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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
All I did was... change all of Valdez's temp sensors, the water housing tube, timing belt, tensioner, thermostat and water pump, with the assistance of my younger brother. It was not as difficult as I anticipated. I took the car apart on Saturday and we put it back together on Sunday.

Now let me explain why this was done... initially my car was over heating, the red light would come after driving only a few minutes and air bubbles would be churning (boiling?) in the expansion tank.

Step 0ne: I changed all of the sensors, the water housing tube (as the o-ring popped out) and yet it still over heated.

Step Two: I read a lot of posts on NB.ORG in order to identify the problem, so I reasoned it was the water pump; that pesky plastic impeller.

Step Three: I ordered the water pump/timing belt kit from www.germanautoparts.com and installed it. To my surprise the plastic impeller on the existing pump was intact; however there was evidence of a water leak on the engine block, bad o-ring perhaps. The existing timing belt looked OK as well, I changed them all out anyway.

The problem still exists and here is what it is still doing after it warms up... while idling (I did not want to test drive it yet) the anti-freeze churns (boils?) out through the expansion tank, but the red warning light does not come on. I suspect that if I drove it the red light would come on.

Car starts great, idles (runs) great, no strange noises, so does anyone have any suggestions as to what is going on? :confused:
 

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Bug me again!
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I'll say 'air trapped in the system' but I'm not the top expert here :eek:
Hopefully this bump will bring them along :)
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Discussion Starter #4
firstbug said:
You could be getting air in your cooling system from a leaking head gasket.
Well my brother mentioned this (I gave him an evil look), but I really do not want it to be so :( However when I was turning the crank to set the marks for #1 TDC, I noticed that it was easier than expected, especially between the one and five o'clock positions. I guess I need to get a compression tester.
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I called the dealer and the mechanic I use when I do not feel up to doing the work myself; based on my description of the problem, here are their suggestions...

1) Bad head gasket and/or cracked head/block
2) Clogged radiator

The ballpark estimate to replace the head gasket (no machine work for the head or block) is $500-$800.

So has anyone out there ever replaced a head gasket?:confused:
 

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Bobbi's right hand man
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43 Posts
Do you have any smoke coming out of your exhaust at all? If you had a head gasket issue, it would definitely be associated with burning oil or coolant.

As you mentioned in your other post, go pick up a compression tester and test all 4 cylinders.
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Discussion Starter #7
Tearstone said:
Do you have any smoke coming out of your exhaust at all? If you had a head gasket issue, it would definitely be associated with burning oil or coolant.

As you mentioned in your other post, go pick up a compression tester and test all 4 cylinders.
Water (or similar substance) does come out of the exhaust, but not anymore than what I believe is normal after 10 years of ownership; however back before the problem became a problem, I did notice the smell of burnt anti-freeze while driving the car. But then I thought it was because the water housing tube was leaking.

The dealer eluded (would not give me details) to a test they could perform that would be better than a compression test; an additive is added to the expansion tank and if the anti-freeze turns yellow then it is a certainty that you have combustion gases in with your anti-freeze. I'm currently researching this.
 

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Bobbi's right hand man
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D2Beetle said:
Water (or similar substance) does come out of the exhaust, but not anymore than what I believe is normal after 10 years of ownership; however back before the problem became a problem, I did notice the smell of burnt anti-freeze while driving the car. But then I thought it was because the water housing tube was leaking.

The dealer eluded (would not give me details) to a test they could perform that would be better than a compression test; an additive is added to the expansion tank and if the anti-freeze turns yellow then it is a certainty that you have combustion gases in with your anti-freeze. I'm currently researching this.
It's normal for water to come out of the exhaust, but if your car is not smoking then I'm not inclined to jump to the conclusion that you have a blown head gasket. If you smelled burnt anti-freeze, it's not because it cycled through the engine, it's because there was a leak external to the engine and sizzled off.

The test they are talking about is something I've found is a way to gouge you for a $25 bottle of addictive. There are things you can do yourself which will get you ahead of the game.

First do a compression test. If that comes back uneven or you are still unsure do a leak down test. Google "Leak down test" for more info.
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Discussion Starter #9
Tearstone said:
... If that comes back uneven or you are still unsure do a leak down test. Google "Leak down test" for more info.
Thanks for the Leak Down Test suggestion :), it has been educational. After what I have read regarding the compression test vs. leak down test, I'm more inclined to skip the compression test and go straight to the leak down test.

I already have a compressor and leak down testers are avaialble online, but I need a recomendition of which type/model works best with a 2.0L NB, any suggestions? :confused:
 

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Bobbi's right hand man
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D2Beetle said:
Thanks for the Leak Down Test suggestion :), it has been educational. After what I have read regarding the compression test vs. leak down test, I'm more inclined to skip the compression test and go straight to the leak down test.

