This is a 12 valve 2.8L VR6 engine out of a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta. This engine can be particularly complicated to tear down due to the rear engine timing and the need of a few special tools. Having a rear timing camshaft makes for some difficulties when removing the lower timing cover. For this, there are stand adapters for the mounting points to be moved to the side of the engine instead of using transmission mounting points. In this article, we will be using a regular transmission mounting point.
- Basic Metric Socket Set
- Large breaker bar
- Impact gun for balancer bolt (optional)
- 5mm Allen key
- 6mm Allen key
- 12mm deep triple square socket
- 10mm triple square socket
- 27mm Socket (For the timing chain tensioner & harmonic balancer bolt)
- Dead blow hammer or rubber mallet
- Permanent marker
- Plastic zip lock bags of various sizes
- Flat head screw driver
Step 1: Index, Tag, and Organize the Engine Parts
To start, you want to simply remove all accessories, pulleys, and other pieces to get the engine down to just the long block. Then drain all the fluids.
NOTE: The intake manifold uses a 5mm hex bolt (i.e. Allen head bolt). You will need a 5mm hex socket driver with extension or a long T-handle style hex driver to remove these.
Once your block is reduced to a long block, you are now ready to tear down your engine. Before writing this article I had already reduced this engine to a long block, so all photos were taken after that point.
Before you start unbolting things, most overhead camshaft engines will have a particular order for removing parts. It is not as simple as going from top to bottom. The first step is to get your permanent marker and plastic bags. The most important rule for an engine tear down is to index, bag, and tag everything you remove. This is particularly useful if you plan to re-assemble it in the future. This is also a good time to loosen your crank bolt with an impact gun. Having the resistance of the rotating assembly and valve train will aid in getting that bolt loose.
Step 2: Remove the Valve Cover
The front of the engine will have two long studs, and you will need a deep socket or an open-end wrench to loosen them. These VR6s have the plastic version of the valve cover and can be brittle depending on the engine’s age. Use a soft mallet to tap on corners of the cover in conjunction with plastic pry tools if needed.