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Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast?
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Maximooo
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:46 pm    Post subject: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Hi Everyone, New to The Samba, can anyone recommend a good honest TDI mechanic on the East Coast?

1983 Westfalia Hightop with 1998 Jetta TDI 1.9L, new owner.

3rd Injector has been replaced, but is still operating at sub optimum level, top speed about 65mph, used to be 80mph, current. Current 23 mpg, used to be 28mpg, (reported from previous owner). Glow plug light is blinking.

I am currently in South Florida, will be traveling up the East Coast.

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Max
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:35 am    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

There is a shop in Riviera Beach Florida, that is honest and familiar with TDI engines. Your problem as described does not seem like a quick easy fix. The other issue with engine conversions is the quality of the conversion and the documentation that the converter provided. There is no flat rate for your van. Itís billed by the hour and can add up quickly.

As far as the mpg, did you actually ever get 28 mpg? My TDI van mpg suffers quite a bit above 2800 rpm. I have gotten 36+ on a tank and as low as 24 mpg. I am geared for the TDI but almost never cruise faster than 70 mph. I see average 29 mpg over 5000 miles.

Why was the number 3 injector replaced? Does the van have a working ODB 2 port? Do you have a boost gauge or EGT gauge?

The shop is very busy. You are welcome to call and see if they can schedule you for an appointment. Road-n-Race Automotive. (56one) 845-664 Zero
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campism
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:49 am    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

If you get as far as Richmond, Virginia there's a place north of town on U.S. Route 1 that specializes in diesels and might be able to help you.

VW Motors
11228 Washington Hwy, Glen Allen, VA 23059
(804) 798-6437
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:47 am    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

A flashing glow plug light on the older TDI typically is caused by a fault brake light switch or burned out brake light bulbs.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Not exactly East Coast, but Nate at Westy Motorwerks in Asheville is a savant of all things diesel-if he's still there, been a while since I've stopped by.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:28 am    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

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Hi Everyone, New to The Samba, can anyone recommend a good honest TDI mechanic on the East Coast?


Which one is more important?

Very Happy

Hackels in Albany NY

Autobahn in Albany NY

are local to my summer location.

Flint European is a regular here and is highly recommended.
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Maximooo
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice everyone. I really appreciate it.

I have a mechanic in California I trust, but that's a long ways away.

Mark, the previous owner reported he got 28 mpg and cruised at 80mph easy. Right now I'm limping along at 60-65mph, that's about all it can do. Previous owner took it to a shop, pulled the codes, thought it was the 3rd needle lift sensor and replaced the injector, but it did not solve the problem. I took it to another shop and they found a missing copper seal washer on the 3rd injector, it was leaking, replaced all 4 copper washers, which cost a bit in labor, but that did not solve it either. I do have OBD but am not able to link into it at this time. Advice here would be good too. The Samsung pad that was linked to it is not turning on, am having difficulties linking iPhone to OBD. Not sure about the boost or EGT gauge.

xoo00oox, I will check the brake lights.

Mike, I will be heading near Asheville later, so I will keep Westy Motorwerks in mind.

Abscate, I don't know how to answer that. I've already had a couple of bad experiences with a couple of shops, so I thought I'd ask here for help.

Thank you!
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erste
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

EDIT - have you done 80 yourself in this van or just going off of what the PO said? What are the symptoms that make you think something might be wrong? Just re-read your posts and it makes me think you might be expecting too much out of a TDI hightop that's new to you. that said, I think a TDI high top can do 80 into a headwind, maybe even uphill.


I'd go to the auto parts store, pull the codes, write them down, and start troubleshooting online. Buy a cheap code reader and keep it in the glovebox. If you're still not able to pull codes then there's a wiring issue with the OBD port.

Like xoo00oox said about the glow plug light, that's tied into the brake pedal switch. Mine (AHU TDI) flashes when the brake switch isn't working exactly - in my case it's because the cruise setup isn't working perfectly. It's no problem driving with it flashing.

There's a vacuum line on the ECU - I'd check that connection and follow it back to the engine bay to make sure it's connected back there.

I blew a boost pipe (not that vacuum line but a real boost pipe) on mine and could just barely do 55 on the flats. It ran fine, just slow.

Last trip to Joshua tree it lost power going uphill, full throttle was only 40-45mph up a slight grade. Turned out it was the N75 boost solenoid valve. Couldn't source one on the road but made it back to SF without any problems. I was able to clear the codes with the scangauge while driving and that would take it out of limp mode, bringing power back. When the boost went over a certain PSI it would trigger limp mode again though. Could have also been a stuck wastegate, but my problem was the N75 valve.

