Ti Kan: Audi - My S4 2.7 biturbo quattro

Gallery 2

The following are some pictures of the car. Some of these were taken before all the modifications listed below were done. Click on any image to enlarge.

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Modification/Upgrade History

February 2003: I upgraded the stock Xenon HID headlight housings to OEM European specification units (made by Valeo). This resulted in significantly better beam pattern, due to a different shutter design. The Euro housings also have city lights and clear corner lenses (no orange filter).

February 2004: The car now rides on B6 Audi S4-V8 18x8J ET45 Avus-design wheels, shod with Continental SportContact2 235/40ZR18 91Y tires. To fit these, I had to add 5mm thick H&R hubcentric aluminum spacers to both front and rear with matching longer wheel bolts. Also new are a set of "Eurolocks" anti-theft wheel locks.

November 2005: I Installed a new Audi/PhatNoise digital audio system in place of the factory CD changer in the trunk. See pictures below. I was able to rip over 400 CDs worth of music onto a single 20GB DMS cartridge. Instead of using the supplied PhatNoise Media Manager software for ripping, I used my own software xmcd on Linux (most in lossless FLAC format). I also used the PhatVoice software to generate the voice prompts, which allows me to tailor the voice announcements for better pronunciation.

January 2006: The PhatNoise DMS catridge was upgraded to a 80GB unit.

July 2006: I upgraded the tail lights to use LED bulbs. These bulbs are slightly brighter than stock, will never burn out (rated over 100000 hours of operation), and have super-fast turn-on and turn-off times for instant attention. The following table shows the application:

 Stock bulbLED replacement bulbVendor
Turn signal/hazard light 1156 (21W) Luxeon 1156-RLX3 (red) Super Bright LEDs
Tail light/brake light 1157 (5W/21W) Luxeon 1157-RLX3 (red) Super Bright LEDs
Reverse light 1156 (21W) Luxeon TerraLUX V-Star1 TLE-12W (white) LuxeonStar

Each of these LED bulbs utilize a single LED rather than an array, and plug into the stock tail light sockets, with no cutting or housing modifications needed. The wide light angle of 130° means that the reflectors and lenses in the tail light housing are still utilized for the total light emission.

Additional load resistors must be installed to maintain the turn signal blink rate and keep the car's auto-check system from displaying a bulb-malfunction condition. I used 10Ω 25W resistors for the turn signal/hazard lights, and 25Ω 10W resistors for the other bulbs. These are the Arcol aluminum power resistors, HS25 and HS10 series from Mouser.com. The resistors are mounted on a heatsink for proper dissipation. With these resistors, everything functions perfectly and yet the total power consumption is still less than the stock bulbs.

April 2007: I upgraded the interior rear view mirror to one from an 2004 Audi S4. The original mirror was an electronic mirror with auto-dimming, but the new mirror also has a digital compass display in the upper right hand corner. There is a pushbutton switch that enables the auto-dimming and compass features to be (independently) turned on and off. The Audi part number of the new mirror is 8E0 857 511 A 01C. It required minor trimming of the mirror's plastic wiring cover to fit, but is otherwise plug-and-play.

August 2007: I replaced the front brake pads with EBC Red pads, and installed new OEM front brake discs.

November 2007: I replaced the engine turbo diverter valves to the updated version, Audi part number 06A 145 710N (Bosch 0 280 142 114). See mike01s4's articles (part 1, part 2) about testing results of various diverter valves.

I also replaced the after-run coolant pump thermoswitch with one that is rated at a lower temperature (original was Audi part number 357 919 369F, rated at 112°C, the replacement is 021 919 369, rated at 93°C/88°C). This turns on the reverse coolant pump and auxiliary fan after engine shutoff for up to 10 minutes to reduce heat-soak, and should help extend the turbos' longevity. This AudiWorld tech article provides the full details.

