If you have to remove the engine and transmission, I recommend removing them together. It's easier to separate them once they're both off the car instead of while they're in the car. The benefit is much easier access and room to work with only a few additional steps to remove them as a unit. Difficulty is rated at 4/5 because it will probably take the average person with basic mechanical experience 2 full days for prep and removal and 1 full day for installation (since you will be more familiar with it during installation). This includes fluid refills and assumes you're doing it at your house and not at a professional garage. You also need an engine hoist, time to plan for complications, and space to work. It's also a good time to change the timing belt, coolant, motor mounts, etc.
Disconnect the battery. Remove the lock carrier. This is the front bumper/radiator support assembly. See 1000q: lock carrier-service position for more details. This will also drain the automatic transmission fluid, if equipped.
Disconnect the AC compressor from the engine and set aside the condenser (heat exchanger in front of the radiator). Do not loosen or disconnect the lines or else you have to recharge the system. See 1000q: AC condenser/compressor removal for more details.
Drain the engine coolant at the oil cooler and radiator. See 1000q: coolant flush for more details.
Remove the intake air box. See 1000q: air intake
filter removal for more
details. Remove the intake piping from the intercooler to the intake
manifold (shown below). There are some hose clamps, 1 boost sensor (label
it), and a 10mm bolt holding it down.
Disconnect the fuel lines shown above and plug them. Remove the fuel filter (1x 8mm triple square bolt on the clamp) and the fuel filter bracket (1x 10mm nut, 3x 10mm bolts) and set aside the metal coolant tube above the glow plugs (1 nut). See 1000q: Passat TDI fuel filter for more details and pictures. You can now remove the glow plug harness, plug on the alternator, and the plastic clip holding the wires down. Note the plastic clip position under the fuel filter bracket. There is no need to remove the alternator-starter thick wire on this end.
The service manual says to remove the intake manifold intake flap (not the EGR). This will give you proper clearance to the engine hoist bracket on the engine and let you balance the engine properly. See 1000q: Passat intake manifold for more details. Also remove the breather hose on top of the valve cover.
Remove the electrical connections. Start at the far end with the N75
solenoid near the turbo along with some
vacuum lines. Then disconnect the MAF, the heater plug on the air box-turbo hose,
ground wire on the passenger side frame rail, plugs on the intake manifold, back of the
engine, fuel temperature sensor behind the fuel filter (thanks for the
correction MOgolf), boost sensor (already
removed earlier), plug on the
alternator cable, and the 3 plugs on the transmission.
Disconnect the coolant temperature sensor plug on the
back of the head. Luckily the release tab on the plug is facing you.
It's covered with a silvery heat shield (not pictured because it's on the wiring
harness). The sensor is
shown below (looking at the back of the engine after removal).
Remove the ground cable connecting the right frame rail to the right motor mount bracket. (13mm bolt/nut) and the starter wires.
Remove the starter (2x 16mm). Although it's not necessary to remove the starter to remove the engine and transmission together, the motor mount and turbo support block access to the 13mm nut holding the battery cable and the terminal 50 electrical plug. It might be possible to remove the cable and plug once the engine starts to come up but do not put yourself in a position to be pinched/crushed if the engine moves or the engine hoist fails. Use extensions to remove the rear facing upper starter bolt, see 1000q: starter removal for more details and pictures. One thick cable goes to the battery - remove it and place it to the side. The other goes behind the engine, through a loop bracket, and to the alternator - this stays in the bracket because the other end goes to the alternator.
On a side note, make sure the ground wire on the left and right side aren't
rubbing the boost hoses. This is a known problem and source of boost
leaks. During installation, rotate the wire a little so it's not touching.
Pull the red tab halfway out to unlock the plug. Then turn the plug
collar to remove.
Fuel temperature sensor
Open wire bracket (note how it fits under the fuel filter bracket) and remove
plugs on alternator.
Remove these 3 plugs on the driver's side transmission (it's out of the car for illustration). One of them unscrews, 1 is held by a clip, 1 is a plug.....
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Removing the transmission and engine together as a unit
Separation of the engine/transmission
Engine installation notes and tips
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