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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old June 11th, 2000, 01:04   #1
JackBak
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Default Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

For all those who would like to do this read on...

OK, here it is instructions for removing the infamous snow screen on a
2000 NB TDI.

Time: Allow about 3 hours from start to finish.

Tools: Long Handled #1 Philips Screwdriver (may not need)
Channel Pliers
10mm Wrench
10mm socket with extension
Torx T-25 bit
Short screwdriver type holder for T-25
Regular length screwdriver holder for T-25
Tire Iron (17mm socket)
(Possibly) anti-theft adapter for wheel lug bolt

Procedure:
- Remove Left front wheel/tire (driver's side in USA). Use
Jack stand(s) and block rear wheels, etc. Take proper safety
precautions.

- Remove exposed wheel well skirt. Use regular length
screwdriver holder with T-25 driver for 13 screws, the 14th
and last T-25 screw will need the short handle as it is just
to the right of the suspension spring.

- Under the front bumper you will now see a "U" shaped
assembly. Bear with me as I describe this assembly and then
you will see how I call it a "U" shape. Assume you are
sitting facing the wheel well with the disc brake at about
stomach level. Now if you look directly up into the wheel
well at about the 11 or 12 o'clock position you will see a
black hard plastic pipe about 2.5 inches (64mm) in diameter
with a flared end to it. This is the end of one of the "U"
assembly's arms. It is the air intake before it enters the
snow screen box. Follow this tube down to find a box-like
black plastic assembly. This is the box that contains the
snow screen and is at the bottom of the "U". Note that on
its side is a spring loaded door that opens into the
box. The other arm of the "U" is just barely visable from
your vantage point, but this is the tube that will become
the input to the filter box in the engine compartment.

- Remove the 10mm nut holding the snow screen box brace to the
body. Now remove a 10mm hex head screw that holds the flared
air intake tube to the body. At this point the air intake
arm and the snow screen filter box may be wiggled loose from
the other arm of the "U" going up to the air filter box in
the engine compartment.

- At this point I went top-side into the engine compartment
and removed the air filter box, disconnecting the MAF sensor
plug, etc. BUT in hindsight I don't think that is really
neccesary.

- I was not able to get the flared tube and snow screen box
(they are clamped together with a short piece of rubber
tubing with two compressable tubing clamps - thus the
channel pliers in my tool list) out without removing a
fender support brace. If you can get at one of those tube
clamps you could separate the flared air intake tube from the
snow screen box, but I couldn't and had to remove this short
3 inch (76mm) brace - two T-25 screws.

- Now that the snow screen box is out and in your hands you
can look down into the box and see the screen. It looks like
fine nylon panty hose. You can now also see how when this
screen gets totally crudded up the spring loaded door in the
side of the box will open due to air pressure and totally
by-pass this snow screen. What a .... design.

- By carefully prying the top of the snow screen box off its
base the snow screen itself may be lifted out and cleaned or
thrown away (I chose the latter). In 1500 miles of spring
driving my screen was 33% clogged with dust and weed fuzz
that my K&N filter could easily have trapped if it actually
made it all the way up there.

That's it. Assemble in reverse order. Remember this description applies
to a 2000 New Beetle TDI.

Enjoy.

-Jack
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Old June 11th, 2000, 02:18   #2
Karl Roenick
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Clifton Park, NY, US
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

I worked on the lower airbox today and would like to add:

1. I didn't jack up the car, just turned wheels to left.
2. I removed enough fender liner screws to peel it back halfway.
3. I took off the brace (T30 screws I think), brought the assembly into position where I could get some channel locks/vise grips on the clamps to take it apart.
4. Removing the turn signal, as Mickey has stated, definately helps and it is easy. Pry off the tiny tab on the lower right hand corner and remove the Phillips head screw.
5. I chose to clean the screen. I have about 13,000 miles on the car and it didn't seem that wickedly blocked. I used a vacuum and backflushed with water and vacuumed again.
6. Reassembly was harder, especially the clamps and alignment. I used a vise grips and kept the clamp tangs down for future access. This part would go faster if the wheel had been off.

I restored the system to its original configuration for several reasons:
1. The intake is about a foot higher in a more protected place to help avoid ingestion of material/liquids.
2. I think every 20,000 miles might be okay for me. That's not too bad.
3. I'd like to do a little more research and hear from others' experiences.

The intake path is truly tortuous. Removing the lower box and snorkel is tempting. Also ripping out the screen, if it's not needed, is inviting, as Jack did. (I didn't see a way to non-destructively take apart the box.) I would like to find out the thinking behind the vw design first.
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Old June 11th, 2000, 02:31   #3
JackBak
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

Karl,

I agree that ripping out the box altogether would accomplish the same things BUT lower the air intake by 12-18 inches... not good. That is why I took particular pains (read multiple small screwdrivers) to pry the box apart, pluck the screen out and reassemble all the bits. My air intake tube is still the same one and in the same spot as the day I picked it up at the dealers.

