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Old November 8th, 2018, 15:25   #1
BearForceOne
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Default Bad Dual Mass Flywheel?

Hey all, I've been driving my '01 Jetta for about two months now mostly trouble free. It's at 346k miles and runs like a champ, save for burning some oil. I've noticed, since I began driving it, whenever I start from a stop and let the clutch out, the car shakes pretty noticeably until the clutch is fully engaged and the car is in motion. There is also a bit of shake I can feel in the pedal with it fully depressed. All other shifts are perfectly fine without incident and it's driven fine, until today.

On my 30 mile commute, almost every time I tried to start from a complete stop in first, the engine would stall. I noticed the clutch didn't feel like it was grabbing at all like it was before, the car would barely creep forward, and no matter how slowly I let off the clutch or how much fuel I gave it, it would almost always stall. I ended up having to start in second to get it home, which is less than optimal. I also noticed it is much harder to get into first from neutral, needing returned to neutral and aggressively pushed into first.

I know the characteristic symptom of a failing DMF is a clatter coming from the transmission, which I don't hear at all. However I can't figure anything else that would cause these issues, and assuming it's the original flywheel I wouldn't be surprised if it went at 346k miles. The transmission definitely feels its age and the synchro for first gear isn't it good shape (I have to depress the clutch and hold it for a moment before putting the transmission in first, otherwise it grinds), however I don't think it's a transmission issue.
Has anyone experienced something similar to this when their DMF has failed, or maybe has some other input or suggestions? I would greatly appreciate it, as this is my daily driver and I need it back on the road ASAP.

Thank you!

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Old November 8th, 2018, 17:31   #2
AndyBees
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For what's it's worth, the OE DMF in my 2000 Jetta was fine at 291k miles. It was not giving any problems at all. However, while doing a front suspension re-fresh, I dropped the tranny and replaced the DMF.

And, I replaced one on a friend's 03 with just over 342k miles. It was wasted along with the throw-out bearing and clutch release fork. The TO bearing had virtually disintegrated and the clutch release fork had been rubbing the fingers of the pressure plate. I have it hanging on my garage wall for a conversation piece and somewhere I have pics of the entire mess.

So, you may very well be getting close to the latter scenario.
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Last edited by AndyBees; November 8th, 2018 at 17:34. Reason: Clarification
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Old November 8th, 2018, 17:37   #3
Mongler98
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what ever you do, beef up that fork with some crafty welds, not much room to add but its doable.
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Old November 8th, 2018, 19:26   #4
IndigoBlueWagon
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The symptoms you describe could be caused by any number of things. And I would question whether, at 346K miles, your car still has the OE DMF and clutch. Tired engine and dogbone mounts can cause shaking on start off. And poor boost response or low fueling could be the cause of the stalling. Unwillingness to engage first could be a clutch problem, a synchro problem, low transmission fluid, or poor linkage adjustment. Or a faulty flywheel.

I'd investigate the things that don't require removing the transmission before assuming you need a clutch. Not saying you don't, but it's possible.
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Old November 9th, 2018, 07:02   #5
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There are a few ways the DMF can deteriorate. One is like you said; it can get loose between the two masses, flop around and get off balance causing the noise and vibration. This can cause the parts to wear a notch into the end of the crankshaft.

The center mass can also lose its ability to remain centered and lock up in that position causing the vibration like a D/A sander.


And, of course, a worst case scenario where the DMF can lose internal parts into the bell housing and ruin it.

I make a determination if it is a flywheel or a cylinder/injector issue by checking Group 13 in the engine controller for injector balance deviation. If the injectors are reasonably close then the flywheel is usually the culprit.

It has been very rare that I have found a motor mount to be the issue in the problem you've described.
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Old November 9th, 2018, 07:33   #6
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A agree that a motor mount wouldn't cause the shifting problem, but it could be the source of the shudder on take off.
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Old November 9th, 2018, 09:26   #7
BearForceOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndigoBlueWagon View Post
A agree that a motor mount wouldn't cause the shifting problem, but it could be the source of the shudder on take off.
That had been my thought as well, just hadn't had time to diagnose it. I don't have much in terms of service history on the car and it definitely wasn't taken care of as well as it should've been, so failing mounts aren't out of the picture as far as the shudder goes.

There is a used single mass flywheel, clutch, PP, and throw out bearing/fork out of a 1.8T O2J for sale locally, would that bolt on to and hold the power of a stock ALH? I've read the bolt pattern is the same but there is a difference in the clutch pocket depth, being a complete kit though I'd imagine it could work. At the very least, it would allow me to verify the problem lies in the DMF and get the car driveable until a proper SMF conversion comes in.

