My B5 RS4 and I didn’t get along, here’s why…

By now I feel I’ve provided a few somewhat entertaining stories from my car history. Whether they’re the good the bad or the downright stupid I like to think they make for a good read regardless. Here’s another. So it’s 2017 around Christmas time and I’ve promised myself some time away from cars after what can only be described as haemorrhaging money from my B7 RS4 saloon. I made it a mint example and then sold for it bugger all when the market fell out its backside. I think the grand total of my “break” was about 3 months and after a small discussion with my bank manager some funds were available for my next moronic adventure. As a fairly established member of a couple of RS4 forums, I knew the B5 platform was simply “plagued” with reliability issues, these varied from accelerated camshaft wear to blown KO4 turbos, add some rust and knackered interiors and you’re there. However I lusted after the b5 regardless, it’s arches even wider and more flared than the B7, it’s Cosworth Bi-turbo V6 offering more power should I desire. What I can only describe as ungodly amounts of torque with an incredible shove. The B5 is what I imagine a fatter F40 to behave like (bare with me here). That old fashioned unrefined Bi-Turbo set up that teases with lag before punching you in the stomach and propelling itself forward like a pissed off starship Enterprise. My B5 “only” made 440BHP and 630NM courtesy of MTM tuning’s stage 3 package. If I remember correctly it’s only downpipes a Milltek cat-back and some filters. To me the car felt like a rocket and I know many B5 owners who routinely drive more than 600BHP monsters. However the B5 and I were from different eras, I was 5 years old when my car left the production line in Ingolstadt and it really showed. Everything felt so dated to me, the creaking leather the lack of space and primitive interior specs meant I felt a little lost whenever I got in it.

Now for the real reasons the B5 and I clashed…. The B5 was a rare beast between 2000-2001 only 500 ish units were made for the uk market. So you can imagine 17 years later there just aren’t as many around. I paid £15900 for my car with 88,000 miles full history and the car was Avus silver. It had the MTM stage 3 package , Bilstein sport suspension and Movit brakes front and rear. The car needed some attention in the usual areas, rusty arches knackered leather and a wheel refurb just to start. However it only got worse from there. I think the first thing I did back then was buy a period correct set of Sportec Mono alloys, these were massively popular for the B5 platform and they looked fantastic. After a simple attempt to get the car serviced and Oxfordshire’s propensity for badly maintained roads, a sizeable pothole broke two of my wheels and that as they say was the end of that. With factory wheels fitted again I chose to upgrade my front brakes to the popular B7 RS4 8 piston option with 380mm discs, this went down a treat when I found two rounded brake calliper bolts on the drivers side and a binding calliper on the passenger side. Fortunately after a multitude of swear words a couple of tantrums and some brute force I managed to remove the troublesome callipers. achieving my objective. Again… much harder than it needed to be. This theme would continue with the B5 whether it be having the car painted and the colour match being near impossible, with one painter flat out ruining my wing at one point. Even just trying to swap seats to a better conditioned set, the car fought me every step of the way! The most amusing of which was swapping the worn leather wheel for a pristine alcantara piece. Simple job just two torx and a spline …… Well I managed to break the steering position sensor which meant I lost abs and traction control (insert facepalm). The car had to be trailered to P&G automotive for repair.

My saga with the B5 taught me a great deal about building cool cars and how to use them. It proved to me that you need to use your car’s as much as possible when improving them or you just won’t bond at all. Never has the template of social media and real life not correlating meant more than in the example of my car. I knew many people telling me how crazy I was to sell it and it would go up in value one day. But it was too late I was exhausted mentally and financially. Despite eventually using it daily for a short time I couldn’t shake the hatred I had brought on myself. Couple this to the fear of camshaft failure or turbo wear I had to pull the plug on the B5 story. The RS however gave me a great parting gift as I’m sure you’ve read in my other posts. It enabled me to own one of my dream cars and for that I’ll always be grateful to it. I do miss it sometimes ,the ludicrous amounts of torque and how brutal it’s delivery of such was. Like watching your ex girlfriend get hotter after your break-up, my B5 has been “stanced” on air suspension and some delicious Ispiri wheels, it looks fantastic. However I don’t long for it anymore and I’m so pleased to see someone who genuinely loves it.

Sportec Mono alloys.

Published by Sam Busby

a big nosed bearded idiot who likes to write about cars. Lucky enough to have owned a few quick ones too.

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