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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Below you’ll find my instructions for doing your vacuum lines. It’s a straight forward procedure and should only take a few hours. Thanks for all those at PW for their advice: ScottPassat2.8, keithermadness, JaytheSnork, PZ, ashman78, mrmom, and Steve in Chicago! You guys are a wealth of experience and knowledge. No way I could have done it without their input.

Also this DIY was inspired (i.e. copied) from these fine guides and gentlemen below:
DIY: V6 Vacuum hose replacement
B5 30v Vacuum Line Replacement DIY with Pics

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201 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Cost of DIY repair: $20-$35
Repair Time: 1.5-2.5 hours (Driver unit removal eats a lot of time)


(1) 3.5mm Silicon Vacuum hose (9ft)
(2) VW/Audi Vacuum line repair kit (VW# 06A198011B)
(3) Plastic vacuum tube (VW# N0201391)


Exacto Knife (This will make or break your vac job. Don’t skimp. Get a hobby exacto)
30 Torx (To remove driver unit)
10mm socket (To remove vacuum hose plate and ignition coil)

Advice before starting:

1. GO SLOWLY. Don’t rush this. It’s easy to do, but a PITA if you mess up some routing or lose track. Do one at a time.
2. Buy colored silicon (blue/red/yellow). As you’ll see below, going black is very “stock” but knowing lines that you’ve just done is a good visual cue. Plus, you’ll know what lines to do if you have to redo it. Also, ladies find colored vacuum hoses sexy (that’s what they tell me at least).
3. Get an exacto knife from a hobby store. These small, sharp suckers are really helpful with a job like this.
4. It is possible to simply use silicon tubing (SILICON, not rubber) through the whole job, without using plastic tubes. The plastic tubes pass over the hottest sections of the engine, meaning they get a fair amount of abuse. The plastic holds up better than rubber, but I’m sure silicon should also be fine, as others have said. If you want the stock look/method, use the plastic tubing to transverse the engine portions.
5. Wait for your engine to be cool, otherwise you may find that getting on the silicon will be difficult to near impossible.


1. First remove your engine cover and take a look at the hoses you’ll be working with.

All the hoses at the top are getting changed

This vac hose (1) going to the driver unit under the ignition coil is also getting changed, as well as the hard plastic tube (2) leading up to the vac hose plate up top.

This plastic tube comes from the top again and leads to a rubber vac hose underneath the power steering reservoir, eventually leading to the vacuum canister.

2. This is the first hose I cut. Using the exacto, slice the hose at the top like so. This will loosen it up and make it easy to just slip off.

3. Once the piece is removed, cut a length of silicon vac line to the appropriate length. Alternatively, if you have Bentley or ETKA, it will tell you the exact length. This method is fast and efficient.

4. Do this with the rest of the small lines up top.
5. Next, we will tackle the long lengths. This is the first hose I attempted, what I did was slice the hose, then snip the sliced end off. I attached a hose connecter from the VW repair kit and attached a silicon tube to it. Then I pulled it through, attached it, and cut to length.

6. Your hoses should now look like this. I stopped here because we are going to unbolt the hose plate to reach the T-fitting underneath and get those hoses done.

7. What you’ll do next is remove the three 10mm bolts holding the plate down, then you’ll just lift it up to reach the hoses underneath.

This is the T-fitting you’ll need to slice the hoses off from.

Doing the same routing technique with the hose connecter, you’ll be able to trace these lines and replace them easily.

8. You are now done with all but one of the hoses up top! Bolt on the vac hose plate and get any loose hose connected to the solenoid/joint that needs to be connected. Next we will tackle the plastic tube and vac hose going to the vac canister on the driver side. Unplug the vac hose from the Y-joint up top like so.

Replace this stretch of hose using the methods used above.

9. The plastic tube that was attached to this hose on my car was seriously cracked, I just yanked it out and inserted the entire meter of plastic tubing into the new silicon hose up top that I just replaced, then cut it to length. You’ll notice that this tube is zip tied to a coolant pipe. Don’t even bother trying to cut the zip tie, just cut the plastic tube to liberate the rubber vac line it attaches to.

Cracked plastic tubing. Time to replace for me! If yours is still intact, you can probably just keep it. But it’s easy to replace and cheap, might as well.

This is the pipe its zip tied to. Just snip the plastic tube and free up the rubber vac hose its attached to. Replacing the hose is a breeze, just use the slice and measure method from above, no need to remove front headlight, at least not on my B5.5 ATQ.

First replace the rubber vac line, then cut the plastic tubing to length to meet up with it. Just slip it into the new silicon line you’ve installed and you’re done with the right side!

