Audi R8 Forums banner

361 - 380 of 434 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,008 Posts
We have done a few of these retrofits in house now, but there aren't any official instructions.

We deal with an Audi approved bodyshop (R8 approved) and so they help us do this to factory standards.

I have a clients car in next week for the modification so will update the thread with our findings and our repair if this helps the readers.

I hope this helps.

Cheers Ricky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,921 Posts
Would be interested to read any updates Ricky as it is something we've discussed doing to mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
Hey Ricky, hope you're well. I think all of us on the forum perk up when you offer your expertise in dealing with any aspect of the R8. I for one will appreciate your findings and input. I have the plates but have yet to install them as there has been positive and negative chatter about if its a doable (read: smart) retro fit as it could weaken the surrounding area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
Hey Ricky, hope you're well. I think all of us on the forum perk up when you offer your expertise in dealing with any aspect of the R8. I for one will appreciate your findings and input. I have the plates but have yet to install them as there has been positive and negative chatter about if its a doable (read: smart) retro fit as it could weaken the surrounding area.
Surely Audi wouldn't go to the bother of producing the plates if there was a risk it could weaken the surrounding area?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,921 Posts
Surely Audi wouldn't go to the bother of producing the plates if there was a risk it could weaken the surrounding area?
I think it's more of a case of how the welding is carried out (heat transfer,) as opposed to the actual benefits of having them installed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
I think it's more of a case of how the welding is carried out (heat transfer,) as opposed to the actual benefits of having them installed.
Ah right, OK. But surely the same principle applies for any work done - if you don't follow the correct process, you're increasing the risk of problems anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
As an amateur researching this given every workshop I have spoken to has advised against doing this, it’s a minefield. General consensus seems to be that welding aluminium weakens the structural integrity and it needs post weld heat treatment. That is also dependent on the type of aluminium as some can be heat treatable and some can’t. If it can be, then the temperatures and timing are not generic but needs to be engineered by a metallurgist for individual structural requirements. Some types of aluminium need cold work / strain hardening instead. Then there are specific cooling times to allow tempering and ageing for maximum strength. So until we can access the specific welding specifications from Audi we can’t be sure we are making things better or worse.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,008 Posts
Hey Ricky, hope you're well. I think all of us on the forum perk up when you offer your expertise in dealing with any aspect of the R8. I for one will appreciate your findings and input. I have the plates but have yet to install them as there has been positive and negative chatter about if its a doable (read: smart) retro fit as it could weaken the surrounding area.
Thank you!

We do this in house and the welder and body repair specialists is Audi R8 approved/accredited and is certified by the brand to work on the chassis structure.

There is some due diligence that needs doing and the material preparation is far more important on aluminium than on steel, but if done correctly then it will not affect the integrity of the surrounding material.

Basically.....the issues arise when the welder tried to run a continuous bead without controlling the material temperature.

If it were an issue, then the fundamentals of building the chassis in the first place would end in structural weaknesses as the welded areas are huge on an R8 frame.

I hope this helps.

Cheers Ricky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
but if done correctly then it will not affect the integrity of the surrounding material.
If it were an issue, then the fundamentals of building the chassis in the first place would end in structural weaknesses as the welded areas are huge on an R8 frame.
The uncertainty here is the fact that Audi has not published a procedure to do the weld post-production. Does anyone really know what procedure Audi goes through to weld the areas during production? Do we know whether they strain harden, do aging, or any other potential treatments when they weld in the factory?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Surely Audi wouldn't go to the bother of producing the plates if there was a risk it could weaken the surrounding area?
The plates are meant to be installed at factory. There is no aftermarket install procedure published from Audi. If someone could get this, it would resolve a lot of the uncertainty.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
826 Posts
The plates are available POST factory (to properly accredited shops) and there IS a procedure for their retrofit. It's just NOT commonly available - and NO, I do NOT have it...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,858 Posts
RNLabas,
You say there IS a procedure for the retrofitting of the plates. My Audi Certified body shop has checked all of their sources and they were told there IS NOT a procedure to retrofit the plates. What is the source of your information? I am not challenging you. I am interested in seeing if we could find the procedure to clear up all of the controversy on the issue of installing the plates once and for all and end this 38 page thread.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,008 Posts
I worked for the manufacturer directly for 8 years on this platform and have never seen such retrofit instructions.

I have also spoken with my factory colleagues and in this regards the only reason the plates are available is not as a retrofit but in order to carry out any body repairs on vehicles with them fitted......as in if they needed replacing due to damage.

I hope this helps.

