Valve Cover and Cam Tensioner Gasket DIY: 1.8T VW Audi Jetta GTI

Updated on March 18, 2016

Cam Chain Tensioner and Half Moon Gasket DIY

After a pressure test I realized that air was blowing out of the right side of my engine near the cam chain tensioner. When I unhooked the SAI to Combi crinkle hose so I could get my finger in and under, I could feel the air blowing out and rubbed of a nice coat of fresh oil from the half moon cut in the head. Why VW/Audi decided to make a big hole in the head then fill it with a piece of rubber I have know idea, but at least now I know how to fix the leak.

This job is easy, very easy, especially if you are only changing the valve cover gasket so you can pull off the valve cover to give it a good polish. But, if your VC (valve cover) is leaking, it is recommended to change your cam chain tensioner at the same time as it is more than likely nearing the end of its life span as well.

As I said this job is easy, easy in the steps and tools you need to do to get it done. But when it comes to actually changing the cam tensioner gasket it is a huge pain in the a**, also you will be working around your timing chain, so the last thing you want to do is have the chain move out of place and f up your timing.

This DIY will cover replacing both gaskets, I am a little short on pics for the cam tensioner side as I was more concerned with getting it in right than I was with pics, but I have found a few pics on the world wide web that should help.

The VC is simple but do the cam chain tensioner gasket at your own risk as I will not be responsible if you happen to mess up your engine.


Tools & Gaskets Needed for the 1.8T

The only specialty tool that is needed for this job is a cam tensioner tool (which is only needed if you are doing the tensioner gasket and half moon seal) the tool is VW tool # 3366. It can be bought on ebay for 12-15 dollars. It is basically a long 6mm bolt with a plastic "T" on the top to loosen the chain from the tensioner.

  • 10mm Socket (Preferably Deep socket for the back VC bolts)
  • Socket wrench
  • Valve Cover Gasket 058-198-025
  • Cam Gasket 058-198-217
  • Size 30 torx bit for cam tensioner bolts
  • High temperature silicone gasket sealant (optional)
  • 5mm Allen wrench for Vac box on VC and cam tool

Basically if you are only doing the valve cover gasket you will only need a 10mm socket and a 5mm allan head wrench if you still have the vac box over coil 4.

Timing belt cover clips
Timing belt cover clips
10mm Bolts and Coil harness clips
10mm Bolts and Coil harness clips
Removing valve cover
Removing valve cover
Valve cover gasket seal
Valve cover gasket seal

Pulling that Valve Cover Off!!

  • First if you have a vacuum box over your fourth coil you will need to remove it and the bracket that it sits on. I haven't had one for years but I know it is a combination of 10mm bolts and a few 5mm allen head bolts.
  • Once that vac box is off, unclip the wire harnesses from the coils. Directions for that can be found at Changing coils DIY (if you don't know how to pull them off).
  • If you want you can label your coils 1,2,3,4 with a permanent marker if you wish to put them back in the same order during re-instillation, but really it doesn't matter. Also while you have them all out you might as well change your spark plugs, 15lb of torque.
  • On the left side of the VC there are two clips that hold the plastic timing belt cover on (location is circled in blue in the picture), just release both metal clips and pull the plastic back a bit. There is no reason to fully pull it out.
  • There are 9 bolts holding the valve cover to the head they are all 10mm bolts connected to studs. Three in the front, three in the middle and three in the back. I don't know if every car is the same but the corner back studs on my VC were really long. That's where a deep socket will come in handy, also so you can torque them to the right specs during re-instillation. If you start unscrewing a bolt and the whole stud unscrews with it don't worry. Once it's out you can grip it with vise-grips remove the nut and replace it with a 10mm nut from a hardware store. If you polish your VC just buy all new 10mm nuts so they shine like the cover. In the picture the green circles indicate where all the 10mm bolts are.
  • The wire harness is clipped onto the VC with plastic clips. They can be removed by wedging a flathead screwdriver between them and the valve cover. Doing so will make them popout, (circled in orange). Also the ground bolt from the wire harness (circled in green) will also need to be removed.
  • When you try to pull up on the VC you will notice that the right corner won't come up. That is because VW ran a metal hardline right above that corner. The hardline connects to a hose that runs to the turbo inlet pipe. Now you can pull off that hose, which I would recommend or you can leave it on for this. Either way you need to bend this bit*h back some. Don't get all He-Man on it just bend it a little and see if the VC will slide off, if not repeat till you can get it off.
  • If you're only changing the VC gasket, you can now pull the old one off (don't forget the one around the spark plug seal) clean off the surface, lay down some high temperature silicone sealant on the bottom side if you want, wait five to ten minutes for the sealant to skin over and push on your new gasket, followed by the valve cover.
  • Tighten the bolts down to 7lbs of pressure and let it sit for 24 hours (if you used sealant) to dry.

Old Gasket & Half Moon Seal
Old Gasket & Half Moon Seal
Source

You Sure you Want to Change The Cam Tensioner Gasket & Seal??

This is simple in words but a pain in the A to do. You will also be working near the timing chain and loosening the tensioner to access the gasket and half moon seal, so work at your own risk. I don't have a lot of pictures of placing in the half moon seal, but I can tell you it is a very tight fit with very little room to work in. But all said and done it should be pretty simple and straight forward as long as you don't move the timing chain, I didn't try to move it but it doesn't seem like it would move that easy anyway.

  • The item circled in green in the picture is the tool (VW tool #3366) that relieves the tension from the chain, it is a little hole right next to one of the bolts circled in red that you will be removing. Once you look at that area it will be obvious where the tool goes. With your 5mm allen wrench start tightening down the tool till there is some slack in the chain.
  • Once you have some slack in the chain you can start unscrewing the four bolts circled in red. they require a size 30 torx bit. fully remove them and the tensioner is now free from the head.
  • With your fingers or a small flat head screwdriver you can push out the half moon seal and peel off the gasket under the tensioner. If this is the first time it is being done they both should come off pretty easy as the moon seal shrinks with time and the gasket has no silicone sealant on it coming from VW.
  • The photo is not mine and borrowed from a forum so don't for a minute think your tensioner will give you that much room to work. But it does give you a good idea of what it all looks like and how it all fits together. I believe to get it this high he took one of his cams out and later regretted it with a timing issue.
  • With a towel and some brake/carb cleaner clean the area under the tensioner the best you can.
  • I used gasket sealant when I put the seal and gasket back in, so that is up to you whether you use it and how much you use. I put some on the round part of the half moon and on the blue parts of the gasket and so far everything is holding strong.
  • Once your seal and gasket are in position (have fun with that) you can bolt down the cam tensioner. The torque specs for the tensioner is 7 ft-lbs.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Writen4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Writen4u 

        3 years ago

        yuls-Depending how much you want to spend the first resource would be the dealership parts counter, besides for that mjm autohuas, ecstuning, germanautoparts, or any other online retailor you feel comfortable ordering from.

      • profile image

        yuls 

        3 years ago

        hi just want to ask where can i buy a cam shaft chain tensioner....

      • Writen4u profile imageAUTHOR

        Writen4u 

        6 years ago

        Zach,

        Responding to your email. I have not yet moved to the mkv coils, once I do I will update my article. Most people have been happy with the change from what I've read. For now I need to finish motor mounts and bushings. DIY for polyurethane transmission mount under $50 will be up soon!.

      • profile image

        zach 

        6 years ago

        hey man, i just wrote you an email regarding the spark plugs. but ya, another good write up on the valve cover. i made the mistake of using too much sealer and now im going to do it again using this DIY and my newly aquired bentley manual. thanks.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, axleaddict.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://axleaddict.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)