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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
99 V6. I know first step to address oil seepage/leaks is to tackle the PCV system. My tubes seem like they are in pretty good shape - had to remove one end several times during the timing belt change, and it wasn't brittle. The small tubing between components was replaced with silicone like 10 years ago, but look good (on the outside).

So, I was reading a lengthy thread on actually attempting to clean here:

http://www.passatworld.com/forums/b5-garage/347989-how-clean-pcv-pipes-solid-gunk.html

I know most will say just replace, but I'm curious if anyone has put these parts in an ultrasonic cleaner before? That thing works magic on the most gunked up cycling parts that you could imagine - grease, lube, dirt, grime, all over intricate derailleurs and cassettes, and they come out looking like jewels! A little simple green solution, and it works like magic.

Crazy idea? I'm fine paying for the replacement parts, but I also have the time to experiment first.
 

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There are several valves in the PCV system, too. I don't know how or if the valves can be cleaned, nor how to determine if they're any good...other than waiting for x months to see if the VCGs et al continue to leak. If you enjoy the fiddling, have at it. If you're a bit weary of it all, replace the whole lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why not try it? If you don't mind gunking up your ultrasonic cleaner, that is. Me, I just use brake cleaner and an aquarium pipe brush.
You don't have to get the ultrasonic cleaner dirty at all. You can stick parts either inside a glass container or plastic bags (that contain the simple green solution - and eventually the crud), and then submerge that in the clean water. The cleaner stays squeaky clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There are several valves in the PCV system, too. I don't know how or if the valves can be cleaned, nor how to determine if they're any good...other than waiting for x months to see if the VCGs et al continue to leak. If you enjoy the fiddling, have at it. If you're a bit weary of it all, replace the whole lot.
That's the magic of the ultrasonic cleaner: it can clean all the nooks and crannies of parts/areas you could never access with a brush. If I see an explosion of crud in the solution, then I know I'm making progress. ;-) REI has gone completely to ultrasonic cleaners, industrial versions, to clean all bike parts. They are that good, and save a ton of labor for cycling maintenance/cleaning.

Hopefully someone who understands the internals of the valves can chime in and explain if I'm really just spinning my wheels.
 

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Why not if you have access to the equipment. The whole ultrasonic cleaning concept is pretty interesting; cavitation bubbles forming and collapsing to shock the dirt loose. I used to decontaminate disc drive parts in a clean room, using an ultrasonic tub that was loaded with a type of fluorocarbon liquid. This stuff would dry off the parts instantly, unlike a water/detergent solution, and is probably illegal now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Why not if you have access to the equipment. The whole ultrasonic cleaning concept is pretty interesting; cavitation bubbles forming and collapsing to shock the dirt loose. I used to decontaminate disc drive parts in a clean room, using an ultrasonic tub that was loaded with a type of fluorocarbon liquid. This stuff would dry off the parts instantly, unlike a water/detergent solution, and is probably illegal now.
It's very flexible too. Simple green works well on a lot of parts. But, you can use with all kinds of solutions. For instance, add some evapo-rust to the mix. I was shocked when I dropped a rusted chain into that mixture and ran the cleaner for 10min. Mineral spirits works fantastic too, for smaller items, but close the jar tight! ;)
 

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That's the magic of the ultrasonic cleaner: it can clean all the nooks and crannies of parts/areas you could never access with a brush. If I see an explosion of crud in the solution, then I know I'm making progress. ;-) REI has gone completely to ultrasonic cleaners, industrial versions, to clean all bike parts. They are that good, and save a ton of labor for cycling maintenance/cleaning.

Hopefully someone who understands the internals of the valves can chime in and explain if I'm really just spinning my wheels.
I'm sure ultasonics clean very well, but they won't repair broken things. This is an eighteen-year-old car, and it's not beyond the realm of possibility that one or more of the valves aren't just dirty, but have a broken spring, or a broken diaphragm, or a fractured internal bracket, or a split in the rubber housing, etc. etc.
 

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This really is a no-brainer.
Parts can be sourced for so cheap off of eBay, that it is foolish to spend time needlessly fiddling with parts that are full of crap.
New parts will be new and ready to be installed. Old parts may be cracked, will crack, or be so brittle.
Last summer I replaced my air filter for $8, would it be worth it to spend 1-2 hours to restore such a cheap part when I can easily replace it and be done?
I'd rather experiment and invest my time in more worthy things, or complete more important projects.

