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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 September 13th, 2017, 00:08   #1
colorobo2002
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Default broken valve lifters

So was nearly complete with my:
head rebuild (with new lifters)
turbo actuator replacement
fuel injection pump replacement

when i replaced the lifters/camshaft i just poured oil all over them and the camshaft. when i started up the car, some black smoke came out of the tailpipe, i assumed this was because of the new fuelinjection pump, and timing. so i let the car idle for about 10 minutes or so, to get to temperature.

The car sounded very "knocky" so I turned it off, started it again and it sounded "knocky". i pulled the valve cover and saw that two of the lifters are coming apart and getting shattered. shards of metal are everywhere in the head. i feel like such a dumba**. when reading up on this repair, i didn't see anything about proper lubrication for the lifer, or about keeeping the rpm over 1800 to keep the oil pressure up (now it do, but that is too late now).

So does anyone think i can just pull the cam, and pull the oil pan and clean out the shards of metal and replace the followers and be all good? I could spray carb cleaner in there to get rid of any shards. Or will i have to pull the head and get it cleaned up.

any thoughts or kind words?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 01:35   #2
vanbcguy
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Far more likely you've had some valve to piston contact. Even run dry I wouldn't expect a lifter to come apart at idle for the duration you're talking about.

I'd start by bringing the crank to TDC and verifying that the cam is timed correctly...

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Old September 13th, 2017, 09:20   #3
Ol'Rattler
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What Van said. I replaced my cam and lifters and when I started it, there was no "Knocky" sound, just some tappet ticking that went away after about 15 seconds or less and this was at idle.

After checking the timing, probably your next step will be to pull the head.........
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Old September 13th, 2017, 19:01   #4
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Is it possible that during the head rebuild they could have skimmed too much off
the head? Did the valve seats get replaced? Or is the cam timing way off?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 19:20   #5
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I didn't do anything at all about pre-lubing the cam/lifters other than drizzling some oil on them. No noise, no problem.
I would also assume you have had a timing "event" and done the damage.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 19:33   #6
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Out of curiosity, where did the parts come from and who did the head work (what was done)?
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Old September 15th, 2017, 09:15   #7
colorobo2002
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I double checked the timing, it looks pretty much spot on, **maybe** 1 tooth off if I was to be really picky. The initial 2 turns to check by hand all looked good when I initially set it up.

Looks like 3 lifters are bad (2 are essentially a disk with no sides, the other is completely gone to pieces and is no longer functioning.)

I don't know brand of lifter, but I bought em from a parts supplier for the local reputable shops, so I wasn't buying garbage. Also the machine shop was highly recommended in the be community. He put in new valves so with the reseating and decking of the head, they came out to be the same overall protrusion as original. We discussed this when he was rebuilding the head.

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Old September 15th, 2017, 09:17   #8
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...machine shop was highly recommended in the **VW** community...

The head work was: new valves, guides, seals, resurface head.

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Old September 15th, 2017, 11:45   #9
flee
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If the timing was right then the head clearances are wrong. Lifters don't just fail for no reason.
What matters is how well they know TDI's, not just VW's.
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Old September 15th, 2017, 19:44   #10
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Our main business is rebuilding VW TDI cylinder heads. I have never had a rupture like you had. Never...

I don't know what valve head projection value they used, if they didn't trim the valve stem height, if they surfaced too much of the head... there are several ways to do it wrong.

Since your are going to have to remove the head, you might start by removing the cam and lifters. We exclusively use INA lifters. They should be marked as such, with a number:F-16416-72, if they are the correct ones.

There were some sold over the last 6-7 years that were marked "INA" without the numbers. There were 800,000 pieces sold as overstocks from S. Africa intended for a 1.6 IDI engine and although they are INA, they will fail prematurely in an engine with double the horsepower. But even those sub-par lifters won't blow up instantly.

If I were to guess, the valve relief was insuffient and when your lifters primed, the valves would not close except by being smashed up by the pistons. So, you have the joy of removing the cylinder head again.

