Is the car dead?

richbenp

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Location
CA
TDI
2001 Jetta 1.9
Howdy all,

I've got a 2001 Jetta 1.9 tdi manual. It's got about 280,000.

A few miles back the clutch master failed and in the process of limping it home the clutch plate was destroyed (not by me!). I replaced it. Recently there has been a chatter in neutral (and presuably when in gear as well, but hard to hear because of engine noise) when the clutch is out which stops as soon as you push the clutch in. Now there was some major leakage under the hood which I finally tracked down so I assumed that something had gotten wet and was starting to get tired. I've read that possibly this was a DMF problem. Shifting into some gears (mostly first) has been a little clunky as well, but not difficult, feel a little bump when moving the stick in.

But that's not the problem. Last week my wife said the clunk was getting worse and then she got stranded. The symptoms are strange. She claimed that she couldn't shift through at all, but now that it's home, I can start the car (clutch in) and move the stick through the gears ... they 'feel' alrigtht and the cable isn't broken--open the hood and the doohickey on top of the transmission moves like normal. When you let the pedal out you can feel the clutch start to grab, but the car doesn't move at all. At first I thought it was stuck in some high gear, but no amount of gas has any effect. It doesn't feel like a car stalling out because the gear is too high, but more like the shaft inside the transmission is broken and wont turn at all.

So my question is, what could this be and is it worth even fixing it? The interior of the car is showing a lot of wear ... that old dash plastic is pretty gummy and bits and pieces are always breaking off. Fine for me probably but the other half has a lower tolerance for 'you can't pull on that handle or it will break off' usage patterns. Of course I just replaced the brake booster (that leak mentioned above) and put on new tires. Even full of diesel the car is probably work less than $1000 so it that's what it will take to fix this, well ...

Any thoughts appreciated.
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
The clutch is probably completely smoked.

It's POSSIBLE it's something else (e.g. blown diff) but you should be able to detect that without taking anything apart. If it IS the clutch a Luk RepSet is not expensive but it IS an all-day job to drop the transaxle and replace it. Since you had previous clutch issues I would bet money the problem is there.
 

STDOUBT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Location
Portland, effing Oregon
TDI
dos jettas
Even full of diesel the car is probably work less than $1000 so it that's what it will take to fix this, well ...

Any thoughts appreciated.
The interior can be refreshed.
Spend $1000 like you say, or -- spend even more on an unknown.
If there's no rust, I say keep her going
 

richbenp

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Location
CA
TDI
2001 Jetta 1.9
So, it could be the clutch even though I can run it with the pedal depressed, and it's only on letting it out that things go wrong? Maybe there is something obstructing right at the clutch plate itself? I should mention that it did roll off the flatbed ok, so I was assuming that it wasn't the diff, but it's been really busy at the day job, so I haven't taken anything apart yet. Is there a quick and dirty check for the things past the clutch?
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
Put the front in the air (on stands), belly pan off and start rotating things to see if everything seems ok with the diff and such. The diff is in the transmission case obviously but if you have to tear the gearbox apart you're better off finding a serviceable one and installing it unless you're going for a "restore to new condition" type of thing.
 

IPlayTheXylophone

New member
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Location
New Brunswick CA
TDI
04 VW Golf TDI BEW, 00 VW Jetta TDI ALH
Recently there has been a chatter in neutral (and presuably when in gear as well, but hard to hear because of engine noise) when the clutch is out which stops as soon as you push the clutch in.
Sounds kinda similar to my issues with my slave cylinder but that's just my guess. You mentioned your master cylinder going out which is what ended up wearing down my slave cylinder and causing it to fail (at least that's my guess) so since no one else has mentioned it it wouldn't hurt to check the slave.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
A few miles back the clutch master failed and in the process of limping it home the clutch plate was destroyed (not by me!).
What did you replace? The master or the clutch? And if you replaced the clutch, did you replace the flywheel? Assuming you haven't replaced the clutch yet I'd bet your dual mass flywheel has failed, making it so the clutch won't disengage. Readly repairable with a new clutch and flywheel.

