Cam Chain Tensioner 1.8T AWM
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Thread: Cam Chain Tensioner 1.8T AWM

  1. #1
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    Cam Chain Tensioner 1.8T AWM

    So i picked up a 2001 Passat 1.8T off of craigslist. It needed some work, and he gave me all of the parts that I would need to fix it so I bought it. i drove it home, and it started making this weird clanking noise that I have come to know now as the cam chain tensioner. I replaced the cam chain tensioner, and let it run for about 45 minutes. No noise at all, sounded great.

    Now the noise has come back. So I'm inclined to think that the tensioner wasn't the culprit, but because it was 105k I replaced it anyway. I have read a lot of stuff on the web about the low oil pressure, sludge build-up with oil screen clogged, timing belt, and oil return pipe.

    My biggest question is there anything else that can cause this? The noise went away, and now it came back. So I am less likely to believe it was the sludge, since the noise left. The timing belt looks fine...

    But I am at a loss...

    Let me know what you think. I am scared to test it and mess with it because of the sound. but I am thinking i will need to get an oil pressure gauge and check it out...

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  3. #2
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    It sounds as if you are in the beginnings of the coking issue. The oil pressure may not be sufficient to keep the CCT proper, but not low enough to set off the light.

  4. #3
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    only an oil pressure gauge will tell you what is going on.

    when you changed the tensioner did you notice any black bits? the cam lobes looked okay? any scoring? did you lift any caps? did you inspect the screen on the old tensioner?

    take lots of pics any time you open up the engine in case you ever need to refer back to something.

    hook up a gauge and if it runs quiet let it warm up and take some readings. you can let it warm up at idle for 20-30 min.

    any codes?

  5. #4
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    It's hard to say for sure, but if you just replaced the CCT and it still is clanking then it sounds like oil starvation. I agree with GLInick, get an oil pressure gage on it and you will know for sure. When you say "it needed some work", was that the diagnosis of who was selling the car? Usually the seller is not completely forthcoming with all of the issues. What work exactly did he say was needed and what parts did they provide to you?

  6. #5
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    You are getting the right advice in this thread -- test the oil pressure, and perhaps pull the valve cover, or at least take a good look down the oil filler bore with a strong light. There are ways to de-coke these engines, but you want to make sure the cam system has not already been damaged.

    I had a cam chain adjuster leak, rather than coke, so my clatter occurred on hot idle only.

  7. #6
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    Maybe my recent experience will be of use to to you. Had similar problems of a persisting noise after replacing the CCA. Car is running perfectly now. Hopefully you will figure it out too.

    Help needed with CCA (AWM)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprybry View Post
    It's hard to say for sure, but if you just replaced the CCT and it still is clanking then it sounds like oil starvation. I agree with GLInick, get an oil pressure gage on it and you will know for sure. When you say "it needed some work", was that the diagnosis of who was selling the car? Usually the seller is not completely forthcoming with all of the issues. What work exactly did he say was needed and what parts did they provide to you?
    The passat needed CV axles, and the a/c compressor installed. The rest of the issues were cosmetic in nature. When we fired up the engine and I drove it around the noise was not heard at all. it wasn't until I was half way home did the cam tensioner noise set it in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GLInick View Post
    only an oil pressure gauge will tell you what is going on.

    when you changed the tensioner did you notice any black bits? the cam lobes looked okay? any scoring? did you lift any caps? did you inspect the screen on the old tensioner?

    take lots of pics any time you open up the engine in case you ever need to refer back to something.

    hook up a gauge and if it runs quiet let it warm up and take some readings. you can let it warm up at idle for 20-30 min.

    any codes?
    I'm scared to let it run that long because of the noise. But i will pick up an oil gauge tomorrow and take some readings. I took it to my friend that owns a mechanic shop and he didn't have the expertise to work on it. So I took it to a shop, and they are ready to bend me over big time. The nice thing is that they will tell me everything that is wrong with the car as well, and the adventure starts to fixing it all.

