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Discussion Starter #1
Well, the YLwagon has done its duty as far as I am concerned, after us owning it since 1998. What started as a water pump change, progressed to include the timing belt service, new spark plugs, VC gaskets, and so forth. AndreasPassat helped me get the thing into service position, and also inspected the cam chain tensioner pads while he was at it. After many hours of needlessly cleaning parts and even waxing the crank pulley, the new timing belt and rollers were on, and after two crank revolutions, the timing marks were perfect.

It started, then quit after a second. The next cranking didn't sound right. I removed the upper belt cover; to my surprise the belt was still tight, so I figured that something failed, faulty belt teeth perhaps, or the crank sprocket key sheared. I tried to rotate the crank, but found that it turned easy until hitting something.

I let it sit a couple of weeks, convinced there must be bent valves, then the other night I removed the crank pulley and lower cover for a look. The belt was still intact and perfect. So I turned the crank with a ratchet wrench, and felt the interference again, but after a couple of times rotating back and forth, the crank went around normally, and the timing marks still lined up. I also pulled the valve cover, looking for something wrong under there, but all the valve followers moved normally and the chain was nice and snug.

Cutting to the chase, I cranked the engine with the starter (no plugs), and the cams rotated fine. So I put the plugs in (no coils), and cranked again. This time the cranking speed slowed down within a few seconds. The battery was still fully charged- but now I can't move the crank at all with the socket; something is seized. I don't know if seizure is in the engine, or transmission, but at this point, I'm done! Fortunately, the stable-mate Audis are OK.
 

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If you remove the timing belt and pull the cams, the valves will all close removing any interference with the pistons.

Then try and turn the crank. It's possible a main journal has seized.

I'm not too familiar with the early 1.8...i think there was a difference in oil pumps. The later ones were chain driven by the crankshaft. It's possible the pump siezed.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

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Can't help with what could be wrong as I have never broken into the motor of a Passat but hope you don't leave this group. You have giving me me as well as countless others solid advice in troubleshooting and problem solving.
 

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It's a bummer but after 20 years of service you might think to retire her. It's fair to assume that the life time of mechanical parts won't stretch beyond 20 years of continuous work. I have owned mine for 18 years now and will be glad if she can give me a ride for another two more years. Just give her an honorable burial and look for another girl :thumbup:
 

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Sorry to hear it. Those of us with B5 wagons are a dying breed! ...
My favorite moment at last month's San Diego Auto Show was when I mentioned to the VW sales lady that I planned to keep our 2001 Passat wagon running as long as possible. She replied that her husband's job is to keep their 2003 running. :) They had bought it used for about $5K and probably put that much into repairs, but we agreed that nothing else out there, before or since, matches the size and configuration.
 

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If the body and interior are in good shape, it might be a cool electric conversion project for the guys in San Marcos (electricGT.com).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Long shot -- could the starter be jammed? (or damned? :) )
If I thought that was likely, I'd probably try removing it. The thing is that the resistance was at right at TDC, not related to the half-rate cam system. This is opposite what you'd expect; a four cylinder engine will usually turn easiest at TDC or BDC, due to the pistons not moving much. Right before it locked for good, the crank was getting harder and harder for me to rotate with a ratchet wrench, but there was no noise or scraping, etc. This really stumped me, I don't remember ever having an engine just gradually jammed solid while trying to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And on top of everything, I was trying to outdo AndreasPassat on the detailing; using Bar Keeper's Friend cleanser and an old toothbrush on all the bolts untill they looked like new, wiping them with WD40 until they shined, what a waste!
 

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Whaaat? I just saw this thread.

What happened? I can't remember but is a 1.8 or 2.8? Was it running low on oil?
Before you throw in the towel, if you've got the room and the time to wait a bit, I could swing down and we could tear into this thing.
Used crankshafts are only $100 and set of new crank journal and rod bearings are about $120 for both combined.
Just saying...

At any rate I'm really sorry to hear this happened. Got to admit though, sure is clean car for it's age. Sure would hate to see you dump it. Besides your current conundrum, the car itself has got another 20 years (at least) left in it.
 

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I was thinking about this all night.
You can't just toss the car because of a problem like that. Everything else on the car is so clean.
That would be like tossing the wife or girlfriend to the curb just because her dress got dirty, but underneath that dress, well you know where I'm going with this. ;)
 

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Just curious, how many miles on her? I've got a 2003 1.8t MT wagon, 171k miles, hoping to keep her going for many more years yet.
Hope you can find what failed and report back.
Hope you can keep her on the road.
Nice to have a couple of Audi's as backup, wish I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Just curious, how many miles on her? I've got a 2003 1.8t MT wagon, 171k miles, hoping to keep her going for many more years yet.
I think that it has 215,000 or close to that. The silver paint is new and I was just about to have it buffed, so it would be a shame to have it end up at the pick-a-part yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Whaaat? I just saw this thread.

What happened? I can't remember but is a 1.8 or 2.8? Was it running low on oil?
Before you throw in the towel, if you've got the room and the time to wait a bit, I could swing down and we could tear into this thing.
Used crankshafts are only $100 and set of new crank journal and rod bearings are about $120 for both combined.
That's the thing - I really don't know what happened. Something just began to tighten up, without making any noises when the crank turned. PZ speculated about the starter perhaps being stuck, but even that would make some sound as the crank was turned by hand. The crankshaft is for all intents and purposes locked: what should be easy to rotate just won't. While it was still able to rotate, the resistance was maximum right when passing over TDC for #1 and #4, I don't think it did that at #2 and #3 TDC. Anyway, thanks for the offer to help. I've got some other projects that are more important to tackle. However, my son has the option to tote it back to Phoenix behind the little Tacoma pickup, so we'll see.

Another thing that occurred to me: I don't know if cars can have fairy godmothers or protective angels, but this car did once run for an hour and a half without a working alternator, and only quit after I pulled up to my driveway after a 70 mile drive. The last thing it did was get my son and his Air Force friend across the desert from Phoenix, the weekend that AndreasPassat and his wife visited. I later found a locked timing belt roller, which could only have locked as the engine stopped for the last time, because there was no polished mark from a belt sliding on it, you might remember my post about that. Now I find out that there was some fatal flaw lurking that could have put them on the side of the road miles from nowhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
One more for today; here is a photo that I took yesterday when collecting my hoard of Passat parts and supplies. Included is a brand new TB set which I mistakenly ordered; it's for an AWM engine, not AEB. The Bosch double-Iridium plug set is technically used; for about 2 seconds.
 

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