My Audi S2 index
I was still unhappy with the brakes on the car. The EBC pads which were now on the car, were not giving me the confidence I wanted. While they didn't vibrate, they were slow to warm up and be effective and they also had developed small cracks. This was similar but not as bad as the Pagid ones which were completely destroyed by German autobahn high speed stops.
I was on the lookout for new pads and was keen to try different brands. A well known Scottish company Star Performance were contacted and I was recommended G Force pads for fast road use. They were £70.00.which was less than I paid for the EBC but still expensive.
They also turned out to be incorrect. The catalogue number was GX78-250 which I was assured was correct for my car. I didn't really chase this up further but I should have done. I exchanged them for Tarox pads.
With MOT time looming, I knew I would have a hard time getting a pass with the rear lights. They worked but they were not right. I would frequently get multiple lights on when the brakes were pressed if the running lights were also on. I bought a pcb for the rear lights on the nearside. this was the side causing most of the problems. The part number for this was 895 945 221 - the cost for this was £37.00 delivered. While the offside was not perfect, it worked much better and I could get it in shape for the MOT.
Unfortunately, the car did fail the MOT but not for the lights. The handbrake was inoperative on the offside. This is a common failure on all Audis with the rear disc brakes. The rear brakes only do about 25-30% of braking and the rear calipers eventually start getting lazy.
I attempted to fix the caliper rather than having to get a new one. I was able to free the cam up by oiling it and moving it back and forth. Only problem was that once the handbrake was engaged, it wouldn't release properly. This is due to the spring not being strong enough to return the cam to the correct position against the stop.
There is a fix for this and it involves fitting new springs from a Ford Granada. The Ford part number is 6141147 and 6141148. You can see the springs here.
The Ford Granada used the same caliper as the Audi - the difference was that Audi used the caliper upside down. Unlike Audi, Ford sell the springs seperately. The new spring was sufficient to get an MOT pass, but I knew that a new caliper would be needed soon.
Within a week of the MOT pass, went out to the car to go somewhere and it was dead. Wouldn't even turn over on the starter. I suspected the battery and taking it to be tested confirmed this. A new Audi battery was quoted at a whopping £115.00. Rather than pay this I opted for a Lucas battery with sufficient cranking power for the S2. This battery was less than half the Audi price. It also came with the all important vent tube (more about this later).
While I had been working on the handbrake, the cable had been slightly damaged during my attempts to remove it from the siezed cam. I decided it was easier to replace it rather than risk another sticking handbrake. The cable protection plastic was catching on the inside of the outer sheath as it moved back and forward. A new cable for the offisde - part number 895 853 455 - was a very reasonable £11.09 delivered. It was relatively straightforward to fit. The S2 has a heatshield with a specific channel which the cable is routed through. Most difficult part was removing the handbrake at the Y piece under the handbrake lever. There are small circlips which must be removed to allow the cables to move freely. DO NOT allow these to get lost. The handbrake will not work without them. Total time to replace the cable and adjust was approximately 1 hour.
My temporary fix for the handbrake gave up the ghost. The handbrake gradually got worse until it stopped working again. Due to the driveway at my house being very steep, I need a working handbrake. I was forced into buying a replacement caliper. Phoning around different suppliers resulted in Euro Car Parts getting the business. Main reason for this was they had it in stock and they were also the cheapest at £88.99 less surcharge of £30.00. The actual caliper supplied was a Girling one which is the OEM.
Since I had had the rear brakes apart multiple times, replacing the caliper was easy and only took about 45 minutes.
The car approached and passed 100,000 miles so it required a service. My local VW dealer carried out the work for a reasonable £170.00. This included a brake fluid change to DOT 5.1 fluid and replacement of a front brake flexible hose. During routine inspection after a Crail trackday, I found a bulge in the hose. Not sure if it happened before or after. I'm just glad I found it These hoses are amazingly cheap. Part number is 893 611 707 and it only costs £4.67.
I was also warned that the front pads were low. This came as a suprise as they had only been on the car a short time and although Crail is hard on brakes I was still expecting roughly 30-40% wear. As it turned out, they were almost completely worn through and because they pads had been supplied with wear indicators which the S2 does not use, they had also started to split.
