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Discussion Starter #1
I’m considering changing my cylinder head due to replacement tappets being fitted and ending up with worse noise than the originals.

I’m now seriously thinking that a replacement head might be the way forward with this having priced up a cam and lifters from VW, around the 1200 quid mark. From my latest tappet experience I don’t really want cheap parts that are supposed to be OEM.

My thinking is the head on my engine has now done 173,000 miles so is it worth spending the 1200 quid on the cam then possibly having valve or other head issues later ? I’m now thinking getting the head swapped may be the way forward.

I’ve seen new heads that are available from a company called AMC in Spain. Has anyone had any experience with those? They come complete with valves, lifters and cam assembled and ready to fit. They cost from what I’ve learnt from 700 to a 1000 pounds roughly. But, as I said not too keen on aftermarket stuff but these ones seem good.

Or, should I go to VW for an exchange head as I would like genuine parts after the latest situation I’m in.

Sorry to keep banging on about tappets rattling but I’ll have to get my engine sorted soon as it’s doing my head in now. I have thought about scrapping the van (sort of joking ��) due to some other issues that need sorting but I think it’s too good for that.

Thanks people for reading.
 

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FWIW I’ve just fitted an AMC head on an aab 2.4 and was more than happy with quality and fit ( no affiliation)

Bought from Germany at a similar price to the UK without the need to exchange. I’m all for supporting UK traders but I wanted to do it in my own time and not feel pressured into having the old head there for a swap when I made the purchase.

I can’t tell you what to decide but what I would say is that I bought mine thinking 100k on the clock and symptoms of blown head gasket so fully expected it to be more than just the head gasket. Now having the old head off, there’s no signs of the expected cracking round the valves etc. If this proves to be the case after further examination, it might allow me to sell it and claw back some cash but I think what I’m trying to say is make sure you need to throw the money at it before you do! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking of purchasing one from Germany like yourself as I also would like to hang on to the original head. I think that the AMC ones appear to be good quality and from what I’ve found off the internet have a good reputation. Not found any T4 related reports though as yet.

I’m tempted to get the tappets changed again for genuine ones and re use the original cam shaft but might just go for a new head as I’m starting to lose sleep over it lol and need to get it sorted.

Thanks for your reply though mate, very helpful.
 

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Dont know who does your work but incorrect timing can cause some nasty rattling so thats worth thinking about.
These are the same manufacturer and part that vw would supply and are used in lots of different vag models, i used them myself and cured my tapping.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-x-VW-T4-Transporter-2-4D-2-5-TDI-Hydraulic-Lifter-Tappets-OEM-INA/162561507754?epid=17015788900&hash=item25d96bc1aa:g:aDkAAOSwSzRZSpzB
This supplier also do a complete camshaft kit including the lifters but i cant comment on the camshaft as i didnt change mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Those are the lifters that have been used or so that is what the mechanic has told me. I know he gets a lot of supplies from eurocarparts and at first I thought maybe a cheaper lifter had been used looking at their prices and comparing to what I’d been charged (massive difference) but he assured me they were INA and said that is what VW would use from that manufacturer. After searching on eBay I did find the set you posted the link to so there’s my theory out the window but I didn’t see them being fitted. The mechanic seems to me like an honest guy and does work on T4’s a lot and seems to know his stuff.

I know what you mean about incorrect timing but I think it’s ok. Starts fine and drives as it should, pulls well with no excessive smoke etc.

Rattling only occurs when fully hot and at idle. If stopped for say 30 mins to an hour, re start and it sounds nice again until fully warmed up. Sounds fine from cold and while warming up to full temp. It rattles for a while then stops and sounds nice, then starts again and so on. Tried two different oils and done a pressure test as I thought the pressure could be the cause. 3.4 bar at 2000 rpm 4 bar at 3000 rpm and 1 bar at idle. All readings done while hot.

People have sworn to me it’s the vac pump. I would believe that if it was tapping while it was cold, not just full temp. Also makes no difference pumping the brake pedal or disconnecting the servo vac pipe. Also, vac pump was fine before lifter change.

Thanks for your reply mate.
 

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I looked at a few options regarding heads but didn’t want to take a chance....

There was an AMC on a certain auction site recently which had only done a few miles but that still made it “used” with all the potential pitfalls, I wanted the confidence that it was spot on.

