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2005 Wagon 1.8/tip/4-mo
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The timing belt and everything up front I did is holding up. Now I need to tackle the dreaded coolant flange. I've done them on our old AEB 1.8's in the past and while a pain weren't too bad to do. I had an independent VW/Audi mechanic I used for 30+ years tackle the one on this engine about 12 years ago and he said replacing it on the AWM was a horrible job....but he got it done!

I read the writeup on this site for the flange replacement work and I'm not sure if I want to do it or hire it done. I am also wondering if I should have a plastic flange installed or go for a billet flange like this? Autobahn Autoworx Billet 1.8t Coolant Flange – UroTuning

Or a cast one like this? Volkswagen Passat B5 4 Motion 1.8T Engine Cooling Coolant Flanges - 462-121-132b5KT - Cast Aluminum Cylinder Head Cooling Flange (ecstuning.com)

Any thoughts on the Billet or Cast VS Plastic Flange?
 

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I personally don't see an advantage of the billet model but I did put in a cast one the last time I had to do this. It's held up well but it's only been in about 5 years so I don't know how long it will last.

The job is a PITA and for my money, if you're going to do it it pays to get a metal part. Be sure to get all the correct o-rings since IIRC there was an issue at one point where the cast parts came with only 2 o-rings instead of 3.
 

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I can't disagree that the metal flange may be the better choice in the long run. Also an excellent point by Iowegian, to make sure you get all three O-rings.

Personally, I've always used the plastic flanges and have done at least fifteen of them on different cars. My own car, has 320k miles and I just had to change the flange for the second time, about 2 weeks ago. Yes, it is a tedious job and it took me a little more than 2 hours this last time. I remove the airbox completely, along with the two hard pipes and combi valve for the emissions system. That leaves just the small oil feed line for the turbo. Once you've removed the two bolts from the side of the head that oil line can be moved around enough.

As long as you don't drop any of the bolts, screws or nuts into a dark neverland, the frustration level should be manageable. Using a 1/4" socket set instead of 3/8" or even this mini hex ratchet, makes a world of difference in the tight space on the back of the head.

Tips:
Put the CTS back into position BEFORE you reattach the combi valve, it's a lot easier than when the combi valve is in the way.
Replace the little hex-head bolts that hold the coolant hard pipe to the driver's side port on the flange, with short allen-head washer bolts. The allen key connection makes is more secure than the hex head, making it easier to slide the bolts in place at the end of a long socket extension from the driver's side, without dropping them.
 

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2005 Wagon 1.8/tip/4-mo
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I'll go with the metal flange from ECS, they claim it has the o-rings. I'll take my time and follow some of the tips in the responses above.

It is supposed to be cold this weekend so it'll be a good time to pull it in the heated garage and get it done.
 

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Parts ordered - irritating, I'll have to wait until 11/18 for delivery. I'll finish fixing the "loose" front ashtray assembly in the meantime.
I just replaced mine for the third time. This time I waited until I had to add coolant quite often. I used the aluminum one this time. I found out the main cause of the leak was the collar on the heater hose was broken allowing coolant to seep out. When I was disconnecting the hose from the flange, it just pulled right off the nipple so I had to replace the hose. Not sure if anything was wrong with the flange but now everything related is new again. 2002 Passat wagon 1.8t 218k miles
 

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Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I'll go with the metal flange from ECS, they claim it has the o-rings. I'll take my time and follow some of the tips in the responses above.

It is supposed to be cold this weekend so it'll be a good time to pull it in the heated garage and get it done.
The only issue I had with the metal flange was that the o-ring didn't want to stay in place like it does on the plastic ones so I put a little blue rtv on it to kind of hold the o-ring in place while installing the flange.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the tip!

Update - Second order in a row from ESC where they update me on the day the shipment was originally expected to ship that it is taking longer than expected to get my order ready. It has been over 12 months since "Supply chain issues" and labor shortage hit the news; it is time for ECS to learn to manage to the new reality and give us realistic expectations.

The funny thing is that while I typed my little rant on ECS my wife told me that they cancelled her parish bingo for tomorrow because they couldn't get more bingo cards in time. LOL
 

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Thanks for the tip!

Update - Second order in a row from ESC where they update me on the day the shipment was originally expected to ship that it is taking longer than expected to get my order ready. It has been over 12 months since "Supply chain issues" and labor shortage hit the news; it is time for ECS to learn to manage to the new reality and give us realistic expectations.

