New Audi S4 B7 Engine Transplant into an S4 B6

The S4 Project

The S4 High Shine

Now the trouble begins!

After about two years in storage we drag the brand new engine out of a fabulously clean family owned and run house removal/storage company in Bangor

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This was the smallest unit available at the time and it was as clean and dry inside as it was on the outside

The Smallest Unit

It took a forklift to set it safely on my bike trailer

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Ratchet straps to hold it in place for the journey

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To keep road dust and stones off the engine I wrapped it in a film

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I met this strange man while I was there

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To buy one of these brand new engines as complete as this one (I just needed to add a power steering pump, starter motor, aircon pump and flywheel) would cost about £15,000, I was lucky enough to buy this for £3,500 and it was one of six from a bankrupt kit car company, very lucky indeed

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There’s that man again

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Ready to travel so we headed to the workshop

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The steel bench at the workshop for a good working height

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Stow away lifting gear was so handy

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I kept the engine on the factory wooden pallet as long as possible as it things so much easier to work at

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Here we’re getting a feel of the tight engine and compression

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All new inside too

New S4 Engine Cams 1

The new unused exhaust port, lovely!

Exhaust Port

The compact standard exhaust manifolds were removed and a set of free flowing RS4 headers fitted, these arn’t a direct fit and had to be modified as the RS4 uses a different cylinder head with different port spacings, they really brought the engine to life and added a little more of a harsh sound and that was welcome

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They have been fitted to my car since November 2015 with no issues at all and it’s almost 2018

The gearbox support brackets being attached

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New stainless steel exhaust gaskets

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The flange surface being prepaired

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This is the first look at the headers on the engine

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Sitting nice, plenty of clearance so far

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But when the water cooled alternator was fitted I could see a water cooling pipe had an issue

(Since doing this mod I realised there is an easier way round this issue and that is to fit the RS4 alternator bracket, spring loaded tensioner and belt)

The original manifold had more than enough clearance

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but the pipe couldn’t be fitted once the headers were installed

Alternator Bend

To get round this problem I had to modify the pipe, cut at 45º then used the small part that fits into the alternator, I used a 4″ long steel tube with a outside diameter of 12mm and an old steel I spacer tube and drilled two 12mm holes

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When fitted together the spacer tube was plugged with a bolt at each end then cut flush

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The holes were drilled slightly off centre

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This is what I was looking for, just need a kink in the pipe to make it almost level as the air should not get trapped

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Brazed to seal it up, a little kink to point it where it needs to go and the end heated and hammered to swell it to help keep the hose on when under working pressure

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Now it skims across the top of the alternator

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Pressure tested under water

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And painted with Smoothrite to finish off

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Close but not touching so needed a little more clearance

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Some heat applied and a little reshaping and it was ready to fit

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Heat reflective wrap for obvious reasons

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There’s a lot more surface area with headers to give off heat, so to protect wiring, water pipes etc insulation is a must and it also helps with scavenging

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A pair of RS4 engine mount heat shields were fitted

RS4:S4 Engine Mount Heat Shield

It came with this Flywheel/ring gear item for an auto box so it had to go

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and the JHMotorsport lightweight aluminium flywheel fitted

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At first I went by the JHM fitting instructions which were to force it on (as it is an interference fit) but I didn’t like this idea so stopped and removed it, I found the harder crank shaft was scrapping little pieces off the flywheel that would be trapped between the crank and flywheel, this could cause the flywheel not to sit flat against the crank and cause an off balance vibration

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Half an hour in a low heated oven to expand it so it would just slide on, the old fashioned way!

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Lightweight Flywheel

A new B7 RS4 clutch was fitted

RS4 Clutch

That’s as far as I can go until I get the gearbox out

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Some nice new parts have arrived from JHMotorsport

New JHM Parts 1

Just in time mum

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Time to get dirty

Drain all the liquids, washer bottle water, engine coolant, engine oil, gearbox oil, power steering oil and air con gas

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The step by step guide was supplied by “that man,” it helps add confidence

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Headlights and bumper next

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Labeling the fan control module and ambient temperature sensor plugs

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Air con gas still oozing and swelling the glove

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This R134a gas should not be released to the atmosphere as it may burn a hole in the chemtrails, then the man-made clouds wouldn’t form and we’d get sunshine…

Sky 1

The front panel next, all pipework and electrical connections will be marked when disconnected

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disconnect cats

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Inch by inch, disconnecting things as they come into view or reach

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So easy to break something at this point as you feel it’s got to come out now

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Funny enough the last thing to disconnect is the starter as it’s cable is very long

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Whats he grinning about, it’s to go back in again!

