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B5 BHW engine noise revisited

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
At TDI fest this past weekend, I was able to admire quite a few B5s, and was able to listen to a few of them running as well.

While I was asked many questions, and tried my best to give conclusive answers, I still feel some may have some gray areas on the actual problem, and I wanted to make a thread to hopefully do my best to clarify.

Let me start by saying this thread and the problem I am discussing only applies to the BHW engine, as found in every B5 TDI sold in North America. I would like to limit any responses, comments, or questions to those of us that own these cars and/or may service them.

The issue is engine noise, and the source is in the lower end of the engine, specifically the dual balance shaft module, its drive chain, and the hex shaft that drives the oil pump.

My general opinion, after listening to a few of these engines, as that they ALL will sooner or later need to have some attention given to the engine in this area. My feeling is the noise itself is coming from the hex shaft, NOT the chain. However, the chains DO have a few instances that I know of that they broke...from what I can gather, this happens without much warning, however the hex shaft noise may or may not be present before any chain issue.

As of right now, I cannot confirm the quality of any replacement parts. They are of the same design, however do have some minor differences that I cannot say one way or the other if they address any durability concerns.

Volkswagen, be it VOA, VAG, or whatever, has essentially no idea of this concern. This is a RARE engine, as it only is used in this specific car. Most B5s, sold globally with diesels, use a 1.9L engine, a 16 valve 2.0L engine, a V6 diesel engine, and/or are equipped with a manual transmission. Any of those combinations means they do not use a balance shaft assembly. Again, this is limited to JUST the BHW engine.

While there was some talk of someone in the aftermarket making (or trying to make) an improved hex shaft, that seems to have faded away and I won't pester that person anymore. I do not know the reason(s).

Mileage that this concern arises seems varied. Most cars start getting noisier around 60k miles, with some getting quite audible before 100k, and others being relatively quiet beyond 100k. I listened to one this weekend that at 139k miles was pretty quiet, and another at not even 90k was substantially louder. There was one car there that I heard run that sounded like imminent doom, but I was not able to tell the owner and I am not certain of its odometer reading currently.

I presently have a B5 in the shop with 244k miles on it, its chain broke, but I am unaware of the history, and someone (who should not ever have touched a Volkswagen with tools) attempted to repair it and it is in dire shape. :(

To 'quantify' the repair, I would put a price of $1700 or so on it, given it is done at the same time the 100k mile service is performed with the timing belt. Meaning, that is $1700 PLUS the 100k service (yes, I know this is a chunk of change).

If anyone wanted to talk to me this weekend and was unable to, I apologize. There were actually a LOT more B5s there than I expected! :)

Previous thread on the subject, if you want to do some reading:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=202297

UPDATE! Volkswagen has come up with a gear driven balance shaft assembly for these. This is discussed later in this thread! :D
 
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TDIsyncro

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Location
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Audi/TDI x 2
I have to agree with your conclusions.

As for the "aftermarket solution", I dare sent one more email to said person to see what his response will be. If I had to guess, it would be because he spent time working up a solution, but the cost and lack of commitment, or organization to commit to an order of 5 units has made the deal go south.

Perhaps a discussion about putting our money where our mouths are should insue. I can take some blame here too. I went on and got my hex shaft coated with PC9 because I had an issue with time frame.

So the question might be how do B5 owners organize to make this happen? Do we need to create a pot of money by member donations and as you need the shaft they get shipped and you send in the balance of the cash to make up the difference? Does this pot of money go directly to the vender? Anyways, just some practical thoughts on getting the situation moving.


As far as the hex shaft design, I can add a bit of light on the situation from my experiance. I am very confident that a .003 oversize shaft is the ticket and I think just one solution, .003" oversize shaft should be a more cost effective path. (After fitting my .002 oversize Swaintech coated shaft). Another option would be a .002 oversize + .001" Swaintech PC9 (which equals .004" oversize, with the ability to adjust size down without too much trouble). The reason I bring this up is because if we looking at manufacturing hex shafts of just one size, not three different sizes every order, the intial costs should be somewhat reduced.

This IS a part that everybody should replace during T-belt change as a preventative maintenance (PM) action. (Including chain and chain guides). I think everybody that has actually had oppurtunity to look at the design know that there is a tolerance issue and failure of all units will happen. The km's it happens in variable, but if you do PM on it early enough, you will not have to replace your balance shaft module (at 1200.00 for the part) in the future.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
OK, to fix* the problem, I am going to give a basic overview of what needs to be done.