    I believe that one of the problems is that the guy that sold me the vehicle didn't put the right oil in the car before he sold it. The car sat in his yard close to a year, because it was his mothers car. The oil looks the right color, and has the right amount in it. but I doubt he used 0w40 full synthetic.

    My next step is to get an oil gauge and to do a flush, and a oil change. but the oil light never came on either.

    i got a cylinder misfire code so i will check my the spark plug in that cylinder and the wiring as well. i also go an cam retard code as well. And all the codes came on at once, when the engine noise started.

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    I do have a question though...Does anyone have any good writeups or can point me to a DIY to install the oil gauge on a AWM? I have done numerous searches and found some for ATW, AEB engines that do not pertain to me (I think anyway).

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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel View Post
    i got a cylinder misfire code so i will check my the spark plug in that cylinder and the wiring as well. i also go an cam retard code as well. And all the codes came on at once, when the engine noise started.
    Wait you got a cam retard code? Why didn't you mention this before? Can you post your scan results?

    Understand that this issue is very critical to your engine and you need to lay out everything in detail. Most likely not much will happen if you run it but I am not so sure any more.

    Take it to a mechanic.
    Last edited by GLInick; 05-11-2013 at 02:01 AM.

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    What brand cct ? Did it have an Audi or vw symbol on it?

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    This is the procedure I used for the installation of mine. I also have and AWM and the procedure matched perfectly with this description.

    Oil Pressure Sender Install for ATW

    It's tight in there and I had some trouble installing the rubber hose of the mechanical pressure gauge into the top of the oil filter. The little hex screw was tight and I definitely needed some good wrenches (like he used in the procedure) to get it loose. I was very worried about cross-threading the adapter and since you need to rotate the hose and gauge at the same time as your are trying to screw it in, the angle kept changing. I ended up putting the adapter on the hose only finger tight and then holding the hose at the right angle to screw the adapter in. I held the hose stationary while screwing in the adapter into the oil filter housing (in the processes loosening it from the rubber hose). Once I knew I was in straight I was able to tighten them both by first rotating the rubber hose and then using open ended wrenches first on the adapter and then on the hose fitting. Once you figure that part out, it's an easy job.

    If you use a remote sensor and the don't have to deal with a rubber hose, the job will be even easier.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    This is the procedure I used for the installation of mine. I also have and AWM and the procedure matched perfectly with this description.

    Oil Pressure Sender Install for ATW

    It's tight in there and I had some trouble installing the rubber hose of the mechanical pressure gauge into the top of the oil filter. The little hex screw was tight and I definitely needed some good wrenches (like he used in the procedure) to get it loose. I was very worried about cross-threading the adapter and since you need to rotate the hose and gauge at the same time as your are trying to screw it in, the angle kept changing. I ended up putting the adapter on the hose only finger tight and then holding the hose at the right angle to screw the adapter in. I held the hose stationary while screwing in the adapter into the oil filter housing (in the processes loosening it from the rubber hose). Once I knew I was in straight I was able to tighten them both by first rotating the rubber hose and then using open ended wrenches first on the adapter and then on the hose fitting. Once you figure that part out, it's an easy job.

    If you use a remote sensor and the don't have to deal with a rubber hose, the job will be even easier.

    Good luck!
    This helps a bunch!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GLInick View Post
    Wait you got a cam retard code? Why didn't you mention this before? Can you post your scan results?

    Understand that this issue is very critical to your engine and you need to lay out everything in detail. Most likely not much will happen if you run it but I am not so sure any more.

    Take it to a mechanic.
    I took it to a mechanic and he didn't get the cam retard code. He got a coolant code (CTS gone bad, I have the replacement. Just haven't put it on). And a cylinder misfire. The mechanic agrees with me, that the noise is from oil starvation. So i am going to flush it out over the weekend and put the correct oil in the engine And see what happens..

