- Jul 19, 2002
- Mesa, AZ USA
- '04 Jetta TDI Wagon, '04 Passat TDI, several in past
Dove in and deleted the balance shaft module this weekend. I was waiting for a cooler weekend to do it, and while it was not exactly cool, it still hovered around 100-105 and was bearable with shade tarps, fans and a mister. After 3 days of working on it, here are some learnings from my experience:
- The oil pan is a PITA to get off. Several guys talked about sticking pieces of wood in the subframe but I could not for the life of me figure out what they meant. Finally, when it was time to put the pan back on with gasket maker on it we realized we needed to do something. Cut some 4x4's to 4 3/4" long, pried down the sub frame, and jammed them in there. Then we had all the room in the world to get the pan in. Wish we'd done that to start.
- When plugging the oil port, the freaking tap snapped off flush in the hole. Talking through options, we finally just tack welded the sucker in there and ground it smooth. No going back.
- The geared sprocket on the crankshaft was a PITA. In hindsight, I should have just paid $150 for the recommended pulley. You guys and the instructions all said hit it from behind with an air hammer a few times and it comes right off. We tried freaking everything. I had a harmonic balancer puller and we even tried to weld bolts to the pulley to pull it off. They snapped off...gear must be some kind of alloy (magnet did stick to it, thought we were good). This is our final solution: welding rod with the flux knocked off, wrapped around and welded to itself on the harmonic balancer pulley. Cranked while tapping from behind and it came off. How redneck is this?
- As I was doing the timing belt and water pump (and was my first time), I removed the lock carrier instead of just going to service position. This made things so much easier.
- Turns out my water pump was leaking really bad. There was residue all over and some front cover bolts were starting to corrode. Glad I had all the parts on hand.
- Long ball end allen's are the only way I was able to get the back two oil pan bolts out. I stubbornly tried several different methods before heading to Home Depot for new tools.
- My body isn't what it used to be. 15 years ago I had a strong body and no mechanical knowledge. Now I have a lot more mechanical knowledge and love of cars but my body can't do it. 3 back surgeries make it really hard to lay under a car or bend over an engine any more. My 21 year old son and his best friend came to my rescue on day 2 and 3 and saved my butt.