The funny thing is that while I typed my little rant on ECS my wife told me that they cancelled her parish bingo for tomorrow because they couldn't get more bingo cards in time. LOL
Fortunately my Passat isn't our main car any more since my wife got a new Tiguan in 2018 so I can wait on parts if I have to. Recently , I have waited on fuel injectors from Carparts, heater hose from Partsgeek, something from Urotuning, the little elbow hose at the front end of the secondary air line that was hard as a rock and brittle and broke into pieces when moving the line to work on the coolant flange. That I replaced with a silicon elbow from 034Motorsport. They all get optimistic on shipping when ordering, I think to get ones business.
 

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2005 Wagon 1.8/tip/4-mo
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well.....I got an update yesterday from ECS that it is again taking longer on my order. Original ship date was 11/16 then 11/30 now 12/14. They keep backing it up two weeks each time they send a delay notice. I emailed customer service an inquiry and I got a snippy message back that there still is a "Supply Chain" issue.

Meanwhile two FCP Euro orders have arrived on time. Apparently, someone has figured out how to manage their supply chain while the other continues to struggle.

More of an annoyance than a major issue since we have 5 vehicles but come on ECS - you used to be really solid.
 

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The timing belt and everything up front I did is holding up. Now I need to tackle the dreaded coolant flange. I've done them on our old AEB 1.8's in the past and while a pain weren't too bad to do. I had an independent VW/Audi mechanic I used for 30+ years tackle the one on this engine about 12 years ago and he said replacing it on the AWM was a horrible job....but he got it done!

I read the writeup on this site for the flange replacement work and I'm not sure if I want to do it or hire it done. I am also wondering if I should have a plastic flange installed or go for a billet flange like this? Autobahn Autoworx Billet 1.8t Coolant Flange – UroTuning

Or a cast one like this? Volkswagen Passat B5 4 Motion 1.8T Engine Cooling Coolant Flanges - 462-121-132b5KT - Cast Aluminum Cylinder Head Cooling Flange (ecstuning.com)

Any thoughts on the Billet or Cast VS Plastic Flange?
I have the aluminum one and it works great but it took me a whole day to put it on
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update: ECS kept pushing back the ship date and today admitted they have no idea when they can get the cast flange in to ship (I could have sworn they had in stock when I originally ordered at the beginning of November?). I cancelled the order and will see what FCP or Euro Tunning have. :(
 

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Update: ECS kept pushing back the ship date and today admitted they have no idea when they can get the cast flange in to ship (I could have sworn they had in stock when I originally ordered at the beginning of November?). I cancelled the order and will see what FCP or Euro Tunning have. :(
Welcome to the real world of ECS Tuning.
For a company as big as it is, you'd think they would be able to have a better grip on their inventory supply status and ship dates.
Those two things, ECS excels at sucking at their ability.
 

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Update: ECS kept pushing back the ship date and today admitted they have no idea when they can get the cast flange in to ship (I could have sworn they had in stock when I originally ordered at the beginning of November?). I cancelled the order and will see what FCP or Euro Tunning have. :(
I got mine from UroTuning no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sooo - I installed the new aluminum coolant flange but they didn't send the supply pipe o-ring. And naturally it leaks from the supply pipe. I'll order the o-ring...car can sit while it comes in.

I'd rather not loosen the flange from the block and wondered if it might be easier to loosen the supply pipe and work from that angle? Any thoughts?
 

· PassatWorld Elder
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Yes, it's easier to loosen the pipe. There's enough room to do it without removing the oil cooler lines. I can't remember if it's just the one bolt up front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks PZ!
As I started the flange replacement on the AWM I realized I never replaced one on the A4 or B5.5 Passat's.....I had replaced them a few times on a couple of AEB Passats we had in the early 2000's. The AEB's were easy and roomy to work on compared to the AWM. I was in a national role in the firm at that time which kept me busy in the later 2000's so I had an independent (He's retired like me now too) replace them and I remember Kevin grumbling about how difficult it was now; he was right!

It was stupid to try it without the 3rd O-ring, but while I'm waiting for it to show up the backs of my hands can heal. There are several fairly sharp self-tapping screws on the firewall and I kept bumping catching on them and the back of my hands are all scabbed up/gross looking as the wife says. I tried wearing gloves but working with fasteners you can't see the gloves had to come off so I could feel my way around stuff....
 
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