June 2009: Another lighting upgrade: This time it's a lot. I changed the tail light housings to the "Crystal Red/White" units made by FK of Germany. These housings have a larger band of clear lens extending across the entire width of the light. Unlike the stock tail lights, the FK has both the turn signal/hazard and the reverse light bulbs behind the clear lens area. It allows me to change to amber colored LEDs for the turn signal rather than the previous red. The FK housing's lens design also looks more distinctive than the stock unit, but remains understated and elegant. I re-wired the load resistors that I added in 2006 to the new tail lights (needed to prevent the car's auto check system from reporting bulb malfunctions). The gallery photos above, starting from dsc02566.jpg through dsc02570.jpg show the FK tail lights.



I updated the tail light bulbs to 5W multi-LED high power bulbs. These 1156/1157 bulbs are brighter than the 3W single-LED versions I installed previously, and have a much wider lighting angle (220° vs. 130°). I also replaced the four center high-mount brake light bulbs to high power red LEDs. I had to add a 30Ω 25W load resistor to the center brake light circuit to prevent the auto-check system from sporadically reporting a bulb malfunction.



The license plate lights are also updated to cool-white LEDs with heatsink. These are made by Ziza, will not melt the lamp housing, and does not require load resistors.



The interior front and rear overhead dome light/map light bulbs, and the two luggage compartment bulbs were changed to cool-white LEDs. The fade-in, fade-out effect of the interior lights still works after the change to LEDs.



Lastly, the "city lights" in the front European Xenon HID lamp housings were changed to BAx9s blue LEDs.



 StockModVendor
Tail light housings (pair) Audi 8D0 945 095 H and 8D0 945 096 H FK Crystal Red/White FKRL553 ECS Tuning (part number 9474)
Turn signal/hazard light (2 pcs.) 1156 (21W) Luxeon 1156-ALX5 (amber) Super Bright LEDs
Tail light/brake light (2 pcs.) 1157 (5W/21W) Luxeon 1157-RLX5 (red) Super Bright LEDs
Reverse light (2 pcs.) 1156 (21W) Luxeon 1156-WLX5 (cool white) Super Bright LEDs
License plate light (2 pcs.) 37mm festoon style (5W) Ziza T10W37KT-14 (cool white) ECS Tuning (part number 259644)
Center-mount brake lights W5W (194) wedge style (5W) Luxeon WLED-RHP (red) Super Bright LEDs
City lights (for Euro Xenon headlight housings, 2 pcs.) H6W (BAx9s) (6W) BAx9s high power LED (blue) 42 Draft Designs
Interior dome lights (front, 2 pcs.) 42mm festoon style (10W) Luxeon 4210-CWHP6 (cool white) Super Bright LEDs
Interior map lights (front and rear, 4 pcs.) BA9s (5W) Luxeon BA9s-CWHP6 (cool white) Super Bright LEDs
Luggage compartment lighting (2 pcs.) 37mm festoon style (5W) Luxeon 3710-CWHP6 (cool white) Super Bright LEDs

February 2010: The rear brake pads are replaced with EBC Red.

March 2010: All four tires were replaced with Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 in 235/40R18 91Y.

September 2010: Yet another tail light upgrade. I swapped out the FK housings for a pair of Audi B5 A4/S4 red/clear LED tail lights from EPP. When lit, the LED array formation, along with the fast on/off time of the LEDs, make more of a visual impact. The tail lights are otherwise stock-looking and does not look gawdy or "aftermarket".



There are two versions of this tail light -- with and without load resistors. I had previously wired my own load resistors, so I got the version without them. The tail lights came wired for the pre-facelift Audi tail light connector pin-out so I had to make a wiring modification. I also changed the assignment of the lights as follows:



These tail lights have built-in red LED arrays for the brake/tail and fog (reassigned to turn signal) light sections. The back up light and turn signal (reassigned to fog light) sections have 1156 sockets, and come with standard incandescent bulbs. Instead of these bulbs, I reused the 5W Luxeon 1156-WLX5 cool white LED bulbs that I used previously in the FK housings for the back up lights, and the 3W Luxeon 1156-RLX3 red LED bulbs for the fog lights. The "white"portion of the new tail light lens is completely clear so you can see these bulbs in there prominently. The gallery photos above, starting from dsc02937a.jpg through dsc02958a.jpg show the updated tail lights.

