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Thread: Slight clunking on R36 (Timing chain?) :(

  1. #1
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    Slight clunking on R36 (Timing chain?) :(

    Hey guys,

    So as many of you know, this car has no service history at all (apart from my own).

    What appears to be at random, the car has started to make this noise from what appears to be the right hand side of the motor (near the end of the video it is more prevalent).

    Just wanting opinions on if this sounds normal, the car isn't at full temp here but it's definitely warmer as I was driving around 30 minutes before.



    I've checked the timing chain via VCDS with blocks 208 (-3.0) and 209 (-2.0) as per below (this was around a week ago). This was in the past (Sixish month ago) -3.0 and -4.0 so this seems ok from what I've read but I suspect it could still be bad or potentially the tensioner.

    Have had almost all fluids (except coolant, that's to be done soon) changed since I've owned it. Last oil change was around 2,000k's ago with 5w-30 Fuchs. I'm thinking a 5w-40 may be good, but is this just hiding the issue?

    Slight clunking on R36 (Timing chain?) :(-20200105_112942-jpg

    Any suggestions are welcome, I'm getting no loss of power and no timing related or engine codes at all. The only codes that I've seen (and not fixed) are the parking sensors which is obviously irrelevant to the issue. I will do another scan later today or tomorrow to confirm however.

  2. #2
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    Bump, fixed video link!

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    I've got the same type of noise coming from same side of the engine (though mine is only 3.2 LT engine). I doubt the noise would be from the timing chains since the engine is transversely mounted meaning the timing chains noise would be coming from LHS standing in front of the vehicle. And yours seem to be more from the RHS. Regardless, your readings are obviously within specs.

    I'd be looking more at the direction of fuel pump (cam follower) issue as described in the following you tube clips HERE, HERE and HERE. A while ago I read a thread (on this forum) on this particular topic but I'll be buggered if I can find it now. BTW - I'm getting an intermittent Low Fuel Pressure error code similar to the one described in the you tube video but I don't get any engine check lights or any other obvious symptoms. And since I've been busy I haven't checked my car for the above problem as yet but suggestions seem to be a check 30-50K km. Let us know what you found.
    2006 VW Passat Sedan 3.2lt AXZ, FSI 4motion, 301k +

  4. #4
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    Timing chains are at the gearbox end of the engine.

    Try 5W40 oil first. If that doesn't solve it, do the upper chain tensioner. If it's still noisy, you'll have to do the chains.
    '07 Transporter 1.9 TDI
    '01 Beetle 2.0

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umai Naa!! View Post
    Timing chains are at the gearbox end of the engine.

    Try 5W40 oil first. If that doesn't solve it, do the upper chain tensioner. If it's still noisy, you'll have to do the chains.
    I've only just had 5w30 in there. I'm still not sure it is the chain by any means.

    I'm going to order the tensioner today, as I was planning on doing it anyway. Other suggestions are that it is the HPFP, but I'll let a Euro mechanic have a look at it if the tensioner does not resolve the issue. I'll also run some output test via VCDS to see if I can replicate the noise with the motor off (I.E HPFP).

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Navman View Post
    I've got the same type of noise coming from same side of the engine (though mine is only 3.2 LT engine). I doubt the noise would be from the timing chains since the engine is transversely mounted meaning the timing chains noise would be coming from LHS standing in front of the vehicle. And yours seem to be more from the RHS. Regardless, your readings are obviously within specs.

    I'd be looking more at the direction of fuel pump (cam follower) issue as described in the following you tube clips HERE, HERE and HERE. A while ago I read a thread (on this forum) on this particular topic but I'll be buggered if I can find it now. BTW - I'm getting an intermittent Low Fuel Pressure error code similar to the one described in the you tube video but I don't get any engine check lights or any other obvious symptoms. And since I've been busy I haven't checked my car for the above problem as yet but suggestions seem to be a check 30-50K km. Let us know what you found.
    As mentioned, yours could be the chains as well. The chains are between the gearbox and the back (right hand side) of the motor. It's seemingly in that area, but as per my scan the actual timing is reporting ok. It could also be the HPFP, but I have no idea how to even begin to check this. Output tests work on my older Audis, but this is obviously different.
    Last edited by Matt86; 13-01-2020 at 10:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    Just ordered the tensioner. Just under $72 delivered for a Febi from Tooley Imports.

