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Discussion Starter #1
So as you guys might have seen I am having R-tronic issues out of my 08 w/ 35k miles.

Looks like there is a distant possibility that it will end up being the 3rd gear fork and synchro. I got a quote from Audi and the cost was steep, so I was looking for other options.

I have access to a shop and I also have a great 'indy' mechanic if I cant handle anything. But there does not seem to be a lot of people with experience working on these gearboxes. I managed to make contact with a vendor that sells drop-sets and other racing essentials. He also builds and re-builds these units right here in the US.

He said most of his rebuild business comes from big shops who just take the trans out and ship to him and they put it in and mark-up the rebuild. Who knows, that might be how Audi does it?

Anyway....I am going to start this thread to document my rebuild and 'diy' trans fix. I have a good friend with a lift in his shop and cherry picker and anything else we might need. So the journey will begin.

I will post updates and let you guys know how it is coming along. Thanks so much to the members of this forum who helped me up to this point configuring out my issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any way to just make it a 6mt car?

I suppose I could. But I am not interested in going that route. I really was planning on selling in spring. Putting more money into a manual conversion would probably not be worth it. (even if it brought even money). It is still not original to the car.

My car is original and untouched (except for carbon mirrors and a wrap on the top) I still have original mirrors, so essentially it is unmolested. It is a nice 08 with 35k miles and every option that was available. Silver w/ carbon like the Ironman hero car.

BUT, I cant sell it knowing it has any issues. If I were unscrupulous, I could get away with it. It does not do it on every drive, but every so often it will miss a 3rd gear shift. I want to be confident that the car is 100% before I let it go.

I tried all the other things. I used my OBD11 to re-do clutch adaptation and gear positions. Only thing left is an internal issue. I had Audi confirm and diagnose.

With the corona, my plans may be out the window. Who knows....probably a great time to buy a car, but not a good time to sell one!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just got back from bringing the car to my friends shop. It is on the lift, ready for me to start tearing into it!

It is not an ideal lift since it is a drive-on 4 post, but I have these small scissor jacks which can go on the rear jack points so I can pull the rear wheels off while on the lift and leave the car supported.

I cant argue with something given free use of! I designed his house (and the lower shop) so I guess it all works out!

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Started tearing down today. Man, a lot of working in breaking this thing down. Pulled out the liners and then TONS of fastners above and below to get the bumper off.

I need to figure out what comes out next. Looks like exhaust and heat shields. Nice time to have a little extra time on my hands, and good to have a buddy with a shop under his house!





 

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Keep it going....
 

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Quite the project so continued success and good luck. A solid start! The motivation of knowing you'll be saving a large amount of money plus the satisfaction of doing it hopefully will be enough to keep moving ahead. I look forward to keeping up with your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys. I am really enjoying it. Been a while since I done any 'mechanical' projects. I am in the home building industry and mostly play with non-moving things!

I have experience with all kinds of things though. This was my last big project of a moving thing. Not really an R8, but if I could tackle this....I dont see an issue with a trans swap

I might dig in a little more today. Read up on the muffler removal last night!







 

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Discussion Starter #10
@Cliff.R8 Small little update for today. I had a few hours after lunch so I figured I would try to get exhaust off.

Manual says it is a 2-person job, but it was not all that bad. Getting all the heat shielding detached was the hardest part.

Note to others: Be prepared to use 1/4" drive torx bits and a 1/4" wrench to get a lot of the stubborn ones off. You just can't get a shot at quite a few. Once you break them, they turn by hand pretty easy.

Oil tank was last thing I tackled. The front torx bolt attaching it to the frame is tough. Once you get heat shielding off top of tank, I took 3-8" 1/4" drive extensions. (last one had a wobble end which is essential) and I was able to get it off from the top.

I have to drain oil next and I can remove tank. Then I am in the meat of the project.

I will use my OBD11 to de-pressurize the system, then disconnect battery so it does not accidentally kick the pump on and go to town!

It helps to read the manuals the night before, but truthfully, you just have to get in there and start taking a real good look at what you are doing.

Last thing......I have seen guys swap exhausts at home on jackstands. Man....that would be tough. I would say every time I am working on a different task, I am raising the car up and down several times. Sometimes just to get a better look. While I am sure it could be done off a creeper, boy....it would not be fun!





 

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Discussion Starter #11
Little more of an update today. Almost ready to pull trans. I had a few hours and snuck back over to do some work.

Had to drain oil sump (approx 5 qts in there). Remove 2 hardlines and unclip sensor and remove.

Sway bar came out.

Once removed, getting to the starter is A LOT easier. MAKE SURE you have have disconnect your bat as you will be messing with the hot lead while removing starter. Once I removed the starter, I taped up the end of the lead just in case. I do have to put power on the car to depressurize the hyd system. I did not know which one it was today and took me some good digging to be sure and was not going to just 'wing it'

Just for the heck of it, I pulled the screen filter of the trans (which I did not know was there the first time I changed fluids). There were a couple small flecks in there, but nothing terrible. Hoping the syncro is still serviceable. Will see!

