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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
Within the past few weeks I changed out the valve cover and timing chain solenoid gaskets. The timing chain solenoid gasket required completely loosening the front camshaft (didn't remove). Anyways, put it back together and it's running like total crap. Tonight I took the valve cover back off to take a look and I *think* the front camshaft may be off a tooth.

I marked the chain and the gears on the cams with a sharpie to make sure they stayed lined up, BUT... like an idiot, I totally forgot to double check them before reassembly. Well, tonight I checked again. The front mark on the chain is a tooth off from the mark on the cam gear. My rear mark was, unfortunately, not very precise so I can't tell if it's off a tooth or if it's lined up. So I turned the motor over to align the factory timing marks on the cams to the arrows on the caps. They also appear to be a bit off, but I wanted to double check here first. Hopefully someone here can look at this a verify.

First here's a video I shot before tearing everything back apart to show how it was running, so what I'm saying in the video is not all relevant anymore:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfYPwySWoz8&list=UUUeaZNRZV9fm2zO5u_o_IQw

And here are a couple photos of the factory timing mark alignment with the cam caps:

The Front:


And the Rear:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the links. Just went back out and counted the rollers from notch-to-notch on the cams and it appears to be correct. I thought it unlikely that it would jump a tooth when I originally did the gasket replacement as I never disengaged the front cam from the chain, but I don't understand why my sharpie mark is a tooth off now. But... it's 16 rollers notch-to-notch so I guess it didn't jump on me. Now I don't know where to go from here.
 

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His name is Poseidon
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Are there any codes being logged? Sometimes soft codes do not trigger the CEL so it might be a good idea to check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I checked the codes when I had it running the other day. The only ones I got were for misfires. This was with a cheap Actron scanner, though, if that makes a difference. I didn't have the laptop hooked up.
 

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Well, please post up any and all trouble codes you're getting; since you removed all of the coil packs, it is possible that some of them got damaged in that process. The coil packs on the 1.8t are very failure prone; it is easy to damage them when you remove them (if you pry them out) and I have had some coil packs literally fall apart as I pulled them out. There were two recalls on the coilpacks; you might call your local vw dealer and see if that has been done, you might get it done for free.

If you're getting misfires for specific cylinders, you can swap the coil packs and see if the misfire code moves to the new location. It does; you have confirmed; that the coil pack is bad (you can use the same technique with spark plugs and fuel injectors as well). When buying coil packs; make sure, you only get quality parts and getting them fr the vw dealer is a good place to buy these; that way you get high quality OEM parts and you get the latest revision available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I get all of the misfire codes on the actron; 0300, 0301, 0302, 0303, 0304. I know all about the coil pack problems! I've had to replace several of them. Never had one fall apart on me, but none of them are the originals at this point. I just get Duralast coil packs because they have a lifetime warranty so if (when) they fail I don't have to pay for new ones. When I take them out I pull straight up, by hand, with a little rotational wiggle back and forth.

I think, just to make sure, I'm going to move the front cam back a tooth so the marks align again and try it out. I'll report back afterwards. Probably going to do that tonight.
 

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His name is Poseidon
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x2 on the coil pack's, I've had 3 die on me in last 3 months and it was the same #3 cylinder every time.

I bought a new coil pack, swapped it into the #1 cylinder, then moved the old down to #3. After the 2nd failure I put the new into #2 and moved it's pack to #3. The last failure was #3 again so another new pack and it was put straight into #3, right now I have 3 new packs and they are #1, #2 & #3, with the remaining old pack on #4 and no failures since.

If #4 dies on me, it will be the easiest to swap because nothing is really covering it up and should only take me 10min to swap it out. I can only think that these were the OEM coil packs from day 1 as it's pretty low mileage and everything that I am now replacing has been OEM, and their age is really taking it's toll with the way I like to drive the car.
 

