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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Head Gasket

Steve Vernon

Time:

12 hours12 hrs

Tab:

$75 to $150

Talent:

*****

Tools:

All of them

Applicable Models:

GTI Mark V (2004-09)

Parts Required:

New head gasket set

Hot Tip:

Have a friend or hoist to help lift the head

Performance Gain:

Working Engine

Complementary Modification:

Radiator flush

There are several signs that you are in need of a new head gasket. The most common amongst them is the mixing of your oil and coolant. If you have had a water pump or thermostat fail, and your car overheated, there is a very good chance you are going to be looking at performing this job, as the extreme temperatures associated with an over heated engine can damage both the head and its gasket.

Replacing your head gasket might be the biggest job you will attempt on your car short of rebuilding the entire engine. It is not a quick or easy job, but can be done by a DIY mechanic if you take your time, have the right tools and follow the instructions. This job can take a few days for a novice, so make sure you have the car in a secure and weather safe area before you start. You are going to be opening up the engine and may even be sending the head out for repairs, so you don't want to be working outside when it starts to rain.

I can not stress this enough: get a digital camera and take lots of pictures before and during this job, document wire and vacuum routing plus anything you feel unsure of. Taking the time to do this will help greatly when it comes time to put everything back together.

If the head gasket has failed and you are going to all the trouble to replace it you really should have the head sent out to have it cleaned and inspected. Aluminum heads have a tendency to warp. If your head has warped putting a new gasket on a warped head will not solve any problems and just cause the head gasket to fail again.

This article will show you how to remove the head with the turbo attached. The turbo and exhaust manifold are one piece on this car and will add a fair amount of weight to the rear of the head. If you are planning on lifting the head from the vehicle by yourself, I would recommend removing the turbo first. Please see our article on turbo removal for additional assistance.

You will need to remove your engine cover or after market air induction system.
Figure 1

You will need to remove your engine cover or after market air induction system. Please see our article on engine cover or after market air induction system removal for additional assistance.

You will need to remove the charged air pipe.
Figure 2

You will need to remove the charged air pipe. The charged air pipe and hoses run from the induction system and divert air before it reaches the throttle body (red arrow). This charged air runs through a pipe that is secured by an 8mm bolt (blue arrow) and T30 Torx (green arrow) and enters the interior by a quick release fitting (yellow arrow). Please see our article on charged air pipe removal for further assistance.

Next you will need to remove the under body trays.
Figure 3

Next you will need to remove the under body trays. A great many of these cars have had the engine trays and front side shields removed over the years and not replaced. If you happen to have a car that still has all the under trays and original hardware here is what you need to do. There are four T25 Torx screws (red arrows) on each side holding the tray on, remove them and slide the tray back out of the friction clips (yellow arrows) on the front air dam. Please see our article on under body tray removal for further assistance.

Remove the rubber charged air hose that connects the down pipe to the inter cooler.
Figure 4

Remove the rubber charged air hose that connects the down pipe to the inter cooler. Each connection has a quick release clip (red arrow) that pulls out and then pull the hose straight back and off.

You will need to drain the coolant from the vehicle (red arrow).
Figure 5

You will need to drain the coolant from the vehicle (red arrow). Please see our article on coolant flush for additional assistance.

Remove the two T30 Torx screws (yellow arrows) holding the down pipe to the lower part of the engine.
Figure 6

Remove the two T30 Torx screws (yellow arrows) holding the down pipe to the lower part of the engine. The red arrow shows the quick release clip that you will need to use to remove the charged air hose.

Pull the chick release clip on the turbo to down pipe connection (red arrow).
Figure 7

Pull the chick release clip on the turbo to down pipe connection (red arrow).

Wiggle and pull the down pipe until it separates from the turbo (red arrow).
Figure 8

Wiggle and pull the down pipe until it separates from the turbo (red arrow).

Disconnect the wiring harness from the cut off valve and bypass regulator (red arrows) and disconnect the plastic tab holding the harness to the turbo (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

Disconnect the wiring harness from the cut off valve and bypass regulator (red arrows) and disconnect the plastic tab holding the harness to the turbo (yellow arrow).