  16. #15
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    When you do the oil pressure test write down the readings when it starts and watch how the needle moves over time and take more readings. Take note of the rpms and engine temp. If after the car has heated up you get a code or the rattling write it down along with the oil pressure. You can also take short videos every five minutes or so showing the cluster (for rpm, clock and temp) and oil pressure gauge.

    On cold start the oil pressure will be high and go down as it heats up. Oil takes longer to heat up than the coolant so engine temp is only a rough guide. After some 45 minutes take a reading and then raise it to a steady 2000rpm and record the oil pressure. You can do the same at 3000 rpm
    Last edited by GLInick; 05-11-2013 at 03:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GLInick View Post
    When you do the oil pressure test write down the readings when it starts and watch how the needle moves over time and take more readings. Take note of the rpms and engine temp. If after the car has heated up you get a code or the rattling write it down along with the oil pressure. You can also take short videos every five minutes or so showing the cluster (for rpm, clock and temp) and oil pressure gauge.

    On cold start the oil pressure will be high and go down as it heats up. Oil takes longer to heat up than the coolant so engine temp is only a rough guide. After some 45 minutes take a reading and then raise it to a steady 2000rpm and record the oil pressure. You can do the same at 3000 rpm
    i will do that. That is good advice. i will search around and see what the oil pressure should be at... Thanks!

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel View Post
    i will search around and see what the oil pressure should be at...
    Check one of my recent posts I referenced in my initial answer to you. The numbers I gave at the end of the thread are for two different oils and are pretty consistent with what I have seen when searching on the BBS. Make sure your oil (not just your coolant) is at temperature

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Check one of my recent posts I referenced in my initial answer to you. The numbers I gave at the end of the thread are for two different oils and are pretty consistent with what I have seen when searching on the BBS. Make sure your oil (not just your coolant) is at temperature
    I found it thanks!

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    okay so I got my passat back and they did a smoke test and found out that the pcv breather hose underneath the intake manifold needs to replaced. So tomorrow I will get in to the repair of the radiator. I have to take the bumper cover off for that, and I am thinking that I might replace the alternator, and check the timing belt while I'm at it.

    For the repair for what I've found so far is that I have to take the intake manifold off and swing it out of the way so that I can get access to the pcv breather hose. If anyone has done this before and has any tips/tricks let me know.

    I really do appreciate all the tips and info, and once i get this all done I am looking forward to a nice smooth running car!!

  21. #20
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    Is it just me, or is this thread all over the place? The thread title is "Cam chain tensioner 1.8T AWM" right? First you’re talking about oil starvation and you are going to install an oil pressure gauge and now your replacing a PCV breather hose and taking the intake manifold off? Slow down. Where did the radiator come in to play? Just my advice, but don't use one thread to fix all kinds of other issues you are having with your car it just throws off the people trying to help you. I would be more concerned about the loud noise coming from the back of your engine if I were you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprybry View Post
    Is it just me, or is this thread all over the place? The thread title is "Cam chain tensioner 1.8T AWM" right? First you’re talking about oil starvation and you are going to install an oil pressure gauge and now your replacing a PCV breather hose and taking the intake manifold off? Slow down. Where did the radiator come in to play? Just my advice, but don't use one thread to fix all kinds of other issues you are having with your car it just throws off the people trying to help you. I would be more concerned about the loud noise coming from the back of your engine if I were you.
    Alright dude.

    Ok so I went to the gas station because I needed to get gas because the mechanic was going to flush out the engine, and try to remove the sludge without dropping the pan. I found lots of articles and youtube videos where after a they seafoamed the engine the noise went away. Well i noticed that I was leaking coolant. Nothing big a a few drops and I thought that it was just a faulty hose. I could replace that easy breezy. well I come back to the car and coolant is spilling out like Niagra Falls. The diagnosis came back as a crack in the radiator.

    I can't have the car running extended periods of time to fix the cam chain tensioner, flush the engine, replace incorrect oil without a way to cool the engine. So i am fixing the radiator.

