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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I figured I'd throw up one of these sweet threads as well. I already keep track of this stuff for myself on my Mac so I might as well share it for anyone who might care or learn something from it. :thumbup:

I'm John and I just picked up this .:R32 last month. It has about 110k on the clock right now. In the beginning it will be more of a restoration project as the previous owner sort-of neglected it some, especially towards the end of his ownership. That being said, nothing is beyond a little TLC, and it will be much better when I'm finished!

I will keep this initial post updated with current pics as well as a modification list.

I hope you enjoy! :beer:
__________________________________________________

Current Modifications:

Evolution Motorsports Intake w/Synthamax Filter
ECS Magnetic Oil Drain Plug
Flapper "Golf Tee" Mod
20th Anniversary Headlights
42DD High-Intensity White City Light LED Bulbs
42DD White License Plate LED Bulbs
42DD High-Intensity White Hatch Cargo Area LED Light Bulb
Disabled DRLs
iPod Integration

Current Photos:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you! :thumbup:

The car came with a few mods:

-Evolution Motorsports Intake w/Synthamax Filter
-ECS Magnetic Oil Drain Plug
-Flapper "Golf Tee" Mod
-20th Anniversary Headlights
-iPod Integration
-Disabled DRLs

But it also came with a bunch of small problems, as well as a potentially expensive one. I think I picked it up for a fair price considering the issues. The main issue is that there is a CEL for the codes 17755 and 17748, and the power delivery feels a little weak in the upper RPMs. I have been told that this can be a few things.. and they're all timing chain related.. so there is a good chance that fixing them could be expensive. Everything else checked out, so I decided to go for it.

According to a TSB that was released by VW, my timing chain is elongated (I assume upper) and needs to be replaced. That being said, others have the same codes and report no issues so I am still getting to the bottom of the problem while fixing other small things in the process. From everything I've read and the research I've done, as well as talking to a few mechanics, the car is perfectly ok to drive with these CELs.

The small problems? Here we go...

-Oil pressure light came on intermittently. Found this was due to a faulty switch/sensor.
-A rattle coming from the engine area around 1500 RPM. I cannot figure out exactly what it is. I've been told it was the intake manifold change-over valve bushings. It obviously could also be the timing chain, but it doesn't seem to get louder when I open the oil cap, so I'm really not sure yet.
-Some holes in the lower center console from the previous owner where he installed some switches for his sound system. Also the soft touch finish is coming up around the shift boot quite a bit.. so this entire piece will need to be replaced.
-Mushy brake pedal.. a brake bleed should take care of this.
-The headliner is coming off some on the B and C pillars.
-No OEM plastic skid plate. Not necessary really though as it's just for sound deadening.
-Brake pad wear sensor light was on.
-Gaping vacuum leak on an EVAP line.
-RPMs would bob up and down at idle due to the above vacuum leak.
-Rear hatch would not open using the key, door button or remote.
-Car had a stereo system that needed to be removed to my liking (sub box and amp in the hatch area).
-The headlights had cloudy Lamin-X on them and were also filled with dirty and dust. Rain would cause them to really fog up a lot as well.
-Car had extremely dark (illegal) tint that was also starting to bubble and peel off in places.
-Cigarette lighter wasn't working.
-Air filter was dirty as hell.
-Corrosion was pretty bad on the battery terminals and also got onto the intake's filter shroud.
-Battery tie down was missing.
-The doors automatically re-lock even once I've opened the driver's door.
-Inside rear view mirror is missing some trim pieces that cover wiring.
-Side view mirrors had some dome mirrors stuck to them that I didn't like personally.
-Rear badge had been removed but then re-applied using some odd looking glue.
-Found another vacuum leak near the intake manifold change-over valve solenoid.
-Passenger side sun-visor was broken off (how?! LOL)
-Needed 100,000 mile maintenance.
-Wiper blades falling apart.
-Has a big crack in the windshield.
-Hood could use some touch-up paint in a few spots and there is a very light scuff in the rear bumper that hopefully can be buffed out. Has a few small dents and dings but nothing you wouldn't expect from a daily driver sold in 2004.
-Floor mats are in terrible shape and one of the pins that holds the driver's side floor mat in place is missing.

