My 1997 Audi A8 4.2 Q
   Welcome to the Section for my 1997 A8. This is the perfect car for me, black on black, with all the options of the limo version, yet, it was not a A8L. We get around 100 inches of snow annually...This is Quattro and full of luxury, I had to have it. Wanting to get some green in this guys hands before anyone else, on Wednesday the 23rd, I drove down to take a look at it after work. Leaving at 5pm, getting there at 10pm, looking the car over in his well lit garage, driving it for a few, doing some typical checking for audi A8 problems.... this car was a keeper. Handed him some money, and drove home. I was back home at 6 am, only to get up for work at 7am. What a night, and yes, it was well worth it. I went back to pick up this car in Middlebury CT on 7/26/03. I love road trips, and driving this car for any distance.. is heavenly.

   This car is in great condition, ding-less, with paint as shiny as new and a mint interior.
Now it is time to change it to fit my style:)

   Stock wheels = *add fart noises*. I just can not stand stock wheels, simple as that. Plain, boring, unpersonal. I had the wheels for my A8 en route 4 days before I brought the car home. I will be using the stock wheels and tires for winter driving.

   I was sick of the stock brakes on this car from the start. I was able to get them to fade at will during hard driving, and pedal feel was just never impressive. I wanted to do a serious performance big brake kit system, but after looking at what was on the car, I figured I could increase braking feel and performance with some basic upgrades. I simply changed the pads, rotors, and fluid. I installed ceramic brake pads, which work wonderfully, do not fade when pushed, and do not dust my rims up each day I drive it like the previous units. The new rotors are stock units, cross-drilled, slotted, and silver zinc plated. I also bled out all of the old ( almost black) fluid and installed new higher boiling point performance brake fluid. As a last touch, I painted the calipers, and hangers gloss black with ceramic epoxy.

   The braking is far better than it was, with no signs of fading when pushed HARD. This was well worth it for the small amount spent. We will see where this takes me. If I am unhappy with this choice after trying these out for a longer period of time, the brake system will completely change, and get a healthy BBK upgrade.

   OK, completing this was a PITA (pain in the ass). Not because of complexity on the install, since this is a very simple mod. The trouble was all in finding the correct items to do what I wanted. I wanted plug and play factory looking, and working HIDs. I also wanted the euro parking lights within the headlights. On top of making my own life hard with the odd requirements, I had a lot of trouble buying these parts over seas. These problems resulted in owning a lot of HID parts over 2 months.
   The first headlight I had was purchased to replace the glass on the drivers side of the car. There was a small hole in my factory driver side headlight that annoyed me terribly. This unit came with a HID projector and new glass.

                  Now I have one HID projector, and the driver side glass I needed.
   Then I bought another driver side complete working HID light assembly from German ebay for the other projector. This was reasonably priced, so I figured I could sell any extra parts to make up for some of the money spent.

                  So now I have two HID projectors and one set of HID electronics , no euro wire harnesses.
   Now I still needed both the passenger and driver side euro harnesses for HIDs and both sides Euro reflectors with the city lights notch.
   I found a pair of complete euro HID lights with all electronics and bought those because they had the euro parking lights and euro harness. If they are in perfect shape I might as well just drop them into my A8 as is.

                  Now I will be up to four HID projectors, all the Euro parts I need. I am finally done... or am I?
   So I sold the first headlight with the HID projector I had, because I would not need it any longer. I have complete headlights on the way, and too many projectors. I could also use a few dollars back here. I have spent a lot of money.

                  back to three HID projectors ( estimated because of the last purchase).
                  At least I have all the euro parts I need. As soon as I get the euro lights in, I will just have to put them in....
   The new pair came to my door step, and the passenger side had broken glass. All other parts were perfect. What's the deal with passenger side lights? I have A LOT of driver ones! Not a big deal, I can just use my stock glass from the passenger side of my car and make a completed set. Go out to the garage to remove the stock A8 lights and start to swap parts around to make a complete set. Start taking apart the two new euro lights to find out not only did the passenger side light come damaged, but these also came with the wrong projectors!! WTF!!! YES these were the factory HID light COMPLETE. The right part numbers and so on..... Looks like the asshole seller traded someone the HID projectors for the stock NON HID projectors, and stuck the HID bulb into the wrong socket and pluged them in. Sure the looked like they worked, but I DO NOT HALF ASS ANYTHING.

