Catastrophic VW Engine Failure and Teardown 2.0t TSI

This 2.0t TSI Volkswagen GTI engine had catastrophic piston failure on cylinder 1. This was likely caused by LSPI. Ive seen a few VW GTI engines fail with the piston breaking apart. This is may be due to EXTREME KNOCK. In this video we will teardown the engine, talk about why and how it failed, and a little about GTI Racecar. #humblemechanic #vw #GTI

What do you know another broken volkswagen engines in this video we’re going to be tearing down this 2-liter turbo out of a mark 7 gti that allegedly has low compression on one cylinder this engine was replaced under warranty and while i don’t know exactly how many miles it had we can probably assume it’s under 60 000. it looks like there might have been a little

Bit of tear down done already as you can see from these bolts up here on top of the cambridge this has been sitting at the dealer for probably about two years so it’s been picked over a little bit normally on these teardowns i work top to bottom but on this one we’re going to do it a little bit different i am going to start with taking the spark plugs out but after

That i’m going to roll it around and check the bottom end i have a hunch i already know what’s wrong with it we’ll go ahead and take a little quick look at these spark plugs that one’s missing okay well there’s only one spark plug so so much for that tech tip of the day look at the spark plugs before you decide you’re going to take all the spark plugs out so there

Was only one in there like i mentioned this thing’s kind of been picked over for parts so we’ll probably grabbed a couple of spark plugs for testing there’s something else i’m going to be doing different about this engine normally when we take these apart once i do that the parts go to scrap but on this one i think i’m gonna actually save the engine and possibly

Rebuild it because i got a gti race car type thing on the brain so we’ll see if that ever happens let’s sit down okay so uh this gti particular mark seven has a plastic oil pan sorry composite it doesn’t look like this pan has been off before but maybe it has these composite pans actually hold up better than you would think okay so the pan has definitely been off

Before and i know that because because there’s no there’s no oil pickup which is which is kind of weird i bet during the teardown they never put it back in that’s my guess there we go so we got our windage tray here that’s still a little juicy we have our oil pump and what i thought would be the case is actually a piston ring land breaking hmm well you guys wonder

What i’m doing and not actually see anything i’m just going to rotate this around so i can show you oh maybe it doesn’t want to rotate upside down something’s not happy okay i think we’re gonna roll this back around it’s gonna be harder to roll back around but it was to get here we’re gonna juice for sure on this one oh look at that juicing yeah juice-tastic i

Lost my boat there it is when i put it way over there for cause i’m stupid that’s why kind of expected to see something on the bottom end now that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing on the bottom end we can’t really see piston one very well and i don’t know which which one had the problem so we’re just gonna kind of roll with it i’m gonna take the cam variators or

Sorry the cam adjuster solenoids off we are missing some hardware for that there is some yuck in the p i didn’t even look in the pan why didn’t i look in the pan a minute ago i don’t know if it’s like from this engine just sitting with like oil and coolant mixed together i’m not going to take into account too much the crusties this one has cam timing adjustment

On the intake and the exhaust and then valve lift on the exhaust only that’s what these solenoids are for right here which i’ll show you what that looks like in a second because it’s pretty cool has ever taken apart an engine and like you knew something was real sad with it it has a very distinct smell i don’t know how to describe said smell get our upper timing

Well i think i figured out why our engine wouldn’t rotate around as soon as i got the cover off this is what i found see the chain is off our exhaust cam my assumption is there was tear down done and they just didn’t put it back all the way right like look at that that bolt’s not tight right there that bolt’s not tight these two right here aren’t tight that one’s

Not tight so my these i took out right here these are for the solenoid the only reasonable assumption we can make is that it was taken apart and just not put back together all the way let’s go ahead and get our pcv and our cambridge off next if you’re concerned about an issue with cylinder three or four popping this pcv valve off is a good spot to like do a quick

Visual and you got to take it off anyway to get all the bolts to the cambridge off there is also real quick this is important there is also a sequence you have to do to set the exhaust cam slider positions you’ll see the sliders in a second where you take certain solenoids out and install these little tools rotate the engine around and that puts the slider in the

Exhaust cam in a certain spot we can’t rotate the engine around so there’s no point in even trying that can definitely tell that those were just kind of snugged in they were really inconsistently tight all right let’s get that guy oh yeah a lot of what we find here may depend on what we do our valve train looks all right let’s go ahead and pull our bridge off

