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Old 04-03-2006, 08:34 AM   #1
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Default Upgraded Euro Gunmetal Avant roof rails installed this weekend

Well, I spent about 3 hours Saturday night to install these bad boys. Not as bad as I thought. With two small boys at home, I just don't have the time during the day to do this...plus I can't call myself a father if I don't spend time with my boys and my wife during the weekends (I'm sure that many of you can relate). Therefore, I used the wee hours of midnight and 3AM to get this done. Also, keep in mind that you are looking at a 2001 A6 Avant.

See post below for part#'s etc...etc. You can only source these out of Europe...but I bet if you contacted www.vagparts.com, they could get them for you ...but expect to spend mucho $$ for the new parts. I was lucky enough to find them for about $250 shipped. I don't think I'll be selling my original roof rails; those will get boxed up into the attic for future reference.

Contrast on a light-colored avant:
I'm in love with them. Period. As stated in the post below, once I saw these on a Euro RS6 Avant...I had to have them. Took me about year to find a set. What's weird is that now that I have them...I notice other wagon's and SUV's with them on the road all the time. In fact, if you've ever seen a silver BMW X5, it comes with all the black window trim, roof rails etc -- what a hot color combination. All the other Volvo wagons have this same look too. I think if I had a black or dark color avant...I wouldn't do it...but on a silver...it just looks like it was meant to be.

Ok....onto the process:
Upgrading to these rails...was a lot easier than I thought. Similar to BostonDrivers' alcantara upgrade in his sedan, I'm not sure if there will be too many people on AW doing this upgrade.....but here are some notes/caveats about my install:

- Avant has three large trim pieces near the headliner that cover the sidecurtain airbag etc; Sedan has two (I think).
- A-pillar is always the toughest one.
- Removal of this trim takes a little bit of finesse. It is rigid enough that it won't break easy...but flexible enough that you can flex it a bit to remove/install it. Keep in mind, when you car is assembled at the plant, the headliner goes up first, then the sidecurtain trim...thent he A/B/C/D trim goes up. So keep that in mind.
- Start by pulling out the A-pillar (see techsection of AW for a write-up with pix)...and then the rear D-pillar trim...and then the B/C-pillar trim. I had the D-pillar trim already out when I upgraded to the OEM fin on the roof...I had a good idea of how to get the other pieces out.
- the trim/panel removal tools from Zdmak (to a google search) were extremely useful. I still used a 2" plastic putty knife for some pieces.
- I had to unscrew some of the small torx bolts that held the side-curtain airbag to the chassis...so I could access the 5 bolts that hold eady rail to the roof - no big deal really.
- The access hole near the C-pillar for the avant rail is partially blocked by a flexible tube for the water drainage from the sunroof. You need to gently insert your ratchet wrench up the hole. The tube is flexible enough that it won't cut easy...but you just want to be careful.
- The C-pillar trim is held on by a torx bolt (or a few) and a plastic hook. You need to slide the trim up to unlatch this hook. Having the panel removal tools from Zdmak really helpe me here.
- Having a magnetic bolt "wand" (another great tool to own) was useful...cause I dropped a few of my torx screws from the trim underneath my front seats...and that wand saved me from scratching up my knuckles trying to find them.
- I ran the car through the carwash before I reinstalled the trim to check for any potential leaks....just to be on the safe side. But honestly, the 3 rubber "feet" on each rail make such a nice fit, I doubt air could even pass through.

Related install posts:

ZDmak trim/panel tools ($20):

When I get around to it, I'll post up some random pix of the install and update this thread so others can see what I did. I would also recommend that anyone who is considering this...to purchase the Bentley manual on CD. It has a lot of great facts on how to remove these pieces. Thanks to Lee Hicks for providing me with some of that content.

Other options:
You could always have your existing rails powder coated. Just put some tape over the exposed holes during the process. I considered it...but then just opted for the OEM version. Something to think about.

Also, I pulled off my winter rims..and put my 17-inchers back on. This is a better view of the OEM Submarine fin and rear Euro license plate bracket. Because the rails are new, they are jet black...and my S6 door trim needs a coat of Armour All to match.

