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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 March 28th, 2011, 07:53   #1
kballtdi
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Default BEW Turbo Actuator Replacement Found and Installed!

Hi There,

I have a success story that I hope will offer some relief to all of the folks out there that have a VW with a BEW TDI motor. If someone else has already come up with this solution, please add this as another data point. I spent weeks searching forums for solutions and came up with only one answer: replace the turbo.

This can also be found here:
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f...st-issue-6175/

Sorry for cross posting but it is not clear how many people frequent both sites. I also can't seem figure out how to post a picture on this forum without accessing an external photo hosting site. Pictures can be found at the link above.

Summary:

I was able to successfully replace the stock turbo vacuum actuator for the Borg Warner KP39 turbocharger (standard equipment on the BEW motor) with a Garret Smart Actuator (typically found on Garret VNT17 replacement turbochargers). The Garret Smart Actuator has the same stroke and sensor output as the Borg Warner unit since the VNT17 is meant to be a bolt on replacement for the KP39.

The Details:

1. Garret Smart Actuators can be found at the usual places (i.e. idparts, kermatdi etc.) for ~$120.
2. The Garret unit mounts with (2) M6x1 studs to a mounting plate.
3. The Garret unit uses a ball and socket mechanism to attach to the vane lever on the VNT17. This can be removed and an extension rod can be fabricated to attach to the Borg Warner vane lever.

The Solution:

1. The key to making this swap is getting the (2) bolts that hold the actuator bracket onto the turbo housing out. If you break them you will either need to come up with a clever mounting bracket to mount the actuator to the exhaust down pipe studs or remove and disassemble the turbo. There is not enough clearance (i.e. a straight drill path) to drill and tap the holes. Use lots of penetrating oil and be patient. It does not take a lot of force to snap an M6 bolt. I know this from experience.
2. Once the (2) bolts are removed, remove the 10mm nut on the top of the actuator rod.
3. Remove the actuator/actuator bracket assembly from the car.
4. The actuator is tack welded in (4) holes located on tom of the actuator. Drill these out. Gently use a small chisel to separate the bracket from the actuator body. To drill out the welds I had to bend the actuator rod out of the way.
5. The bracket is made of (2) pieces (the actual bracket that holds the actuator and heat shield) that are riveted together. To make machining easier drill out the rivets to separate the bracket pieces.
6. Drill (2) 0.25" holes in the actuator bracket with a center to center spacing of 1.3". These holes will most likely run into the existing holes. The center line between these holes should be parallel with the flange on the bracket such that when the actuator is attached the connector and vacuum port points towards to passenger side of the car.
7. Drill and tap the rivet holes for a 10-32 screw.
8. Mount the Garret actuator the actuator bracket using (2) M6x1 flanged nuts.
9. Reattach the heat shield to the actuator bracket using a couple 10-32 screws and lock washers.
10. Install rod extension onto Garret actuator rod.
11. Install M6x1 nut on actuator rod (lower stop nut).
12. Reinstall actuator assembly in car.
13. Draw a vacuum of 20in on the actuator.
14. Adjust the nuts on the actuator rod such that the vane lever is at the mechanical stop at 20in vacuum.
15. Install M6x1 nut on top of actuator lever (upper stop nut).
16. Verify that movement of lever starts at 3-5in and stops at 20in. This took me a couple times to get right.
17. Reattach vacuum line from N75 and position sensor connector.
17. Hook up VCDS and go for a test drive.
18. From Bentley you need the car to be at operating temperature and under load. A good long hill lugging in 4th gear at 1500 RPM make for a good plot.
19 Go to measuring block 11 and use the VC Scope to plot the RPM, specified Boost and Actual boost. These should closely match as detailed in the 1000q testing section. Testing with no load will not produce obvious results. You must be under load. Overshoots and undershoots are expected but in general they should track with each other.

Conclusion:

If I may rant for a moment... Although I can sort of understand why making someone replace an entire good turbo ($1000) just because the actuator ($120) is bad (and are known far and wide to go bad) is a lucrative business for the turbo manufacturer, it is a poor design decision which may result is many customers moving to a different brand. I am very disappointed that VW let this one slip by.

What would this cost the average person: $1000+ for parts and $1000+ for labor? $2000+ Really?? Simply unacceptable. I solved the problem for $120 and a day in the shop.

Please see that attached picture of the retrofitted assembly. If enough people are interested I was thinking of making a bunch of actuator extension rods, putting together a hardware kit and maybe some more detailed instructions (i.e. with pictures etc). I probably could put it all together for maybe $20-$25 a kit.

Let me know if you would be interested.

Keenan
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Old March 28th, 2011, 11:31   #2
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Count me in. I would keep one of these on hand just in case I needed it later.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 12:31   #3
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Wow, nice work.

This fix is very labor intensive - I don't understand the decision to rivet the bracket on there. Post some photos - I wonder if a bracket could be made up for the Garret Actuator.

The bracket itself isn't riveted onto the turbo at all is it?
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Old March 30th, 2011, 06:26   #4
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The stock bracket is (2) pieces rivet together. Borg Warner's decision not mine. The stock bracket is bolted with (2) M6 bolts to the turbo housing. The stock actuator is welded in (4) places to the stock bracket.

