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    Thread: DIY: Removing front Lock Carrier to "Service Position"

    1. Member darisd's Avatar
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      01-01-2006 02:48 AM #1
      This DIY describes how to move the front end of the MKIV forward to gain easy access to the front of the motor. This is especially helpful for VR6 equipped vehicles that have a tiny space between the radiator and the motor. Removing it completely is not easy for the home mechanic due to the AC system, but is not necessary for most procedures.

      For the VR6, here are some procedures that require you to do this (or would help with):
      - Crack Pipe or Thermostat housing replacement
      - Alternator replacement
      - Lower Intake Manifold replacement/removal

      For all vehicles, you will need to do this to replace the AC condesor or the radiator.

      The Bentley manual indicates in an illustration and procedure in section 50 (Body-Front) that there is a special VAG tool set (3411) that allows you to place the lock carrier into service position. This tool is not necessary if you follow this procedure, but might help. From what I can tell, these two "tools" are really just long bolts that screw into the same frame-end threads that the bumper bolts to. If you can find a very long set of bolts with the same thread style, more power to you. If you find them please post the dimensions and I will post them here.

      Note that there are two variants of this procedure. I gave them descriptive names for reference later on:
      1: Baby Steps Version: Just move it forward a few centimeters. This does not require you to drain the coolant. This is useful for replacing the water pump.
      2: EXTREME Version: Move it forward a half meter or more. This requires you to drain your coolant. Be prepared for a mess.

      Nomenclature is important here. There are two main structural members to the nose of your MKIV once you get past the end of the frame rails: the bumper (metal) and the lock carrier (plastic). For the purposes of this DIY, the lock carrier assembly refers to the total assemblage of the lock carrier, bumper, radiator, and AC condensor.

      IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT just start unscrewing random parts of the lock carrier assemblage. This was probably intended to never EVER be disasemmbled by the engineers, as the alignments of the hood lock, lights, radiator, bumper, etc all depend on how these screws align.

      I assume no risk from you following this procedure.

      HEALTH NOTE: When working with coolant, I STRONGLY urge you to wear skin protection and eye protection. Latex or nitrile gloves are a must. I managed to get coolant splashed in my eye and ended up under the faucet for fifteen minutes. And remember to follow ALL local guidelines for disposing of used coolant. Once it is out of your car it is your responsibility. Remember that it takes about 100 mL of Ethelyne Glycol per kilogram of body weight to kill a mammal. That is somewhere around 200 mL diluted to kill a cat. Not alot. Small child, same thing. Much less can produce other ill effects, such as kidney damage, liver damage, and urine crystals. Be careful. Do a google search for a MSDS on glycol if you have more questions, and see a doctor if you think you have poisoned yourself.

      Tools required:
      Flathead screwdriver (small, preferably smooth)
      Torx tools (T25 and T30 I believe)
      13mm socket and ratchet
      Torque wrench
      Something to contain and deal with coolant (large wash basin is great, with some one gallon milk jugs)

      Stuff Required:
      G12 to replace your coolant
      Distilled or (preferable) Deionized water (available at aquarium stores)
      ALOT of paper towels (2 or three rolls)

      Parts Recommended:
      O-Ring that seals the lower radiator connector (PN ????)
      Screw-style Hose Clamps to replace the clamp-style ones that you remove.

      1: Remove the two lower side grilles.

      2: Remove the grille. See section 66 of the Bentley manual. First disconnect the hood release lever from the hood lock assembly. This is a plastic clip held together with a metal retainer. Move the retainer away from the lock assembly, then insert a small screwdriver into the gap and twist, then pull it towards the front of the vehicle until it is free. The grille is held in place by three plastic tabbed clips. There are two on each end of the grille at the top. Insert a small screwdriver into the gap between it and the bumper skin to unclip each of these two. The third is in the center and is easy to identify. Once it is unclipped it just pops off.

      2: Remove the bumper skin. First pop the two side marker bulbs out of the housings. There are 4 torx screws in each wheel well (turn the wheels to access them or use a torx socket), five under the grille, and one behind each of the lower side grilles. Once they are off the skin will be free. It is very light and does not pose a danger: remove it and place in a safe location.

      3: Remove the impact absorbing foam insert. It is not attached, just pull it free.

      4: EXTREME Version: Remove the electrical connectors at the back of the headlights. The drivers side will require you to remove the plastic baffles that funnel air into the air box which are between the lock carrier and the battery box.

