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Fri Oct 20, 2006
12:14
Last night we finally finished removing the cylinder head from the TDI Beetle. We were pretty eager to inspect the damage to the engine after the timing belt break, and I was expecting a real mess. I was thinking we'd have to replace pistons and possibly even replace the head and bore out the block.

What we ended up finding was a startlingly small amount of damage, almost entirely localized to the cylinder head. In this first picture, you can see the whole engine bay with the head removed. If you've ever looked under the hood of a TDI Beetle, you can appreciate the amount of stuff we had to remove just to get access. (click image for larger view)
TDI Beetle cylinder head removed


In this next picture, you can see the underside of the cylinder head. You really can't see any damage in the picture, but the exhaust valve for the #1 cylinder (it's the valve all the way on the left in this picture) is bent a tiny bit - just enough so that it doesn't seat perfectly flat anymore. (click image for larger view)
TDI Beetle cylinder head removed


In this next picture, you see a closer view of the block. The debris in the cylinder bores is junk that fell in while we were removing the head and head gasket. If you look close, you can see that the #1 piston (all the way on the left in this picture) has one shiny ring showing, which is where that exhaust valve hit against it. That's the only damage underneath the cylinder head that we could find. No broken or melted pistons, no cylinder bore scoring... sweet. (click image for larger view)
TDI Beetle cylinder head removed


And here is a closeup of the "damaged" piston, which I see no reason to worry about. We're tentatively planning on just doing a cylinder head rebuild (with all new valves, even though only one is visibly damaged). (click image for larger view)
TDI Beetle cylinder head removed


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