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Salt Water V8 Rebuild

13725 Views 280 Replies 46 Participants Last post by  Jeremy B
Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Sky

Hello, fellow Audi R8 owners and enthusiasts! My name is Jeremy and I live in central Illinois. I just (Thanksgiving 2022) purchased a salt-water flooded Audi R8, from Copart, after Hurricane Ian. My goal is to restore it slowly and keep it for many years. I am starting this post to network with you “regular” R8 owners, and perhaps a few other ambitious folks who bought one of these, for there were/are several available.
I hope to log here with words and pictures as much as I am able, so bear with me.

Specs: 2008, V8, gated manual with less than 30,000 miles (maybe less than 25k).

Major Damage:
  • Salt! (Yes, into the manifold intake boots of the engine, at least!)
  • Flooded to the roof
  • Interior components, electrical
  • Windshield cracked
  • Minor cosmetic external and undercarriage damage (see video)
  • Broken off water pump
  • Hole in sump cover (the “oil pan”)
Minor Damage:
  • Too much blinker fluid;)
  • Smell (mostly under control)
  • External bodywork, rear right taillight cover broken
Accomplished so far:
  • Seats out with no battery power (that was tedious, to say the least… I might detail in a later post)
  • Some interior pulled
Future Concerns:
  • Electrical components (I already purchased a nice used wiring harness, but…I’m color-blind!)
  • Engine (long list of things, more on that as we dig in)
  • “Burn-out” by an overwhelming list of tasks
  • Frame, drive train, wheels, etc. are straight
  • Brakes work (after a little pumping)
  • Doors, engine bay, and frunk open and close VERY cleanly! Well… the frunk release… well, anyway, as good as can be expected.
  • Ahhh, did I mention… it is a manual! (I don’t know how guys get flood-cars off trailers when they are automatics locked in park, but would love to hear if/how you can.)
  • Ebay, R8talk for parts
  • A great network of folks on R8talk!
My qualifications:
  • Mechanically inclined (sometimes reclined :))
  • General working knowledge of basic components
  • Not afraid to work, or get my hands dirty
  • Not in a hurry!
  • Rebuilt a few motorcycles (race and street)
  • Have some tools, small heated garage
  • I have an excited wife concerning the project (she likes seeing the R8 in our garage :))
My crazy goals:
  • Making the R8 as analog as possible (I hope to remove many “bells and whistles”, if possible.)
  • Starting a video series to tie in vehicle restoration with the Gospel of Jesus’ redemption of mankind.
Advice given me thus far:
  • “I would advise against it.” (direct words of the Copart broker!)
  • “Don’t do it, it will grenade in six months.” (friend who knows the business of cars)
  • “I have Audi-tech friends that have the garage, tools and experience, and even THEY wouldn’t attempt such a feat!” (motorcycle racer friend)
  • “Wow, that’s a big project, if anyone can do it, you can…”
  • “The two best days of your life, the day you bought the boat, and the day you sold the boat.”
  • “If you have the time, you’ll get it done…”
  • “If you can dream it, you can build it.” Requote I heard from Burt Rutan.

Christian, husband, father, Gospel preacher, machinist, author… and now Audi R8 owner… and restorer
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Up next is a picture of the formerly dripping "blinker fluid" that after pulling the modules from the back, and letting it sit in the living room while constantly running the wood stove, it dried up. But... left a mess.

Any expert help on removing the clear lens cover from the back would be GREATLY appreciated. I will not be doing it soon, but point me and the others in the right direction for this.

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It is dry, but as you can see... it must come apart and get thoroughly cleaned.
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Before and after of door sill cover. Both were pretty filthy. Just a comparison.

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Here is the hole left after removing the navigation system.
I am nibbling away to get the main dash off.
The R8 is a wonderful puzzle; this piece can't be removed until that piece is removed, until these two are removed, and then you can see that hidden bold behind such and such a component...! I am so glad that I have the shop manual for this, but even that is a little vague at times; i.e. "prise off and detach" SOUND easy. But when removing anything, great attention must be noted on the arrows in the diagrams.
BTW, if you are replacing your stock nav system with an upgrade, do yourself a favor and get the official Audi tools to remove the old one. The cheap ones are not long enough... Go ahead, ask my how I know! (I still have yet to purchase the nav. unit, p.m. me if you have one that you want to unload for a reasonable price.)

