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Thread: Silicone or OEM hoses - RS4

  1. #1

    Default Silicone or OEM hoses - RS4

    Not finding a lot of information on this unfortunately .... i've read about the pros/cons of silicone hoses, but does anyone in the forum have a view on whether it is sensible replacing the cooling/radiator hoses on an RS4 B5 with silicone 'copies' from SAMCO (or any other branded producer)? The cost differential is significant, and from what I understand silicone hoses are superior in some cases (i.e. track/motorsport cars). Hands up that my knowledge is very limited here.

    thanks.

  2. #2

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    The OE hoses are fantastic, most are still functional after 20 years which is hard to beat. Big issue is the factory hoses are starting to become NLA through the dealers. There are some after-market hoses around and you might well luck onto hoses made by an OE provider. The alternative is silicone and I've been looking at those as a spare part to replace the OE hoses when they do go. Fact of life that even after-market hoses will drop out of stock eventually so better get in before that happens. A large number of people have used the silicone kits with no issues that have been mentioned. No idea of their lifespan though.

    I'd be inclined to just monitor your hoses at the moment and buy in a set of whatever takes your fancy. No point in changing out the whole set if they are still functional. Worthwhile revisiting that when you do a timing belt service as accessibility makes the change an easy task.
    C5 RS6: APR, Milltek & Wagner -- B5 RS4 : tastefully modified -- C5 2.7 allroad -- B5 A4 1.8 quattro 132 Kw -- UNIMOG 404 TLF8

  3. #3

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    Thanks. You've hit the nail on the head so to speak - currently undertaking a major service including timing belt etc - so thinking it's an opportunity to switch out some of the hoses as a few are starting to show their age. Just trying to weigh up the 'well-taxed(!)' Audi options vs SAMCO. I have read that silicone hoses don't last well around oil/fuel, which seems odd given their location!

    Any thoughts on whether using silicone hoses is seen as a modification - i.e. potential impact to vehicle value in the distant future if it comes time to sell?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBPhil View Post
    Thanks. You've hit the nail on the head so to speak - currently undertaking a major service including timing belt etc - so thinking it's an opportunity to switch out some of the hoses as a few are starting to show their age. Just trying to weigh up the 'well-taxed(!)' Audi options vs SAMCO. I have read that silicone hoses don't last well around oil/fuel, which seems odd given their location!

    Any thoughts on whether using silicone hoses is seen as a modification - i.e. potential impact to vehicle value in the distant future if it comes time to sell?

    Silicone is good around many fuels and lubes and certainly works with most systems. You get oil carry over in the turbo system for example and yet the hoses of many inter-coolers etc are silicone.

    The only thing with OE is you know their lifespan whereas you'll be testing the waters with silicone. It's possible that you could end up paying the same or more with silicone for a 20 year life, or you make save a bundle!!!

    I don't see silicone as a mod, although many do, it's a hose for a job. The time will come when that may be all you'll get. A future buyer may well have to choose between silicone or nothing.
    C5 RS6: APR, Milltek & Wagner -- B5 RS4 : tastefully modified -- C5 2.7 allroad -- B5 A4 1.8 quattro 132 Kw -- UNIMOG 404 TLF8

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBPhil View Post
    Not finding a lot of information on this unfortunately .... i've read about the pros/cons of silicone hoses, but does anyone in the forum have a view on whether it is sensible replacing the cooling/radiator hoses on an RS4 B5 with silicone 'copies' from SAMCO (or any other branded producer)? The cost differential is significant, and from what I understand silicone hoses are superior in some cases (i.e. track/motorsport cars). Hands up that my knowledge is very limited here.

    thanks.
    Just a view as I age and that little hoon bastard inside is put back in its box more, but I think the key to cars such as a b5 rs4 going forward is to keep them stock as a rock with performance tweaks that are reversible. . I think going forward originality is key and go factory hoses and refreshed factory hose clamps. I recently went on a sat night light lights jdm affair and just shook my head on cars worth in excess of $ 160k with shiny engine bays running cheap arse ebay silicon hoses and no name brand tyres. If you tinker into performance and reliability, boost leaks and wearing of 20 year old rubber bits is to me is where enjoyment and ownership meet at a cross road. Factory for me now over a bit of bling unless the hose is known to go. Eg F hoses. My experience is unless its a specially designed bit of hose for to work with a specific upgrade, its samco or forge. Had both on a b5 s4 and good fitment I think fitment is the key priority for silicon hoses as they are not all alike and the price difference mainly comes down to paying for fitment.Then you need to consider hose clamps as not all clamps are alike if not sticking to factory

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by smit2100 View Post
    Just a view as I age and that little hoon bastard inside is put back in its box more, but I think the key to cars such as a b5 rs4 going forward is to keep them stock as a rock with performance tweaks that are reversible. . I think going forward originality is key and go factory hoses and refreshed factory hose clamps. I recently went on a sat night light lights jdm affair and just shook my head on cars worth in excess of $ 160k with shiny engine bays running cheap arse ebay silicon hoses and no name brand tyres. If you tinker into performance and reliability, boost leaks and wearing of 20 year old rubber bits is to me is where enjoyment and ownership meet at a cross road. Factory for me now over a bit of bling unless the hose is known to go. Eg F hoses. My experience is unless its a specially designed bit of hose for to work with a specific upgrade, its samco or forge. Had both on a b5 s4 and good fitment I think fitment is the key priority for silicon hoses as they are not all alike and the price difference mainly comes down to paying for fitment.Then you need to consider hose clamps as not all clamps are alike if not sticking to factory

    Probably not a fair observation, my friend. Aside from the hoon bastards, there are at least two classes of owner aside from the just drive it type. Those who bling it up and use EBay to source the cheapest parts and those who engineer their cars and pay and pay and pay. Point I make is that the factory hoses are great but they will not be available for ever. At that point your only option is aftermarket. "Rubber" based OE hose copies are less available than silicone and you have Samco and D088 amongst others to choose from. I do not see hoses as a bling piece, they are to contain fluid or air to service the motor etc. Eventually no museum piece RS4 will be driveable if the criteria is OE hoses.
    C5 RS6: APR, Milltek & Wagner -- B5 RS4 : tastefully modified -- C5 2.7 allroad -- B5 A4 1.8 quattro 132 Kw -- UNIMOG 404 TLF8

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