A trial reconciliation

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jyoung8607

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So I've decided to drive my 2004 Passat for a while. My daughter has been driving it for the last couple years, after she got her license and I got my 2006 Phaeton. I recently sent her off to college, and I've decided to mostly park the Phaeton for a while until I can get to the bottom of whatever ails it.

She's got 164,000 miles on the clock, but we're still talking. She's always been good to me when I'm good to her. Of course, when I ignore her, she gets angry at me. And then there's issues with jealousy. I was standing next to her in my driveway when I put money down over the phone on the Phaeton. Later that same day she tried to spit out her timing belt at me. That is not an exaggeration.

Driving around yesterday, our conversation went something like this:

Me: "I missed you, baby."

Passat: "Talk is cheap, asshole. I need shocks."

Me: "Umm, if this sloppy 1-2 upshift is a sign of things to come, I'm not going to be investing too much more time and money into you."

Passat: "Maybe if you actually used the gas pedal a couple times after you reset my shift adaptations..."

Me: "FINE!"

Passat: "FINE!"

Passat: "Also some new front suspension bushings."

Me: "Let's take it slow."

Cut off about 5lbs of crap hanging on the rearview mirror, out with the iDevice integration box that never worked right, back in with my Phatnoise media player with tunes I haven't heard in three years, and on with some driving!

Jason
 
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Flaps10

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Great story.
 
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jyoung8607

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Great story.
The attempted timing-belt ejection is a fun story all its own.

So the same day I put money down on the Phaeton, the wife and I are packing the Passat for a weekend trip to Tennessee. Car's running in the driveway to cool down the interior, we're about to leave. I'm standing in the garage and I hear this AWFUL sound for just a moment... one of those SHUT IT DOWN NOW sounds. I go ahead and do that. I open the hood and don't see anything immediately. Then, on a hunch, I un-clip the TB cover over the bank 1 cylinder head, and this is what I see:





MmmmmmmmmmmmmNOPE.

I'm not a professional mechanic, and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn the night before, but I can tell you that TB isn't where it's supposed to be and everything has a nice liberal coating of rubber and plastic shavings. I explain to the wife that we're taking her truck, and that upon our return, I will be pushing the Passat into the garage to be serviced. I even disconnected the battery to make sure my daughter didn't get any bright ideas about taking off with it.

Side note: Wife mentions at this point she heard that same noise in front of her parent's house a week before when she was visiting. Said house is 378 miles away. :eek:

So, the next week I pick up the Phaeton and the TB parts and rental tools arrive. The Passat is in the garage in the background with her hood up.



Teardown commences. The further I get, the more horrified I feel. The TB and tensioner pulley are busy trying to eat their way through the plastic TB covers.



It's hard to tell in this picture, but the tensioner pulley is way off-axis, tilted down. That's what's pushing the belt outward.



Removed the pulley and saw it was so far off-axis it was riding the tensioner arm, shaving nearly halfway through it as well as wearing a giant groove into the tip.



For comparision, the damaged arm next to the new arm.



This probably happened because the hydraulic tensioner had failed. It bled all over the place when compressed for removal (slowly and gently, as per factory procedure).



The failed tensioner was causing the pulley to flop around a lot, which it's not really supposed to do. The bearing surface inside wore through quite badly on one side, which is what caused it to tilt off-axis.

 
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jyoung8607

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Split into two parts because the forum limits me to ten images.

So, I had a shredding timing belt, leaking tensioner, shaved tensioner arm, and worn-sideways tensioner pulley all in heated competition to see which one gets the honor of converting my perfectly good ATQ engine into scrap metal. The only thing holding it back was the plastic TB cover, and that wasn't going to hold much longer.

Since it was caught in time, there was no permanent damage. All I had to do was add a couple new plastic TB covers to the bill of materials, and all was well again. I started her up, bled the cooling system and admired my work as she came up to operating temperature.