I didn’t fancy risking ‘unbranded’, I think AMC is linked to elring in some way which is a brand I do know and am happy with. As I said, my experience has been good, I suppose the debate is whether you want it ‘bolt-on’

For - Probably cheaper than sourcing all your bits ‘piecemeal’, also worth it if it’s the original camshaft, I think it’s a recommend to swap the out every 100k anyways?

Against - I know the old school theory is that you can’t beat lapping in valves individually for the perfect fit, my guess is that these will be mass produced and won’t be ‘that’ exact. It’s a fair chunk of cash!

Good luck with it. One positive, As mentioned in a recent post by me... it did allow me to get a dial gauge to find TDC precisely, so I’m less reliant on the bar across the cam method!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Some good points there and some I hadn’t considered like the AMC ones being mass produced. I’m not really a fan of non genuine products either so I’m not convinced the AMC head is the way forward for me yet. I would rather have the original head. I’m tempted to buy the cam and lifters from VW and get those fitted but it’s a big gamble if it doesn’t cure the rattling, around 1200 quid.

My mechanic uses the bar across the cam slot method of timing. I don’t believe he uses a gauge in the pump. He also uses a hand held device to read timing not lap top/vag com or other computer device so how accurate that is I’m not sure, I’m no expert.

I wonder if it is the timing causing it then if it’s not 100% spot on ? I’m well aware of how the 2.5 TDI needs to be spot on. Would it cause tapping only when at full temp ? Obviously the timing alters while the engine is changing temperature.

Anyone In west mids got vag com and know how to do timing ? Have thought of investing in it myself but not that clued up on it to be honest.
 

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Seems a little odd that the noise will come and go like that, maybe some sort of oil flush in case e getting into the pick up pipe and restricting oil to the top end.
You could take the vac pump off easy , remove the push rod and put pump back on and run engine just to be certain its not that.
Have also read that injectors can get noisy when they on the way out although not experienced that myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, it is odd. I don’t understand why it only does it when fully warm, after cooling down slightly after being hot it sounds lovely and warming up I just wish it would stay that way.

I know what you’re saying regarding removing the vac pump to eliminate it. I have heard vacuum pump tapping noise on some you tube videos but it’s not the same sound I’m getting. Mine is almost as if the lifters have enough pressure then lose pressure then pressure builds up and so on. Hard to describe but hopefully you get what I mean.

I wonder if oil is escaping around the sides of the lifters causing them to lose pressure ? Sounds mad but on the Eurocarparts web site in the specifications section of each brand of lifters the diameter of them shows one type being 0.5mm smaller than the other. Just something I noticed and of course the mind starts to wonder.
 

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I don’t understand why it only does it when fully warm.
Multigrade oils such as 10W40 etc. are designed to overcome temperature relative viscosity shift:

https://wiki.anton-paar.com/en/sae-viscosity-grades/

However, lots of oils still thin with high temperature & this factor answers your question.

The big name oils are largely overly hyped, overpriced, underperforming $hit & are usually no better than motor factor duck butter.

Try Millers XFE & report back , in fact anybody reading this should try it:

http://www.millersoils.co.uk/products/0/42

ps. the only real way of ruling out the vac pump is to undo the 2 bolts, remove the pushrod, reassemble & test.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It would explain why it only taps at full temp. Just trying to get my head around why it was ok with the old lifters. I’m using the same grade oil but a different brand.

The reason for the lifter change in the first place was just prior to the belt change one cylinder went down from a cold start and I presume one or more lifters stuck because the rattle from the cam was awful and it had a real misfire and lack of power. It corrected itself after it warmed up and was fine for a further 3 or 400 miles. (Wish I’d left it alone now)

I may just try the oil you suggested before going any further and also I may remove the vac pump push rod before changing the oil. Would you say go for a 10/40 grade rather than 5/40 ?

Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions, advice and experiences on this thread, it’s much appreciated.
 

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one cylinder went down from a cold start and I presume one or more lifters stuck because the rattle from the cam was awful and it had a real misfire .
Ooohhh.... The head really needs to come off for inspection.

Speak to Keith at AW engineering & buy any parts from him (not affiliated):

http://vwenginerecon.co.uk/

HH
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ooohhh.... The head really needs to come off for inspection

Really ? I had previous problems 12 years ago when I first bought the van with a sticking lifter but I was lucky and sorted it with a flushing agent and oil change and was ok for 77,000 miles. This issue was not the same as the recent one and not the same as the problem I have now.
 