    Should be here tomorrow or the next day, don't know if I'll change it out til the weekend but we'll see how we go. Using the A4 for a week won't kill me (or it)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Umai Naa!! View Post
    Timing chains are at the gearbox end of the engine.

    Try 5W40 oil first. If that doesn't solve it, do the upper chain tensioner. If it's still noisy, you'll have to do the chains.
    Hmmm, I see - but this doesn't explain the Low Fuel Pressure error code. Couldn't the knock also be caused by a worn fuel pump cam follower?

    Doing the chains/tensioners would be a huge job - having to take the whole engine out. Is that absolutely necessary if VCDS shows correct timing chains specs?

    BTW, this job would probably cost 1/4 to 1/3 the current price of my car. Any recommendations for Melbourne North based mechanics to do the job at reasonable price?
    Last edited by Old Navman; 13-01-2020 at 11:10 PM.
    2006 VW Passat Sedan 3.2lt AXZ, FSI 4motion, 301k +

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Navman View Post
    Hmmm, I see - but this doesn't explain the Low Fuel Pressure error code. Couldn't the knock also be caused by a worn fuel pump cam follower?

    Doing the chains/tensioners would a huge job - having to take the whole engine out. Is that absolutely necessary if VCDS shows correct timing chains specs?

    BTW, this job would probably cost 1/4 to 1/3 the current price of my car. Any recommendations for Melbourne North based mechanics to do the job at reasonable price?
    I can't comment on the fuel pump side, I don't know much about it. I'd imagine that it would be possibly that in your case. What's the actual code it's throwing?

    I'm unsure, I'm no mechanic. I'd suspect that VCDS shows the current timing.. However the tensioner being worn could produce noise as well while still being in spec? Unsure, I'm still replacing my tensioner to be safe.

    I'm in Tasmania, I'm struggling to even find anyone to look at the car apart from Volkswagen themselves which is $140ish an hour for diagnosis! I'm booked in for three weeks from now.. for diagnosis..

    I'm also thinking it may be the motor mounts? It's got some massive engine movement going on..

  9. #9
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    I would have to get the codes from another computer (laptop). I don't think you'd get the knock/s from the engine mounts while the vehicle is stationary unless you could see the engine shaking.

    But going back to the replacing the tensioners - I think IF I was getting my engine out to do just that I'd also be looking at replacing, depending on a wear,

    * the chains
    * sprockets
    * tensioner pulley
    * idler pulley
    * water pump
    * A/C belt
    * alternator belt
    * camshaft seal
    * crankshaft seal

    AND whatever else fits inside that particular engine cavity or around. You might get a BIG surprise (price wise) once the mechanic gets your engine out and starts dissembling it.
    2006 VW Passat Sedan 3.2lt AXZ, FSI 4motion, 301k +

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Navman View Post
    I would have to get the codes from another computer (laptop). I don't think you'd get the knock/s from the engine mounts while the vehicle is stationary unless you could see the engine shaking.

    But going back to the replacing the tensioners - I think IF I was getting my engine out to do just that I'd also be looking at replacing, depending on a wear,

    * the chains
    * sprockets
    * tensioner pulley
    * idler pulley
    * water pump
    * A/C belt
    * alternator belt
    * camshaft seal
    * crankshaft seal

    AND whatever else fits inside that particular engine cavity or around. You might get a BIG surprise (price wise) once the mechanic gets your engine out and starts dissembling it.
    I mean some of this may be a bit excessive, the belts are easy to do while the car is together apparently, I'd do all of the chains and tensioners though and the crank seal. Most of the others aren't too bad to do.

    In terms of my car currently.

    Replaced the timing chain tensioner, the noise still seems to be present. But found a coolant leak in the form of the flange next to the timing chain tensioner, ordered that and it'll be here tomorrow or the next day, with a new O-Ring and coolant tank (preventative) and I have fresh coolant. I'll likely dilute it with distilled water and confirm that we have no leaks for a week or so and then switch to the VW G13 that I have.

    I've also found another issue, the PCV diaphragm. I'm getting that sorted this weekend as I did a group buy on the R36 owners group on FB around four months ago and I have a rocker cover gasket too. Only missing the air intake gasket.. but she'll be right.

    I suspect that the knocking IS the engine mount, but will confirm after I get the PCV done and check for other leaks. I suspect that my efficiency will come back to normal too. The strange thing is I don't have a high or reallythat bad of an idle.. The gearbox mount has a LOT of movement whereas the drivers one does not. - Is this normal?

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