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MKIV jetta tdi stalled and won't turn over

Discussion in 'VW Mk4 Jetta, Golf, New Beetle, Passat TDI forum' started by mesabeetle, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. mesabeetle

    mesabeetle New Member

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    Car:
    2003 jetta tdi
    Okay, I need you seasoned Vdub wrench spinners to put on your thinking cap on. I was driving back to SoCal from Phoenix two weekends ago when my TDI wagon stalled at freeway speeds. The wife had to come get me with a tow dolley. I noticed that the engine would turn over more slowly than normal when I tried to re-start it without luck. When it stalled, I didn't hear or feel the obvious heavy clunking sounds of a bottom-end failure. After getting the car back home, I started troubleshooting. The first thing I did was to pull the "tee" on the fuel filter and take a peek at the fuel level within the filter. It looked kind of dry, so I replaced the fuel filter and tried to turn the engine over by key. After some slow rotations, it locked up. I then took off the passenger side tire and tried to turn the crank manually. It will spin counterclockwise but not clockwise.

    I was able to get the valve cover today and do not see any signs of the valve lifters having any spider cracking or mushrooming or other damage. The lifters look perfectly flat and smooth. See pix. However, looking at the inspection hole on top of the tranny (not the hole that reveals the flywheel teeth, the second larger hole), I see like a notch or a cut-out portion of what I believe to the pressure plate. So before I pull the head to check valves, I am wondering if the Dual Mass Flywheel broke apart on me.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Anyone have experiences with these symptoms? I appreciate your input.
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  2. taugust

    taugust New Member

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    2002 Jetta
    I am, by no means, a guru, but what happened to you sounds like what I have experienced twice. The teeth on the timing belt stripped off the belt. The mechanical timing stays correct, but the injection timing is off due to the injection pump pulley slipping instead of turning. Pull off the plastic timing belt cover and look at the belt. If there are any teeth missing, replace the belt. If you turn the engine over, everything will turn until the stripped area reaches the IP pulley, then it will slip. Hope this helps.
  3. mesabeetle

    mesabeetle New Member

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    Car:
    2003 jetta tdi
    Hmmm. After taking a quick look at the timing belt at the top of the engine, I could see that the timing belt teeth on that section of the belt look good. In fact, I replaced the TB and water pump about 4,000 miles ago. However, I admit that I need to remove the lower TB cover and take a look at the rest of the belt. I can see the logic of missing teeth on the timing belt resulting in the IP not turning. However, I don't think that situation would cause the engine to lock up. After I pull the the lower timing cover tonight, I'll post an update on what I find. Thanks for sharing your input.
  4. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    Car:
    2006 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    CT
    Possible tensioner has failed and timing has drifted far enough for injection pump to not inject fuel. Also, TB likes to strip at crank sprocket as well, less teeth there pulling the belt.

    Also, PP has some cutouts so without seeing the whole thing, sounds like it's OK. Usually DMF don't cause engine to lockup. Also possible : internal injection pump problem.
  5. Seatman

    Seatman Active Member

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    There was a thread on another forum recently where the pressure plate came apart and was hitting off the gear box casing, that could in theory prevent the engine turning over one way but it allow it to go the other way.

    I'll wait and hear the results of the timing belt check
  6. mesabeetle

    mesabeetle New Member

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    Car:
    2003 jetta tdi
    [​IMG]
    Looks like the teeth on the timing belt are in very good condition. Again, this timing belt is only about 4,000 miles old. I tried to line up my timing marks on the various pulleys, but I can only turn the crankshaft a slight amount before it locks up. Again, the valve lifters show no sign of deformation; however, that doesn't mean I don't have a broken valve. So what is your vote? Valve hitting piston or grenaded flywheel/pressure plate?
  7. Seatman

    Seatman Active Member

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    Car:
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    PP764's, turbo and mapping
    Pop the starter motor out incase it's got hung up on the ring gear.
  8. mesabeetle

    mesabeetle New Member

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    Huh, I never thought of that item. I don't recall ever hearing of starter getting hung up on the ring gear. It's worth pulling the starter to check though. So in other words, the teeth on the starter get jammed into the teeth and the ring gear even though the two spin in sync?
  9. Seatman