                  Now I have one HID projector again, but everything else is ready...
   So, now I am on the lookout for another HID projector. Wish I did not sell that first one I had... Oh well. 'tis my luck.
   I found another set of HID projectors and the complete US electronics for HIDs. Bought those, and now I was finally in business with many extra parts.....    My strict requirements are met, and they are working beautifully. These are awesome. With the amount of headlights, and parts I had in my house at once, I was able to take them ALL apart, and create a perfect pair with all of the best parts from each. No rusty clips, perfect seals, nice and shiney security torex bolts everywhere, not ONE cut wire. These are in my car exactly as a stock set from a euro A8 would have been. No soldering, no cutting, no crimping. The extra internal parking light wire is just simply in the plug. If you are wondering why your headlight harness (from car) has 5 wires, and your headlight harness (in the headlight) has 4.... the interenal parking light wire is the extra wire in the headlight harness(from car). Plug and play. I just had to use the complete euro spec harness and reflector, install those into my stock A8 headlight housings, install the US spec HID projectors. Done deal.....after disposing of a large amount of money, haha. I did get back money for some of the extra parts I had. Plus FEDEX paid me for the damage to the new pair of lights, AND the asshole that did the non HID swap came clean, and gave me some of the money back.
   I eliminated the self leveling motors for now. I can swap them into the housings at a later time without much trouble. I will just need to complete a serious search for all the self leveling parts I will need to make this work like factory. Again, I am not into half assing anything.

   The two top pictures are of the HIDs on.    The third picture down is the new look of my car with just the parking lights ( now including the city lights) on.    The bottom picture is of the euro parking light hole(the bulb and socket was not in yet), just to the right ( looking at the picture) of the high beam bulb.

   After installing this I mostly saw a difference with intake noise/volume. I am sure there are a few extra HP, but starting off with 300 in a NA car makes power differences hard to feel. I needed a new filter, so why not use an upgraded one.

   I put bosch +4s in my car during my first tune up after purchasing it. This was at the same time that I installed the K&N filter. The idle was ok (not perfect) at first and did not improve over time. I became sick of the idle this year and looked for newer plugs, only to find out there are not many available. The NGK laser platniums I run in my other cars are no longer available for the A8. Retailers were trying to push me back to the bosch +4s or autolites. Ew. I am not a fan of multiple grounds which the newer NGKs now have. So, I am on the hunt for a high quality single ground plug and finally found the denso iridiums are available for the A8. So, I placed an order and waited a few days.    After installing them I immediately noticed a smoother running car. Driving now felt a bit more responsive, and smooth. I will pull the plugs out to read them in the next few months because I am interested in installing them in my Supras.

   Now I wanted these before I had an A8. I hated the yellow on the car. I found the smoked side markers easy, the clear corners were much much harder to locate. The "go to guy" in the audi world said he could not get them, or was not getting them anymore. Hmm, what to do. I asked a friend in Germany to do a bit of hunting and he had no luck. I pretty much gave up. Then another Audi owner came across them and I found the posting on a forum that he had 2 extra sets. I posted to him first and quickly received his response. I feel lucky. Thanks Ola!

   The triptronic shifter is exactly what this car needed. I feel more at home in this car finally.

   Thanks to "Glen C. for the heads up referral!! His and mine were both purchased from Dads Auto, mine specifically through Tim.

   The A8 is a large well appointed automobile, but I ( and most other 97-99 A8 owners) wanted extra places to put personal items. The units from the facelift A8 are a bit bigger, and offer a compartment within each driver and passenger armrest. I really wanted a close and safe place to put my digital camera. The glovebox worked ok, but it has other items in it, and with the size of the car it was quite a reach. The new ones are exacly what my car needed.

   I'm not sure who the original person was that found this to fit on the A8 like stock, but kudos. My local friend Bob got this for me through one of his contacts. Amazing. A factory M5 part, special ordered and in my hands for less than $100 USD. I know, can you believe it?

   The rear end looked far too busy with all of the factory emblems. Kinda like the rear of any koren automobile.... just a lot of stuff just trying to look fancy. I photoshopped out one emblem at a time and noticed I did not like any of them. So I removed many of the emblems, leaving the small quattro one located on the passenger side of the trunk, under the previous location of the 4.2 emblem. This really helped to clean up the busy ass end of the A8. It really shows off the rear spoiler (lip) better and enhances the all red tail lights for a smoother looking ass... and who does not like a perfectly smooth ass?

   I also removed the quattro emblem located in the front grill. I did not mind it much, but took it off to see how it would look without it, and liked it more.    The grill was taken apart then the flat black grill, and chrome audi emblem were professionally painted to match the car.

   The one thing that was whipped on my car was the factory remote. Naturally when purchasing a new one, I would upgrade/update it. After talking with a few audi guys about which was compatible I picked this one up. Its perfect and uncut.

   Yeah, mats.

   Hey, black ones are just damn ugly. These are factory Audi parts.

   This is the solar sunroof. The solar panels operate fresh air fans so when you enter your car on a hot sunny day it is not as hot inside. The car also has a "rest" button on the heater/ A/C panel that circulates the warm coolent through the heater core, and runs the heater fans so it does not get too cold in your car while you run into the store to grab something. I do not know how long it lasts, but what the hell, it is sweet and I've used it.

   Using the VAG tool to reprogram a few things in my A8. I changed the transmissions coding to "00011 sport" mode. "11" makes the car drive more in its power band, more often (even fun when needed) than the slow acting and muted stock coding. I also added the ability to roll my windows down and up ( which also closes the sunroof) from my keyless entry remotes. Once programmed I simply hold down the lock, or unlock buttons for over 5 seconds.

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