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Thread: Symptoms of a failing flywheel?

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    EA Member Rydogg21 has an average reputation Rydogg21's Avatar
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    Default Symptoms of a failing flywheel?

    I posted the issue I was encountering on AZ awhile back and came to the conclusion that my motor mounts were going. However, I Vagcom'd the car this weekend and it showed no faults in the motor mounts. I have never received any CEL codes and the diagnostics I did this weekend showed no issues with the car.

    The issue I am having occurs occasionally and consists of strong vibrations throughout all gears while under load. The odd part is the intermittent nature... I cannot force the problem to occur but it appears to happen most when I am downshifting hard. To get the vibrations to stop, I can drive from a stop, upshift at 2k and baby the car for a few miles and itís gone. Once the vibrations are gone, I can drive the car through redline (all gears) and not have any issues. I can also downshift hard a few times and not have the issue occur. It seems so random??

    When the clutch is disengaged the vibrations stop and reengaged they appear again. So I have eliminated the chance that it was a suspension or wheel/tire issue. The car does not seem to lose power while the vibrations are taking place and I can still drive the car hard. The vibrations are most intense in the lower gears and mellow out a bit in 6th gear. This issue has been occurring on and off for about two months, probably five times total.

    My thought is the clutch/flywheel is not engaging correctly when down shifting hard and the vibrations are due to the improper engagement?

    What would a broken bearing on the flywheel feel like?

    Any advice is appreciated as I have been bugging out about this issue. I canít afford to replace a transmission.

    Anyone in NoVa want to take a ride sometime this week to see if we can initiate this issue and try to figure it out?

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    What happens when the car is sitting in idle? Do you feel any vibrations then?

    Now, what happens when you rev the motor in neutral? Do the vibrations stay after the RPM's fall from the rev?

    If you have no vibrations in neutral and only get them during load or revving the engine then i would suggest it being one of the motor mounts.

    Any liquid on the belly pan or on the floor after sitting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rydogg21 View Post
    I posted the issue I was encountering on AZ awhile back and came to the conclusion that my motor mounts were going. However, I Vagcom'd the car this weekend and it showed no faults in the motor mounts. I have never received any CEL codes and the diagnostics I did this weekend showed no issues with the car.

    The issue I am having occurs occasionally and consists of strong vibrations throughout all gears while under load. The odd part is the intermittent nature... I cannot force the problem to occur but it appears to happen most when I am downshifting hard. To get the vibrations to stop, I can drive from a stop, upshift at 2k and baby the car for a few miles and itís gone. Once the vibrations are gone, I can drive the car through redline (all gears) and not have any issues. I can also downshift hard a few times and not have the issue occur. It seems so random??

    When the clutch is disengaged the vibrations stop and reengaged they appear again. So I have eliminated the chance that it was a suspension or wheel/tire issue. The car does not seem to lose power while the vibrations are taking place and I can still drive the car hard. The vibrations are most intense in the lower gears and mellow out a bit in 6th gear. This issue has been occurring on and off for about two months, probably five times total.

    My thought is the clutch/flywheel is not engaging correctly when down shifting hard and the vibrations are due to the improper engagement?

    What would a broken bearing on the flywheel feel like?

    Any advice is appreciated as I have been bugging out about this issue. I canít afford to replace a transmission.

    Anyone in NoVa want to take a ride sometime this week to see if we can initiate this issue and try to figure it out?


    Joey Cuccaro


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    EA Member DucatiR930 has an average reputation DucatiR930's Avatar
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    When my flywheel went, there was vibration at idle and all the way up, and much to my dismay, there was nothing that I could do to ever get it to stop. To me, it does not sound like the flywheel is bad. What you are describing does not seem too similar to the symptoms I felt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucatiR930 View Post
    When my flywheel went, there was vibration at idle and all the way up, and much to my dismay, there was nothing that I could do to ever get it to stop. To me, it does not sound like the flywheel is bad. What you are describing does not seem too similar to the symptoms I felt.
    Yeah, i don't think it is the flywheel either. He would be feeling vibrations at all times just as you have stated.