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I would always go OEM on the coil packs; I get them from the vw dealer think they're like $15 a piece. I wouldn't trust the Duralast but it depends on what you're thinking is on replacing parts versus cost, how often you want to keep replacing your coil packs. We have had quite a few members on here; who have a much higher failure rate and problems with the non oem coil packs from your typical auto parts store. The last set of call packs I got; was done on the last recall and was a better revision; they seem to be holding up really well and lasting way longer than the earlier versions. For my engine; 1.8T AWP, the OEM was Bremi but many people go to the Hitachi OEM types these bolts onto the valve cover, they are said to last longer then the Bremi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The thing is, with the coil packs; when it comes to electronics on this car, I learned to buy everything I can with a lifetime warranty several years ago. Aftermarket or factory parts, doesn't seem to make a real difference on this particular car. This thing has horrible electronics. I've been through 5 coil packs (one of the Duralast's went bad, but other than that they have been reliable so far), 4 MAF's (two of them OEM replacements), two alternators, and the throttle body has had problems twice now. I just got sick of dumping money into it every time something went wrong... so that's why I only get replacement parts with the lifetime warranty now. It's not a high mileage car, either. We bought it in 2004 with 60k on the clock, and in the past 10 years we've put another 60k on it.

So anyways - sorry for the rant. Like any car model, there are going to be some bad apples.
 

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I don't disagree with your logic; we have a Autozone commercial account and get stuff replaced under warranty all the time. It seems with the German cars; many times, members here are trying to troubleshoot issues and after many troubleshooting steps, it ends up being a poor quality aftermarket part they or a previous owner had installed.
I hear you; on replacement parts on these cars, I could go on for hours about the small part failures I have had; to major catastrophic components, that I have had go bad. Based upon these experiences; I try to buy the part, from the company that makes the part for VW; hoping that they will be better than the original part (many are revised to fix weaknesses in the original design), thus having fewer down times. This may not always be the case; however, every failure I have... is an opportunity to hopefully improve upon the failed part and decrease breakdowns, this has also had me go to tuner/aftermarket improved parts as well. Certain things; like replacing plastic coolant flanges with metal, silicone breather hoses, plastic water pump impellers with a metal version and improved motor mounts, among other things come to mind. My goal; is (if possible), make things more durable with each repair, I am sick of doing things over and over again, expecting a different result (definition of insanity?). I'm trying to learn to "do it right the first time"; the novelty, of fixing these cars has worn off to degree for me.... after driving a New Beetle Turbo every day since 2000, you tend to fix a lot of things! I would rather not keep doing the same thing again; if there is a better solution out there. :cool: Ultimately, I'm just trying to keep the car on the road (primary driver/only car I have) and keep it as reliable as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for using factory parts when feasible. On my T-Birds it's all Ford Motorcraft parts - especially ignition components. They just don't run as well with most everything else. Same for sensors. Now, on the bug, I do get factory parts for some things, but by the second time I have to replace the same part I'm just going to get something I won't have to pay for again. I know everyone says to buy factory Bosch MAF sensors. I did that... the first time it died... and the again the second time it died... then I was like, why the hell am I paying $300 for a part that won't last when I can pay $100 for a part that won't last and not have to pay for it again? The first couple of years we owned the Beetle we went through 4 sets of headlight bulbs! Why? I still have no clue, but for some reason it doesn't eat them up any more...

That's why I like my 80's turbo cars. Still EFI, but not anywhere close to the amount of electronics that are in newer cars. Hell, my '86 TC doesn't even have a check engine light! That's the way I like it! Plus the bug is the only vehicle I own that needs an emissions inspection.

I'm going to try turning that cam back a tooth before I go any further with anything else. My gut tells me it's mechanical. Hopefully I'm right, but I'll be back with an update either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well you guys may just be on to something. I took it all back apart and there is absolutely no way the front cam got off. I still don't know why both of the timing marks I made between the cams and chain are a tooth off, but oh well - that ain't the issue. Put it all back together and fired it up... still runs the same. Smells rich as hell and it's misfiring like crazy. So this time I hooked up the laptop with "VCDS Lite". I get 0 misfires on cylinders 3 & 4, but by the time I got to the measuring blocks cylinders, 1 & 2 were up to like 350 misfires - so I guess they're either not firing at the correct time or they're not firing at all. It's too late to do anything else tonight, but tomorrow I'm going to swap coil packs and see if anything changes. I hope it's just the packs. If it is, and I really can get them at the dealer for $15 each, I'll go ahead and try the OEM packs again.
 