    Now that I have the whole front end of the car off, and looking at the engine and all it's glory. I am inspecting everything that could be related to the main problem.

    So yes, It is a bit winded but once I found out everything I post up here just in case there were things that were related that I have not thought of.
    nynole likes this.

  23. #22
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    While you have the front of the car off, you need to do a timing belt. With the car at 100k+ miles you are already pushing it.

    As for the sludge, how do you know you have that issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flashburn View Post
    While you have the front of the car off, you need to do a timing belt. With the car at 100k+ miles you are already pushing it.

    As for the sludge, how do you know you have that issue?
    i don't know that I have the sludge per sé, but I took the car to the mechanic and they said that there were likely oil starvation issues due to the drop in oil pressure. He said that I have a huge vacuum leak that on the breather hose of the pCV under the intake manifold. He said that could be contributing to it, and the wrong oil was used in the car as well. The guy that i bought the car from said he did an oil change himself, and he did not put synthetic in the engine. So I am hoping that all of these three things are contributing to the engine noise from the cam chain.

    My first project is to take the oil manifold off, and replace the breather hose. Then I will drain and flush the engine, and add the correct oil change.

    I have to add that right after I replaced the cam chain tensioner the noise was gone for about 45 minutes. And then the noise returned.

  25. #24
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    Did you read Harold's thread? (Check the TB tensioner)

    And as has been previously suggested, if your TB hasn't been replaced, TB & associated parts should be replaced.

  26. #25
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    Ive done the breather hose and like you said i undid the intake manifold and moved it out the way (still in engine bay) its pretty straight forward, pull out the breather hose retainer clip, dont forget a new o ring for the breather hose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomvw View Post
    Did you read Harold's thread? (Check the TB tensioner)

    And as has been previously suggested, if your TB hasn't been replaced, TB & associated parts should be replaced.
    when I replaced the radiator I checked the TB and the tensioner. Everything looks great. It looks like it was replaced recently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bungle View Post
    Ive done the breather hose and like you said i undid the intake manifold and moved it out the way (still in engine bay) its pretty straight forward, pull out the breather hose retainer clip, dont forget a new o ring for the breather hose.
    Ok cool. That repair will take place this week.

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    OK. So I did the engine flush and started the car a few times. I let it sit and then will start it up. I wanted it to loosen up as much gunk as I could find.

    Now on to the good stuff:

    Each time that I turned the car on, there was no tapping! I let the car run for about 1 hr. Tapping occurred after about 30 mins.
    When i originally bought the car, there was no tapping either until after I drove the car about 15 miles down the road.
    I replaced the CCT, and started the car, and there was no tapping for about 20 minutes.

    As of right now I just have the factory engine cleaner in there from VW for 1.8T engines. I now have no tapping until after 30 mins of idle or 15/20 miles of drivetime.

    I think the oil/engine cleaner/etc.. takes a long time to heat up. Once it heats up, it becomes thin. Once it loses its viscosity it becomes harder to absorb the vibration from the cam chain. So I'm hoping that once i put the correct oil that is supposed to be in there we will have some success.

    any other suggestions?

  30. #29
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    yes. We are on post #28 and since post #2 the issue of oil pressure has been raised. so for the nth time: take some oil pressure readings and post what you got.

    forget any fluids, lotions and potions, whatever the logo on the bottle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GLInick View Post
    yes. We are on post #28 and since post #2 the issue of oil pressure has been raised. so for the nth time: take some oil pressure readings and post what you got.

    forget any fluids, lotions and potions, whatever the logo on the bottle.
    i appreciate any help that you give in this regard. I will post the oil pressure readings that I took last week. I figured there was no sense in posting those numbers, because the correct oil was not in the engine in the first place. right this moment there is dynamax engine cleaner from the vw dealership in there. I will drain that out put in the 0w40 full synthetic, and post the oil pressure readings.

    Thanks

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