You just gotta love an above-angle shot of my ****. Ha!!

Other gunmetal parts for the pre-2002 C5 A6 avant:

FYI - Audi sells an OEM blacked out grille (with chrome rings, no chrome perimeter strip) and black rear trunk strip. You can buy them via www.vagparts.com.

grille (pre-2002 v6 and allroad): 4B0 853 651 D 5PV (approx $90)
trunk strip (avant/allroad): 4B9 853 927 G 5PV (approx $50)

Lower headlight molding (double check the part# for the allroad with vagparts) headlight housings will need to be removed to swap this out:
4B0 807 173 D 5PV (approx $30 for each)
4B0 807 174 D 5PV

Contact Martyn or Alan at sales@vagparts.com for pricing/shipping.

The trunk strip for the avant requires a bit more work to install. You need to remove the rear hatch cover (remove rear shade first).

Do a search at www.audiworld.com (A6 and allroad forums) for more details and install info.

Good luck!

PS: I have the interior gunmetal black door latches (assembly) from a Euro-spec RS6. The look sweet with my all black interior/recaros etc..etc. You might want to check with vagparts as well. Just keep in mind that the front passenger latch assembly will probably exclude the buttons for the door lock. Bummer.

Install required the door panel to be removed (pretty easy). One of these days I'll scare up some pix.

- C5 Avant - "the Beast" (Ha!!)
- 2005 Chrysler Pacifica Touring (Nav, Sirius, Bluetooth, Xenon, TPMS, ParkSense, DVD Changer - basically loaded)
- 2003 Vespa ET2 (modified exhaust and carb -- so I can max out at 45MPH)
- John Deere Gator (4x2) for the boy

As of November 2006:

Accessory Add-ons:
(Definition: An item that provides a specific function - in a cyclical nature - and can be removed very..very easily.)
1) OEM winter floor mats
2) OEM rubber trunk mat and cargo net
3) VW Touareg cigarette lighter flashlight
4) Thule roof bars with Evolution 1200 roof box

(Definition: A [bolt-on/bolt-off] item that enhances the appearance, performance or misc function of your car.)
1) OEM front/rear Euro black Recaro Seats (from a Euro 2003 S6 Avant)
2) OEM HID/Xenon (complete) housings (car never came with the Xenon option from the factory)
3) OEM Euro front/rear (avant) beam-style wiper blades/arms (available via www.vagparts.com)
4) OEM B6 S4 Interior auto-dimming black mirror with compass and on/off button
5) OEM Euro blindspot exterior mirrors
6) OEM S6/4.2 exterior lower door trim
7) OEM S4/S6/S8 aluminum mirror housings
8) OEM Euro rear license plate panel from 2002+ facelift avant (slight MODification to US plate required)
9) ?
10) OEM Euro RNS-E DVD Navigation system with MP3, SAT control and TV input
11) Dietz 1417 A/V input to RNS-E
12) Blaupunkt ME3 DVD/CD/MP3/TV Tuner with aftermarket amplified TV antenna in windshield
13) OEM Sirius tuner (special version to work with RNS-E)
14) OEM Phatnoise Phatbox MP3 player (trunk mounted) with custom interface cable to allow Sirius tuner and Phatbox to work together -- cool!!
15) ?
16) BBS RC 17x8 ET35 with Michelin Pilot Sports (summer tires)
17) 2002+ Rear bumper with valance openings for Magnaflow 3" exhaust tips
18) OEM submarine fin roof antenna for SAT / GPS / Cellphone (GSM)
19) OEM Euro gunmetal black avant roof rails
20) 2002+ Climate control faceplate to match faceplate color of RNS-E
21) Walnut wood trim near hazard button (above RNS-E) to match rest of interior wood scheme
22) OEM Euro Avant door panels with integrated sunshades (imported from Germany to match the black leather in my Euro Recaro interior)
23) OEM Euro blacked out front grille (no chrome perimeter)
24) OEM gunmetal black lower rear hatch strip (specific part# for avant vs. sedan)
25) OEM RS6 gunmetal black interior door latches; no need to add any RS6 badges in my car (Thanks Nelson!!!)
26) OEM Euro four spoke walnut wood and black leather (special order via Audi GmbH) multi-function wheel with tip buttons and OEM phone (BT) control
27) Upgraded "618" MF/Tip control module

