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Superbad
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To start off, i have a 99 1.8T AEB. im currently a college student on a budget. i have a couple things that i need and would like to fix on my b5. I would like to make it last before i make it fast. there's soo many things i wanna do to it mod wise, but i feel that proper preventative maintenance takes precedence over looks and bling for now. If i wasnt going to school full time, id be working and be able to pay for everything full boat, but college,the ever so money draining g/f, and all the other things a person needs to function suck the rest of my money. An on campus part time job isnt going to allow me to do everything at once. so im turning to you fellow passatworld members for your help. I have a list of things that need to get fixed. im asking for advice and help, partly some diagnosing, but mainly a set order of importance. What i mean is, which things are essential to be done immediately and which ones i can not put aside, but bump down in the order of importance. I will be fixing everything that i list, but since the college student budget is whats preventing me from doing it all at once, i gotta do it in installments. so without dragging on here goes..

here's my B5 w/ Pinstripe and 35% Tint all around @ approximately 67k


here's my B5 w/o Pinstripe and 35% Tint all around @ 72k



replaced old tb belt/old tensioner/old roller/old idler/waterpump/thermostat/ belts @ 78k ( got really lucky, was vacationing @ the Poconos, in PA, and car sounded like a diesel, stopped car, found out tensioner broke, but belt didnt jump teeth, cylinder heads/pistons we're all good, replaced it on site thanks to daddymatts 1.8t TB DIY writeup, mechanic friend, overnite Ultimate TBKIT from ECS, and a case of Dos Equis..saved a lot of $$ thanks PW)



these are recent pictures, i am now at 79K


Case 1_TIE ROD ENDS:
Driver side seems shot, theres some play.

Here's passenger side, should i replace as well?


heres the DIY link i found for fixing the TRE's
http://www.passatworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150201 .. should i order MEYLE HD TRE's from the following ECS Tuning, PAPPARTS, dieselgeek and DIY plus paying for alignment or should i just go to an INDY and have both done?

Case 2_Rear Suspension / Dust Boot
Right Rear dust cover boot is torn, starting to hear WOP WOP creaking noise while driving, i think its coming from there. also, i feel like im driving a boat, very bouncy.

Left Rear dust cover boot is starting to tear.


I had future plans of doing H&R Sport Springs + Bilstein HD/Sport Shocks. would these Original shocks/struts last, or should i replace just both rears w/ OEM ones, and leave the 2 front. or should i just wait and save money, and just get the Bilstein Kit for 2 front 2 rear setup. im not so much concerned about lowering springs yet. i just wanna know if it is unsafe to have the rear suspension possibly shot, and have those dust boot torn like that? is it safe to drive or should i make this # 1 on the list and fix it right away?

Case 3_Front Suspension / UCAS/LCAS
Driverside

Passenger side


i dont soo much hear any creaking coming from the front(knock on wood), but the steering has some play at high speeds and seems a little loose. im not sure if all the blame can be placed on the bad driverside TRE. what do you guys think of the condition of these CA's.

Case 4_Slight Oil Leak - possibly clogged/cracked PCV or Valve Cover Gasket
in one case, i saw a small amount of white smoke coming out of the marked red area.


most of the time, i see small oil drip marks right below the skid plate. so there's oil leaking somewhere. usually at around 1700-2100 miles after changing oil, my oil level has dropped to either half or a quarter level. thats why i've been changing my oil religiously between every 2300-2500 miles depending on oil level.

heres the Valve Cover Gasket DIY writeup i found
http://www.taligentx.com/passat/images/photo.php?photo=297&u=42|1|...
i also found the PCV DIY and other oil leak threads at the info forum index
http://www.passatworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=182326

Also, since im not the original owner, and i dont qualify for sludge warranty, i dont know what the OCI intervals performed on this car before i got it. all i know is that i change the oil religously at the 2300-2500 mile interval as i stated above. following the approved vw 502.00 oil list as well as sticking w/ OEM filters or one of these (Puralator L40316, Wix 51333, or Napa Gold 1333 )

Oil Cap

another shot


im planning on doing an AUTO RX treatment regardless.

