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I am looking into purchasing a used 2008-09 VR6. I have noticed the some engines have a black engine cover with the VW badge on the top/right and others have a silver cover with the VW badge on the left. What is the difference? Thank you.


 

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My understanding is that the early built 3.6 VR6 was silver and the later years where darker. Look at build dates on driver's door to confirm. I thought 2007 was the only silver one?

Get the newer of the engines if possible. The earlier engines had some reported issues with a bolt on the oil pump timing chain sprocket that was not torqued from factory correctly. A number of Passat owners reported having these back out in 2006 to 2007 model year 3.6 vehicles (VW fixed a number under warranty...VW Vortex has more information on this). I have only heard of a handful of Treg's that had this issue (and not every Passat did either), and would therefore avoid the 2007 year.

I have no idea if VW changed the color (design looks slightly different too), to distance the appearance of the motor from these early issues or if it was simply aligned with Porsche's use of the VR6...which looks very similar to the darker material used. It could also be (mostly likely thinking about it) that VW wanted the 3.6 to look different than the 3.2 because the 3.2 was known for being a bit under powered.
 

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That makes a lot of sense. I have not seen any 2007's with the black and no 2009's with the silver. I am looking at one with the black cover so that is good to know it is probably the newer build. I'll note the build date when I look at it. 2008+ models sound like they are pretty good vehicles. The one I am looking at has 95,000 miles. Thank you.
 

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I believe the build date should be no earlier than mid 2007 to be safe (my 2007 was built in April of 2006), so a 2008 might be built in April of 2007, which would be too close for me. At worst the failure is very, very uncommon but if avoidable nothing like less to worry about.
Good luck and welcome to CT!
 

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Anyone know the actual differences in these engines? I have an early '07 that needs a replacement engine. Seems like they don't interchange with other Touaregs, where as the late '07s interchange with the '08 and '09. I'd prefer to install a newer one, but I'm not sure what would be involved. If its as simple as reusing the original harness, manifold and ECM, I'll spring for a newer one. If the cylinder heads are different and there are several other differences that would make a swap very difficult, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for an older and less common early '07.
 

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Since writing the above I did some research (VW Vortex has interesting info for swap and other purposes). The silver engine cover has variable intake runners and the black does not. As a result the silver uses a small motor that actuates the flapper where the black has no need of this. The ECU might be the same, but the wire harness is different and would need some changes as well as the ECU needing to be programmed to be run variable intake runners.

Porshe always used variably intake runners in their vehicles (produces more low end power and perhaps even hp / torque), I do not know if their intake is compatible.

The black intake is two piece the silver is one.
 

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Is the block and head the same on the early '07 vs '08 as well as Cayenne and Q7 motors? I'll just reuse the old intake manifold, injectors, harness and ECU.
 

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Th Porsche motor head is different as I understand it. No idea on the Audi, but if I had to put money on it I would say the Porsche is the black sheep. Vortex had more details on the exact differences between the VW and Porsche, but I do remember them not recommending trying to interchange them. You might try digging around over there where the early Mk2 guys are swapping out 1.8L motors for the 3.6 and ask, several have torn into these motors for different reasons and are much more knowledgeable...
 
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