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2004 Passat GLS 1.8T 4Mo 5M Wagon!
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Discussion Starter #21
Engine is in its hole! IMG_20200204_104027.jpg

Should have everything back in place or close to it before I have to go to work tomorrow afternoon, hopefully. That being said, I am definitely not in a rush considering the amount of disassembly that took place over the past couple of months. Oh, and I still need to finish up installing the BC Racing coilovers before the Unicorn is ready for the street...
BC Racing Coilovers for the Unicorn 2.jpg

Hopefully will be wrapped up by the weekend!
 

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Looking GREAT ! Nice job. Your valve cover, anodized,hard coated,or powder coated ? ,Your underhood insulation, stock or aftermarket ? And did the machine shop rework the head or inspect ? Curious in regards to the exhaust valves on cylinder #4 .
 

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2004 Passat GLS 1.8T 4Mo 5M Wagon!
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Discussion Starter #23
Looking GREAT ! Nice job. Your valve cover, anodized,hard coated,or powder coated ? ,Your underhood insulation, stock or aftermarket ? And did the machine shop rework the head or inspect ? Curious in regards to the exhaust valves on cylinder #4 .
Thanks, Chief! The valve cover, along with the intake manifold I used DupliColor Engine Enamel in flat black. The block got the same treatment, albeit in a semi-gloss black. As for the under-hood sound deadening, it's some stuff that I found on Amazon and I need to finish the tedious installation.

The cylinder head is one that I bought from an eBay vendor in New York that had overwhelmingly positive reviews and feedback. It's rebuilt and for the most part I am happy with what I received. That said, the head didn't join the block at the machine shop. I'm pretty sure that what happened with the #4 combustion chamber was either a timing issue, as you had mentioned, or could very well have been due to detonation caused by the fault-ridden PCV system. I'm STILL finding oil where there shouldn't be any. I checked the injectors and the spray pattern & volume looked consistent and normal.

I got almost to the point of putting fluids in the engine earlier today before I had to go to work... the turbo is on and connected to the new catalytic converter, which took some wrestling because the new cat is positioned about 1" short of where the old one was, when looking down at the right side of the engine. Fortunately I was able to loosen some of the exhaust mount bolts and shove the downpipe & cat forward a little bit and get it connected. I am reeeeeeally at the point where I'm ready for this project to be done!

Will post pics/video tomorrow once the Unicorn is again alive!
 

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Awesome to see a fellow unicorn owner keeping the flame alive! My 04 1.8t wagon just turned over 200k last year and is still running strong. Which brand is the stage II clutch you went with?
 

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2004 Passat GLS 1.8T 4Mo 5M Wagon!
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Discussion Starter #25
I ordered a kit from eBay that had good reviews and included everything needed:
Screenshot_2020-02-25-16-16-33.jpg
So far I'd recommend the kit for anyone looking to change from the dual mass flywheel to a single; the quality of the kit is impressive and fit perfectly! After everything was all said and done with the engine installed and running, I did need to bleed the clutch hydraulics but the clutch seems to work great after getting the air out of the system. I will probably post again later regarding a sort of review of the new components that I ended up going with, and the clutch will be one of the items that I will follow up on. Right now though, I'd recommend it.
 

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2004 Passat GLS 1.8T 4Mo 5M Wagon!
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Discussion Starter #26
So I need to apologize for how long it has been since my last post... I've got the Unicorn back together, for the most part and I've been focused on getting it properly broken in. We did run into some frustrating issues during the engine installation/reassembly but thankfully I think we are now past the major ones. Biggest pain in the ass was definitely the front main seal on the crank...
I should mention that my dad and I tag-teamed the whole project, and I am super thankful for that. Having two sets of eyes/hands/brains is so beneficial for a project this intensive and it was fun working on it with the old man. However, for some reason that I still can't figure out, I wasn't present or wasn't paying attention when he installed the front seal. If I had been, I probably would have said something when he got it driven into place somehow without using any kind of installation tool which would have protected the seal as it went over the sharp keyway on the snout of the crank. Well, as you can probably guess, part of the seal rolled and was leaking. He felt horrible, but stuff happens and he shouldn't have blamed himself. When I went to work later that day he went all over town to find a new seal, which he bought from the VW dealer. The cool thing was that the seal came with a plastic sleeve used to place over the end of the crank in order to get the seal on without damaging it. We thought we were in business! Well, the next morning we got the front of the motor torn down to the point where we could get the old seal out, which was kinda stressful. I had found a PassatWorld thread with a DIY for replacing the seal which involved drilling two small holes directly across from each other, then using a couple of self-tapping sheet metal screws to slowly and very gently remove the seal without marring the end of the crank or damaging the oil pump cover. After getting the seal out and cleaning the hell outta the area, I installed the new one that we got from the dealership using the included installation "tool" which really wasn't anything but a plastic sleeve that was placed over the crank snout while the seal was driven into place. I remember mentioning to my dad at the time how frustrating it was that there wasn't any way to make sure the seal didn't leak without completely reassembling the whole front of the engine. By now I could tear down and reassemble the engine in my sleep, and pretty quickly... but to get the timing belt on and tensioned properly is just one of those things that takes time to get it done right and you don't want to rush. I didn't worry too much about the seal that we had just put on, because it had come from the dealer and they never make mistakes...

