How to remove the cylinder head on a volkswagen passat

Written by john rose
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There are several reasons why you would need to remove the cylinder head on the Volkswagen Passat. The primary reason is to change the head gasket, but another reason might include a crack in the head. There may also be warping present due to the overheating of the engine. When the engine overheats, the cylinder head and the block expand. This is what causes head gasket failure. When the engine gets hot enough that the head gasket fails, it can also cause the head to warp.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Marker
  • Masking tape
  • Drain pan
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the negative cable from the battery using a wrench to loosen the terminal nut. Open the valve on the bottom of the radiator with a wrench and drain the engine coolant to the drain pan.

  2. 2

    Disconnect the throttle cable from the throttle body. Label the vacuum lines with the marker and masking tape noting their proper locations and then disconnecting them. Label the electrical connections to the intake manifold with the marker and masking tape, then disconnect them.

  3. 3

    Remove the upper intake manifold using a socket and ratchet. Disconnect the fuel supply and return lines from the fuel rail using a wrench. Loosen the clamps on the radiator and heater hoses with a screwdriver. Pull the hoses off the fittings.

  4. 4

    Label the wires on the oil pressure and temperature sensors with a marker and masking tape and disconnect them. Label the spark plug wires with a marker and masking tape noting the proper location of each. Pull the wires from the spark plugs by grasping the boot and pulling them off. Do not pull by the wire or you will damage the filament.

  5. 5

    Unclip the distributor cap and remove it from the engine. Disconnect the exhaust pipe from the exhaust manifold using a wrench to remove the bolts. Remove the EGR pipe from the exhaust manifold using a wrench. Remove the alternator and power steering pump using a socket and ratchet to loosen the bolts. Do not disconnect the power steering hoses.

  6. 6

    Remove the belt from the engine noting the proper routing of the belt in case the diagram is missing from the underside of the engine bonnet. Remove the valve cover using a socket and ratchet to loosen the bolts. Remove and discard the valve cover gasket. Remove the timing belt cover using a socket and ratchet. Remove the timing belt tensioner with a wrench and remove the timing belt.

  7. 7

    Remove the cylinder head bolts in an "X" pattern using a socket and ratchet. Remove the cylinder head from the engine block. Do not pry it from the block. If you have trouble removing the head, tap it with the rubber mallet to loosen it up.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the engine is cold before you begin the project. The best thing to do is to allow the Volkswagen to sit overnight before you begin.
  • If you plan to reassemble the engine, it is best to use a new set of cylinder head bolts. When you install and torque the bolts, along with the stresses of normal engine operation, the bolts stretch.
  • Never smoke when working on the Passat engine and work on it in a well-ventilated area since you will be working with fuel lines.

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