10: Disconnect the wiring from the coils (red arrow).
Figure 10

10: Disconnect the wiring from the coils (red arrow). Please see our article on spark plug and coil replacement for additional assistance. Pull the wiring harness that you have just disconnected from the turbo up and set the coil and turbo wiring harness to the left side.

Use a wrench or socket and remove the two 14mm bolts holding the axle shield in place (red arrows).
Figure 11

Use a wrench or socket and remove the two 14mm bolts holding the axle shield in place (red arrows). Remove the shield.

There are four 16mm nuts holding the exhaust bracket of the turbo to the cat.
Figure 12

There are four 16mm nuts holding the exhaust bracket of the turbo to the cat. It is a good idea to pre soak these with a good penetrating oil before attempting to remove them. After letting the penetration oil work remove the two upper 16mm nuts

Next, remove the two lower 16mm nuts (red arrows).
Figure 13

Next, remove the two lower 16mm nuts (red arrows).

You are going to have to separate the turbo from the exhaust pipe and move the pipe to the side and back.
Figure 14

You are going to have to separate the turbo from the exhaust pipe and move the pipe to the side and back. To begin this remove the two 14mm bolts with a socket (red arrows).

Loosen the two 13 holding the exhaust clamp (red arrows).
Figure 15

Loosen the two 13 holding the exhaust clamp (red arrows). You do not need to remove these just loosen them.

Separate the cat and pipe (red arrow) from the turbo (yellow arrow).
Figure 16

Separate the cat and pipe (red arrow) from the turbo (yellow arrow). Slide the exhaust to the left side and back.

Use a 12mm triple square and remove the oil line from the top of the turbo (red arrow).
Figure 17

Use a 12mm triple square and remove the oil line from the top of the turbo (red arrow). Oil will spill out so be ready for it.

Use a 12mm triple square and remove the coolant line from the rear of the turbo (red arrow).
Figure 18

Use a 12mm triple square and remove the coolant line from the rear of the turbo (red arrow). Note: coolant will spill out so be prepared for it.

Remove the two 5mm Allen bolts from the oil return line on the bottom of the turbo (red arrows).
Figure 19

Remove the two 5mm Allen bolts from the oil return line on the bottom of the turbo (red arrows). Note oil will spill out from the line and turbo so be prepared for it.

Remove the 13mm bolt holding the turbo to the mounting bracket (red arrow).
Figure 20

Remove the 13mm bolt holding the turbo to the mounting bracket (red arrow).

Use a 13mm wrench and remove the bolt from the turbo bracket (red arrow).
Figure 21

Use a 13mm wrench and remove the bolt from the turbo bracket (red arrow). Do NOT try and remove the 14mm nut as it is welded to the bracket.

You will need to remove the battery and battery tray (red arrows).
Figure 22

You will need to remove the battery and battery tray (red arrows). Please see our article on battery care and replacement for further assistance.

Label and disconnect the hose from the coolant reservoir to the metal coolant tube (red arrow).
Figure 23

Label and disconnect the hose from the coolant reservoir to the metal coolant tube (red arrow).

Label and disconnect the coolant hose at the junction in the metal line (red arrow).
Figure 24

Label and disconnect the coolant hose at the junction in the metal line (red arrow).

Label and separate the coolant hose from the end of the metal line (red arrow).
Figure 25

Label and separate the coolant hose from the end of the metal line (red arrow).

Disconnect the coolant hose from the top of the turbo where it joins the hard line by the tensioner (red arrow).
Figure 26

Disconnect the coolant hose from the top of the turbo where it joins the hard line by the tensioner (red arrow).

Remove the connection from the temperature sensor (yellow arrow) and the ground wire from the support bracket (red arrow).
Figure 27

Remove the connection from the temperature sensor (yellow arrow) and the ground wire from the support bracket (red arrow).

