Volkswagen launched the "new Beetle" in 1998 and it's still going strong. As reliable as ever, most of the early models of the "new Beetle" are still on the road. In the 1998 to 2000 models, the removal and installation of the exhaust manifold in the 2.0L gas engine is a procedure that can be accomplished by the do-it-yourself mechanic.
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Take off the engine cover, then remove the air intake duct and the cowl cover. Lift out the upper intake manifold and then remove the hoses from the air injection control valve.
Use jack stands to lift the front of the vehicle. Make sure the supports are secure.
Locate the oxygen sensor electrical connectors and disconnect them. Pull the wiring harness form the oxygen sensor from the manifold retaining bracket.
Treat the exhaust manifold mounting bolts and nuts with penetrating oil. Disconnect the exhaust pipe from the manifold then take out the front exhaust pipe. Remove the support brace.
Loosen the air injection pipe union nuts on the manifold and remove them. Disconnect the air injection control valve.
Identify the warm air deflector plate and remove it from the engine. Remove the bolts and take out the manifold and gasket.
Remove the Exhaust Manifold
Scrape the old gasket material and debris from the mating surfaces. Check the gasket for damage and warping.
Set a new gasket into place over the cylinder head studs. Install the manifold and put the nuts over the bolts. Use a high temperature anti-seize compound on the fasteners.
Tighten the bolts in sequence, working from the center out and in a criss-cross pattern. Make three or four passes to torque the bolts to 18 foot pounds.
Reinstall and reconnect the remaining parts in the reverse order of their removal. Turn on the engine and check for exhaust leaks.