Quick back story on the car. 1991 4dr golf gl wolfsburg. Guy buys it for his 15, now 16 year old. They throw a canister muffler on it, hack the exhaust off mid way down the down pipe, used either jb weld, quicksteel or something along those lines to attach. They were wondering why the idle was so bad. I found this when I went to order a replacement exhaust from TT and looked under to measure the cat. Went ahead and got dual outlet manifold with exhaust. Ive been doing body work here and there until its time to repaint. Redoing suspension, more or less replacing everything not engine internally, or so I thought. Took off intake and exhaust mani along with valve cover. Inspected cam and something seemed off. Finally realized that one of the cam bearings had been just snapped off. Now my dilema. Do I put my new valve cover on, replace all timing components, brake, suspension, etc and keep fingers crossed or my other extensive option. I had no intention of making this a show quality car, just get it back on the road and repaired right. Have no intention of building a high horsepower car as I went through that with my 1.8t MK4. Do I replace the head, while there, already have new oil pan and pump, drop that, hone the engine, replace bearings and hardware, Id go with ARP, clean rods and pistons, clean tranny, replace various parts in there, clutch, axles, etc. First option, I have everything now on hand. Second option, for all parts and various related parts, look at about 2500 or a bit more but know that just about everything mechanical has been replaced or rebuilt. Im just in question because Ive never seen a cam bearing broken like this one nor dealt with a similar issue. New to the 8v forum so looking foward to speaking with some or all of you at some point. Thank you in advance. Chris
Your post makes no sense to me. I suppose it could happen, but I have never seen a cam bearing "broken off." I have seen a few broken studs that are easily repaired in most cases. If you are saying that the cam is missing a bearing -- likely #4 toward the transmission end of the head -- that is a totally normal condition. You are not the first to be fooled by the "missing" bearing. The bearings on most older VW 1.8L gas engines are numbered 1-2-3-5. Diesels and turbo engines included bearing #4 so you might say that bearing was an "extra cost option."
Since the engine car is over 20 years old the engine likely needs some work though. Do a regular and leak down compression test to check the condition of the engine. If you do a rebuilt head you should also replace the rings otherwise you are likely to get a lot of blow by the old rings. For sure you should replace the timing belt and idler. FR