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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,

Here's a quick overview of the structural reinforcement retrofit done today to prevent the dreaded front suspension frame crack.

The removal/reinstall of the front trims took about 2 hours. The front bumper doesn't have to come off but the front wheels and mag shocks do.

Sanding, welding, and painting the plate took about an hour. There were almost no sparks but the welder was mindful of the surrounding components and used wet towels to cool things down.

Very glad this is done. Now I can go over potholes and speed bumps without losing any sleep. :)

Here are some photos and a video.


No bumper removal.jpg Plated Welded.jpg

Plate Painted2.jpg Plate Painted.jpg


 

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I thought Audi wouldn't sell the bits to individuals? Was yours cracked, or was this preventative?
They won't - these parts will NOT be sold even to a dealer without a Certified Audi Aluminum shop (that will do the repairs) being first in the loop and with a pre-approved Audi certified inspection related to a specific VIN... btw, the parts themselves are pretty cheap, IIRC about $35 each ...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Audi wouldn't sell to an individual. I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy that helped me source these plates. :p

Mine wasn't crack so it's done as a preventative measure. Once the frame cracks, everything on the front end has to be stripped to the frame, jigged, realigned, welded and can cost upwards of $50k. :eek:

I got this done with parts, labor, and calling in a mobile aluminium specialist for a grand sum of $233 bucks. It was a no brainer to do this retrofit. :)


I thought Audi wouldn't sell the bits to individuals? Was yours cracked, or was this preventative?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Preventative fitting is just prepping the surface and welding on the plates. Takes a total of 3 hours.

Once the frame cracks, the whole front end including the windscreen and dashboard have to be removed.

Very labor intensive and a member had his insurance company write off his car. :eek:


So is fitting the same whether the car has the cracks or not?
 

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Hmm. We need somebody to source these things.. I suppose it would be no big deal to just make up some reinforcements out of plate. If I can't get the bits, I'll eventually just cnc up some and weld them on. Seems like good insurance
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
It's definitely good insurance to weld them on to prevent the cracks.

Since you're up to cnc the plates, I'll take more photos of these plates from different angles and post here tomorrow.

While it's essentially a piece of aluminium plate, it's actually very thoughtfully engineered.

The plates don't just rely on the welds to prevent the cracks on a flat plane but holds the frame from multiple angles by wrapping around the structure.

Hard to explain but the photos will be illustrate better. More info tomorrow. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Here are some close up photos of the front right reinforcement plate.

It looks like an aluminium plate bent in half but when it is placed on the frame, it fits the angles perfectly. Clever design. Just wish they had thought of it starting 2007 instead of after 2010.

Plate Front View.jpg Plate Side View.jpg

R8 Reinforcement Plate Side View.jpg R8 Reinforcement Plate Size.jpg

One of our club member has a 2011 coupe and we discovered it already has this identical reinforcement plate installed from factory so Audi already knew of this structural weakness at least 6 years ago! :mad:

2011 R8 Coupe Factory Plate.jpg

Here in Asia we can't do much about this since consumer laws are often not enforced but surely you guys in Europe or North American can make a petition to Audi to get ALL 2007-2010 cars retrofitted with this plate?

Would be worth the effort to petition rather than the USD $50K repair bill. And if that doesn't work, then this....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_action
 

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Totally agree with you! Audi should have done a recall as this is a serious problem


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yep, 3 hours of work is all it takes to prevent this problem instead of a costly nightmare of dismantling half the car to repair a 4 inch crack.
 

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I agree also. This should be carried out under a recall. That said, however, manufacturers aren't known for acknowledging their shortfalls - take Porsche and the IMS bearing for example.
 

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check BMW e46 m3 subframe issue.....similar plates and welding..no recall...huge labour cost as everything has to come off the back of the car...
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
The labor cost for the R8 should be much less. It took 2 hours to remove and put everything back together by 2 guys.

Only the front plastic trims, wipers, trunk tub, wheels, and shocks have to be removed. Front bumper, headlights , and battery (+ - disconnected) stay in place.

The whole welding process took another hour, which included unloading the equipment from the welder's truck and setting up his welding machine.

Even with the higher labor costs in western countries, this retrofit shouldn't cost more than $1k? :confused:

Portable Welding Equipment.jpg

check BMW e46 m3 subframe issue.....similar plates and welding..no recall...huge labour cost as everything has to come off the back of the car...
 
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