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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 December 10th, 2018, 16:40   #31
Clevenger
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I will take the vacuum pump apart this evening and post pictures of the inside.

Might I suggest a possible series of events?

Story of a doomed engine:

First a lifter explodes into 4 large shards and lots of smaller pieces. This is the point at 80MPH where I start seeing black smoke out of my tailpipe and pull over. The car was rolling a moderate amount of black smoke and running a little loud when I pulled off to take a look at the damage. Seeing nothing visually wrong I kept driving to get to the a shop.

The car can still get to 50 MPH and is blowing black smoke so I figured it was limp mode for some reason even though there was no CEL. The crankcase is now a steel blender and is blasting pieces of steel and aluminum into the oil flow. a piece makes it's way into the pump and seizes the vacuum pump. The pump puts enough torque on the cam to deform steel and also unseats the cam pulley (which was torqued to 33 ft-lbs per spec). Now my performance is deteriorating rapidly as the time goes further and further out. And my car slows down to 20MPH with the pedal on the floor. Also lots of white smoke.

I stopped again just short the shop and disconnected the turbo, which made the engine run better with less air (not sure why). By now the timing is way off, it is running like crap and damaged beyond repair before I even make it to the shop.

Does that sound like a possible sequence?

Pictures of the vacuum pump will follow shortly.
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Old December 10th, 2018, 16:48   #32
Genesis
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Uh, you're missing the fact that oil coming out of the pump has to go through the oil filter....
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Old December 10th, 2018, 19:24   #33
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Genesis - Fair point. From looking at the Head, I thought that the oil flowed into the pump from the head area. It was a bad assumption on my part.

I pulled the vacuum pump apart. The main pump area looked pretty normal. Maybe some new wear lines on the flat faces, but nothing that could seize hard enough to damage the shaft.

Then I pulled the main shaft apart and looked at the end near the camshaft. Note the groove and the heat discoloration near the top. It certainly looks like something made it's way in there and was generating enough heat to turn the steel gray and blue. It was very hard to get the color to come out right. This was the best we could do.



The discoloration denotes some pretty serious heat. Would something like that be enough to jam up the pump, even just for a while?
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Old December 10th, 2018, 20:13   #34
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The Timing of the Injection Pump with the Crankshaft (Pistons) was spot-on based on the previous photos and your comments. The Cam is now late in time...and most likely allowing the pistons to smack the Exhaust Valves.

I'm still scratching my head on the damaged Cam end at the Vacuum Pump. That all looks suspect ......... something is amiss. For that slot to be worn that bad, especially suddenly, I'm surprised that the Vacuum Pump didn't bust.

The black smoke was likely from the cylinder with the busted lifter..

I cannot image that the other Exhaust Valves are not damaged... loss of power come from low compression due those valves not seating properly.

Take a look at the pics below.... very similar to what you experienced. In this case, the valve broke (Intake). My brother purchased the car from a guru (on the list, that will remain nameless). One of the guys did admit that the car was pushed through the auction when they purchased it. Also, there was an extreme amount of crud build-up in the Intake Ports of the head, which I suspect chunked off and got caught under that Intake Valve. Anyway, the final blow occurred when my brother was running 75 MPH on the expressway at Chattanooga, Tennessee. The engine stayed in Time... pics in my gallery prove it.



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Old December 10th, 2018, 20:40   #35
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I would have expected something real serious and obvious in the vacuum pump in terms of it locking up hard enough to kill the tail of the cam like that. But nonetheless it did happen, and I'm assuming it WASN'T chewed like that when you did the belt 1,000 miles back, right?

The vacuum pump has its oil fed via that nice hole on the head which matches with the hole on the pump in the O-ring. If there's no oil going in there it won't live long. Is that passage open on the pump (looks ok on the head in your pictures)?

I'd be in the "cam sprocket slipped" as the first element of the blowup camp except for that cam tail damage. That's a smoking gun that *something* jammed the cam's rotation at the coupler; I don't see how else it could occur, and that would be *way* beyond normal rotational torque and thus slip the sprocket, producing the rest of the carnage.....
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Old December 11th, 2018, 16:32   #36
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AndyBees - The picture of the valve embedded in the head makes me hurt a little on the inside. The picture of the top of the lifter looks almost identical to mine. My engine still runs and is not reporting a misfire, so I don't think my valves are quite that destroyed.