    Joey Cuccaro


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    EA Member Rydogg21 has an average reputation Rydogg21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeycuccaro View Post
    What happens when the car is sitting in idle? Do you feel any vibrations then?

    Now, what happens when you rev the motor in neutral? Do the vibrations stay after the RPM's fall from the rev?

    If you have no vibrations in neutral and only get them during load or revving the engine then i would suggest it being one of the motor mounts.

    Any liquid on the belly pan or on the floor after sitting?
    When the vibrations are occuring you can feel it at idle, very slight though. When revving the engine at idle the vibrations dont increase in intensity. This is with the clutch engaged at idle. In nuetral you cant feel the vibrations.

    The vibrations stop instantly once I disengage the clutch and the car is coasting.

    No liquid under the car ever, but I have not taken the pan off to look. I will try to do that tonight to see if the mounts are laeking at all.

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    The flywheel failures are mostly confined to B6 cars. Are you a 2004 or 2005?

    They shear or seperate, but once they go, they can cause some much bigger problems. JHM has addressed this and has helped diagnose the problem for a few members. If it is your flywheel, and your car is 6 years old with 70,000 miles or something, maybe it's a good time to replace it and upgrade to a LW flywheel and stage III clutch. This will be a bonus as you'll save 13lbs of rotating crank mass, but more importantly will save you from a bad transmission problem that the flywheel could compound into.

    It's an inevitable replacement so maybe get it out of the way.

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    EA Member Rydogg21 has an average reputation Rydogg21's Avatar
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    Sorry about that.

    Car Information:
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    No CPO or factory warranty remaining

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    Any piece of rotating mass that is out of balance would have vibration all the time.

    I would be more concerned with a misfire/timing condition that is intermittent that causes the engine to run rough. You would think that this would trigger a CEL, but not always. Have you vag'd the car?

    Also, do you have to be rolling, or can you get this vibration by revving the motor while sitting still? This could help determine whether it is the tranny or motor.

    BTW, I don't know why, but I had a motor mount that had leaked almost all of the fluid out and I still had no corresponding codes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyGs4 View Post
    Any piece of rotating mass that is out of balance would have vibration all the time.

    I would be more concerned with a misfire/timing condition that is intermittent that causes the engine to run rough. You would think that this would trigger a CEL, but not always. Have you vag'd the car?

    Also, do you have to be rolling, or can you get this vibration by revving the motor while sitting still? This could help determine whether it is the tranny or motor.

    BTW, I don't know why, but I had a motor mount that had leaked almost all of the fluid out and I still had no corresponding codes.
    The previous owner took it in to get the coil packs done but I am not certain they did the all? Is there an easy way to tell if they are the updated version?

    While in gear and at idle it will vibrate slightly. Much more when reving through the gears. I will pull the pan tonight and check to see if they are leaking from either side?

    How hard is changing the motor mounts in your garage?

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    EA Member oblu has an average reputation oblu's Avatar
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    I'm just an armchair mechanic, but if it comes and goes and seems relating to shifting wouldn't the clutch / throw out bearing be suspect?

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    I'm just an armchair mechanic, but if it comes and goes and seems relating to shifting wouldn't the clutch / throw out bearing be suspect?
    It's possible, that is why I'm trying to determine if it does it while simply revving the motor, both with the clutch engaged and while disengaged and in neutral. Determining whether this is pre or post clutch (or clutch itself) is the key to solving it. The T-out bearing would explain some of it, but I have a hard time seeing it cause a great deal of noticeable vibration. Usually a T-out bearing will make a little noise when it is failing. All other parts of the clutch would vibrate all the time it they were damaged.

    I had my engine out when the mounts were replaced, so I can't answer the difficulty level on replacing them. I would personally have a shop do it. I would scrape my knuckles up all damn day trying to do the job, and they have all of the heavy lifting equipment to make it easy.

    Does the frequency of the vibration seem to go up with engine speed? Or ground speed? Or random?