Remove the wiring loom from the plastic retaining clips and then use a T30 Torx and remove the mounting screw (red arrow) and the bracket.
Figure 28

Remove the wiring loom from the plastic retaining clips and then use a T30 Torx and remove the mounting screw (red arrow) and the bracket.

Remove the three T30 Torx screws for the coolant connection pipe (red arrows) and gently pull the pipe from the head.
Figure 29

Remove the three T30 Torx screws for the coolant connection pipe (red arrows) and gently pull the pipe from the head.

Remove the wiring connections for the camshaft positioning sensor (red arrow), the low pressure fuel pump sensor (green arrow), the high pressure fuel pump sensor (yellow arrow) and the camshaft adjustment sensor (purple arrow).
Figure 30

Remove the wiring connections for the camshaft positioning sensor (red arrow), the low pressure fuel pump sensor (green arrow), the high pressure fuel pump sensor (yellow arrow) and the camshaft adjustment sensor (purple arrow). There are articles on removing and replacing all of these sensors if you need additional assistance.

Disconnect the vacuum line from the manifold (red arrow) and the smaller line from the vacuum pump (yellow arrow) where they connect to the valve cover.
Figure 31

Disconnect the vacuum line from the manifold (red arrow) and the smaller line from the vacuum pump (yellow arrow) where they connect to the valve cover. The hose connections just squeeze in and then pull back.

With the manifold hose out of the way you can remove the vacuum hose from the crank where it connects to the cover (red arrow).
Figure 32

With the manifold hose out of the way you can remove the vacuum hose from the crank where it connects to the cover (red arrow).

Label and then pull the coils straight up and out of the motor (red arrow).
Figure 33

Label and then pull the coils straight up and out of the motor (red arrow). Please see our article on coil and plug removal if you need additional assistance.

Remove the clamps for the two hoses on the rear of the valve cover.
Figure 34

Remove the clamps for the two hoses on the rear of the valve cover. Depending on where you have original hardware you should have a regular hose clamp (yellow arrow) and a crimp clamp (red arrow).

On the crimp clamp you will probably have to pry up the clamp with a small screwdriver (red arrow).
Figure 35

On the crimp clamp you will probably have to pry up the clamp with a small screwdriver (red arrow). This will most likely destroy the clamp and necessitate replacement.

Remove the two T30 Torx screws on the top of the guard on the opposite end of the cylinder head from the pump (red arrows) that screw into the valve cover.
Figure 36

Remove the two T30 Torx screws on the top of the guard on the opposite end of the cylinder head from the pump (red arrows) that screw into the valve cover.

Loosen the fourteen T30 screws holding the valve cover in place (red arrows).
Figure 37

Loosen the fourteen T30 screws holding the valve cover in place (red arrows).

Wiggle and pull the valve cover (red arrow) until it separates from the head (yellow arrow).
Figure 38

Wiggle and pull the valve cover (red arrow) until it separates from the head (yellow arrow). Sometime these can really get stuck on and need a fair bit of wiggling and pulling to get loose. Do not insert a screwdriver between the head and cover as you can mark, nick or destroy the flat surfaces and this will only cause future leaks.

You will need to remove the ribbed belt (red arrow) and tensioner (yellow arrow).
Figure 39

You will need to remove the ribbed belt (red arrow) and tensioner (yellow arrow). Please see our article on ribbed belt removal for additional information.

Remove the timing belt (red arrow) and the tensioner (green arrow).
Figure 40

Remove the timing belt (red arrow) and the tensioner (green arrow). Please see our article on timing belt and tensioner replacement for additional assistance.

You will need to remove the intake manifold (red arrow).
Figure 41

You will need to remove the intake manifold (red arrow). Please see our article on intake manifold removal for further assistance.

The head bolts are single use only stretch bolts and must be replaced after every use.
Figure 42

The head bolts are single use only stretch bolts and must be replaced after every use. The head of the bolt is a special design to Volkswagen (red arrow). Do NOT try and use another tool to remove or install the bolt. Stripping a head bolt while in the head is something you want to avoid at all costs!