Ok.. I think that's it!

Here is how she looked when I picked her up. The only thing I changed before this picture was I swapped some aftermarket grill that was on the car back to the OEM grill. I also installed an S2000 antenna.

 

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According to a TSB that was released by VW, my timing chain is elongated (I assume upper) and needs to be replaced. That being said, others have the same codes and report no issues so I am still getting to the bottom of the problem while fixing other small things in the process. From everything I've read and the research I've done, as well as talking to a few mechanics, the car is perfectly ok to drive with these CELs. Check the cam sensors and if the bolts are loose before you even think about chains. There are so many scare storys out there which is utter rubbish....i only know of two or three cars affected out of how many thousand cars....you don't hear of 2.8 VR6 issues other than the really old ones with guide issues which was sorted out along time ago. Change the oil and filter before you do anything as well.

The small problems? Here we go...

-Oil pressure light came on intermittently. Found this was due to a faulty switch/sensor. I would also look at the oil pump and could be the cause of the rattle etc if the engine is not running the correct oil pressure low down in the rpm. With the cam sensor errors check the mesh filter to the cam adjusters you might also like to change the chain tensioner. Are you sure the car has not had any work done to it? Have you checked the timing is on?
-A rattle coming from the engine area around 1500 RPM. I cannot figure out exactly what it is. I've been told it was the intake manifold change-over valve bushings. It obviously could also be the timing chain, but it doesn't seem to get louder when I open the oil cap, so I'm really not sure yet.
-Some holes in the lower center console from the previous owner where he installed some switches for his sound system. Also the soft touch finish is coming up around the shift boot quite a bit.. so this entire piece will need to be replaced.
-Mushy brake pedal.. a brake bleed should take care of this. Also check your wheel bearings for play as this can cause odd brake feel, does the car feel tight on the front end while driving? Tram lining at all?
-The headliner is coming off some on the B and C pillars. mmm is the head lining damp anywhere? marks?
-No OEM plastic skid plate. Not necessary really though as it's just for sound deadening. Its also for some high speed stablility creating a low pressure area under the front
-Brake pad wear sensor light was on. Try an air line blowing out the sensors/ABS ring as there maybe a build up of metal dust on the sensor. If not replace.
-Gaping vacuum leak on an EVAP line. This will be alot of the cause of your issues with running, low power etc
-RPMs would bob up and down at idle due to the above vacuum leak. :thumbup:
-Rear hatch would not open using the key, door button or remote. Very common, if the key is not used or the lock opened frequently water can enter they key hole or drip down from the rear wash wipe corroding the hinges and mechanism. You will need to get it open some how or get the rear hatch cover off to get to the lock and grease up
-Car had a stereo system that needed to be removed to my liking (sub box and amp in the hatch area).:thumbup:
-The headlights had cloudy Lamin-X on them and were also filled with dirty and dust. Rain would cause them to really fog up a lot as well. Check the seals on the back of the headlights and makesure the head light covers are ok. Did the US cars not come with HID Xenons as standard?
-Car had extremely dark (illegal) tint that was also starting to bubble and peel off in places.
-Cigarette lighter wasn't working.
-Air filter was dirty as hell.
-Corrosion was pretty bad on the battery terminals and also got onto the intake's filter shroud. This can cause bad running and odd sensor issues with the correct voltage not being supplied to the car. Are you running a cone filter then? I would move back to the OEM airbox with DSG components. IF the filter is dirty check the condition of the MAF or clean it with some contact cleaner carefully.
-Battery tie down was missing. ouch
-The doors automatically re-lock even once I've opened the driver's door.You have an issue with the driver door lock, there are a few microswitches inside which break...replace the lock. I bet the fuel pump does not prime when you unlock the door.
-Inside rear view mirror is missing some trim pieces that cover wiring. Need part numbers?
-Side view mirrors had some dome mirrors stuck to them that I didn't like personally.
-Rear badge had been removed but then re-applied using some odd looking glue.
-Found another vacuum leak near the intake manifold change-over valve solenoid. Another reason the engine is running off
-Passenger side sun-visor was broken off (how?! LOL)
-Needed 100,000 mile maintenance.
-Wiper blades falling apart.
-Has a big crack in the windshield.
-Hood could use some touch-up paint in a few spots and there is a very light scuff in the rear bumper that hopefully can be buffed out. Has a few small dents and dings but nothing you wouldn't expect from a daily driver sold in 2004.
-Floor mats are in terrible shape and one of the pins that holds the driver's side floor mat in place is missing.


