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Thread: OMG, another 6MT conversion thread.

  1. #1
    Registered User redwoodkiwi's Avatar
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    OMG, another 6MT conversion thread.

    Long time lurker - and, after a few false starts, now an actual member (thank you Erik for letting me through the net).

    I recently added a Daytona RS6 C5 to the fleet. Beautifully maintained by the previous owner - but he decided he wanted out when he got the quote to repair the failing transmission. So, because I don’t have enough projects (sarcasm), I acquired the beast thinking that it would be an ideal candidate for a 6MT conversion.

    These pics taken in August – at time of acquisition.

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    Over the last couple of months, it has been sitting in the garage while I research, collect the necessary parts, and find the confidence to begin the task.

    Full disclosure: I barely know what I am doing. Despite owning and driving Audi’s for the last 20 years, I have spent little time beneath the hood. That said, during the last year, I have been learning my way around the 2.7T C5 platform (as I have a C5 A6 build in Lemons race-spec, and an Allroad daily beater) – but I don’t know the RS6 at all.

    It looks like several members have already accomplished the task and I have learned a lot, and found inspiration, from those that have documented their experience in the conversion. I plan on doing the same, as I fully expect to encounter the need for help and guidance.

    I think I have most of the parts needed, save a few seals, etc. I am using the adapter kit from Steve Kendrish, the transmission (01E and various other driveline bits’n’bobs) I acquired from audis4parts, and I decided upon the Ringer Racing stage 4 clutch.

    I started the process in earnest the weekend before last. Got the motor and trans out. Took me the best part of two days working alone, and I realize now that I should have just brought it out on the subframe. But I didn’t.

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    No turning back now.
    Audi RS4 B7, Audi RS6 C5, Audi Allroad 2.7T C5, Audi S4 Cab 4.2L 6MT B6, Audi A6 6MT 2.7T C5, '77 Mercedes 450SEL

  2. #2
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    Woot! Get er done man!!

  3. #3
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    C5 City FTW!!!

    way to hang in there.

  4. #4
    Registered User redwoodkiwi's Avatar
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    @jolio1994, your posted experience was a major inspiration for taking on this project myself. Cheers mate!

    Question for you, and for others with conversion experience, what gotcha’s, tricks, tips, etc, can you share. I am still a little daunted by the entire procedure and I’d rather just do the motor-out-in thing just once.

    Downpipes – leave as stock? Or what?

    I do plan on doing a full timing belt job (car has 106k mi – last timing job was at 80k mi), valve cover gaskets, cam seals, etc. Am also considering replacing the tensioner guides while I’m in there (any one got experience with those guide found on eBay/AMZN guides? – they are cheap, but they are only plastic/resin after all). The oil cooler pipe issue has, apparently, already been dealt with (according to service records and receipts).
    Audi RS4 B7, Audi RS6 C5, Audi Allroad 2.7T C5, Audi S4 Cab 4.2L 6MT B6, Audi A6 6MT 2.7T C5, '77 Mercedes 450SEL

  5. #5
    Registered User redwoodkiwi's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    A little more progress made yesterday:

    Separated the trans from the block. A non-trivial process as the passenger side turbo had to come off, which meant a lot of faff had to be disconnected and/or removed along with it – and two exhaust/turbo flange studs refused to let go which meant having to resort to cutting/grinding them off. Nothing is ever simple.

    Things may have gone a little smoother if I’d been able to get the exhaust manifold off. But I got completely stumped with removing the two fasteners that are deeply recessed into the manifold. What are they? They are not 10mm like all the others. They feel like they may be 12mm – as a 12mm socket begins to bite – but even my thinnest wall 12mm socket will not get over the fastener deep enough to apply leverage. I spent waaay too much time trying to figure it out. I remain baffled, and in the meantime the manifold stays on. Anyone?

    This trans is a hugely biggly - heavy AF too. The 01E looks anorexic next to it.

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    Then, onto the next challenge: removing the flexplate.