Sounds to me like a boost leak, but that's just from my limited experience with my own TDI.

If both shops were focused on the #3 injector, that might be telling. You need to pull the codes yourself.

I suggest getting something like the ScanGauge II. You can pull and clear codes, measure sensors (Intake air temp, coolant temp, boost pressure, etc), mpg stuff. It's useful.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:54 am    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

I have a scan gauge mounted, but also carry my laptop with VCDS installed. I have a working check engine light and have still found codes stored that donít trigger the check engine light or the glow plug light.

80 mph in a loaded vanagon is a handful. While I can easily run 80, it is not relaxing. Even with my custom gearing 28 mpg would require some Devine intervention. What rpms are you turning at 80?

I think you need to pull any stored codes that may not be triggering a check engine light and determine why the glow plug light is flashing. There are a few reasons it could be doing that. VCDS will confirm why.

It does sound like you are not making full boost. A stuck VNT system depending on where it is sticking might cause a loss of boost. When everything is working properly, the N75 valve is controling max boost. When itís not able to control boost, it will go into limp mode which is very obvious. Cycling the key takes it out of limp mode and power is restored immediately, till the next overboost. That does not sound like your symptom.

Ross Techís VCDS or Vag Com is really a must if you have a TDI. I donít leave home without it. No affiliation.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:15 am    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

You definitely want to get VCDS, scanning this early TDi with a generic OBD2 is very limited. Start by clearing all codes, take it for a drive until you get a fault code and get that one taken care of first then repeat. With VCDS, you can watch the specified boost (what the ECM is trying to aim for) and actual boost at the same time along with the input to the N75 valve that is used to control it. You can easily graph all this while you test drive and go back and look at the results. It could be as simple as a leaking vacuum hose.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:05 am    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Maximooo wrote:
Not sure about the boost or EGT gauge.


If you have devices on the dash somewhere that show boost pressure and/or exhaust gas temperature, you have these gauges. If not, you don't have these gauges.

Throwing injector seals at the engine is the least efficient and most expensive way to troubleshoot your problem. Any reasonable mechanic would first check Group 13 in VCDS to check injector balance across cylinders, as well as check for other codes. That engine has really robust diagnostic tools built right in, it's stupid to just start wrenching on it and hope for the best.

The codes that will result in a flashing glow plug light on an AHU are pretty limited.

An implausible brake signal code won't get you into limp mode on an AHU as far as I know.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Sorry I missed you yesterday. Family emergency. Peter tells me overall its a nice ride and a clean conversion. Enjoy the rest of your trip. FAS is in Maine. Conversions is one of their businesses. And there is a shop with a bunch of vanagons as you drive into Belfast on the left side.
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Maximooo
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

I swung by Road N Race Thursday evening just before they closed. Peter was nice enough to pull the codes and help me out. He is going to a race this weekend and wouldn't be able to look at my van for about a week. The codes that came up were:

00625 Vehicle Speed Signal Not A Plausible Signal
01117 Generator Terminal DF Load Signal Not A Plausible Signal - Intermittent
00542 Needle lift Sensor (G80) Open Circuit/Short with Power - Intermittent
00542 Needle lift Sensor (80) Not A Plausible Signal - Intermittent
00575 Intake Manifold Pressure Deviation From Desired Value - Intermittent

I think the Intake Manifold Pressure has been solved. There were some loose connections on the turbo that have been tightened.

Needle lift sensor is the persistent problem. The 3rd Injector and copper seal have been replaced but code still shows. Peter said he would need time to look at this, but said it should be OK to drive. Since he will be unavailable, I think I have to keep traveling on my trip.

A curious thing, which I told Peter, was I fueled up just before getting to Road N Race and get 27MPG for the first time. I've also noticed, occasionally I feel a Turbo boost in speed, this is new. Unfortunately, after resetting my trip odometer, the trip odometer and full odometer have stopped working altogether.

HBB - I do not have pressure or boost gauges.

I am still working on reading my OBD Link. Still not able at this time.

I will be heading north of Florida along the east coast. Can anyone recommend where I might be able to have the odometer fixed or find a replacement?

Also, the submersible water pump for the faucet gave out. Recommendations?

Mark, sorry I missed you yesterday. I will check out FAS in Maine. Thank you for your advice!

