Lower chain and chain tensioner replacements for the TDI

Gritty

Member
Hello TDI owners can you help please?

Yesterday I read a piece of information on this site about TDI s with over 100k needing new lower chain and chain tensioner and sprockets? Has any one had this work done as a precaution, how much did it cost and is it really necessary?

I purchased my first A2 tdi last week and have booked it in to have the cam belt and water pump replaced @£400, however this new info has kind of spooked me so really wanted to get some feed back from other TDI owners as to what to do really ?

thanks
 

Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
You are right. It’s at the bottom of his ‘how to’ thread. I think it maybe includes info about labour and costs too but I’m afraid to say I’m risking it... ?
 

philward

A2OC Donor
I'm risking this one too but only because I didn't know about it and I have 150K miles on. Too much wrong with my A2 at the moment. I feel a new motor coming on. Unless that is I continue risking it until the weather improves and I will run the golf while I work on the A2.
 

Gritty

Member
Ive had the car two weeks and Ive just changed the cambelt and water pump @ 117,000 the first of many new parts me thinks.

I decide to hold fire on the lower chain tensioner until I know more.

Took the car for a long run today Ive got an annoying knocking noise coming from under neath the drivers side somthing platic loose sounding and loss of power on occasion at around 2000 rpm and now the starter motor just started making a noise so lots to investigate.
 

andrewparkeruk

A2OC Donor
I could be wrong but I do believe that Sarge started that particular thread and may be best placed to answer.
Dave, when I looked, many of the links were not working; new forumitis. As he hasn’t visited this thread, do you happen to have a direct link to Sarge’s article?
(148,000 miles and counting)

Andrew
 

philward

A2OC Donor
I'm risking this one too but only because I didn't know about it and I have 150K miles on. Too much wrong with my A2 at the moment. I feel a new motor coming on. Unless that is I continue risking it until the weather improves and I will run the golf while I work on the A2.
Could be running out of time. Yesterday was forced to give it full beans while cold, other drivers error. Heard a rattling sound that I've ever heard before, went away when I backed off. Could it be?
 

steve@cromford

A2OC Donor
When I had my A2 serviced a couple of years ago I was advised to get this done. The car had done around 80k at the time and the mechanic could hear the noise of the chain starting to rattle. He informed me another customer had recently wrecked his engine as he continued to drive the car after the chain broke; with no chain, the oil pump wasn't working, hence seized engine.
I risked it for a while as I had just had a big service bill, but eventually decided it was worth getting done for peace of mind. I had the work done at around 90k. It's a reasonably big job on the tdi90 - I am informed the gear box has to be either removed completely or at least partly removed to fully access the tensioner. If ever you're having the dreaded DMF / clutch done, that's the time to at least have it checked.
Hope that helps
Steve M
 

philward

A2OC Donor
When I had my A2 serviced a couple of years ago I was advised to get this done. The car had done around 80k at the time and the mechanic could hear the noise of the chain starting to rattle. He informed me another customer had recently wrecked his engine as he continued to drive the car after the chain broke; with no chain, the oil pump wasn't working, hence seized engine.
I risked it for a while as I had just had a big service bill, but eventually decided it was worth getting done for peace of mind. I had the work done at around 90k. It's a reasonably big job on the tdi90 - I am informed the gear box has to be either removed completely or at least partly removed to fully access the tensioner. If ever you're having the dreaded DMF / clutch done, that's the time to at least have it checked.
Hope that helps
Steve M
The sound I heard I would definitely describe as a chain rattle. I suspect the issue with the gearbox, if its the same as my golf, is two screws securing the sump that are difficult to get to with the gearbox in place?
If I can get past that problem, I have before on the Golf, I believe this is a timing belt off sump off job to access the chains? Currently collecting tools and parts. Will post up for a check before going for it.
Will be taking it easy in the A2, currently just short of 150K miles on the clock.
 
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Gritty

Member
Hi Phil

Im glad this thread is gaining some momentum.

Can I ask are you gona do this job yourself? Or are you getting it done via a garage?

Ill be interested to know how it goes and what the costs are?

When i bought my tdi 75 in Jan I thought getting the cam belt and w pump would give some peace of mind "wrong" this sump chain and tensioner is yet another hidden cost along with the death pipe replacement!

My A2 is becoming a very expensive headache, so any further info on this job would be appreciated.

andy
 

philward

A2OC Donor
Yes Andy my A2 is an expensive headache too. I’ve got a stack of jobs and I should dump it. Unfortunately I like it. Can’t afford the repairs so yes I’m hoping it holds out long enough for me to get it in the garage and work on it myself.
If you don’t mind I’ll hijack this thread and post how a novice mechanic did this job in his garage. Estimated start date, early March.
 

philward

A2OC Donor
Ordered today:
Timing belt kit - about 60% worn but may as well change it
Water pump - done 150k must be due
Crank oil seal - it will leak eventualy
Tools - not too expensive and cheaper than a mechanics hourly rate
Will post up when received. Now what is this death pipe please? Is there one on a 2003 TDi?

Edit: Ordered some sump glue too
 
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cheechy

A2OC Donor
Starting to get what sounds like something slipping given threw Cam belt , timing belt was done last June I'm guessing it's maybe the alternator or could if be this? Not sure I'm heading a rattle as such
 

philward

A2OC Donor
Starting to get what sounds like something slipping given threw Cam belt , timing belt was done last June I'm guessing it's maybe the alternator or could if be this? Not sure I'm heading a rattle as such
I definitely heard a rattle not a slipping sound. I posted a picture of the chain drive components above. I they slipped there would be a massive clattering noise. The cam belt is toothed and the teeth would have to be missing for it to slip. But then your timing would be out and you would know about that.

I suspect the auxiliary drive belt, my original belt did over 100K and I changed it because micro cracks were causing a squeaking noise. It can slip if not tensioned correctly and from memory this is a simple job to replkace from under the car. Worth investigating as I think the tension is set by a spring?????
 
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