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The 'Sled' 2.8 V6 Cabby

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  • The 'Sled' 2.8 V6 Cabby

    Only just noticed a section for us cabriolet owners! Happy days!

    A quick bit of history - 2 winters ago I ruined the engine on my S2 coupe by doing a critical maintenance job badly, and was looking for a replacement car. I had a stash of V6 parts from a previous car, and really wanted to try something new - enter the sled, which came up on gumtree at a bargain £950 with my desired 2.8 V6 engine, 17" Boleros and an electric roof.

    And this was what she looked like after a wash (Of course the first thing that happened was I got a puncture so I put on some temporary wheels. )

    The next thing was to fit some of my goodies and give the engine a good service.

    Ported and polished intake manifold, De-posted MAF, throttle body with enlarged primary, new plugs, new PCV hoses, cleaned injectors, coolant flush etc.

    For those of you running the 2.8 V6 as standard - I REALLY recommend going on the AudiWorld forum and having a read in the V6 development forum. There is so much that can be done to get more out of this engine, and doing the work is an educational and rewarding experience. Also Mance has some good guides on e.g

    Also it's nice that this time nobody can say 'you should have just got an S2' when I talk about this sort of work. I would love to re-do some of these parts, as it's easily possible to go much further and really shape the MAF and TB to get everything out of it, but what I've got made with basic hand tools makes a real perceivable difference to how the car drives, and I would recommend it to anyone with this engine.

    Tired of riding high, the cabrio got some coilovers (coupe ones). To get the rears to work, I had to build extensions for the spring perches, as the cabrio has VERY long springs. I'll get some built one day, but so far these have worked great!

    Additonally, a number of exterior / interior jobs have been done, including dyeing all of the seats and leather, red LED bulbs, PTC heater for better demist performance, speaker replacements, ellipsoid headlights, neoprene foam to fill the bumper to light/bonnet gaps. The roof has been cleaned and re-protected.

    And after all that, here's how she looks now:

    Just working on an all around suspension overhaul with new bushes, got a steering rack with a small leak and a seized bolt which needs attention, and I also have the 'bubble' in the dash trim that is so common with these cars

    Future plans, once all of the maintenance is done? Possibly an RS2 style grille, but in chrome - just replacing the slats with a honeycomb plastic mesh, recaro seats + heated seat retrofit, and the possibility for a 6 speed swap (but now we're into dreaming!)

  • #2
    Very very nice indeed, and really good to see someone making improvements to the AAH rather than just swapping it for a 20vT ......

    Interesting to know what you did to improve the rear screen heater performance

    Don't understand why yours didn't have elipsoids when you bought it


    • #3
      my money is on the elliposids being taken off to sell separate in the past... always worth more in parts than as a whole

      The PTC heater was a bit of a trial run, which I don't think was hugely successful. On ebay you can buy little cigarette lighter powered demisters, and I reasoned if I put the elements (with attached heat sinks) from these into the airflow onto the rear screen, I could get more heat into the system and speed up demist. The reality is these heaters don't have enough wattage to make a significant difference, but there is an improvement... Phase 2 I'm thinking of something a bit more powerful, or maybe even a webasto coolant heater like you get on a lot of diesels... But electrical systems are limited by the wiring, and plumbing in a fuelled heater is a lot of effort for a bit of demist/defrost.


      • #4
        not been on in a while, car looks lovely, nice work on it and thanks a lot for the links to the v6 development, I too have one and it needs a little more poke imo.

        keep up the good work


        • #5
          Hit a major milestone today, so I thought I'd best share what I've been up to during my cold evenings

          I've never been 100% satisfied with my interior - I want heated seats, and possibly ABY seats or the ultra rare recaros. One day, however I was trawling ebay (as you do) and came across a set of these beauties, so thought why not!

          They are Golf VR6 'colour concept' seats, in leather and with seat heater elements - Score! The only downsides: a patch of damage and the seats are black... easily fixed

          So out came the dye kit I used on the current interior, and the seats turned to grey.

          To do the damaged part, I created a mesh with needle and thread (rough is ok, it won't be seen in the send) then used it to hold the leather filler, then sand and dye.

          Came out pretty well eh?

          Got me some heated seat switches and wired them in as factory. The golf seats have a relay underneath, which connects to the heater elements and temperature sensor with a connector. Since the Audi switches have internal relays, I took the connector from the golf relay and matched the correct wires on the seat heater loom, so effectively I have factory 'ish' connectors in case I want to easily disconnect.

          And today, the seats finally went in:

          Mega pleased with how they turned out, just a bit annoyed they sit higher than the original seats, even with the frame rail mods to make them level. I'm not mega tall (6ft roughly), but give another inch or so and my head would be touching the roof! They may need to come out and have another notch cut into the seat height adjustment... not sure

          Must get some pics in the daylight, they do look awesome, and they hold my backside loads better than the originals

          Also anyone want my old seats?


          • #6
            nice work on the seats, the re-dye looks great, much better!

            I have ABY S2 front seats in mine now which have heater elements, can I be cheeky and ask for the part numbers to the seat buttons? was it difficult to wire in? (electrics not my strong suit...)

            What else you got planned for her?


