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The good news:
Light continues to be out (well except for p2096, but there is a hole in my right flex pipe...shocking I know).
I've managed to fix the aiming mechanisms on my headlights, now I just need to actually aim them.
I still need to do the rest of the front suspension (when I had to do a UCA and outer tie rod for inspection, I just bought a front suspension kit)

The bad news:
I am pretty sure the timing belt and associated work have never been done on this vehicle (2002 4Mo Wagon 2.8L ATQ A/T, 131K miles).
The previous owner bought it at 95k miles, and she never did that work. I fully assume the first owner didn't do it.
The vehicle at some point had been in a front end collision, so some work was done, but I doubt this was any of it.

That being said, either the timing belt or the water pump or both are not acting up to snuff. I have bled the crap out of the system. I have run it up and down hills at 3-4k RPM with the heat on full blast. unless I am running high RPMs I am getting minimal flow (maybe just from the AUX water pump) through the core. There is plenty of flow through the core, just not unless I am at high RPMs. I know people say that that is because of air in the system, but I've bled the system multiple times. When I run the diagnostic on the climatronic head unit and I put it on test 23 (Vent Temp - Actual) I can see it go from 15 C to 44+ C as I rev the engine. the longer I rev it (like a minute max), the higher the temps get. As soon as I take my foot off the gas, it starts to drop again.

If I take the reservoir return line off and put it into the reservoir fill cap hole, how much flow should I be seeing when it is idling?
 

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Hopefully rerouting the CTS wires will keep the light out, but you may look to replace the connector when the weather gets nicer.
As mentioned above, it did and I will.

Is there a way I can test to see if my timing belt is making the proper contact with the water pump roller?
or is there a way to use a drill or something to run the water pump and see its output?
 

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You can pull the upper and middle left timing belt covers off to see the water pump turning, but the lower cover over the pump would require the crank pulley to be removed. Since you don't know that it's been replaced, I would change them anyway.
 

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You can pull the upper and middle left timing belt covers off to see the water pump turning, but the lower cover over the pump would require the crank pulley to be removed. Since you don't know that it's been replaced, I would change them anyway.
So given my novice mechanic status, and having never attempted anything of the sort before (like all things with this VW and my truck)...how long do you think it would take one person to do the timing belt and water pump?
I'm pretty sure O'Reilly has the tools I need to borrow but other than the locking bar for the camshaft sprockets, and the puller what else do I really need? pretty sure I can get the fan and pulley bolts loose without other specialty tools.

thoughts?
Though this Sunday I need to finish actually all the front suspension part swap (UCAs, LCAs, outer tie rods, stabilizer links, bushings I did already).
I think the driver's side part of the heater core on the engine side of the firewall has a crack that seems to have started leaking. need to figure out that fix first before i delve into the TB/WP work.
 

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It would take about 8-9 hours depending on how fast you work. I saw one person take 12, but he was often distracted.
Rust on the bolts can be an issue, especially the crank bolts (allen) and radiator support bolts (T45). You might want to get new ones before the job. The fan clutch holding tool makes the job easier, but I've done it several times without one. I would also use the crank lock with the cam bar, just to be certain everything stays lined up.
 

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It would take about 8-9 hours depending on how fast you work. I saw one person take 12, but he was often distracted.
Rust on the bolts can be an issue, especially the crank bolts (allen) and radiator support bolts (T45). You might want to get new ones before the job. The fan clutch holding tool makes the job easier, but I've done it several times without one. I would also use the crank lock with the cam bar, just to be certain everything stays lined up.
well since my thermostat cover failed this morning on my way to work, I had to get it towed to a local guy (I was not even two miles from his house when it happened) who is a VW specialist. He said if I can get the parts to him he can knock out all the TB/WP/T-stat stuff in about 5 hours, maybe 6 if I include the replacing of the right flex pipe.

So I am hoping that everything gets in on Tuesday and he can get it done then.

I don't have any other choice really but to pay him (luckily he isn't very expensive per hour to the locals) and get this all knocked out. I need to get at least one car on the road....and the truck is not about to happen.
 

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Sounds like he knows what he is doing if he can get it done that fast. My son's car was a 2 day job for the alternator in a small town in Ohio. Cost was not bad, but they took much longer than they expected.
 

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Sounds like he knows what he is doing if he can get it done that fast. My son's car was a 2 day job for the alternator in a small town in Ohio. Cost was not bad, but they took much longer than they expected.
He does know what he is doing. I think I'm screwed though...unless I have some incredibly great news.

So when I was hunting for the leak in the cooling system that I thought was on the pipe under the intake manifold, which wasn't there. When I filled the system after replacing the hoses to and from the aux pump, the lower radiator hose and fixing the seal on the ECTS...I thought I had bought g12 concentrate. As sleep-deprived as I was, I didn't buy concentrate. I bought premix and then I diluted that down...Thursday night it was -3 and Friday night it was even colder as it sat at the shop outside. He pulled it into the shop Saturday to thaw and tomorrow I will find out how much I screwed myself.

might have found a donor motor pretty cheap though...sadly the donor motor has 90k more miles than mine.
all this is killing me because:
1) I made the mistake
2) the VW was not supposed to get used this winter, but my truck broke (leaf spring bracket that is welded to my frame broke off) during the inspection and isn't safe to drive, so I had to rush to try to get this up and running...
 

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I would not worry too much about the motor, but maybe the radiator most of all and then the coolant tank. 70% water mix has a 7F freezing point. Unless you drained the motor from the bottom, I suspect you had at least 4 liters of coolant stuck in the various pipes, water jackets and hoses. This might put you closer to 60% water and a temp rating of -10F.
 

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I drained the radiator, I had removed / replaced the lower radiator hose and the aux pump hoses. I got my fingers crossed but my hopes aren't high.
 

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update:
It's not holding coolant. I think the thermostat housing is shot. I will find out on Sunday when I start to tear it apart.
Going to do the rest of the stuff on the front suspension that I wanted to do last Sunday, but didn't because I thought the car was toast (also, I didn't have the car in my hands).
Then I will start tearing into doing the water pump, timing belt, thermostat & housing.
annoying: the dent in the front fender on the passenger side from whenever the first owner hit something, cut into my blizzaks. not bad, but enough that I am going to throw the summer tires on it today (I didn't even drive it home last night, my friend brought me the VWs summer tires from her house and then gave me a ride home and back to work this morning) so I will also be learning to do bodywork this weekend.
 

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If there are any pick-n-pull places near you I'd just find a fender from another car. Either sedan or wagon will fit and it's easy peasy to replace a fender on these cars.
 

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There is one "near me" (about an hour away, then another one about 45 minutes further). Right now pounding that out is going to be more time/cost-efficient.
 

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You can use a bat to roll the fender away from the tire slowly. With a heat gun, you can prevent the paint from cracking if it's still in good shape.
 

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You can use a bat to roll the fender away from the tire slowly. With a heat gun, you can prevent the paint from cracking if it's still in good shape.
I did plan on using heat to save as much paint as i can, but its not like its intact.... also figured given the 30 degree weather, warming the metal up in general would be a good idea.
tonight before coming home i swapped out my tires to the smaller summer tires since it looks like the weather will be decent until i try to unkink the metal.
I will take before an after pictures for either glory or shame.
 
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