10. Congrats! You’re almost there! If you’ve taken your time and done things carefully, you’ll only have spent about an hour doing these lines. These next TWO lines will take just as long. It’s a PITA is replace, but doable.

This is the vac hose and plastic tube we will replace

Which goes across the engine

Into the bloody driver unit

11. What I did at this point was slice the rubber hose from the driver unit close the outlet, and just pull up the hose. Be careful though, you’ll want to leave a little sticking out so that you have something to grab onto and play with to actually remove it from the unit itself when we pull it out.

12. Now the fun part. We have pull the driver unit out. First things first, remove the ignition wires going to your passenger side cylinders (that would be #1, #2, and #3). You’ll want to pull the wires from the cylinder first then pull them out from the ignition coil, otherwise you may mess up the coil and that’s not worth messing up for some vac lines. If they haven’t been pulled before, it’s going to be a bitch. Just twist and pull STRAIGHT out from the ignition coil. They should come out. Use a little force, but don’t break anything.

Ignition lines are pulled!

Had some oil on the spark plug ends…let’s take a look.

Dammit, I knew my valve cover gaskets were shot. I wonder what’s the PCV looking like…

Well, there’s our problem! Thanks, VW, for making such a great ventilation system that gets clogged and messes up everything else along with it! :)

13. Alright, back on track with the actual driver unit removal. Once you have the ignition wires removed, it’s time to start removing the bolts securing the ignition coil.

These bolts will need to be removed using a 10mm socket

I want you to meet your archnemsis for this leg of the project. This is a noise suppressor. It’s a PITA to remove simply because (if you’re car is like mine) this little part is frozen to the bolt. To remove it, I just banged the bolt a few times with my socket, and twisted it back and forth a few times until it separated. But be warned, this is one of the tougher tasks on this project.

Once you’ve done all this, just swing that plate out and rest it like so. Now you have clear access to the driver unit!

14. Next we will remove the driver unit from the manifold. PLEASE BE CAREFUL DURING THIS STEP. As you will see, there is a little, tiny, very losable spring in the middle of this device. When taking the driver out, please remove it very slowly and carefully. Also, there is a green or orange rubber gasket surrounding the driver unit. Do not mess this up or you’ll need to replace it. If it looks fine, just leave it be. The driver unit is attached using two 30 Torx screws.

It would be a good idea to lay down some shop towels underneath the driver unit to act as a net to catch the spring if it should fall out (which it shouldn’t if you go slow enough!)

This is the hole the spring goes into, when replacing the driver unit, make sure to put the spring in there THEN place the driver unit, not the other way around.

This is the pesky spring.

15. Now you’ll want to remove the remaining bits of rubber inside the driver unit. BE CAREFUL. The rubber is attached to a plastic nipple that is delicate. Break it off and you’ll need a new driver unit, not cheap! So use an exacto knive and slowly carv into the rubber hose inside the unit like a pizza. Then as you have more slices, use some forceps/pliers to liberate the rubber. Wiggle it around, play with it. Removing this section is a good 10-15 minutes. Take your time and don’t mess up your driver unit!

16. Once you’ve got that piece out, stick in a long length of silicon. We will replace everything first and then cut the silicon to length to meet up with the new plastic tube coming from up top. Just reverse your steps to replace the driver unit and the ignition coil and wires. BE CAREFUL for the small spring.

Long length of silicone hose that will be cut to length once everything is replaced.

17. Next, insert a long length of plastic tubing to the hose on the vac plate that the original was connected to. Then you’ll want to cut both the plastic and the silicon to lengths were the joint is after the main body of the engine, like the picture below.

18. Now you’re done! Be sure to double check all fittings to make sure they are stuck nice and good. Clean your engine bay and call it day!


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201 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I also realize that these type of DIYs can get broken up over time. If image hosts go offline, a guide like this is useless. So attached you'll find a PDF of the post so if the images ever bite the dust, you can still download the PDF to know what's up.

Hope this helps some of you out there!

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I too also realize that these type of DIYs can get broken up over time. I have a V6, and started with 4 or 5 feet of 3mm silicone vacuum hose, after replacing all my 3mm rubber vacuum hoses I had some left over. Step one is to obtain a few feet of vacuum hose, either factory cloth-covered rubber, or general purpose automotive rubber or silicone vacuum hose, which I believe is 3mm or about 1/8 inch I.D.

Step two is to remove any plastic engine compartment covers that interfere with getting at the hoses, and looking for them. In many cases, most of the vacuum line is hard plastic, with the flexible rubber joining the plastic to check valves, solenoid valves, etc.

Step three is to remove the old hose, one at a time, measure and cut the new replacement hose. Install, then move on to the next, etc. Always look for broken or otherwise defective check valves and associated parts.
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