Torque Converter replacement

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
Based on a lot of reading on this forum, I have concluded that a torque converter replacement is the way to go. I have the 17125 P0741 code, and I have recently noticed the odd behavior associated with an unlocking TC. I have not seen a how-to for the Passat, though. If I am missing it then please someone point me to it. If there isn't one, can I get a quick step list? I have a lift and trans jack and lots of other tools, but I am curious about the little things like hard to reach bolts, tools, etc. Normally, I would just go through the process, but I kind of have to work quickly. The part should be in on Friday, so it needs to be done this weekend. It is certainly possible as long as I don't hit a strange road block. I also ordered the seal and the o-rings for the lines to be sure I have everything. Any advice? Thanks.
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
replacing tc with new or reman unit? how long have you been driving it since it threw the code? Its a good time to change trans fluid/filter as you, having the tc out, will get most of old fluid out. Nothing special or difficult about the trans removal, with a good trans jack, you only need to move trans rearward six inches or so. take a good look at the old tc nose as to any buggering of the drive ears which could mean pump damage. The original seal is viton and in most cases does not need replacement. It should keep you busy for 6-8 hours. be careful when you reinstall the cooler lines to have them in properly and if you can, blow/flush them out for any debris inside. Good luck. hope you're using a new tc or one from a trusted remanufacturer such as Eriksson.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
The TC is new from the dealer. I was pleasantly surprised to have a dealer work with me on price. I have suspected something weird for about a week or so. I was not sure if there was something really wrong or if I was imagining it. The engine light came on on my way home the other day. I drove it easy for about 2 miles home suspecting the TC. I pulled the code that confirmed my suspicion. I reset it. I drove it a little while longer to see if the code came back and it did pretty quickly. I just parked it ever since. I basically knew it was the TC and that it would not be a good idea to keep driving it. I will definitely flush out the cooler and take the opportunity to change the fluid again.

Do I need to remove the exhaust, lower subframe, etc? I feel weird asking this but I am having a hard time picturing it because I have not had a chance to get it up on the lift. Work really gets in the way of this stuff.

Thanks for the reply.
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
The subframe drops easily and when I did the job, using Bentley, I found that had I dropped it earlier, it would have been easier access. I used a hf engine support which not only was easy to use, but was of surprisingly good quality and design. For 59 bucks, its better than a home made one for sure. Exhaust need not be disconnected, nor do axles need to be removed, just disconnected. If you can, read or get a Bentley procedure printout. I, like you, parked it when the code first appeared, till I got the tc.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
I have lowered the sub-frame once before when I did the BSM. I have the alignment pins. I used a homemade rig to support the engine from the top. For this, I was either going to re-use that or just support with a stand and wood block under oil pan. Since I am not removing the oil pan like in the BSM process, it seems logical that I will be able to raise, lower, and tilt engine as needed to help get the transmission out.

I am thinking it will go like this:

Negative battery cable
Hoist car
Remove front wheels
Unbolt axles from transmission and slide them aside
Support engine
Remove engine mounts lower nuts
Lower sub-frame
Support trans with jack and chain
Remove starter
Remove transmission mount bolts
Tilt assembly back and down
Remove bolts from trans to engine
Remove TC bolts (through starter hole or other hole?)
Back the transmission off of dowels and lower

What did I miss? I will try to take some pictures along the way so I can post them.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
All done. I did the job on Saturday. It took me about 9 hours in total. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it. I was able to drive it today on the 150 mile trip that I was trying to get done in time for. I don't know how one would do this job on jack stands. If there are warriors out there able to do it, then good for them. I think my fuel mileage has improved by not having the TC unlock at odd intervals, too. I will post some pics. Does anyone buy cores? I have one available and ready to ship.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
Thanks. I will check that link. Yes, I flushed the cooler with air first then pumped fresh fluid through it. I also changed the rest of the fluid. It was dark but certainly not nasty burnt. I had changed the fluid about 30k miles ago.
 

vwztips

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Location
Greenville, SC
TDI
2005 Passat GLS Wagon TDI 5 spd manual w/BSM delete 2012 Tiguan TDI/DSG 2005 Audi A4 6MQ 2011 BMW X5 35d

RSMS

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Location
Clearwater,FL
TDI
04 T-REG V-10 as a driver but too many others to list and always changing
How many convertors do you have, I have a local builder that did need cores. I've always had to have him rebuild mine. I was going to try and bring a few back from Europe in my next order if he couldnt find any here. Let me know and I'll try to get you 2 together.
 

vwztips

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Location
Greenville, SC
TDI
2005 Passat GLS Wagon TDI 5 spd manual w/BSM delete 2012 Tiguan TDI/DSG 2005 Audi A4 6MQ 2011 BMW X5 35d
I have 4-5 currently
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
It would depend what you're asking for the cores, they probably are worth 25-50. If Eriksson sell a reman one for 250, core can't be worth too much. If you ask 100 of course they won't be interested. For one core, its probably worth 25 as the shipping to them is probably at least 20
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
rsms, the only place that converter was used was North America, so Europe never saw them
 

RSMS

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Location
Clearwater,FL
TDI
04 T-REG V-10 as a driver but too many others to list and always changing
TS are you sure about that, I have not looked into yet but it was on my list of things to try and source but if they can get 4 or 5 semi locally I really doesnt matter.