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Alllllright. Last pic for the night.

This is a picture of the "sunglasses" compartment, at your elbow, and the glove box inside face.
I WISHED I had gotten a before picture of the sunglasses box. It was filthy. Now it looks great.
I snapped a shot of the glove box picture just for comparison.

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Goodnight friends!

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Here is the steering column cover (lower) getting repaired. It was one of the few anxious ooopses I had. I really have been very careful to be sure to keep parts intact. Several have had cracks, fractures and the like. All of that is expected with a fifteen-year-old car. Plastic can be repaired. Epoxy is one method I will use. Plastic welding may be attempted (though I have never had great success with it), but my new favorite is the one that you will see below:

tacked with thick CA superglue (model aircraft supplier on ebay)
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Then I taped off a section to act as a retaining wall for the glue.
Tints and shades Fur Dog breed Comfort food Flooring

How and what is that?
Here it is:

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sorry about the blurry pic, it focused past the repaired tab
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Also, while I had the glue out I fixed a door panel cover. When removing a door interior, care must be taken as to what direction to pull pieces. Even after pulling the piece the correct direction, I still had some tabs fracture lose.

Fixture Grey Door Wood Gas

Also, CA super glue and baking soda from Aldi's!
I tacked it with medium or thick, then spread the baking soda with a small paint brush and dropped a few drops of super thin in the area for reinforcement. Hmmm. I wonder if this is what they do to fix teeth. :) This repair is TOUGH!

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And last for tonight.... (drum roll....) The dash is out!

Only 5 bolts to remove... But several things to remove first. I thought it would be "clipped" in and need to be popped out, but it just slid out once the bolts were removed. Now it can be disassembled, cleaned and put back together to await a better day.

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I hate aging plastics and how brittle the stuff becomes.
Jeremy, you are welcome to drive my r8 anytime you want. Not sure exactly where you are in Illinois, but I’m in central and southern Illinois once every few months.
While the dash is'll be a perfect time to add the oem carbon fiber interior 😉
I hate aging plastics and how brittle the stuff becomes.
Yes. The bad thing is we find out too late, and even replacing things might give the same problem. The answer is... Woodgrain sides, and interior trim, like grandmas old station wagon! HA.

Jeremy, you are welcome to drive my r8 anytime you want. Not sure exactly where you are in Illinois, but I’m in central and southern Illinois once every few months.
Judd, That is VERY kind of you to offer. I know that you are in Chicago, and we are planning on heading through in a few weeks (visiting family, and picking up the "new" seats :)). We would love to meet up so my wife and kiddos can see a "real" R8. ;)
I really should have you come look at mine while it is in such disarray. The pics are only snapshots of things. Then, my friend, you will be calling for the straight jacket and rubber room for me for sure! I am only two hours away (at my speed) from the Dan Ryan's southern-most intersection with 57.
We can pm for more details.

While the dash is'll be a perfect time to add the oem carbon fiber interior 😉
The phrase "tastefully modified" has been something I have observed as people describe their for sale R8's. I am planning to stay as stock as possible, except.... one or two little things I am thinking about. Carbon of one form or another is a possible option. I just know that what I am thinking of doing may "trigger" or alarm the R8 purists. But first, I have a lot of work to do before assembly. Thanks for your suggestion, don't think it is out of the question.
Yes. The bad thing is we find out too late, and even replacing things might give the same problem. The answer is... Woodgrain sides, and interior trim, like grandmas old station wagon! HA.

I long for the days when panels were screwed on.
Ok, so I'll preface this by saying before you joined this forum I messed with people all the time about how I bought alibaba parts online. I never did, but I do believe it is a potential to get good deals. Look at this one. Carbon for cheap and it may even fit the car.

LOL - and just when you think @JuddS is housebroken... :)
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Ok, so this will be the test. I'm going to buy that carbon piece and gift it to Jeremy and we will all see how it works/looks. If it doesn't fit you can all (continue) to call me a moron. If it works, I get a cookie.
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I think you should get the cookie either way, and you're definitely not a moron.

I sent them a message on alibaba and they already responded. Will AU09 fit my 2014 r8 v8?
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Looks like it will be an interesting fit.
Ten thousand thanks.

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this is the original copart picture. It is highly likely that I will be staring at all of this in the next few days for disassembly time. Looking at other pix, I see very few that have the cover for the oil fill.
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