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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all...

This is my first post here, thanks for having me. We have a 2003 GLS 1.8 Turbo 5spd that we bought used 4 years ago with 85k at the time. Other than a few little things here and there that took 4 times longer to fix than anticipated... it's been a top notch performer. So the other day, with 140k miles, the timing belt took a permanent vacation while my fiance was climing a nice big hill. (found out the hard way that VDub recommends TB replacement at 105k miles.) I knew it was serious when the lil car whined instead of starting, the unmistakeable sound of NO COMPRESSION. Had it towed to the local VW Stealership and they confirmed my fears and said it would be around $4k to rebuild the top half.

I was able to find a reconditioned engine (sans turbocharger) with 80k, with a new timing belt and water pump, full valve and bearing inspection and a 6mo. warranty for only $1350 at a local German recycler. I have a guy who can install an engine in his sleep (I used to buy blown up cars at auctions and fix em) He's done a bunch of Focus's and Saturns for me , but never a VW. Is there any surprises that we (he) should expect?
What about the Turbocharger swap?

Also, I think he's much more talented at swapping engines than he is at opening them up, but I was wondering if it was worth a try to have look inside and see what he could do. I imagine that there's some collateral damage in there for sure. BUT the car didn't run very long after the failure going uphill. No leaks, juices or fluids. Just my girls tears.

So thats the situation. It's a really cool turbo, stock 17s, two toned color matched leather, etc etc. So we dont want to part it out. ANY advice or mild mockery would be MUCH appreciated! Thanks in advance...

Tom
 

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Oh Tom, I feel for you. It happened to me about 120k ago. John opened him up and had a few valves replaced and some of the head reground. It needs to be opened up to know how bad it is. Good luck! You should do the water pump at the same time.
 

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Changing out the engine is not rocket science, and buying a used one makes more sense than a $4000 rebuild.

How could you not know the T-belt needs periodic service? (no offense):stickpok:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
haha ya no excuse there. Thanks for the shot...Always owned American cars with Timing Chains as far as I know.

I agree though I'm definately going forward with the engine replacement plans, it should be done by the time the 1 week car rental is up... if all goes well. Thats why I was wondering if there is anything unexpected to expect. :confused: i.e. any special tools, tricks or important advice from someone whos been there.
 

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Motor mount bolts for the 3 drivetrain mounts are torque to yield one time use--replace them or they could break on you. At 140K I might think about a new clutch since the engine and tranny are separated anyway. Good luck, I hope this gets you many more miles!:)
 

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No reason to do a clutch if its working fine. I've heard plenty of stories of original clutches going to 200,000+ miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone... The clutch was considered when ordering the engine, so my mechanic will be checking it out when he opens her up. Hopefully it goes smoothly and I will post the results hopefully by Monday the 15th. That's IF they get the engine to us by this weekend.
 
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