Keep in mind that much of this includes the timing belt service. I would NOT attempt this service without a lift, however I am sure you could do it, but my procedure involves a lift and some professional tools.

You will need to remove the lower splash shields, both under the engine and around the transmission, the upper engine cover, and the air intake tube going into the air cleaner. Then drain the engine oil. I loosen the oil filter first, as it allows the filter housing to drain out. Keep in mind the oil pan will be coming off, so the longer you let the oil drain, the less chance there will be of annoying oil drips underneath as you work.

The front of the car comes off, and this looks and sounds worse than it really is. While it is not totally necessary, it is MUCH easier to evacuate the refrigerant from the A/C system (you'll find out why later). This requires a refrigerant recovery machine. Don't simply vent it into the atmosphere!

Remove the grill by first removing the secondary hood latch pull handle from the hood latch assembly, remove the two upper Torx screws on either end of the grill, then carefully using a plastic wedge and hook, undo the one upper and four lower clips that secure the grill to the bumper skin. You will need to gently 'force' the plastic wedge between the lower part of the grill and the bumper skin to open a gap in the bottom to get the hook in to release the bottom four clips. Then lift the grill out (the release handle wil remain in the grill).

Remove the bumper skin by first removing the Torx screws in each fender well, including the ones facing straight up into the fender (4 total on each side). Then remove the 4 Torx screws on the bumper skin that were exposed after the grill was removed. Remove the couple twist lock fasteners from below (usually I do this along with removal of the lower splash shield).

Then slide the bumper skin forward, partially off the car, and reach in and pull both parking light connectors off (they just pop straight off) and the fog lamp connectors (the fog lamps stay on the bumper skin). Sometimes helps to have a helper do this as the skin will want to flop around. I use blue painters tape against the fender/bumper seems to prevent any scratches in the paint. Then set the bumper cover aside, being careful not to damage the corners as they are painted. I set it in a secure, safe place.

Now you can see the coolant drain, on the driver's far end of the radiator, red in color. Open the fill cap, then open the drain. Be careful not to overtighten this upon drain completion.

Remove the duct to the intercooler, remove the two bolts holding the power steering pipe "loop" and the ambient temp sensor bracket down low in front.

Remove the plastic cover on the power steering reservoir, reach to the front and rear and release the clips and it pulls straight up. Then under that, you will see 3 connectors...2 big black ones and one little green one. Disconnect those, disconnect both headlight connectors, disconnect the connector on the coolant sensor in the lower hose near the radiator, and the wire harness keeper to it, and one more little green wire connector down low on the passenger side (from underneath).

Disconnect both horns, remove the 2 Torx screws holding the core support to the body on each side up high, remove (and cap off) the 2 refrigerant pipes down low in front on the passenger side. Remove both charge air connections to the cross tube underneath.

Remove the 2 Torx bolts on either side of the core support, and the 1 bolt on the driver's side that secures the washer bottle.

Then remove the large Torx bolts, 7 total (3 on one side and 4 on the other) that holds the core support assembly to the body, replacing ONE on each side with a long 8mm bolt with a small head on each side. Then, slide the core support assembly on the long bolts as far forward as you can (about 3 inches is enough).

Remove and cap both the ATF cooler lines underneath, near the intercooler. You will need a 19mm and 22mm open ended wrench.

When you have enough clearance, remove the hood latch assembly (3 bolts, disconnect the hood latch switch connector) and with it still attached to the cable lift it over towards the cowl and let it lay.

Remove the upper radiator hose connection at the engine, remove the lower hose water neck at the block (two bolts), remove the larger hose to the coolant bottle. Gently feed the coolant hoses, the lower with the water neck still attached, out and free so that they come out with the core support assembly. The hose to the water bottle will need to be slid through a holder on the body.

Then, with a helper, lift (slide) the entire core support assembly off of your long 8mm bolts, sliding the assembly up and over the heads. The coolant hoses, horns, radiator, condenser, headlights, bumper support, etc. will all come off in one big chunk. Set it carefully down, making sure not to damage anything.

Note: I am only about 45 minutes into the job at this point, but don't be discouraged if it takes you longer.

