AUTObiography: 2004.5 Audi A4

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This week, we’re featuring something a little different. We’re going upmarket with Asif Ahmad’s 2004.5, Dolphin Grey Audi A4. Asif went all the way from Texas to Chicago to buy this car and drove it all the way home. And that’s when the fun started.

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How long have you owned this car? I have owned my car for nearly 7 years.  I bought the car on August 29th, 2009.

Is there anything unique about the history of this car? I spent approximately 3-4 months searching the ENTIRE US for a clean B6 A4 USP.  I ended up finding this car in Chicago, flew up there with a friend, and drove the car back to Austin, TX over the course of 5 days.  Fun road trip to get to really know the new-to-me car!

What drew you to this specific car? I have been an Audi fan since I was a little kid (dad drove an Audi 100)! I previously had a B5 Audi A4 that I modded and enjoyed driving, but it got totaled a few months prior to me getting the B6.  I had always liked the B6 A4 and when the Ultrasport (S-Line) models were introduced, it just made the most sense to stay in the Audi family.  The B6 USP seemed like the next logical step for me as an Audi driver!

What other cars did you consider? After the B5 was wrecked, I had narrowed down my options to the following cars:

-MKIV VW R32

-MKV VW GTi 2.0T

-B5 Audi A4/S4

In the end, the updated B6 styling and Quattro AWD is what swayed my decision.

What was your objective with this car? The main objective of this car was always to be my daily driver. I did not want to drop tons of money, but I still wanted to modify it to my own aesthetic taste and tuning needs, to make the car more fun on a daily basis.  This B6 A4 is my every day driver and currently my only source of transportation and getting around.  So, my goal was mainly a car that was fun to drive, looked nice, and had an overall clean and sporty ride to it.

What tuning style would you describe this car as? I would say my style with this B6 A4 is definitely OEM+. I liked what Audi had done the B6 USP and only wanted to improve on it with OEM-like upgrades and mods. I’ve done updated from newer Audi A4 models, such as the B7 (Center Console, RNS-E, 2.0T coils), and swapping things from the more powerful Audi “S” cars (such as stronger B5 S4 Brakes, S4 Door Blades, etc.), I feel like I’ve been able to keep with the OEM+ theme very closely.

Who helped you build this car? The list of people that have helped me over the years is very long.  However, at the top of the list are definitely the following awesome-sauce people: Mr. Matt Devo, silveravnt, biketsai, a4darkness, old guy, diagnosticator, charles.waite, TXR32, Naylor, and countless others on Audizine / QuattroWorld / Wetdub / TAG / Brink Motorsports (local Austin shop) / Soulspeed (local Austin shop) / Texas Shine, and others!

Thank you to all of you for your help over the years in helping me keep my car running and helping make it what it is today!

What makes your car special? I’ve met a lot of people and made some really good friends through my B6 A4 and the Audi/VW community in general.  Be it car shows, local enthusiast meet-ups, lunches, etc. I’ve made a lot of great memories with being part of the Audi/VW family. It is a very positive rewarding experience to just own one!

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What is your favorite part/feature/function? This is a tough question to answer and narrow down all my favorite things on my car, but I would say the 6-speed transmission is at the top of the list.  This B6 A4 is also special because it is my very first manual transmission car that I have owned.  Learning how to really get good at driving a manual and forcing myself to learn by getting this car, has brought me an enormous amount of satisfaction.  One of the best feelings while driving, for me personally, has to be when I execute a shift that is perfect and is as smooth as butter.

Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car? Mostly me, with the input from close friends and the usual forum posts online.

What don’t you like about this car? Driving a car that is older than 10 years comes with its own set of issues that can leave a bad taste at times.  Parts of the interior are getting worn out, leather is getting tired, etc.  Other typical issues on a 1.8T such as coil-packs going out occasionally and vacuum leaks that have formed due to just age and heat cycles.

What was your biggest obstacle in building this car? I wouldn’t consider this car really being ‘built’ per se.  But in terms of obstacles, the usual answer of time and this being my primary vehicle.  Hard to be able to have ‘down-time’ on your only source of transportation.

How did you overcome the issue? Plan accordingly on when to do specific jobs / maintenance items (weekend + holidays).  Previously, I lived very close to my work, so I was able to get some exercise and walk to work a few times in the past when the car was down for multiple days.

What would you change if you could? Little things like scratches and rock chips on the front bumper bother me and I would like to get them fixed at some point.  Also, other ‘dream mods’ I’d like to add at some point would be Recaro seats, more RS4 interior bits, and a bigger turbo down the line.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project? 9.5/10. I would say with all the mods and updates done to the car, I feel like it is a very well-sorted and beautiful B6 A4 USP currently

What would you do to the car if money were no object? I would get several RS4 parts (Recaro seats, interior trim, cluster, etc.), complete repaint of the whole car (either a candy white color or keep it the dolphin grey), refresh the entire 1.8T motor, and replace everything and bring it back to as close to a new condition as possible.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project? Myself, I tend to over-think / over-research things. Which sometimes ends up being my downfall in situations where it takes me weeks to decide which set of performance brake pads to purchase.