Let me know if you need any part numbers....good luck with the restore! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Ok so I have already done quite a bit to the car in the past month so it may seem like I'm flying through these posts. =P

The first thing I did was change the oil to see if it would help with the oil pressure light issue. It did not, but the car was due for an oil change anyways. I went with 5w40 Castrol Syntec and an STP filter. The filter was all the auto-parts store had and there is no VW dealership in my area, so I had no choice. I'll definitely be ordering some OEM filters for future changes.

The light would only come on under very light throttle around 1500 RPMs, and very rarely even under those conditions. I decided the best course of action was to inspect the switch/sensor and hook a manual tester gauge up to the car to see how the pressure was.

So I picked up a test gauge from Harbor Freight and put the front clip/carrier into the service position. The switch was not fun to get to, but once the bumper was removed and the clip was forward, it wasn't all too bad. Kind of annoying none the less.. these engine bays are definitely not service friendly! :laugh:

Once I removed the sensor's harness I already knew something was up. The harness itself was filled with oil and the sensor had oil coming out of the top of it. Well that's not supposed to happen. Also, to my surprise, I discovered that the car had the wrong sensor installed! :eek: WTF.. gotta love used cars eh? The switch installed was from a TDI and was rated to trigger at .8 bar as opposed to the R32 spec 1.4 bar. Needless to say, that worried me quite a bit, thinking that my oil pressure problem could be even more serious than I thought.

Luckily, it wasn't! I hooked up the tester gauge and my oil pressure is actually in spec. WHEW! So I cleaned the harness up with electrical parts cleaner (MAF cleaner actually) and replaced the switch with the correct part number. I got it for a great price from 1stvwparts.com.. those guys are great.

While completing the process I discovered the vacuum hose leak near the intake manifold change-over valve. It's actually a rubber T that is in between the fuel pressure regulator and the change-over valve solenoid. I am hoping that fixing this leak will give me some more power up top considering where it is. I'm still waiting for the part to come in though.

Here is the engine bay before I pulled the carrier into the service position:



And here is a picture of the broken vacuum T hose:



More to come!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
According to a TSB that was released by VW, my timing chain is elongated (I assume upper) and needs to be replaced. That being said, others have the same codes and report no issues so I am still getting to the bottom of the problem while fixing other small things in the process. From everything I've read and the research I've done, as well as talking to a few mechanics, the car is perfectly ok to drive with these CELs. Check the cam sensors and if the bolts are loose before you even think about chains. There are so many scare storys out there which is utter rubbish....i only know of two or three cars affected out of how many thousand cars....you don't hear of 2.8 VR6 issues other than the really old ones with guide issues which was sorted out along time ago. Change the oil and filter before you do anything as well.Thanks for the advice! I did check the "hall sensors" after searching around and mine were tight. I hope you're right though and it all turns out to be something simple! One mechanic said specifically that the timing chain adjusters could be going bad and the parts are $500+ a piece! I really hope that isn't the case, as it's the worst case scenario.

The small problems? Here we go...

