How to remove the VW Passat TDI engine

difficulty: 4/5
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This DIY shows how to remove the VW Passat TDI engine and transmission with an engine hoist -2004-2005, 2.0L BHW engine.

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.

Engine removal steps

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.

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.  

Here is a pic in context from the driver's side looking up.

The sensor on the exhaust manifold, the sensor under the upper timing belt cover, o2 sensor, and engine speed sensor don't have to be removed.  Their wires are behind the coolant reservoir and are not part of the engine wire harness.  Unplug the 4 wires and set aside.  Each is a different shape/color.

Remove the power steering pump and then remove the pump body (3x 13mm bolts, 1x 6mm allen bolt) and set aside.  This lets you avoid draining the fluid.  Remove the pulley first (3x 5mm allen bolts).  See 1000q: PS pump removal

Remove the O2 sensor (7/8 wrench or equivalent) to avoid damaging it when removing the engine and exhaust pipe.  Then loosen the 3x 12mm turbo downpipe nuts.  If you're having trouble reaching the inside nut, there are 2 ways to remove it.  I suggest using long extensions from underneath the car to remove it.  If you don't have long extensions, remove the EGR pipe.  Due to the extra complication of the EGR bolts I suggest removing the nut you want to instead of 4 you shouldn't have to.  See 1000q: downpipe removal for more details.

You can remove the short section of downpipe by removing the 3x 13/12mm bolt/nut on the flange.  I would just leave those bolts/nuts and remove the downpipe with the next downstream pipe as 1 piece (2x 17mm bolts holding the exhaust clamp underneath the car).  It's not possible to remove the downpipe without raising the engine so I would wait until the engine is being removed before pulling the pipe out.  This will maximize clearance and make it easy to remove the pipe.

Remove the 2 heater core hoses.  The right hose is more difficult to access on the engine so just pull it at the heater core.  

Disconnect the 2 engine mounts.  There are 13mm nuts on the top and bottom.  Note the washer on top of the motor mount.  See 1000q: motor mount removal for more details.  Check for red leaking, if they are bad then replace them now.

Disconnect the 2x 13?mm bolts holding the shifter cable bracket.  Remove the shifter cable from the shifter (just pop it off).

Disconnect the automatic transmission (ATF) lines above the driver's side output flange and plug the holes.  Also disconnect the ATF line bracket on the oil pan (1x 10mm bolt).  Since the lock carrier must be removed, you could also disconnect them at the union where the meet the lock carrier.

Disconnect each driveaxle from the transmission (6x 10mm triple square bolts per side).  The easiest way to access them is to remove the wheel and use an extension behind the brake rotor.  Use the brake to counterhold the axle.  See 1000q: CV joint replacement for more details and steps.

Disconnect the 2 transmission mounts.  I suggest removing both the 16mm bolt/15mm counterhold nut going through the mount and the 2x 13mm bolts holding the mount to the subframe.  During removal the lower plate on the mount often gets stuck on the subframe.   See 1000q: transmission mount removal for details and tips. 

Removing the transmission and engine together as a unit

The engine and transmission can now be removed as a unit.  A load leveler like the one pictured below helps a lot.  This is a screw device that tilts the engine so that it can tilt and clear the subframe during removal/installation.  Make sure your lifting equipment is rated for the weight you want to use!  The 2 lift points on the cylinder head are shown below.  There's also a 3rd eye on the head which can also be used for leveling and stability.  Always follow the safety notes in your factory service manual and your lifting equipment.  See the TOS Agreement for the full legal disclaimer.  Thread a strong bolt/nut of sufficient diameter/length through the lift points to secure the chain.  Do not use hooks or rope to lift the engine!  Make sure all lifting points are 100% secure!

Again, I found that the easiest way to remove the turbo downpipe was to wait until the engine starts to come out.   This gives a lot more clearance. 

As the engine comes out, make sure you're clearing the subframe.  The transmission mounts can stick on the subframe.  Make sure the axles are clear of the transmission flanges.

Separation of the engine/transmission

First remove the 3x T55 torx bolts holding the driveplate to the torque converter.  You reach them through the starter hole as shown below (yellow arrow pointing to left.)

Remove the 16mm bolts holding the transmission bellhousing to the engine as shown by the yellow arrows above and as shown below after removal.  The lower driver side one is an allen head bolt/16mm nut.  Make sure the engine and trans are both supported and pry them apart.  Make sure the torque converter stays on the transmission or else it will spill ATF everywhere. 

If you put the engine on a stand, you may have to remove 2 of the guide dowels on the engine block to secure the engine.

Engine installation notes and tips

Make sure the torque converter is fully seated onto the transmission.  It can rest on the transmission without being engaged so slowly spin and push it until it goes a little further and you feel resistance.  Rotate it a bit to feel how it sits.  If it's not all the way in it'll be damaged.  Make sure the guide dowels on the engine fit into the holes on the transmission.

If you loosened the subframe, tighten it before installing the engine since it'll be much easier to align the subframe alignment pins.

Once the engine is over 1/2 way in, snake the downpipe/catalytic converter back in.

Make sure the thin washer is on top of the motor mounts.

Do not tighten down the motor or transmission mounts until the engine/transmission is seated and at rest.  This prevents preload on the mounts.  First put all bolts in place somewhat loosely.  Then tighten the 2x 13mm trans mount-subframe bolts.  Make sure the engine/transmission is seated square and straight.  You may have to use a prybar to twist or rotate it.  Note the position from the transmission from the body as a guide for alignment.   Then tighten the 16mm transmission bolts/15mm nuts going through it's mounts.  See 1000q: transmission mount removal for tips for aligning the transmission mounts.

Then tighten the engine mounts.  Note the washers on top of the mounts and the tabs on the mounts.  See 1000q: VW Passat engine mount for more details.

The rest of installation is the reverse of removal.

Before starting the engine, disconnect the plug at the end of the cylinder head to disable the fuel injectors.  Crank the engine for 8-10 seconds then a rest period.  Do a few cycles to prime the engine oil to the turbo and head.  After the engine starts, let it idle for a while to stabilize oil pressure and check for fluid leaks.  The transmission must be topped off with the engine running, see 1000q: ATF fluid change for more details.  Also bleed the coolant system, see 1000q: coolant flush for more details.