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    Yup – sheared my m10. Seems like this is common occurrence for those that travel this road. So, outside she goes in prep for some cutting/grinding action.

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    Used a bolt extractor on what remained.

    Then, removing the pilot bearing. I used the Kendrish method of tapping then winding in a bolt to push it it out. First had to drill it out a little to accept a tap.
    Drill bit used: 21/32
    Tap bit used: 3/4 10nc

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    Q: I had purchased a rear crank seal to replace while in here - but the existing one shows no sign of weeping, so I'm inclined to sleeping dogs lie. Thoughts?
    Audi RS4 B7, Audi RS6 C5, Audi Allroad 2.7T C5, Audi S4 Cab 4.2L 6MT B6, Audi A6 6MT 2.7T C5, '77 Mercedes 450SEL

  6. #6
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    One tip I would share is to take a lot of pictures while you are tearing things down. I took tons, and found them useful many times. Regarding the tensioner pads, I used the Blauparts kit and it seemed to work well. I also replaced all the cam-cap bolts when I did mine, since technically they are supposed to single-use.

    Another tip, I used 1stvwparts.com for a lot of the the various small parts (bolts, gaskets, seals, etc...). If you can get a part number for it, they usually have it, and their prices were consistently as good or better than most places. (For example, the cam-cap bolts are much cheaper here, and you need 52 of them!) They are up in Washington, so shipping is usually quick. I also compiled a list of part numbers, so let me know if you are looking for anything specific.

    Will emissions testing be an issue? Do you have to pass a visual test? If not, I'd suggest removing the secondary air system. It free's up a ton of space in the crowded space behind the motor. Also, a good tuner (aka Nubcake) can tune it out while still showing it functional for an OBD test. I have to do the OBD test up in Oregon, and mine has passed several times now. I also gutted the pre-cats and used O2 "cheaters" to keep the rear O2 sensors working. This probably would not pass a visual test, however.

    Have you tried to remove the flex plate yet? The bolts are usually a total bitch. You're welcome to try and loosen them with tools if you want, but most of us ended up grinding the heads off (which is actually not a big deal, since you are grinding on a part you're going to toss anyway.)

    The SteveKen kit is really good, but I found a couple of the bellhousing bolts were shorter than I liked, so I ended up getting longer versions. You can check yourself and make the call, it's probably fine either way. Also, I messed around with oil line routing quite a bit. One issue you may have read about is starter heat-soak. I believe this is caused by the metal oil line being wedged between the exhaust manifold and starter solenoid, causing the solenoid to become a heat sink. I worked very hard to make sure there was a distinct air gap between the manifold and oil lines. I also wrapped the the starter in a heat blanket. Nothing fancy, just a piece of heat-shield fabric secured with a stainless zip-tie. I also ended up grinding down one of the unused metal "bosses" on the passenger turbo compressor housing. It was close to pinching the oil feed line, so grinding it down freed up space for the line to fit better. When you are fitting this stuff back together, you'll see what I mean. I probably spent more time getting the oil line where I wanted it, than any other single thing. Some people seem to have no issues, but not me!

    Another thing while I'm brain-dumping, do you have the Elsa-Win software (aka factory service manuals)? It was invaluable during the whole process, I highly recommend tracking it down. There are copies floating around if you search.

    Do you have a small torque wrench that measures inch-pounds? I picked one up for the cam-cap bolts and timing tensioner adjustment.

    That's enough for now, good luck and ask questions, we are here to help!

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    I see you figured out the flex plate, good job!

    Regarding the exhaust manifold, you need to find a really thin-wall socket. I found a 1/4' drive, six point that worked. Once you get them out, I highly recommend replacing with new ones. The updated version that Audi sells is a much better design.

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    Regarding the rear main, I left mine. It looked good and I was concerned that replacing it could just make things worse.