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I hope that's it; swapping the coil positions and checking with the VCDS misfire counter is a easy way to diagnose the problem! This technique, can also be used for fuel injectors; if it seems like that could be a possibility (although I think it's, most likely the coil packs). Keep us informed as your troubleshooting and repair process, progresses! Good luck! :)


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alright so I finally got around to swapping the coils around. I did this: 1-->3, 2-->4, 3-->1, & 4-->2. Now the strange thing is Cylinder 1 is not misfiring at all, but 2, 3, & 4 are. 2 & 3 were pretty level with each other. Sometimes 2 was misfiring pretty consistently - sometimes 3 was misfiring pretty consistently. #4 was missing like crazy. 2&3 got up to 60 or so each, but 4 was over 200. All of the contacts are clean and the spark plugs are new. Are there specific plugs these engines like? I got some NGK platinum plugs this time. I think last time it was Bosch platinum's. I'm going to replace the coils and see what happens, but depending on what you guys say, I may put some different plugs in as well.

One thing I was slightly concerned about was a good bit of oil got into the cylinders when I changed the plugs. The gasket had been leaking for a while, and I blew out each plug recess as best I could with compressed air before I removed the old ones, but I'd guess at least a tablespoon of oil got into a couple of cylinders. I wouldn't worry about this on my other cars, but I don't how easy it is to foul the plug on this thing.
 

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The oil in the spark plug holes; will cause misfires and kill the coils, if left in there. Was the oil in the spark plug holes BEFORE; you changed the valve cover gasket or after? The oil in the spark plug holes; can kill the coils if left in that condition (spark plugs installed, oil in the tube, will cause misfires; killing the coils). My thinking at this point; is some of your coils are bad; how many of the spark plug holes, were full of oil? The original spark plugs; were the NGK (6458) PFR6Q Laser Platinum Spark Plug, you might give them a try as a reliable replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The oil was there before changing the gasket. They're all clean now.

I was wrong about the plugs. I just went back and looked at my receipt and the plugs in there now are Champion 7346's.

I think I'm going to buy all new plugs and coils at this point.

Thanks for the consistent input on this issue, billymade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Soooo - I'm on the website of the local VW dealer trying to get a price on coils. I input the car's info -- '01 Beetle GLX 1.8, AVW engine code, and I get a totally wrong diagram (attached). Does anyone know the part number of the individual coils?
 

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The above diagram is for a 2.0 L; see the square coil and the spark plug wires?

These guys have good prices; they show the part #'s when you do a search:

www.vwparts2go.com

or use the VW National Parts eStore, to see what local VW dealerships charge (search by zip; some dealers are cheaper then others) and order online.

http://www.parts.vw.com/vwparts/ind...ory_Rebate_Rotator&utm_campaign=JulyPromo2014

There are two possibilities based on your VIN #:

06B-905-115-E / Direct Ignition Coil
To Chassis/VIN 1C-Y-499-999 $29.57
These are the bolt down types; uses a bolt to secure to the valve cover.

06A-905-115-D / Direct Ignition Coil
From Chassis/VIN 1c-1-400 001 $17.64
These are like mine; no bolts and just push down in the hole, unsecured.

Based upon the AVW engine code: seems to be 06B905115E - IGNITION COIL Beetle; 1.8L (looks to be the OEM Hitachi bolt down versions, versus the Bremi style like mine).

Lastly, have you checked to see if any recalls are open, on the coil? Maybe you can have them replaced for free; by your local VW dealer? Worth checking, you never know! :)
 
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