Case 5_ABS MODULE

self explanatory, ABS and BRAKE lights go off and the beeping sound goes on for a few seconds then go away. i think its a tell tale sign of my abs module about to hit the dump. should i replace w/ a rebuilt abs module through http://www.modulemaster.com or is it still safe to drive in general, and since the lights arent permanently on yet when i put my key in my ignition.

minor case: my skid plate/plastic belly pan is currently mcguyver rigged w/ twist ties, should i replace w/ a W8 belly pan or just wait?



i spent a lot of time searching the forums and old threads, to help me diagnose some of these problems. also i found this post by B5-Turbonium on common passat problems basic draft
http://www.passatworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114230&highlight=failure+symptoms and of course the forum index http://www.passatworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=182326 to be extremely helpfull. the SEARCH function truly was my friend.


i was in the process of getting FK Black on Black Angel Eye Projectors, but that money had to be diverted to getting my Ultimate Timing belt kit overnited. although, it pains me to look at the foggy oem headlights that i STILL have, i sleep better at nite knowing that i am a proud pin puller, and i dont have to worry about bent valves and all that timing belt schinanigans. HOPEFULLY ...after everything is fixed, i would like to chip my car. i would like to go APR. upgrade hoses, new DV valve, the whole 9 yards. by then, depending on your advice, my suspension will proabably be upgraded too. Those are the goals im hoping to achieve, with a little help from you guys.

if you guys could make a list ..going from VERY IMPORTANT ..need to get fix immediately..your safety depends on it. to the not so important, but not to be ignored category, that would be great. also, if you have any opinions, comments, past experiences, or would like to add to the diagnosis on the above cases, that would be greatly appreciated too. Please help me maintain my B5..... i wanna thank everyone in advance. :bowdown: :bowdown:


E.M (a.k.a vwblackb5)
 

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Wow, you've obviously done your homework. While I do not have enough experience with any of your issues to help you sort them it's nice to see people you research before they ask questions ;)
 

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u got the right attitude... need to priortize your expenses and what good are mods on a car that doesnt function. if you're able to do to the tbelt job with friends, i'd suggest doing your tie rods yourself and paying for an alignment separately.

where in nj are you from? maybe i can be of some assistance with my stock suspension parts... if u need shox, check to see if b5.5 1.8t fwd also fits your application.

btw, one place you can save lots is www.car-parts.com , its a database of junkyards that list all their inventory. you might be able to find some of your parts from there, ie abs...
 

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Superbad
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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, you've obviously done your homework. While I do not have enough experience with any of your issues to help you sort them it's nice to see people you research before they ask questions ;)
thanks Marshalus....i didnt merely do my hwk to prevent being flamed, i wanted to show everyone that i truly care about my B5. i wanted my post to be as detailed as it can be ..to maximize the help that i can get from everyone fully understanding the subject on hand.


1.8Tttturbo said:
u got the right attitude... need to priortize your expenses and what good are mods on a car that doesnt function. if you're able to do to the tbelt job with friends, i'd suggest doing your tie rods yourself and paying for an alignment separately.

where in nj are you from? maybe i can be of some assistance with my stock suspension parts... if u need shox, check to see if b5.5 1.8t fwd also fits your application.

btw, one place you can save lots is www.car-parts.com , its a database of junkyards that list all their inventory. you might be able to find some of your parts from there, ie abs...
1.8Tttturbo thanks for the compliment. yea i was leaning towards just purchasing a set of Heavy Duty Outer TRE from ECS for 104$ shipped. and then DIY'ng w/ the help of the write up available here at PW. then probably jus pay for the alignment. i know prices for alignment vary. i've heard that some Firestone or bridgestone service places do a lifetime alignment for 150$ ..they give u a card and u can go get aligned netime u want. dont know the validity of that, but im guessing alignments will vary from 50 w/ coupon - 150 i guess...from a reputable INDY. and TRE end wise..have u replaced yours? is it better to go the HEAVY Duty route or stick w/ an OEM one?