We probably can recover your situation. Feel free to call if I can be any assistance.
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Old September 27th, 2017, 20:08   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franko6 View Post
Our main business is rebuilding VW TDI cylinder heads. I have never had a rupture like you had. Never...

I don't know what valve head projection value they used, if they didn't trim the valve stem height, if they surfaced too much of the head... there are several ways to do it wrong.

Since your are going to have to remove the head, you might start by removing the cam and lifters. We exclusively use INA lifters. They should be marked as such, with a number:F-16416-72, if they are the correct ones.

There were some sold over the last 6-7 years that were marked "INA" without the numbers. There were 800,000 pieces sold as overstocks from S. Africa intended for a 1.6 IDI engine and although they are INA, they will fail prematurely in an engine with double the horsepower. But even those sub-par lifters won't blow up instantly.

If I were to guess, the valve relief was insuffient and when your lifters primed, the valves would not close except by being smashed up by the pistons. So, you have the joy of removing the cylinder head again.

We probably can recover your situation. Feel free to call if I can be any assistance.
Sent you a PM about this..
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Old September 28th, 2017, 08:07   #12
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The INA lifters you asked about are the 'real' ones.

I really wonder about a shop that feels it needs to install 'all new valves', as we find that the OEM valves are extremely durable and very high quality. We feel replacing all valves is purely a waste of money and may actually have negative consequences; depends on the manufacturer of the valve.

As a rule, we commonly replace valves that are 1)bent, 2) Valve's seat area is badly eroded,r 3) have excessive stem wear, or the very rare, 4) a burnt valve seat area..

In one cylinder head with 610,000 miles, we reused all but 2 of the valves, as they were within our spec. I doubt your engine had much more than 1/3rd of that mileage and you were dinked you for the cost of unnecessary valves.

According to VAG, 'VW valves cannot be remachined'. If that is the case, we made a mistake on about 60,000 valves over the years... Heh.. Haven't gotten any complaints about that yet.

When seats are cut, valve seats cut and cylinder head surfaced, the valves are then installed and the valve stems need to be decked to a height from the valve cover gasket surface to the top of the stems. Don't ask for a number, as I can't tell you. We set our equipment to run it and they all come out the same.

There are a lot of valve manufacturers we reject as many are poorly made. Exhaust valves should be Inconel heads and therefore, non-magnetic, but the stems are chrome/moly, and magnetic, so the exhaust are welded together. That is one place we find 'rejects'.

Vendor rules say I can't mention the valves we prefer to avoid, but with as many as we have installed, we know the difference and when they don't need replaced. That is just another way to 'throw parts at an engine' and waste money.
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Old September 28th, 2017, 09:00   #13
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Sounds to me like the timing of the cam was done wrong.

What method did you use to set the belt?
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Old September 28th, 2017, 14:03   #14
Ol'Rattler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorobo2002 View Post
I double checked the timing, it looks pretty much spot on, **maybe** 1 tooth off if I was to be really picky. The initial 2 turns to check by hand all looked good when I initially set it up.

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Yoda: "There is only correct or not correct. There is no **maybe** 1 tooth off or pretty much spot on". On a TDI, one tooth off can cause valve to piston collisions.

did you use the IP and cam timing tools?
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Old September 29th, 2017, 06:45   #15
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What Ol' said....

There's right, and there's wrong on these cars. There is only ONE correct way to set things up when you put the timing belt on (part of installing a cylinder head, of course) and the margin of error is (if I remember the math correctly on this engine) ~7 degrees. Wrong means valve collisions and severe cylinder head damage. One tooth off is enough to be "wrong."

This sounded like you got a bad head job right up until you said "maybe", at which point the presumption has (sadly) shifted the other way. In any event the head has to come back off now -- and whatever you do if there is evidence of valve/piston collisions (I bet there is) do NOT proceed without the valve(s) involved being very, very carefully checked. A lot of people have made that second mistake and the result is usually a broken-off valve mushroom about 10k miles later -- which comes with a very high probability of totaling the engine.
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