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Volkswagen Jetta Engine Questions

i have a 1990 mk2 jetta 1.8 liter, i was wondering if i could swap a 1997 mk3 jetta 2.0 liter engine and what is involved in doing it?


  • You can but WHY WOULD U? IS THE 2.0 FREE? I would search for a 20 valve 1.8 turbo, or a vr6 of some sort. I would even consider turbo/super charging the 1.8 u already have. It would be about the same cost by the time u factor in labor. And you need the 2.0 tranny, ecu, the wiring harness. You will also probably need to upgrade your radiator so buy it from the transplant 2.0 car. Try to buy it all together, the ecu, raddy, engine, tranny..

    Theres a ton of Mk2 engine upgrades that i would consider before a 2.0 transplant. Its not a fast engine and to supercharger or turbo it its at least 2500$$$ .. for a good staged system. Spend your hard earned dough wiser.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
  • I have a 1997 Jetta Jazz and just recently the power has just died. I attempted to drive up a reasonably steep hill and it couldn't make it in 2nd, downshifted and it died in could push the gas pedal to the floor and nothing. It continued to drive, but again, most times, you can sink the gas pedal and there is no/little pick-up. It also bucks when it is running at low RPMs. I live in Manila, Philippines and it will cost me $1500.00 to hook it up to the computer diagnostic at the dealer. Trying to avoid this. Any ideas of what may be happening here? Any information will be helpful and appreciated.

  • tnx for your answers
  • turbo restrictor plate holes plugging up. Purpose of plate and can it be modified do to carbon buildup or removed?
  • why is my 2001 volkswagen's engine sooo loud? only 64,000 miles on it. no pinging or knocking noise just loud.
  • thalthal Posts: 3
    Could valve damage result from a broken timing belt on my 2003 tdi - broke on start up , any manufacture recourse ,only 55000 miles
  • vwinvavwinva Posts: 71
    You are out of warranty. Could bargin with dealer for some sort of discount since belt is not supposed to be changed until 80K service.
  • thalthal Posts: 3
    Possible valve damage could accure from timing belt breakage ???????
  • vwinvavwinva Posts: 71
    Indeed. Cam shaft is driven by timing belt. Cam shaft determines when valves open. If not closed in time they will be damaged by the rising piston.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The 2003 TDI has a 100,000 mile replacement belt... not the 80,000 belt of the older TDIs.

    If this one broke at 55K miles, somthing is VERY wrong. I am wondering if this timing belt is not the original (ie... somthing was assembled incorectly during a previous maintenance service. It is very easy to incorectly install the tensionor...which can snap the belt prematurly)

    As mentioned above, valve damage can occour on most automobile engines when the timing-belt breaks. (Not a VW-only thing) A broken timing belt means that the head should be pulled from the engine so the valves/pistons can be inspected for collision. That is why it is vitally important to replace the TB at the recommended intervals.

    QUESTION: Was this TDI engine only run with the proper synthetic oil? Running dyno-oil is known to destroy the camshaft.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    valve damage can occour on most automobile engines when the timing-belt breaks.

    I'd have thought most interference engines would use a timing chain. Relying on a belt, when you have an interference engine, seems like a bad design.
  • thalthal Posts: 3
    I am assuming belt is broken at this time,heard pop then motor cranked much to fast ,didn't start,did not pull cover
    ,had towed to local shop,so vw for sure does not have clearance between valve and piston , some motors I beleive Honda will often clear..thanks for reply
  • I started driving a 2007 Jetta (manual transmission) last week. The engine is stalling as I slow down to make a turn, especially when making a left turn on a busy street, or, when inching along in gawker traffic at 5-10 mph with cars merging ahead. These are just the moments when drivers need precision timing.

    Has anyone else had this problem? I'm told this is being caused by a hydraulic clutch and drive by wire accelerator.

    I've been driving manual cars for 20 years without any trouble. Is this something that drivers adapt to eventually? Or am I likely to be rear-ended a few times before VW makes a change?
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    What gear are you in before stalling?
  • 2nd gear. In my other cars, when slowing down for a curve, I'd go from 3rd to 2nd, let up on the gas a little, then when I wanted to pick up speed again, add a little gas then go back to 3rd. It's when I go back to accelerate again that the car dies.
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    Your do everything right. My 04 Jetta 6 speed manual will not stall in this case. Better fix it by dealer immediately under the warranty because its dangereous when the car stall and you cannot brake and steer easily.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Your Jetta has a problem that needs to be fixed.

