View Full Version : 1.8T Rebuild - Advise Needed

02-27-2013, 09:06 AM
Purchased a 2001 1.8t auto w/ 98K. Only paid $500. Learned a lot from reading about this car, but not quite enough to just tare it apart just yet.

Managed to remove engine... Now, time to rebuild.

Reason for rebuild: Car would run, but smoked heavily out the tailpipe. Turbo is shot completely, no question there. Sent out to be rebuilt @ Gpopshop.

1 - 75
2- 160
3- 160
4- 145

New oil pump, timing belt and tensioner about 10K miles before car began to smoke and lose power. (Local European Shop)

Based on the above, I was thinking: Replace piston rings, install new turbo, valve seals, and gaskets.

What I am on the fence about: Bearings, Connecting Rods, etc. Should these be replaced? Engine did not have any knocking or other weird noise.

02-27-2013, 08:08 PM
bearings? abso-fucking-lutely. there are guys on here that will whine and say if the bearing is good why replace it. i'll tell you why. because its a lot of work to get all the way to the bearings and if you had a problem in a couple thousand miles youd regret your decision not to. to me, anytime you take a main cap off or a rod cap off the bearing should be replaced. these are critical engine components. same goes for pistons rings. i dont consider these components to even be questionable whether they should be replaced or not. if the piston comes out of the hole, put rings on it and hone. you plan on freshening up the rest of the engine, why not the critical shit too? if you do it right, your engine will essentially be new

connecting rods? no need to unless you plan on making more power or your wrist pins have caused wear.

02-27-2013, 08:12 PM
Make sure your lowered compression was due to either the piston rings or head gasket. If it was because of the cylinder head, you would have wasted a lot of money.

02-28-2013, 02:02 PM
@Redline - I totally agree with your way of thinking. Getting the front clip off and the motor out with no experience with Volkswagens was way more than I ever wanted to get into. That said, I am def not trying to do it again. Should I replace both cam bearings and the crank bearings then?

I have read somewhere on one of the forums that people recommend changing out the piston rods, but I don't know why I would when I am just going for a good-running daily driver, nothing performance.
Piston rings absolutely...

@Seerlah - I figured I would have the head pressure tested just for peace of mind...

Must I remove the timing belt to remove the head? When I did the compression test the hose that threads into the spark-plug hole got stuck in cylinder #1 and would not come out. So, I can't know when that piston is at TDC.

Can't I just determine TDC by lining up the crank pulley and timing cover? Still a bit confused on what all must be set to TDC.. I have read about the cam having to be at TDC, and also the Flexplate. Is there a way to just get everything at TDC at once?

02-28-2013, 02:27 PM
You can do it that way. But both cylinder 1 and 4 will be at TDC at the same time. So you an always check with cylinder 4. If you are not going for performance it would have been much much easier to pick up a used engine. Then you could have sold your current engine to someone like me who would build it on the side. If going for a rebuild, that would mean all new bearings and piston rings, but you reuse your old connecting rods and pistons. If the crankshaft comes out of your engine, then your main bearings must be replaced with new main cap bolts. If the crank is staying in the engine, then no need for that, But with what you are having done, a hone, new piston rings and new rod bearings would be the bare minimum. After that, it is up to you what you want to replace (I recommend replacing your oil pick up tube).

And yes, TB must come off to separate the short block from the cylinder head. Just the belt. But set your cam and crank gear for TDC before removing this belt, so your valves on your head will be in the properly closed position.

02-28-2013, 05:28 PM

I initially looked to just get a used engine, but after I saw the cost of one and read about how the oil pick-up tubes
often get clogged depriving internals of oil, I decided I wanted mine "rebuilt".

I also have never done an engine on my own, and really am looking forward to the experience, despite the time consumption.

Okay, so I am still just slightly confused about setting the crank and cam gears to TDC before removing the head.
Does the cam gear have a notch, and should this notch or mark line up with a mark on the valve cover?

The crank I think I understand how to get that to TDC. My understanding is there is a mark on the Crank gear and the timing cover. But, it has been a few days since I have been to the garage, and I never checked for the marks...

I don't plan to remove the Crank, unless it is necessary to remove the pistons, although I do not think that is the case. But, I do plan to replace the bearings and rod bolts. Also, pick up tube.

Lastly, I was thinking it might be a good idea to replace valve seals and possibly lifters. I am not exactly sure where I ever got this idea, I was hoping for input on this as well...

02-28-2013, 06:18 PM
Best word of advice I can give you is READ READ READ.... READ some more and at the same time buy a Bentley (manual). Then pay a shop to do certain things, like head/valve work. Even then your car is an automatic. I would never sink that much money into an automatic. I would buy a used engine, drop the oil pan, replace the pickuptube and perhaps if it looked like it, replace the rear main seal. I would not bother to rebuild an automatic unless you were going to swap the trans. Seriously just do that, if you want to start building a tuner car, still do that and just sell this can and buy a manual one.

02-28-2013, 07:08 PM
I get what you're saying, automatic transmission...yeah, I hear ya there. But, when it is all said and done, I won't have but $1000 into the whole repair, plus the $500 I paid for the car, that's $1,500 for a very clean passat with just 100K on it. If I get 200K out of it, I am satisfied. You cannot buy the same car for under $3,000 unless maybe you are a dealer at an auction.

I have no interest in performance, just trying to put together an affordable, economical daily driver. I probably read just about every single detailed thread online about rebuilding a 1.8t. Aside from a few questions I want to clarify before I remove anything on the motor, I think I am as prepared as I can be. And yes, head and valve work, that's going to a shop.

Trust me, I did my homework on this one. I'm just thankful for this forum and all who respond, because I live in a very small city and nobody around here knows anything about German vehicles. I have read for the past 2 months, bought a Chilton, but that was about a waste of money.

02-28-2013, 07:57 PM
For those cost levels, just buy a used engine, drop the pan replace the screen and go. Trust me when I tell you that the other stuff adds up REAL fast on these cars.

03-01-2013, 12:57 AM
Take nynoah's advice. Much much easier route. Replacing the pick up tube is really easy when the engine is out of the car.