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    i had a similar problem only my vibrations come on in 6th gear at a low rpm. it wasnt my tires or motor mounts so i suspected my coil packs were gonna fail. the problems went away and never came back.
    2006 Imola yellow s4 6mt

    K&N drop-in, custom borla cat-back by champion motorsports, cf rear lip spoiler, JHM stainless steel shift knob, hawks hps, lw rotors

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    EA Member Rydogg21 has an average reputation Rydogg21's Avatar
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    Is there an easy way to tell if the all my coil packs are the updated version?

    Simply revving the engine doesnt really cause this issue to occur. Would the motor mounts tighten up if I were just revving the engine? What tiggers the MM to engage and disengage?

    The vibrations are less intense at higher speed. You can feel them more in first gear a lot more than sixth gear. Again, they go away as soon as I push the clutch in...this was on the highway.

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    EA Member samq45 has an average reputation samq45's Avatar
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    I had a very similar problem to what you describe and it was my flywheel. It took me three trips to the dealer when it was actually vibrating for them to identify, and agree with me that the flywheel was the issue.

    This happened for almost 3 months. When the vibration did happen, which was rare, it always seemed to be a little warmer (around here it was 85-90 F) and I was always into the torque when it did happen. The vibration would be felt at idle and get worse as you approached 4-5K rpms. Sometimes it would last for 2 minutes and other times I would have it for 15 minutes but much longer. If I rev'ed it a little the vibration would go away most of the time - except for the last time when I was about 5 minutes from the dealer. I never once had any codes or CELs for this and would not expect to. The vibration is also a little different than engine or wheel vibration,you could feel it more in your seat and through the stick. When I was on the highway it was similar to what you describe as the vibration would almost go away if you pessed in the clutch and coasted for a bit.

    The tech explained that the flywheel had separated and the vibration was only felt when the flywheel was out of position with the bearing. It was like a puzzle where the seperated bearing would fall in and out of place quickly. He explained that they had three S4's that had seperated flywheels in the last few months before I brough mine in and that I was the only one they fixed where the problem was intermittent.

    Fixed under warranty or I would have had them fix it when I brought it the first time.
    Last edited by samq45; 04-12-2010 at 04:26 PM.

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    ^^^
    exactly, this is what I was referring to. Early B6 cars.

    The B7 got a new clutch/flywheel...same as the RS4. JHM sells the B7 one as an upgrade to the B6 cars. They refuse to resurface a B6 flywheel because they're so bad that what's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaybquick@jhm
    Also as part of the testing we sent B6 S4 and B7 S4/RS4 pressure plates out to be tested by a large clutch manufacturer to get all the actual clamp load data and see why Audi changed the pressure plate and flywheel in 05.5 and why Audi used the B7 S4 pressure plate on the B7 RS4 (same PN). The results pretty much lined up with our assumptions, the test results showed that the B7 S4/RS4 pressure plate had 400 more lbs of clamp load. This explained the upgrade for the B7 S4s in 05.5 and why it was the pressure plate used in the B7 RS4 as well. This is exactly why we based our lightweight flywheels and full kits off of the B7 S4 setup since it technically used a B7 RS4 pressure plate.

    NOTE: JHM will not resurface or modify OEM B6 S4 flyhweels due to their high failure rate and falling apart (several cases have been reported to us and Audi is aware of this, hence the updated flywheel in 05.5 with the B7. When they fail they cause a nasty vibration and if neglected they can cause the pressure plate to hit the transmission case and crack the actual transmission bellhousing. For this reason we are not recommending reusing the B6 flywheel.
    and

    Quote Originally Posted by jaybquick@jhm
    MORE INFORMATION ON WHY WE ARE NOT RESURFACING THE B6 FLYWHEELS.


    We had a couple PMs with people sharing that theirs are ok and some asking why we are not resurfacing them. Here is the long version of why.

