My name is Dominic and I am the owner of the shop in the above saga. Robert told me he was consulting with experts and i went looking and found this forum. I am not here to sling dirt and cause trouble but as I have spent a lot of time explaining what happened to Robert, and now i see that he has chosen to give you guys his version of the "facts" i feel that it is fair and likely more useful in the long run to present the actual details so there's no confusion or judgement without some more insight. Let me also add that, if i was Robert, I would be upset too but unfortunately bad things happen and in this case- it wasn't all us, as is presented in the above scenario.
Robert brought us a nice but old and a pretty typical of New England 1995 Audi S6, that is with some rust and age showing, and approx 180,000 miles. The service requested was timing belt and water pump and additionally crank and cam seals.
My tech proceeded with the repair with an Audi tool set which he has used for this job many times, and to clarify, the crank counter hold tool is technically not the correct part # for the application but serves just as well by maintaining exactly the same grip in the boss in the harmonic balancer as the correct part # tool. (Paul the tech on this job is also a dealer trained certified Audi Master Tech and worked at the same dealer that this car was delivered from.)
He also used the correct crank bolt tool which is designed for use with a 1/2 inch breaker bar as leverage.
Now- add that the torque on the crank bolt on the AAN engine is set at 332ft/lb and was last installed sometime around 15 years ago with most likely loctite as evidenced by the struggle we had to remove it. We fought to remove the bolt- paul and i both to no avail. We heated the bolt moderately hoping to loosen any loctite but couldn't go crazy as it a rubber molded harmonic balancer. We succeeded in getting the bolt to turn approx 90 degrees and at this point I decided to call the customer before the bolt breaks and leave him a message. We wanted to keep him abreast of the situation and hear his recommendation as to how to proceed and ask if he had any knowledge of previous repairs. Meanwhile- we double checked the timing marks and all appeared to be perfectly in time, we attempted to drive the car out as were waiting hear from the customer and now found that the car spins over with no compression.
So what happened-
We get in touch with Robert and inform him that we can't get the bolt out and that it must have jumped time somehow and that as of now we can't confirm what has happened yet until we remove the crank pulley and that it may be a lose lose situation if the bolt breaks off. He advises that we try a 3/4 inch impact gun and we agree that heat will have to be used but that we are in a bit of a no win situation so damaging the balancer is not a huge deal. We tore the front of the car down more incl. the radiator and bumper to allow better access and borrowed a 3/4 impact gun and with A LOT more heat and power the bolt came out, and now we get our answer, broken key between the timing gear and crank shaft.
So, here we have the explanation for why we have a belt which still shows in time on the cam and the crank, yet our motor is not in time. When the bolt rotated the 90 degrees, it also rotated the crank 90 degrees, but broke the key and left the tool and the harmonic balancer and the crank shaft gear behind -perfectly in time. The detail about the crank tool being slightly incorrect is not relevant to why this occurred- the even more right tool would have achieved the same bad end.
Here's some more to add:
I haven't made any suggestion to Robert about who's paying for what and how much but I don't feel that it is a cut and dried case of " mechanics fault". I have tried to point out what happened here to Robert and even with his 25 years of experience he can't seem to wrap his head around the injustice of this. Honestly I can't quite wrap my head around the forces involved in rotating the crank internally, snapping the key off and not having the bolt loosen either but it happened and it wasn't a result of negligence on our part. Robert's quote of me asking him if he loctited the bolt was out of frustration at the odds of a 25 year veteran mechanic supposedly bringing us a comparatively straight forward job, that went bad and now he's pointing the finger at me and claiming to not understand what happened. I'm not suggesting he actually loctited the bolt, but he may have attempted the repair himself and when it wasn't going well, opted to bring it to us, and now we are holding the bag, hands are dirty and the gun is smoking.
We performed a leak down test and found that there is air leakage into the intake, we removed the cylinder head and confirmed bent intake valves. When presented to Robert he agreed that at this juncture, we should probably do a valve job and check the guides and do valve stem oil seals. He seemed agreeable to the idea of doing sensible things now that we are in this deep.
I am more than willing to help and certainly eager to please but this goes beyond what's reasonable to expect us to be responsible for so a compromise and ownership of your 20 year old car and its problems are in order here.
There are many more details in this story mostly regarding Roberts attitude and accusations, some of which are outlined in the above messages, which i am not going to address because it won't advance this in a favorable direction- let's not turn this into a big deal, the details are here now for you to peruse and we'll carry on. Your car will be back to you ship shape soon enough and then we will sort it out, like men, and move on.