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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 August 14th, 2017, 13:32   #1
eldar11
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Been loving my '03 Golf TDI, and it's coming due on a number of maintenance items. My father purchased it new, and I started driving it when I got my license. It became mine after college graduation and I intend to keep it going for hopefully many more miles.
Having known the history since new, the Timing belt was changed at 100k miles, and we're about to touch 200k miles. Trying to decide whether to pay to have someone else (would be a TDIclub recommended shop) do the work or pony up and do it myself.
I've known for a while that the strut mounts are blown, and want a refresh in the 190,000+ mi suspension. I've had a set of Koni Orange struts and shocks plus all bushing/mounting hardware sitting in the closet and it's about time those get installed.
A winter in Michigan showed this Southwest (NM and TX) car what idling was and semi-clogged intakes are. I have a new-to-me intake in my possession that I need to clean up and have ordered block off plates and the EGR cooler bypass line to get rid of the EGR functionality. Yes I know you could just pull the vacuum line to the EGR and it'd do the same thing, but it'll all be out to swap the intake and I want to eliminate possible leak paths (exhaust and coolant) for the future. Race pipe sounds fancy but I definitely want to retain the ASV.
Coupled with all of this I'll need a PC and a copy of the VCDS software to make sure everything works right, and to shut of the CEL for the EGR "malfunction."
Not everything will be done at once, but luckily there's another car I can drive while I have it apart, if I get stuck.
List of other (more minor) updates include:
-*Replace parking brake cable (has been dragging LR brake if engaged) *(Completed 9/9/17)
-*Investigate possible sticky caliper slider/stuck pin in LR corner *(Completed 9/9/17
-*Replace transmission oil *(Completed 9/9/17)
-Replace body plugs that have disintegrated (almost 6x plugs)
-*Check ignition timing (threw code at one point but went away) *(Completed 9/29/17 by shop during timing belt change)
-Check Coolant temp sensor and replace (if it's the old "bad" one, I forget which color is which)
-Bleed brakes (running ABS pump w/ VCDS)
-*Replace sway bar bushing and brackets *(Completed 10/1/17)
-*Replace Struts and Shocks *(Completed 10/2/17)

Possible future work may include a steering rack replacement, as one of the inner tie rod boots has been torn and loose for a number of years now. It loses a little fluid here and there but hasn't lost any in the last couple years, I'm told though that failure may be imminent. I may at least clean up the area and replace the boot for now.
Any advice or guidance is always appreciated and I'll likely start logging the work in this thread to document the process, and apologies for being so long-winded...
First question is on the timing belt replacement. DIY or pay a shop? I'm fairly mechanically inclined and have a good set of basic tools (swapped the engine and transmission on my project car last year w/o a helper on hand).
I'd likely rent the VW specific tools and make sure I got a high-mileage timing belt kit to do the job. Thoughts from those who've done it before? estimated time to complete the job?
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Last edited by eldar11; October 3rd, 2017 at 10:37. Reason: New completions
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Old August 14th, 2017, 13:46   #2
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If its been a while you can run a can of diesel purge thru it. When you say bleed brakes are you talking about a full flush? If its been more than a couple years it cant hurt.
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Old August 14th, 2017, 15:38   #3
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Diesel Purge might not be a bad idea, but it's running ok now so I'm not sure it needs it.

I did a full flush last year but it seems that to fully bleed the system you need the VCDS to run the ABS pump and get ALL the air out. I spent the winter trying to get the ABS to turn on in the snow, so doing a regular bleed now might have more air to get out? Not sure.
Bleeding it after the flush got all the new fluid through, but the pedal is a weird mixture of soft initially and kinda firm in the latter part of the travel, and I can push it all the way to the floor (not without pretty firm resistance though).
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Old August 18th, 2017, 11:12   #4
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Oil change and EGR delete parts came in from IDparts, ready and waiting for me to do the work.

Also getting some noise while braking from speed... Lovely. No shimmy, steering wheel wiggle, or anything. Just noise. I'll poke around and see what's going on down there. Additionally there's some noise at slow speed braking and turning (think turning into driveway). More to look for, I'm guessing suspension more than brakes alone, check and replace as needed especially when the struts are out.

-One more thing to add to the list (I'll likely edit the first post) is to replace the sway bar bushings and brackets.
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Old August 18th, 2017, 13:32   #5
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I would replace the tie rod and boot, see if it solves the rack leak. Racks are pretty robust on these cars.

You might want to replace the front engine mount and the bracket on the block when doing the timing belt. After 200K miles that mount is probably tired and the bracket threads tend to strip out after two changes.

If you haven't replaced a timing belt before my advice is to have a guru do it. I tell customers that they probably can figure out how to do it, but they may run into a problem that stops them, and a simple mistake in changing the belt system can have major consequences. Better to spend a few dollars and make sure it's done correctly. Replace the suspension yourself. Easier and about the same labor cost.
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2002 Jetta wagon, 357K, RC3+; 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300D 2.5, 197K; 1997 Passat, 284K; '99.5 Golf, 255K; 2011 335d, 54K; 2015 Golf Sportwagen, 4K. Principal, http://www.idparts.com
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Old August 19th, 2017, 00:56   #6
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I have a random crunchy noise in hard braking myself. Subframe bushings :/


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Old September 9th, 2017, 22:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndigoBlueWagon View Post
I would replace the tie rod and boot, see if it solves the rack leak. Racks are pretty robust on these cars.