I'm not sure if these were the wrong ones or if I was unlucky. What I do know is that one Crail track day (I fitted them the day before) and about 6 weeks of driving had seen them wear down. The S2 is a second car for me so does not get used very often. I would not be buying Tarox pads again and I was not too pleased with Star Performance.
With a holiday looming and another visit to the Nurburgring beckoning, I had to get new pads again. I decided to try Dialynx for the first time. I have the greatest of respect for them and I know they drive their cars hard. Therefore, i was willing to take their advice on a pad which would work. They suggested a perfomance pad. This was not branded but was considered suitable for fast road use which was necessary due to the Tarox 40 groove discs fitted. They were also very reasonably priced at only £42 + vat. What really annoyed me though was charging £10 for carriage which pushed the total price up to the same as the Tarox ones.
Fitting the pads is straightforward but all was not perfect. Upon removing the old pads there was another problem. The overheating brakes from Crail had melted the piston seals. They had literally vanished. Drivers side was worse with only 1 seal still there and about 30% of it had gone. Passenger side was better as only 1 seal was damaged
Two days before going to Germany I was fitting new piston seals. A kit is available from dealers. Part number is 447 698 471. Note that one kit contains enough seals to do both calipers. The journey to Germany was going to be the running in period for the new pads. I was still planning to take the EBC pads as spares just in case.
. A trip to the Nurburgring again. We were there for 2 weeks with the first weekend spent at the track. The rest of that week was spent at a factory tour at Neckarsulm followed by a visit to the museum at Ingolstadt. The return journey included a stop off at a technical museum in Sinsheim. The middle weekend and a further 3 days were to be spent at the 'ring. Full trip details will be added to the site at a future date.
One thing I did discover was that the Performance pads supplied by Dialynx were poor. After 8 laps, which is roughly 100 miles, they were worn out. They had been run in during the 260 miles to Hull for the ferry, followed by a further 200 miles from the port of Amsterdam to Nurburg.
I always make a habit of taking tools with me and just as well. The guesthouse where we were staying had a garage and I was able to make use of this to change the pads over to the EBC ones. This was not ideal, as they were not in great condition and I did not fancy my chances at buying pads while in Germany. My German is school leverl quality and about 15+ years out of date.
Returned from Germany in one piece but with major vibrations from the brakes. Taking them apart revealed why - each pad was in 4 pieces instead of 1. They had split down the middle and the backing plate had also split. Despite this, the pad material still had about 5mm of material left. I bought a cheap pair of pads to do while I sourced the parts required for a brake upgrade. I had had enough of going through pads every 3 months.
I was able to source second hand Porsche 968 Club Sport calipers for £300 + vat. These are very similar to those used on the Audi RS2. This would allow me to use the brackets ( 8A0 615 125 A ) from the RS2 for mounting the calipers. I selected the Porsche calipers as they are black rather than red and they are more readily available. The brackets came from a company known as "The Parts Department" at a 50% discount compared to the Audi retail price. Unfortunately, this company ran into trading difficulties and no longer exists.However, a new company has been formed to replace it called VagParts. Martyn Franklin gives excellent service and I strongly recommend this company.
Flexi hoses (8A0 611 769) and bolts( N 100 880 01 / N 100 436 02) and damping washers( 8A0 615 231 D) were obtained through the Audi dealer network.
Discs proved to be the biggest problem. Due to the RS2 using a Porsche hub, the standard RS2 discs were of no use. A very helpful company by the name of MMV Performance in Stirling were able to provide a set of 2 piece discs in the required size. As it turned out these discs were not ideal but I didn't discover this until a year later so you can read about it in the diary 2002.
I started having voltage problems while I was preparing the upgrade kit. The voltage was approaching 14.5 volts so I knew something was not right. I at first suspected the alternator regulator and fitted a new one. This did not work, so I had the alternator tested by a local Bosch agent.The stator was diagnosed as faulty and they were able to repair it for £64.00 + vat. This is much less than that required for a new alternator and it only took 1 day.
The reason for the failure was the previously mentioned vent tube on the battery. At some point it had become detached from the battery. This meant the battery was not venting properly and overcharging. I was lucky that I caught this quickly and no more damage was done. I replaced the vent tube and topped up the battery with some distilled water. Fortunately the battery survived this but note that this could have resulted in a fire due to the explosive gases which batteries give off.