Pic of fuse/relay panel which is behind passenger seat. The relay for the hyd pump is labeled 179 and the fuse is the second 30a (green) fuse to the right in the bottom row.

Will use my obd11 to depressurize and verify zero pressure before I start un-doing everything.

Been stealing time here and there to get this done. Audi says 13 hours, but I dont think it will take me quite that long total, and this is my first time doing this on a R8







 

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These cars come apart surprisingly easy, like a big puzzle. One of the easier cars I have owned to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
These cars come apart surprisingly easy, like a big puzzle. One of the easier cars I have owned to work on.

Definitely need a good selection of extensions, and wobble extensions. Also 1/4 torx bits which you can turn with 1/4"wrench save you in places you cant get a straight shot on things.

Last...if you are doing anything deep, dont forget a good set of triple square bits. Those things that look like torx...are NOT torx. They are double the teeth. Guess you could try to jamb a torx in there, but buy a good set of triple square bits.

I did not have one big enough to take off rear drive shafts so I am waiting for a new set coming tomorrow. I was not going to get impatient and just start wrenching on it ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I guess working on a Spyder would be another story......:unsure:
Not sure on that one!

Last night I had a bit of time, and went and made sure I could depressurize the hyd system with my OBD11. I pulled the relay as directed and sure enough, the OBD11 brought pressure down to 0. I pulled the fuse for the circuit and disconnected the battery to be 100% sure!

While I was there, I disconnected the trans cooler, removed power steering line, labeled and disconnected all the wiring harnesses.....and disconnected the driveshafts.

A quick confirm...and all that is left is to pull out bellhousing bolts and lift it out! Home stretch!

Will post pics when I get it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
LONG POST WITH LOTS OF INFO> REBUILDER INFO LINKS IN THREAD.


Wow...BIG day. Got trans out. Man that was a bi!ch :D

Thank goodness I had an engine leveler to help me maneuver it.

If I ever did this again, and probably when I put it back in, I will diverge from the manual procedure a bit.

Their method has you leaving some things in place that make this MUCH harder. The power steering pump, for instance, has a hard line coming off it. They only say to remove the bracket for the line ,but trying to work the bell housing around it is a PAIN.

Also, they dont say to remove the trans mounts themselves. (which I did in short order so you could rock the trans off the studs.

A few other things. There is a pressure reservoir ball not he bottom of the r-tronic unit. I left it on, but it was a struggle around the frame rail. I think for the install, I will take it off and it will give me a straight shot back on to alight both the drive shaft input and the pilot shaft off the trans.


All told, I think actual working time was probably around 10 hours. (divided over 3 sessions).

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The money part:

AUDI

Audi quoted me 14 to remove and same to put back in. They did quote me what I thought was a fair labor rate at 140$

So my dealers labor would have been 28x 140. Or just about $4000 in labor. I have seen shops charging 180 and that would make it about $5000

Their 'estimate' for the trans was $6000 parts and labor.

Total Audi....Between 10 and 11k


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HCF Autosport. https://hcfautoparts.com/ Here is their contact email: [email protected]
The US resource who is rebuilding my trans is the US official Graziano distributor. (they make the box for Audi).
They do all kinds of stuff for these boxes including drop gear sets (if you want to go 250 mph ;) ). They also rebuild for many of the shops that work on 'high-line' cars.

They do all kinds of work with this gearbox and guys who are doing LS swaps...etc.

John is the owner and he said most rebuilds leave his shop typically under $3000 total. They are a direct supplier of the parts from Graziano so they can get anything they need. He has about a week turn-around typically.

The also supply a kevlar clutch Welcome to HCF Autosport. I had considered swapping the clutch while it was out, since it takes so much work to get to it, but it appears to be in good shape.

So now it is just going on a palet Monday to be shipped off!

All told, their rebuild price is untouchable, and the fact that this is what 'they do' every day adds to the confidence over me finding someone local to rebuild.

I had considered having a buddy of mine do the swap. He is a good indy mechanic. I know he has done a full engine swap in a R8 w/ a V10. But with this virus stuff going, I had a bit of time on my hands. Truth is, (with the right tools) this was a fun job.

I think the install will go MUCH quicker since I now know what the heck I am doing!

I will follow up with updates as I get them!
 

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Hi, thanks for documenting the gearbox rebuild. Very interesting!
I notice in your final picture that you have new gear position sensors. Well they look new? If so, why were they changed and did they solve a previous issue. I have a gremlin in my system somewhere. It has to be sensor related because it always fixes itself. I assume a mechanical fault would stay broken? Over the past 18 months I've seen all sorts of strange behaviour but last week I had something different. My car would only go into even numbered gears. It would jump the odd gears and only choose even. I drove for 10 minutes and then suddenly it was all fine again.
Pretty much every time I drive my car it has issues going into first gear but once I'm all warm and running it is fine!
Your feedback would be much appreciated.
 
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