Fatal design flaws (Was Re: [200q20v] What competition???)

Arun Rao rao at pixar.com
Mon Apr 9 14:08:34 EDT 2001

TM wrote:
> However, IMHO, the cars have a fatal flaw that precludes me
> from ever buying one again. The transfer case has a design
>defect that results in spontaneous case seal failure, resulting [..]

Talking about design flaws, anyone ever heard of the camshaft sprocket
key breaking on a 3B?

Friend of mine had his 200Q in the shop to have a bad distributor
replaced.  The mechanic (a fellow I trust, by the way) was test driving
the car after replacement when the engine suddenly made a noise and
quit.  He pulled over immediately, suspecting that the timing belt had
gone, but it turned out that the key that holds the camshaft sprocket to
the shaft had literally broken off, causing the sprocket to run free.

Don't know for sure yet, but it's probably a safe bet that he's got a
few bent valves in there now.  Anyone heard of this happening?  The
mechanic claims he's seen it on 16-valve VW engines, but I don't
remember anyone ever posting such a failure mode to the list.

Car has somewhere around 160K on the clock: has me worried about *my*
sprocket at 136K.  Good thing to replace with the timing belt, it sounds


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