[Vwdiesel] autopsy report

James Hansen jhsg at sasktel.net
Mon Mar 14 23:43:44 EST 2005

You can plug weld a nut to the broken fastener that is flush or almost flush
with the block. Let cool, and turn it out with a wrench.  You should be a
pretty good welder to attempt this.
That just sucks.  Engine couldn't have sliped off a jack with the RH engine
mount off and whacked anything that tweaked the roller, could it?  Just a

Roller off or not, bolts just don't break.  They are usually overtorqued (my
biggest failing) or subjected to high loads causing them to fail.  There is
no load present on that stud in normal use that could cause that stud to
fail from shear force.  It had to get whacked, or grossly overtorqued. Even
if the motor was running completely like shit and bucking and farting, there
is no way the t-belt could possibly have sheared that bolt.  Other little
mice have had their grimy little paws on it at some point and screwed
something up.  Instinct sez to look to the origin of this mayhem, the
keystone of the problem... the original shop that did the initial stellar
workmanship.  I wouldn't trust anything they rested their greasy elbows on
at this point. something had to happen while it was there, something really
nasty like the car rolled off a jack and whupped the passenger side of the
motor while the mounts were off, or it slipped off an engine crane hook, or
something equally shitty.  Look around the car for some other indications of
nasties you may need to address.

-----Original Message-----
From: vwdiesel-bounces at vwfans.com [mailto:vwdiesel-bounces at vwfans.com]On
Behalf Of Shalyn Shourds
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 10:01 PM
To: vwdiesel at vwfans.com
Subject: [Vwdiesel] autopsy report

I just was out pulling pieces off the TDI in preparation for a repair of
the major timing belt/head crunch from December.

I already had the head off and tonight I pulled the passenger side
engine mount and the lower shrouds off the timing belt area.  (BTW, no
matter what the TDIclub.com website says, you can completely remove the
passenger mount with the engine in the car.)  There were little charred
bits of timing belt and kevlar cords everywhere when I pulled the lower
cover off.  When I pulled the middle cover off (the upper of the two
metal ones), the big roller dropped out.  That would be the roller with
a large bolt supposedly holding it in.  The bolt broke off at the
block.  My guess is that the bolt initially cracked and then the roller
deflected under belt tension and rubbed up against an aluminum shroud
part causing alumium to gall to the suface of the roller and grind up
the belt.  Not sure if the belt broke after or before the bolt gave way.

At this point, I can't remember if I'd had that roller off or not.  I
can't think of why I would have had to remove it, though I do have a
vague memory of holding it in my hand.  I do have a positive memory of
tensioning the belt, messing with it for a while, turning the engine
over by hand, then, when giving the engine a pre-start final check,
seeing that the tensioner was loose and re-tightening it.  My guess is
that the bolt cracked at that point causing the loss of tension and it
was only a matter of a very short time (30 miles) before it let go

Now, I can eventually deal with this problem at hand though I'm not sure
how to extract a bolt with 3" of clearance between it and the frame, but
I'll work that out.  My concern is that I've now had a tensioner suffer
metal fatigue and now this bolt.  I have a really bad feeling that
something is rotten in Denmark, no offense to our resident Dane.
Anybody know what could be killing my hardware?  When it was running, it
looked like it was running smoothly without any lumpiness.

All this isn't speeding up my project.  I'm thinking about pulling the
engine to give me more room to work, though there's a lot of parts I'd
have to pull and I'd have to borrow a hoist.  I wonder if this one pulls
from the top or bottom....


'85 Jetta TD
'00 Jetta TDI project

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