im from central new jersey... closer to New Brunswick (RUTGERS) or edison exit 10 on the Turnpike or 127 on the parkway. i know you posted an invite for a NY/NJ GTG before...somewhere near Fort Lee? im not positive on that. but NJ wise im closer to Short Hills mall in Berkley Heights...than the Garden State Plaza mall. as for the B5.5 stock shox you have..i will have to do more research on the fitment w/ a b5. thankfully im in college rite now (Rowan University), my car is parked in a Parking Garage, protected from the elements and i wont be driving it as much, and im parked all the way in the back corner next to a side wall..so hopefully protect me from Dings/and stupid ppl not looking before opening doors or backing up. :)

il check out that car parts website you sent me. btw..would you have any other input in any of the other cases, i.e Oil leak, Control Arms,etc. anyways thanks again for the informative post!

scottpassat2.8 said:
id say http://auto-rx.com/index.htmlthat motor since you dont know the previous OCI.
thanks for the post scott! howd the yankee game go? newayz, i am gonna do the AUTO RX treatment regardless as i posted above, and am well aware of the procedure..since im < than 100k miles..it says do 1 treatment, but since im not aware of the OCI before..i mite do 2 treatments of AUTO RX.

also, i think due to the bad driverside Outer TRE..im having an uneven tire wear on my front tire. so by the time i fix the Outer TRE..im probably gonna have to get a new set of tires. i hear you've been raving about the Toyo T1R's. ive read from a couple post ago..that you had an Audi A4 w/ eibach sport suspension and you were lowered..and one time u hit a dead animal..and caused damage to your car cuz u were too low. if i end up going w/ the Bilstein Shock setup....would u recommend getting H&R Springs..and lowering 1.5 inches..or should i jus hold up on those lowering springs..due to the bad roads we have here in NJ/NY?
 

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Definitely DIY the tie rods and that labor saved would pay for the lifetime alignment... good investment!

Look into Bilstein HD shocks, they would be a good match with stock springs. Save yourself some $$$ by not lowering your car. Your control arms, tires, axles, CV joints and back will thank you.
 

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before paying out for tie rod ends, don't forget that the early B5s were recalled for the aluminum tie rod ends!! my mid-run 99 was eligible for free tie rod ends and alignment.

call your dealer, or a local one, and ask them the VINs that are eligible. could save you another boatload.
 

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Grinding Gears...gone fishing!
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id say save your $$ and not lower it.it leads to alot of drama with the front end here in ny
just get good summer and winter tires.
 

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Wow, you've obviously done your homework. ...
Concur. Your post pretty much hits all of the Passat weak spots of which I am aware.
 

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Superbad
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Discussion Starter #11
before paying out for tie rod ends, don't forget that the early B5s were recalled for the aluminum tie rod ends!! my mid-run 99 was eligible for free tie rod ends and alignment.

call your dealer, or a local one, and ask them the VINs that are eligible. could save you another boatload.
i dont think i will be eligible to claim the recall for the tie rod ends due to the fact that i am not the original owner. as far as i know, there is a 10year/100k mile powertrain warranty that was made available for 98-00 Model year...that covered timing belt issues and sludge issues providing you have proper documentation and original owner.

nibor82 said:
Definitely DIY the tie rods and that labor saved would pay for the lifetime alignment... good investment!

Look into Bilstein HD shocks, they would be a good match with stock springs. Save yourself some $$$ by not lowering your car. Your control arms, tires, axles, CV joints and back will thank you.
i am definately gonna DIY the Outer TRE's ..i even sourced a cheaper place to get them @ pure motosport. this is what i found:

Febi/Bilstein: Outer TRE - $28.95 each
Heavy Duty Meyle Version: Outer TRE - $33.95 each
Lemfoerder OEM: Outer TRE - $62.15 each

So i figure ECS and everywhere else sells the HD MEYLE for 104 shipped for a pair..i can get the same ones shipped @ puremotosports for 72 shipped. or should i opt for the Febi-Bilstein one? i thought Febi-Bilstein made real good Control Arms Kit..and its a trusted brand ..but i hear a lot of good things bout MEYLE HD as well.