      5: Remove the lower sound absorption panel (4 torx screws). This is the FRP panel below the oil filter.

      6: EXTREME Version: Disconnect the plug for your hood latch sensor. This was behind the passenger side headlamp for me, it may be different for you.

      7: EXTREME Version: Disconnect the lower radiator hose from the radiator. Begin by opening the system up to ambient air pressure by opening the overflow tank. Drain the coolant from the drain on the lower drivers side (see Gary's writeup on water pump replacement for pictures). Now disconnect the lower radiator hose (drivers side) by moving the metal clip straight up through its notches until it stops, and then pull the hose towards the rear of the vehicle. Be VERY careful doing this: there will be coolant that was not able to drain normally inside the lower hose, and considerable force was required for me to get mine off. Do yourself a favor and wear splash resistant eye protection if you have it handy. This image has the groove that the clip slides in pointed out.

      On models with the auxiliary radiator on the passenger side, unclip the return hose leading to the auxiliary radiator.

      8: Remove the two screws holding the plastic lock carrier to the fender panels. These are right next to the headlights.

      9: Remove the four bolts holding the lock carrier to the frame rails. Expert advice: you would also be advised to mark the exact bolt locations and note how many, if any, spacer washers are where. You can mark the pocations with off-color spray paint. WARNING: The lock carrier assembly will now not be attached to the vehicle, and only resting on the frame rail!

      10: Support the lock carrier with a floor jack, and give it a extra centimeter or so extra push upwards to free it. Do not be alarmed, the lock carrier is still held close to the car by the lock cable.

      11: EXTREME Version: Remove the lock cable. This will be necessary if you REALLY need to get access to the front of the motor, as if you are replacing the VR6 "crack pipe" (or just about anything on a VR). The cable is braided steel and has a metal ball on the end. Use needle nose pliers to grab the end of this cable and work it out of the gate that retains it in the lock assembly. Then remove the sleeve clip from the lock carrier.

      12: EXTREME Version: Remove the upper radiator hose. The location will be slightly different from vehicle to vehicle. It will be on the drivers side again, behind the battery. You will probably have to move the lock carrier assembly out a tad to get clean access.

      13: EXTREME Version: Unplug the radiator fans. To do this you will again have to pull the lock carrier assembly back a tad to get better access.

      14: EXTREME Version: Unplug the coolant sensor on the radiator. This is on the drivers side tucked above the radiator fan plugs.

      15: Enjoy! Now you can do this to your car (EXTREME Version)

      NOTES: Be very careful with how far you move this assembly, as the AC system fittings could be damaged. Also, you can rest the assembly on top of the frame rails when you are not working on the car, and rest the hood on top of this, and it should not come off unless someone yanks on it.

      Reassembly:

      16: EXTREME Version: Attach upper radiatpr hose. Use a new screw-style hose clamp as it makes removing this hose so much easier.

      17: Place the assembly on the frame rails and screw in the four 13mm bolts. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN! They are only torqued to 15 ft/lbs (20 N/m).

      18: EXTREME Version: Attach lower radiator hose. Replace the lower quick-clip radiator attachment o-ring.

      19: EXTREME Version: Plug the three plugs into the radiator: two fans and the sensor.

      20: EXTREME Version: Replace the hood release cable. First put the ball end throught the gates, then pull back on the housing and clip the end onto the lock frame where you pulled it off (a centimeter to the drivers side).

      21: EXTREME Version: BEFORE CONTINUING check the operation of the lock release. If you continue and have problems you will not be able to easily reach the internals of the lock, without doing something like pulling the motor from the bottom of the car, blowtorching a hole in the hood, calling your cousin Vinny who has been "fixing" locks for years, Etc. FIRST check that the release lever in the cabin is in the normal position, and pull on it to see if it is solid. Now drop the hood slowly and push to see if it wants to latch. Now pull it up a half meter and drop it. It should latch. Now check that you can release it from the cabin. All is now well.

      22: Replace the bumper externals. Foam core first, then the bumper. The bumper clips onto the fenders and rests on the lock carrier at this point. Now screw the bumper in from the front, and last get the wheel well screws.

      23: Replace the grills. For the center top grill, clip the hood catch release first, then clip the rest in the reverse as removal.

      24: Close the hood and check the fit. Everything should be lined up exactly as before. If you are not happy, feel free to remove the bumper and adjust the positioning of the four frame rail bolts, or add washers under these bolts, rinse and repeat. REMEMBER TO CHECK THE LATCH MECHANISM EACH TIME!

