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Discussion Starter #1
After reading the threads here, it does seem the valve body in my 2003 Vert 6-speed turbo is failing. It's really randomly hard shifting, primarily 3-2 I believe, and appears to happen more on hotter days.

We don't have many hot days here, so it's not that big of an issue.

What I'm wondering is if there is any advantage to getting it fixed now, or just waiting for it to get worse and eventually fail? We have more vehicles, and the vert is mainly a summer one anyway.

It has 117k on it now.

Thanks for the advice.
 

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Suggest you get the issue resolved sooner than later. The harsh shifting can put more wear and tear on the transmission, trans & motor mounts and even the exhaust system.

The problem will not get any better, just worse.

DO NOT TAKE THE CAR TO AAMCO.

You have to either DIY or find a decent trans shop that knows these cars and the valve body issues. At 117k miles most shops will try to talk you into a full overhaul. I would go with a valve body and hope you get years more service out of the trans. Even if the trans does not last, hopefully you will not need to redo the valve body when the trans needs to be addressed.

Be prepared for the passenger side axle to be replaced as well, maybe both, I would put money on the passenger side inner CV boot is fully torn at this point.

Expect about $950-$1100 for a valve body overhaul if you have to pay a shop. The shop MUST understand VW's and what these valve bodies need, either they will overhaul it, ream the bores and install over sized spool valves or will get an exchange reworked valve body.

Where are you located??
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I'm in Montana. There's a local shop here that specializes in VW and Audis. Not sure if they outsource transmission work or not.

I already replaced the Passenger side axle about 10k miles ago, and the boots are all good.

I restore and build cars as a hobby, so I know my way around, and have tools and a lift, but I've never worked on a VW transmission before, so I'm a little afraid of it. But, I've done completely engine tear downs and rebuilds, so it shouldn't be a huge issue to DIY it.

I've got the service book from VW on this car. Would that be the best source of info, or should I find a tutorial online (both?)

I think in one of your other threads (or someone elses), it was said that rebuilding the original VB is the best approach. Can a consumer send theirs in or do you have to be a shop? I don't mind pulling it out to have it rebuilt.

I appreciate the advice!
 

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I have the same car as you do and I have had to pull my vlave body at 72k miles to have it reworked. Mine was so early as I like in the Washington, DC area, the car was used for a daily commuter and likely shifted 1000+ times a day.

You can do the valve body yourself, the hardest part is disconnecting the stupid small an brittle connectors from the valve body solenoids. Not hard, just a PITA to figure out the right small screw driver and the way to release the connector, once you figure one out, the rest are not too bad.

Take pictures, make a diagram, label the wiring. Make notes where the small wire brackets go. There are about 14-15 connections inside the transmission.

DO NOT try to fill the trans from the upper fill, you WILL break it and you WILL be sorry. Bottom fill is stupid easy once you figure out how it works.

I had my valve body reworked by these guys - Home Page

That was about 8k miles ago, they give a 2 year warranty on their work. They offer exchange valve bodies but they will also rework your valve body. Johnny is a good guy to deal with.

Search my user name and you will find info on my trans fill job.

Suggest you do not start the car, but turn the ignition on and run the shifter through the gears before you put the pan back on and fill with fluid. If you have wiring off, you will get codes and the shift indicator will show limp mode. This will save you draining and pulling the pan again. ASK ME HOW I KNOW!!!

Anyway it is only about 17 bolts, 17 wires and about 3 hours work if you take your time once the car is in the air.

Good luck and ask me any questions you might have.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks!

I also need to replace a solenoid on my daughter's dodge intrepid, so transmission issues appear to be a common issue around here. I'll never finish my Cobra replica project at this rate. ;->

I'll contact Johnny as well, and get that in the works.

I really appreciate the info!
 

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I would likely wait until convertible season is over, it does not have to happen right now. Assume vert season on MT is only a few more months!!! I've been to Whitefish and other places in your neck of the woods and know that the summer season can be a bit shorter there.

You may be able to help the issue along by either popping the trans in neutral to eliminate the hard downshifts once the fluid gets really warm or maybe using the Tiptronic section might help control things a bit?

Johnny is a good guy, small shop but did a 1 day turn on my valve body. He was originally planning a swap until I told him I could have the down time and he even said, he preferred to rework the valve body from the car, so I knew he knows what the deal is.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would likely wait until convertible season is over, it does not have to happen right now. Assume vert season on MT is only a few more months!!! I've been to Whitefish and other places in your neck of the woods and know that the summer season can be a bit shorter there.
Yeah, 70 days. ;->

I think this is a good plan. It's actually the wife's car, and we'd really like to take the seats out and really get the carpet clean (I'm a pro detailer), plus do some paint work on the inside and fix a leather tear, so having it all torn apart would be okay.
 

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Also tear the front of the dash out and pull the wipers and cowl cover and clear out all the trash from under the windshield and change the cabin air filter.

You would be surprised what ends up in there, especially where you are located.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also tear the front of the dash out and pull the wipers and cowl cover and clear out all the trash from under the windshield and change the cabin air filter.

You would be surprised what ends up in there, especially where you are located.
Good idea!
 
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