You might want to replace the front engine mount and the bracket on the block when doing the timing belt. After 200K miles that mount is probably tired and the bracket threads tend to strip out after two changes.

If you haven't replaced a timing belt before my advice is to have a guru do it. I tell customers that they probably can figure out how to do it, but they may run into a problem that stops them, and a simple mistake in changing the belt system can have major consequences. Better to spend a few dollars and make sure it's done correctly. Replace the suspension yourself. Easier and about the same labor cost.
Appreciate the advice! There is a TDI shop nearby, I was going to run past at some point and see what the quote would be on the timing belt job. The more I look into it, the more I feel that I could probably do it without screwing anything up. Probably is the key word, and having a guru do it would be the safe option.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherPerson View Post
I have a random crunchy noise in hard braking myself. Subframe bushings :/


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Ooh, ouch. How did you find out it was the subframe?


Went to the junkyard on Friday and pulled a good set of parking brake cables out of the numerous Jettas that populate the yards now, and some brake hardware (wasn't sure what would be wrong with the left rear). $20 for the set! Steep for the junkyard, had I known that I would have bought brand new ones and saved the trouble (rock auto is $12 a piece).

While I was doing parking brake things, I took a look at the caliper pins, and they moved freely and were greased up nicely, I think that with that cable not returning, I was driving around with the brake dragging for a loooong time. The pads are about half the thickness of the right side which were replaced at the same time.

Saturday I pulled the old cables off, there was barely any movement in them and it took a lot of effort. I managed to not brake any hardware and the junkyard cables went in easy. Later in the day I went to tackle replacing the transmission fluid as I know that's never been touched. Went off without a hitch, I even managed not to spill a drop! Using this pump: https://www.amazon.com/Custom-Access...AH6H699Q6EM1G0 and a gallon jug of transmission oil (I went with Redline MT-90), it went quick.

While everything was apart I did notice that the driver's side outer tie rod end had some play in it now.. The boot has been split for a while but didn't have play last year, are there any brands to stay away from or is anything from a site like eEuroparts going to be decent?
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Old September 10th, 2017, 19:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndigoBlueWagon View Post
I would replace the tie rod and boot, see if it solves the rack leak. Racks are pretty robust on these cars.
I would have thought if the fluid is getting into the boot it's getting through the seal at the end of the rack.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 10:17   #9
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Originally Posted by wonneber View Post
I would have thought if the fluid is getting into the boot it's getting through the seal at the end of the rack.
That's what's been described to me. As a stop-gap, I'll clean the area (and grease the inner tie rod end) and re-secure the boot.


After everything was back together, test drive was as expected. Shifting was *slightly* smoother after the fluid change, but it wasn't really having problems. It was wore about getting ahead of things and fresh fluid after almost 200k was likely overdue.

With the tie rod, and other things (like swaybar bushings) coming due, and the Koni Oranges waiting in the wings, I may dig into suspension relatively soon.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 10:57   #10
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Local TDI shop has $855 quoted for ALH timing belt change including all the pulleys, water pump, and coolant flush. For that price it might be worth paying to have the shop do it... I remember the belt at 100k cost $1200-$1300 (Don't remember exactly) so I was balking at paying that much again.

It is tempting to do it myself, for the experience, but I want this car to last.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 18:04   #11
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My car is "lasting" over 40k since I did its TB (myself): it's back on the road since getting body work done and now at 160k miles, running better than it ever has (it's awesome)! First ever TB. Second one (daughter's wagon) went a lot easier. Both done outside, on the ground (and I'm old). I finally have a garage, in which case the next one I do will be a piece of cake (though I'll still approach doing it with caution).
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Old September 20th, 2017, 11:46   #12
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While I likely could do it myself without screwing it up, I like the piece of mind with having a TDI shop do it. I want this car to last and though it will cost more than doing it myself, it will take less time commitment and it'll be completed by a far more qualified individual.


Side note - I finally cleaned up the garage enough to park both cars inside. there's been an ever-looming pile of things on the side of the garage and I finally got to it and organized it a bit better.

Once things settle down again, I'll get to working on the suspension.
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Old September 27th, 2017, 10:55   #13
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The Golf is now back from the shop with a fresh timing belt, and tensioner and rollers! In addition to the timing belt, the serpentine belt tensioner and the serpentine itself were replaced. I had been looking sideways at that serpentine for a while, even though it was more expensive to have them do it, it'll probably be worth it in the long run.

I had them lay eyes on the tie rod and verify whether it was only the outer or if the inner was going as well.

Should I just do the outer tie rod end, or would it be worth replacing the whole tie rod?

While I've got the tie rod off, I was planning on doing everything that was going to require an alignment, the struts and all the mounts and hardware. The guy at the shop poopooed the idea of using Koni struts at all "You won't like them." I've got a set of Koni Orange shocks and struts that I was going to put in the car, which I decided on a year ago after doing research for 2 years... Basically that Koni Reds would have been ideal, but I'm not racing and I don't need the adjustability so the oranges (which are basically Reds on full soft and not adjustable) were a better price and what I seemed to want. I question that now, any reviews or recommendations offhand for shocks and struts?

A golf showed up in a yard nearby lately so I might run by and pull a few parts off of it (I'd like to make my rear window wiper work at some point again, door switches, console, etc).
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