Engine refresh – day 6

Today I spent a couple hours at the shop, but not all of it was on the engine.

I started off by measuring the bore on my new wheels. I’ve been getting a little vibration on the highway and I suspect it might because I bought B8 generation wheels for my B6. The B8 has a larger hub size and so the wheels may not be precisely centered. I’ve ordered some spacers that I hope will cure that problem.

And now, on to the engine work. Today’s task was to replace the cam chain tensioner seal on the passenger side of the engine. This side of the engine was worlds easier. On the driver’s side I had to loosen the camshaft as well as compress the chain tensioner. On the passenger side compressing the chain tensioner was all that was needed. Turns out the passenger side was much worse off than the driver’s side. The shiny gunk you can see on the gasket is not sealer, it’s oil that was working it’s way through.

Cam tensioner seal with oil on it

Since the seal on the passenger side was so much easier I had some more time in the evening’s budget, so I also replaced the cam shaft cap on the passenger side. Since the valve cover was off I decided to replace the cap by pulling the top bracket off (I’m sure it has a real name) and clean the area well. I’m pretty sure that was a good decision because I found one of the oil channels was completely blocked by some hardened crud. I cleaned that up and put it back together with a fresh cap.

Top cap for the camshaft, channels for the oil visible on either side of the arch.
Look closely at the far side of the camshaft, that’s a sold bit of hardened oil

Today was 2 hours, an hour on measuring the wheel and doing research and another hour on the passenger side of the motor.

Engine refresh – day 5

Still have my hands under the valve covers today, this time at the front edge of the driver’s side replacing the timing chain gasket. The timing chain cover made this a real pain to get to (that and I couldn’t get enough slack in the timing chain).

What should have be at most a 30 minute task took 90 minutes and a couple sets of hands.

Once we were able to get the gasket clear of the guide pins I pulled the half-moon seal, scraped the surfaces and put in a new seal and gasket.

Engine refresh – day 3

Today was all about the front crankshaft seal. It wasn’t leaking, but it was accessible with the engine out, so why not? Well… one could argue: don’t fix it if it ain’t broke, that’s why not.

First step was to get the crankshaft harmonic balancer bolt out. This bolt is torqued to 150 lb/ft… and then turned another 180 degrees. It’s in there tight… so tight that the force actually stretches the bolt. Getting the bolt out took me about ten minutes of straining, spraying penetrating oil and an air impact gun.

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Since it wasn’t leaking it was a bit of a pain to pull out. By the time I realized I should have left well enough alone, I had already beat up the front of the seal, so it had to come out. With John’s help the seal finally came loose. Putting the new seal in was simply a matter of finding the right tool to seat the seal (which, when you don’t have a seal tool, the right tool is a 36mm Craftsman socket).

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