rocketeer928 - My 2003 VW Jetta TDI

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Been having a little issue with my fuel lift pump the last couple of weeks. When the fuel tank got to about half full there was this constant pumping/sucking noise in the tank, and not just the usual whoosh I hear when initially turning the ignition to the "ON" position just before firing the TDI up. Even my wife noticed the noise. Then I saw that the little fuel gauge that I placed on the line under the hood prior to the filter was reading null and there were a lot of bubbles in the fuel line.

Uh-oh!!! I figured the lift pump was not working for some reason and the 11-mm fuel pump was the only component drawing fuel. When my car had a bit of trouble starting cold, I really new something was up. Parked the car for a week until I had time to look into the issue.

My first thought was that one of the hoses in the lift pump from my doing the Left Coast Resident Modification either worked itself loose or were cracked. Today, I was finally able to take the lift pump out. All the hoses were fine, but then I found the culprit! The yellow wire feeding electric to the actual pumping mechanism had worked itself loose and disconnected. Tightened that up, reinstalled, and all is good again! Glad I didn't have to buy a new lift pump (bummer for IBW).

Took the TDI out for a spirited drive afterwards to force the soot buildup in the turbo out. I'm sure the folks behind me always love it when I do that, but it's gotta be done for the health of my turbo and to have a bit of fun. :p
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
I did my 130,000 mile oil and filter change over the weekend, including ZDDP Engine Oil Additive Zinc & Phosphorus. At 120,000 miles I noticed oil leaking from the oil cooler, so I changed both gaskets this time around. I actually have had the gaskets for a year, but decided to wait for the recent oil change. Not super easy with the coolant hoses still attached, but doable.

Another 20,000 miles before I'll consider a timing belt change, which I suspect will be about two years from now. At that time I'll consider if I want to replace with a Colt Stage II Camshaft with new lifters. Possibly also Dieselgeek's
TDI VanGogh Broken Engine Block Fix Kit as a preventative measure. Not sure... Any opinions?
 

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
Hey, glad to hear the Jetta is still doing well, although you should drive it more!

The VanGogh kit is only needed if you break the tab off the block, usually a result of a broken mount or accident. Saving that, I would leave the engine alone.

Let me know when you're ready to sell. :D
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
If I'm ever ready to sell, then I'll let you know first, Peter. I promise. However, no plans to sell anytime soon.

Well, since I changed the mounts recently, I doubt I'll have a breakage anytime soon. OK, I'll leave my engine alone. Good advice, and I'm no longer keen on spending big bucks on my TDI unless necessary.

Drive it more, eh? Yes, it does seem to have low miles for a 2003. Between being unemployed for 2 months, having my car shipped to IL as part of my relocation benefit, commuting with my motorcycle in good weather, and my daily commute only being 22 miles, this year I'll have driven my Jetta less than 5,000 miles. The maddening thing is that my mileage is not 50 mpg anymore because of all the stinking traffic lights in the over-populated county I now live in and I no longer get on a highway to/from work.

I'm also very concerned that my Jetta and other vehicles will start rusting, as IL uses a LOT of salt in the winter. I was surprised at how many rusty cars I've seen since moving to IL.

I truly miss New England...
 

jjtoutt

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Location
Calgary, Alberta
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI (BRM) DSG Transmission
If I'm ever ready to sell, then I'll let you know first, Peter. I promise. However, no plans to sell anytime soon.

Well, since I changed the mounts recently, I doubt I'll have a breakage anytime soon. OK, I'll leave my engine alone. Good advice, and I'm no longer keen on spending big bucks on my TDI unless necessary.

Drive it more, eh? Yes, it does seem to have low miles for a 2003. Between being unemployed for 2 months, having my car shipped to IL as part of my relocation benefit, commuting with my motorcycle in good weather, and my daily commute only being 22 miles, this year I'll have driven my Jetta less than 5,000 miles. The maddening thing is that my mileage is not 50 mpg anymore because of all the stinking traffic lights in the over-populated county I now live in and I no longer get on a highway to/from work.