            • #7
              Good job on ABY seats! I gave up after a bit and widened the search, it's harder when I'm looking for a set to re-dye because I'd feel bad if I wrecked a really nice set! And mine were cheap too *shame*

              The switches I got were these:

              I believe they were PN 4A0 963 563 with the internal relay, and they came with a full loom

              The guy who sold them to me on ebay is on here with the name Stingeris, he said he had quite a few so it may be worth pinging him a message

              Wiring was easy, the switches are numbered with DIN wiring codes so it's easy to work out power and ground (I was actually quite amazed I hadn't known about DIN wiring standards earlier, makes fault finding on these cars really easy!), wiring diagram found here is good:


              Bench testing was fun! Had to use a jump pack as a 12v source....


              • #8
                Good work there.
                I've had a few v6 coupes and cabs and like the engines.
                I have one in a quattro avant (2.6) and thought about fitting the spare 2.8 I have, but have changed my
                mind and want to do a v8 instead
                How much difference has the engine work made to performance?


                • #9
                  Nice looking cab.

                  I have never seen leather repaired like that! Is that still flexible/reasonably wear resistant?
                  Current-2004 Impreza PPP wagon

                  Sold-92 3B coupe-RS2+, 996s, konis, rear torsen, forged rods........
                  Sold ABY-stock


                  • #10
                    My tuppence is to leave the existing grille as is, and de-chrome the trim around the edge of the grille to black.

                    RS2 mesh in the grille and the bumper is very over rated imho. Looks a bit kit car to me.

                    Powdercoat the chrome door pulls satin or gloss black ala RS2. :roll eyes:

                    And also cover the chrome A pillars and chrome trim around the base of the rear window in black, ala Golf GTI trim rather than Golf GLS chrome.

                    I also took off the 2.6 badge and the four rings on the boot on mine. I went as far as ordering and fitting a black masted electric aerial to replace the oem chrome one. (my car's spec was similar to yours but an auto with black leather, now sold).

                    Great work on the seats - the colour change, and the repair is amazing.

                    Don't think it is worth your while changing to six speed box.

                    What would be worth doing if it fits, is to change the steering rack to an S2 rack as I think it is "quicker" than the Cabrio rack. You'll notice this improvement everytime you drive the car.

                    Good work on the engine refinements.



                    • #11
                      Very nice to see a thread like this on here. I have a 2.8 Final edition with the Boleros and are great looking cars imho. Tweaks to seats etc like Recaros,climate control and the V6 2.8 is very desirable. The 2.6 and 2.8 are very underrated power plants imo.

                      In a parallel universe where money and time would be no object how about a 3.2 V6 with TFSI technology keeping weight down and 265bhp standard on tap would be fairly light on the front end with plenty of power and it's a nice engine to look at.
                      Have you ever considered one of these?

                      What you have achieved with your seats is amazing.
                      Attached Files
                      96 URS6 plus speck saloon
                      96 URS6 plus speck estate
                      94 2.6 80 Avant
                      99 2.8 final edition Cabriolet


                      • #12
                        Cracking looking motor, we had the 2.6 V6 until early last year (2014) as I was told that if I wanted another car I'd have to sell the cabby, now she's gone I miss her, but make up with this by firing up the RS2...! I'd still liked to have them both as I always loved the shape of the 80 cabby since an old mate of mine in Germany got one brand new, of course his was the 2.8 so no comparison. That 3.2 TFSI would certainly make up for lost power too, but she was a litle cruiser for us and good to get the wind in yer hair.....and on yer heid too....

                        1998 A6 Q (Suzie)
                        2 x B4 80's both 1993 (Heather & Hazel)
                        1995 A4 1.6 (Heather II)
                        1999 A6 Avant 2.4 (Bollie)
                        2001 S6 Avant 4.2 (Rio)
                        1995 80 Cabrio 2.6 (Gracie)
                        2013 Q7 Flooded & gone
                        1995 RS2 2.2 Flooded & gone


                        • #13
                          Great work , looks spot on , love the seats too
                          Cab 2.3E


                          • #14
                            Thanks! The seats have no real problems with long term wear - it's not the same as a retrim, but if done right, they will last as long as the leather holds up unless it gets abused or stained etc.

                            A quick update, I found my seat height problem - the seatbelt stems! Normally they are mounted inside of the seat hinge (so the cable bit that holds the buckle is hidden by the plastic trim). With these seats the cable part is forced to do two very sharp turns, and the lower the seat, the more bent they need to be, so at the lowest setting they were preventing me going down another click. Moved them outside the hinge and got another notch. I may do the 'extra notch' seat modifcation, but for now I'm happy. I'm warm, and I'm not sliding around when I turn corners. Sorted.

                            I can't stress enough how the engine work has transformed how the car drives. Anyone with a standard 2.8 getting into this car would swear it was a different engine, the character is so different. The problem was (and still is) that the S2 is the top of the range, and the poor V6s are in the middle somewhere, not quite powerful enough and not quite cheap enough to run. In the US, the V6 was top of the range, so there are a lot of people putting work in to get more out of these. As a bare minimum given a stock 2.8, I would do the intake port match (fix this:, de-post the MAF and bore the throttle primary.

                            Money no object it would be very nice to quattro this, but it's such a massive job to do right, it's not going to happen. Plenty of small odd jobs to keep me busy first!

                            One other thing... I agree with not going for the 'mesh' look on the front grill, I wasn't going to do that.... My pie in the sky idea was to go for some honeycomb plastic, something a bit more OEM.. I like the chrome though, so no de-chroming is going to happen at all. S2 rack maybe, I've just had a heck of a time trying to change the gaiter on my rack (one sheared rack to steering arms bolt needed careful drilling out), don't fancy touching that area for a while!

                            Passed MOT too today, yay!


                            • #15
                              Did you do the polishing and de-post yourself?

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