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Split the box from the block

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Side by side, now we can start swapping parts

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Will it ever run again?

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There really is a lot going on in there

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Gunk, scrub with brush then power wash the worst items

Power washed parts No Reg

The engine has been bought by an engineering company in Germany so has to be stripped

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Power washed

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Wrapped and ready to travel, they were in the UK buying engines here and there then came to Ireland specially for this engine

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More of mums scones tea and coffee

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The Gearbox

A popular upgrade for the S4 is the fitting of the RS4 B7 40/60 centre diff which replaces the S4 50/50, this puts more drive to the rear wheels makeing it easier to steer under power

I bought a low milage B7 RS4 box but the final drive ratio is different although the gear ratio’s are slightly closer so with a mix of the two I would have a one off box and the best of both worlds

Gardiner Transmissions were recomended by a friend and that was a mistake

Gardiner Transmissions 1

the manager said “I’ll get them on a bench next week, strip them and give you a call to discuss what’s required”

That was great to get this done so quick as I was imposing on my brother inlaws garage space

Loads of Gearboxes

I called “each week” to see how things were coming along

“I have a bench cleared and them on it and will get a look at them shortly” he said

After THREE weeks I’d had enough and drove up to see what was going on

Looks more like a floor than a bench to me as I found them still on the floor!!!

My 2 Boxes on floor

I put them in the boot and put it down to a bad choice

Gear Boxes Rescued

A search of the internet and I found SNJ Motors, a quick chat with Neil and I knew he was the man so I left the boxes with him

Neil

later that day I was back to collect, no messing around here

These are the unused S4 gears and the RS4 diff

S4 Gears

Here is the unused S4 50/50 centre diff which is fitted to the rear end of the gearbox

RS4 40:60 Diff

That same day the box was on

Box On

A JHM Delrin gear linkage bush was next to help tighten things up

Delrin Bush

The alloy JHM’s alloy short through shifter was fitted to remove the excessive movement that is apparent with the nylon Audi item

Short Shift

 

JHM Short Shifter 1

 

The man says it’s ready!

Col Thumbs Up

It’s that time again

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Now to install it

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It’s nicely balanced with the chains on the two rear lifting points

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At this point it can still go wrong, things can get smashed, bent or forgotten

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At last

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Along with two new belt pulley bearings and a new belt I added another aluminium part, the JHM Lightweight crank pulley, it may not look like much but the weight difference is amazing

New Front Pully Etc

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The headers are sitting quite accessible

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The RS4 B7 has two cats on each pipe, a pre-cat, and a main cat that’s high flow

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Here the Pre-cats have been chopped out

RS4 Cats Removed

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Their sitting as they should, nice and high

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The original exhaust would restrict the flow as the bore is now too small and the silencers arn’t free flow

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and it looks tired too

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I picked up this nice X-pipe that will help scavenge

X pipe

Inside the cross over

X pipe Inside

Scott and I treated ourselves to a weekend of fantastic motorsport at The Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 2015 and stopped off at MIJ Exhausts in Birmingham on the way to have them make up a new stainless steel system, I had spoke to Jay (the proprietor) about the install on the phone and emailed him too

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The first thing the guys done that I liked was to weld easy exhaust removal flanges

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Lovely welds and a hand made system that lay flat on the floor with my X-pipe in there too

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The lads took their time and done a fantastic job

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One step at a time

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They even made the silencers from scratch

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Well fitted with plenty of ground clearance

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Even though the straight through silencers are this small the sound was kept to a lovely soft tone but part of that is down to the X-pipe

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The dreaded 2K drone was now a problem and I called MIJ from Goodwood and booked it in to have that issue resolved on my journey back to Ireland

MIJ

The guys made up larger 6″ silencers

Larger

That helped a little but also silenced a little more, the drone was still a problem, since Jay was away having his Skyline ECU setup by professionals in Saudi I decided to leave it like that for the moment and talk to him later

I called MIJ and asked if Jay could contact me about the problem and left my number, I emailed and called again but the life time guarantee looks like internet data only, for the moment!!!

I have discovered a possible fix for the drone issue and spoke to another manufacture for costing for this, £200

I’ll get to that later.

