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Pelican Technical Article:

Changing Your Valve Cover Gasket

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$15

Talent:

**

Tools:

5mm Allen, 10mm socket,

Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI (2000)
VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2002-05)
VW Golf GTI 20th Anniversary (2003)
VW Golf GTI 337 (2002)
VW Golf GTI GLS (2001)

Parts Required:

New valve cover gasket

Hot Tip:

Work on a cold engine

Performance Gain:

No oil leaks

Complementary Modification:

New air filter

Valve covers have a tendency to leak oil eventually making a mess of the engine. While it is not difficult to change the valve cover gasket on the GTI Mark 4 you will need to remove a few things first including the coils. The 1.8T has a coil-on-plug ignition system. All this means for the home mechanic is that the coil must be removed in order to access the spark plugs, rather than a cable running between the coil, or the distributor, and the spark plugs. Removing the coils is necessary but you do not need to remove the plugs..

It is a very good idea to perform this work when the engine is cold.

The valve cover for the SGTI Mark 4 is located on the top of the engine under the engine cover. Remove the engine cover by turning the 4 plastic screws 90 degrees with a Philips head screwdriver.

With the cover out of the way you can see three of the coils; the number four coil is underneath the vacuum reservoir.

You will need to remove the vacuum reservoir to give you access to number four coil and plug. Use a 10mm socket or wrench and remove the reservoir from its mounting bracket. With the reservoir out of the way you can remove the three 5mm Allen bolts holding the bracket to the valve cover.

While you can remove the coils without removing the wiring harness it is easy to disconnect the harness from the coils and it will give you a lot more room to work. Lift back on the small tab at the top of the connection and slide the harness off the coil. Take care as the connections can become brittle over time.

Next pull the coils straight up and out of the valve cover while giving a slight twist. They will just "pop" out.

Inspect each coil for any damage.

Next remove the 10mm ground wire connection and slide the wiring harnesses plastic retainers out of the valve cover.

Remove the nine 10mm nuts holding the valve cover on. These are not under a lot of load but it does not hurt to release them in a criss-cross pattern.

Disconnect the breather hose from the left side of the valve cover.

There are two areas on the right and left front side of the valve cover that you can use to help pry the cover off. The cover should not be stuck on that hard. Never use excessive force, if the cover is not coming off you have missed a fastener, and never pry anything between the valve cover and the head. You run the risk is damaging the seating surface and then they will never seal.

Remove the valve cover from the head.

Remove both the outer gasket and inner spark plug gaskets.

Make sure to clean the mounting surfaces of both the head and the valve cover well. Some people tend to put a lot of RTV sealant on the valve cover when installing them and you will need to clean all the old sealant and gasket off or you will end up with a leaking cover again.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

The spark plugs and coils for the SGTI Mark 4 are all located on the top of the engine under the engine cover.
Figure 1

The spark plugs and coils for the SGTI Mark 4 are all located on the top of the engine under the engine cover. Remove the engine cover by turning the 4 plastic screws (red arrows) 90 degrees with a Philips head screwdriver.

With the cover out of the way you can see three of the coils; the number four coil (red arrows) is underneath the vacuum reservoir (yellow arrow).
Figure 2

With the cover out of the way you can see three of the coils; the number four coil (red arrows) is underneath the vacuum reservoir (yellow arrow).

You will need to remove the vacuum reservoir to give you access to number four coil and plug.
Figure 3

You will need to remove the vacuum reservoir to give you access to number four coil and plug. Use a 10mm socket or wrench and remove the reservoir from its mounting bracket (reed arrow).

With the reservoir out of the way you can remove the three 5mm Allen bolts (red arrows) holding the bracket to the valve cover.
Figure 4

With the reservoir out of the way you can remove the three 5mm Allen bolts (red arrows) holding the bracket to the valve cover.

While you can remove the coils without removing the wiring harness it is easy to disconnect the harness from the coils and it will give you a lot more room to work.
Figure 5

While you can remove the coils without removing the wiring harness it is easy to disconnect the harness from the coils and it will give you a lot more room to work. Lift back on the small tab at the top of the connection (red arrow) and slide the harness off the coil (yellow arrow). Take care as the connections can become brittle over time.

Next pull the coils straight up and out of the valve cover (red arrow) while giving a slight twist.
Figure 6

Next pull the coils straight up and out of the valve cover (red arrow) while giving a slight twist. They will just "pop" out.

Inspect each coil for any damage (red arrow).
Figure 7

Inspect each coil for any damage (red arrow).

Next remove the 10mm ground wire connection (red arrow) and slide the wiring harnesses plastic retainers out of the valve cover (yellow arrow).
Figure 8

Next remove the 10mm ground wire connection (red arrow) and slide the wiring harnesses plastic retainers out of the valve cover (yellow arrow).

Remove the nine 10mm nuts (red arrows) holding the valve cover on.
Figure 9

Remove the nine 10mm nuts (red arrows) holding the valve cover on. These are not under a lot of load but it does not hurt to release them in a crisscross pattern.

Disconnect the breather hose (red arrow) from the left side of the valve cover.
Figure 10

Disconnect the breather hose (red arrow) from the left side of the valve cover.

There are two areas on the right and left front side of the valve cover that you can use to help pry the cover off (red arrows).
Figure 11

There are two areas on the right and left front side of the valve cover that you can use to help pry the cover off (red arrows). The cover should not be stuck on that hard. Never use excessive force, if the cover is not coming off you have missed a fastener, and never pry anything between the valve cover and the head. You run the risk is damaging the seating surface and then they will never seal.

Remove the valve cover from the head.
Figure 12

Remove the valve cover from the head.

Remove both the outer gasket (red arrows) and the inner spark plug gasket (yellow arrows).
Figure 13

Remove both the outer gasket (red arrows) and the inner spark plug gasket (yellow arrows).

Make sure to clean the mounting surfaces of both the head (red arrows) and the valve cover well.
Figure 14

Make sure to clean the mounting surfaces of both the head (red arrows) and the valve cover well. Some people tend to put a lot of RTV sealant on the valve cover when installing them and you will need to clean all the old sealant and gasket off or you will end up with a leaking cover again.

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Comments and Suggestions:
ziye Comments: is it the same for vw golf 1.8 20valve without a coil-on-plug ignition system?
June 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No it will be different:Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI (2000)
VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2002-04)
VW Golf GTI 20th Anniversary (2003)
VW Golf GTI 337 (2002)
VW Golf GTI GLS (2001)

We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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