At this point I engaged my genius plan for cooling system maintenance. Every now and then you need to really flush the accumulated crap out of your cooling system. The way you do this is by placing the lower radiator hose where it's supposed to be, but you just kind of miss the slot where the retaining clip grabs on. As the car heats up and coolant circulates, all that crap is in suspension. When the car reaches operating temperature and the cooling system is pressurized, voila! The lower radiator hose pops off, and the entire contents of the cooling system are forcefully ejected onto the garage floor. I can't say I was really planning on doing this the same night, so it was very fortunate I had just enough extra G12 on hand. No pictures of this part are available due to intellectual property concerns, pending patents and so forth. You understand.

When I was finished, I took her out for a test drive. The drive went well, so on the way home, I stopped in a drive-through for a well-deserved case of beer. As I was inside the building and the attendant was setting my beer in the backseat, I was rear-ended by a Yaris.



Fortunately this did no more than put a couple license-plate screw impressions in the bumper.



And that's my timing belt story.
 
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Eric

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Awesome story. I have a couple of those too, but they were before the time I had a readily accessible digital camera :) If you ever come meet us in person ask me about them ;)
 
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Flaps10

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I had a '75 Rabbit four door back in the day. One of the first with front disc brakes (oooh).

It had a habit of barfing off the timing belt on occasion. The first time it happened I thought for sure I had a boat anchor on my hands. It happened over a half mile from my house but it was all down hill, so I was able to coast home and park it out front. This was back before one could look stuff up on the interwebs, so it took a while before I learned that it was not a zero clearance engine.

Once I got the T belt cover off I was surprised to find the belt was on it. Hmm. Lined up the marks and that is when the WTF happened. It had coughed and died, and in the mean time skipped a ton of teeth.

It happened a few times as the years went on. I never did put the cover back on and was able to get it lined up on the side of the road in minutes.

I'm sure it was a tired belt and tensioner. I was a broke ass young parent and since it wasn't hurting anything I let it ride.

Damn that was a long time ago.
 
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Uwe

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I found out what the lower cover was really for at one point in an '84 GTI... One cold wintry day about 20 years ago, I went busting through a snow-bank. This pushed enough snow up from under the car into the engine bay. Some of that snow got between the sprocket and the belt, causing the belt to skip some teeth, and the engine died. Upon trying to restart, it spun very freely as though it had no compression. That was an interesting WTF moment.

-Uwe-
 
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Jack@European_Parts

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And why I am installing timing covers on the 77 Scirocco project that had none..............face palm.....
The upper came today....lower and center are on order still.
The last guy forgot to add actual anti-freeze and it has a cracked block.............so it steamed out you could say.
Was ready to play belt rip with the tensioners and offsets incorrect.
All that belt frags on the inside of the timing cover. What happens when you don't pay attention during the swap process.

Funny this thread came up today.
While I like the do over other peoples idea of a project............its always interesting to see what has happened and why.

Who ever posted that the 06B and 027 gear are the same is an idiot..........;)




Before


After


Upper cover fits now go figure........


And the steamer of two types......
 
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Flaps10

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I would LOVE to score an early scirocco
 
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Bruce

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I found out what the lower cover was really for at one point in an '84 GTI... One cold wintry day about 20 years ago, I went busting through a snow-bank. This pushed enough snow up from under the car into the engine bay. Some of that snow got between the sprocket and the belt, causing the belt to skip some teeth, and the engine died. Upon trying to restart, it spun very freely as though it had no compression. That was an interesting WTF moment.

-Uwe-
Yes it were Nanook of the North! 2DEGF while resetting the timing on that beast! Lesson well learned - snow banks are not to be jumped by uncovered rabbits (GTi)!
 
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Uwe

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Indeed, it was DAMN cold. With the long commute back in those days (Lansdale PA - Trenton NJ) and driving a 9-10 year old Mk.1, I always had a toolbox in the trunk, and in the winter, a snowmobile suit (left over from the previous decade when I commuted every day on a motorcycle).
 
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jyoung8607

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I found out what the lower cover was really for at one point in an '84 GTI...
Agreed. With the Blauparts rental tools in hand, I really wanted the car back together but when I found the covers torn up like that, I just couldn't make myself reuse them. Had to pause a couple days for the new covers to come in. It's not like the covers form an airtight seal, but I didn't want a bunch of road grime and salt and water/snow making its way up there.





