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Thread: Another tuned B9 S4

  1. #1

    Default Another tuned B9 S4

    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    I bought my B9 S4 just prior to the first entry of Covid into Australia and wanted to wait until I had something interesting for everyone to read prior to posting.

    I’ve been around the VAG scene for a while now, having first entered the foray in the mid noughties with a Mk5 Golf GTi. I did all the usual modifications at the time (& wasted plenty of money) and socialised quite a bit on the GolfMkV.com forums. Fun times. I then moved onto a Mk6 manual Golf GTD - my favourite car of all time. It was a cracker and lightly modified because it suited my uses. That car was so spectacularly good I kept it in the family & gave it to my Dad. It’s still going strong after 250 000Km and does not burn a drop of oil between changes. It’s still on the original clutch and hasn’t missed a beat.
    I then went with a Mk7.5 Golf TDi (I had a bit of a diesel fetish) with all the fruit and once again a truly great car - we kept it in the family by giving it to my Wife’s parents.

    I have always liked sedans (Wife hates them) and always liked the idea of a ‘sleeper’ car. I’m too old to be interested in making things loud and noticeable - I like the idea of tasteful modifications and ones that don’t compromise the usability of the vehicle. Call me middle aged….
    I was originally going to get a E63S AMG but thought the extra $$$ were not really worth it considering my usage of a vehicle - I thought I could get something for less than half that price and then spend maybe 20K to get essentially the same performance figures in a car that had 90% of the appeal of the Benz.

    I get my kicks on the track with two wheels - I have a highly modified road motorcycle as well as a dedicated track bike for speed urges. I don’t need a compromised road car with an unbearable ride for daily use.

    Enter the S4. I managed to get my hands on a very low km model with all the options boxes ticked - tricky diff, massage seats etc etc. A nice standard ride. I echo Dingah’s sentiments regarding this vehicle. It hits the mark in so many ways. It’s such a competent vehicle and so perfect for my needs. It’s the right size, shape and has a great build quality and is pretty much anonymous on the roads - something that is exactly what I wanted (it looks just like any other vanilla A4). OEM specs are perfectly adequate but naturally I come from a modifying background and thought it would be the ideal car to fettle moderately with a view to keeping it for a while. The OEM ride is sublime with the magnetic dampers. It’s enough to be fun in ‘dynamic’ mode but not with a bone shattering ride day to day. I did not want lowering springs even though it would ‘look’ better because I’m happy with the ride height flexibility. The engine is a peach - standard specs 270KW/500Nm are more than adequate for these highly policed roads. The torque band is sublime with mumbo from around 1200rpm all the way up. It’s just syrupy smooth without being obnoxious. Oodles of nice torque everywhere. That being said I wanted just a little bit more….

    I started looking into flash tunes but they were in their infancy for this ECU and engine when I began looking. The ECU hadn’t even been ‘cracked’ by the aftermarket tuners when I first started looking!

    It was just happenstance when I learnt the ECU was cracked and tunes started to be become available. It was around the time of Covid entering Australia and global shipping was not completely cost prohibitive like it was now. The Aussie dollar was also considerably stronger against the greenback.

    I stumbled across TTE Global (the crazy German turbo engineers) after a friend of mine who’s into Porsche GT3s had mentioned them as many of his friends had modified their turbo Porsches successfully. I just got really lucky and found their ‘development mule’ OEM turbo was up for sale in 5XX guise. They were practically giving it away and I found out their Australian distributor lived in a suburb very close to me. After a few calls and emails I managed to get this beast shipped business-to-business so I didn’t have to pay for shipping or import duties etc. I got a stellar deal without having to send them my OEM turbo so I have a backup of going back to stock if anything turns ‘pear-shaped’.

    I started a little list of the usual bolt ons to support a turbo upgrade such as intercooler/downpipe/charge pipes etc etc.. Again I scored so lucky as everything was bought and shipped pre 'Covid-tax'. I even managed to get a set of APR S01 forged wheels for an absolute steal and did not have to pay customs etc. Shipping back then was less than $USD200 for these beauties (hard to believe now!!).

    Some other nice cosmetic things flowed my way too such as a gorgeous carbon/alcantara steering wheel.

    The engine and minor drivetrain mods were completed by my local mechanic who is a VAG expert. Everything bolted on perfectly and was torqued and secured to last forever. The car was then flat-bedded to Jay Keanly at ZadTech Performance (Celtic Tuning) in Brookvale. He was prepared with his parent UK company to use my car as a development mule as a complete custom tune was required.

    The end result was truly amazing. The car was tuned from a stock ~200AWKW to 300AWKW with no change in shape of power/torque curves from OEM. So basically the car drives exactly as stock with just more power and torque everywhere. The car is making more power at 3500rpm than the stock version at redline :) The intercooler is phenomenal with IATs unchanged after repeated dyno runs back to back (OEM intercooler is so tiny and suffers from heat soak after two runs).
    It’s so, so fast without being obnoxious. 0-100 km/h is in the low to mid 3s now. The downpipe is very short on these vehicles and is where all the resistance to flow is. The CTS turbo downpipe with high flow cat helps to unleash this engine and provides just the right growl without being obnoxious. The car sounds like it has an aftermarket exhaust when the OEM flapper is open in ‘dynamic mode’ but is pretty close to stock quiet when it’s closed. No need to waste money with a cat-back exhaust on this car. Again - so, so perfect for me.

    I’ve driven 15 000 Km without any issues whatsoever with this tune and don’t regret it for a second. The car is so perfect and makes me genuinely happy every time I drive it. It’s a complete sleeper and will easily dispatch 98% of other vehicles on the road in terms of pace but you would never know looking at it. I could have easily gone more nuts and used a 7XX turbo from TTE and tuned it to ~500kw but the OEM drivability would have suffered. Most of the power develops much later in the rpm range and a cold air intake would have been required and I’m too old for intake sounds now! I’m happy with mumbo from 1200rpm like stock.

    I installed a direct TPMS kit myself and that makes me happy too seeing it on the virtual cockpit. The only modification left for me to do is install the 12 inch RSNav S4 (which I have) when I get the time. Hope you’ve enjoyed my little story and welcome me to the OzAudi community.

    Cheers,
    Doug

    List of mods:

    • TTE 5XX turbo + Forge turbo blanket
    • Integrated Engineering FDS intercooler
    • ECS tuning hard piping to basically everything that has air pressure (charge pipes etc)
    • CTS Turbo downpipe
    • Mishimoto catch can - really not sure I should have bothered as blow-by is minimal on this vehicle
    • Custom Celtic Tuning ECU and TCU tune
    • APR S01 forged wheels OEM size (5Kg lighter per corner than OEM)
    • Various suspension and drivetrain urethane bushes
    • Stainless steel brake lines
    • 034 Motorsport rear sway bar
    • Direct TPMS kit
    • Carbon/alcantara tiller
    • Hidden/stealth Westfalia tow bar (I tow my track bike and home trailer every now and then)
    • RS Nav S4 12 inch screen/MMI (to fit)


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    Last edited by YouSnooze; November 22nd, 2022 at 04:14 PM.

  2. #2

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    Great first post YouSnooze - always interesting to hear people’s car backstories and how they came to own their Audi.

    The S4 has always played the sleeper role very well, and the B9 probably represents the high point in terms of performance potential (B5 was also a favourite in this regard).

    Sounds like you’ve got yours dialed in very nicely - look forward to hearing more about your experience and mods to the car over time.

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