I'm also very concerned that my Jetta and other vehicles will start rusting, as IL uses a LOT of salt in the winter. I was surprised at how many rusty cars I've seen since moving to IL.

I truly miss New England...
preventing rust is easy....just ride the bike in the winter and drive the jetta in the summer. :D
 

3L3M3NT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Location
Sturgeon Bay, WI
TDI
04 Jetta GLS TDI, 04 RTDI

I'm also very concerned that my Jetta and other vehicles will start rusting, as IL uses a LOT of salt in the winter. I was surprised at how many rusty cars I've seen since moving to IL.

I truly miss New England...
This is why you need a $1,000 winter beater, so your pride and joy can hibernate all winter.;)
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
This is why you need a $1,000 winter beater, so your pride and joy can hibernate all winter.;)
I never did get a winter beater. I found a naturally aspirated 1985 Golf TDI in Chicago that would have been a good candidate, but the nutty guy wanted $2,300 for it. Passed on that...

The winter was rather tame this year in the Chicago area.
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
License Plates

When I moved to Illinois I didn't like the standard plates. So,I decided to get a Bears plate because I thought it looked the best (even though I'm a Bills fan) and CJK 41 as the plate ID. My initials and favorite number. Then I got a replica Deutschland plate for the front that reads IL CJK 41. So far the front plate hasn't attracted much attention.

 
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rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Leaving for TDI Fest 2016 after a half-day of work on Friday. It'll be nice to see my East Coast TDI friends again and perhaps making some new Midwest TDI friends. I wish my wife was coming, but she would be rather bored.
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
I had a great time at this year's Fest catching up with the TDI guys and gals. A couple of the New Englanders asked me when I'm coming back "home." I wish I could now; maybe some day...
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Ceramic Brakes

Yesterday I flushed out my brake/clutch fluid, and then installed new ceramic brake pads and rotors from ID Parts. This afternoon I performed the following pad and rotor bedding:

- Eight light stops from 30 mph down to 15 mph with about 20 seconds cool down between

- Eight moderate stops from 45 mph down to 30 mph with about 20 seconds cool down between

- Eight hard stops from ~60 mph down to 25 mph with about 20 seconds cool down between

Time will tell if I like these ceramic pads better than regular pads.
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
2,100 Mile Road Trip

My wife and I will soon be headed to Minnesota, South Dakota, and maybe Devil's Tower Wyoming to visit family and a bit of sightseeing. It'll be about a 2,100 miles round trip. When we return home, the TDI will have a bit over 140,000 miles on it.

Today I checked my lifters for wear, as I didn't want to attempt a big trip if there was a problem. All is good.

The usual oil, oil filters (including Dieselgeek AMSOIL bypass), fuel filter, air filter, and cabin filter change will happen afterwards. I also ordered a Colt Stage II Camshaft with new lifters and timing belt kit. I was going to wait until 150,000 for that, but I'm thinking 10,000 sooner due to age (years) that the current belt has on it won't hurt as some preventative medicine.
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Dieselgeek AMSOIL Bypass Filter System Issue

We got back from our 2,160 mile round-trip to Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, but not without a major issue with the TDI. Shortly after I bought the Jetta TDI, I installed a Dieselgeek AMSOIL Bypass Filter System. I originally had the plastic oil return tubing and at some point changed to the braided stainless steel feed return line.

For about a year, I experienced a small seepage of oil at the connection through the ALH valve cover; nothing to get alarmed about. After I recently removed the valve cover to check on the lifters before our big trip, the leak got a bit worse. At that point I tried to surround the connection with steel-infused JB Weld, which I learned is NOT impervious to oil. After 400 miles to our destination in Minnesota, there was still leaking at the valve cover, though not enough to lower the oil much on the dipstick. So, I thought I would just keep an eye on things at every stop we made on our way across the rest of Minnesota and South Dakota, and add a bit of oil if needed, which I brought along with us. On Memorial Day I also ordered a new valve cover from ID Parts to be shipped to our home with the thinking that I would eliminate the bypass filter system when I got home. The leak wasn't too bad, right???

