I spent weeks obsessing over my winter wheel and tire setup, but I am happy to say that the obsessing paid off. I had the TSW's installed on Friday and I couldn't be happier. They look very aggressive and the red brake calipers just give it an extra touch of class. Here's a quick video I put together that showcases my new winter war wagon!
Since I opted for the 21" summer performance wheel and tire package (again!), I am once again in search of a winter wheel and tire setup. I have decided against going the replica wheel route. While I was happy with the performance and look of the two sets of Hartmann's I had on my previous SQ5, I want to go with something a bit more unique. I have been feverishly researching all kinds of after market wheel options, and I have ultimately decided to go with 20x8.5 TSW Sprint wheels in gloss gunmetal. I am moving away from Blizzaks and going for the Nokian Hakkapelliita R2's. I'm curious to see if these Nokians live up to all the hype. Since my SQ5 came equipped with the P-Zero Pirellis, I'm worried that they will wear out prematurely like the set that came on my previous one. Whatever the future holds in store for the P-Zero's, I'm hopeful the Nokians will prove to be an effective four-season tire like they claim to be. This will mean I shouldn't feel the need to source a third set up for the unseasonable weather we can experience in these parts.
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I am purchasing this wheel and tire package through Tunerworks. I am looking forward to how they look, but I am really looking forward to seeing how this setup works with the Quattro system once the snow starts flying!
My two weeks of holidays have come to an end. I really enjoy the vacation time we teachers get, and I was able to accomplish quite a bit in terms of the garage and SQ5. I performed an extensive detail on two friends' cars as well as a thorough detail on my own. I had the opportunity to experiment with almost all the products sent to me from Jay Leno's Garage and I have to admit, they are spectacular. I am still in the process of collecting my thoughts on their performance and I will be posting my review shortly, so stay tuned for that. I helped a friend swap over to his summer wheels using my QuickJack, and I also swapped over to my Spring/Fall setup.
The extra time allowed me to create videos that comprehensively demonstrate the extent I go to when maintaining my ride. Check them out if you have the time:
It is amazing how long it takes to prepare four wheels for storage. The entire process of putting my third wheel setup right was an onerous one, but they look great. I made a video that highlights the various stages of the process. I hope you enjoy.
If you follow my YouTube channel, you will have seen that I posted a video demonstrating my wheel swap process. The weather has been extraordinarily mild this year, but I don't like getting caught off guard, so I installed my winter setup which consists of Blizzak LM-60's on 20" Hartmann wheels. This was the first time I swapped wheels on the SQ5 without having to use my floor jack at each corner. My QuickJack BL-5000 SLX made quick work of lifting the SQ off the ground. If you want to see a guy having a lot of fun playing with his car, check out the video below:
A friend of mine purchased a pre-owned 435i X-Drive with the exclusive ZHP package. I say exclusive since only 100 were made. It's a beautiful car. He brought it over today to have some little details dealt with. There were a few rim rash spots on the passenger rear and driver's front wheel as well as some significant scuffs in the 3M clear on the hood. I used a propane torch to correct the scuffs, and used some semi-gloss paint to touch up the rim rash. I touched up some obvious blemishes in the paint with my Rupes Mini and iBrid, but I will do a full paint correction/polish in the Spring. If you want to learn a little about the ZHP, click here.
Since purchasing my BL-5000SLX QuickJack lift, I have been putting it to the test quite regularly. I have taken the wheels off a number of times to gain access to the wheel wells and I have been able to perform some touch ups on the paint around the rotor hats. It has been a helpful tool as well as a cool one. My friend, Geoff popped by a little while ago with his camera gear to snap some shots of the QuickJack in action and here's a little slideshow that demonstrates how it has helped me raise my detailing game. The photos give you an idea of how I have the system set up. Like I have said before, it works great for my needs and it is a purchase I am very happy with.
I bribed my photographer friend, Geoff to snap some more shots of my garage. This time, I wanted to focus on some of the work I perform in the garage (detailing, wheel swaps) as well as some of the main equipment I use. The QuickJack got quite a bit of camera time, and I'm very eager to see how the shots turned out. Geoff sent me this teaser pic, so I hope the rest are just as cool. Stay tuned.
We've owned the SQ5 for 2.5 years and it is still on the brakes it came with. The only issue we've had is with some corrosion around the rotor hats. So, with the help of my QuickJack, I put the car in the air today and hit each hat with a coat of high-heat paint. The job took two hours. Here's a slideshow that demonstrates the steps I went to.
I try to focus on a new detail every time I wash my SQ5. This time, I really focused on the door jambs. I was so inspired by the work I was doing, I decided to do a video and I titled it the Decadent Detail. The SQ was pretty bad due to an out-of-town jaunt up to Red Deer to see my Grandmother over the weekend. I think you'll like the video I threw together.
Sidenote: my YouTube channel eclipsed the 700-subscribers mark.
I had the opportunity this past weekend to perform a "wheel off" wash. Using my QuickJack lift, I was able to remove all four wheels and really concentrate on the wheels and wells. I put together a five-minute video to demonstrate how useful the lift is. Enjoy.
The QuickJack does what it says it does, and it lifted my SQ5 in fine fashion. I was very pleased that the even weight distribution of the QuickJack meant there were no divots or impressions in my RaceDeck Free Flow floor. Here's some shots, but you'll have to excuse the current state of the SQ5, it has been a busy and messy week. We actually had some snow on Thursday.
