Frame "tearing" on early models documentation - Page 3


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Thread: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

  1. #21
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Ok, I have to weigh in here. I was looking at having my 2009 R8's frame reinforced this past spring.I spent months and a great deal of time looking into it.

    I talked to every Audi dealer, and every certified Audi repair shop in my part of the state. The dealers were not even willing to discuss the issue. I then talked to, or visited four Audi certified shops who all told me the exact same thing, "we can't touch this. Audi only allows us to make repairs, and they do not acknowledge this issue as existing. If we made the repair, it could cost us our contract with Audi". The manager of one very large Audi certified shop, who makes all kinds of repairs for Audi even went to a trusted resource in Audi management, someone he has been able to reach out for help from for years, on the technical/service side. He told him, again, this problem does not exist, and even if you were foolish enough to attempt it would almost certainly damage the frame. He also said for Audi to even consider such a thing, a chemical analysis of the existing frame would be necessary at a cost of over $6k, just to absolutely determine that cracks even existed. And even then, he would make no promises. And yes, I saw Audi corporate documentation at two different, very prominent shops that they were not to involve themselves, in any way, with this work!

    I then went to three outstanding professional welders, all certified in aluminum welding, with a cumulative ninety five YEARS of welding experience. Again, they each told me that attempting to weld the Audi made plates to the frame introduced too much risk of weaking the existing frame, and they recommended that I drop my plans to have that work done.

    I then went to a close personal friend who is near the very top level of Audi world management. I asked him to talk to his contacts. These included the project manager who oversaw the R8 development and initial production. He was told, across the board, that Audi has only ever seen a few (3-4 total) instances of this, and each one related to the cars frame having been abused in a serious front end accident, hitting a curb at a high rate of speed, etc.

    I live in the Detroit area. There are endless numbers of world class car repair, welding and frame shops here. NO one will touch this, no one will acknowledge it. It's that simple. To the OP, I hope I'm wrong, but I can only imagine that whoever the establishment was that you worked with, and I absolutely refuse to believe it was an Audi dealer, or anyone, in any way associated with them, had never done this before, had no awareness of it, and simply saw this as a chance to milk you for $5,500.00. That's five times the average price that has been noted by people who have had the work done elsewhere, averaging $1000-1100.00. And that included shops all over the country. Before Audi shut them down, three shops here quoted me "no more than a grand' when I asked about pricing for the potential work.
    Last edited by Slapshot; 08-20-2019 at 11:15 PM.

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  3. #22
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    EZMass and others are right and I can see Audi's huge pushback on this repair on the R8 frame. Welding on the R8 heat treated aluminum spaceframe after the fact is no small matter. The heat treat in this case nearly doubles the aluminum strength of the frame. Welding and the resultant "heat affected zone" loses its heat treat and resultant strength in that area. So putting a weld in the middle of a structure where there wasn't a weld to begin with is not a great idea. I hope this works for those who have had it done and doesn't result in another crack down the road. Also wouldn't recommend sport mode either since it raises the suspension forces going into the frame a lot.

  4. #23
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott-AhlmanPerformance View Post
    ~~~ Welding on the R8 heat treated aluminum spaceframe after the fact is no small matter. The heat treat in this case nearly doubles the aluminum strength of the frame. Welding and the resultant "heat affected zone" loses its heat treat and resultant strength in that area. So putting a weld in the middle of a structure where there wasn't a weld to begin with is not a great idea~~~
    Maybe it does maybe not i don't know but, why would Audi make available the brackets if its so iffy to do. I've got to admit i have my doubts about the frame cracks being an 'issue' but the elephant in the room is why do these brackets exist and why did Audi feel the need to strengthen in that area on later models???

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  6. #24
    Senior Member DaveL's Avatar
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by stug360 View Post
    Maybe it does maybe not i don't know but, why would Audi make available the brackets if its so iffy to do. I've got to admit i have my doubts about the frame cracks being an 'issue' but the elephant in the room is why do these brackets exist and why did Audi feel the need to strengthen in that area on later models???
    Excellent questions Sir, ANSWERS please on a postcard to AUDI GMB.
    Black/Gold 09 V8 Coupe R-Tronic. Black/Gold 05 Race prep'd Yamaha R1.

  7. #25
    Senior Member ThunderDent's Avatar
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    Got mine in the mail today.