The front of the car is now exposed. Now you need to attach a support fixture to the engine, straddling the engine bay. The head has 2 attachment points, one in the casting at the rear, and one a bolt-on steel eyelet at the front. Use BOTH of them and support the engine carefully. Just raise the support fixture enough that some weight is transferred, so that when we remove the subframe from underneath the engine remains supported at or near level.

Go ahead and remove the fan blade, accessory belts, crank pulley, timing belt covers. Be careful, as you will need to remove the belt tensioner for the alternator/power steering belt, and the one bolt comes VERY close to the fan clutch assembly. If you turn the fan clutch just right, you can get the long bolt out without removal of the fan clutch. However, an Allen bolt through the fan clutch mounting in the back is all that is holding it on, but you need the counterhold tool to hold the clutch to get it loose (a strap wrench with an old belt as a cushion will work too).

Rotate the engine to install the crank lock tool, and the cam lock pin. Then remove the timing belt, timing belt tensioner, and idler. Remove the crank lock tool.

Then you need to remove the crank sprocket bolt. You will need a counterhold tool to do this, although you *can* use a strong impact to zip it out BUT I would use that only while the belt is still in place in case it moves a bit on you. DO NOT USE THE CRANK LOCK TOOL TO HOLD THE CRANK FOR BOLT REMOVAL!!!! It is just to hold the crank for setting the belt.

Once the bolt is out, put the crank lock tool back in place on the sprocket and verify it is still at TDC. Leave that be for now.

Raise the car up, remove the roll stopper mount bracket from the front of the oil pan, noting its bolt positions (make marks if you like). If this is NOT adjusted correctly, the engine will vibrate the car.

Remove the sway bar bracket nuts, and hang the sway bar down.

Then, remove the 4 13mm head bolts, 2 on each side, for each rear subframe side mounts. Then loosen (but do not remove) the 4 13mm nuts, 2 on each transmission mount that hold the transmission to the subframe.

Remove the 13mm head nut that holds the lower wire harness on the driver's side engine mount, then slide the harness holder off. Then remove both engine mount 13mm head lower nuts. Mark the position of the 6 18mm head bolts, 3 on each side, that secure each mount bracket and each subframe front corner. This is important, as if the subframe is not centered upon reassembly, the alignment will be off. And aligning a B5 is not an easy task. Remove those bolts. Be careful, as now the weight of the engine will be hanging on your support bracket above. Do this SLOWLY to make certain the weight of the engine/trans is in fact being held from above. If all is correct, the engine/trans should remain pretty stationary as you remove the mount brackets from underneath.

The passenger side bracket has a wire harness holder attached to it, so you can just let it hang, but the driver's side bracket will come completely out. Then loosen the rear subframe bolts, behind the transmission, and let the subframe hang down in the front of the car. You will need about 5 to 6 inches clearance between the body and the subframe in the front.

Now, remove the ATF cooler pipe support from the driver's side of the oil pan, and position them out of the way.

Remove the 3 bolts and 1 nut holding the bottom edge of the oil pan to the transmission bell housing. Note the nut attaches to an Allen bolt, and it may be necessary to hold it in place with an Allen wrench on the other side. This is pretty tight, but if you remove the bracket for the wire connector underneath it will give you more room. Once that nut is off, slide the bolt back so it is not in the oil pan.

Remove the 2 big bolts holding the rear of the oil pan to the block, then all the little bolts holding the oil pan on. Note that two of these are accessed through holes in the bottom of the oil pan at the bellhousing, and will require a swivel socket to loosen, then a ball-ended Allen bit to get the the rest of the way out.

Pull the engine dipstick out.

Once these are all removed, gently pry the oil pan loose from the block. Triple check to make certain you got ALL the bolts out! To get the oil pan out, you may need to pry down on the subframe a bit more, and give it a little twist.

Now remove the crank lock tool, the crank sprocket, the 2 Allen bolts holding the vacuum valve and reservoir to the side of the front of the block, then the front seal holder (6 bolts). Pull the front seal holder straght off the dowels.

It is important that after you remove the crank lock tool, that you do NOT rotate the crank, even a little. Do whatever you like to mark it, so it does not get moved. But since the seal holder is what indexes the crank lock tool, you will not have that option.