My new QuickJack portable lift system arrived this week. After hauling in home from the shipyard in my SQ5, it has been sitting in the middle of the garage. I was under the weather today, and spent all day in bed. I finally got up some energy so I decided to head out to the garage to assemble and test this puppy out. The detailed instructions made assembly a fairly painless process and it seems to be working well. I quickly ran out of gas, so I haven't had the opportunity to lift my vehicle with it. Once I feel a little better, I plan to put the SQ5 on it and see what happens. I'm hoping to find some time over the weekend to spruce up my rusty brake rotor hats, so stay tuned. I'm quite curious to see how things go with the RaceDeck floor. I think it should be fine, but I will keep you posted.
So, why QuickJack?
The main reason I went with the QuickJack lift was the portability factor. I will probably use it a dozen times per year, so I didn't want something that was going to permanently occupy valuable real estate in my double garage when not in use. Its low profile design enabled me to slide each section away so it won't get in the way of the other happenings in the garage.
The other reason I chose this over a scissor or two-post life is that it is tailored more towards my needs. I plan on using it primarily for wheel swaps and detailing, so I don't need my car way up in the air. At max height, it should provide me with a foot of body lift which will make a world of difference when polishing the lower portion of my SQ5 and detailing my wheels and wheel wells. I think it was the perfect solution for my needs.
Click here to learn more about the BL-5000SLX.
The order has gone in. Soon, I will be using one of these little beauties for various garage-related activities. Be sure to drop by in a few weeks when it is ready to show off. I can't wait.
Are they called hubs? Well, whatever they are called they are looking shabby. I picked up a can of high heat spray paint and I'm going to tackle them. Stay tuned for the result. I doubt a coat of spray paint will be a permanent fix, but I'll just keep reapplying it. If that doesn't work, I'll look for a more elaborate fix. This should do for now.
Spring has sprung, so it was time to take off the winter wheels and install my shoulder season setup. Here's some photos of the event. I am still putting the finishing touches on the winters before I sock them away. If you haven't had the chance to see what is involved with detailing my winter wheels prior to storage, you can see the process here. I have to go now. I have a lot of rocks to pick out of the treads.
Been down with the flu for the past week, but found the energy today to perform the swap from my Fall/Spring setup to the Blizzaks! No snow here , yet. When it does come, I will be ready. The Blizzak LM-60's are, by far, the best winter tires I have ever owned, and I've owned a few. The entire swap took about an hour.
With the arrival of my Spring/Fall wheel setup, it was time to prepare my stock 21" wheels for storage for the coming winter. I love these wheels, but I don't know what do with regard to wrapping them with rubber. The Pirellis are already looking spent, and I don't want to shell out 2 large for another set. I am hoping someone out there releases a 255/40R21 performance all-season at some point.
The job was a long one. I picked up some tar on the highway a few weeks ago, so it took me about an hour per wheel to rid each one of that nasty stuff. I washed the wheels, decontaminated the with Iron-X, polished with Menzerna's FG400, and sealed with GTechniq's C5 Wheel Armour coating. I bagged them with Audi tire totes, now I just need someone to help me hoist them into position on the wall rack.
I picked up my "shoulder season" setup from the dealer today. I installed them later in the day, and I really like the new look. I took it for a quick boot, and the Parada by Yokohama is a very well balanced tire. There is a distinct difference between these and the aging 21" Pirelli P-Zero's I took off. I was sure to use some anti-seize grease on the spacers to prevent any corrosion issues that could make them impossible to remove. All in all, I am very pleased with this set up and the stance is quite right. I'll be taking some better pics in the coming days, but until then, these will have to do:
My Yokohama Parada's arrived on Tuesday. I loaded up the SQ5 with the wheels and tires and took them to my local Audi dealer for mounting. I should get them tomorrow. Looking forward to installing them.
The wheels I ordered through RPI Equipped in BC arrived. They are in pristine condition. In fact, they sent one brand new rim because the original was scratched. I don't often feel like I got a steal of a deal, but this time I did. I gave them a thorough clean and just finished sealing them with GTechniq C5 Wheel Armour. I should be receiving the Yokohama rubber on Wednesday, so I'm hoping to have them all mounted up on Thursday or Friday of next week. They are going to look very nice on the SQ5. The 12mm and 15mm H&R spacers and new lugs arrived. They should give the wheels a proper stance. Can't wait to get them on.
I pulled the trigger on a set Fall/Spring wheel setup. I picked up a used 20x9" set of Hartmann HTT-256-MA:M wheels from RPI Equipped in BC. The offset is +40 which is a little tucked compared to the OEM 21's the SQ5 came with, so I have opted to install H&R wheel spacers. Twelve mm in the front, and 15 mm in the rear. The spokes are finished in a matte anthracite and the edges are machine polished. I have always been a fan of these wheels, but I have yet to see this particular wheel installed on an Estoril SQ5. Here's an example of the 5-spoke rotor wheels on a black SQ5. I'm hoping they look as good on mine.
Normally, I purchase my tires through Tirerack.com, but the strong US dollar is killing me. All up, the same tires were $200 cheaper through 1010Tires.com. I'm wrapping the Hartmann's with 255/45 Yokohama Parada Spec-X's high performance all-seasons. I ordered the SQ5 without the tire pressure monitoring sensors, so I don't have to fork out a few hundred more for those useless gimmicks. I'll be sure to share some photos once they are delivered and installed.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a guy who loves his garage, Audi, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
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