      25: EXTREME VERSION: Reattach the battery.

      26: EXTREME VERSION: Refill the coolant. As indicated in the bentley manual, fill the reservoir and keep filling it until it hits and stays at the MAX mark. Start the car, let it run for a second or two, and stop it. Refill to the max again. Start it again and let it run until the fans come on. Now stop it and refill again if necessary. Repeat until the expansion tank is full to the max mark with the fans running. Let it cool all the way down and recheck the level (fill to the max mark).

      Enjoy!



      Modified by darisd at 11:02 PM 4-20-2006


    2. Member RavinJetta's Avatar
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      01-01-2006 02:56 AM #2
      Great writeup. Definitely make access easier when working on the motor

    3. 01-01-2006 09:46 AM #3
      Nice work. This would have been very handy ... YESTERDAY!

      Gary


    4. Member darisd's Avatar
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      01-01-2006 11:08 AM #4
      Now I need to get the car back together I may have to make minor additions to this when I start putting it together. Just been a major pain in the arse getting things done.

    5. Member RavinJetta's Avatar
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      01-01-2006 06:03 PM #5
      Why do you have to remove the trim strip though?

    6. 01-01-2006 06:09 PM #6
      to anyone who takes the time to make a good write up and help others out

    7. Member darisd's Avatar
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      01-02-2006 11:21 AM #7
      Quote, originally posted by RavinJetta »
      Why do you have to remove the trim strip though?

      You are correct. I have revised the instructions. Sorry, the diagram I have was not completely clear as to where the bottom two screws were located.


    8. Member darisd's Avatar
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      01-08-2006 01:01 PM #8
      Made several changes, added the two flavors of the job.

    9. 01-11-2006 12:28 PM #9
      when filling back up the radiator, how much G12 is needed and is there a typical radiator cap somewhere or do you fill it back up through the reservoir? thanks for the write up

    10. Moderator rs4-380's Avatar
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      01-11-2006 12:32 PM #10
      this is necessary to replace an alternator on vr's.
      Dave

    11. 01-11-2006 01:41 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by rs4-380 »
      this is necessary to replace an alternator on vr's.

      And also to be able to see and get access to the bolts if you ever need to remove the intake manifold.


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      01-11-2006 01:43 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by mahmgb »

      And also to be able to see and get access to the bolts if you ever need to remove the intake manifold.


      you can actually do that without removing all of this...just use a "ball-end" 5.5mm allen socket....it worked for me...at least for the upper portion...to remove the lower intake manifold, yes..this needs to be done..


    13. Member darisd's Avatar
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      01-11-2006 02:19 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by LSinLV »
      ....to remove the lower intake manifold, yes..this needs to be done..

      Good, another procedure that requires this! Added to the list... thanks.


    14. 01-11-2006 02:24 PM #14
      nice writeup..
      Brandon A.
      BAAK2BASICS TUNING LLC
      FACESPACE US CLICK HERE

    15. 01-11-2006 02:31 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by LSinLV »


      you can actually do that without removing all of this...just use a "ball-end" 5.5mm allen socket....it worked for me...at least for the upper portion...to remove the lower intake manifold, yes..this needs to be done..

      Good to know. My 24V intake manifold is only one piece. So, my statement is only correct for 24V's.


    16. Member Sixer's Avatar
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      03-08-2006 05:09 PM #16
      Has anyone found out what size the 4 bolts are that are used to hold the front clip to the frame ends? Thanks

    17. Member darisd's Avatar
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      04-20-2006 06:01 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by Sixer »
      Has anyone found out what size the 4 bolts are that are used to hold the front clip to the frame ends? Thanks

      I will be doing my alternator in June however and will have to replace at least one stripped bolt so I will find out then and post the dimensions.


    18. Member
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      04-20-2006 08:48 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by darisd »
      If you can find a very long set of bolts with the same thread style, more power to you. If you find them please post the dimensions and I will post them here.

      dealership parts counter should be able to tell you what size the bolts are.


    19. Member darisd's Avatar
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      04-21-2006 05:07 AM #19
      Quote, originally posted by the kevin »
      dealership parts counter should be able to tell you what size the bolts are.

      So will my buddy at the NAPA a few blocks from here, if I bring in the bolts


    20. Member VR6ix's Avatar
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      05-11-2006 04:23 PM #20
      hey I got a couple more

      TIPS, TRICKS and NOTES:

      Step 7 (Extreme): first, use a modded pop/soda/beer can under the little drain spout to avoid coolant running randomly down the plastic shroud. Second, I couldn't get the plastic fitting loose for the lower rad hose, so I just took the hose off instead, very easy, did this for both the lower and upper rad hoses (step 12).


