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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My son has a 2001 Jetta VR6 with 145K miles on it. As with most autos owned by 19yr olds, it's a bit dinged and rough all around with a laundry list of tolerable problems.
The deal killer may be the check engine light preventing a NH safety inspection sticker that my mechanic has traced to bad timing chain guides.
I've checked the DIY's here and indeed it's a God-awful job to consider doing on our own.
I don't know that it's a job justified for a car that's worth maybe $4000, tops.
Is this car junk?
If so, what is a fair slvage value to try and sell for?

Thanks to all who replied/posted, good stuff.

The code it's throwing is P1340 (cam position sensor).
I replaced that and it made no difference.
Drivability in the middle (2-3K) RPM band is actually pretty good.
Except:
At idle it runs kinda rough and there is an audible rattle/vibration sound, which has my mechanic saying timing guides.
And at higher revs (4000) the sound is pretty noticeable again.
He claims that since the guide(s) are shot, the tensioner(s) are not adjusting the chain(s) properly, which in turn is confusing the CEL to show the cam position code.
Sounds reasonable.
He suggested to pull the valve cover and then look inside the timing chain cavity with a borescope to see if the tensioners/guides are really bad. I declined the offer to do that. Maybe I should...

I did a posting on CraigsList for experienced VW/Audi mechanics here in southern NH and got a bunch of calls from people willing to do the guides for $400-500 plus parts. Yes, risky but waaay cheaper than the $2000 my mechanic quoted ($2200 at the local VW st-ealer)
 

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I'm just curious as to how your mechanic trace the problem to be the timing chain guides? The guides themselves don't throw codes and nor does the chain. Usually you can hear a promenet ticking and that's the chain hitting a piece of the plastic guide that's broken off. If the chains have never been done on the car then it's probably time to do them, but it doesn't throw a code. What might happen if it's not taken care of that the chain might jump a tooth or more and throw the whole timing off. This is bad news as the valves will become crushed byt the pistions and the engine is pretty much toast unless you want to rebuild the head and resurface the cylinder walls. As far as the check engine light (CEL), you should have it scanned by a tool called a vag-com. Usually european car shops may have it if not maybe someone on here or that you know off that lives around you. Otherwise it's a trip to the dealer and be willing to spend $100+ just for the scan. As far as the car being junk, it's hard to tell b/c to me this isn't even a real justified diagnosis from your mechanic. If I were you I'd get a real scan even if it's at autozone or whatever at least there it's free and the only thing they can't tell you is anything about the airbags or the ABS system. Then determine how much the repairs are and seee if it's worth fixing. $4k for a car that still runs and may only have a minor issue isn't too much money but then again the rest of the car plus the mileage it has may bring that down to $3k, just be prepared if you sell it for people to offer less. Good luck with your findings.
 

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Probably the most commonly thrown code related to timing chain problems is a cam position sensor code being thrown, is that what your seeing? And no the car is not junkyard bound if thats the only prob!!
 

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I have the Cam Position Sensor code on my vr6, and am replacing the intake-manifold shifter-rod + actuator. also hear that noise of timing chain guide "possibly" between 900-1200 RPM.
 

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those guides should last way longer than 145k , take it to a REAL vw guy/mechanic and have them check it, maybe someone on the forum and in your area can direct you to the right person, Ive heard so many times that regular shops dont decifer the code correctly...
Theoretically they should, and most of the time they do. But if your a down shifter engine-braker, then your casuing wayy too much premature wear on your guides. mine completely snapped into four different shards and then my engine was toast, all because of one random hard plastic guide decided to break. at 86k miles mind you. this was the black guide toward the bottom end of the upper chain. :banghead:
 

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camshaft position sensor code means the following
: the sensor is bad (run the car and take the sensor out, on the side of the head near the coilpack, if it changes any condition, its obv the sensor)

if it doesnt, it could mean your exhaust cam is out of sync, its position is not correct, indicating a mechanical condition, like your timing chain skipping teeth here and there and your timing out of whack. It happened to my VR, hude learning experience. My car kinda sounded like a WRX.
 

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The 12valve VR6 is a dual SOHC design, both cams control intake and exhaust, there is no way for the exhaust lobes to be out of phase from the intake lobe for any given cylinder. The 24valve VR6 is a true DOHC setup with a separate cam for intake and exhaust.
 

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so that would explain the different intake runner lengths im assuming? i thought the 12v because of the intake had an exhaust cam controlling exhaust valves and intake for intake valves, and vice versa.

SOHC single overhead cam...the 12v VR is a DOHC.
 

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The 12valve VR6 is a dual SOHC design, both cams control intake and exhaust, there is no way for the exhaust lobes to be out of phase from the intake lobe for any given cylinder. The 24valve VR6 is a true DOHC setup with a separate cam for intake and exhaust.
this is what bentley says,


Overhead camshafts (one for each bank of cylinders) operate the
hydraulic valve lifters which, in turn, open and close the 39.0-mm
intake valves and 34.3-mm exhaust valves.
 

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so that would explain the different intake runner lengths im assuming? i thought the 12v because of the intake had an exhaust cam controlling exhaust valves and intake for intake valves, and vice versa.

SOHC single overhead cam...the 12v VR is a DOHC.
The 12valve is not a DOHC, DOHC has seperate cams for intake and exhaust, the 12v VR6 have both intake and exhaust lobes on each cam. It's operating principle is the same as a SOHC.

http://www.samarins.com/glossary/dohc.html

The 12v operates like the middle animation, but has two banks, making it a twin cam, not a DOHC.
 

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"The narrow angle between cylinders allows the use of just one 'cylinder bank', and one cylinder head - whereas conventional Vee engines have two cylinder banks and require two separate cylinder heads. As a result of using just one cylinder head, it also allows just two overhead camshafts to drive all of the valves. This simplifies engine construction, and reduces costs. In early 12 valve VR6 engines, there are two overhead camshafts with six cam lobes on each. The forward camshaft has three intake valve lobes and three exhaust valve lobes to control the frontmost three cylinders. The rear camshaft is designed the same way, but controls the rearmost three cylinders instead. The operating principle of this design is most similar to a single overhead camshaft (SOHC) design. Later 24 valve VR6 engines still had two overhead camshafts, but now with 12 cam lobes each. However, the operation of the camshafts in the 24 valve engine is different to that of the earlier 12 valve engine, in that the front camshaft only operates the intake valves, and the rear camshaft only operates the exhaust valves. The operating principle of this design is most similar to a double overhead camshaft (DOHC) design."
 

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The 12valve is not a DOHC, DOHC has seperate cams for intake and exhaust, the 12v VR6 have both intake and exhaust lobes on each cam. It's operating principle is the same as a SOHC.

http://www.samarins.com/glossary/dohc.html

The 12v operates like the middle animation, but has two banks, making it a twin cam, not a DOHC.
you the man i DID not know that. Thanks dude. But back to the topic, this car IS NOT junkyard material because of some guides.
 

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But back to the topic, this car IS NOT junkyard material because of some guides.
Agreed. My buddy and I took my tranny out last night to change my guides (because I found a chunk in my oil pump) and it was stupid easy to follow the guide on Vortex.

Re-time it, fire it up.
 

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I almost wish VW made the guides in some other material other than PLASTIC? It seems like a lot of people ownign 12v VR's are complaining of ticking noises.
 

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Agreed. My buddy and I took my tranny out last night to change my guides (because I found a chunk in my oil pump) and it was stupid easy to follow the guide on Vortex.

Re-time it, fire it up.
Same, except mine were in the oil pan. Thats real convenient hahaha
 
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