Here is an updated list of my lighting mods:

 StockModVendor
Tail light housings (pair) Audi 8D0 945 095 H and 8D0 945 096 H Red/clear LED tail lights for Audi A4/S4 B5 sedan EPP AZAL02
Turn signal/hazard light (2 pcs.) 1156 (21W) LED array built-in to tail light -
Tail light/brake light (2 pcs.) 1157 (5W/21W) LED array built-in to tail light -
Reverse light (2 pcs.) 1156 (21W) Luxeon 1156-WLX5 (cool white) Super Bright LEDs
License plate light (2 pcs.) 37mm festoon style (5W) Ziza T10W37KT-14 (cool white) ECS Tuning (part number 259644)
Center-mount brake lights W5W (194) wedge style (5W) Luxeon WLED-RHP (red) Super Bright LEDs
City lights (for Euro Xenon headlight housings, 2 pcs.) H6W (BAx9s) (6W) BAx9s high power LED (blue) 42 Draft Designs
Interior dome lights (front, 2 pcs.) 42mm festoon style (10W) Luxeon 4210-CWHP6 (cool white) Super Bright LEDs
Interior map lights (front and rear, 4 pcs.) BA9s (5W) Luxeon BA9s-CWHP6 (cool white) Super Bright LEDs
Luggage compartment lighting (2 pcs.) 37mm festoon style (5W) Luxeon 3710-CWHP6 (cool white) Super Bright LEDs

September 2010: All four tires were damaged by a lateral road construction ditch. Goodyear no longer makes the Eagle F1 GS-D3 in 235/40-18, so I replaced them with a new set of Continental ExtremeContact DW (rated 95Y) in the same size. The Avus "S" wheels were also repaired to restore roundness.

June 2011: The PhatNoise DMS catridge was upgraded to 320GB, now containing over 1000 albums.

March 2012: My stock right side Xenon HID headlight bulb went out and the left side is showing a bit of pink hue, so it was a good time to upgrade them to a newer generation product. The original bulbs (factory fitted from Audi) were Osram Xenarc 66040 D2S, I replaced them with the newer Osram Xenarc 66240CBI D2S. The CBI suffix stands for "Cool Blue Intense" and is different from the regular Osram Xenarc 66240. The 66240CBI is rated at 3400 lumens and 5000K color temperature, compared to the stock bulb's 3200 lumens and 4300K. This is currently the only available bulb above 4300K that does not trade lumens for color temperature (i.e., despite the slightly bluer tint, they are not dimmer than the original bulbs).

Installation is easy. The 66240CBIs are direct drop-in replacements. On the driver side, the power steering fluid reservoir decorative cover needs to be pulled off to get enough wiggle room at the back of the headlight assembly. Similarly on the passenger side, a section of the air-intake plastic pipe needs to be removed for access.

The new bulbs are still breaking in, but my impression so far is that they are definitely bright (especially compared to my old, worn-out ones), and the light is simply a cooler white compared to the originals. It's not a big change looking at the headlights directly, but cast the light on a white wall at night and the difference is unmistakable. With the Valeo European headlight housings installed previously (see February 2003 above), the real eye-opening change happens on the road, where the new bulbs light up the road and surroundings with more contrast and detail.

The original, blown Osram 66040 The new Osram 66240CBI


July 2012: The front brake discs started to warp, so this was the opportunity for an upgrade. I selected the StopTech slotted and cryogentically-treated sport rotors. With the EBC Red brake pads, the braking performance and feel are excellent.



August 2012: I was experiencing occasional hesitation during hard acceleration, and thought that it might be due to worn out spark plugs. They are past due for replacement. I replaced the stock NGK Laser Platinums (PFR6Q) with Denso Iridium Power Plugs (IK20 5304), re-gapped to 0.030". The old plugs were definitely past their prime, and the gaps had widened to some 0.040" to 0.045". The new plugs not only fixed the hesitation, the car seems smoother-running overall.