As stated above I drilled out the welds to remove the old actuator, then drilled holes in the bracket to accept the Garret actuator.

To easily drill the holes to mount the Garret it is necessary to drill out the rivets and separate the (2) bracket parts. I suppose if you had a very long drill bit you could skip the drilling of the rivets. Another issue is that the diameter of the Garret unit is larger than the Borg. I was initially concerned that I wouldn't be able to fit the Garret on the bracket with the heatshield installed. Hence the drilling of the rivets began.

Overall not very labor intensive. Remove some bolts, drill some holes and rivets, fabricate an extender rod (or buy one), then reassemble. It sounds worse than it really is.

I would post more photos here if I didn't have to upload the pictures to a third party site. If there is another way to do it I would be grateful to learn.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 06:46   #5
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.... Yes. If a supplier (like idparts...hint hint since I just bought the actuator from idparts) were to sell a kit to replace the Borg Warner actuator with the Garret actuator the best method would be to sell the following:

(1) Garret Smart Actuator
(1) Replacement bracket (with or without heat shield).
(1) Actuator extender rod
(1) M6 nuts (to replace nuts on actuator rod)
(2) M6 bolts (to replace bolts that mount unit to turbo housing)
(1) set of instructions.
(2m) of 5mm vacuum line (as a bonus)

Since this kit didn't exist anywhere as such (though new turbo assemblies can be had everywhere for $1000), my solution was to use what was there. I had considered fabricating a bracket. However, what is there as stock a can be modified with a little extra work. Making a custom bracket would have definitely been more labor intensive.

So does idparts want to distribute the actuator rod? I can have as many made as needed. Just say the word.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 07:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kballtdi View Post
.... Yes. If a supplier (like idparts...hint hint since I just bought the actuator from idparts) were to sell a kit to replace the Borg Warner actuator with the Garret actuator the best method would be to sell the following:

(1) Garret Smart Actuator
(1) Replacement bracket (with or without heat shield).
(1) Actuator extender rod
(1) M6 nuts (to replace nuts on actuator rod)
(2) M6 bolts (to replace bolts that mount unit to turbo housing)
(1) set of instructions.
(2m) of 5mm vacuum line (as a bonus)

Since this kit didn't exist anywhere as such (though new turbo assemblies can be had everywhere for $1000), my solution was to use what was there. I had considered fabricating a bracket. However, what is there as stock a can be modified with a little extra work. Making a custom bracket would have definitely been more labor intensive.

So does idparts want to distribute the actuator rod? I can have as many made as needed. Just say the word.
Haha, I wasn't suggesting the riveting was your idea! Trying to agree with your assessment of BW's decisions...I could have phrased that more clearly.

I'll need to get my hands on a bracket first thing - I don't have a blown OE BEW turbo here to take one off of. Then I can see we can fabricate one ourselves.

Extender and nuts aren't a problem.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 15:38   #7
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Count me in,who knows this could be the reason for my CEL
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Old April 4th, 2011, 18:41   #8
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use a 12 point round 10mm key on that nut , anything else will strip it or snap it

the borgwarner turbo actuator is made by Tyco , i am sure it can be sourced individiually but only in big orders
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Old April 5th, 2011, 06:06   #9
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Dimitri16V: Actually, it is worth the small investment to get a 6 point 10mm box end wrench. That is what I used since I feared the 12 point would round the bolt. There really is no messing around with those two bolts. If the break the only way to repair is to disassemble the turbo or fabricate a bracket that mounts elsewhere.

dunerking: count is up to (2). Put a miti-vac on the actuator and observe when the movement starts (5in), stops, (20in), and if it holds pressure.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 21:13   #10
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Keenan, PM sent.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 12:29   #11
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Do you have any photos?
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Old June 30th, 2012, 07:35   #12
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Is this kit a reality yet? My car is always going into 'limp mode' and throwing a P2564 code at start-up. My mechanic (steelbro) and I are looking at replacing the KP-39 with a VNT-17. This 'kit' would be a money saver as I don't think replacing a good turbo is a good idea.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 18:38   #13
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Thanks kballtdi for a well documented and well written set of repair / conversion instructions.
I just did this conversion after having the second Turbo Failure on my 2004 Mk4. Actually this is the second VNT Actuator failure. I could not understand why the failure appeared intermittent this time until I cut one of the actuators apart. It would appear that the rubberized fabric deteriorates. It also appears that the rust that builds up in the actuator crumbles and fills the cracks in the diaphragm, slowing down the vacuum leakage. There is my intermittent failure. I might mention that Id Parts is not my favorite source. I ordered a smart Garrett actuator, but they sent a standard Garrett actuator. You would think that they could overnight one for the inconvenience but no. I really didn’t like their indifferent attitude and questioning my use of the part. This added to my frustration on any levels.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 11:57   #14
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I successfully removed the actuator and bracket , is there a way to see if the vanes are stuck ? The connector has about 3/8" travel in it. I don't want to go though the expense and effort to have the turbo itself the problem.

Thank you for any help.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 13:05   #15
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Yep the vanes connector doesn't move that much at all
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