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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 July 16th, 2017, 16:24   #1
pilotavery
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Default Does this ALH sound right to you?

I have a 2001 ALH TDI (stock, other than high idle) which I let my friend drive to learn to drive a stick.

Bad choice. She panicked, pressed the clutch and gas all the way, then released both, killing the engine.

The guy I brought it to works exclusively on Diesel VW cars, at VW Paradise. 2 motor mounts we're visibly broken, he changed all three for good measure and then changed the starter which had somehow been destroyed when the engine rotated itself in my car. He inspected the transmission and clutch and said it was fine, and the injection pump was timed according to the computer. He also fixed an exhaust leak from shock. About 2 hours later, I was good to go.

He mentioned the sound of the engine was like the camshaft had jumped a tooth and is advanced a tooth on the belt, which made sense since I heard a slight change. But is that what it sounds like you all of you? Here is a video on my S7 (microphones should be clear enough, I hope) of the ALH engine. He recommends I have him check all the timing notches, which will cost $75 (45 minutes at $100 an hour shop rate) which will then be rolled into the cost to re-time (and replace timing belt while at it, because why not, even though it only has 35k miles on the timing belt and pumps)

He did say it's not urgent, and I probably won't notice a drop in power or efficiency, should I go ahead and do it? Or does it sound normal?

https://youtu.be/X3BK7OW7Qus
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Old July 16th, 2017, 16:34   #2
aja8888
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I don't know how the camshaft would jump a tooth unless the belt tensioner was damaged or your belt was old and failed. It sounds pretty normal. Did he check the timing with a VCDS? It looks to start OK also.

You may want to take it to another shop that has a VCDS (unless you have one) and check the timing and injection quantity values.
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Old July 16th, 2017, 17:17   #3
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I don't know how the camshaft would jump a tooth unless the belt tensioner was damaged or your belt was old and failed. It sounds pretty normal. Did he check the timing with a VCDS? It looks to start OK also.

You may want to take it to another shop that has a VCDS (unless you have one) and check the timing and injection quantity values.
The VCDS timing was good. It went from. 5500rpm to 0 rpm in 1/30th of a second (overkill clutch) which might do it. The idle noticebly is louder than before and less smooth.

It might still be right. The VCDS checks the injection timing, and he said it was "nuts on". This is a brand new starter in the video.

Noticed my MPG dropped from 53mpg on the freeway to 35mpg. So I'm a little worried. It might just be something stupid.
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Old July 16th, 2017, 17:42   #4
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
I don't know how the camshaft would jump a tooth unless the belt tensioner was damaged or your belt was old and failed. It sounds pretty normal. Did he check the timing with a VCDS? It looks to start OK also.

You may want to take it to another shop that has a VCDS (unless you have one) and check the timing and injection quantity values.
It's possible that the cam sprocket could of slipped on the cam. This could throw the cam timing out enough to cause a difference in noise. Remember it's only a tapper fit, rotate it over to tdc and pull the vacuum pump to see if the cam tool will go in or if it out.
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Old July 16th, 2017, 18:47   #5
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It's possible that the cam sprocket could of slipped on the cam. This could throw the cam timing out enough to cause a difference in noise. Remember it's only a tapper fit, rotate it over to tdc and pull the vacuum pump to see if the cam tool will go in or if it out.
Correct, it's a taper fit and I guess under extreme conditions, could slip a bit. Agree with you on the next step.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 08:31   #6
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Personally, if it was my car I would replace the timing belt -kit-
I would not trust the tensioner, water pump or such.
To have such a drop in fuel mileage I would think performance is also a big drop.
I agree with derek5120 to check the cam timing.
Relatively easy.
The shop should have checked that.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 10:20   #7
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Personally, if it was my car I would replace the timing belt -kit-
I would not trust the tensioner, water pump or such.
To have such a drop in fuel mileage I would think performance is also a big drop.
I agree with derek5120 to check the cam timing.
Relatively easy.
The shop should have checked that.
I guess the performance dropped a little.

I just brought it to the shop, he said it didn't jump a tooth, but the timing of the camshaft did advance. When the engine stopped, the inertia shock probably carried it.It was only 2-3 degrees, but now it's perfect again. He said the cam looks really good, and the timing is perfect. It runs much better now, quieter, etc. He didn't charge me for it, it only took an hour or so, and he didn't even need to.remove the cam. Interesting.

He said the injectors could use a balancing though which would smooth it out more but that isn't even needed. I'm thinking about putting a VNT17 and bigger injectors in. I just want a reliable stage 2 for towing. Thanks.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 12:25   #8
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You don't need to remove the cam at all to do it -- you rotate the crank to TDC, see if the cam lock will go in -- if not, set it so it will to see how far it's off (if more than ~5-7 degrees you're screwed as valve contact DID occur) and if ok lock the cam, loosen the bolt, break the cam pulley free, rotate the crank to TDC, lock THAT with a screwdriver in the bell housing, check the pump to see if the pin will go (if so all good), snug up the cam bolt, pull the lock, torque it and remove the crank lock.

Rotate two revs BY HAND on the crank pulley to make sure you're good and all returns to being in-sync and button it up.

If you have the right set of tools you don't need to pull the valve cover - - just the vacuum pump. I have the lock bar that requires the the valve cover come off, which is the biggest pain in the butt involved in doing it due to those two back bolts by the EGR valve.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 13:07   #9
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If the cam shifted then it's the same thing as the TB getting off. No idea how MUCH, what damage might have happened unless one looks to index all the TB components. If it's within a safe number of degrees (others can speak what this would be) then maybe you're OK. However, I'd strongly consider popping off the valve cover and taking a look at the valve train; it would be a big disappointment to install a new TB and then a bit later on discover that there had been valve contact (leading to a valve breaking off).

I'll have to rethink my notion of these being the best cars to learn to drive a stick on.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 13:18   #10
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There's about 7 degrees of tolerance +/- TDC if I remember the calculations correctly. The cam sprocket should not slip even with an event like this; there just isn't that much mass in the cam and tapers are some of the strongest joints out there. For comparison direct-drive (shaft) boat props are taper joints and while there's a key in there if you ever load the key you'll snap the shaft due to the stress going into the keyway; the entire load of the wheel under load is taken on the taper and in fact you can put them together with no key at all and they'll be fine! The taper and inside of the pulley should be absolutely clean and dry when assembled of course; that's very important for the taper to properly mate and take up the load when the bolt is torqued.

I've hit a submerged object underwater when I owned my 45 Hatteras and bent the hell out of the prop. The prop didn't move a MILLIMETER on the shaft and there was zero evidence that the key or keyway took any load at all; it had zero deformation and slipped right out. For reference those wheels were capable of absorbing 500 horsepower (rated output of the engine) at full load; I was making somewhere around 300HP at the time it happened.

Last edited by Genesis; July 17th, 2017 at 13:21.
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Old July 17th, 2017, 14:05   #11
pilotavery
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If the cam shifted then it's the same thing as the TB getting off. No idea how MUCH, what damage might have happened unless one looks to index all the TB components. If it's within a safe number of degrees (others can speak what this would be) then maybe you're OK. However, I'd strongly consider popping off the valve cover and taking a look at the valve train; it would be a big disappointment to install a new TB and then a bit later on discover that there had been valve contact (leading to a valve breaking off).

I'll have to rethink my notion of these being the best cars to learn to drive a stick on.
I got it fixed, it was 2 degrees off, so no damage.
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Old July 18th, 2017, 09:07   #12
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I got it fixed, it was 2 degrees off, so no damage.
Excellent news! Run out and buy a lotto ticket!
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