I swear they look better in person. I put the Audi center caps on which makes them look a little stock. The nice thing is that, even though bigger, I have saved over 5 pounds PER wheel/tire combo and that means a lot. It is very quiet to drive now but I haven't spent a lot of time in it. I like them OK.
I think this is typical when you upgrade to larger wheels. The gap between the tire and the fender appears more pronounced with lower profile tires. I think the BBS wheels are nice, but not quite sure if they fit the A8. I like your original 17" 5-spokers a little better.
I have a comment about your navigation receiver box on top of the trunk lid. The first time I saw this was at the LA Auto Show on an A6 and an A8, and I was shocked. It looks like an oversight on the part of the system designers. I've noticed that the A4 and S4 don't have this box with the GPS option. I don't know about you, but I would skip this option based on the aesthetic damage it does to the clean lines of the car. How do you feel about it?
Bart A. Lane
01-26-2000, 04:33 PM
The car was on uneven ground and there was a slope so it lifted up the back end some. On level ground it looks much better. The tires are exactly the same height as the 225/55/17 stock tires because I didn't want to mess with the calibration any.
I agree on the Nav lump. It does look funny but I really do love the system. It is so easy to go someplace new now. I use it all the time and don't think I would want to go without it now. I'm not sure about the A4 but the A6 has a silver colored circle there that also stands out quite loudly. For the benefit it gives me I consider it a small price to pay. But, it is always the first thing people ask about the car.
"What is that square thing on your trunk?"
"It is the receiver for the navigation system. It receives signals from space."
01-26-2000, 04:54 PM
Sorry to be in the wrong forum, but will those wheels fit correctly on an A6 2.7T? Also, do you know if they're lighter then the stock setup on the 2.7T w/sport pkg?
01-26-2000, 05:15 PM
I assume that you went with 245/45R18 tires on 18 x 8 wheels. Am I correct? Wouldn't 8.5" width work better with 245 tires? Perhaps there is a clearance problem with the 8.5" width.
Yes, these tires are the same height as your 17" tires. I was merely saying that even though the fender gap is exactly the same as before, it appears larger because of the lower profile rubber (proportion of gap to tire sidewall is higher). Based on a second look at all the pictures, your gap seems fine. I'm glad you like the Audi navigation system. In the recent C/D comparison test involving the '00 A8, it was judged to be the enthusiast driver's choice with best cockpit ergonomics.
01-26-2000, 05:17 PM
The GPS antenna is installed at the dealer. They cut a whole in the trunk and put the box on. The cars you may have seen on the lot with GPS may not have had the antenna mounted yet.
Bart A. Lane
01-26-2000, 05:22 PM
I went with S8 sizes although I have seen a few posted that were different. For the most part I see 245/45/18 on 8x18 rims which is what I have. I was assured on several fronts that 245 is fine on a 8" rim and the A6 4.2 has 255 on a 8" wheel so it is fine.
I don't know if 8.5" would have fit or not, it looks like it would be very close up front but the 8" width was a no brainer for me anyway. I know the S8 wheel is 8x18 for sure and I wanted to stick with that.
The Nav system continues to amaze me. Everybody I know pooh-poohed such a feature when I first brought it home. Now they all love it.
After I get my brakes on I will take some better pictures on level ground with a clean car. Pressed for time today. It really does look all right to me.
01-26-2000, 05:30 PM
01-26-2000, 06:07 PM
01-26-2000, 06:13 PM
… ignore the question above.
01-26-2000, 11:11 PM
01-27-2000, 06:55 AM
01-27-2000, 06:57 AM
Bart A. Lane
01-27-2000, 07:42 AM
Either you live near me or you paid a visit to www.555-1212.com Which is it?
01-27-2000, 08:44 AM
Good guess, actually just yahoo people search. Did'nt mean it as an invasion of privacy, its just amazing how easy everything is these days.
Love your car...
Bart A. Lane
01-27-2000, 09:50 AM
No problem. I'm in the book and very easy to get ahold of. It is easy to find out stuff about people though, no matter where they live.
