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Project Make American Modeled Cars Great Again

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  • Project Make American Modeled Cars Great Again

    So back in December of 2016, I decided to be dumb and buy another new car. After my A7, I told myself I wouldn't buy another new one. Then I convinced myself to do it again, because I've never custom ordered a car ever. I custom ordered my 2017 Audi allroad, and got to get all the fun notifications from Audi. When it was going into production, when it was completed, when it was moving to the port, etc. Let me tell you, it's not as all glorious as it sounds. My car arrived at my dealership at the end of April 2017. That wait was the worst thing ever, but I digress.

    The day my car came in it's car condom:

    Isn't it beautiful?

    So I ordered this with every possible option you could get in the states. Unfortunately, there are some great things in Europe we just don't get here. So, of course, I decided I wanted those things. So then began the time to make my already expensive brand new car, more expensive.

    So of course, this is an allroad so it sits high...

    too high... but this is the only way to get a B9 avant in the states, so it was time to do things to make it, more B9 avanty and less monster trucky.

    Much better.

    While under there also decided to switch out the transmission mount insert:

    There was definitely a significant amount of drivetrain slop that was eliminated due to this little guy. Worth every penny on a B9 if you have one.

    Do you like body flex? Me neither:

    So now, moving on to the OEM pieces that we can't get here. I unfortunately don't have a before picture, but these are one thing that we have different standards in the states for:

    The U.S. spec has normal like half circle style head rests that actually obstruct more vision as the driver. I'm assuming it's some old safety regulation onto why we don't have these, but there was my first product to come from Europe.

    The new B9's actually have a really cool sweeping taillights. You may have seen them. Here's a video of them.

    As you can see, U.S. spec of them, they have the red sweeping led at the top, but in order for them to be legal, they also have the normal light that has to blink with them at the same time. That's how Audi got "away" with it here. I think it's pretty dumb. I believe the law is something to do with the amount of light that is illuminated for the amount of time. So a Mustang just has 3 lights that go off, Audi has single LED bulbs that go one at a time and that's a no go.

    So again, Europe has it better, so I made the switch:

    The lights are amber, and you have no stupid blinking light underneath. Good shit. Unfortunately these weren't really plug and play. This required me to run a couple wires and to completely change the plugs that were currently on the car. I've never actually unpinned a plug before in any of my cars so this was a first, but it wasn't really too bad.

    So you know what's also really sweet that they have in Europe that we don't have here? Matrix LED headlights. I gotta have them.

    So in order to get these to work, there is wiring that needs to be done, modules that need to be flashed, and coding that needs to be completed.

    I'm working with Alex from Europrice on this conversion. It is actually the first one he was working on. So there is a lot of trial and error and a lot of new tools that I'm using and things that I'm learning as well. Unforunately when it came down to it, we could never get the modules properly flashed. So I shipped them back to him

    To this day we still haven't gotten them fully working, although today I did get an email from him that he has found some used modules that we're going to pull the flashes off of them and get them flashed on mine. The only people that can flash these at this point is the dealer, so we've been trying to source used modules for quite some time. Right now we have the low beams, and the sweeping blinker working. If you're not familiar with them, you should watch this video:

    Anyways, I decided to take my 20's off of the A7 and throw them now on the allroad. I think they look pretty damn good.

    This car has been treating me great. I took it to North Carolina to see the eclipse.

    I take it to Iowa to help my mom pick up her new ride. Which I can say I'm honestly really jealous of.

    I also did a 4 day backpacking trip in the Smokeys.

    Winter is coming soon and I decide to put my OEM wheels back on, but otherwise everything has been great...

    Or not... Anyways hope it's just a nail right? Nope 2 inch gash across my read and you can see cut belts... Not repairable, need to buy a new tire... Decided eff that, and lets make winter my bitch.

    At this point, I'm getting a little frusterated that Alex still hasn't gotten modules or made any new progress with the lights. So I express my concern and he makes things right. Hooks me up and overnights me parts from Japan(Germany). Unfortunately this stuff came on a palate and is freight, so I had to go pick it up at FedEx at the airport in Flint. They made me bring my car inside so at least I got this cool picture.

    Anyways on the goodies.

    I mentioned before about how the U.S. likes saftey... well this is one of them that definitely helps.

    Yeah... ... no...

    Next up, parts you can only get on S-lines or S series cars. I switched this

    to this

    Instead of the soft touch rubber, switched it with the leather. Looks much better now.

    These are soft touch rubber, along with the arm rests, so those also got updated. I couldn't just do that though. You know what's beautiful on a lot of Audi's, and usually S series ones? Alcantara. I decided to purchase all alcantara door cards as well out of Europe. These would show up on an S4 Avant, but unfortunately those don't exist here, so the rear door cards for my car have no overlapping US part number.

    Seems easy right? Just swap them over, no problem.. If you examine that last picture of that alcantara door card, you might notice something. There's a hole missing. Did I say hole missing? I mean, there are holes missing. A lot of them. In every door card these had to be cut out

    And the red reflector in on the side.

