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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old March 8th, 2018, 08:25   #1
gq1
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Default B4 Wagon smoking when up to temp and losing coolant

Hey guys, I found a B4 wagon glx for sale that has a tdi swap in it from the same year.

The guy says it isn't burning oil but is smoking and going through coolant. Thinks it might be the head gasket. Also says it has a squeaky pulley. Says he rebuilt the turbo system but doesn't have the front splitter on it right now cause the old one cracked apart.
I'm not familiar with TDIs but looking to get into the game. Wondering if this could be a simple fix or if I'm best to keep looking elsewhere before sinking a ton of money into a sinking ship.
275k on body and 175k on tdi swap.


I'm going to holler back at him and try to get more information about the car as possible.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by gq1; March 8th, 2018 at 08:28.
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Old March 8th, 2018, 11:15   #2
Windex
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If it's crazy cheap given the issues, then go for it.

Otherwise keep searching.
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Old March 8th, 2018, 11:38   #3
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Windex- they are asking 2500. Figured it might be a little high considering, I don't know what it would cost to get the kinks out.
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Old March 8th, 2018, 12:01   #4
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Coolant smoke will smell a little sweet, oil smoke does not, and has a bluish tinge.

I would max out at $1000 on a car like that, given that you would be assuming the risk on the repair costs.
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Old March 8th, 2018, 22:12   #5
Steve Addy
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IMO That's really way too much for something that has those problems. First you have to work through the problems and second you have to see whether the conversion was done properly and if not you have to go back and fix all that.

I'm in the same boat with Windex, $1000 max and that's just because it's a Texas car with what is likely a reasonably good body.

Steve
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Old March 9th, 2018, 11:23   #6
gq1
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Steve & Windex, thanks for the input. KBB values it at most $1500 and that running properly.

Like y'all said, it would have to be around a grand for me to take that risk.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 12:03   #7
Steve Addy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gq1 View Post
Steve & Windex, thanks for the input. KBB values it at most $1500 and that running properly.

Like y'all said, it would have to be around a grand for me to take that risk.
I don't trust any book values for these things, especially wagons. The utility of the wagon can add significant value beyond what KBB, Edmunds or NADA like to account for. I take what any of these alleged 'specialists' offer up as accurate pricing info as questionable.

A good wagon is hard to find, but in this case it's a conversion so there's a lot of ways it could be messed up because the conversion wasn't thorough.

I have read on Vortex about people converting VR6 cars from AT to MT without going to the effort of extracting the AT wiring harness and TCU, which is unacceptable to me. The car should not reflect any of the old systems that are now disable simply due to the confusion it causes if someone needs to work on it again. It needs to be a clean slate and accurate. Most Vortex kids don't want to do that, they just want it done.

This could be a very decent conversion or it could be a mess. If I had to wager from the armchair I'd wager on mess, but that's where the inspection comes into play. It's pretty simple to look under the hood and in a couple minutes decide if they did it right or did it wrong.

Without an inspection I'm still at $1000 just because wagon. If it was done right then even with the potential head gasket situation I might be convinced to move a little, but again that would depend on what I found under the hood and other qualitative things like paint or interior cleanliness.

Steve
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