At 280K and if you're in CA and the car isn't rusty, it's got a lot of life left. Whether or not you want to invest some time, money, and energy to bring it back is up to you.
 

richbenp

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Location
CA
TDI
2001 Jetta 1.9
I replaced the master and the slave and the clutch plate. I'll have to lookup whether or not the flywheel was included ... I can't remember but I wrote it down. It never felt quite right ... I thought I couldn't quite get all the air out of the system ... after a short time failed again (in the driveway, thankfully). Then I replaced the hose from the master to slave. That seemed to fix it. It was several years ago (although not that many miles ... it's a shortish commute). I'll try spinning things tonight.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Normally when a clutch is replaced we do the whole enchilada. The kit should include pad, pressure plate and bearing minimum. Those 2 hydraulic components are a separate issue. The fact that you can change gears with the car off, but not with the engine running could be the slave is not operating, but more than likely it's cluch hardware. Assessing whether it is worth changing is 100% your call. Most of us would just repair it, even if we only wanted to run the car another year or 2.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
Did you check to see if one of the axles came apart. That is a common problem after someone does a clutch job or other work where the axle is separated and then the six bolts aren’t torqued correctly.
 

richbenp

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Location
CA
TDI
2001 Jetta 1.9
Ok a bit more information. The flywheel was replaced (Duralast) with the clutch (20,000 miles ago). I also replaced the gearbox fluid at the time. The axles look and act ok.

With the front end up on stands, engine off, and clutch in the wheels rotate freely as normal. With the clutch out the wheels turn with some resistance. It's not much resistance, but pretty clearly something inside is turning as well. I'm guessing it's in the gearbox, because when you turn a tire (engine off, clutch out) the whole engine/gearbox assembly jiggles and shudders, especially as you start off. It's like something catching in there are beginning to rotate. This happens no matter whether the car is in neutral or in gear (as per stick position). The fact that it's different with clutch out and in makes we lean away from the fork, etc. What is odd is that I can turn it at all 'in gear' with the engine off while if you try to let the clutch out with the motor running no amount of force works ... eventually it will stall out.

One other bit of data ... while pushing the old girl around to reposition last night (needed to catch the most of the garage lights) it felt like she would go for about 1 foot, then catch. A big push would get her over the hump (so to speak) and then it would happen again. Of course, the ground was uneven with bumps in the driveway and whatnot, so although the difficulty of pushing was real, the cycle of move/catch/move might have been in my mind.

I'll be pulling it apart soon, I guess. The reluctance is due in part to the ridiculous 1 use bolts ... so everytime you open it up you have to wait 5 days for hardware to show up in the mail, and the fact that what with the day job taking the day and night as well as 4 kiddos, I usually get to car repair in 15 minute pieces.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Sounds normal except- up the air, in gear, should be much harder to tutn the wheel.
 

richbenp

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Location
CA
TDI
2001 Jetta 1.9
Right, that surprised me. It seems to me that she won't go in gear. On the other hand, when you let the clutch out with the motor on, something definitely catches and absolutely will not turn. We'll see what it looks like inside, but just pre-emptively I looked at used gearboxes around here, and they are very expensive, alas.
 

richbenp

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Location
CA
TDI
2001 Jetta 1.9
Update: pulled the transaxle. I forgot how hard it was to get it actually dropped without hanging up on everything (also forgot to push the engine forward as per Haynes instructions). I haven't pulled any of the clutch apart yet, but it 'looks' ok from the outside. The bearing also looks ok. If anyone knows of any transaxle diagnostic to try now that its hogging floor space in my garage, I'm all ears!
 

mlemorie

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2009
Location
Romulus Michigan
TDI
2004 Jetta
Quick and easy would be to shift your gears and turn your input shaft by hand and see what happens with the outdrives. Go through each gear. If you can’t turn the shaft by hand even in neutral, then you know there is an internal issue.
 

richbenp

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Location
CA
TDI
2001 Jetta 1.9
That's a good idea, I'll have to try that tonight. It's been difficult to find time to work on it during the week.
 
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