Any crud that actually makes it up to the upper air box will be caught by my K&N filter, whereupon I will clean it.

Others may not want to remove the filter, OK. As an engineer of thirty years I question much and think through everything I do.

-Jack
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Old June 11th, 2000, 02:39   #4
Karl Roenick
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Clifton Park, NY, US
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

I did not think it was possible to disassemble the box. The technique involve putting the muliple small screwdriver in the slots in the joint to relase the tabs? I thought it might have been glued. So if you want, you can always put it back together again.
Jack, could you please expand just a tad on your technique of taking the thing apart?
Thanks
Karl
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Old June 11th, 2000, 02:47   #5
JackBak
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

Sure thing Karl,

When looking a the mating surface of the two halves of the box you see many plastic interlocking tabs. By the way a similar technique is used by those wanting to open that R109 relay. I started at the air output end of the box and carefully pryed apart several tabs with small flat bladed screwdrivers. Then I eased this portion of the two halves apart (not apart by 1/4 inch by just barely past the locking point of t the tabs). You then work your way around the periphery until it just kind of pops apart. Pluck the screen out (I've still got the screen - I could clean it and put it back in but I'm not going to) and press the two halves back together.

As for the R109 relay the easiest way is to use four small brass shims to hold the tabs away from the base and pull the two halves apart.

Cheers,

-Jack
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Old June 11th, 2000, 03:11   #6
Karl Roenick
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Clifton Park, NY, US
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

Cool. Reversible.
Thanks.
Karl
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Old June 13th, 2000, 00:44   #7
Thomas Babb
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Mt. Holly, N.J. USA
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

delete

[ May 03, 2002, 08:43: Message edited by: Thomas Babb ]
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Old June 13th, 2000, 00:50   #8
Karl Roenick
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Clifton Park, NY, US
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

I feel like taking the box out again to see if I can take it apart like you guys......not!
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Old July 6th, 2000, 20:35   #9
Karl Roenick
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Clifton Park, NY, US
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

Well I removed my NB's lower airbox screen.
Took about an hour. Definately much faster the second time. Since it's only been about a thousand miles since I cleaned it, there was not much crap on it. Some though.

I looked at the mass air flow before and after screen removal. This is a cool engine, egr deactivated, clean screan. Both times it was 5300 mg/hr. Perhaps a tad more without the screen, maybe 5350. Placebo land at idle anyway.

Thanks Jack.
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Old July 10th, 2000, 08:37   #10
JackBak
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

My pleasure Karl. Just wanted to give back a little from all I've taken from this forum.

-Jack
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Old March 9th, 2002, 16:49   #11
The Trouts
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Pittsboro, NC
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

Here are pictures of a successful removal and dis-assembly of a lower air box on a 2001 NB.

I followed the advice in this post and did the following:

1. Put car up on my wooden ramps
2. I turned the wheels all the way left
3. I removed the one screw holding the horn assembly to its mount.
4. I removed the drivers front turn signal.
5. I removed seven Torx screws in the wheel well and peeled back the plastic piece.
6. I removed the 3" bracket.
7. I removed the hex bolt holding the lower air box and the screw holding the snorkle to the body (up above)

8. I removed the snorkle and lower air box as one piece and then disassembled them using a vise grip for the clamp and a slotted screwdriver to pry apart the airbox.
My Hi-Tech Garage

Lower Airbox disassembled to show snow screen with gunk and bird feathers in it.

I hit the bird last fall, it went right through my grill. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]
The screen wasn't too dirty after only 12,500 miles. I decided to clean it and re-assemble it in case I hit another bird! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

Access through the drivers front wheel well.

Cleaned screen ready for re-assembly [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

I didn't have to remove the wheel or remove anything from above. I am not terribly handy but I am persistant. It took me about an hour.

Thanks to you guys who posted here with instructions.

[ November 02, 2002, 17:17: Message edited by: The Trouts ]
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Old July 16th, 2002, 02:35   #12
BENFICA251
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: PORTUGAL/FORNOS DE ALGODRES
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

what do you do on raining days?
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Old July 16th, 2002, 06:02   #13
VelvetFoot
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Location: Sand Lake, NY
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

If it would be waterproof air wouldn't get in.

What I'd like to know is how the bird got in under the fenderwell liner where the intake is?
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Old July 21st, 2005, 12:58   #14
rpmjunky
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: CA, LA County
Fuel Economy: ~40?
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

good info...
what i like to know is that if this snow screen is present on all tdi cars and/or any other engine types???
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Old July 22nd, 2005, 09:57   #15
Stampfan
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Calgary, AB
Default Re: Lower Air Box / Snow Screen Removal for NB

RPM junky: this description on on the NB (and an excellent one at that). For removal from the Jetta/Golf, its a heckuva lot easier. See here:

http://pics.tdiclub.com/video/cincitdi/index.html
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