Now remove the oil splash cover (2 Torx screws) and you can see the chain, sprockets, and tensioner. Install the balance shaft lock tool (gravity is against you on this, so a helper might be needed) and loosen the 4 XZN bolts on the lower sprocket. Then loosen and remove the chain tensioner bolts, and slide the chain tensioner assembly straight off. Then remove the 4 XZN bolts previously loosened, and lift up the chain and remove it from the crank.

The balance shaft assembly along with the oil pump can now be removed. 2 smaller bolts at the front (one going through the oil pump itself) and 6 larger bolts will be all that is needed to get the assembly down. Note that some of the bolts that hold the assembly halves together look the same as the ones that hold it to the bottom of the block. Be careful!!! The balance shaft module is cast iron, and quite heavy. It sits on dowels on the block. Keep some bolts in it as it comes loose so it won't fall out!

Note: I can have this all apart in about 2.5 hours now.... our shop now bills the job out at 8 hours total. The timing belt/water pump job alone calls for nearly 5 hours.

Pics and reassembly to follow!


*by 'fix' I mean putting it back the way it was when it left the factory. I do NOT feel this is a permanent fix.
 
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vw4life

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2001
Location
New West, BC, Canada
TDI
Passat Wagon TDI
oil hammer, now that you have listened to several vehicles, have you listened to any of the sound clips posted here? Do you think you can diagnose by video/audio the severity of the problem?
 

TDIsyncro

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
Saskatoon, SK
TDI
Audi/TDI x 2
Nice detailed write up Oilhammer. Will you be including the alternative "hex shaft only" replacement option in your thread? I am not sure if everybody is aware of how it can be removed through the front of the oil pump without dropping the balance shaft module.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Yes, the option of doing just the hex shaft is a possibility. However at this point I still as of yet have no experience with doing it that way. There is a strong possibility the next one I do will be a friend's who also happens to work across the street from the shop. So I get to see and hear that car almost daily.

I am not one to experiment on people's cars, so until I can say one way or the other I am still going to recommend a new balance shaft module...but I am open to any and all suggestions and will give the part number(s) for doing just the shaft. You will also need one teeny tiny snap ring pliers. ;)
 

TDIsyncro

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Audi/TDI x 2
oilhammer said:
...I am not one to experiment on people's cars, so until I can say one way or the other I am still going to recommend a new balance shaft module...but I am open to any and all suggestions and will give the part number(s) for doing just the shaft. You will also need one teeny tiny snap ring pliers. ;)
Thats a good point, I would not pull one apart without at least inspecting the hole in the balance shaft and testing the fit with the new hex shaft. Which means removal of oil pump, as a minimum, anyway. IIRC, Metalnerd had mentioned he measured a 15deg rotational slop in the sample you sent him. I tested a new factory shaft in my undamaged balance shaft and it still had an uncomfortable amount of angular slop, as I think you had noted too. With the PC9 coated hex shaft (.002" oversize) the angular slop was unmeasureable and hard to even sense by feel. Very different than factory. I think that is the right fit one should look for and feel on an install of an upgraded shaft. If that can not be achieved, then a new balance shaft module is a smart route. Out of interest I did try removing and reinstalling the shaft through the pump. I had to grind down a pair of snap ring plier ends to fit those tinny holes! I was very nervous handling that thing knowing the nearest one was probably 2 weeks away.
 

dlai

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Location
The Insane Asylum Known As CA
TDI
2005 Passat, Stonehenge Gray, 2002 Black Golf 5M
Great writeup. I'm sure there's more than 5 people interested in a Metalnerd solution, so if we can commit, that should help bring down the price. Since you're recommending changing the shaft when the timing belt is changed, perhaps we can get the timing belt kit vendors like Dieselgeek, etc to include the Metalnerd shaft in a "Super Deluxe" timing belt kit. That way, if Chuck knows there is more than 5 in the pipeline, perhaps he'll be more inclined to make the part and stock it. The high cost you mentioned for replacing the shaft is sure going to make folks think twice about keeping the car or not, especially since it sounds like it's a problem that's going to rear it's ugly head sooner or later. So it's in our best interest to do what we can to drive the cost down of a custom solution...
 