VWZ I'm guessing you will sell them all? I will try to get you an offer in the next day or so.
 

turtle1026

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Location
Florida
TDI
2004 Passat
I found on other posts where a basic procedure was posted. I thought I would just add some details. My apologies if I repeat some of what others have posted while I incorporate it into this one.
Disconnect your negative battery cable. You will be removing the wires from your starter so you need to be sure to avoid sparks.
I lifted the car and supported the engine with a jack stand and wood block under the oil pan from below. You can certainly support from the top as recommended, but both will work.
Remove front wheels and follow axle removal process. You don't need to break loose the hub bolt. Leave those connected and just remove the 6 bolts from each axle and swing them aside from transmission.
Support transmission with transmission jack and chain. That is transmission jack AND chain. This may get slippery with spilled fluid, etc.
Remove transmission mounts. You will need a 16mm wrench to hold the bolts while loosening the nuts. The passenger side is located underneath the heat shield. As shown in pic below.

Follow sub-frame lowering procedure from BSM replacement posts. Lower sub-frame all the way. All subframe bolts need to be removed as well as the lower front strut bolts. Removing them will allow the subframe to be lowered even more. You will need all the room you can get.
Begin to lower the transmission by tilting downward. Once low enough, access the 3 8mm Allen bolts on each side of the transmission to remove the transmission mount, side mounts. This helps narrow the transmission to make it easier to clear the subframe. This is also a good time to disconnect the electrical connectors to the transmission as well as disconnect the shift linkage. The shift linkage just pops off using a simple door panel pry tool or similar.
There is one bolt holding the fluid lines to the transmission on the driver side. Remove that bolt. Disconnect the lines by pulling them straight out. You will lose some fluid here so have some rags or drain pan handy. I found some old plastic plugs that I used to plug into the transmission to stop the fluid. The lines can be shoved upward so gravity keeps them from dripping.
Remove starter. There are 2 bolts. I suggest removing the 2 bolts. Then pull and rotate starter out. Once out, you can remove the nut holding the wire terminals to free the starter.
Now you will be able to access the teeth of the flexplate. I used a flat screwdriver to rotate the engine using the teeth. You can actually move it quite easily this way once you find the rhythm. I rotated it until I saw the torque converter (TC) bolt.
Next was my only real surprise of the project. The TC bolts are a torx 55. My set only went to 50 so I had to take a break and go get a bit from the auto parts store.

These torx heads are quite shallow so be sure you have flat engagement of the bit before turning the wrench. In order to turn the wrench you will need to counter hold the engine from turning. I used the flat screwdriver in the inspection hole on the driver side as shown.

As long as you ensure full engagement of the teeth with the screwdriver there should be no worries of damaging the teeth on the flexplate.
Now move on to the transmission bolts. I found the easiest way to access the upper bolts was to use long extensions with a wobble adapter. You will basically attach the socket wrench way behind the transmission with about 2-3 feet of extension on the sockets. That gives you room to turn the wrench for leverage. The upper most bolt needs specific attention for 2 reasons. One is that you have to hold some hoses out of the way to access it. The other is to pay attention to which hole it is coming out of. When you go to put it back, don't spend extra time trying to get the threads started in the wrong hole. (I will add here the obligatory, "ask me how I know") The lower bolts are accessed from the front easily since the subframe is lowered. The odd bolt is the lower one on the driver side. You will need an 8mm Allen to counter hold the bolt. I suggest an old school simple Allen wrench as shown.

Once all bolts are removed you are ready to start pulling the transmission back away from the engine. Initial disconnect is easy but you have to get the TC off of the flexplate. It is kind of stuck at the center pilot. Do not pry on the flexplate. I found that little adjustments up and down helped, but I eventually had to slide a thin piece of steel up toward the center to gently tap and wiggle it free. You will likely lose some fluid at this point because the TC will pull away from the transmission slightly.
Work the transmission down and out with the TC. Remove old TC. Inspect pump teeth for damage. None was found as shown. Replace with new one. Mine came with some fluid in it. Be sure it seats. I would describe this as seating twice. It clicks in once then continue to rotate until it fully clunks down into position.

Flush the cooler lines by using low pressure air. I regulated down to below 10 psi on the compressor. Blow through one line and catch the fluid from the other. Then pump fluid through the lines until it comes out clean from the other one. To pump fluid use the method shown in the transmission fill procedure. Air hose into bottle and hose coming from top.
I replaced the o-rings on the fluid lines. I bought a seal for the TC but since mine was fine, I chose not to replace it.
Basically, put everything back together. Ensure one of the TC bolt holes are aligned with the hole in the flexplate visible in the starter hole before you shove the transmission back up against the engine. If you bolt up the transmission without lining these up you will have to turn the TC without turning the flexplate. Probably have to mess with gear shift to put in gear and turn axle flanges to line up. Just easier to line it up first.
I noted that it is actually easier to reinstall the axle bolts while the subframe was still lowered. You wouldn't normally lower the subframe to remove the axles, but they are easier to get to so take advantage of that. Be sure to put the side mounts back on the transmission before you raise it all the way into position or you won't be able to get them back on very easily. Also, I found that re-attaching the shift linkage was easy with the side mount still removed. You can get a good grip to squeeze it back on that way.
Once all is back together, I drained the fluid from the pan. I decided not to do a full pan drop and filter replacement. My cooler lines had no debris when flushed, and I had changed the fluid and filter about 30k miles ago. Since I didn't have a new filter handy, I decided to just drain and refill. I had no reason to suspect any other damage or debris.
Follow transmission fill procedure. I filled it first without engine running to simply replace what I had pulled out. I was also curious how under filled it would be by replacing the TC. It turns out there must not have been much fluid in the new TC because I had to add a lot of fluid once I ran the engine. Therefore, I suggest adding fluid to the TC before you install. I normally would have, but I saw fluid in there, but apparently not enough.
I am sure I left out a few things. I hope this was helpful, though. Thanks to this forum for providing so much information on projects like this. I certainly welcome any edits to this to make it better.
 
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