1995 Golf TD problems (Turbo?)

Vegified TDi

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2010
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
2006 Jetta 1997 Audi Avant Quattro 2.5L
Hi. I just picked up a 1995 Golf thinking it only needed a fuel pump. Found one on ebay. It is installed and running but there are a few issues. I am wondering if anyone can help me.

1) It is acting like the turbo isn't working. It is hard to start on any sort of hill and at highway speed with any sort of hill the speed drops way off and I have to down shift to 3rd.

I am wondering if it is in fact the turbo or if the injection pump needs to be set up somehow. Are there ways to correctly set it up or is it pretty much "plug and play"? Alternatively, how do I test the turbo? Are there tricks? I have a VAG-COM (VCDS - though I haven't hooked it up to this car yet) and replaced the turbo on my 2000 TDI for similar issues.

2) the harmonic balancer is wobbling like crazy. I replaced it but it seems like it might be the crank or crank pully. Someone told me that these cars had a design flaw in this area. At idle it looks like it'll wobble off. As the RPM increases it straightens out. I am thinking this can't be good.


Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Apr 25, 2009
Edmonton AB Canada
2001 ALH Jetta, 2003 ALH Wagon, 2005 BEW Wagon
1) best way to check turbo operation on a TD is with a boost gauge. An el-cheepo from Canadian Tire or Princess Auto will work fine... just remember that you have to be driving to get any boost out of a TD turbo, so mount the gauge somewhere where you can see it as you drive. You should see around 9 psi with the engine in 3rd going up a hill.

If your crank sprocket is worn (your next question) the timing is probably really retarded, which is not helping your power either.

2) & 3) Yup, there's a crank design flaw on the AAZ engine, and yup the vibrating harmonic balancer is the classic symptom, and sadly if it was my car I'd park it right now and not start it again until I investigated further. If it's vibrating wildly it's in the final stages of coming apart... at which point valves meet pistons and you're gonna be trying to track down a bunch of expensive parts that are getting hard to find these days.

It may be that the crank bolt is simply loose, or it may be that the snout is worn. Almost always the latter unfortunately, and a new crank is your best bet, although some people try to drill them and pin them. If you know a good machine shop you can have the end built back up and then re-ground for an AHU sprocket, which is the updated design.

Your TD has no ECU, so nothing to plug VCDS into. There may be an OBD port in your car, but that's for the gasser engine.

One more suggestion: this is a TDI forum so most of the people here have TDIs (Direct Injection) and you may not be able to get great answers to your questions. Your TD is an IDI (InDirect Injection) engine... most IDI enthusists hang out at www.vwdiesel.net these days, and they know about damaged cranks etc etc etc. :):) The above pictures are a few of the many on the subject at www.vwdiesel.net
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Veteran Member
Jan 30, 2012
Cary, NC
Hubby's 2001 Jetta TDI, '84 IDI turbo diesel Jetta
Did you get the IP timed correctly? I know when ours wasn't timed quite right, our turbo was sluggish and was not pushing as high of psi. Bumped up timing a bit and it woke right up. Also, I hope you didn't get your pump from a seller named Prothe. I don't think he sells AAZ pumps, but you never know...