Here is the proper Volkswagen tool for the job (red arrow).
Figure 43

Here is the proper Volkswagen tool for the job (red arrow). It is long enough to get down into the head to access the bolts and is designed to fit the head bolts only. If you are attempting this job do NOT attempt to use any other tool to remove the bolts but this tool.

This is the order that you use to remove the head bolts.
Figure 44

This is the order that you use to remove the head bolts. Do NOT use this order for installation! Begin by breaking each bolt loose in the correct order and then fully removing them in the correct order.

The cams are designed so that when the engine is at Top Dead Center the head bolt removal tool will fit in the cavity of the cam to get access to the head bolt (red arrow).
Figure 45

The cams are designed so that when the engine is at Top Dead Center the head bolt removal tool will fit in the cavity of the cam to get access to the head bolt (red arrow). If the tool does not fit and is interfered with by the cam you will need to rotate the cams.

Remove the head either with a friend's help or with a hoist.
Figure 46

Remove the head either with a friend's help or with a hoist. It is best to not try and remove the head by yourself; it is heavy and there are lots of things it can get hung up on while removing from the engine. Remove the head gasket (red arrow) from the block (yellow arrow). Stuff rags in the cylinders to protect the cylinders and pistons from debris and cleaner that comes off while cleaning the block. Set the crank at TDC before installing the head.

Carefully clean the head and block of all old gasket or debris.
Figure 47

Carefully clean the head and block of all old gasket or debris. Never use a metal scrapper and always take caution not to scratch the head or block. Take care not to get old gasket or cleaning materials into the open ports in the block or cylinders. If the head and block are going to be separated for a length of time take care that rust does not form on the block. Do not open the head gasket until you are ready to install it and handle it as little as possible. If you damage the gasket get a new one before installation as a damaged gasket will just lead to a leaking head. Blow out and clean out all of the head stud holes before installing the head bolts. Use a thread chaser if necessary. If the holes are not clean and dry it can lead to hydro locking which can cause serious and terminal damage to the motor. After you have sent the head out for inspection properly clean all the mating surfaces and reinstall the head back onto the block taking care to locate the head on the locating pins and to not damage the gasket while doing so.

Use the appropriate head bolt lubricant and install the bolts according to the diagram.
Figure 48

Use the appropriate head bolt lubricant and install the bolts according to the diagram. The head bolts must be torqued to the specifications for your motor. Check for the proper torque values for your head and follow those instructions carefully.

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Comments and Suggestions:
saad Comments: my mechanic said i must do some porting jop for the head? is this correct.
November 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Resurfacing? If needed yes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ernesto Comments: hi everybody, i have to replace my full head basket set since the 16 velves got faulty due a band broken, but i have a lot a problems getting a new spare, any idea where i can buy them, it is for a golf gti mk5 turbo chargued 2.0L,
i need the following spares:
Full Head Gasket Set
intake valves
Exhaust Valves
Valve Guide/lifters
note: i need them with a shippment available to mexico, thanks.
September 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Daniel Comments: Im currently trying to remove the head so i can change my bent valves, I must have missed the part about removing the exhaust manifold, this is my biggest problem right now. please help!
September 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Volkswagen_Golf_GTI_Mk_V/63-ENGINE-Replacing_Your_Turbo/63-ENGINE-Replacing_Your_Turbo.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mario Comments: I am replacing the head gasket. I needed to order the head bolt wrench depicted in Figure#43 that is unique to VW. I have a 2005 VW Jetta with a 2.0 bev engine. What is the item number of the tool I need to order from Pelican?
September 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can get you the tool.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Justin Comments: Is this article relative to the tsi engine also?
August 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: FSI engine is shown. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Neal Comments: The front cam isn't moving
Trying to remove head after previous owner ran it to 131k and it quit running
I might get lucky and it's not TOTALLY Trashed
I tried to set it at TDC and rear cam is not turning
Help lol
April 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It may be seized. Place the engine at 90°BTDC, then try to rotate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Carlos the great Comments: You are awesome
December 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks! - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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