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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 1.8T Passat- 140K

Low oil pressure light came on. Skreeching sound from passenger side front engine. Changed oil pick up tube and oil pan. The tube was cloaked with dipstick fragments and other debris. Pain looked surprisingly clean. This resolved the oil pressure problem. Started car and it sounded great on idle, but puffy white smoke coming from exhaust. Pulled the head and there was coolant in the cylinders. Put on all new gaskets and still have the same issue. The head gasket looked good, but I replaced it anyway. Is there a way to check for a cracked cylinder or would it be more of a warped head or some other issue? Trying not to spend a lot of money due to age and miles of vehicle.
 

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Loose female member
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Cracked cylinder?
I'm pretty sure the cylinders are cast iron, Steel so last place to have cracked.
My guess would be the aluminum cylinder head.
You could remove it and have a shop test it for leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! I appreciate the feedback. So bring the cylinder head to a machine shop? Any idea what they would charge to test it and maybe see if it got warped?
 

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in dire need of an organic chemistry lesson
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I also think you have a cracked head. Start digging deep into your savings. This is gonna be an expensive cookie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So a cracked aluminum cylinder head would be the likely culprit? The engine block itself would be hard to crack- correct?
 

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in dire need of an organic chemistry lesson
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Yes the engine block won't crack easily. It is the head that due to lack of coolant gets scorching hot and cracks.
 

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Actually, any time you replace the head gasket you should have the head checked for flatness and integrity. The same things that blow the gasket are those that damage the head.
 

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Last head I had looked at was a 6 cylinder BWM that I ripped off of 528i at pick and pull.
Cost me $100 to skim (well polish and check for flatness) and pressure test.


I would just pick up one of these and rebuild it using your old head.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-VOLKSWA...ARE-/321652679990?hash=item4ae3fe6536&vxp=mtr


Or even better but more $$$

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Volkswagen-...3-D-/251942907172?hash=item3aa8f7ad24&vxp=mtr


You suspect your heads cracked, take a really good look.
Check for cracks between coolant channels and valves.
If you suspect any, just junk it and save yourself the inspection / machining fee.


I used a dye penetrate kit to check my BMW head, the cracks were clearly visible.
I threw it in the recycle bin

http://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/93934933

Kits a bit expensive for your needs. You will just have to make do with the visual inspection.
 

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All of the above solutions will work, but something doesn't add up. Based on your symptoms (no oil pressure etc) I would suspect that the white smoke is actually smoke (not steam) coming from the turbo, which has a broken shaft. Not sure why/if you had coolant in the cylinders, so maybe you have 2 problems?! Lack of oil pressure does nothing to the head gasket and it won't crack the coolant passages in the head either.
 

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People on the TDI forums (TDI cars will pretty much destroy the head when the the belt breaks) advise to stay away from China heads. I have never used a Chinese head nor turbo so I am just repeating what i heard. I know personally people that used Chinese turbos (feel sorry for them) but don't know anybody that used 1.8T heads.
IMO a good choice is a good/functional head pulled from a good running car, or a rebuild head. Keep in mind that Beetle/Jetta use the same head (it will have different letters on the tab).

That is, assuming the initial diagnostic is good.
 

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Pulled the head and there was coolant in the cylinders.
I don't know if this is what happened to you, but sometimes you'll see that because there are pockets of coolant left in the head even after draining the block. Then when you break the seal at the head gasket, that coolant drains down into the open cylinders.


The head gasket looked good, but I replaced it anyway.
If you think you can reuse a head gasket, you're not qualified to R&R a head. There is a specific procedure that needs to be followed when torquing down a replacement head. If you don't follow the procedure, you're likely to have leak problems and potentially warp the head. The head bolts on these engines are one-time-use stretch bolts. When you replace a head, you also need a new set of bolts. I've swapped countless heads on all kinds of engines and I still look up the procedure and specs for the specific engine I'm working on. It's that critical of a deal if you want it to work and last.
 
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