As for the Bilstein Heavy Duty Shocks. i have two scenarios. since the right rear is the one which is shot. is it safe or practical to jus order the Rear Shocks for now...then order the Fronts some other time? Or should i just wait, and save up for the fulll Bilstein HD kit?

heres what i found. an active group buy for Bilstein Heavy Duty Shocks
http://www.passatworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=204119&highlight=Bilstein+Heavy+Duty

Bimmerparts has the HD kit 1997-1999 VOLKSWAGEN Passat 2WD; Exc. 8 cyl; Sedan; Model from VIN #121221; From 6/97; To 12/99
Part number: B36-2079/8 (FRONT)
Part number: BE3-2532/1 (REAR) = $378 + shipping i think

or just the (REAR) Part number: BE3-2532/1 @ http://www.importrp.com/search.php?mode=search
for 107.25 each..so Shipped for a pair of REARS = $214.50 shipped.

i read up that the Rears are easier to install..less of a PITA than the fronts. but either way. i probably have to get an alignment done.

so heres my scenario.
1) get Meyle HD OUTER TRE (2) shipped for 72$ DIY + order Bilstein Heavy Duty Shocks Rear (2) 214.50$ shipped (friend help / semi DIY) + alignment from a reputable place (60-65$)
2) get Meyle HD OUTER TRE (2) shipped for 72$ DIY + Find an INDY that does lifetime alignment 100-150$.
3) then order Bilstein Heavy Duty Shocks Front (2) and Rear (2) 378$+ shipping im assuming + pay for install - then use Lifetime Alignment?

4) bump down the disection of my OIL leak problem. Valve cover gasket/PCV replacement will prob be bumped down later down the road. but will DEFINATELY do AUTO RX treatment and still maintain religous OIL CHANGE at 2500K interval.
5) ABS MODULE beeps and goes away occasionally. so should i bump that down as well, since it hasnt completely crapped out yet? there really isnt a way to do preventative maintenance on that right..either it works or it craps out? and either you get a new one or a rebuilt one and thats that?
6) how do my CA's look visibly? the boot n bearing seems to be intact (knock on wood)
7) Belly pan is cosmetic, and probably can wait.

*do the shocks/struts/dampeners come w/ the dust boot or do i need to purchase that separately, since they are torn and starting to tear on my original ones. are there any other parts that need to be ordered separately that arent included in the shock/strut kit?

scottpassat2.8 said:
id say save your $$ and not lower it.it leads to alot of drama with the front end here in ny
just get good summer and winter tires.
yes im probably not gonna go w/ the H&R Sport Springs and Bilstein Sport Setup. il stick w/ the stock springs + Bilstein Heavy Duty ..which i hear is a good setup if your still on stock wheels and not lowered. so once i get take care of the TRE and Suspension..im most likely gonna have to get a new set of tires.

John_E said:
John_E Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshalus
Wow, you've obviously done your homework. ...

Concur. Your post pretty much hits all of the Passat weak spots of which I am aware..
thanks for the support..hopefully everything goes well
 

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i dont think i will be eligible to claim the recall for the tie rod ends due to the fact that i am not the original owner. as far as i know, there is a 10year/100k mile powertrain warranty that was made available for 98-00 Model year...that covered timing belt issues and sludge issues providing you have proper documentation and original owner.
\
i am the third owner. make the call, it only costs a day at the dealer and a ride home.
 

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I agree you are not eligible for the warranty. But the for the tie rods you can check because its a recalled items and it does not matter if you are the original owner or not. You can also check with a magnet for the tie rods, if they are aluminum they were recalled.
 