    Seatman Active Member

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    Yep or a bit breaks off, I've seen it mentioned a few times now even though it's not common, does happen though and although it wouldn't necessarily explain the initial stalling it could be why the engine was slow to crank and now doesn't.
  10. mesabeetle

    mesabeetle New Member

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    2003 jetta tdi
    I pulled the starter tonight, and then I tried to manually turn over the engine. I looked through the hole in the tranny case where the starter mounts, and the portion of the pressure plate that I can see looks good. I was secretly hoping that I would see fragments of the flywheel and pressure plate because then I would have reached a conclusion on my locked up engine. Still locked up unfortunately. So my best guess is that I have valve-to-piston contact, even though my valve lifters do not have any evidence of damage. I must have a valve that maybe broke and is wedged in the cylinder chamber. At least, that is the picture in my mind. Any more recommendations before I pull the head off the block?

    Oh, and if I do end up pulling the head, shall I remove the turbo oil supply banjo bolt and pull the head with the turbo oil supply line attached to the head? From what I have read, it is darn near impossible to remove the oil supply line at the union with the head still attached to the block.
  11. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    I just cut the oil line and plug it so all that ambient dirt isn't falling in.

    Please post a follow up!
  12. mesabeetle

    mesabeetle New Member

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    Project Update on engined that stalled and locked up

    Over the last couple of nights, I removed various parts in preparation to pull the cylinder head. Today was the day I had set aside for pulling the head off the engine. This morning, however, I removed the timing belt first and found that the camshaft spins freely thus eliminating my diagnosis of valve-to-piston contact. I then verified that my water pump that I installed with the timing belt approximately 4,000 miles ago still spins freely, and it does. Then I tried to turn the crankshaft nut, and it doesn't turn. Therefore, my new diagnosis is either (1) main bearing failure on the crankshaft or (2) my original guess that the dual mass flywheel/pressure plate failed and broke apart. Given that I didn't have the typical hard knocking sounds from a bottom-end failure when the engine stalled, I have to think that the latter is the more logical conclusion.

    Anybody out there ever had a similar experience. I don't mind dropping the tranny and likely will have to do so ultimately, but I know that some serious wrench spinners on this site have been around the block so to speak more times than I have. So better to ask for input before pulling big parts off the engine.
  13. mesabeetle

    mesabeetle New Member

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    Update on locked-up engine

    I pulled the tranny on Labor day earlier this week and got around to pulling the pressure plate and flywheel off the engine this morning so I could access the last pan bolt that I couldn't get to otherwise. So I finished pulling the pan and expected to see a broken oil pump chain that somehow got wedged into a spot that locked up the engine. However, the chain and tensioner are intact, which is good and bad. Good because no further damage to the bottom end of the was found; bad because my troubleshooting saga continues. I have to circle around back to one of my original conclusions that one of my valves broke and dropped out of the head, as the engine is still locked up. I mean I can turn it ever so slightly counterclockwise (like a couple of degrees at most), then it locks up. Then I try to turn the crankshaft clockwise and it locks up again. I already removed the t-belt and verifed that my cam shaft spins freely and is not locked up, but that doesn't mean that a valve didn't drop into the cylinder chamber. Even if a valve did drop into the chamber, I should still be able to turn the crank more than I can right now, right? What are your thoughts? I examined the inside of the pan and didn't find any metal shavings that typically are present when a main bearing fails or the bottom-end seizes. So I think that I can rule out a seized crank.

    Below are some pix of various parts:

    Oil pump chain and tensioner (chain didn't derail, as I had thought):
    [​IMG]

    One of the rods (no broken rods were noted):
    [​IMG]

    Pressure plate and flywheel:
    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2012
  14. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    sounds like a theory, please keep us updated if you figure this out!
  15. mesabeetle

    mesabeetle New Member

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    Until I can make time to pull the head, I wouldn't mind input from others who may have an idea of the problem. I can't really understand why the crank won't turn hardly at all if the cam is not stuck. Plus, the timing belt is not installed right now. Is possible that one of main bearings seized up without leaving traces of metal in the oil pan? I seized an engine with a bad oil leak when I was a teen, and I found obvious pieces of the main bearing when I pulled the oil pan on that car.
  16. Seatman

    Seatman Active Member

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    All I can think of is maybe a dropped valve, the spring wouldn't get out because of the lifter holding it all together so it might not show up under the valve cover.

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