Next oh valves oh do i have that spool valve tool i should have done the spool valve first there are a couple of different tools for taking these valves out you make sure you get the right one i think there’s actually three different ones luckily for me these weren’t tight because i would have been i’d have been in a dilly of a pickle if these were tight these are

Also counter threaded reverse threaded if you will so you need to rotate them clockwise get them out there we go finally 87 years later we’ll talk about those in a minute this bridge off of here right now we should then we’ll get our chain off it’s okay that it’s not quite right that’s not a problem pull our cams do a quick inspection of come on man so clear it’s

Really obvious to me that this engine has been apart okay like apart apart and um you’re gonna like what i just found now when i say i’m like laughing about this and kind of poking fun yeah i’m not hating on the tech that took this apart and then put it back together because under warranty you’re not going to get paid to like properly reassemble this this engine so

There’s really little incentive to do anything but get it back together enough to send it back i mean really like they’ll pay you to take it down but they don’t pay to put it back together and you can’t just send back a box of parts so with the cams out here is our valve train i did find one kind of yuck spot right there i don’t know if that would prevent me from

Using this engine especially in like a race car application or anything like that but it is something to take note now the thing that i was laughing about that i noticed we’re standing on the front side of the engine here’s the water pump if we were engine in car this is how we would be looking at it so this cam that was right here is our intake cam back here is our

Exhaust cam if you look at the rollers on the rockers for the exhaust cam look at how narrow they are right you can see the the little bearing sticking out the side let’s come down to these on the intake side look at how fat they are they’re like probably not twice as thick but quite a bit thick or cylinder one exhaust cylinder one intake let’s side by side these

Babies just there you go side by side see how different they are when when i was looking so cylinder one is right here this is cylinder two rot row that doesn’t go there cylinder threes got a little of a and a little a b and then cylinder four does two little a little b so proper then this one should be on the exhaust side it’s not a big deal like it’s really

Not it’s just it’s funny and i wanted to share the joke with you let’s take a quick look at our cams while we’re here this is the intake cam with our variator here you can see our lobes this is our cambridge this acts as oil controls these are oil galleys or oil galleries if you prefer uh here’s where our solenoids mount up it looks like three bolts or two bolts

Broke look at a broken bolt and a broken bolt that one came out so we’ll have to extract those or put another bridge on it this is a common failure point not so much on these but on the older ones there was a screen and all this was covered up and the screen would come apart and get lodged in one of these two holes right here and starve the back side of the head

For oil this is our exhaust cam so it has timing variation that’s what this is and that’s controlled on both intake and exhaust with the spool valve right here the magnet acts on it and then it directs oil flow to move the gear independent from the shaft this one also has variable valve lift if you look right there you can see there’s two different lobes there’s

A low lift lobe and then right behind it is a high lift lobe and this piece right here slides i’m not going to slide it because if i slide it there’s a ball in a spring that’s going to go actually two i think that’s going to go peeling and it’s going to go and right over there into the audi and it’ll never be found again so we’re not going to do that that just a

Standard operating pcv valve we’ll take these three bolts out and then oh i saw that little bit of red and i thought i cut my finger and then we’ll take the head bolts out next let’s go ahead and crack these head bolts loose oh they’re not even tight okay we don’t even need this thing just seems like a lot of tear down to do likely the head was pulled because i

Couldn’t find anything on the bottom end and in order to pull the upper oil pan the non-metal or the metal excuse me the aluminum oil pan you have to take the trans out because there’s a couple of bolts on these two bolts because of two bolts you gotta take the transmission out uh on the rear main seal so that’s probably why but man oh man seems like a lot of tear

Down work and then ultimately just to put an engine in it anyway i don’t see any sadness there okay here’s what i’m gonna do i see the sadness it opened up my eyes saw the sadness that looks like oil control ring to me that looks like compression ring that looks like bits of piston how did it get up on the top side though they must have put it down in there

There’s no way all that would end up in the top side without like serious serious cylinder damage let’s go ahead and rotate this around get it set up to take the upper oil pan off and i’m going to try and catch this stuff that’s going to fall out of cylinder one oh that’s the chain there we go bits bits all right let’s get our oil pump off oh yeah easy easy

Here’s our oil pump nothing fancy very consistent oil pump with the rest of these ea triple eight engines they’re all really same also this is pretty much pretty much the engine in my golf r even on the newest gen like the next gen it’s real similar i mean vw and audi have been using this style and other brands across the world skoda sayat i i feel like i do a

