200 20V Sedan

Here's the story about a car I bought sight unseen.


A 200 owner had his car die at a stop light.

He had it trailered to the "St"ealership in Northern VA.

The diagnosis was two hours labor ($198) to tell him: (in so many words)

That it would cost ~$1000 to tear down the engine to check for valve damage.

Further along it was mentioned that "a" mechanic would give him salvage for it ~$800.

this was to take it off the owners hands........

The engine (working) alone is worth $3000 I tell the owner.

The owner contacted the "listers" on Audifans.com

Most mentioned that it sounded like a distributor problem.

The owners' situation needed a resolution for disposing

of the car because of the unknown expense to fix it.

He also lived 100 miles away.

I offered $**** and after also paying the diagnosis fee, it was mine for $****

The owner was kind to honor our agreement as higher bids flowed in for his car.

Sight unseen:  It was a leap of faith.

I drove down in a 200 Avant with a bad starter so

I drove for 19 hours turning off the car once.

12 noon - all night to 7:AM

After the initial contact to complete the transaction,

I had the car flat bedded to MD (in-laws) where it sat for two weeks.

Above is the "St"ealership's Hex-com 2x2 ugly cable. BONUS!

I then get my truck out of the repair shop and ready to go get it.

That's when I found this after parking it for 25 minutes.

It was 10 degrees out.

Oh and my trailer had a car frozen on it.

So off to the U-haul to get a trailer.  The 7th store had one.

Show up at the in-laws around 11:PM. 

(Their) Glad to see me come get it,

but also helpful in pushing it on the trailer with me.

Mark strong-ith push-ith.

Drive it home. 9:AM to 10:PM

Baltimore to Boston and beyond.

Okay, so its 5 degrees out and two days into this I'm dying

to find out how much trouble I've gotten myself into here.

This is exactly how I found the cap less rotor wedged by the "St"ealership.

This, which serves as before/after and during in this case,

is a close up to show some plastic remaining from the

missing rotor in the distributor shaft groove.

So far, this is all I and the "St"ealership have determined.

Only I did it with a dead battery and no prior

knowledge or work on a 20V 3B motor.

First I need to remove the Timing Belt

cover to assess if the belt is loose (it was-slack)

but seemed tight around the cam sprocket.

Notice I had to use 6mm hex (allen key) to remove

the second cover bolt the dealer didn't do.

Now I know why, all this and the covers still on there.

I suspect these "bolts" are done with the grille, IC and aux radiator removed.

Above the two cover bolts are removed,

(dealer did one) and the crank bolt size is determined.

Also a 1 & 1/8th socket works (which I used)

Next I mark the timing belt. pulley and reference

with 86 Audi red paint to check if anything moves.

Then I have to get a THIN wrench to turn the socket on the crank bolt.

Remember its five degrees out and 11:PM.

27MM Impact and Sears ratchet........no fit.

Getting closer..........1 1/8 socket is just shorter so I use that.


Crank away bit by bit feeling for resistance and metal sounds.

Both belt and pulley are moving.

The more I crank the socket (16-17 times) the farther the belt goes with no problems.

I count and feel each cylinders compression stroke, each 5 seem identical.

So I'm convinced the motor didn't bend valves. 

I'm feeling pretty good about now.

The distributor:  Before, during and after.

No change.  Looks like the distributor gear has broken.

At this point I think I've confirmed the "listers" distributor diagnosis.

So I wrap up the garage, drop the car off at a mechanic and return the trailer.

Drop off at ~1:30AM

This is info for changing a 3B distributor in a 200 20V sedan.

Looks like Q is for the 20V 1991, AF is for the 10V up to 1990.

So now its time to order one.

Call Chris and he said he has one for around $220/230.


When I get there and buy it, its ~$270.


Woo Hoo: a metal gear!  "Updated part"

Click here for too much information about the simple, but never explored distributor.

The above link describes the Distributor repair and measurements.

034 905 205 Q

Click on the thumbnail to see the Audi part number listed above.

Drop car off at one shop.

Run into problem with shop. Details here:

Story to be posted soon:

So Call Five Star towing and shell out $60 for a tow to another shop.

Mark's Garage in Middleton, MA.

Shawn and their techs swap out the old distributor

to reveal exactly what I bet buying the car on:


A broken distributor gear. Nylon/plastic gear that broke at stop light.

So, after a little trouble shooting about a hall

sensor connector with corrosion on the contacts....


The car starts, runs and gets paced through a ~30 mile run to its new home.

even with a nail in the tire...........

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updated 03/19/2003.