    We have a bunch of B6 cores here and could have an exchange service. But in all the years we did B5 S4 flywheel resurfacing we saw ZERO failures. With the B6s we have already seen 5 failures in a 2 month period. So if we did an exchange program and any failed we would have to eat that core and the machining labor. Plus we would probably see bad cores and charge people outrageous core charges since we would have to buy other cores that could be bad as well to replace them thus upsetting them. It is just a bad business move and a disservice to the community if we resurface them. Obviously there may be a 5% to 15% failure rate, but that is too high and we would lose money and hurt our reputation in the long haul. Plus shipping those flywheels around in a warranty situation would make it an even BIGGER loser.

    Also the B6 pressure plate is weaker (less clamp load), so we would rather upgrade everyone to the B7 flywheel and pressure plate. We could modify the B6 flywheel to work with the B7 pressure plate, but it would weaken it some (we were in the works to do this for the B6 guys and test it but then more and more bad flywheels started surfacing). Since we already see failures we feel it is best to upgrade to our B7 spec lightweight flywheel or the OEM updated B7 flywheel.

    Hope this helps those confused about why we won't. We aren't saying some won't be ok, we are just playing the odds and some can' afford the labor to replace a part a second time even if we replaced the part on us as well. We just don't want to do that to some people since we know better and not all are doing this themselves. Just not worth the risk even if it is a low percentage.

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    p.s. I just read your thread (same one) over on AZ.


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    EA Member Rydogg21 has an average reputation Rydogg21's Avatar
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    Yeah, AZ at this point is a place to see pictures of others rides and the browse the classifieds section. I am rarely over there for that reason.

    Based on the last few posts: what do I do to determine if the flywheel is the issue??

    I dont want to go drop $1500 for the flywheel and clutch and find out its something else?

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    EA Member Rydogg21 has an average reputation Rydogg21's Avatar
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    Got under the car tonight and looked at the motor mounts. There was no fluid currently on the mounts. I couldnt really see spots with residue from the mounts, the exception being some residue on the AC compressor (as seen in the first pict).

    I took a bunch of photos to show what I could see:

    What do you guys think?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Symptoms of a failing flywheel?-img_0101.jpg   Symptoms of a failing flywheel?-img_0103.jpg   Symptoms of a failing flywheel?-img_0106.jpg   Symptoms of a failing flywheel?-img_0110.jpg   Symptoms of a failing flywheel?-img_0108.jpg  


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    EA Member Rydogg21 has an average reputation Rydogg21's Avatar
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    Do the motor mounts look good?

    what do I do to determine if the flywheel is the issue??

    I dont want to go drop $1500 for the flywheel and clutch and find out its something else?

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    the tech guys will chime in soon after seeing those pics.

    You might try to host your pics on photobucket, then link to them. Works great and you don't have to have small wee pics or thumbnail links to small wee pics.

    just create a photobucket account and load the big versions up there. Then link to the image properties (not the url of the html page...the actual properties of the pic on PB when you right click and select 'properties' in IE or 'copy image location' on firefox et al).

    As for the clutch/flywheel...I was saying just do it if you eliminate variables as its probably due soon.

    Did you call JHM directly? Try that...they'll be happy to give you their thoughts since you might become a customer looking for a flywheel/clutch/PP by the sounds of it.
    Last edited by sakimano; 04-13-2010 at 02:13 PM.

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    EA Member DucatiR930 has an average reputation DucatiR930's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakimano View Post
    As for the clutch/flywheel...I was saying just do it if you eliminate variables as its probably due soon.
    As much as it would be nice to just go ahead with the LW flywheel and stage 3 clutch from JHM, I think we need to get a correct diagnosis. After everything was said and done, I ended up shelling out just over $3000 for parts and labor to get my issue resolved. If he just takes a shot in the dark and changes the flywheel/clutch and by chance that is not the issue, Rydogg is going to be one unhappy camper. Plus, with 51k miles on the car (relatively low for a 2004 b6), he should have a little more life out of that fw/clutch. If I were Rydogg, I would take the car to the dealer for a diagnosis and pay for that hour or so of labor.
    2009 Phantom Black S5
    -Stock
    2004 Brilliant Black S4
    -Silver Alcantara, Milltek Non-Res Catback, Carbonio CAI, GIAC Tune, RS4 Reps, Window Tint (35% Front/20% Rear), Apikol Snub
    2007 Escalade
    2000 Ducati 996
    -Marchesinis, Termignoni Full System, Corse Airbox, Corse TB's, Corse Gauge Pod, Ohlins Rear, Yoyodyne Slave, Open Dry Clutch

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    Motor mounts *look* OK. I don't see any oil, and that is usually the sign of one starting to fail. Gotta be honest here, kinda hard to tell from photos.