    I am not sure where you heard this is caused by "a hydraulic clutch and drive by wire accelerator." ... VW has been using this for over 10 years now. (And so have many other automakers)

    Irreguardless of the cause... it is up to the DEALERSHIP to fix it... If you mention the fact this is a SAFETY issue, they may be more inclined to deal with it promptly.
  • Thanks, everyone! I'm taking it back in today. Will keep you posted if you like.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Yes indeedy, do let us know what happens. Good luck!
  • This may seem like a stupid question, but I am clueless when it comes to cars. I own a 2000 VW Jetta... Today, I over-revved to 7000 rpms, and since then my temperature gauge has shot way up (and the light comes on now) when I drive anywhere. I plan on getting it looked at as soon as possible, but I was wondering if anyone could give any explanation on what is happening. If it is something extremely serious, how do I get it to the dealership/ shop without my car freaking out even more?! Thank you for any help you can offer!
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    Revv your engine to 7000 rpm once in a while will not overheat the engine. I always run to 7000 rpm and my engine is OK. Check your coolant reserve tank to see if the coolant level is up to the full mark, if not buy a bottle of coolant from the VW dealership and fill up to the full mark and drive your car to the dealership for repair without revv over 2500rpm.
  • I have a strong gas smell when I start up (1996 Jetta) and lowered milage. I can't figure out where it's coming from (I'm no mechanic) but would like to try to figure this out without having to take it in to someone. Any suggestions?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The propeller on the waterpump on these engines are known to come free from the shaft. If this happens, then the antifreeze does not flow thru the engine/radiator as it should.

    Revving up the engine should not normally affect the propeller on the waterpump... but could cause it to break free if it was defective and about to fail anyway.

    One way to check for this is to answer the following question;
    Do you have normal heat output coming from the heatercore inside the cabin?

    You did not say how many miles you have on your 2000 Jetta. Dont forget that the waterpump is part of the TIMING BELT assembly. Has your Timing Belt ever been replaced? (per VW maintenace schedule) The reason I ask it because some people try to save a few dollars by NOT replacing the waterpump when the Timing Belt is replaced.... this is a very bad idea because most waterpumps will NOT last until the next Timing Belt replacement. (The cost to replace waterpump is same labor as Timing Belt replacment)

    Let us know what the dealership tells you about your overheating problem.
  • If I may add to what bpeebles suggested:

    If you plan on using a private mechanic to replace the timing belt/waterpump, you can order a complete timing belt replacement kit online. One place that I've used is Adirondack Auto Brokers (, which sells the kit for your 2000 Jetta (which includes the improved aftermarket water pump with a metal impeller (propeller) - the factory waterpump has a plastic impeller).

    bpeebles is correct about the water pump - the factory water pump will not last beyond a timing belt replacement. I had the waterpump replaced on my 2003 Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T @ 73,000 miles, and at that mileage interval the factory water pump looked like it was on it's last legs. Replacing a $60 waterpump at every timing belt change is cheap insurance, IMHO...
  • waiwai Posts: 327
    Hi, 600kgolfgt,

    if this is a timing chain in 04 VR6, do we need to change it and at what mileage, or just change the water pump?
  • mkdad2mkdad2 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 VR6 Jetta with 125,000 miles. Purchased it new in 2000. Yesterday the engine coolant alarm came on... stopped immeidately. All indications were a water pump... now my mechnanic is telling me major engine problems. Has anyone else had similar problems. This car has been fun to drive but I will never own another VW. List of issues... window regulators, brake light switch, emissions light, AC Compressor, sunroof popping, rear brakes at 30,000 miles just to name a few and now this.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I am curious - Why will you "never own another VW"?

    You got 125,000 miles of reliable transportation. Sure there were a few glitches... but ALL automobiles have their share of niggles. Most of the items you mention were COVERED by VW. (including the rear brakes at 30,000)
    I am not sure what the heck you expect over 125,000 miles...but by your own account - you made out very well. (and had "fun" the whole way)

    With any luck, your mechanic has mis-diagnosed and you may have another 50,000 miles of "fun".

    Can you also describe what you mean by the term "major engine problems"?

    For example... I consider a warped head a "Major engine problem" .... my only Honda Civic suffered a warped head TWICE. I will never own another Honda.... because I like VWs soooo much more than the Booring Honda ownership. (never was any "fun")
  • I had a 2003 Jetta for three years. I had two incidents requiring urgent attention: a brake light issue and an electical coil issue.

    I didn't mind that much because of how the dealership responded and both were repaired within a few hours.

    My lease ran out in December and was very tempted buy my 2003. Ended up going with a 2007 Jetta after doing all the math. I did not see anything else on the market that even caught my eye.
  • mkdad2mkdad2 Posts: 2
    Here is why I will never own another VW. The first years of owning this car windows fell down in the doors at least 6 times (of which VW did not pick up the cost). Brake switch drained the battery multiple times prior to determining what was causing it (again not warranty covered, but later a recall... but I did not get any refund). Early brake failure was not covered under warranty. Emissions light continously comes on... multilpe o2 sensors replaced. Instrument cluster had to be replaced (not under warranty). Warranty ended at 24,000 miles which when I first purchased the car was only after about 16 months. I could live with what I would call minor things above because I enjoyed the driving experience, but to have a engine head cracked at 125K and the engine was turned off within seconds of the coolant light coming on! I have owned multiple vechiles in my 40 plus years of purchasing vechiles... never have I had so many issues with so few miles. The post was just to see if other VR6 Engines had similar experiences.
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