      Some hoses have white markings on the end, to indicate the acceptable zone for the hose clamp. There is also a white line that extends to point to a small tab on the plastic part. Line the two up when re-attaching hoses:


      I think that's it. Have fun!

      · ·we're only gonna die for our own arrogance that's why we might as well take our time...
      · · /
      · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to Ø

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      09-30-2006 03:19 PM #21
      Thanks for this writeup.

      I am going to attempt to install a coolant temp sensor, and oem R32 oil-cooler, and replace the whole radiator support/lock-carrier composite plastic piece as mine is cracked down the side.


    22. Member nick526's Avatar
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      03-04-2007 09:43 PM #22

      Thanks
      RIP: Mk2 jetta (stolen ), Mk4 jetta (side-swiped, totaled ), Mk4 GTI (totaled by teenage girl )

    23. 08-19-2007 07:11 PM #23
      Awesome DIY guide, helped me out a lot!

      I was able to get the front end off as shown, but I did a quick check on the bolts: they are metric - M8 with 1.25 mm thread pitch. The longest M8 bolts I've been able to find in local hardware stores are about 8 cm long, probably not long enough for this job though. Another thought would be to buy a M8 threaded rod and cut it to the size that you want. Then either weld a nut to the end of it, or sandwich a large washer in between 2 nuts, so that you can use a wrench to get the rod in and out of the frame.


    24. 03-29-2008 08:53 AM #24
      has anyone replaced radiator and afterwards car will not run? I also replaced air filter at same time. Also the coolant does not seem to be leaving the fill bottle at all. I pulled off top hose and when I did that coolant would flow out. But it does not seem to come out the bottom hose at all. Please help. I only have until tomorrow to sort this out. I could not find any wires unplugged or such. Is it possible a piece of plastic from the broken radiator could have gotten in system and is clogging something up. The car did run before I changed the radiator, although could not drive it because it did not hold coolant for more than a few seconds.

    25. 11-24-2008 12:06 AM #25
      thanks for the write up! got it done in an hour by myself

    26. Member J-tec's Avatar
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      11-24-2008 12:12 AM #26
      great writeup!!

    27. 11-27-2008 03:48 PM #27
      I was just searching for this.
      TDI for the win !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    28. Member tylando's Avatar
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      01-18-2009 02:37 PM #28
      nevermind lol


      Modified by tylando at 11:42 AM 1-18-2009

    29. 06-30-2009 02:43 AM #29
      I need to this soon... I have a serious coolant leak in the mid front..... I can see droplets falling from the oil filter canister, but I can't see the source (crackpipe?)

      Thanks for a timeless, great writeup!


    30. 07-09-2009 12:16 AM #30
      Any tips on replacing the radiator. I'm currently stuck trying to figure out how to unplug the fans. What is the trick to releasing the plugs?

    31. Member dj givv's Avatar
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      07-30-2009 12:05 PM #31
      Thank god for this write up years ago! YOU THE MAN! lol

    32. 07-30-2009 02:44 PM #32
      Quote, originally posted by matais423 »
      Any tips on replacing the radiator. I'm currently stuck trying to figure out how to unplug the fans. What is the trick to releasing the plugs?

      I depress the locking latch and then use a wide screwdriver to spread the two harness parts apart a little. After that the harnesses separate very easily. One thing to know is that one separates from the left side and the other separates from the right side.


    33. Member volks25's Avatar
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      10-08-2009 09:51 AM #33
      Quote, originally posted by darisd »

      Parts Recommended:
      O-Ring that seals the lower radiator connector (PN ????)

      Any more info on this? I reconnected everything and did not see a o-ring at the lower rad connector. It's now leaking at that junction, so any help is appreciated.


    34. 10-14-2009 04:46 PM #34
      Well I too am having the same problem as volks 25.
      I just replaced the rad and have the same dripping issue. The Part that houses the o-ring is 1J0 121 619A but can the o-ring be purchased separately and what might the part number be?


      Modified by Baconbit at 1:48 PM 10-14-2009

    35. Member volks25's Avatar
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      10-14-2009 05:33 PM #35
      I forgot to update this thread

      Got the O-ring at the dealer (stealer!)
      p/n is 1JM-121-700 and I payed 7.35

      O-ring is "inside" the junction


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