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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

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 December 7th, 2018, 11:03   #16
WildChild80
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I'd second to check the timing and make sure the cam and crank are still in time...that'd take 30 minutes and gets you some hard facts and a starting point...and you should have the cam lock tool if you did your own timing belt

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Old December 7th, 2018, 15:20   #17
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You can get a bore scope for almost nothing from Amazon or Walmart. That would give you a picture of the condition of the tops of the pistons and if anything broke off in there. Probably not a good idea to crank it too much before figuring out more. Pull the timing belt cover and look for something that may have fallen off.


How was the car running between the timing belt job and this failure?
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Old December 7th, 2018, 22:03   #18
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Thank you for all the suggestions!

Concerning the injector testing: If I test them out of the engine like that I will be very careful! I have a healthy respect for 2000+ psi fluids.

Click Here for a YouTube video of what the engine sounds like right now.

jokila – I am in Greenville TX. Northeast from Dallas by 45 minutes.

miningman – Don’t worry about being critical. Just because I tried to do a semi-advanced repair myself, doesn’t automatically mean I get a trophy and everything works out in the end. If I screwed it up, then I screwed it up. It sucks, but it happens sometimes. I appreciate the advice

flashmayo – I have a borescope ready for when the cylinders are open. I will upload pictures as soon as I get to that point. The engine was running perfectly after the timing job. I was getting 38 MPG on the highway (which is exactly what I have been getting for the past 4 years). It was actually running slightly smoother than before the belt job. I set the timing to be in the top third between the center line and the top line per normal procedure. It smoked a little less. There were no symptoms that anything was wrong until I started seeing first black smoke, then white smoke while going down the highway.

Based on the comments, it looks like things have shifted towards something being wrong with timing or injectors. I have ordered a diesel compression tester and will proceed with troubleshooting as follows:
-Remove timing belt cover and check tensioner, pulleys, hardware, etc.
-Remove valve cover and check TDC on CAM, IP, and flywheel to see if they still match.
-Compression test when the tester arrives.

And then based on the results possibly proceed with injector test or leakdown test.

Thank you guys so much for your help. Sounds like a good place to start. I will keep you updated with progress. If it is timing, maybe I can learn something and save other people from making the same mistakes!
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Old December 8th, 2018, 17:25   #19
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That doesn't sound too scary- definitely not right but not the sounds if imminent death from my speakers. Use a hard handled screwdriver as a stethoscope and see if you can pinpoint the noise. You could also crack injection lines loose at the injectors one at a time and see if the noise goes away when one cylinder is not firing.



I noticed the backside of your injection pump is very wet, was that just from hooking up the test jug of fuel?
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Old December 9th, 2018, 17:41   #20
Clevenger
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Alright. We have made real progress now!! And I have lots of gory pictures

blow_your_money - The sound was not imminent death. It was death has already occurred sound The pump was wet with diesel spilled during the process of priming and running the pump on fresh diesel from a jar. I actually had to push the car out and clean up the floor because of how strong the garage was smelling.

We pulled the timing belt cover and inspected the tensioner. The tensioner marks lined up as they should. The belt is healthy and taut.

Next we pulled the valve cover and vacuum pump off, and were met with mechanical carnage.





It appears that one of the cylinder #2 lifters exploded. There are pieces of lifter and disintegrated spring everywhere.

At this point I accept that the engine is most likely a total loss. Now I want to understand what happened so that I can avoid it next time and maybe help prevent other people from making the same mistakes. Or maybe it was an unrelated problem. I would like to know what you guys think happened.

Even though the engine is done, I decided to rotate the engine to TDC and check timing anyway to satisfy my curiosity. I rotated the cam until the cam was TDC and then used a mirror to line up the alignment hole on the IP. The IP and Crankshaft were in time with each other, but the cam was no longer in time. (I am sorry the pictures of the cam shaft end are upside down. Not sure why that is the case)





At this point I noticed that there was some serious wear on the coupling between the camshaft and the vacuum pump.





I have had the vacuum pump off before, and I know that wear was not present when re-assembling after the timing belt job. The engine has about one hour of run time since it broke down. I wonder if this damage happened before or after the blown lifter.

I tried to get my bore scope into an injector hole, but the diameter of the hole was a little to small, so all I got were blurry pictures of grime and nothing useful.

So now my questions are:

- What do you guys think the order of failure was? And what caused it?
- Is it possible that a lifter failed and knocked the timing off while shredding the head? There is a lot of damage and one huge gouge just under one of the cam lobes.

Don't worry about being critical of my work. If I screwed up, I need to know it!

Thanks for all the help and advice!! Let me know what other pictures you want and what else I could check.

Thanks,
Clevenger
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Old December 9th, 2018, 17:55   #21
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Not sure if you've seen this thread or not but you might find it useful.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=493019
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Old December 9th, 2018, 18:01   #22
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With any luck only the head is damaged and that may well be repairable.
You'll know more after removing the head and checking the piston protrusion.
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Old December 9th, 2018, 18:25   #23
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....
"The IP and Crankshaft were in time with each other, but the cam was no longer in time."