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What do your family and friends say about this car? All my Audi / VW / car friends say it’s a super clean car and love the looks despite it being more than 10 year old.  Obviously, they are more familiar with a lot of the mods and parts that are on the car.  Non-car people also appreciate it, but just think it’s a nice sporty sedan and can’t really tell the difference between a B6 vs. B7 vs. B8 level Audi.

What is your most memorable/humorous/embarrassing moment with this car? A few years back I drove to another city here in Texas for a weekend-trip, and hit a HUGE pot-hole that knocked out my front driver’s brake line.  Having no brakes is a very very scary thing.  This happened on a Saturday night, so I was stuck there for an extra 2 days than I had originally planned….not to mention, my girlfriend (now beautiful wife!) at the time was sick and not feeling so great and wanted to head home.  Thankfully, this incident proves another thing which is the overall community of the Audi/VW drivers and how they go to bat to help each other.

I had posted up on the local Audi Forum, asking if anyone in the area could help me out.  Within a few hours, two local Audi drivers (now friends, thanks Ian and Barrett) contacted me and came and saved the day with a spare brake line….and I was able to get back to Austin in a matter of hours thankfully the following-day.

What is your favorite story about this car? Without a doubt, buying the car is my favorite story.  Spending 3-4 months stalking craigslist, Audi forums, internet for sale ads, etc. in trying to find the perfect car not just in the surrounding Texas area, but in the ENTIRE US.  Finding said car in Chicago, flying to check it out, and finally driving it home and making a fun road-trip + vacation out of it will definitely be one of my favorite memories and stories for a long, long time.  It was my first time in Chicago, so it doesn’t hurt I was able to get some of that famous pizza as well.

Has this car competed in any events? No events.  This is a daily driver, so it has all kinds of imperfections (scratches, dings, etc.) and is probably not a “show-car” worthy vehicle unfortunately!

What is your favorite place to drive this car? A road that doesn’t have any pot-holes or issues that could hurt anything on the car!

What is your ideal day with this car? After a clean wash + wax and snapping some pictures at the various cool spots around town.

Who gets to drive this car? 97.5% of the time it’s mainly me.  Sometimes the occasional friend / mechanic that needs to perform any type of job on the car, but that’s rare.

What was your previous project? Previously, I had a 99.5 B5 Audi A4.  It was mainly the college car that I would do things to when I had any extra money….but it did help me understand the ability to enhance a car with certain modifications.  It also started my love affair with the 1.8T motor and was my first real personal experience dipping my toes in the Audi/VW community.

What is your next project? Hopefully, not anything super soon (knocks on wood!).  I am not sure what the next car for me will be, possibly a B8 A4/S4, maybe something a bit more family oriented.  We will see what the future holds!

What one word best describes your car? Fun (to me at least!)

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Any regrets? Tell us about it. Nothing that I can think of at the moment.

Anything else you’d like to share? I am happy to be fortunate enough to have made some awesome friends and be part of a community that loves to modify, tinker, and help each other.  There’s nothing like owning an Audi/VW, a true car with personality and not a toaster that just gets you from point A to point B!

Owner Information:

Name- Asif Ahmad

Address- Austin, TX

VWvortex Username- A4orce84

Occupation- Web Systems Engineer

Club Affiliations- Wetdub, Texas Audi Group (TAG), MK512, Audizine USP Club Member

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Vehicle Information:

Year- 2004.5

Make- Audi

Model- A4

Mileage- 175,000

Color (Include original if applicable)- Dolphin Grey

Engine- 1.8T

Engine Modifications-

APR Stage 2+
Valeo Clutch Kit + Single Mass Flywheel
2.0T FSI Coils
EVOMS Diverter Valve
Boosted Intake
The “illustrious” Boost Brothers FMIC
Turbo Inlet Pipe

B5 S4 Motor Mounts

Exhaust Modifications-

Mototec Sport Exhaust w/AWE downpipe

034 High Flow Cat

Transmission Modifications-

034 Street Density Tranny Mount

JHM Solid Short Shifter
JHM Solid Linkage Upgrade

Suspension Modifications-

02 OEM Sport Suspension + B5 Front Perches

RS4 Rear Sway Bar

Brake Modifications-

B5 S4 Front Brakes

Akebono Brake Pads (low-dust!)

Wheels and Tires-

18″ VMR 708 Wheels (RS4 Reps) + Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06s

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Exterior/Body Modifications-

OEM Ultrasport / S-Line Package

S4 Door Blades

B6 S4 Grill (Top and Bottom)

Custom “Matt Devo” e-codes / Bi-xenons
Euro Blind-Spot Side Mirrors

Evolution Import’s Thor Skid Plate

Ziza LED License Plate Lights

Interior Modifications-

B7 Center Console

PODi Boost Gauge
RNS-E + Bluetooth Module

RS4 Pedals
RS4 Brake Handle
RS4 Shift Knob

Color Instrument Cluster

Audio/Video-

Alpine PDX-5 Amp
10″ Sub in LosLabs Box

Thanks/Props- Matt Devo, Audizine, QuattroWorld, Brink Motorsports, SoulSpeed, ECS