Transmission removal on mk4 VW Jetta TDI , also Golf and New Beetle TDI

difficulty: 3/5


This article has tips on how to remove and replace the manual transmission in the mk4 Jetta Golf New Beetle TDI with ALH engine.  

The New Beetle transmission has slightly different gearing from the Jetta and Golf.  BEW engine transmission removal should be about the same.  There may be small changes to the part numbers over the years such as oil seals so verify all part numbers with your vendor.  You have to remove the transmission if you want to replace the rear main oil seal, see 1000q: rear main oil seal for more details.  If you want to replace the 5th gear with a taller gear to improve mileage and lower rpms/noise, this would be a good time to do it, see 1000q: 5th gear swap for more details.  It's also a good time to change the manual transmission gear oil, see 1000q: manual trans gear oil.  This article is not a substitute for the factory service manual, refer to your factory service manual for the official instructions.  Observe all cautions in the factory service manual and see the TOS Agreement for the full legal disclaimer.

An engine support is required because you will be removing the transmission mount and dogbone pendulum mount.  It's also a good time to replace the CV boots if your car has very high miles.  I don't suggest buying replacement axles despite their low price just for the new boot because genuine VW axles are better quality and better balanced than most of the axles you'll find at the local parts store.

Parts (click links to compare current prices)

metric socket set and wrenches
8mm triple square (12 point) bit for the driveaxle bolts, see metalnerd bits
12 point 9mm and 10mm sockets (optional, for the clutch and flywheel replacement)
transmission driveaxle seals 2x VW# 084 409 189 b; *Caution - this is the same part number as mk3 transmissions and I found that Napa, Autozone, and Carquest all use the same incorrect spec in their parts catalog for the mk3.  Insist on double checking the seal dimensions if you order a seal at the local parts store!  The seal is 62mm outer diameter, 48mm inner diameter, 7mm height.
transmission jack (optional but suggested)
VW engine support 10-222a/1 (equivalent support from harbor freight or northern tool shown in use below)

hose clamp pliers (optional)

single use bolts:
12x driveaxle bolts VW#893 407 237 (8x 50mm)
3x horizontal transmission mount bolts: VW# n 104 062 02
2x 18mm vertical mount bolts: VW# n 102 096 05
dogbont mount bolts:
    short bolt: VW# n 102 466 10    
    long bolt: VW# n 905 970 05
    2x subframe-dogbone mount bolts : VW# n 102 683 04

Procedure summary: there are 3 basic steps: remove the battery box, shifter cables, starter, clutch slave cylinder, and 2 sensors.  Support the engine, remove the transmission mount, and remove.  Detailed steps below, pics were taken at various steps for illustration.

Raise the front of the car and securely rest it on jack stands.  See 1000q: mk4 Jetta jack points for the jack locations that were on my car and 1000q: wood blocks for an additional support for the car. Using wood blocks gave me a little more clearance under the car for the transmission jack.  You will be shaking the car a bit so make sure the car is stable and secure on level, solid ground.  Chock the wheels and apply the parking brake.  

Remove the battery and air intake box/accordion hose.  Set the battery aside, don't bother putting it on wood since it doesn't make a difference in discharging.  Don't open the intake box unless you are going to change the filter because it will break the foam seal.  Just remove the 2x 10mm bolts holding it down and remove as a unit.  Unclamp the accordion hose and set aside.  Tape over the intake hose - this will create a good seal against dropped nuts and loose flying springs entering the intake tract.  I avoid using paper towels since they tend to get stuffed down and forgotten.  Hose clamp pliers like the ones pictured above do a much better job or removing spring hose clamps than regular pliers.  

Optional step:  If you are going to be doing a 5th gear swap while the transmission is out, remove the transmission end cover and get the large torx bolts loose now.  You can step on the brakes and put the car in gear to hold those torx bolts.  Once the transmission is out, it'll be much harder to counterhold the bolts.  See 1000q: 5th gear swap for more details.

Unplug the reverse gear sensor (on the shifter assembly above the starter, white arrow below).  Remove the shifter cable ends (highlighted in green above) by lifting the center of the spring-lock and sliding it off.  Push the shifter assembly on top of the transmission down and rotate the black pin on the left side straight up.  This will lock the shifter.  Remove the nut on top of the transmission holding the weight down.

Also remove the wiring harness above the starter.  First remove the wires.  You may be able to unclip and slide it off the metal part as shown below.

Also remove the speedometer sensor (look on top of the differential, yellow arrow in the below picture).  Ignore the blue arrows on the transmission brace bracket in the below picture for now.

Unbolt the shifter cable bracket (3x 13mm, yellow arrows below) and the clutch slave cylinder (2x 13mm, yellow arrows in next picture)  Carefully tie them up and away to the side.  The clutch hydraulic line has a plastic clip where the rubber transitions to metal.  Make sure to not bend the metal line.

Do not press the clutch pedal while the slave cylinder isn't attached to the transmission or else it will shoot the rod out.  Now you should have room to remove the bracket from the transmission to the transmission mount (yours should be a black tube, pictured earlier with blue arrows).  Do not remove the 2 large 18mm transmission mount bolts (red x) because they are holding the transmission up.  Note the little ledge on the mount for proper alignment during installation.

Disconnect the power steering metal cooling loop on the driver's side and the front of the transmission. 

Go under the car and remove the CV boot shield (shown below) and driver's side plastic side splash shield (pass side pictured).  Stick a screwdriver in the metal speed nut slots to quickly spin them off.....

...the rest of the detailed pictures and procedure are in the free member's only section.  Please join our community for free today to continue. The procedure is continued in this forum post

Transmission installation tips on VW Jetta

If you lost any transmission gear oil, see 1000q: transmission gear oil for some tips on replacement.

Torque specs

Sometimes the 5 speed transmission can get stuck during removal or installation.  If you're stuck, please report in the forums or search below: