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Audi TT Restoration


Last year I bought a 2002 Audi TT, 225bhp with 151,000 miles for €400. Naturally, it needed some work. Initially, I thought it wouldn't take much to get the car back on the road. However, several trips to the garage later, I came to the realisation that in order for this car to become reliable again, I would need to do some restoration work.

I thought a Volkwagen Golf derived, "People's Car" would be an easy introduction to car restoration. Boy was I wrong.



Front Axle Disassembly

Completed 11.04.2020

The steering rack failed and as a result the subframe needed to be dropped to remove and replace it. An assessment was made of the condition of the front axle assembly in the process of doing this. I decided that the subframe, control arms, steering rack and anti-roll bar would require work and were all removed.


Exhaust System Disassembly

Completed 18.04.2020

A hole in the exhaust system was causing a loud tractor-like blowing sound. I removed the exhaust system and found that the flexible hose on the downpipe had rusted through.


Engine Removal

Completed 18.07.2020

Rust damage on the exhaust side of the engine made removing the turbo impossible without engine removal. After the engine was removed, the rust damage was assessed and I determined that a new turbo would be required.


Turbo Removal

Completed 27.07.2020

Rust damage made removing the turbo difficult but it did come undone. The turbo had significant shaft play and worn oil seals which resulted in oil leaking to the intake. It definitely needed replacing.


Subframe and Control Arm Restoration

Completed 09.09.2020

Surface rust was removed and the surfaces were lightly sanded. Several coats of "Hammered Black" hammerite were applied to provide a tough protective layer.


Turbo Replacement

Completed 14.11.2020

A shiny new Turbo fitted! Had a slight difficulty with the EGT sensor threads but nothing too major to report.


Cylinder Head Cover Gasket

Completed 30.09.2020

The cylinder head cover gasket was seeping and is in need of replacement. It is also a good excuse to have a look at the condition of the cams, cam chain and lifters.


Engine Reinstallation

Completed 25.12.2020

The much antipicated engine reinstallation went as smoothly as one could hope and went in on its new engine mounts without much coaxing.


Exhaust Reassembly

Completed 14.11.2020

I had some difficulty with the cheap downpipe and midpipe as expected. The midpipe was slightly too small to allow the exhaust clamp to grip it so I had to fabricate a shim to slide between the pipe and the clamp. Hopefully it doesn't blow too loudly.


Front Axle Reassembly

Completed 31.12.2020

The subframe and new steering rack are reinstalled along with the exhaust adjustment. The exhaust is a very tight fit and I suspect that there will be significant rubbing once the car is on the ground. However, it will suffice for the first start and I may purchase a better quality exhaust for better fitment.


Engine First Start Preparation

Completed 23.01.2021

The cooling system and power steering system were reinstalled, a once over of all fittings and hoses were completed and fluids added before the first start of the engine again.


First Start

Completed 23.01.2021

Couldn't have had a better first start! Started up without any hesitation. No need to buy another exhaust either as there doesn't seem to be any rubbing.

Posts: tt-first-start, tt-fluid-bleeding


First Start

Completed 24.01.2021

After reassembling the rest of the front suspension, we took it out for a quick test on the driveway and it was perfect. Unfortunately, we can't take it any further until it passes NCT inspection.


Cleaning and tracking

Completed 28.01.2021

The car has got its bumpers, plastic coverings and wheel arch liners fitted back as well as rim inserts. It got a tracking and alignment as well as balancing of the wheels at a local shop and is now ready for the NCT.


NCT Technical Inspection Attempt #1

Completed 09.02.2021

The car failed the NCT the first go round. They failed it on emissions. The car was running too rich which is possibly down to a couple of things:

1. There is no catalytic converter

2. There is an intermittant misfire

3. The engine is running a bit cold because the thermostat is open fully all the time


NCT Fixes

Completed 07.03.2021

To get the car to pass the NCT:

1. Removed the straight back downpipe. I purchased a downpipe that fit the original catalytic converter and I'm going to fit that to the car instead.

2. Replaced all exhaust gaskets so that there are no exhaust leaks causing the engine to run rich.

3. Replaced the thermostat and temperature sensor.

Posts: tt-nct-jobs

NCT Technical Inspection Attempt #2

Completed 11.03.2021 passed the test with flying colours. One annoying quirk of the NCT is that it's only given a valid cert until when the NCT was due, not when it was tested so I'm going to have to repeat the process again in November. Still 8 months of roadworthiness is not too bad.


Audi TT NCT Jobs

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