    Best way to find out is to take your finger and rub it all the way around the mount (bottom). If you have oil on your finger when you are done, you may still have a bad mount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DucatiR930 View Post
    As much as it would be nice to just go ahead with the LW flywheel and stage 3 clutch from JHM, I think we need to get a correct diagnosis. After everything was said and done, I ended up shelling out just over $3000 for parts and labor to get my issue resolved. If he just takes a shot in the dark and changes the flywheel/clutch and by chance that is not the issue, Rydogg is going to be one unhappy camper. Plus, with 51k miles on the car (relatively low for a 2004 b6), he should have a little more life out of that fw/clutch. If I were Rydogg, I would take the car to the dealer for a diagnosis and pay for that hour or so of labor.
    You hit the nail on the head, spending several thousand and not fixng the issue would be painful.

    The first day it occurred, I took it to the dealership and they said they can look at it in 10 days :0 (at $100+)

    So I went to a indy Audi/Bmw/Porsche shop and we took the car out to try to get the vibrations to occur again. After ragging on the car for 40 mins or so (pushed the car harder than ever before), we couldnt get the vibrations to start. The shop owner was like, "next time it happens, try to switch gears, disengaged the clutch, etc." I have since tried many things to get the vibrations to start/stop and still havent figured out a distinguished pattern.

    The only thing that appears to remain constant is down shifting seems to trigger the vibrations. Once they start they will continue through all gears until I restart the car and baby it for 3-4 miles around town type driving. They just seem to fade away and the car goes back to normal. Its really odd, I have never had the trigger by such revving out all the gears, only when downshifting.

    I ordered a vagcom cable and will keep a laptop in my car to monitor things as soon as they start.

    I want to double check that all my coil packs have been updated but I dont know how to distinguish between old/new coil packs?

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    EA Member Rydogg21 has an average reputation Rydogg21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakimano View Post
    the tech guys will chime in soon after seeing those pics.

    You might try to host your pics on photobucket, then link to them. Works great and you don't have to have small wee pics or thumbnail links to small wee pics.

    just create a photobucket account and load the big versions up there. Then link to the image properties (not the url of the html page...the actual properties of the pic on PB when you right click and select 'properties' in IE or 'copy image location' on firefox et al).

    As for the clutch/flywheel...I was saying just do it if you eliminate variables as its probably due soon.

    Did you call JHM directly? Try that...they'll be happy to give you their thoughts since you might become a customer looking for a flywheel/clutch/PP by the sounds of it.




    Last edited by sakimano; 04-13-2010 at 07:10 PM.

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    iirc, the latest part number ends with a "T", and the part number is printed on the coilpack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyGs4 View Post
    Motor mounts *look* OK. I don't see any oil, and that is usually the sign of one starting to fail. Gotta be honest here, kinda hard to tell from photos.

    Best way to find out is to take your finger and rub it all the way around the mount (bottom). If you have oil on your finger when you are done, you may still have a bad mount.
    I did exactly what you recommended, ran my fingers in the gap of the mount, all the way around. No liquid what so ever. I then started looking for neighboring parts to have residue, but couldnt find anything really convincing.

    So I am kind of doubting its the mounts?

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    So I am kind of doubting its the mounts?
    Me too.

