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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+)

VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+) Discussion area for the 2012+ Passat TDI (North American and rest of world versions versions). The North American model was previously codenamed NMS (New Midsize Sedan) and the version the rest of the world gets is sometimes referred to as B7.

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Old June 22nd, 2017, 11:11   #1
Rico567
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Central IL
Default Bellypan

It's not the maintenance itself. You know, the things some people say are difficult, like the oil filter change on the CKRA engine, or the DSG service. They take a while, but I don't find them that difficult.
What I do find annoying, aggravating, or <pick your own adjectives>, is the wonderful VW bellypan. In the particular iteration found on our car (2013, I suspect it's the same for 2012 and 2014) it involves three T40 bolts along hte back edge, four smaller T25 screws up each side, and then one T25 in the front center, for a total of a dozen fasteners.
The problem occurs, not when taking them out, but in trying to put the smaller ones back in. The large ones in back are no trouble, because the bolt has a large washer, and there is a good sized hole in the bellypan, making it relatively easy to find the threaded hole. But the little ones? No matter what I do, I end up not being able to find the hole (it all has to be done blind) in the clip to put the screw in, for 2 or 3 of the 9. Today there are two of those things still sitting in my toolbox after doing an oil change, and they'll sit there until next time, and maybe it'll be several different ones that won't thread in.....
Another wonderful piece of German engineering that has nothing to do with efficient maintenance or an eye to the time involved (cf. the VW prescribed method for doing a DSG oil/filter change). It's a mystery.
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 11:22   #2
Trade Wind
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I hear you, this is a pain. If you don't have them, I suggest you get a set of wheel ramps, then you can get underneath and see what is going on with a headlamp/trouble light. Makes it so much easier for a small investment...
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 11:43   #3
Rico567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trade Wind View Post
I hear you, this is a pain. If you don't have them, I suggest you get a set of wheel ramps, then you can get underneath and see what is going on with a headlamp/trouble light. Makes it so much easier for a small investment...
I am using a set of Rhino Ramps. It's not that the car is too close to the ground, it's that I'm not exactly Mr. Junior Petite (6'6", 270 lbs), which makes it impossible for me to get back far enough to actually look up through those holes and see where they line up. My arms are plenty long enough remove / replace the screws, but without going to 4-wheel jackstands or an actual lift, I'm stuck doing it this way.
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 11:44   #4
ekiM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NCC, DE
TDI(s): 2012 Passat
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The only time I take my bellypan off is when doing the DSG service. A vacuum assisted oil extractor makes short work of oil changes.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too..._390306_390306
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 12:02   #5
Rico567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekiM View Post
The only time I take my bellypan off is when doing the DSG service. A vacuum assisted oil extractor makes short work of oil changes.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too..._390306_390306
Yeah, these are pretty nifty. I borrowed one from a friend a while back to try, and it did a good job. I hesitate to buy one for this car until we see what we replace the TDI with when we do the buyback, don't want two cars that we can't use a vacuum extractor on. We already have one (an '04 SAAB) that can't be done that way, since the tube can't go through to the oil pan. What I use on that car is a Fumoto valve, which is the next best thing to having an extractor. If I were keeping the VW and determined to do bottom changes, I'd cut about a 6" hole in the belly pan, properly located so I could put a hose on a Fumoto valve, then just open the valve to drain, then close when done (it's just a small ball valve).
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 12:34   #6
roni024
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
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I hear your gripe, but a small tip that may make it a bit easier when re-aligning the screws for the pan is to not tighten the screws until they are all partially threaded in. It gives you a little wiggle room, which is in short supply for anyone who's 6'6" tall and weighs 270 lbs.
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