TDIsyncro

Veteran Member
Joined
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Location
Saskatoon, SK
TDI
Audi/TDI x 2
Oilhammer, what do you think of eliminating the threaded hole on the upgraded shaft? It is one way to help control costs a bit more. How comfortable would you be at replacement without that hole? Do we need to consider replacement of this upgraded shaft if it lasts anouther 2-300K on top of the current mileage?

I did hear back from Metalnerd. The deal is this, there needs to be a minimum number of orders in place to make this happen. If you are willing to buy the part now, even if it means sticking it on the shelf beside your bed till your T-belt replacement, speak your peace now. We can then say yes to Metalnerd (or no) and stop wasting his time. The price range mentioned before was around 200.00 - that was for a "three shaft sizes" kit (Oilhammer, please correct me if my recollection is wrong here). We have to remember it is hard to launch a new product with no committed orders and also a very small history of size change trials. He is looking at one more alternative manufacturing method now.

If B5 owners want to PM me, I will keep a list below on who is committed to a purchase. Perhaps indicate if you want to purchase a pin or pin kit (full price), or would rather invest in the production of the pin (something less than full price) with a credit upon purchase of the pin in future. I have not discussed this option with Metalnerd yet, because I want to see the B5 owner interest first. This will put B5 owners one step closer to making this happen. We can then deal with some of the other logistic issues - such as size variation from car to car.


Committed to purchase:

Oilhammer -- 2
emka ------- 1
MOGolf ----- 1
owr084 ---- 1
TheGrove -- 1
dlai -------- 1
Jasonh ---- 1
RParnell ----1
outthere ---1

Current Total: 10 sets



I am just trying to help out here guys. I am involved in the engineering and manufacturing sector myself and can see some of the hurdles that need to be crossed in order to move forward on this.
 
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oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
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There are just too many to list....
So, is it with any authority you can say that a .003" oversized hex shaft will be what is needed in every case? And if so, why not just make THAT size only making in more cost effective for everyone involved?

I am up for agreeing to the original run of whatever we decide, and can vouch for one more for sure.
 

DeliveryValve

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Location
Western US
TDI
Passat GLS Wagon
Hey TDIsyncro and oilhammer,

Looking at the pictures from the both of you from the other thread, it seems to me that a simple solution of using bolt instead of the hex shaft could be a possibilty.

The hex shaft in questioned..




The front of the engine with the right balance shaft end exposed.



Balance shaft module.



Oil Pump removed




Oil pump taken apart.




Could it be possible to:
1.) Tap some threads on the end balance shaft where the hex shaft goes in.

2.) Take apart the oil pump to drill a hole straight through the shaft of the oil pump gear.

3) Use a high strength bolt to connect the pump gear to the balance shaft together.


Love to hear your insight on this.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Getting it assembled may be the issue with simply using a bolt. Although I *think* you could slide the oil pump straight on to the #2 balance shaft IF the assembly halves were pulled apart some. There are dowels that locate the oil pump housing on to the balance shaft housing that prevent it from being slid into place with the shaft together.

And I do not think there is enough metal in the oil pump drive to drill it out bigger to fit a larger piece of metal in there.
 

Radman

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Location
Montreal
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2014 Audi A6 TDI, 2014 Touareg TDI
I still think welding may be a possibility if metals are compatible? I wonder if any of those weld bond materials would work? Alignment may also be an issue?
 

TDIsyncro

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oilhammer said:
So, is it with any authority you can say that a .003" oversized hex shaft will be what is needed in every case? And if so, why not just make THAT size only making in more cost effective for everyone involved?

I am up for agreeing to the original run of whatever we decide, and can vouch for one more for sure.
I would describe this as a joint effort to establish a replacement system that will work. I would not describe myself as having an authority opinion. That is why I mention the "logistics" in my previous post. I am 99% certain .002 oversize will fit everytime, and that .003 will fit better most of the time. The concept I am thinking is buy pin set, ship back the unused pin for a credit. In most cases, the same .002 pin will keep coming back for shipment with the next order. The demand and usage overtime will determine which will be manufactured the most, as one size will probably fall to the way side over time. In your case, you would always have both on hand, since you seem to be doing one of these a month. The two pin method is safest way to go. The .002 pin is a good upgrade no matter what. The .003 is going to be the best fit in some cases. If the B5 group invested into an initail batch, it would get the ball rolling.