-Oil pressure light came on intermittently. Found this was due to a faulty switch/sensor. I would also look at the oil pump and could be the cause of the rattle etc if the engine is not running the correct oil pressure low down in the rpm. With the cam sensor errors check the mesh filter to the cam adjusters you might also like to change the chain tensioner. Are you sure the car has not had any work done to it? Have you checked the timing is on? I definitely plan to do this eventually. Now that I have replaced the switch, I don't have any warnings so far. And I hooked up the manual tester gauge and my pressure was actually within spec. That being said, I am going to run some Auto-Rx through the engine and then go from there. I may end up dropping the pan anyways, even if I get no more warning lights, just to check to see if the oil pump is in spec and that the screen isn't clogged. Honestly at this point all I can do is drive the car for a bit and see how it responds to what I've done so far. I have already bought a tensioner bolt that I was going to put on, but I'm going to wait for the Auto-Rx to do it's trick first. Also I have heard about those screens on the adjusters, but how can you get to them to inspect and/or clean them? As far as I know, no engine work has ever been done. How do I check the timing? Vag-Com? :beer:
-A rattle coming from the engine area around 1500 RPM. I cannot figure out exactly what it is. I've been told it was the intake manifold change-over valve bushings. It obviously could also be the timing chain, but it doesn't seem to get louder when I open the oil cap, so I'm really not sure yet.
-Some holes in the lower center console from the previous owner where he installed some switches for his sound system. Also the soft touch finish is coming up around the shift boot quite a bit.. so this entire piece will need to be replaced.
-Mushy brake pedal.. a brake bleed should take care of this. Also check your wheel bearings for play as this can cause odd brake feel, does the car feel tight on the front end while driving? Tram lining at all? Will do. I can't comment much on the drivability yet because I haven't driven it more than a few miles. I didn't want to drive it until I figured out the oil pressure issue and I am just now buttoning all of that back up. I will say, during the test drive the front end felt "wavy" but IMO that was more due to worn shocks and just the general nature of the car (compared to what I'm used to). I wouldn't say that anything felt "loose" or sloppy.
-The headliner is coming off some on the B and C pillars. mmm is the head lining damp anywhere? marks? Nah it's not damp. I think this is just a common issue on these cars. My buddies GLI headliner is much worse than mine so I almost consider myself lucky that it's just on my pillars. Hopefully that will be easier to remove and fix than the headliner itself.
-No OEM plastic skid plate. Not necessary really though as it's just for sound deadening. Its also for some high speed stablility creating a low pressure area under the front Hmm good point. There was actually one on the car but it was more or less destroyed so I removed it. I never had one on my 337 so I went ahead and took it off. I may get a skid plate eventually, but considering that I'm about to lower the car, I don't think a plastic unit would last very long anyways. :laugh:
-Brake pad wear sensor light was on. Try an air line blowing out the sensors/ABS ring as there maybe a build up of metal dust on the sensor. If not replace. The car is supposed to have new pads. I think the issue is that they didn't use pads with sensors built in. :rolleyes: We shall see..
-Gaping vacuum leak on an EVAP line. This will be alot of the cause of your issues with running, low power etc
-RPMs would bob up and down at idle due to the above vacuum leak. :thumbup:
-Rear hatch would not open using the key, door button or remote. Very common, if the key is not used or the lock opened frequently water can enter they key hole or drip down from the rear wash wipe corroding the hinges and mechanism. You will need to get it open some how or get the rear hatch cover off to get to the lock and grease up
-Car had a stereo system that needed to be removed to my liking (sub box and amp in the hatch area).:thumbup:
-The headlights had cloudy Lamin-X on them and were also filled with dirty and dust. Rain would cause them to really fog up a lot as well. Check the seals on the back of the headlights and makesure the head light covers are ok. Did the US cars not come with HID Xenons as standard? Nope we didn't even get Xenons as an option here. :( I looked into this and, like you said, the rear covers on the headlights were not reinstalled correctly after someone opened them to replace the bulbs. Sigh. So they are extremely dirty inside because of that. I'm going to have to open them up and clean them out. :mad:
-Car had extremely dark (illegal) tint that was also starting to bubble and peel off in places.
-Cigarette lighter wasn't working.
-Air filter was dirty as hell.
-Corrosion was pretty bad on the battery terminals and also got onto the intake's filter shroud. This can cause bad running and odd sensor issues with the correct voltage not being supplied to the car. Are you running a cone filter then? I would move back to the OEM airbox with DSG components. IF the filter is dirty check the condition of the MAF or clean it with some contact cleaner carefully. I just cleaned the MAF actually, and may end up replacing the battery.. looks like some cheap-o junk.
-Battery tie down was missing. ouch I know right? :eek:
-The doors automatically re-lock even once I've opened the driver's door.You have an issue with the driver door lock, there are a few microswitches inside which break...replace the lock. I bet the fuel pump does not prime when you unlock the door. Thank you for the ideas! This is one thing that still has me completely stumped. I haven't looked into it much yet though. I can't remember if the pump primes, but I want to say it does. At first I figured it was the sensor acting up that tells the car the door is open. However, my interior lights do light up when the door is open, and the door ajar chime activates as well. :confused:
-Inside rear view mirror is missing some trim pieces that cover wiring. Need part numbers? Already got 'em. :cool: But thanks! They were an odd thing to track down for sure.
-Side view mirrors had some dome mirrors stuck to them that I didn't like personally.
-Rear badge had been removed but then re-applied using some odd looking glue.
-Found another vacuum leak near the intake manifold change-over valve solenoid. Another reason the engine is running off
-Passenger side sun-visor was broken off (how?! LOL)
-Needed 100,000 mile maintenance.
-Wiper blades falling apart.
-Has a big crack in the windshield.
-Hood could use some touch-up paint in a few spots and there is a very light scuff in the rear bumper that hopefully can be buffed out. Has a few small dents and dings but nothing you wouldn't expect from a daily driver sold in 2004.
-Floor mats are in terrible shape and one of the pins that holds the driver's side floor mat in place is missing.