The thing that got me is how very normal the car drove through all of this. It had to have been failing for a couple weeks at minimum. I noticed nothing until that one or two seconds of horrible squealing while I was outside the car. I think the tensioner pulley locked up hard against the tensioner arm for a second or two because it actually drug down the engine somewhat. I could hear it throttle up a bit afterward to stabilize the idle. Three years ago and that sound is still burned into my memory. I was about to drive that thing across two states, and during teardown I was nervous just hand-rotating it into service position for crankshaft locking. Ugh.

I thought I was on top of maintenance before, but you better believe I check that TB regularly now. That was NOT my factory TB and tensioner. I had done the first change at 78k. Book interval for the TB is 105k, and I resolved to do mine every 80k (basically every other 40k major-maintenance with spark plugs and such) along with the "lifetime" transmission fluid. This all happened somewhere around 138k, so that tensioner was only in service for 60k miles. Popping the bank 1 TB cover is even easier than opening the air filter box, so now I make it a point to look inside frequently.

Jason
 
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Uwe

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Yeah, VW/Audi should just do away with timing belts and use chains on everything, right?

Oh wait. Then they'll use sprockets like this:







And the metal bits that used to be the teeth will get into your oil pump, and...

-Uwe-
 
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jyoung8607

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And the metal bits that used to be the teeth will get into your oil pump, and...
Holy crap. That actually kept running long enough for the oil pump pickup to be a concern?

Jason
 
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jakematic

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Holy crap. That actually kept running long enough for the oil pump pickup to be a concern?

Jason
I've seen quite a few like that over on AudiWorld.
Then of course we have tensioner guides that break down over time....
 
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Zenerdiode

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Sometimes I think it is a mental burden to know what we do. I have owned a Boxster as we'll for over 10 years, but with the Porsche M96 engine you're always left with the "it's not if, but when it's going to let go" feeling. Mine was new enough not to have the cylinder liners that slipped down the bores; but it has the intermediate shaft bearing that they're all talking about at the minute.

It must be great to be one of those who 'switches it on with a key and press the pedal to make it go, occasionally pumping smelly liquid in otherwise it won't go' type of people...
 
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Uwe

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Holy crap. That actually kept running long enough for the oil pump pickup to be a concern?
Yes indeed. It had thrown occasional cam correlation codes, but the first indication that anything was seriously amiss were low oil pressure warnings in the turns on the Blue Ridge Parkway about 400 miles from here. It ran fine on the (few) straight sections of the BRP and it ran fine on the highway from Roanoke up, but complained loudly about oil pressure on the off ramps. We had no idea what was really wrong with it at that point, but I patted it and thanked it for getting us home that day. It went from there straight to the shop a few days later.

This isn't an Audi -- it's a 2001 Eurovan with a 2.8L 24V VR6.
 
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jakematic

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Sometimes I think it is a mental burden to know what we do.
Agreed.
Folks often ask my opinion on a specific age and model vehicle, and knowing their ability and repair funds budget, many times I just say 'walk away, trust me'.

Fortunately our Boxster already had an IMS Guardian installed.
You just know that damn 'Game Over' light is going to come on eventually though...
 
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Uwe

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BTW, I take solace in the following fact: I've driven VW (mostly) and Audis (occasionally) almost exclusively for over 30 years now, and none has ever really left me stranded away from home.
 
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jyoung8607

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Sometimes I think it is a mental burden to know what we do. ... It must be great to be one of those who 'switches it on with a key and press the pedal to make it go, occasionally pumping smelly liquid in otherwise it won't go' type of people...
I know the feeling. Every once in a while tinkering with my Phaeton I stop and think "Jason, you bought the platinum extended warranty... the way normal people handle this is by taking it to the dealer and telling them the orange engine light is on." I keep going anyway for some damn reason.

My life would be measurably improved if I just sold the thing and leased an S4. Giving up on unsolved problems just bothers me though. Also, I really want to keep it. I knew it was a rare combo when I bought it, but I recently found out just how rare. There are only 25 of the high-output BRP W12s in North America.

Jason
 
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