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January 2012 Featured AZ'er: a408's 2002 A4

January 2012 Featured AZ'er: a408's 2002 A4

January 10, 2012 - Written by Richard Melick, Photos by Michael James Buchanan
User Name: a408
Real Name: Josh Esfahani
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Year of Vehicle: 2002
Model of Vehicle: A4 quattro
Engine of Vehicle: 1.8T
Color of Vehicle: Dolphin Gray
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine building your perfect turbo'd Audi A4. Think of all those aftermarket parts you'd stick inside that engine bay, from the front mount intercooler to the stronger engine mounts, and of course the insanely big turbo. Picture that laundry list of parts that span the headlights up front to the exhaust pipes in the back. What would you add to the car, get rid of, or replace in order to handle the increased power load?
For Josh Esfahani (AKA: a408), that list is nearly all taken care of with his 2002 A4 1.8T. Purchased a little over three years ago, Josh was looking for something with good power such as a B5 S4, but was steered the way of an A4 by his father. With the stable platform, smaller power band, and better fuel efficiency, it was a perfect first step into the Audi scene. Although, Josh did get the craving for more power at one point and he actually ended up reverting the car back to stock so that he could get into a Mitsubishi EVO MR. But, the cards were luckily not in the right order, bringing him back to the light of the 4-rings. Since then it has been a massive climb from stock to the setup we see today.

Josh stands by one simple quote: "buy nice, or buy twice." With his dive into the heavy modifications needed to reach his power goal, it's a statement that quickly became associated with this A4. From the massive Precision PTE5857 Billet Turbo to the Borla exhaust, the Southbend Stage 4 clutch to the Halman Manual boost controller, little expense has been spared with each step in this car's transformation. It's is not to say that Josh started out with all of this in mind, as he initially had a GT28RS turbo installed, but he knew he wanted more power and set the goal to reach it.

Working hard with his friends, and with the really heavy wrenching done over at 034 Motorsport, Josh has been able to transform what was once just a car to get around town to one that is now no longer very "California friendly." A curse to many enthusiasts in the California area, this super modded A4 only comes out to play when it's safe in order to avoid the inevitable mod ticket. But, this has allowed him to focus on building it bigger and grander, with the next stop being a 2.0 stroker build.

When we first saw Josh's massive mod list it took a bit to realize that it was not simply a wish list, but reality! To many, the list could simply be copied into their shopping cart for their perfect modified "Big Turbo" B6. From the simple things such as the RS 4 e-brake handle and the AWE Tuning vent boost gauge, to the bigger aspect such as the adam's rotors 2-piece brake rotors surrounded by VMR V710 wheels, the car feels very much like being a complete package.

Sometimes it takes a few tries to get a mod right, or to reach that much sought after goal, but when there is success it's oh so sweet. For Josh it has been a fight to get the Audi to where it is today. Going through different modifications and setups, and even debating selling it to go for something easier. But, as with many enthusiasts, it is not about how easy a project can be but the personal satisfaction coming from building their car as they picture it. Everyone has a different goal, a different avenue to reach it, but in the Audi world it often takes a bit more fighting to get there. For Josh, the journey is coming closer to a finish, but there will always be something to change and make better. It's what keeps him coming back for more.
Current Modifications