Oilhammer, what did you think of the idea of deleting the threaded hole in the pin?
 

TDIsyncro

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Radman said:
I still think welding may be a possibility if metals are compatible? I wonder if any of those weld bond materials would work? Alignment may also be an issue?
I am not onboard with welding. It is a heat treated (very hard balance shaft). It wil get HAZ zones that will fatigue.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
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outside St Louis (where it's safe)
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There are just too many to list....
TDIsyncro said:
Oilhammer, what did you think of the idea of deleting the threaded hole in the pin?
That is really just there for the ability to remove it so you can remove the oil pump without disturbing the rest of the assembly. So it is not critical that it be there, and not needed at all for installation.
 

DeliveryValve

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Passat GLS Wagon
oilhammer said:
Getting it assembled may be the issue with simply using a bolt. Although I *think* you could slide the oil pump straight on to the #2 balance shaft IF the assembly halves were pulled apart some. There are dowels that locate the oil pump housing on to the balance shaft housing that prevent it from being slid into place with the shaft together.

And I do not think there is enough metal in the oil pump drive to drill it out bigger to fit a larger piece of metal in there.
Could you disassemble/reassemble the oil pump while it is still attached to the engine block. Maybe that could ease the installation.

But then again if the pump drive is too skinny then this might not be a viable solution.
BTW - could any of you could provide demensions on the hex shaft and oil pump drive shaft.. that would be helpful to visualize what we are talking about here.
 

TDIsyncro

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DeliveryValve said:
..But then again if the pump drive is too skinny then this might not be a viable solution.
BTW - could any of you could provide demensions on the hex shaft and oil pump drive shaft.. that would be helpful to visualize what we are talking about here.
sorry, I have got some serious pressure at work here right now. I will try to respond tonight.
 

DeliveryValve

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TDIsyncro said:
sorry, I have got some serious pressure at work here right now. I will try to respond tonight.
No apologies and no hurry! You and oilhammer have already contributed way more info without asking! So you're intitled!:D
 

owr084

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Count me in on the kit.

Questions:

When the "inevitable" happens, suppose the hex shaft has rounded out the holes. At that point, do you just get a new balance shaft module and put the new hex shafts in it?

At what point do you put the shafts in? Wait until the timing belt change at 90-100K? Or when the noise becomes unbearable? And just what is an "unbearable" noise? I'm fully expecting to put them in at the TB change, but any earlier is quite an expense...
 

TheGrove

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Even though I need to do it now put me down for one. I figure I'll have to use factory parts now and then next year when I do my TB again I'll have the upgraded parts put in.
 

TDIsyncro

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Just a quick update. Metalnerd is working hard on a solution again. :) He has decided that initially he will be supplying a small handfull of shafts to Oilhammer, MOGolf (I hope you know this :) ), myself, and a few others for testing. Obviously Oilhammer and MOGolf are in a key role for helping this solution develope. Then things can move into standard production.


thanks for your responses guys. keep them coming in if interested.
 

MOGolf

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2001 Golf GLS TDI Reflex silver, rough road suspension and steel skid plate, 2004 Passat Variant, Candy White, rough road suspension and geared balanced shaft module, and much, much more. 2016 LR RR HSE TD6.
TDIsyncro said:
... MOGolf (I hope you know this :) ),...
If it is TDI and Metalnerd related, this is implied.

Actually I had an exchange with him some time back concerning this effort and funding.

However, my thoughts about this are that an oversized (more snug) shaft may be useful for virgin (low mileage) engines, but won't do much good for rounded out balance shafts.

Once the damage is done, it is going to require replacement of the balance shaft module (unless VW comes up with just the one shaft as a replacement part). It is still a lot of work to replace the whole module, or disassemble that and install a new shaft at the correct orientation (would we want the dealership mechanics trying that?).

We have not come up with a repair for the shaft. A Heli-coil type insert with an internal hex instead of threads would be nice, but you'd have to get that installed absolutely straight. If not straight then there's going to be binding/wobble of hex shaft at one end or the other. (Maybe that's the root cause the problem in the first place?) Welding the hex shaft onto the balance shaft would also have to result in a perfectly straight alignment with the oil pump.

