A relatively inexpensive way to improve the feel of the car as that relates to the shifting and transmission.
Most feedback I had heard about the snub mount upgrade was that it worked as advertised and there really were not any drawbacks from swapping the stock piece with this aftermarket part. The installation had a reputation for being a challenge to get the larger aftermarket part on the car, but enough of these had been done that I was confident I could handle the job.
Several companies offered a variation on the stock mount.
- APR: As far as I know they were the first to offer this part. The most expensive of the group and also the largest. Seemed to have been installed more than any other so there was good user feedback on this mount.
- AMS: Slightly different shape than APR and less expensive. Not as much user feedback.
- NEUSPEED: Also different shape from APR. Least expensive of the group. Again not a great deal of user feedback.
I decided to go with the APR mount since it had been the most widely used and therefore had the most user feedback. Though it was nearly three times the cost of the neuspeed unit, when the dollar range for all of these units was only $12-$50 going with the most expensive was not a huge amount of money more than the least expensive. And the comfort of knowing the APR had been in use widely for a while was worth the added cost.
After installing the snub mount I took the car out for a drive. I immediately noticed an improvement in the firmness of the shifter. Usually when accelerating and then decelerating I could feel the shifter move as the transmission went from turning the wheels to the wheels pushing the transmission. This feeling was reduced with the APR snub mount installed. I did not feel much of a difference when shifting between gears.By the second day of driving I had either grown accustomed to the feel, or what I had originally felt to be a significant improvement was really less significant. Still there was an improvement and I feel that the APR snub mount is a worthwhile upgrade to help improve the feel of the S4’s transmission.
I decided to undertake the snub mount install myself since it sounded like it was a reasonably straight forward process. One of the trickiest aspects of this job is getting the bumper off of the car. I found the Tech article at the Audiworld site on bumper alignment to be helpful, but removing the bumper is still a tricky task.Most of the work was straight forward from that point on, until I got to removing the bumper braces and found out that my Torx set only went up to T-40, and the bolt in question required a T-45. With my car dismantled I wasn’t going to be driving it to get the necessary tool. Fortunately Ace hardware was open on Sundays and they were a reasonably short bike ride away.Taking the stock mount out went pretty easily. I was concerned about installing the APR mount since it is a good bit larger than the stock part. I had read that heating the APR mount was a good way to make it more pliable as well as potentially expanding it a little so as to fit on the mounting spindle easier. It put the rubber mount into a can and submerged it in boiling water.
I then took a sandwich bag and filled it with crushed ice. This I placed over the mounting spindle. I figured if expanding the mount was good, then shrinking the spindle was better yet. With one heating and the other cooling I had lunch.
Before putting the mount in place I coated the inside with dish soap to help it slide on easier. After working it into place I pushed it on a little bit, until the lip on the mount contacted the ridge on the spindle.
At this point I grew concerned that seating the mount fully might become a real problem since the location made it extremely difficult to get any leverage while trying to push it on. I tried pushing the whole radiator assembly back, pushing the mount with it. To my relief the mount seated fully with just a light amount of pressure.
Heating, cooling, and soap worked like a champ and the mounting portion went very easily. Replacing the front bumper required an extra set of hands, but other than that everything went back where it belonged with a minimum of fuss.
With the slight change the snub mount makes it is difficult to notice any change day-to-day. I have not had any problems with the snub mount.