EDIT:
As I am thinking...most of what I posted was more for the longer pieces^.
As far as the smaller pieces, they don't have to be surgical spotless, just able to allow for free flow.
I did clean an elbow...a paper towel is what I used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Guys, if I'm doing the PCV, and VCG, shouldn't I do the rear Cam seals too? This video shows a way to do them without removing anything, but I imagine it would be easier while doing the VCG job. So, there are two seals on the back, one on each side. Are there front seals too? Just trying to figure out how many to order.

 

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The prevailing wisdom I've heard is that cam seals only need to be replaced if they are leaking. Ie, if it's not broke, don't bother, as they seem to last forever. So.....I have a collection of 1.8t cam seals left over from the TB kits I've used over the years. I don't know if these would fit on a V6 but if you want them let me know and they are yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The prevailing wisdom I've heard is that cam seals only need to be replaced if they are leaking. Ie, if it's not broke, don't bother, as they seem to last forever. So.....I have a collection of 1.8t cam seals left over from the TB kits I've used over the years. I don't know if these would fit on a V6 but if you want them let me know and they are yours.
Kind offer, thanks. I might take you up on it, but have no idea the compatibility with the V6. I guess I'm confused (as usual). There are two rear cap seals that are shown in that latter video, which look like this:

cam seal.jpg

Then, on the front, I believe there are more seals, which I might actually have (because they came with my timing belt ultimate+ kit). I have three, and they look like:

cam seal front.jpg

But, I didn't install them - figured I could go back in (ugggg) if necessary. There was a significant amount of oil on the underside of passenger's side timing belt cover, but nothing obvious around the camshaft pulley or inside the timing cover/belt area. Does that mean I eventually should go back in? :icon_eek: I assume I can FIRST address the PCV and VCG, and rear cam seals, before eventually getting to the front cam seals (if necessary).
 

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I have the front seals. There are 2 on a 1.8t head. I assume they are identical but sounds like you already have that covered.

And yes, PCV and VCG first. No idea on the rear cam seals as I don't have a V6. Any oil inside the TB covers is obviously a bad thing but sounds like you are OK in this regard. Good luck with the PCV. You will be quite the mechanic when this is all wrapped up :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have the front seals. There are 2 on a 1.8t head. I assume they are identical but sounds like you already have that covered.

And yes, PCV and VCG first. No idea on the rear cam seals as I don't have a V6. Any oil inside the TB covers is obviously a bad thing but sounds like you are OK in this regard. Good luck with the PCV. You will be quite the mechanic when this is all wrapped up :thumbup:
Yeah, crash course in open heart car surgeries. ;-) The VCG and PCV jobs look like a cake walk compared to the TB job (famous last words). All parts are now on order, so those advising just replacing ... I'm listening.
 

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see note in bold below for rear cam caps for exhaust cam; the other is for the front side of both cams and is tough to do if you aren't doing the timing belt for the exhaust cam, easier for the intake cam:

Kind offer, thanks. I might take you up on it, but have no idea the compatibility with the V6. I guess I'm confused (as usual). There are two rear cap seals that are shown in that latter video, which look like this: (note: this is the exhaust cam cap on the 2.8, on the back side of the engine. if you wipe around/near it and see oil on the rag, ensure that the leaking is from the cam cap and not the camchain tensioner. these are easily replaced = knock it off with a screwdriver and a hammer, and put a thin bit of gasket sealant all the way around it, then press it into place and let the sealant dry.)

View attachment 84362

Then, on the front, I believe there are more seals, which I might actually have (because they came with my timing belt ultimate+ kit). I have three, and they look like:

View attachment 84370

But, I didn't install them - figured I could go back in (ugggg) if necessary. There was a significant amount of oil on the underside of passenger's side timing belt cover, but nothing obvious around the camshaft pulley or inside the timing cover/belt area. Does that mean I eventually should go back in? :icon_eek: I assume I can FIRST address the PCV and VCG, and rear cam seals, before eventually getting to the front cam seals (if necessary).
 

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Sealant should never be applied to cam seals or end caps.
They should be installed thoroughly clean and dry, with a smear of oil on the inner surface of the seals, that is how VW do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I have all the parts, well almost. PZ suggested I also replace the crankcase breather hose while doing these jobs, as shown here, so waiting on that:

hose.jpg

I think I'll push the job off until Jan, given the holidays and laziness (more the latter).

EDIT: BTW, even though I will replace, I am going to test clean the old Y vacuum suction pump in the ultrasonic cleaner, just to get an idea of how much junk it removes. Will report back on that after the job.
 
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