Well, that's where the big issue started. Driving along toward South Dakota and the engine sounds a bit funny to me, so we stop. Opened up the hood to find a LOT of leaking and the oil level just at the bottom of the safe area on the dipstick. I was not happy and worried, even thinking of heading back home immediately or getting a rental car (yeah, where in desolate SD do you find rentals?). Instead, we kept going, stopping every 100 miles or so to clean up the mess as best I could and add more oil.

As we kept going, I had my wife call IBW to have that valve cover I had ordered shipped overnight to our South Dakota destination (ka-ching for shipping!) After we got to our destination, I had to buy a few tools to remove the valve cover and bypass system (more ka-ching!).

When my engine cooled down, I found that the return line connection simply slipped out of the valve cover with no effort at all. I suspect that over the years that the threads I created within the VERY THIN valve cover were rubbed away from the constant vibration of the engine. There simply were no threads there anymore. It's a miracle that the return line didn't slip out while driving sending oil all over the place until my engine seized. Thanks goodness that didn't happen.

The new valve cover arrived the next morning and I had everything fixed within an hour with no more leaking. My engine is now an oily mess, which I'll clean soon, and we had no problems since. Thanks to IBW!!!

Now, I do like my Dieselgeek Panzer Skidplate and Short Shifter. However, the design of the Dieselgeek AMSOIL Bypass Filter System for the ALH and its valve cover is simply bad, bad, bad, and I should have known better than to buy something that required threads through a thin valve cover. I will not and cannot recommend anyone placing this system on their ALH. I should have removed it a long time ago when the leaking started.

On a happier note, here's my TDI enjoying the view at the Badlands in South Dakota (post-issue):

 
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benIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Location
SouthEast NC
TDI
Orville - 2003 platinum gray Jetta 5m 220K miles ||| Wilbur (Knurren) - 2003 silver Jetta wagon 5m 230K miles
What a story, glad nothing worse happened. Let us know how you clean your engine, unless there's a thread for that. I'd like to see how you do it.

Always love going back through and rereading your thread.
 

3L3M3NT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Location
Sturgeon Bay, WI
TDI
04 Jetta GLS TDI, 04 RTDI
Having issues like that is never fun on that long of a road trip. At least you were semi prepared with supplies, since it had been weeping.

Before you remove and sell the DG By-pass kit, I'd recommend just routing the return line to the drain plug with braided SS line. That's what I did on mine after having a similiar on my BEW with the return line going to the oil fill cap. The setup works great with no oil leaks.;)

Even though getting the parts shipped overnight cost you some money, at least you got to complete your trip.:)
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Let us know how you clean your engine, unless there's a thread for that. Always love going back through and rereading your thread.
Here's the engine washing thread, and thanks for re-reading. I don't post much anymore, since my TDI is the way I like it. That said, I do have another modification coming up and an elimination of a current modification. Stay tuned...
Before you remove and sell the DG By-pass kit, I'd recommend just routing the return line to the drain plug with braided SS line.
Too late. I was so fed up with it leaking and the poor design that it now resides in a South Dakota landfill or incinerator. If I had known about and seen how you re-routed beforehand, then I would have considered what you did.
 

3L3M3NT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Location
Sturgeon Bay, WI
TDI
04 Jetta GLS TDI, 04 RTDI
Too late. I was so fed up with it leaking and the poor design that it now resides in a South Dakota landfill or incinerator. If I had known about and seen how you re-routed beforehand, then I would have considered what you did.
Instead of throwing it away, you could have sold it on here to re-coup some of the money you had to spend on shipping the valve cover. Since they aren't made any more, I'm sure you could have got a decent amount for it.

With this Oil Drain Fitting and the correct length of braided SS line mated to the correct fitting coming out of the top of the DG By-Pass kit and you'd have been all set and leak free.:)

Hind sight is always 20/20 though.:(
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Hind sight is always 20/20 though.:(
I suppose that I should have brought it home and figured out a way for it to work, as you suggested. I was really frustrated at the time and wanted nothing else to do with the Bypass System. I'll now save on the extra liter of oil each 10,000 miles. I now have an AMSOIL filter to either return or sell. PM me if you want to buy it.
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Recent Work on My TDI

After our big trip out to Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, my TDI had just over 140,000 miles. Time for the usual maintenance, but I decided to do a lot more.

