- Jul 9, 2021
- East Tennessee
- 1999.5 Jetta Sedan, 2002 Jetta Wagon
Hello all. I have a 99.5 Jetta ALH with 301K miles. Just did the timing belt a few hundred miles ago, did it 20K early due to seeing a leaking cam seal. Went to replace it during the timing belt replacement and found what you see in the pictures. Its been this way since at least 220K untouched, which is when the last belt was done. I bought the car with 238K. Looks like the #1 bearing cap area starved for oil at some point before I owned the car. It's never run low on oil during my ownership, I've meticulously kept up with it, adding a few ounces every 1000 miles. So I assume the wear you see happened before I owned the car and has been that way all these miles. I used the PTFE cam seal (it had a spring seal), and it was working very well, no leaks. A short time after I replaced the belt I replaced the turbo oil feed line with a braided one (the hard line was starting to rust and swell due to a coolant leak at the flange area). Right after I replaced the line and primed the turbo and oil filter housing by cranking it over with the IP disconnected for a couple cranks, I started it up, and it had a lifter let go and start ticking pretty bad. Pulled the valve cover and don't see any valve stems poked through, but the lifters are kinda dished, so I am hoping I can just replace the cam and lifters and fix the problem. BUT, I'm concerned about reports of camshafts snapping due to wear at the #1 camshaft bearing area, so my question is how to fix this reliably. I'm aware that there's unfortunately no replaceable cam bearings for an ALH unlike a BEW engine. As you see in the photos, it appears the camshaft has some scratching but not near as severe as the bearing cap itself, which is really scored up. Don't know the condition of the head underneath since I didn't remove the cam when I did the belt. So my question is, would I be at risk to put a new cam and lifters in without replacing or rebuilding the head? Or could I get a #1 bearing cap that's in good condition and put it on with a new camshaft and be okay? Thanks in advance.