High mileage A4s

Thinking about buying a high mileage A4 Quattro, '96 - '98 vintage, and was wondering if there is anything in particular I should look out for? Thanks.
TNS
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documented evidence of cam belt replacement..........
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Nay-Sayer wrote:

The obvious one is suspension wear, especially the front.
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As others have suggested, timing belt replacement (and associated items such as water pump, tensioners), front suspension components (control arms, tie rod ends) and would add: oil or coolant leaks, evidence of sludge problem, need for brake pads and rotors, CV joint boot integrity.
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How costly is it to repair these items and what are high mileage A4s, again '96-'98 vintage, going for? Thanks to all.
TNS
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I have a '98 A4 2.8Q with 92K miles and I am the original owner. I had the TB, WP and tensioners done at 72K all to the tune of around $1000. I have had the radiator replaced (with some hoses) to the tune of about $700. Various oil leaks - $600. Recently I had all the fronnt upper control arms and tie rod ends replaced to the tune of $1300. The mechanic says the oil leaks are back although I have not noticed drips on the garage floor or the old smell of burning oil as the leaks dribbled onto the exhaust pipe. Mechanic also said front pads and likely rotoirs needed replacement and quoted about $500. I will do them myself for a fraction of that (this would be the second time they've been done - the rears I did myself once). The sludge problem is an issue mostly with the 1.8T IIRC. Audi has sort of taken care of those engines that have been more or less trashed as a result - I say sort of since my understanding is you have to have meticulous records of oil and filter changes at exactly the recommended intervals. Just for that reason, I would stay away from the 1.8T unless it's been maintained by the book by the dealer. Also, without a chip, the 1.8T of those years in the quattro version is a bit on the slow side. With a chip, it will be peppier but will likely have been driven hard too. One thing I didn't mention is my cruise control doesn't work. I haven't bothered to track down the problem since I don't use it.
Price for one of these? I'd suggest looking on edmunds.com and check ebay to see what similar cars have sold for. I suspect mine might be worth around $5K.
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From a potential purchaser viewpoint... I found a really nice looking A4 Avant, 1999, 1.8T. Drove it, fine except for a pull to the right at higher (55-60mph) speed. Had it inspected by an independant, minimum $4,000 repairs just to make it 'decent.' 100,000k miles, and it had documented drive belt change at 80,000. Considering the needed repairs I couldn't justify paying more than $2,000 for it. Seller wanted $8,000. Yesterday I bought a 2006 Jetta (not my first choice) with 10,000 miles on it and three more years on the factory warranty for $14,000. I have no regrets. The Jetta has a 2.5L and 5 speed.
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Watch closely for sludge build ups in those engines, even with regular oil changes. If you notice any black substances inside the crank case, deal with it immediately :-)
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