Cheers Ricky
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
826 Posts
My source on this is German, a SilverLiner - who has apparently seen/read them. At the time, I did not know nearly what I do now about the subject. While the parts and instructions to fit them, may be available for use on vehicles with them already, as Ricky suggests - my use of "for their retrofit." may imply a fix to a problem not intended by Audi, but rather simply a repair to an existing run change.

So in that context - instructions to retrofit for vehicles that DON'T have them - may not be the same as instructions to repair vehicles that do. Philosophically, I agree with Ricky, but did not confirm with my friend. I'll be in Germany for the holidays - will follow up...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,001 Posts
Seems like the only conclusion to this would be getting info directly from Audi.

Clearly aluminum welding isn't straight forward. While I'm no expert, it seems clear that there must be consideration for the base alloy, preparation, and a number of other factors before getting underway - less, you may actually be doing more harm than good, which appears to be the concern of some welders where members have asked for this work to be done.

So, the point blank question for Audi would need to be - (a) CAN these plates be safely retrofitted to cars that didn't come with them, and (b) if so, what is your recommended process.

For some insight into how the frame is originally welded, I took a cue from Hollywood and "went to the tape!" From a documentary on how the R8 is built, I paid close attention to any info given on the welding process. It looks like workers are manually welding it, and once it cools, they move the frame from station to station for additional welds - no discussion on heat treatment. That said, they do mention that the aluminum welds at very high temperatures, and it needs to be done "meticulously" in order to get it right. Some screen shots below:

Chasis Welding.jpg

Chasis Welding 2.jpg

Chasis Welding 3.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,333 Posts
Discussion Starter #376
Very good points on the safety of doing this retrofit and if the welds will do more good or not.

I will for sure keep you guys posted if I hear any issues that arises from the retrofit welds done by my buddies in our R8 Club.

Unfortunately I can't check mine since I sold my V8 to a dealer some time back and don't know who the new owner is. Hopefully we will cross paths one day and I will ask to take a look at the welds.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,001 Posts
Very good points on the safety of doing this retrofit and if the welds will do more good or not.

I will for sure keep you guys posted if I hear any issues that arises from the retrofit welds done by my buddies in our R8 Club.

Unfortunately I can't check mine since I sold my V8 to a dealer some time back and don't know who the new owner is. Hopefully we will cross paths one day and I will ask to take a look at the welds.
Howie, we now know why you traded out of the welded R8 V8 so quickly now! :) Kidding, of course!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,333 Posts
Discussion Starter #378 (Edited)
Gasp, I wouldn't do that Ez. :( I'm still very confident the retrofitted plates made my car stronger.

The factory welds were rather thinly applied and almost non existent. Have a look at these CRACKED original factory welds.

Weak Factory Welds 2.jpg Weak Factory Welds 1.jpg

Then look at my retrofit welds. They surely are stronger than the original factory weld any day.

What makes the retrofit stronger are also the multiple angled welds holding the shock frame together.

Multiple Welds  on Retrofit Plate.jpg Strong Multiple Welds.jpg

Even if the flimsy factory weld did weaken from the retrofit, the strength from the multiple welds would more than compensate for that.

I'd bet my life on the retrofit any day over the weak factory weld. ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,564 Posts
Gasp, I wouldn't do that Ez. :( I'm still very confident the retrofitted plates made my car stronger.

The factory welds were rather thinly applied and almost non existent. Have a look at these CRACKED original factory welds.

View attachment 227890 View attachment 227892

Then look at my retrofit welds. They surely are stronger than the original factory weld any day.

What makes the retrofit stronger are also the multiple angled welds holding the shock frame together.

View attachment 227894 View attachment 227898

Even if the flimsy single factory weld did weaken from the retrofit, the strength from the multiple welds would more than compensate for that.

I'd bet my life on the retrofit any day over the weak factory weld. ;)
I wholeheartedly agree with you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Gasp, I wouldn't do that Ez. :( I'm still very confident the retrofitted plates made my car stronger.

The factory welds were rather thinly applied and almost non existent. Have a look at these CRACKED original factory welds.

View attachment 227890 View attachment 227892

Then look at my retrofit welds. They surely are stronger than the original factory weld any day.

What makes the retrofit stronger are also the multiple angled welds holding the shock frame together.

View attachment 227894 View attachment 227898

Even if the flimsy single factory weld did weaken from the retrofit, the strength from the multiple welds would more than compensate for that.

I'd bet my life on the retrofit any day over the weak factory weld. ;)
While the retrofit weld does appear to be more extensive than the factory weld, the whole uncertainty surrounding this is whether there was any special heat treatment done/required in the process. I think the uncertainty is whether doing the post-factory weld actually weakens the aluminum around the area - not just the weld itself...

If it was a no-brainer, I would probably do the retrofit as well. But now I'm uncertain.
 
361 - 380 of 434 Posts
Top