I already have a compressor and leak down testers are avaialble online, but I need a recomendition of which type/model works best with a 2.0L NB, any suggestions? :confused:
Compression testers are really cheap, it's a good idea to have that in your tool collection anyways. I saw one at harbor frieght for $7, I paid $25 for mine that I've been using for years.

I don't have a leak down tester, usually I get all the data I need to know from a compression tester and the human senses :)
 

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Did you put in a thermostat? are the fans coming on? these are things I would try before doing a head gasket. Does it run crappy like one cylinder is missing? I would also do a compression test because that will tell you if your head gasket is gone.:) Good luck.
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Discussion Starter #13
gilligan said:
Did you put in a thermostat? are the fans coming on? these are things I would try before doing a head gasket. Does it run crappy like one cylinder is missing? I would also do a compression test because that will tell you if your head gasket is gone.:) Good luck.
The motor starts/runs as it should, no issues other than I cannot keep antifreeze/water in the cooling system.

I changed out the following parts...
1) Water housing tube
2) The related temp sensors
a. Two in the water housing tube
b. One in the radiator
3) Timing belt
4) Timing belt tensioner
5) Thermostat
6) Water pump

I did not change out the Fan Control Module, ($200.00) to expensive. Currently, not enough water stays in the system, and the radiator never warms up.

The sensor in the radiator signals the Fan Control Module to turn on the fans, but because there is insufficient water in the system, the fans never come on.

I'm not eager to tear my engine down, but if it comes to that, so be it; and from what I have read, a Leak Down Test is better than a compression test (http://www.geocities.com/dsmgrrrl/FAQs/leakdown.htm) when trying to determine where the leak is. I still intend on doing a compression test, as this will give me an idea which cylinder(s) are suspect.

I plan on doing the compression test this weekend and as soon as I can get my hands on leak down tester I'll do that as well; if anyone is interested I could post a sound bite of the engine running; wait :confused: is it possible to do that on this forum?
 

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Man this is a difficult Diagnosis, I wonder if something is plugged??? it just seems strange that an engine that is either sucking in antifreeze or blowing out compression through a bad head gasket would not run perfectly fine. either one of those problems would be very visible just by looking at the spark plugs. good luck tracking this demon down.
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Discussion Starter #15
Well I attempted to do the compression test, but forgot to get the extender (I might need two); I cannot get my hand in there. So in the mean time I would like to get some comments regarding the appearance of the spark plugs.

They are as they are when I took them out and cylinder one is the far left, then two, three and four. I am not certain why they are charcoal black, two and three appear wet and I'm not certain what it is.
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Discussion Starter #16
Well I finally completed the compression test and leak down test and here are the results...

Cyl 1 - 91 :(
Cyl 2 - 91 :(
Cyl 3 - 210 :)
Cyl 4 - 212 :)

Cylinders one and two are leaking between each other and cylinder number two is leaking into the water jacket. When we did the compression test for the number two cylinder the pressure gauge on the expansion tank went up.

So, it looks like the head is coming off. I have also decided to get the head reworked/machined/planed; has any NB Org'er had this done? I'm just trying to determine if there are any pitfalls I need to be aware of before I get started.

Well after 244,161 miles and nearly 10 years (April) I get to do some major engine repair; as car repairs go I consider it average.
 

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I hope the cylinders look good on those two that were leaking. other than that it sounds like your definitely in need of a head gasket. 244,000 miles is not bad though pretty impressive actually.:goodjob:
 

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Tired.....
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It looks alike cylinders 2 and 3 might have bad rings. :dunno: If it was water in the system the would be a lot cleaner. But then the engine would run like carp.

When I started reading this I thought you might have air pockets in the coolant system. I had read somewhere (maybe here) that someone had replaced the coolant and needed to raise one side of the car to get the air pockets out.

I dont think it will be to bad to do a head on one of these. If you have the Bentley it should be a piece of cake. :bigthumb:
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Discussion Starter #19
I was wondering, have any of you ever done a cylinder head replacement for the 2.0 engine? :confused: I have a replacement head and a Bentley manual, but sometimes there can be surprises... :eek: I'm trying to plan for the unexpected. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I pay particular attention to? :confused:

What I'm going to do is a swap, take off the existing head and put on the replacement head; this way there is little delay and I should be able to do it over a long weekend.
 

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D2Beetle said:
I was wondering, have any of you ever done a cylinder head replacement for the 2.0 engine? :confused: I have a replacement head and a Bentley manual, but sometimes there can be surprises... :eek: I'm trying to plan for the unexpected. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I pay particular attention to? :confused:

What I'm going to do is a swap, take off the existing head and put on the replacement head; this way there is little delay and I should be able to do it over a long weekend.
:eek: A WEEKEND!!! you better have it done in four hours or your slow. :D J/K just make sure you connect everything up and the timing is spot on and you shouldn't have any trouble unless the head your putting on is no good.:)
 
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