  9. #9
    Registered User redwoodkiwi's Avatar
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    Thanks for the braindump @GreggPDX - all good advice. Thanks for validating my inclination on the rear seal - that's exactly my worry (that messing with it might induce a problem).

    re: SAI and emissions. I'm in CA, and emissions are pretty strictly monitored here. Checking via OBD is the method, and I expect that visual checking is a requirement of the state too. That said, my observations of the emission techs actually performing the visual is hit-and-miss. I suspect that if you drive up with a car that looks modified (think slammed civic with 3inch tips) then you are more than likely going to be subjected to a thorough visual. If, on the other hand, you drive up in a well groomed executive sedan, then you might just get a cursory look over. Perhaps that's just wishful thinking, but I have had recent experiences showing up in 2.7T's with cheaters on the rear 02's (to mask failing cat efficiency codes) and passed with no issues.

    I am inclined to remove the SAI plumbing to recover the space (as you suggest) - but I am still not decided on what to do with the downpipes/exhaust. One thought is to put away the stock downpipes (hanging on to them in case I need to restore stock hardware for emission compliance at a later date) and to use some thing like these in their place - while retaining stock exhaust downstream.

    re: recessed manifold fasteners: So, they are 12mm? And you managed to find a thin-wall socket to fit? I just had two thin-wall alternatives arrive today from AMZN - and neither fit. What brand do you have?

    And, no, I do not have the Elsa-win manuals. Off searching now.

    BTW: Stephen Kendrish introduced me to a tuner - Alex - of whom, I began an email dialogue with a couple of months back (and with me promising to be back in touch when I got nearer to completing the conversion). Wondering if nubcake and Alex are one and the same?
    Audi RS4 B7, Audi RS6 C5, Audi Allroad 2.7T C5, Audi S4 Cab 4.2L 6MT B6, Audi A6 6MT 2.7T C5, '77 Mercedes 450SEL

  10. #10
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    The manifold socket is 12mm, and I'm not sure the brand. They are only marked 'Taiwan" and I'm sure it came form some cheap set I acquired over the years. I think being 1/4" drive and light duty is the reason it's so thin. You might try putting one of your sockets on a drill or impact and sanding/grinding the outside diameter down a bit to get it to fit. If nothing else, I'd be happy to ship mine down.

    I'm not familiar with those downpipes, it would be interesting to see how they fit. The price is definitely good! The driver's side upper O2 sensor and shift linkage are very cozy with the stock pipes, so hard to say if the aftermarket pipes would be better or worse. I kept the stock pipes and gutted the pre-cats, which is generally accepted to be good enough for stock turbos. Gutting the pre-cats necessitates the O2 cheaters, and the placement of the sensors on those ebay pipes looks like they need the cheaters as well.

    And Yes, Alex is the right tuner, you are in good hands with him.

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    OG 6-speed swappers coming out of the wood work to share the knowledge


    GreggPDX covered most everything.

    Manifold: I'm pretty sure the manifold nuts should be hex key centered. I don't remember the exact size but used an extra long hex key socket to remove. You could probably get away with a regular hex key wrench, a pair of vise grips or box wrench for leverage.

    RMS: I replaced it on my original motor but found it leaking when swapping in BCY #2. I elected not to do it the second go round as there were no signs the factory seal failed. YMMV.

    Downpipes: The DPs you linked look to be exactly what I received from SRM. They are Chinese but do the job. The threads on the rear O2 bungs tore out when I went to remove them only after 15k miles (even though I used a anti-seize). The sensors had been coded out anyway so I just ground down the threads on the included plugs and welded them on.


    Memories.
    03 RS6 Avus/Ebony #905593 resurrected 6MT, 04 Avalanche Z71, 87 T-Bird Turbo Coupe (351W T5), 04 Aprilia RSVR Factory

  12. #12
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    Yes to Nubcake and Alex being the same. He is great. I think with CA emissions it will have a hard time passing with the SAI system removed. Nubcake can code the SAI system out, he did on mine but not sure if the readiness tests show, ask him. I had Miltek Catless downpipes and they don't work with the stock transmission mounts (really only the left side). I bought the Steel mounts from AudS4parts.com and they work fine, except once again on the Miltek's, I had to have the front O2 sensor bung moved as it interfered with the manual shift linkage.
    2003 White RS6 2013 Midnight Blue S5
    2013 Daytona RS5 2x944 Turbo's 1974 911 w/'91 3.6ltr motor
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  13. #13
    Registered User redwoodkiwi's Avatar
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    Excellent. I'm really appreciating and enjoying the advice from all. Respect!