Right?

Well, imagine our surprise when we got everything pretty much back together the next day and discovered that the seal leaked worse than the one we had removed! It didn't take long to find out what happened: the guy at the dealer's parts department had mistakenly given my dad a seal that was for the older (AEB/ATW-coded) engine versus the AWM that I've got. What's the difference, you ask? Well, the early motors' front main seal has a 1mm smaller outer diameter and a 3mm smaller crank diameter than the later (AWM) engine. I know this is getting pretty boring, but bear with me...

So, we again tore down the whole front of the engine to gain access to the front main seal. To get to the seal requires the removal of the crank sprocket, obviously. Anyone familiar with it knows that the sprocket is absolutely gorilla-torqued in place. Off the top of my head I believe it's something like 66ft. lbs. + 90 degrees... all while making sure the crank/engine stays in one place in order to keep the engine somewhere close to TDC. Well, challenging situations sometimes breed innovation and this qualified...

First, to keep the lower end as immobile as possible my dad found a scrap piece of 1/8" thick steel, which measured about 3" wide by about 2-1/2 - 3' long. Visualize something like a really heavy-duty yardstick. We drilled a 5/8" hole at one end which went around the crank sprocket bolt, then drilled four holes around it that matched the mounting holes for the harmonic balancer (crank pulley) and bolted our new tool to the crankshaft sprocket. We also drilled a 3/16" hole further up the bar that matched up with the cavity between the three mounting bolts for the serpentine belt tensioner, so we could insert a drift/punch through the bar to hold it in place while the crank sprocket bolt was either removed or installed. It worked beautifully, and made it easy to keep the lower end locked up.

I also took a few minutes to make a tool to lock the timing belt hydraulic tensioner:
IMG_20200218_120932.jpg
That one was easy and made it a lot easier to get the timing belt installed. I just used a piece of scrap steel and trimmed the width to get it inserted into the slot on the tensioner, then used a cutoff wheel on my die grinder to notch the end that collars the tensioner's pin.

The coolest bit of tool-making ingenuity came about when we were trying to figure out how to get the new, CORRECT front main seal installed. It would have been easier if we had access to an installation tool/sleeve like we had for the first one, but nobody that sold the seal had an installation tool to come with it so we brainstormed on how to get the seal over the sharp parts of the crank without doing any damage to it... we figured we could use the installation tool for the smaller seal to at least get the new one up to the crank's keyway, then maybe put a single wrap of electrical tape on the end of the crank to protect the seal as it passed the keyway. Then my dad found exactly what was needed...

A Tylenol bottle.

Nope, I'm not kidding. A small Tylenol bottle was precisely the right size to cover the sharp parts of the crank and provide protection for the seal all the way to the opening of the oil pump cover, where I just assumed that I would very carefully use a large socket or something to drive the seal to its final position.

It worked great, but that's not even the best part! Instead of using a socket, my dad dug up what I thought was a piece of steel tubing but is actually what is usually used to protect the threads on the end of steel pipe. (Dad has a pretty good supply of all kinds of stuff, including a whole bunch of different sizes of pipe.) I got the seal driven quite a ways but not all the way, and even though the steel pipe "tool" I was using was almost a perfect fit I began to feel nervous about hammering on it, especially when the integrity of the seal was absolutely dependent upon the accuracy of installation. Then I had an idea: instead of driving the seal into place, what if we found a way to press it home with less chance of damaging anything? We thought that maybe we could use the pipe tool and a large, thick steel washer with the crank sprocket bolt... but either the bolt was too short or the pipe tool would need to be cut. I didn't like the idea of using the crank sprocket bolt anyway because I have no clue how expensive they are in the event that we somehow broke one.

Wait a sec....

You know what that crank bolt looks like?

It looks a lot like a short version of an axle bolt, doesn't it? Nah, there's no way an axle bolt would fit...is there?

Guess what, friends! If you find yourself trying to figure out how to press your 1.8t front main seal into place and you've tried everything else, an axle bolt WILL perfectly thread into the crankshaft!
IMG_20200218_120912.jpg
IMG_20200218_121128.jpg

Using what you see here, I was able to accurately, perfectly install the new seal. A week and 300+ miles on the Unicorn later without a leaky seal!
 

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Long read but enjoyed reading every word. Awesome fix!


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Hopefully you replaced the crank bolt as it is TTY.
 
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