    In the drivers side one you also needed these

    And I didn't take a picture, but under the reflector on the side of the card, there is the button to turn off the alarm for movement inside of the vehicle which also had to be cut out. So, don't get me wrong, sounds like an easy thing, but besides for the puddle lights, there is no markings or indicators or anything of the placement of the holes. I had to make templates, and measurements of all these things. Measure 12 times, cut once. You're also cutting a door card that let me say, was not cheap at all. So I was very uncomfortable with this and would probably never do it again. I think it'd just have been easier to wrap the existing cards in alcantara. At the end of the day though, I love the finished product.

    The leather arm rests and the alcantara really just dress it up quite a bit.

    So over there years I've made good friends and connections through out the scene. One of the better ones have been AirLift Performance. I purchased them and put that system on my Jetta Sportwagen I used to have, and put some Rotiforms on it, and then was asked to be used in some of their marketing material that they filmed at Gingerman. I really lucked out with that because they then gave me a suspension setup for my A7 and said hey, put this on, let us know any modifications you had to make in order to get it on the vehicle. That kit is the same as a B8 kit, but there were a couple little minor differences that they needed to change on the setup in order to actually have it for the C7 chassis. So I got the hook up there.

    They later found out that I got a B9, so what did they do? Asked me if they could borrow it. Of course I obliged. So I waved bye to my car for about 2 months, but I knew it'd be in good hands.

    I got it back right at the same time I bought and moved into my new house.

    One my coworkers also has an A4 avant.

    Anyways I've really missed MIVE and being able to share my project and my progress on my car. I actually have a few more pieces still to go on. I have the roof rails for a normal B9 avant, so they are more flush with the roof, but that requires a lot more deconstruction of the interior than I really want to do right now. I also have European bumpers that I need to get painted that don't have the amber reflectors. Then of course hopefully I'll have my Matrix LED's back soon.
    Last edited by meijerbrantm; 04-29-2018, 01:48 PM.
    90 Audi Coupe Quattro 20vt
    08 VW Touareg - VR6
    14 Audi A7 - TDI
    17 Audi allroad

  • #2
    Sweet project thread man. I?m digging it
    Focus ST- despite what Jake says......project


    • #3
      holy crap! i had no idea you put so much into this thing. OE+ all the things. looks good now that it's laid out.
      -Nick V-
      Current: '88 Golf GL 2.0 16V / '82 Caddy Diesel
      Favorite Past Dubs: '92 Corrado VR6, '99.5 APR Stg.3 A4, '91 GTI 8V, '81 Rabbit Truck,


      • #4
        Thanks Nicks.

        I did forget to mention, at some point I also got contacted by 034 if I wanted to get in on their pre sale of their intake they had just created. Their price was a little high when I compared to what you could get the ECS intake for, but they price matched me on it which is cool because they have the filter enclosed-ish where you don't see it under the hood.

        Also went to Steve's and turned this

        into this

        The APR Stage 1 tune definitely opened it up quite a bit. Just like the previous generation, APR does a pretty significant increase in power.

        90 Audi Coupe Quattro 20vt
        08 VW Touareg - VR6
        14 Audi A7 - TDI
        17 Audi allroad


        • #5
          Pretty sweet
          DCC #0
          ...we all started out with the same tools dream it, build it, breathe it.


          • #6
            So how long til you sell it ;)
            '81 Rabbit Pickup
            '03 Audi TT

            <--- the paper says "despite all my rage"
            Always one rusted rounded off bolt away from success


            • #7
              Nice ride. Slammed allroads confuse me a little but it looks good.
              Ben Zeeuw
              1981 Rabbit Racer
              1998 Audi Avant Grocery Getter


              • #8
                Great work going on here. Love all the little OEM bits and the fact that they're being done to a new car!
                Bad decisions make excellent stories.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by zeeuwvw View Post
                  Nice ride. Slammed allroads confuse me a little but it looks good.
                  If I could have bought a B9 avant I would have, but unfortunately that's just not things you can do here in this lovely country of ours.
                  90 Audi Coupe Quattro 20vt
                  08 VW Touareg - VR6
                  14 Audi A7 - TDI
                  17 Audi allroad


                  • #10
                    The pics don't work for me at work (I'm sure something about hosting or whatever) but I do love a great Euro OEM+ build. Good on you man.
                    A big Ford 4x4, a Deeeeezle BMW and a air cooled flat six
                    PCA# 2014080243


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by meijerbrantm View Post

                      If I could have bought a B9 avant I would have, but unfortunately that's just not things you can do here in this lovely country of ours.
                      Oh right, that makes more sense now.

                      Ben Zeeuw
                      1981 Rabbit Racer
                      1998 Audi Avant Grocery Getter


                      • #12
                        I am jealous of your cars, but you already knew this.
                        11 Jetta SE
                        82 rabbit GTI


                        • #13
                          Wow..nice work!
                          '93steVoR6 : '92SLd : '90g6d : '58 gypsi : '59scab : '60dlx
                          >> VAG-COM & Tow Dolly For Rent <<
                          Parting Out: MK3s, Passats & Corrados


                          • #14
                            Fancy. I like it.
                            Tuned and deleted Super Duty, An old Chevy with a Cummins, my wife's Volvo, a 5th wheel and a boat. I like to drink and work. My family is cool too.



                            • #15
                              OEM++++ on all the bits. Well other than the air ride ;)
                              -Matt- 2011 VW GTI - 1946 Chevy Pickup