 - Engine/Exhaust:
  • Precision PTE5857 billet turbo
  • Custom bottom-mount tubular exhaust manifold
  • Tial 38mm wastegate
  • Garrett big core FMIC w/ custom hot/cold side piping
  • Custom cold-air intake w/ AEM air filter
  • Forge Splitter hybrid BOV/DV
  • 3" custom catless turbo-back exhaust
  • Borla mufflers w/3.5" black chrome tips
  • Delphi 630cc injectors
  • 034 Me7 custom tune
  • 034 power steering cooler
  • 034 coilpack harness upgrade
  • 034 coilpack cover
  • 034 bolt-down coilpacks
  • 034 transmission mount
  • Stern engine mounts
  • Southbend Stage 4 clutch
  • Fidanza aluminum LWFW
  • VR6 MAF
  • Bosch 040 fuel pump
  • R8 coolant/oil cap
  • Halman manual boost controller
  • Integrated Engineering block off plate
  • Powder coated valve cover (Dolphin Gray)
 - Suspension: 
  • Vogtland coilovers
  • RS 4 Rear swaybar
 - Wheels & Brakes:
  • VMR V710 matte black 19"x8.5" ET35
  • Falken 452 tires 225 35R29
  • Brembo Gran Tourismo 355mm BBK w/ purple powdercoat
  • Goodridge stainless lines
  • adam's rotors 2-piece rotors
  • 10mm hubcentric spacers all around
  • 034 Stud conversion w/ purple lugs
 - Interior:
  • S4 color instrument cluster
  • RS 4 e-brake cover
  • Jetta VI headlight switch
  • AWE vent boost gauge
  • HKS Type-0 turbo timer
  • JHM solid short shifter kit
  • JHM stainless weighted shift knob
  • Pioneer AVH-4200 head unit
  • Kicker L7 subwoofer
  • 2000W sub amp
  • 1000W interior amp
  • Infinity door speakers
 - Exterior:
  • S4 rear bumper
  • Ultrasport full front bumper assembly
  • Caractere front grille
  • Reiger roof spoiler
  • DTM Karbon bozer hood custom faded paint
  • E-code headlights
  • 6000K HIDs
  • ECS clear side markers
  • Aerocatch hoodlatches
  • DTH FRP side skirts
  • Painted lowers
  • Painted roof black
  • Pedo bear sticker
Future Modifications
  • Finish my 2.0 stroker build (listed are parts I already obtain, but have not installed)
  • Fully built AEB head w/ Supertech valves and springs
  • JE forged 83mm pistons
  • Scat 20mm Rods
  • AEG crankshaft
  • ARP main studs
  • ARP head studs
  • ARP rod bolts
Q (Audizine): How long have you owned this vehicle?
A (Josh): I got the car straight out of high school in June 2008. So, about 3 and a half years.
Q: How has your ownership been with it overall?
A: Ownership has been great. I dont drive the car as much as I used to, because I have a daily driver now, but when I do take the Audi for a spin it brings a smile to my face every time. Also, being in California, I try not to drive the car too often since under the hood it's not very "California friendly".
Q: Where did you find the car, and how was the buying experience?
A: I found it sitting in the car lot right next to my dad's shop. I went to the lot looking for a B5 S4 and was convinced by my father and my best friend to take this car. It was clean, newer, better MPG, and suited me well at the time.

Q: Think you'll be getting another one anytime soon?
A: I dont plan on getting another one soon. I have two cars right now and couldnt be happier. Eventually I will sell it, and hopefully replace it with a much newer version.
Q: Is this your first Audi? If not, what other models and years have you owned?
A: First Audi, but definitely not the last.
Q: How long have you been into Audis and in the European tuning scene?
A: I've been into Audis since I owned mine back in 2008. But I've been into the Euro scene all my life. I was born in Germany, and my Father is all about German/Euro cars. He wouldn't drive anything else.
Q: How long have you been into cars in general, as an enthusiast?
A: Since the day I could speak. When I was a toddler I would point out and name cars just by the shape of their taillights. I became an enthusiast when I really started heavily modifying my car and really looking into what I was doing.
Q: Where do you think that passion and enthusiasm comes from, can it be traced back to anyone or anything?
A: Comes from my father 100%. I was around cars since I could walk.
Q: What do you most love about the car?
A: The comfort and power. Nothing gives me a better feeling than waiting for the boost to kick in, then bamstrait to the moon. Smooth power, sweet sounding, and gets the adrenaline pumping every time.

Q: What's your biggest peeve in regards to the car, the one thing you dislike the most?
A: The tan interior. I hate it. I wish I had black interior so I can do so much more with it. But since I am stuck with it, I put my own twist on it and made it work.

Q: When did the modding bug bite?
A: As soon as I ditched that stupid K03 turbo and went to bigger and better things. Now I could never go back and I'm just dying for more.
Q: Can you explain your modding style? Do you prefer more go, more show, perhaps a combo of both?
A: I'm all about being subtle and clean - and still having a punch. I like to make the car more personal, rather than just throwing a bunch of crap on it and hoping it will look good. I try to make sure each mod goes with each other. When I first got the car I threw a set of 18 inch chrome wheels on stock suspension and tinted the taillights. I thought it was cool, but looking back it was such a joke.
Q: Do you prefer to do the work yourself, or do you have a shop or specific person perform the work?
A: I did about 95% of the work myself and loved it. I really enjoy working on my car as much as I can. I also couldn't afford to pay a shop to do all the work I have done. But when things go wrong, or there is something I physically or electronically cannot do, I take my car up to 034 Motorsport and they work on my car like no place else.
Q: What was your first modification to the car?
A: GIAC chip. Woot!
Q: Which was your last, most recent mod?
A: Full Ultrasport front bumper.
Q: Which mod are you the most proud of or happy with?
A: I would have to say the turbo setup. It's unique and no one in my area has anything near it. Often times people don't even know what a Precision turbo is and I find that hard to believe since there's so much talk here on Audizine about it.