Good job leaving y’all out and it’s not intentional they’ve been using this style of engines forever not forever since like 08 and a half so right back here there’s two bolts that hold the rear main seal on i went ahead and took them off and took the rear main seal off because i knew we’d be taking this stand off if those two bolts didn’t exist you could take this

Upper pan off without taking the transmission out but since those exist i take the transmission out now i have seen guys just destroy the rear main seal knowing they were going to put another one in just like on a diag but ultimately it probably doesn’t matter that’s our upper oil pan we got more chunkage right here that’s a chunk you know that was in cylinder

One but it makes me wonder is that the cylinder that had the problem or did they just throw it in there because it was convenient oh no that’s definitely from cylinder one the good thing is i don’t see a ton of metal in here let’s go ahead and take cylinder one piston and connecting rod and all that out got a bigger ratchet for that let’s see our bearing looks

Good a little bit of wear but nothing nothing i’m super worried about okay it was in fact cylinder one you can see the rings right here they’re supposed to be more metal right here than just that cylinder one piston ring land blew out this is actually a pretty common thing normally from what i’ve seen it’s cylinder two or cylinder three but that’s that’s kind of

Irrelevant these are just cast pistons there’s nothing special about these odds are now i can’t i don’t know this look at this is part of the piston ring i don’t know this for sure but on the other ones that i that i’ve seen the car has been tuned and it’s a low speed pre-ignition issue and it just blows the ring land apart this one’s broken pretty good like i’ve

Seen it where here on the other side just the bottom for the oil control ring breaks and you’ll get some blow-by and a little bit of misfire under heavy load this one’s pretty new so it was probably probably a zero compression concern as i get this engine put back together i want to look at two additional things one what the heck is low speed pre-ignition anyway

And two could you just slap a piston in this engine and send it or does this require a complete rebuild low speed pre-ignition become comes common on smaller turbocharged engines that are direct injection which means we’re putting fuel right into the cylinder instead of older technologies where the fuel went into the intake and then into the cylinder low speed

Pre-ignition is basically a premature combustion event which means that the air fuel mixture inside the cylinder is igniting at the wrong time this results in incredibly high cylinder pressures which lead to knock which then can lead to our issue we have here now in a mild case of low speed pre-ignition you could just get a little bit of engine noise a little bit

Of knock the ecm in general will take care of that and you won’t have any problem however it gets bad we end up with a piston that looks like this one in my experience this is not a super common thing on these two liter engines and the majority of them that i’ve seen have been on tuned cars that does not mean that this can’t happen on a normal stock car i’ve just

Seen more of this happen on cars that have an ecm tune so you want to make sure you’re doing good maintenance it’s proper oil changes good quality fuel and then make sure you smash that gas pedal every once in a while let’s face it that’s kind of the fun of a gti anyway now let’s look at what a repair would be for this engine could you just replace this one piston

And be okay and the short answer is yes you could now that doesn’t mean in every situation a piston is going to fix this problem thorough inspections of the cylinder wall and the rest of the engine is gonna really need to be done if it blew this piston apart and destroyed the cylinder wall you’re probably better off with another engine rather than doing all the

Work it’s going to take to fix the engine block to accept a piston unless you want to overboard and put bigger pistons in it another engine is probably the right answer i’m going to be lightly putting this engine back together so that i can use it for a future project most likely my plan will be to upgrade engine internals including rods including pistons probably

Valve springs i could see a scenario in the future where a track gti exists in my fleet now that’s not going to be a cheap endeavor and anytime you you build anything for race car it gets really expensive and something in searching the parts prices i had no idea went up in price so much is the rear main seal for this car these things used to be like 50 bucks now

They’re 250 dollars so this could easily especially with going with forged internals turn into a 4 000 plus dollar engine build that’s just in parts by the time we add on hardware and gaskets and everything else we’ll need i got a lot of options for this engine but for now i think it’s just going to go into storage and i’ll figure out what to do with it later but

It sounds like i better not sleep on buying these parts because they are not getting any cheaper i also did pull the water pump off of this engine so we could do a video on how this electronically controlled thermostat and water pump actually work in typical fashion it’s considerably over engineered but it’s also pretty cool how it works you guys have any questions

Or comments drop them down below with that i’m out have an awesome day and i’ll talk to you again next time

Transcribed from video
Catastrophic VW Engine Failure and Teardown 2.0t TSI By HumbleMechanic