Again, thank you everyone for your advice and experience!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Humorous suggestion here. The odometer can be owner repaired; done it myself with advice from threads here. All you need to do is remove it and tinker every evening until you get it right.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

I finally got the OBD Link working. It currently shows codes P1247 pending, P1246 pending, I cleared the codes, but both came back after a short drive.

As I was driving up the highway I noticed the OBD dashboard showed temperature gauge in the red and 240 degrees. My in dash gauge showed just past middle on a hot day, which seems normal as I have been driving like this for the past 1000 miles. I pulled over, checked and topped off the coolant. Drove a short distance waited an hour and checked OBD Dash again. It seems stuck at 240 degrees whenever the engine is running. The engine seems to be operating normally and not overheating. I think I will continue my journey.

Any advice here is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Oh a hunch ..

When I installed a Jetta 2001 ALH engine in my brother's 2003 Jetta (now my car), the #3 connector was different (one was roundish and the other squareish). So, I had to cut and splice the wires. That splice has been problematic over the years.

So, check those wires for splices....... And, maybe you should look at other splices if possible.

I'm not familiar with the AHU engine at all. However, for what it is worth, there are a number of reasons on an ALH for the GP light to flash. Also, a bad or non-functioning brake light switch will put the ALH in total limp mode with only a high-idle around 1200 RPMs. Also, since the ECU needs to monitor the brake light, set-up a separate light under the back seat for that purpose staying away from the OE lights on the Van.

Jimbote (TDI Club) is off the Coast inland in North Carolina (Sanford maybe, cannot remember for sure)...
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to give you all an update.

As I was in Maine heading to FAS auto, I heard a noise I thought was my brake pad wearing out, but turned out to be my wheel bearing giving out. As I drove from one shop to another which could not accommodate my high top, my spindle was damaged. I finally reached Prime VW in Saco, Maine and they were able to service my van. I would need a replacement '86-90 spindle for my GoWesty Big Brake kit, new brakes, pads, caliper, cradle from GoWesty, $550. The spindle was hard to track down, it took three shops and 8 days. Prime VW set me up with a loaner Passat during that time so saved me rental cost. I recommend Prime VW if you are in Saco, Maine. Good people there.

When I finally made it to FAS Foreign Auto Supply, they did a excellent job of sorting me out. They checked every single electrical connection in the engine and discovered the alternator polarity was reversed, the third needle lift sensor had been swapped with the temperature sensor. They installed a new alternator with the correct polarity. These fixes gave me full turbo boost. FAS noticed the polyurethane upper control arm bushings on the front suspension and ball joints looked worn and replaced those. The control arm looked dangerously out of position. So they repaired that. Other fixes, horn contact had too much dielectric lubricant, windshield washer pump contacts, front fans fuses. FAS did a really good job at a fair and reasonable price. If anyone has any mechanical or electrical issues in the Maine area, I highly recommend FAS.

FAS noted the low placement of my turbo unit, saying the gasket there was never intended to hold the kind of pressure that position would create. The only solution is to place the turbo in a higher upright position, then it would not leak as much oil. I have a persistent slow drip of engine oil from the turbo.

Everything ran really well until I hit the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Tennessee. My exhaust manifold gaskets gave out. MF Auto in Knoxville set me up there. So far so good. My van is running as smooth and strong and quiet as it every has. MF Auto also did a good job. $800 for exhaust gasket replacements with synthetic oil change.

Currently I'm in New Orleans, will be headed to Texas, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Seattle, then back to San Francisco, CA. With a little luck, I hope to make it home with no further issues.

I did discover a rear marking light was out, then a rear license plate light also. I replaced those but the Glow light issue persisted for my AHU unit.

My odometer does not work, I'm curious to know what my mpg is. I'm guessing 28-29 mpg but it's only a guess.

Again, Thank you to everyone who offered advice. It is greatly appreciated!
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Last edited by Maximooo on Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Great to hear the van has been well sorted. Sounds like an awesome road trip. Keep motoring and enjoy. It is likely much more enjoyable with your mind at ease about the van
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Maximooo wrote:
I replaced those but the Glow light issue persisted for my AHU unit.

Do you have cruise control wired up / installed?

Bummer about the issues but glad the trip is working out!

As you pass through Texas, you might check out Big Bend NP. And on the way back from Glacier, definitely check out Lassen NP if you've never been. Not too far out of the way and it's a beautiful spot, kind of like a mini Yellowstone with all the geothermal stuff going on there.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Recommend a Good TDI Mechanic on the East Coast? Reply with quote

Probably excessive ripple on that alternator, rather than polarity. You canít drink excessive ripple, either.
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