Let me know if you need any part numbers....good luck with the restore! :thumbup:
I really appreciate it man. Thanks for your time and help! :beer: :beer:
 

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Your timing codes are either from a stretched chain, or an incorrectly installed chain. I used to get those codes also and they went away after I did the chains & guides (all of them).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your timing codes are either from a stretched chain, or an incorrectly installed chain. I used to get those codes also and they went away after I did the chains & guides (all of them).
Did you have a power loss that resulted from the codes and stretched chain?

Would a broken clock spring cause the open door function of my interior light and chime not to work properly?
I have this same issue, but only with my drivers door. I think its a switch.
So are you guys saying that your interior lights do NOT come on when you open your door?
 

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Your timing codes are either from a stretched chain, or an incorrectly installed chain. I used to get those codes also and they went away after I did the chains & guides (all of them).
Timing is a serious and sensitive procedure, and sometimes people seem to think they have
done it right, but if there are codes after the job, then it was not done right.

I would try and find a good vw maste tech to work on this. Because you do not want to keep
going in circles with these issues, when it could/should be done right the first time.
 

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Did you have a power loss that resulted from the codes and stretched chain?

So are you guys saying that your interior lights do NOT come on when you open your door?
I ran my car for probably a year and a half with the incorrect correlation codes, and yes you do lose some power as the VVT is not going to be active. For the most part I believe it to be safe though.

As far as the doors not activating the lights that is the door open/closed sensor. They break pretty commonly, (infact the drivers door in my GTI has this issue right now) and can be fixed by taking it apart and re-soldering the connections. THe fix is probably in those threads linked a few posts up.
 

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I know a little off topic but what state are you in? You say Auburn as your location which could be at least MI or AL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just to be clear, when I open my drivers door my interior lights do come on. Also, if the door is open and the car is on, the door ajar chime does happen. So that's why I'm confused as to why my doors automatically re-lock.

If you open the passenger side door, is that supposed to disable the auto-lock as well? If that's the case, I need to try to see if it still auto-locks with the passenger side door is open and go from there.

Timing is a serious and sensitive procedure, and sometimes people seem to think they have
done it right, but if there are codes after the job, then it was not done right.

I would try and find a good vw maste tech to work on this. Because you do not want to keep
going in circles with these issues, when it could/should be done right the first time.
Agreed. :thumbup: I do everything I can myself. And to be honest, I would do the chains myself. However.. the fact that the transmission has to be dropped and that I have no garage pretty much puts it out of my league IMO. If it does come down to opening the head and dropping the transmission, I plan on taking it to a good mechanic. I just don't have the space or tools for all of that.

I ran my car for probably a year and a half with the incorrect correlation codes, and yes you do lose some power as the VVT is not going to be active. For the most part I believe it to be safe though.
Thanks for the info! :thumbup:

Very nice R32 :cool:
Thanks! :)

I know a little off topic but what state are you in? You say Auburn as your location which could be at least MI or AL.
I'm in Auburn, AL

He's in Washington State.
wut :laugh: I buy parts from Washington though!

Thanks. Was hoping he might be at Auburn University.
See above. I see you're in ATL.. I'm there all the time. :wave:
 
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