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KJ & WK CRDs - between VWs right now
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Diesel disaster recovery:

my '03 Jetta wagon is 100% back on the road today...

what I thought was death by bad biodiesel turned out to be prior owner neglect,
worn parts, and an error on my part. My electric pump had a filter unit on it...
but it cracked, got tired of it leaking so I took it off.

The last batch of biodiesiel was pumped out of one of my old 20gal clear barrels...
the biodiesel had been filtered by my friend... but the barrel had years of whatever in it...
I didn't worry about it because the filters on the cars would get that... and that they
did... the '91 benz (2.5L TD) would barely make it up the hill... a filter change cleared
the benz for continued service... 267,000 miles and going strong...

HOWEVER, the TDI suffered a much worse fate... it didn't suffer power loss like the
benz did, but spit up an error code P0252, head pressure... read some stuff on line, ok,
filter clogged, makes sense... especially after a bad barrel of biodiesel... filter
change and clear the code and it was fine, for about 20 miles, then is started hammering,
sounded like a bad injector, pulled over and listened, couldn't find one that was bad,
did the crack the fuel line test, nothing... then it stopped making noise, but popped
the code again... ok... the injectors had always been suspect, the mileage just wasn't
as stellar as reported by other TDI owners... sent 'em off for rebuild/clean, yep, two
were bad, one totally broken internally... $409 later... fired right up... and then
started hammering again. called the IP shop... yep, they've seen that before with the TDIs
they suggested cleaning it with Diesel Purge... ok, yep, that worked... for about three
days... hammering/P0252... ok... let's pull the fuel pickup, maybe the screen is clogged,
it was pretty nasty... changed the filter, more Diesel purge... code cleared, ran for
a day... hammering and code... ok... let's buy the triangle socket... got it, pulled
the top cover off... yep, nasty stuff on top, cleaned, reassembled... ran quiet for
about 30 miles... pulled it apart, checked inside the pump, looked good, cleaned things,
Diesel purge, ok for about 10 miles... repeat process, the last attempt, good for about
1/10th of a mile.

I tried to take the fuel metering assembly apart to see if I could fix the slop
I found in the armature and shaft... oops... wrench slipped and the low speed part
of the vane was bent over... bent it back a bit, but not enough... the TDI would run
but it protested vehemently. I knew what the problem was and also that part was
$500 at cost, retailed for $1100. A new pump was $1400 at the dealer, anywhere
from $650 to a grand to rebuild. Found a few rebuilds on ebay for $500-$800 after
core, 2 year guarantee, etc... problem was they were all two weeks out from being

Got lucky and found a used 10mm pump on ebay for $250.
100k, good shape, tested out ok, blah, blah...

I figured I'd pull the fuel metering parts off the top since my timing belt maybe had
30k on it... got the pump, the sprocket was off... ok, not a big deal I thought,
started to pull the top parts and found the wiring was all integrated...
not wanting to splice wires and risk screwing up two pumps I decided to just take
the new pump to a shop I've known for 25 years and have them swap the pump...
they talked me into new belt and water pump, which I didn't protest...
I figured buying the tools would be about half the labor, but
they'd do it in less time and it would be a long time before I'd have to do it again...

So, I drive the Jetta into the shop about 9 miles away... at idle the engine wanted
to escape from the vehicle, sounded absolutely horrible... but it made it... and
when I pulled in the shop drive everyone looked... guess it may have sounded worse
than I thought... P0251 is "Injection Pump Metering Control "a" (Cam/Rotor/Injector)"
and P0252 head pressure codes in queue...

So, the next day I get a call, this isn't a 10mm pump, it's out of an automatic, it's
an 11mm pump and we're not going to install it because it'll break your transmission
and cause polar bears to sweat (just kidding, they wouldn't care about the bears, but
didn't want to deal with a transmission I guess)... So I call three different Diesel
Pump shops, get on the TDI forums, talk to a few respected TDI friends... all say it's
an upgrade, will work fine... etc. So I call the shop, explain that it'll be ok,
been done before... they consent after I told them I'd take full responsibility if
my engine turned into a lump of scrap metal... they said the engine is expensive, I
said, yeah, $2700 for one out of a wreck... ok, I knew the risks and they reluctantly
continued the installation... another call... uh, we can't index this sprocket, we
don't have the tools. Ok, more calls to pump shops... no, we don't have it either,
go to Portland, same story... called Portland, the guy was very helpful, said he'd
put the sprocket on and test the pump for free, just ship it or bring it on down.
So I boxed it up, go it down there. They confirmed it was an 11mm and in great shape
but had a bad temp sensor and a leaking seal... plus they dialed the pump back a bit
so we wouldn't have to do the hammer mod... they packed it up after I gave them a
C note for the labor/parts, shows up, run it to the shop... I put it in the back,
let the wrench know and then I notice that the fuel inlet line was missing... I had
traded my worn out pump to reduce the costs and they didn't pull that part.. another
call, another UPS package... but oops... I had the wrong street address for the shop...
yikes, ran over to UPS with the tracking number got it all sorted out... and today
they installed everything and I picked it up around lunch time.

price breakdown:
- injector rebuild/clean (2 broken) - $409
- Diesel Purge - around 8 cans x$4 - $50
- used pump - ebay - $250
- used pump seal/sensor/dial in - $105
- new water pump - $69
- 2 liters of Pentosin antifreeze - $24
- timing belt Kit - $220 (continental timing belt/idlers )
- ceramic front brakes (maybe they figured the extra power would require them) - $80
- rotors turned - $30
- labor $490 (quote from a very affordable friend/mechanic was $470 belt ONLY)
- SALES TAX - $83.63 (total at the shop - $992.63)

so, let's see, excluding Diesel purge - $1506.63
Got an 11mm pump, new injectors and a 100K timing belt... and a brake job... can't complain.


Premium Member
23,904 Posts
Well, at least the engine still runs fine! That isn't too bad considering how bad you could have been ripped off at the dealer and the price of the pump was certainly cheap enough.

So how does the car run now? Do you notice any difference in power or response?

KJ & WK CRDs - between VWs right now
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The car is running strong... I hardly have to touch the go pedal... I haven't really gotten on it through the gears, but I have let it pull through on one gear and it's healthy... not radically different, after cleaning the intake I noticed a lot more power overall than this change... but it's a different kind of power, it's deeper... you know how a Diesel will kind of flatten out in it's power curve... this thing keeps pulling where it faded before.

I called the dealer for grins... a belt and water pump change would be about a grand... an IP swap about $3k.
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