Genesis - I am puzzled at this point too. even with my relatively small amount of experience, things aren't adding up.

I re-examined the pump. Again, the only sign of damage I could fine was the small line scored around the main shaft and the associated heat discoloration above it. The internals of the pump are in good shape, no evidence of major trauma. I poked a small zip tie through the oil passages and did not encounter any debris or resistance. When I originally disassembled the pump, there was lots of oil in it.

When I made my first stop after the black smoke, I hooked up my vac-com and checked the timing, because the timing was my first fear when it happened. The timing graph put me spot on near the top line, but not above it. Would that have shown the cam's position, or is that timing only comparing the IP vs the crankshaft?

I have no idea what could have caused the pump to seize that badly! It almost certainly happened, and that should have left really obvious evidence. Is there a way that I could have put the pump on wrong?

When I took it off for the timing, I just unbolted it and placed it inside a zip-lock bag and left it there for the rest of the job. Then pulled it out and bolted it in place after aligning the tail. At that point I can confirm for sure that there was no damage to the tail. I like my car and I love precision machined things. I would have noticed that kind of damage.

As for the car. I think I am going to have to sell it for parts. I don't know if I would trust this engine if I rebuilt it because of the amount of shrapnel that is uncounted for. (even if the cylinders and rods were ok). This was my only car. Both daily driver and road trips. Not uncommon to put 4,000 miles down during Christmas Holiday season. I don't want to be 5 states away from home and then find out that I missed a piece and have my engine blow again.

It has a lot of new parts on it because I had just finished doing all the maintenance to get it ready for the next 100,000 miles. (Tires, battery, rack and pinion, power steering pump, rear shocks, blend door and heater repaired, timing belt with all new hardware, water pump, emergency brake cables, etc). Would you guys recommend posting it here on the forum or selling parts individually and then scrapping the car?
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Old December 11th, 2018, 16:40   #37
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VCDS is only going to show you where the IP is in relationship to the crank, so it won't tell you that the cam jumped time.

I wouldn't sell it for parts at THIS point. Pull the head first, measure piston protrusion. If you have no bent rods either find a used head at a pick-n-pull (YOU pull it!) that looks like it's never been off the car OR send yours out and have it fixed. While you're at it for paranoia's sake you can drop the pan and clean it out, but I wouldn't get stressed about anything beyond that. You'd be surprised at what I've found in oil pans before -- pieces of valve keeper being a good one... generally there's not a problem with any of that sort of thing.

If the rods are bent then it's a tougher call but with only head damage I'd look for a TDI in a pick-n-pull, grab the head, measure your piston protrusion, order the proper head gasket kit and depending on the mileage on the picked head maybe a cam and set of lifters, put it back together with the vacuum pump off the donor car and drive it.

I sure wouldn't condemn the vehicle unless there's bore or rod damage evident once the head is off.
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Old December 11th, 2018, 16:47   #38
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VCDS shows Injection Timing with respect to the TDC of the Crankshaft only. There's no sensor to monitor the position of the Cam. Edit: Genesis I typed my response but never posted. So, I never saw what you stated... looks like we are on the same page.

If you had put the pump in wrong, you could not have bolted it down flush.i

As for shrapnel in the engine, that would be the least of my worries. You have to pull the head. Then, you'll make a decision at that point to proceed or not. If you move toward repairs based on the condition of the associated parts affected, then you need to remove the oil pan and clean out any pieces that made it down there. Check the oil pick-up tube screen for debris. If it looks to be somewhat loaded with debris, then a decision needs to be about replacing the oil pump. The oil filter has caught anything at that point.

So, why did the engine expel black smoke? Was this close to a run-away? Was a glob of oil blown out of the Inter Cooler?

I'm still scratching my head about the damage to the end of the Cam...
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Last edited by AndyBees; December 11th, 2018 at 16:49. Reason: Add comments
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Old Yesterday, 21:01   #39
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I'd be looking at dropping a replacement engine in if it looks ugly when the head comes off. If the car is otherwise good, it won't be easy to replace.
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Old Today, 05:31   #40
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What part of Texas are you in? I'm in SW Arkansas and can help you find parts if you decide to put it back together

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Old Today, 11:40   #41
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I have a spare block. Might need to be bored out, but had no catastrophic failure. Pulled it due to excess oil consumption. Found one valve seal completely gone. Pistons and bottom end are still together. Im in Denton.
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