    You lads are getting me a little worried about the emission situation though. I will send Nubcake a note and get his POV on the SAi delete. Depending upon the outcome of that conversation will determine whether or not I'll get those downpipes.

    re: Manifold fasteners. They are definitely not hex keyed. That would be smart and make things so much easier for sure. I wonder if that is what @GreggPDX is referring to when he mentions the newer design (above)?

    re: RMS. Ok, that's 2 for not. So, not doing it.
    Audi RS4 B7, Audi RS6 C5, Audi Allroad 2.7T C5, Audi S4 Cab 4.2L 6MT B6, Audi A6 6MT 2.7T C5, '77 Mercedes 450SEL

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwoodkiwi View Post
    re: Manifold fasteners. They are definitely not hex keyed. That would be smart and make things so much easier for sure. I wonder if that is what @GreggPDX is referring to when he mentions the newer design (above)?
    I just pulled these fasteners off my spare block. 7mm hex socket. If you have something different it's something I haven't come across one these motors and I'm really curious.

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    Edit: I soaked the set that went on BCY #2 in vinegar for a few days. Shaking occasionally. Really cleaned up the built up corrosion.
    03 RS6 Avus/Ebony #905593 resurrected 6MT, 04 Avalanche Z71, 87 T-Bird Turbo Coupe (351W T5), 04 Aprilia RSVR Factory

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    Yeah the old style has both inner and outer hex. @redwoodkiwi, it's possible that the inner hex is stripped out on yours.

    The new style is much longer and actually sticks out beyond the manifold, so it's a lot easier to get wrench on it:

    https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...ch/077253158a/

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    Regarding the SAI, nubcake can definitely code around it to make it pass the readiness test, even with all the hardware removed. We did that on my car. The visual test is the real problem. Removing and replacing the pump is easy, so it would certainly be possible to temporarily reinstall it for a visual test. The plumbing behind the heads is much harder to remove/replace with the engine installed, so if the visual test was thorough enough to check that, it would be a problem.

    If you choose to leave the system intact, then there is no point in coding it out, it doesn't do anything that affects performance.

  17. #17
    Registered User redwoodkiwi's Avatar
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    @bethridg @GreggPDX - You are both, indeed, correct. The manifold recessed fasteners are 7mm hex. However, on the passenger manifold I cannot get purchase - a 7mm hex key just spins in both of the recessed fasteners. Someone has been here before me and stripped them both good (odd, because the manifolds do not look like they have ever been off and no service record suggest that they have). I get purchase just fine on the drivers side. This is a problem, as a need the manifold off. This afternoon I installed the flywheel, pressure plate and clutch and then moved on to the starter. The starter will not come close to mating because of a bracket that secures a coolant and oil return line occupies the same space that the starter solenoid wants to have. To modify necessitates the removal of the manifold. Bah. This weekend I'll get to grinding down a 12mm socket in an attempt to get it on the outer hex as per @GreggPDX's suggestion.
    Audi RS4 B7, Audi RS6 C5, Audi Allroad 2.7T C5, Audi S4 Cab 4.2L 6MT B6, Audi A6 6MT 2.7T C5, '77 Mercedes 450SEL

  18. #18
    Registered User redwoodkiwi's Avatar
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    After getting a little discouraged with the starter situation, I moved on to something that could give some immediate gratification...

    Got this from JHM - a 4:1 ratio center differential.




    And, into the ass-end of the 01E she goes..

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    Audi RS4 B7, Audi RS6 C5, Audi Allroad 2.7T C5, Audi S4 Cab 4.2L 6MT B6, Audi A6 6MT 2.7T C5, '77 Mercedes 450SEL

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