Based on oilhammer's sense of hearing at TDIFEST, I'm looking at replacement coming up at timing belt time. Either at 90K (less than 6K miles to go), or at 100K (provided it doesn't fail by then), to coincide with an oil change interval. :(
 

owr084

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Location
Northern Virginia (NoVA)
TDI
Passat GLS, 2005, Stonehenge Gray
MOGolf said:
If it is TDI and Metalnerd related, this is implied.

However, my thoughts about this are that an oversized (more snug) shaft may be useful for virgin (low mileage) engines, but won't do much good for rounded out balance shafts.

Once the damage is done, it is going to require replacement of the balance shaft module (unless VW comes up with just the one shaft as a replacement part). It is still a lot of work to replace the whole module, or disassemble that and install a new shaft at the correct orientation (would we want the dealership mechanics trying that?).
That is the dilemma. At what point can you get away with just replacing the shaft versus replacing the whole module. Personally, I don't want to open up my engine until the first tb change. To open it up any sooner would incur a considerable cost.

And it is no guarantee that a new shaft would solve the problem at that point. In other words, the holes may be worn out enough so the new shaft might not fit tight, but the old shaft may have lasted long enough until the TB change...

I'm just preparing for a new module refitted with new shafts at the TB change. In the meantime, I'm trying not to worry about any little noise from the engine bay ;)
 

Sprocket

Sprockette's hubby
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Location
MI
TDI
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Eco Diesel, 2005 Passat Silverstone Grey, 1996 Passat Storm Grey
Count me in. I'm at 80k now and was planning on having it done with the TB.
 

KCMike

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Location
KC
TDI
'04 Passat GLS wagon
What would be involved in rebuilding the balance shaft assembly? The hex socket on one shaft is the problem. We are starting to have a small supply of "spent" balance shaft assemblies. Is there a machine shop capable of affixing a new hex socket on the shaft? How about a picture of just the balance shaft with the hex socket?
 

TDIsyncro

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
Saskatoon, SK
TDI
Audi/TDI x 2
MOGolf said:
If it is TDI and Metalnerd related, this is implied.

Actually I had an exchange with him some time back concerning this effort and funding.

However, my thoughts about this are that an oversized (more snug) shaft may be useful for virgin (low mileage) engines, but won't do much good for rounded out balance shafts.

Once the damage is done, it is going to require replacement of the balance shaft module (unless VW comes up with just the one shaft as a replacement part). It is still a lot of work to replace the whole module, or disassemble that and install a new shaft at the correct orientation (would we want the dealership mechanics trying that?).

We have not come up with a repair for the shaft. A Heli-coil type insert with an internal hex instead of threads would be nice, but you'd have to get that installed absolutely straight. If not straight then there's going to be binding/wobble of hex shaft at one end or the other. (Maybe that's the root cause the problem in the first place?) Welding the hex shaft onto the balance shaft would also have to result in a perfectly straight alignment with the oil pump.

Based on oilhammer's sense of hearing at TDIFEST, I'm looking at replacement coming up at timing belt time. Either at 90K (less than 6K miles to go), or at 100K (provided it doesn't fail by then), to coincide with an oil change interval. :(
You bring up a lot of good points. I agree that just an oversize shaft is a solution for undamaged balance shafts. I think early T-Belt change and shaft is the ticket there. I think even a dealer ship can figure this one out, no? :) However, some owners, as you mentioned, will have a damaged balance shaft hole. If the only option is buying a new OEM balance shaft assembly, and upgrading with the oversize shaft at this point is still a wise choice. (this is getting a bit more difficult for dealerships). I recall Oilhammer mentioning the concept of a possable exchange program with the balance shafts. There is all ready one sitting in Metalnerds hands to start this proccess off if its feasible. I think the best option would be to EDM the damaged hole to a new size (which might mean a stepped hex shaped shaft - larger at balance shaft end (large enough to create a new clean hole) and OEM size at oil pump. I think this program is a second solution that could run in parallel to the oversize shaft option.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
And I have one more used assembly here. I too agree that the problem will not be remedied with a new hex shaft if your #2 balance shaft hole is already loosened up....which all 3 of the ones I have taken apart have been so.

It would REALLY be nice if we could buy just the #2 balance shaft. Or, if as has been mentioned, someone could machine out the worn hex hole and place some sort of insert in there to recondition the old one.

Any machine shops out there listening: possibly saving someone $1300 is easily worth something!!! ;)
 
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