Intake Manifold Spacers

The JHM Intake manifold spacers separate the aluminium cylinder heads from the aluminium intake manifold managing to accomplish at least two worth while improvements, (1) extending the length of the inlet tract, (2) reduce the intake air temperature, combined these make a noticeable improvement to the torque, a slightly sharper response and I’m lead to believe more power too.

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I’ve had these a while now and eventually got round to fitting them, I kept my iPad nearby to refer to and it just a couple of hours.

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It was interesting to see how much carbon deposite there wasn’t!

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I thought it odd that the under side was sprayed black

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Everything, no matter how insignificant you think it might be, all add up to make an impressive difference

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The longer bolts supplied didn’t have washers like the original and I found that they wern’t going to be easy separated so I went ahead and fitted them without the washers, but as I tightened them I had a bit of a shock

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even though I was being very careful it felt like I had just stripped the threads in the head!
I took the bolt back out and found the narrow head of the bolt broke off a sliver of the shoulder around the bolt hole in the manifold allowing the bolt to go a little farther into the hole, I fitted washers on all the fourteen bolts to be sure.

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This is what it should look like

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as expected there’s a slightly wider gap between the slam panel and the V8 – 4.2 trim

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sitting a fraction higher now

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More Air

With the exhaust headers now flowing much better than the standard manifold I found the induction was restricted at three quarters to full throttle, even with the high flow panel filter in the standard airbox and the 034 silicone MAF hose, I removed part of the snorkel and that helped but when I fitted the K&N cone type filter it was clear that it was getting more air, what a difference, straight to 7K, even though I haven’t got a heat wall fitted, that will come later.

K&N Cone

Brakes next

The standard work quite well if not pushed, so they had to go

Standard S4 1

The old back plates were never treated from the factory so rust very badly

Old Back Plate 1

I aquired a set of used RS4 discs, bigger diameter but the alloy hub offsets the weight, a quick coat of satin to freshen them up

S4 & RS4 1

The RS4 back plates are new so a coat of Smoothrite will prolong their life, not much there as the vents are massive

RS4 Back Plate 1

New RS4 calipers and Braided hoses

Braided Hoses on Bench 1

Braided Hoses 1

 

RS4 Brakes Fitted 1

Gotta say these are a brilliant mod

RS a 1

To be continued

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20 thoughts on “New Audi S4 B7 Engine Transplant into an S4 B6”

  1. This is interesting. Thanks a lot for sharing. What was the motivation for the engine swap? Did something happen to the original engine?

    Like

    1. Where’s your location?
      As soon as I heard the startup rattle I kept an eye out for an engine.
      It used quite a bit of oil through the valve guides although the compressions were all good, I came across bankruptcy stock which including 6 complete S4 engines one of which I got about the same cost as having the timing gear replaced so I just had to do more than just a straight swap, and it all was well worth while, better than I/we expected, much more powerful than we thought so the next stage should be the same again!

      Like

  2. Wow, what a lucky break coming across 6 engines! I’m in the US. Otherwise, I would offer to take one off of your hands for you. 😉 I’ll continue to follow this page. You have some of the most detailed information I’ve found about these cars.

    Like

  3. Great work here daviem – nice to see another local Audi maniac getting his hands dirty in the murky world of not bolting on go faster parts from big name vendors and defending himself from the flack of many a ‘murrican fanboy. Also admiring the accusump fix for the depressing V8 startup rattle that my 2003 B6 S4 Avant also exhibits…. then there’s the noisy wheel bearings… the rubbish clutch / caramel flywheel… the flimflam glovebox, ghosts in the sunroof switchgear and don’t get me started on the front wiper mechanism or the devils very own invention – secondary air injection.

    Like

    1. Nuge

      I appreciate your comments and your understanding of the effort that has gone into this.

      If you want to make a good car brilliant you need to put some effort in, then when you have sorted your issues you’ll not want to part with it, you know what I mean…

      I removed my front wiper mechanism recently, dismantled it and rebuilt it with grease, now it’s smooth, quite and fast.

      I have another set of converted RS4 Headers if you know someone that wants to bring their S4 to life just let me know.

