idle for a bit then take a run around the block without the front bumper to make sure it's okay and no CEL gets thrown or anything. Looks okay, now to start on the suspension.

Started on all the control arms. Started with the drivers side, got the uppers out and in no problem (except the bolt that holds the upper control arm 'studs' to the rest of the steering component was a PITA and i just ended up wacking at it). Only got the front lower control arm in and the tie rod end was pretty well frozen into the tie rod... then turned to the passenger side, again got the upper control arms out (but that one bolt was frozen again - so I had to wack at it) and only got the lower rear control arm in and no tie rod end because it was frozen.

so the suspension already feels amazing, it clunks over bumps still b/c of the tie rod ends being really loose. But the steering is really tight and snaps back straight ahead when you let go of the wheel. The old control arms were gone, I could move them with absolutely no effort, very different from the Meyle upgraded ones which are heavier overall and nice and stiff. NOTE: if you are lowered and have rims, if your control arms are shot and you hit a big bump your tire WILL HIT THE UPPER CONTROL ARM attachment bolt, my front tires are both rubbed out by that bolt, and the one is damaged and has to be replaced. Live and learn I suppose... The engine with the new snub mount is unbelievalbe, I have to relearn how to shift because the car is very smooth between gears now. It's amazing what a POS the old mount was, it was about 1/3 the size and weight as the new APR black snub.

and BTW, I don' think I'd ever do this to my car again, maybe I should have done one job this weekend and one job next, but laying around and kneeling that much is not fun, not fun at all...

-- Eric
 

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Good work. Suspensions up there must be hell with the rust. Everyone is so afraid of the TB,but it really is not hard.
I will be doing mine at the end of summer.
 
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