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Superbad
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Discussion Starter #14
99blackmagic said:
i am the third owner. make the call, it only costs a day at the dealer and a ride home..
I agree you are not eligible for the warranty. But the for the tie rods you can check because its a recalled items and it does not matter if you are the original owner or not. You can also check with a magnet for the tie rods, if they are aluminum they were recalled.

i just got back from class, and checked the TRE's for magnetic properties. i used 2 different size magnets, and they both stuck on the TRE. so im assuming i have the revamped steel version, which doesnt qualify me for the aluminum recall. :cry:

For anyone interested..that has a 98-99 MY heres the link for the Department of Transportation NHTSA on the Tie Rod Recall http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/E5-6916.htm

i dont qualify..but Thanks for the suggestion and keeping me informed :bowdown:
 

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from the picture, these are the bumpstops, not a "boot" as i think you called them.

i believe those can be bought from any dealer, they're just a dense foam.
i think they are fairly cheap, i don't have a part number right now, but i do think they slip down over the shock when being installed.

as for purchase of shocks, it surely wouldn't hurt to replace all 4, though you're looking at a lot more work for the fronts. again, there's a good writeup in the info section on this. i didn't do mine because my shop charged about $40 to do mine, in the dead of winter. i opted out. ;) you may be unhappy with the ride after only installing stiffer shocks on the rear, but if you're doing the work, no time is lost. just time ordering/installing fronts to look forward to.

TRE i'm not sure what to advise. i went with OEM, but they were free. it's hard to turn down free.
 

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IMO you should replace the bellypan sooner than later beacuse it keeps the front wheel well liners from contacting the tires while driving. While you are under there check your motor mounts for leaks... you will see purple or red fluid on the mount if its leaky. You don't want to let a bad motor mount go for too long.
 

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You mentioned your headlights were foggy. I had a foggy drivers side headlight. This last weekend I picked up some PlastX (by Meguiars) and it worked great. The headlight looks brand new! The bottle costs about 8 bucks, and I got the applicator and microfiber cloth for another 6, so my total costs came to around $15.
 

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Superbad
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Discussion Starter #19




from the picture, these are the bumpstops, not a "boot" as i think you called them.

i believe those can be bought from any dealer, they're just a dense foam.
i think they are fairly cheap, i don't have a part number right now, but i do think they slip down over the shock when being installed.

as for purchase of shocks, it surely wouldn't hurt to replace all 4, though you're looking at a lot more work for the fronts. again, there's a good writeup in the info section on this. i didn't do mine because my shop charged about $40 to do mine, in the dead of winter. i opted out. ;) you may be unhappy with the ride after only installing stiffer shocks on the rear, but if you're doing the work, no time is lost. just time ordering/installing fronts to look forward to.

TRE i'm not sure what to advise. i went with OEM, but they were free. it's hard to turn down free.

money wise. i have enough to purchase a set of Bilstein HD kit 1997-1999 VOLKSWAGEN Passat 2WD; Exc. 8 cyl; Sedan; Model from VIN #121221; From 6/97; To 12/99
Part number: B36-2079/8 (FRONT)
Part number: BE3-2532/1 (REAR) = $378 + shipping i think

but i wont have enough for a set of Meyle HD TRE + Alignment + labor cost. so i was wondering ..realistically speaking, i would need about another month to acquire more loot. i refuse to ask the parentals, because im just not the type to ride the GRAVY TRAIN. anyways, my question here is. since im on campus, i wont be using/driving my car as much, cept for small trips to :beer: store and all the little things college kids do, so would it be alrite to prolong fixing TRE and Shocks? are there any safety issues i should worry about, like will the boot on the TRE pop out and make me swerve n die? or will the shot right rear shock just make me bottom out, crash and turn my skull to dust? :icon_eek:
 

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i have a set of oem shocks off my 2004 1.8t fwd sedan, has less than 10k on them. i'm local so if u come upto bergen area, i can sell em to you, and u can also save on s/h. use the left over cash on tre, alignment, etc.
 
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