Of course, I did the usual oil, oil filter, air filter, and cabin filter changes. I discovered a nasty mouse nest within the air filter. Considering that it was December 2015 when I last changed the filters, that disgusting nest could have been hindering the airflow for over a year.

I also changed out the fuel filter. In the process, I decided to abandon the fuel cooler that I installed, as some of the fuel lines were very close to the ground. I'm actually surprised that they never caught on something all these years and stopped me cold in my tracks. It was once suggested that I try a fuel cooler like this here from Summit Racing, but I never bit the bullet to do that.

Even though I probably could have gone another 10,000 to 20,000 miles, I decided to do a timing belt change. Why? Because it was time for another modification. I also installed a Colt Stage 2 Camshaft and new lifters, and since the camshaft comes with a 5-year warranty from Kermi if I bought a timing belt kit, that's what I decided to do. Here's a picture of the installed camshaft.



For two years, including having it moved from CT to IL, I've been putting off installing a new VR6 driver's side axle. Why? Because it's a pain in the neck without a proper lift. Well, it was time, and yes there was blood, sweat and tears because there's little room to manipulate various arrangements and lengths of ratcheting tool parts to tighten the flange bolts to the VR6 recommended 52 ft lb. Grrr!!! But, I finally did it. While installing the axle, I noticed that one of the Ball Joint Bolt Locking Plate nuts was slightly rounded. I tried to remove bolts and nuts unsuccessfully, and just rounded the stupid nut even more. Double GRRRR!!! So now since I don't have a torch to melt the bolt off, I'll be taking it into a garage.

While under the car, I also noticed one of the tie rod ends was shot. So now I'm thinking that since my car has relatively low mileage and is 14 years old, it might be good to do a Steering Refresh Kit with complete tie rods and complete Mevotech control arms with HD ball joints and Audi TT bushings. Maybe it's improved handling; maybe it's throwing unnecessary money at a 14 year old car. I'll be talking to a mechanic tomorrow morning about it. I'm kinda tired of wrestling with my car, so if I do the job, I'll be paying for labor this time. Why not, since I saved on the labor for the timing belt and axle swap.

Since my oil leak problem nearly a month ago described beforehand and the need to get a new valve cover, I decided to strip off all the blue paint from the vacuum pump and intake manifold. There are specks of paint still in tiny crevices, but for the most part, the blue is gone except for the brake calipers (which need a touch-up), the injectors, and the piece on top of the Allard Power Pipe.



I also swapped out a squeaking blower fan near the heater core. I also had the new one for years. Procrastination, I guess.
 
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rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
In the middle of July I had a Steering Refresh Kit installed on my Jetta TDI, which included complete tie rods, Mevotech control arms with HD ball joints and Audi TT bushings, sway bar links, and a new dogbone mount. I had noticed while wrapping up the axle work that I did earlier that the tie rod ends were toast and other issues.

I had Ivanhoe Automotive (a local Napa Autocare shop) perform the installation and wheel alignment. I figured without a lift, the job would be too much of a pain for me. A shout-out to Jim (owner), Jordan (Jim's son, front desk guy, and car enthusiast), and David (main mechanic).

I had purchased the polyurethane dogbone inserts. Well, the vibration was way too much for me, and I'm certain that my wife would never sit in my car again if I kept them installed. So, I decided to reinsert the regular dogbone inserts.

When I loosened the bolts to the dogbone, I noticed that the longest bolt came out a bit too easily and aluminum shavings fell to my garage floor. Uh-oh! Sure enough, the threads in the tranny for that bolt were stripped. The guys at Ivanhoe graciously installed an M10 heli-coil to fix the problem, which saved me from having to do that myself (Believe me, I've had to install heli-coils on this car elsewhere). Besides, while David the mechanic was fixing the threads, I got a chance to go underneath my Jetta to check things out (wish I had a lift). Most things looked good, though I do have a concern about some floorboard rust at one of the rear points where these rubber grommets are located. I tried spraying some undercoating, though I'm not sure effective that will be.
 