Coming soon:
- rear mounted removable 7" LCD panel

(Definition: Any permenant change to a part or component of your car that you cannot reverse)
1) Tray under armrest to add aux. cigarette lighter
2) OEM avant CD changer bracket MODified (to fit two large CD changers etc) - now I just use it for Phatbox, OEM SAT tuner and OEM BT module.
3) Exhaust tips MODified to add Magna Flow (#35163) 3" dual walled tip
4) Factory wiring behind Sym I to simplify installation/removal of RNS-E
5) MODified glovebox to support fitment of Blaupunkt ME3 (a biatch to install!!)
6) MODified headlight switch bezel for fitment of GALA switch for "video-in-motion" for playing Blaupunkt ME3 through RNSE
7) MODified stock exhaust and had magnaflow 3" tips welded on (see above)
8) MODified rear Euro license plate surround to house 2nd rear foglight (2001 model only came with one from the factory); US license plate needed to be MODified a bit to fit inside the narrow Euro opening.

RNS-E for C5 A6/S6/allroad/RS6 - your quest starts here - (regularly updated)
<a href="http://forums.audiworld.com/a6/msgs/607331.phtml">OEM submarine fin installed on
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:43 AM   #2
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Default Ted, that looks great! Now, if only they made a smoked tail for the avant! :)))

2002 A6 4.2 Sport...with a few things added
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:49 AM   #3
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Default hawt!

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Old 04-03-2006, 08:51 AM   #4
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Default Looks really good.

02 S6, OEM RS6 Wheels, RS6 Grills, RS6 Carbon Fiber, H-Sport, PSS9 Coilovers

SOLD - 00 A6 4.2
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:59 AM   #5
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Default That looks really good. I think they would also look good on black, I don't like the contrast.

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Old 04-03-2006, 09:10 AM   #6
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Default Great detail. Well done.

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Old 04-03-2006, 09:24 AM   #7
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Default Lookin' good! I can relate. I have two kids under 4 at home. Mods sit around for a while before

they're installed.

A6 2.7T Quattro/Tiptronic/Ebony Pearl/Vanilla/Leather/Preferred/Sport/CDChanger.

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Old 04-03-2006, 09:30 AM   #8
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Default LOL! That is why all my install pics are taken at night...

I wait until Jr. Driver is tucked in for the night, then out to the driveway for some work on the car. I have a nice worklight setup for night time work (tripod, dual halogen lights), but it scares the neighbors!
2002 A6 4.2 Sport...with a few things added
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:57 AM   #9
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Default S6 rail damage repair/replace question...

Teddy, the rear curved element (the cast part) of my passenger side rail has a nasty scratch (2-3 inches long, 1/4" wide). No, the car wasn't rolled, but it looks like some cargo was scraped, or a freak (lucky) garage door incident.

I asked the dealer, and he quoted $475 for the part (whole rail) and $1100 (!) for labor (said they have to remove the whole roof liner). ($123/hr shop rate in Reno! - the only dealer within 100 miles)

Sounds like they were pulling some cr@p on me.

Can the rear end part of the rail be removed/replaced without needing an entire new rail?

Is my silver S6 roof rail the same as your old A6 one? (You know where I am headed on this.)

My other option is to have a paint guy I trust to mask, sand, buff, and clearcoat to restore the old one.
--"Look at that Audi S-car go!"
2002 S6, Ming Blue
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:58 AM   #10
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Default I'd get grief if I did PM mods. Perfect time for mods would be 11PM - 5AM!


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Old 04-03-2006, 09:58 AM
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2004, allroad, aluminum, audi, avant, delete, drainage, euro, gunmetal, polish, rail, rails, roof, shave, sunroof, touareg

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