VW Jetta 1.9l TDI wga access/repair


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Old 05-17-14, 06:22 PM
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VW Jetta 1.9l TDI wga access/repair

I am taking ownership of a used 2003 TDI Jetta in the next few days. Luckily for me, the price was right (free) and comes with all the repair records since new.
As of right now, I know the turbo occationally hesitates on spooling (suspect sticking wga), needs new front rotors and some paint.

The wga is going to be the biggest issue from what I can tell. Unlike my gas turbo, the wga appears to be hard to access. When I was assisting my dad to change the oil on it a year or so ago, I was able to reach it from under the car.

Does anyone know how hard it would be to access, and or remove the wga from a 1.9l VW TDI and or any tips or tricks to access it?

Although I know turbo systems well enough to work on them, diesel engines are new to me.
This is not a huge rush job but the sooner I am satisfied with the car's running condition, the sooner I cut the wife's fuel bills by close to half.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 06:34 PM
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I should mention that the last time I ran a log on the car (Bluetooth odb2 to tablet), I noticed the boost dropped about mid rpm then came back up when running the engine to redline (about 4500rpm).

I figure its the wga issue, but am open to suggestions.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 08:57 PM
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JUst hearing "German" makes me recommend specialty forum. Plenty of VW ones around and specifically for your car. You'll learn fast furious and expensive, that it's either German way or no way.
 
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Old 05-19-14, 05:32 AM
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Oddly enough, it looks like I've dodged most of the expensive parts to need replacing. There are a number of small items which will add up however.

From what I have been reading, it could be as simple as spraying the WGA with penetrating oil (apparently a common fix) or it could be vacuum lines.
The previous owner mentioned the hesitation (boost drop at mid rpm) started after getting the exhaust manifold leak repaired. To do any work there, the mechanic would more then likely have removed some of the vacuum lines and possibly the oil and coolant lines to the turbo assembly.

At about 300k km on the car (~180k miles), in our environment, vacuum lines should be cracking and or rotting, so I'll probably consider replacing most of them.

On a side note, any suggestions on how to boost leak test a 1.9 TDI?
My SRT4 is pretty easy as I can plug into the hot pipe coming PFF the turbo with a coupler and go
 
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Old 05-20-14, 06:12 AM
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A quick update...
After looking over the car and searching online, it looks like the egr valve and intake manifold are my two issue areas.
Apparently its a common issue on these TDI cars with higher milage that the intake and egr get gummed up with gunk which would explain the starving for air at higher rpm (mid to upper).
I'm going to pull the intake system (from filter through to intake manifold, including intercooler) and clean everything out and inspect. I will need to order replacement gaskets, manifold bolts and new worm gear clamps for the pipe work. The OEM clamps are those cheap metal pinch clamps (don't know the correct name, but they are the clamps you pinch with pliers to remove or install).
 
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Old 05-20-14, 10:19 AM
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You will also run can of Seafoam through crankcase and 2 cans through fuel system, 1 per tank fill.

Is Sea Foam Motor Treatment safe to use in my diesel engine? - Sea Foam Sales Company
 
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Old 05-20-14, 11:57 AM
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Although I have heard good and bad about seafoam, I have used similar in other cars, so will be considering it.

A few other bits of info I found and didn't know... There is what is called a snow screen in the air intake snorkel which feeds air to the filter box. This screen is probably plugged pretty tight given the gravel road my parents live down. Would never have thought about looking in there but when I mentioned on another TDI specific forum that I was going to remove, clean and inspect the entire intake system including the intercooler, I was told to include this snow screen.
 
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Old 05-20-14, 06:41 PM
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never heard of engine overheating cuz radiator was clogged by mosquitoes? And people taring engines apart as result? I think simple system cleaning would have done just fine.
 
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Old 05-20-14, 07:11 PM
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I had a couple minutes this evening and pulled the snorkel out where the snow filter should be located.
There is no snow filter in this 03 TDI jetta.
The egr/intake kit (gaskets and manifold bolts) is about $26 so I'll be ordering it before I pull the egr and intake for cleaning.

On a side note, I'm looking to pick up the vcds software for this car. The scanguage2 and the elm327/torque app I used on my dodges is not pulling the data I need. This vcds software is pretty sweet.
 
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Old 05-21-14, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
"The OEM clamps are those cheap metal pinch clamps (don't know the correct name, but they are the clamps you pinch with pliers to remove or install)."

The Germans don't use them because they're cheap. They use them because they work extremely well. This type of clamp is very good at maintaining both a steady and relatively even clamping pressure around the circumference of the nipple (however, for best results, these clamps should be replaced with OEM quality units whenever you remove them).

Imo, the "self tightening" aspect of such clamps makes them superior to "worm-drive" and "screw and nut" band or wire type clamps in many cases.
 
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Old 05-21-14, 01:03 PM
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These clamps work good and are found OEM on probably every vehicle I've owned. The problem being is this is a 11yrs old car with 300, 000km on it. The elasticity of the bands won't hold perfectly after 11yrs of brutal winters and warm summers, especially if I have to open them to clean and inspect the system.
I'm going to use a different type of clamp similar to the worm gear clamps. I can't remember the proper name for them, but they do hold really well on my other turbo which I'm pushing around 22psi through now
 
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Old 05-22-14, 01:05 PM
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Here is a picture of the clamps for the filter pipe and cold pipe returning to the egr. They are T-clamps.
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I will pick up the rest as I pull the system apart and figure out how many I need and what size.
I've used these on my SRT in place of the OEM worm gear clamps and other clamps and never had a leak with them.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 10:50 AM
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My apologies for the delay in updates.

I had taken some photos along the way but haven't been able to upload them.
Pulled the egr valve and intake manifold off. Holy clogged batman. The buildup of soot and oil was so thick, you could not stick your thumb in the middle without touching it. The egr and opening for the intake manifold is 52mm so that will tell you how much was there.
Cleaned the egr by scraping the chunks out, using brake cleaner, and finally a rotary tool to polish.
The intake manifold wasn't so easy. I scrapped what I could, and ended up burning the rest out with a propane torch and air hose. A bit of brake cleaner and a rag to clean it after the fact. Worked really good but do not do this if you live in town or close to neighbors. The smoke stinks and will upset someone.
The power is back in the upper rpm range now.
Vacuum lines will be replaced this week, and the injectors will get some TLC and new nozzles (pp520) which are a hair bigger then OEM.
Anyone with a TDI near or around the 300k km mark should consider doing this work.
The egr and intake cleaning cost me about $40 for bolts, gaskets and brake cleaner. Vacuum lines about $40, and injector nozzles and calibration/pop testing will be $375ish. I should see an improvement in power compared to when it was new and a lot better fuel milage then when I got the car 3 weeks ago.
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Last edited by Northern Mike; 06-13-14 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Added photos from PC, too hard from phone
 

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