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Originally Posted by maxmoo View Post
Could the cam sprocket have slipped on the cam?
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Old December 9th, 2018, 19:04   #24
03TDICommuter
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Have no idea if this is it but I read that on your 3rd timing belt replacement, replace the camshaft sprocket. That the taper doesn't grip the cam and may slip. Forget where I read it and can't find it right now.
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Old December 9th, 2018, 20:23   #25
Brett San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burn_your_money View Post
Not sure if you've seen this thread or not but you might find it useful.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=493019
That's my thread. But, my cam did not lose time, where it appears Clevenger's did, so I didn't have possible valve/piston contact.


Clevenger,
My car ran with an obvious misfire when the lifter failure occurred, but I was able to drive about 10 miles home at highway speeds. Whereas my damage was limited to the top end, you may have additional bottom end damage. After you remove the head, you'll want to check piston protusion to see if you have any bent rods.

You have a few options if you don't have a bent rods... Brand new head. Salvage head, just throw it in. Salvage head, have a valve job done on it before putting it in. Have your own head repaired and valve job done. If you have bent some rods, though, you've got more to work to do.

For anyone listening, I recommend putting in a new cam and set of lifters as a part of a 300,000 mile maintenance. This lifter gave way at 380,000 miles, mine went at 350,000. It's only about $200, and at 300,000 miles presumably you're doing a timing belt already, so you've got the valve cover and cam sprocket off anyway.
Brett

Last edited by Brett San Diego; December 9th, 2018 at 20:46.
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Old December 9th, 2018, 21:33   #26
03TDICommuter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03TDICommuter View Post
Have no idea if this is it but I read that on your 3rd timing belt replacement, replace the camshaft sprocket. That the taper doesn't grip the cam and may slip. Forget where I read it and can't find it right now.
Found it on IDparts website
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Other Things To Consider
As the ALH engines increase in miles we have seen a few cases of camshaft sprockets that have developed fatigue cracks on the inside where it mates to the camshaft. If the sprocket is fatigued it may not be able to hold the friction fit to the taper of the camshaft and may slip, causing valve-piston contact. If you are at or above 300k miles we strongly recommend purchasing a new camshaft sprocket as well.
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Old December 10th, 2018, 07:34   #27
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The tail damage on that cam strongly suggests the vacuum pump seized, resulting in the slippage on the cam and subsequent destruction of the lifter due to piston/valve contact.

That's not "wear"; the vacuum pump tang jumped under (heavy) load, and the only way I can see that happening is if the pump seized, which would effectively attempt to lock the camshaft from rotating.

The cam and lifter in question are destroyed and piston/valve contact obviously occurred. The head has to come off; there's a decent chance one or more rods are bent but you won't know until you remove the head and check protrusion. If the pistons and rods prove up ok then I'd send the head out and replace the vacuum pump and cam sprocket (which likely had its taper bore damaged by the forced slippage under load.) If not then I'd source a replacement engine; while you CAN fix bent rods and/or damaged pistons (assuming the bores are ok) the cost is likely high enough, especially at this mileage, that a running used replacement engine is cheaper considering that you would need a timing belt kit in any event as well (and it's much easier to do the timing belt with the engine out of the car!)
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Old December 10th, 2018, 13:51   #28
Brett San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
The tail damage on that cam strongly suggests the vacuum pump seized, resulting in the slippage on the cam and subsequent destruction of the lifter due to piston/valve contact.

That's not "wear"; the vacuum pump tang jumped under (heavy) load, and the only way I can see that happening is if the pump seized, which would effectively attempt to lock the camshaft from rotating.
That's a good point. I'd like to see the vacuum pump opened up.
Brett
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Old December 10th, 2018, 14:15   #29
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To be sure, I'd dissect the vacuum pump to see if it did in fact lock-up.

I tend to agree with Genesis diagnosis. However, that valve looks like it may be an Exhaust Valve, assuming that is #2 cylinder as indicted by the OP. Thus, if the Cam is in fact out of time enough to hit one Exhaust Valve the other three should have damage too. As I hold my LapTop upside down to view the end of the Cam, it looks to be out of time by about 2 teeth and no more than 3. I don't think there will be valve to piston contact being off by 2 teeth but certainly at 3 teeth.

A lifter giving up could explain the Cam being out of time (slipping in the Cog taper). But, that does not explain the Vacuum Pump gouging on the other end.

So, again, I tend to go with Genesis' assessment.
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Old December 10th, 2018, 14:27   #30
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Well, he says he's out of time; he TDC'd the engine and the slot on the cam is NOT horizontal. So it's fairly obvious the cam timing did indeed slip at the nose, and since the crank and IP are in-time the belt did not strip (he also didn't find stripped teeth.)

The remaining question is WHY did the cam slip on the sprocket? The possibilities are:

1. A valve or lifter locked up hard enough to prevent rotation of the cam.

2. The sprocket slipped due to being incorrectly torqued or it, or the nose, was damaged or not assembled clean, and as a result did not have the required holding force on the taper.

3. Something jammed the cam from rotating on the other end. That "something" would be the vacuum pump.

There is evidence of #3. #2 is very hard to prove after the fact. #1 leaves evidence everywhere and pieces of lifter could do it in the right circumstances, but there's no way for said pieces to get into the vacuum pump area beyond the last cam journal and result in that sort of damage. It takes a LOT of force to deform a notched shaft drive like that.
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