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I’m considering changing my cylinder head due to replacement tappets being fitted and ending up with worse noise than the originals.

I’m now seriously thinking that a replacement head might be the way forward with this having priced up a cam and lifters from VW, around the 1200 quid mark. From my latest tappet experience I don’t really want cheap parts that are supposed to be OEM.

My thinking is the head on my engine has now done 173,000 miles so is it worth spending the 1200 quid on the cam then possibly having valve or other head issues later ? I’m now thinking getting the head swapped may be the way forward.

I’ve seen new heads that are available from a company called AMC in Spain. Has anyone had any experience with those? They come complete with valves, lifters and cam assembled and ready to fit. They cost from what I’ve learnt from 700 to a 1000 pounds roughly. But, as I said not too keen on aftermarket stuff but these ones seem good.

Or, should I go to VW for an exchange head as I would like genuine parts after the latest situation I’m in.

Sorry to keep banging on about tappets rattling but I’ll have to get my engine sorted soon as it’s doing my head in now. I have thought about scrapping the van (sort of joking ��) due to some other issues that need sorting but I think it’s too good for that.

Thanks people for reading.
To be honest the term reconditioned can be misleading ... all you need to do is decoke the head either acid bath or by hand get a minimum skim & pressure test to 60 degrees this will check for porosity or cracks ... clean all valves and get the seats and valve recut thats it. Ive never used genuine tappets just soak them in a tube of oil for 24hrs before use. Its deffo not 1200 !!!!! 500 tops to have that done even less if you strip it yourself ...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The 1200 quid price was just for a cam, lifters and vac pump pushrod from VW, it was just a bit less than that to be honest I just rounded it up. We’re all aware of dealer prices lol

I don’t think the replacement lifters I had fitted were soaked in oil for 24hrs before fitting.

I have done work on heads in the past but not for years and certainly not on a T4 cylinder head. I’d love to do the work myself but I haven’t really got the time or enough experience and also lack of a workshop (not mentioning tools) I’d have to do it outside and we all know what the uk weather is like, the job would go on forever. I wouldn’t be put off by a recon as long as it’s done correctly I’d be happy. The AMC ones caught my eye and look rather nice fully assembled but as I said earlier, I’d prefer the original one re built.
 

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Jesus thats well rich , ive just picked up my spare head that coming to work with me tomorrow were i will strip it down and pop it in the hot wash before i do anything with it. Got my spare inlet manifold as well that will be seeing the gas torch and airline so that will be brand new as well.

Need to be real careful with the T4 springs and collets as they easy pop out and drop a valve. My is having new guides and bit of headwork 3 angles on the valves and seats and a min skim. Ive got a good 2.5 bottom end as well that will be getting rebuilt as well. ATM ive got a mates T5 2.5 engine in bits as it chewed the alternator shells on the block see the tread "Huge oil leak " having to have bearing made as vw dont sell them on there own ...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, the price is a bit on the high side for those bits. To be fair though the parts guy did say to me before breaking the bad news “I hope you’re sitting down “
 

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Thanks HobbyHorse for those links and recommendation. I’ll give them a ring next week and have a chat.

I noticed from the listings that they supply AMC heads and they use them on the re built TDI engines they sell so they must be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just an update to the thread if anyone is interested.

I've not changed any parts as yet other than changed the oil back to 10w/40 semi from 5w/40 fully and done over 1000 miles so far on it. Still got the ticking/tapping when fully hot but with the weather being a bit cooler it sometimes doesn't seem so bad. Definitely sounds better when started from cold.. not so much clattering for the first few seconds.

I've made enquiries with AW Engineering about the AMC heads and Keith says that they are premium quality, been using them for years and never had an issue. He uses the bare casting and assembles them using his own parts so not to be confused with the ones you buy from Germany "ready to mount" If I do get the head changed I will probably go down that route and will purchase from AW.

I may now replace the cam and lifters but will probably do it in the Spring time If I do it myself (it's a big IF) AW supply a replacement kit which I think is a good price so it's tempting to try that first.

Just got one more thing to try before doing anything else, I'm going to remove the vac pump pushrod and try that first just in case but again I'm waiting for a bit of warmer weather.

I need to collect a few tools and info along the way first though to gain a bit of confidence before I tackle it. I've fitted cam shafts before mainly on Ford engines so I need to be careful and try and get my head around the timing on the 5 Cylinder TDI.

Thanks again everybody and I'll keep you posted 👍
 
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