      Like

  4. Hello,
    Did all of the electrical components match up? And did any of the electrical components or any other components give you any problems in regards to putting a B7 engine into a B6?
    And what were the codes of both of the engines, and which engines are compatible with the 2004 S4 sedan with a BHF 4.2?
    The engine in my B6 dropped a valve and I found a B7 4.2 for sale in Canada. I am in the USA.
    Please get back to me, thank you.
    -Safi

    Like

    1. Hi Safi
      The engine I removed was BBK (don’t have the code) and the engine fitted BHF 023145.
      Everything is in the same place so no modifications required, but I was prepared to swap any item that may have had an updated plug etc from my old engine to the new one but no need.
      One thing to keep in mind is (if your car is a manual) that the B6 flywheels give bother so it’s recommended to update to the B7 flywheel, I went for the solid lightweight aluminium type but there is also a lighter than the original solid steel type.
      One thing that was different was the fuel rail, the old was two pipe (return) and the new was single.
      There is a timing chain mod that you can do, I think you replace a plastic guide with a stronger RS4 item, check with JHMOTORSPORT.
      I would recommend the Accusump mod too, easier to connect before the installation.
      I have a PDF of how to remove the engine if you’d like it?
      I disconnected individual electrical connections and didn’t remove the loom.
      Best luck.
      Davie

      Like

  5. Hi i had just finished swapping my b6 s4 motor for a low mileage b7 s4 motor into my 2004 b6 s4. I was wondering if you had to do anything with vag-com or ecu with the newer motor in. I tried to start the car for the first time bit it just idles very low at about 300rpms and shuts off after 10 seconds. I tried this about 6 or 7 times.

    Like

    1. Hi Marc
      Where abouts in the world are you?
      No VAG-COM or ECU changes, your engine only has sensors sending information, same sensors on the B6 engine, take a look at your fuel system, it could be pressure, you didn’t flatten a pipe?
      Check induction, coolant level, oil level and pressure. Let me know how you get on.
      Rgds
      Davie

      Like

  6. Checked everything so far i smell fuel from the tail pipe while cranking so i assume the fuel pressure is fine. Just no spark. I will dig into this deeper but thank you for the info on vag com and ecu i was worried i would have to change the ecu.
    Pennsylvania, USA

    Like

  7. Well my Chains have jumped, I’ve managed to source a low mileage engine as mine has done 140k
    Just out of interest did the other engines get sold?
    Would love to stick a now block in!
    Thanks
    Marc

    Like

  8. I am “at the crossroads” with my S4… The usual enjoyment of showing the spanners at any 10+ yr old Audi and now I need some advice or mental therapy to save my sanity.

    I started out to replace noisy front wheel bearings that have been groaning for longer than I care to admit – but I have been putting this off for a while as I feared a driveway clogging episode would arise – and I was right.

    Usual drama from Satan’s pinch bolt and I discover the upper arm joints could use a refresh so I source a nice complete set of arms from Meyle in Germany.

    Removing the rear lower front arms is a right pain – so little clearance for the bolt – I ended up ripping off some underbody plastic trim just to pull out the bolts. Where that bush sits in the front subframe gets rather rusty so I took the time to treat that properly with POR15.

    Also had a good fight with brake union on the right side – spotted the hydraulic lines with signs of cracks starting – its 120k miles and all original down there.

    The front discs needed to be replaced too so I added those to the shopping list.

    I also discovered the inner CV boot on front left driveshaft was split – after I had both suspension assemblies removed so that’s a bugger in terms of bodging some way to lock the box and remove the driveshaft.

    Anyway – now we are getting to the tricky part – at some point into the multi day part time activity I see drips of a red coloured oil on the left side main cat- weird as I have never had oil leak there before as evidenced by where the car normally parks.

    It smells like a transmission oil to me – now while it’s just a small drip from a source I cannot yet see – it’s a worry – I wondered if it’s possible the angle at which the car is up on stands would cause an overfilled ‘box (it’s manual) to drip out of a breather plug ?

    Or is there a more normal failure point for a gearbox seal / gasket ?

    Should I just bite the bullet and drop the entire engine and gearbox now that I am this far in ?

    I had been hoping to delay doing the cam chain tensioner for another day, but this could be enabled along with the modified RS4 headers, precat delete, SAI delete, new B7 clutch, any gearbox work but I feel like I need my head examined to take all that on – especially when I only planned to do the front wheel bearings.

    Any advice or pointers welcome !

    Like

    1. It all depends what you want and if the body of car is in good condition, everything else just bolts on.
      They make a fantastic sleeper that always draws attention even when sitting still.
      Rip it out and bring it to life just as I did, replace what ever needs replaced and you will know more about that car, you’ll never look back.
      Fit the Accusump and use Miller’s Nano Drive oil to keep it as it is inside.

      Like

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