Q: How has your ownership been with it overall?
A: Very on and off. When I first got the car I wasn't too excited. I really wanted to get a B5 S4 or an STI. But being new to driving, and still under my parent's belt, my parents wouldn't let me own such a powerful car. At one point I began to put the car back to stock and tried selling it so I could get a Mitsubishi EVO MR. I saved up a bunch of money but I couldn't sell my car for the price I wanted to. So, I took all that extra money and went crazy on the Audi. I got a whole bunch of exterior mods and my first big turbo - a GT28RS. And to this day, I am very happy with the way it turned out.

Q: Describe your fondest memory of owning, modifying, or driving this vehicle.
A: This car has been nothing but a learning experience in my eyes. Being the first car I have ever modded, I have learned a tremendous amount - both good and bad. Modding it has brought me closer to many of my friends spending hours in my garage. The car felt like it had much more down time than up time after I went big turbo. This was very hard for me because I was spending every penny I had on getting it going, and left me car-less many times. But when it was all up and running there was no better feeling than hitting boost.
Q: While the car you have now is great, what if money were no object? What's your dream car, or cars?
A: I hate to sound super cliché, but I just can't get over the beauty of the Audi R8. The design is just mind boggling. Of course if money was no object, I would probably get myself the R8 Razor GTR.
Q: What do your friends and family think about your passion for Audis?
A: My friends absolutely love my car. They saw it from the very beginning when it looked like a "Plain Jane" A4 sedan that your grandpa would drive. It looked like it had a lift kit on it and could climb any mountain. It was pretty embarrassing, since most of my friends were already driving modded S4's, Evo's, and what not. But my car gets much more respect now after all the work I put into it. As for my family, they do love the car, but my parents are the only ones who really know how much time, money, and heartache I put into it. They've seen me in my saddest days and strapped with absolutely no money because of the car. 
Q: How does your love for cars and Audis affect your life, does it play a pretty big part?
A: Absolutely. Ive been around cars all my life. My father owned an auto body shop as I was growing up. So after school, instead of going to daycare, I would go to my dad's shop and hangout there. That's where my passion for cars began. Today, I own two modified cars, and attend car meets/shows all the time. I even got into some local autocross races. I'm positive cars will continue to be a huge part of my life until the end.
Q: What brought you to Audizine, and how long have you been with us?
A: When I first got my Audi I was talking back and forth with a couple of friends that already had Audis and had been modding them. They were pretty much my inspiration to mod. They introduced me to Audizine and I've been hooked ever since. It's been a little over 3 years since I first joined.

Q: When you're not on Audizine, or out playing with the Audi, what do like to you do for fun?
A: I have another car to mod! Picked up a 2001 Miata back in March and have been using that as my daily driver. I don't plan on heavily modifying it more than it already is, but it sure it a joy to drive. A whole different world than the Audi. Other than that, I ride mountain bikes, dirtbikes, snowboarding, "Call of Duty", and drumming.
Q: Have an interesting day job? Care to talk a little bit about it?
A: May not be too interesting, but I am a server at 'Chilis Bar & Grill'. I just got bumped up to bartender over there and I'm loving it. I've met so many interesting and unique people there. I love interacting with my guests and I've obtained quite a few regulars that love to come in.
Q: Any word of advice for your fellow enthusiasts, a bit of wisdom you'd like to impart on the masses?
A: I stand by this quote every time I mod: "buy nice, or buy twice". Skip out on cheap mods that you think will make you happy, because in the end, you will end up spending more money and getting the same result if you bought nice the first time.
Q: And lastly do you have anyone you'd like to thank, any shout-outs?
A: Huge thanks to my friends that came over in my single-car garage and helped me with my build; Mike V, Mike D, Mike Z, Max S, Ken S, Wessley R, Luis G, and Adam W. All of Team AXION. Christian and the whole crew at 034 Motorsport for dealing with my countless phone calls and visits. This is just a handful of the many who stood by me through this project.
  1. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  2. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  3. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  4. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  5. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  6. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  7. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  8. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  9. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  10. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  11. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  12. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  13. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  14. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  15. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  16. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  17. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  18. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  19. a408's 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

  20. Josh (a408) with his 2002 A4 - photo by Michael James Buchanan

January 2012 Featured AZ'er: a408's 2002 A4
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