February 2013: I upgraded the rear brake discs to StopTech slotted to match the front discs. New EBC Red pads were also installed.

April 2013: To take advantage of the "Spring into Power Sale" at APR, I upgraded the ECU to their stage 1 software in the "full load" configuration, with four programs to choose from (selected via the cruise control stalk):
  1. Stock program - same as factory
  2. 91 octane "chipped" program
  3. 93 octane "chipped" program
  4. 100 octane "race" program
In addition, the following options were included, which are also controlled via the cruise control stalk.
  1. Fault code erase
  2. Throttle body alignment
  3. Security lockout (enable/disable password access to program switching)
This upgrade did not actually replace the ECU, nor was it necessary to change out the chip inside. The new code is flashed via the car's OBDII port with what APR calls "DirectPort Programming". The installation was done at an authorized APR installer, all within one hour, much of which was spent with the tech setting up and checking the various configurations via his laptop computer.

Without any other mechanical modification, this alone transforms the performance from quick to blitzkrieg. As you step on it, the car now seem to reel-in the horizon without effort, and the accelerative force pushes you against the seat like a rocket launch. This is how a twin-turbo is supposed to perform! It's intoxicating.

The dyno numbers are illuminating. Even with the 91 octane program, the increase in power from stock is 250hp vs. 307hp. That alone doesn't tell the whole story. The torque increase is massive, from 258 lb-ft to 366 lb-ft. That's a 108 lb-ft gain. Switch to the 93 octane program, and the power climbs further to 318hp and 382 lb-ft torque. APR does not appear to publish the 100 octane program's power and torque figures, but it must be frighteningly fast.



Unlike traditional car tuning and hot-rodding, where getting more top-end horsepower usually means shifting the power curve up the RPM range and hurting the low-end performance, this ECU upgrade gives up nothing. There is more power and more torque everywhere, from idle to redline. A fat torque curve is what makes the B5 S4 so deceptively quick. With the ECU upgrade, this 13 year old Audi leap frogs into the supercar performance category. The car's basic goodness is unaffected, the idle is as smooth as stock, and it remains docile and responsive when driving in street traffic. It can still accelerate smoothly from less than 30mph in 6th gear (engine is barely above idle) with no hint of complaint.

Obviously, this modification means more stress to the engine and turbos. APR advertises that their ECU upgrade is developed to work within the OEM and Tier 1 Supplier specifications for engine component stress tolerances and performance specifications. I am also not one to abuse the car, so I am confident that the car will continue to run reliably.

I am a bit late to this chipping game but I am glad I did it. The S4 is a perfect candidate for this type of upgrade.

February 2016: My front brake discs warped again. It seems that the StopTech disc + EBC Red combination just doesn't play well together. This time I replaced the front brake discs with ECS Tuning slotted discs with GEOMET coating, and Mintex RedBox MDB2120D brake pads.


May 2016: The PhatNoise DMS catridge was upgraded to a Crucial MX200 500GB mSATA SSD with a 2.5" mSATA-to-IDE adapter board, Everything fits neatly into the PhatnNoise DMS without modification.

September 2016: The front headlights' "city light" LED bulbs installed in June 2009 failed. The bulb portion became separated from the base, and the light became intermittent. I replaced them with new 13-SMD LED H7W/BA9s tower bulbs. These are brighter than the old single LED bulbs and produce an interesting effect on the rear reflector. They also emit a light spectrum closely matched to that of the main HID xenon headlights.



I also installed daytime running lights in the front bumper grills. There are 6 LEDs in each module, the outer ones are "flood" lights whereas the inner ones are "spot" lights. Their color temperature matches the xenon HID headlights nicely, very white light with just a tinge of blue halo. A special control module turns on the DRLs when the engine is running, and turns it off when the engine is shut off.




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Last update: 17/08/22 03:27:23