5/13/20 11:27 a.m.

Recently I came across a project that I simply could not pass up. I got my hands on a 2002 Audi A4 with a clean body, no rust, and even a pretty good quality interior. The catch of course was that the engine was in a crank no start condition. 

I was hoping it would be an easy fix, but compression tests revealed zero compression on all four cylinders, which is generally a bad sign. I pulled the head off and found the piston tops had actually melted away and the entire engine was pretty much a total loss.

Inside of Cylinder 4

Engine with cylinder head off. 

I sat on it for a while, unsure what I wanted to do, but slowly a plan came together. The LS swap seemed hopeless at first because of size constraints. Going from a 1.8 Liter inline 4 to a 5.3 liter v8 seems impossible, but there are some important things to consider. The main concern I had was width, but the B6 Audi could have come with a quad cam V6, which is actually wider than the LS. The other concern is obviously length. While the LS is obviously longer than the 1.8 liter, the 4l60e transmission that I will be using is actually much shorter than the Audi's AWD transmission, so the overall engine and trans combined length is about the same. 


With the measurements on my side, I got to work tearing the old engine and trans out. It seems like a daunting task on a car like an Audi, but its really easy. The entire front of the car comes off, and then the engine and trans just slide out the front as a unit. Some of the Audi electronic control systems will be left in place, so for now I kept all the wires. I will trim back the ones I don't need later, and also add connectors to bridge the Chevy harness to it.

Engine stripped of all accessories and ready to come out. Its so small without all the junk around it!


Empty engine bay with the "new" LS next to it. It looks like it won't fit but I promise that once I strip all the junk off the new engine it will be perfect.


Next up, I remove the accessories from my new engine and find that both it and the transmission maybe were not the great deal I thought they were. Also, wiring harness work. 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/13/20 11:28 a.m.

I like this already!

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) UltimaDork
5/13/20 11:30 a.m.

Very interested.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/13/20 11:30 a.m.
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) said:

I like this already!

yeah, way cool. 

JustinTylor New Reader
5/13/20 11:46 a.m.

Thanks! There have been a lot of interesting issues I have had to solve getting this project together so far, and I am sure there are more to come. 

Hoondavan Reader
5/13/20 12:23 p.m.

Jon Stewart Popcorn GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

iansane (Forum Supporter)
iansane (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/13/20 12:52 p.m.

I'm interested in this. I picked up a b5 s4 avant purely as a possible LS swap candidate but I wanted to retain AWD. Which I think is possible using a newer trans. However, my girlfriend enjoys driving the car so much as it is that she's commandeered it as her own. I have so many projects on my plate that I didn't exactly fight it.

I'll be following. Why a 4l60 vs a 6L80/t56/tr6060? Any plans for the cooling system yet?

FatMongo Reader
5/13/20 12:59 p.m.


Im so excited I didnt even finish reading your post- Im just going to post away.

FatMongo Reader
5/13/20 1:00 p.m.

currently, I have a 2006 A4 in pieces:

FatMongo Reader
5/13/20 1:00 p.m.

More than once, Ive walked by and thought, "hmm it would be nice to fit an LS in there, but thats got to be impossible,"

FatMongo Reader
5/13/20 1:01 p.m.

Where are you located?

JustinTylor New Reader
5/13/20 1:20 p.m.

I would have loved to keep the AWD, but using the stock Audi trans with an adapter plate would have put the engine too far forward for my taste. I am using the 4l60e mainly because it was really cheap, came with my engine, and the Chevy ECM can control it and be tuned. 


Also that 2006 A4 looks pretty similar to the 2002 with its face removed. 


Also, I am located in Iowa. If anyone needs a 2002 Audi A4 automatic transmission or a good 1.8t cylinder head, let me know. I also need a b5 Audi gas pedal and the throttle cable, if anyone has one laying around. 


Finally, enjoy a bonus picture of me cooking some szechuan beef stir fry while removing the 1.8t engine.

OjaiM5 Reader
5/13/20 1:50 p.m.

Awesome project and the bbq picture is perfect! 

Azryael Reader
5/13/20 8:21 p.m.

There's a guy over on LS1Tech doing a quad turbo LS in an '01 S4. Super awesome build, and this one will be too!

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
5/14/20 7:51 a.m.

I approve of automotove shenanigans with garage griddle cooking. I cook a bunch with my blackstone griddle in the garage. 

MrChaos SuperDork
5/14/20 8:34 a.m.

The youtube channel Deboss garage built a quad turbo LS powered audi quattro so you might want to look at their build as well. 

smokeysevin New Reader
5/14/20 11:06 a.m.

Semi-related, how do you like that flat top grill? I have been eyeing them for a while



JustinTylor New Reader
5/18/20 9:51 a.m.

For the new heart of the A4 I managed to pick up a LM7 5.3 liter v8 and 4l60e transmission, complete with most of the accessories, for a mere $450. A killer deal, or so I thought.


My original plan was to just dump the engine and trans into the Audi, weld up mounts, and call it a day. Unfortunately when I took off the intake and removed the valley plate to put on the lift plate, I was greeted by an unpleasant sight. Sludge, lots and lots of sludge. 

Clearly a few oil changes were missed. The view under the rocker cover was no better.

I figured that if there was this much sludge on the top end, the bottom end was likely worse. I decided that although it would cost some time, It would be for the best to tear the engine down, get the block tanked and possibly machined, and replace any worn parts.

I split the engine from the trans, mounted it on the stand, and got to work tearing it apart. One of the first things I pulled out were the pushrods. There was so much sludge on them that it resembled tree bark! Pulling the heads and lifter trays revealed more of the same sludge. 

Pulling off the oil pan, I had expected a high amount of sludge, but it was honestly worse than I could have imagined. Multiple inches of standing sludge in the bottom of the sump. The oil pickup was packed full, and the oil. pump looked like it had just crawled out of a pool of primordial ooze. 

Pulling out the pistons revealed the bearings were in pretty good shape, but the bores are scored up a little on the lower parts, and the piston skirts are scored to match. The crank main bearings also showed severe scoring, but luckily the crank is fine.

Next up, its off to the machine shop for the block. It will be bored out to the next size up, then take a trip through the hot tank to get rid of all the sludge. In the mean time, a rebuild kit is on order and the parts which I plan to put back in the engine must be cleaned. 


ReevesL None
12/29/20 4:52 p.m.

Please sir, may I have some more?

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