01-27-2000, 11:23 PM
Bart- quite a trek you've made so far. Makes for some interesting reading. I have a '97 A8 and went to 17" Ronal R-28's w/Michelin Pilot XGT Z4 225/55 from the Audi stock 16" 5 spoke. I pretty much had the same reaction as Ali B when I saw my car (with the new wheels/tires) and yours. I know I have maintained the same overall profile but it just looks like there is more space. Despite that comment my main reason for wanting to do the conversion is I feel like the car doesn't sit flat enough in turns particularly when the pavement is anything less than flat. I think the S8 suspension kit will be my next upgrade followed by the brakes so please share the rest of your brake saga with us once you have everything in place.
Bart A. Lane
01-28-2000, 08:34 AM
That I love the way my A8 rides right now. I just love it. The last thing I want to do is to turn it into some low clearance, smooth concrete only driving, super handling machine. That's now why I bought it, I have a sports car for that thrill. I bought this to drive in luxury, refinement, and smoothness. To me one of the strengths of the Audis is its ability to drive an varied surfaces and I don't want to lose that. I bought this car to be a luxury car first and sports car second. So why am I doing the brakes, wheels, and tires? Well, I am not against spirited driving and no matter what great brakes is a wise choice. These tires suit my driving better in Seattle. All rain which is their strong point. They are practically silent in the car, a big improvement over the all season tires. They have a long wear life, are cheap, come in lots of sizes, and handle pretty good in the dry too. A lowered or firmed up A8 just doesn't interest me because while it may improve the car 1% of the time it will detract from it the other 99. People always comment on what a smooth and graceful vehicle it is.
But, if I didn't have a sports car sitting in the garage it would be a whole different story. I would probably have the motor rebuilt with a low compression blower motor and a six speed conversion, etc. etc. etc.
Look for full updates with photos of the brake swap.
01-28-2000, 01:51 PM
I was skeptical about the Nav system, but after a few uses, it is just amazing compared to the other Nav systems I have used (mostly Hertz rentals). The 'Heads up' approach Audi took makes for a great user experience. I don't know if it's my imagination, but it also seems more accurate than the Ones in Hertz cars.
01-28-2000, 02:26 PM
Nice Pictures. On a different topic, how are the Audi dealers relative to mods like the brakes, etc, and the overall warranty on new Audis. Any experiences ?
Bart A. Lane
01-28-2000, 03:03 PM
Haven't tried yet but I don't expect a problem. I have a relationship with my service department and that is the most important thing. I took them 2 dozen donuts and a gallon of milk once. They love me now and I'm sure they will work with me. Also, all the mods I have done can be reversed in an afternoon should anything go wrong. It wouldn't hurt to ask your service department before you do anything. Call them but be anonymous.
01-28-2000, 09:16 PM
Well, I wouldn't call it a "problem", just a preference. I've read some posts from folks who have done the conversion and said the impact on the overall ride comfort was pretty minimaland was definitly worth the gains. I would tend to think if the ride comfort tradeoff with the 18"s doesn't bother you, neither will the "sports" suspension. I guees I am not sure what you define as spirited driving. Big rubber on a car like this usually means hard cornering or quick/emergency manuvering, which is where I have noticed the suspension short comings the most. (duh) If it's an issue with wet weather traction, from what I've been told, bigger rubber can start to work against you due to the larger area of water that the tire must displace. Anyway, just my $.02 worth. If you like the way the car rides the way it is, that is what is most important.
Bart A. Lane
01-28-2000, 10:47 PM
You are correct, I shouldn't rule it out until I drive it. That is hard here though. I wish I could spend some time with a S8 believe me. I'm just really worried about making this car less livable because they did such a good job giving it an excellent ride. I did not notice any more harsh a ride with the tire swap at all. Basically all I did was stiffen the sidewalls and widen the patch by 20mm. I can feel more detail of the road in the steering wheel now but the overall ride did not get any more harsh. It feels smoother though because these tires are much more quiet and it fools you I think.
01-29-2000, 07:50 AM
Yes, unfortunatly most of us here in the states either have to guess at what an S8 feels like or depend on reports from others who have done this mod. If you expect to keep this car for a while there is obviously no need to rush into something like this. If you attend any of the big Audi events, who knows maybe you will run into someone who has done this and will let you take a test drive.