Last edited by BearForceOne; November 9th, 2018 at 09:30.
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Old November 9th, 2018, 10:08   #8
jmodge
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Idparts has a reasonably priced vr6 kit, they ship fast to our area also. That is Peter inpost 4 and 6
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Old November 9th, 2018, 10:18   #9
BearForceOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmodge View Post
Idparts has a reasonably priced vr6 kit, they ship fast to our area also. That is Peter inpost 4 and 6
I actually have the IDParts VR6 kit saved and it's likely what I'll go with once the problem is confirmed to be the DMF.
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Old November 9th, 2018, 10:19   #10
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If you do that replace the fork, pivot, and retainer clip also. My opinion it is not worth doing twice because of the labor if it is the clutch.
Google linkage adjustment, common 1st gear issue. Dieselgeek short shifter is a good investment if you have worn parts.

Parking brake on and let clutch start to engage forward to reverse while someone watches the mounts and dogbone, or vice versa.

Do you have the same engagement issue starting in 2nd or reverse? Failing DMF can feel like your slave or master is not working properly also

Always possible there may be more than one issue.
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Old November 9th, 2018, 11:21   #11
BearForceOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmodge View Post
If you do that replace the fork, pivot, and retainer clip also. My opinion it is not worth doing twice because of the labor if it is the clutch.
Google linkage adjustment, common 1st gear issue. Dieselgeek short shifter is a good investment if you have worn parts.

Parking brake on and let clutch start to engage forward to reverse while someone watches the mounts and dogbone, or vice versa.

Do you have the same engagement issue starting in 2nd or reverse? Failing DMF can feel like your slave or master is not working properly also

Always possible there may be more than one issue.
Currently has a dieselgeek short throw, I'll double check the linkage on it but it didn't look to have changed. It seems fine in second and reverse, starting in second isn't smooth but that's expected, on level ground it doesn't stall whereas first would
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Old November 9th, 2018, 12:35   #12
jmodge
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I wonder if it is not going into first, but 3rd instead? I don't know if it can lock up between 1st and reverse, had old Chevy 4 speeds do that before, the linkage.
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Old November 9th, 2018, 12:43   #13
BobnOH
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I don't know how to tell if the DMF is bad, bet folks who see a lot of these cars can tell.
Possible help-
Go to this site-
Google Advanced Search

Put "bad dual mass flywheel" in the first line.
Scroll down and put in the site to search "youtube.com"
Hit search and you'll get a selection of videos for this very thing.
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Old November 10th, 2018, 06:27   #14
eddieleephd
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If it were me, at 345,000, I would replace the clutch and components. I would check the mounts to see if they're in need of service and just do it at once.

The risk of tearing up the transmission is too great and it's about time it seems.
My car had a manual transmission swap and I replaced the clutch at 305k. I did do some power mods in the last year and I think that helped push it over the edge Wear item needs replacement every so often.

Also my symptoms of bad dual mass were similar. Couldn't go into first unless I started in first, then shifts fine. I also had to replace the bushing. You said you have a short throw, so that's likely not going to an issue.
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Old November 10th, 2018, 08:51   #15
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The 1.8 is not the clutch for you. Wrong flywheel.

If you are going to be stock all the way, we provide a great clutch with the right flywheel. The difference with our flywheels is we balance and surface grind every flywheel. Average out-of-balance is 2.4 grams, worst, 12.5 gr. We make them 0.0gr. It's easier on your main bearings. This is a place where 'close enough' is not good enough for me.

There are several things to consider. First, it's a Michigan car. That usually means there are other parts you have to consider replacing due to the road salts you are facing for much of the year. Output shaft seal and pilot bearing slide, pivot pin, worn fork, especially on an car with 300k+ miles should be considered. Personally, I'd rather return an unneeded part than to wait for it to show up in three days...

Also, we can see shifting being a problem with a badly worn DMF, but the other constant issue is installing a GL-5 gear oil. Some say there is a combo GL-4/ GL-5. In my opinion, that is impossible. The amount of sulphur and phosphorus is greater in the GL-5, which is detrimental to brass synchronizers. The sulphur and phosphorus bind under heat to make a sacrificial coating on the synchros. When the coating breaks off of brass synchros, it takes molecules of brass with the coating. The GL-5 is intended for steel synchros, not 'old school' brass, like what's in our 02J's, etc.
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