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ALH engine cover pop off retrofit for Volkswagen TDI (BEW replacement socket part)
ALH engine cover pop off retrofit for Volkswagen TDI (also BEW replacement socket part number)
This article shows how to modify the engine cover on your VW TDI to the OEM pop off covers.
The engine cover keeps the engine warm, clean, and quiet. It also helps hold the oil dipstick in place, preventing it from shaking loose from engine vibration. However, the 3x 10mm nuts that hold it on can't be easily removed by hand. Later pumpe duse engine covers used ball-socket pop off connections to hold the engine cover on which let you pull the engine cover off by hand. Pictured below are the ball and socket together and separated. Retrofitting these onto your engine cover makes removal much faster and easier. The ALH cover is shown but this article should also apply to the 2004-2005 VW Passat TDI.
You could DIY a kit by using a bolt threaded into the stud location and using a tight hose slipped over the bolt to hold the engine cover. Buying the retrofit kit looks completely stock and makes a satisfying pop noise when it's removed. You cannot put these onto the earlier mk3 engine covers because the holes don't have enough material to hold the socket.
3 each of 06a 103 951 (ball stud) and 06a 103 226 (socket/buffer) for ALH engine cover retrofit
NOTE: The retrofit sockets will not fit the BEW engine cover. If you need replacement pop covers for your BEW they are VW# 038 103 184 b. The BEW sockets are much wider and will cause the hole to be too big on your ALH engine cover.
Unscrew the engine cover studs and screw on the 14mm ball studs.
The new sockets are slightly larger than the old rubber buffer so you have to enlarge the holes in the engine cover. The stock hole is about 19mm and you have to enlarge them to about 27mm. Make the hole just big enough to "twist and thread" the sockets into place from underneath. This way the sockets are held tight. If you make the holes too large, the sockets may not hold the engine cover tightly.
Here is a picture comparing a new socket in place, enlarged hole, and unmodified hole.