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rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
As some of you probably know, Photobucket made a decision to require those of us that use them for pictures on forums like TDI Club to pay something like $400/year. And, they did this without any warning to their registered subscribers. Well, I've dumped Photobucket.

After doing some research, I've switched to vgy.me for photo hosting and updated this thread. If vgy.me pulls the same stunt at a later date, then I won't be updating again, as it takes too much precious time.

Yes, I know TDI Club has its own photo hosting. When I first joined it wasn't too user friendly. Perhaps things have changed, but I didn't bother to investigate.
 

3L3M3NT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Location
Sturgeon Bay, WI
TDI
04 Jetta GLS TDI, 04 RTDI
There's a lot of good build threads out there, including yours that just aren't the same without pictures to go with them.:(

I applaud you for taking the time to go and upload your pictures to a new site and then update the links.
I plan on doing the same thing for my more recent threads, but the older ones will have the Photobucket error message in them.:mad:
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Re-calibrating the Fuel Quantity (IQ) at Idle

Reminder to myself:

With the engine warmed up and running at idle in neutral with all major accessories, such as air conditioning, turned off, connect the VCDS scan tool cable and start the scan tool software.

Select engine control module.

"Login" using 12233 as the access code

Select "adaptation" and go to adaptation block 1; Note that the display shows a default adaptation value of 32768 and shows the amount of fuel being delivered in milligrams per stroke

Specification range for reported fuel delivery at idle is 2.2 - 9.0 mg/stroke and TDIs normally run best between 3.0 and 5.0 mg/stroke (highly tuned non-stock engines may differ - you'll have to experiment in that case)

If you see a number smaller than your desired range, enter an adaptation number that is slightly smaller (e.g., 100 units smaller than where it is now) and "test", to see the effect; Adjust the adaptation number up or down as required to achieve a reported fuel injection quantity as close as possible to your target; It is only possible to adjust within a very limited range using this method but experience has found that it doesn't take much change to make a big effect in the shuddering

Once you get a proper setting, "save" it.

Lower IQ number --> MORE fueling and more smoke
Higher IQ number --> LESS fueling and less smoke
The reported IQ should be somewhere in the 2.2-9.0 range.
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
I found out that my Bosio PP764 nozzles are crap-ola, and probably have been for a long time. They failed the pop testing miserably and weren’t flowing properly. Franko6 will be installing and calibrating Firad 502 (ASLA150P502) nozzles on my injectors, though not until sometime next week. I’ll probably have to get my tune adjusted at the upcoming Michigan GTG, which means I’ll likely have to go back to the Euro RC5.

In the mean time, I installed a new harmonic balancer. Hopefully when I get everything back together the nozzles and/or harmonic balancer will have eliminated my vibration issue. See previous post.

My TDI is presently an immovable paper weight.
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
New Fuel Cooler Installed

Back in June when I changed the timing belt and installed the Colt Stage 2 camshaft, I ditched the flimsy fuel cooler that I had cable tied to the vented TT wheel well. The fins were getting crushed and the fuel lines were really close to the ground while driving. I was surprised after all these years that something along the road didn't grab those fuel lines and leave me stranded.

One day recently I was talking with Franko6 about my curent vibration issue, and as he was reviewing my TDI's set-up, he mentioned that I should have a fuel cooler installed on my car. I had an "are you kidding me!!" moment and told Franko6 that I had just removed the precarious cooler.

Well taking his advice, I bought a B&M 70264 SuperCooler. I installed the fuel cooler with brackets so it wouldn't flex, rather than simply strapping it to the wheel well vents, especially since it's a beefier 1½-inch thick. Also, the unit has been plumbed to cool the diesel prior to the fuel filter and fuel pump. The previous fuel cooler was plumbed incorrectly with the cooling happening to the diesel returning to the tank.

Ironically, I installed everything during record 94°F heat today. I was sweating to death.



 
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