  8. #26
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by Slapshot View Post
    The manager of one very large Audi certified shop, who makes all kinds of repairs for Audi even went to a trusted resource in Audi management, someone he has been able to reach out for help from for years, on the technical/service side. He told him, again, this problem does not exist, and even if you were foolish enough to attempt it would almost certainly damage the frame. He also said for Audi to even consider such a thing, a chemical analysis of the existing frame would be necessary at a cost of over $6k, just to absolutely determine that cracks even existed. And even then, he would make no promises. And yes, I saw Audi corporate documentation at two different, very prominent shops that they were not to involve themselves, in any way, with this work!
    A chemical analysis is not needed by Audi to do this work ... they already know what alloys the frame and the brackets are made out of. In any case, a chemical analysis does not cost $6k ... it costs closer to $100-$200. On top of all that, a chemical analysis doesn't tell you anything about whether cracks are present or not. For that you want to do dye-penetrant testing ... which is another test that costs $100 tops. I know you're referencing high up Audi people, but if this is really what that guy told you (and it wasn't just lost in translation), he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

    Additionally, welders possess the skill of laying down solid beads of metal, which can be very difficult and deserves respect. However, welders are not engineers and they don't understand anything about metallurgy or mechanical design regardless of their cumulative years of experience. So a welder telling someone that the weld will or won't weaken a structure means less than nothing.

    Masters in metallurgy, doctorate in welding engineering, btw.
    Last edited by gallag4; 08-21-2019 at 08:32 PM.

  9. #27
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott-AhlmanPerformance View Post
    Welding on the R8 heat treated aluminum spaceframe after the fact is no small matter. The heat treat in this case nearly doubles the aluminum strength of the frame. Welding and the resultant "heat affected zone" loses its heat treat and resultant strength in that area.
    So if welding is so detrimental to the frame, how did they originally put the spaceframe together? I thought it was welded at the Audi factory. So if Audi welds this material together at the factory, why is the HAZ softening not a problem for "their" welds, but a massive problem for "our" welds?

  10. #28
    Senior Member ThunderDent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stug360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott-AhlmanPerformance View Post
    ~~~ Welding on the R8 heat treated aluminum spaceframe after the fact is no small matter. The heat treat in this case nearly doubles the aluminum strength of the frame. Welding and the resultant "heat affected zone" loses its heat treat and resultant strength in that area. So putting a weld in the middle of a structure where there wasn't a weld to begin with is not a great idea~~~
    Maybe it does maybe not i don't know but, why would Audi make available the brackets if its so iffy to do. I've got to admit i have my doubts about the frame cracks being an 'issue' but the elephant in the room is why do these brackets exist and why did Audi feel the need to strengthen in that area on later models???
    My exact thoughts.

    I plan on epoxy for my brackets. That way no heat or welding will occur in the area.

    But the comments make ZERO sense.
    If there have been 3-4 incidents in all R8 production models, and Audi states there isn’t a problem, then why did they even engineer and produce the brackets in the first place?

  11. #29
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderDent View Post
    My exact thoughts.

    I plan on epoxy for my brackets. That way no heat or welding will occur in the area.

    But the comments make ZERO sense.
    If there have been 3-4 incidents in all R8 production models, and Audi states there isn’t a problem, then why did they even engineer and produce the brackets in the first place?
    I understand what you're saying. What I said was that Audi claim they have only "seen" a very small number of cars with this issue", all of which were explainable due to the situations. And those comments were to someone within the organization very high up in management I'm certainly not saying I necessarily believe that. I also cannot disagree with the logic of questioning why they later reinforced the front ends of later production cars if there was no issue. However, a big sticking point here is that in another forum post here in the forum, regarding this, the owner and manager of the UK's largest independent Audi repair and maintenance shop also said they they do not advise anyone to have the reinforcement done. He also claimed that the had only ever seen one or two cars with the issue, out of the hundreds they have serviced, both of which had been in accidents.

    Here are direct comments from another discussion I started on this last year:

    "A well known and respected UK R8 tech on here told me he's only ever seen frame damage on three cars, all of which had been involved in an accident"

    "I talked to an audi R8 tech who has been with them for 10+ years. He said the worry is overblown. He has only heard of one happening at another dealer (in a city of over 1,000,000 people). He said it was in a collision."

    And so, the confusion continues. As the vast majority of people told me when I broached the topic here, this appears to have been vastly overblown. Between the apparent extreme rarity, and potential fram damaging welding, forget about it, enjoy the car and drive it like it was intended to.

    JC

  12. #30
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    Re: Frame "tearing" on early models documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by Slapshot View Post
    And so, the confusion continues. As the vast majority of people told me when I broached the topic here, this appears to have been vastly overblown. Between the apparent extreme rarity, and potential fram damaging welding, forget about it, enjoy the car and drive it like it was intended to.

    JC
    I agree. The joys of the internet eh?

    I also discovered that in relation to the "V8 AC compressor failure/engine out" negative that gets thrown about, the well known UK R8 specialist has never actually had to replace an AC compressor and therefore remove an engine because of it. All the AC faults have been minor requiring a sensor replacement (or similar). Not saying they don't fail but the reality but not be as bad as the perception!
    Audi R8 - 2008 V8 - manual - black/dark grey
    Audi A3 - 2010 TDi - manual - black
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