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Hello, new member here but from the air cooled vw world. I found a low mile beetle that supposedly has a bad head. The car has under 70k on it and has been garaged. The head went in 2013. What are my options? Is it a special head because it has a turbo? Obviously had a cooling issue. Would it be better to replace the whole engine? Someone said to get a dock motor. Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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If its actually a Turbo S, you are in luck! You can get a head from any 1.8T from '02 and on in any mk4 VW! Its an AWP engine code and there are a good bit of them since the GTIs and Jettas used them as well. You can get it rebuilt, find a used one, or a reman one.

The question is why the head is bad. You say cooling issue, but do you know that for sure? I'd be more inclined to think that the timing belt failed. If that's the case, you need to make sure the pistons are in good shape. Its not often you need more work done than the head on a timing belt failure in a 1.8T but its certainly possible.
 

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Does it start/run? If it was the timing belt, it wouldn't. I think you can probably pull just the head from the top to evaluate the condition of the engine. If you had a valve hit a piston, you'll have at least one bent valve and maybe a damaged piston or two. If it's a really low mile engine, and the block looks okay, you can have it honed and put a new piston and rings in it (the bearings should be okay.) And have the head rebuilt, new guides, seals, and valves.

If you're very lucky, tho, the piston will be scratched on top, but otherwise okay. Then you just have the head rebuilt, do the water pump, and the timing belt (should be done around every 50k miles.)

If you can do your own work, it shouldn't be very expensive to fix. Oh, and don't try to replace a turbo motor with a non turbo. Turbo engines are generally much lower compression and are/should be much sturdier than a normally aspirated.
 

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I'm doing a AWP head job right now; quite a few valves were hit but the pistons seem ok, after clean up. These heads are 5 valves per cylinder; so, repairs can get expensive.



Note: valve strikes on edges and valves are definitely bent.



overall cylinder head and valve strike damage.



Marks showing hits on the top of the pistons.

We shipped the head out, for repair and rebuild; it should be back sometime this or next week. This is the rebuilder we went with:

 

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Before i pulled the head; i found the timing belt was loose and the bottom crank sprocket, had shredded the teeth-on the timing belt.



Once the head was removed, it became obvious; the tensioner had failed, leaked the hydraulic fluid and the cylinder plunger, could be pushed in by hand without much resistance. Looking over the old parts, all seemed original VW/Auid marked and so, the belt lasted almost 19 years or so and over 120k. Needless to say if you were following correct service interval replacement time frames; the timing belt and all related belt path pars, should've been replaced at least once possibly twice if you were just following age time frames of every six or seven years.
 
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