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  28. #28
    Vernichtungsgedanke sakimano is a true asset to the Euro Addiction community sakimano is a true asset to the Euro Addiction community sakimano is a true asset to the Euro Addiction community sakimano is a true asset to the Euro Addiction community sakimano is a true asset to the Euro Addiction community sakimano is a true asset to the Euro Addiction community sakimano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucatiR930 View Post
    As much as it would be nice to just go ahead with the LW flywheel and stage 3 clutch from JHM, I think we need to get a correct diagnosis. After everything was said and done, I ended up shelling out just over $3000 for parts and labor to get my issue resolved. If he just takes a shot in the dark and changes the flywheel/clutch and by chance that is not the issue, Rydogg is going to be one unhappy camper.
    which is why I wrote this

    Quote Originally Posted by sakimano View Post
    As for the clutch/flywheel...I was saying just do it if you eliminate variables as its probably due soon.
    and this

    Quote Originally Posted by sakimano View Post
    If it is your flywheel, and your car is 6 years old with 70,000 miles or something, maybe it's a good time to replace it and upgrade to a LW flywheel and stage III clutch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rydogg21 View Post




    here they are





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    Quote Originally Posted by sakimano View Post
    which is why I wrote this



    and this
    I must have misunderstood what you had written. Nothing personal
    2009 Phantom Black S5
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    2004 Brilliant Black S4
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    -Marchesinis, Termignoni Full System, Corse Airbox, Corse TB's, Corse Gauge Pod, Ohlins Rear, Yoyodyne Slave, Open Dry Clutch

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    Quote Originally Posted by sakimano View Post
    here they are




    Thanks man!

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    Im still at a loss of what to do next:

    1. Check that all coil packs are the revised version
    2. VagCom the car (waiting on cable) and look for anything that seems out of whack
    3. ?????

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    you linked to the main image page on flickr, but it's a bit more complicated on flickr because of their protection of your content.

    select image so it's on the screen
    click the ALL SIZES button
    when on the largest size, from THAT image right click and get those properties or 'copy image location'. If using IE, you can also right click the 'DOWNLOAD LARGE SIZE' and 'copy link location'

    Then, on Euroaddiction in a post, click the little yellow button up here called 'INSERT IMAGE' and paste that .jpg location in there.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rydogg21 View Post
    Im still at a loss of what to do next:

    1. Check that all coil packs are the revised version
    2. VagCom the car (waiting on cable) and look for anything that seems out of whack
    3. ?????
    I TOLD YOU TO CALL JHM!!!

    As I said they're as aware of this problem as anyone in our business and will be able to

    a) help narrow down if it is your flywheel and if these symptoms are consistent with what they've seen on other failures (they've seen plenty)
    b) if it is the flywheel, they'll be able to offer a great price on a far superior product to the shitty B6 flywheel

    Asking us to diagnose it over the web though is virtually impossible because we're just dudes like you. Even your mechanic couldn't figure it out and they rode in the car.

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    EA Member samq45 has an average reputation samq45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rydogg21 View Post
    Im still at a loss of what to do next:

    1. Check that all coil packs are the revised version
    2. VagCom the car (waiting on cable) and look for anything that seems out of whack
    3. ?????
    You did all the same things I did. Since the coil packs were like $23/each and spark plugs were cheap I replaced them all. No change. Replaced fuel filter, snub mount, timing belt and checked the motor mounts and checked the codes - all no help. Brought to the dealer twice and they just replaced a vacuum hose. I seafoamed it and even did the BG44 three part treatment with one can direct to the fuel line, still no help with the vibration that came and went.

    Other than a cam timing issue (which should cause codes) what else could it be?

    Throwing parts at problems is not a good thing, but I think you know the answer to your issue.

    Keep in mind some people have damaged their transmissions by letting the flywheel problem go to long. The vibrations get so bad they can even crack the transmission case which could cost you a bit more.

    I was lucky to have a warranty on my 04. The clutch went at 54,000 miles and I was told that I did not need a new flywheel at the time . At 65K miles my vibration problem started and the flywheel was replaced under warranty at about 71K miles. Without a warranty I would have had to pay twice to pull the tranny in 20K miles or bite the bullet and find time to do it myself.

    Good Luck

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