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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I bought a 2013 T3 TDI with almost 100k miles on it recently. Having owned a few TDIs I know intake manifold clogging is prevalent when you combine the inevitable oil in the intake with the soot from EGR flow.

Pulled the intake horn off my rig and it was no different





The first one actually looks a little worse than it is.. but, it's bad. 1/8 to 1/4" of nastiness all around. I'd guess it's less thick further into the manifold where velocities are higher, but there's no way it isn't impacting performance, and definitely needs to be fixed. I thoroughly cleaned the intake horn, EGR nozzle, and intake swirl flapper control, and scraped as much out of the first bend of the IM as I could. I'm sure there's still a ton back there.

I've already ordered a spare manifold from germany and the goal is to find a way to clean it without destroying it, to be swapped on later. At the same time I'll rig up something similar to what they do on BMWs using walnut shells to clean their intake ports on the direct injection engines.


I suspect walnuts will be too harsh for the manifold itself, however. At the moment the plan is to build a 360 degree soda blasting nozzle out of nylon tubing and some fittings from home depot..

I've tried chemical treatments in the past on aluminum manifolds and unless they are baked or use the extremely harsh chemical tanks at old-school machine shops they don't end up fully cleaned. Caking to this extent basically laughs at the "put it in a bucket of purple power overnight" advice. That didn't even work on the GM truck manifold I had to clean. Ultrasonic is nice but in the past shops haven't wanted to deal with how thoroughly a TDI manifold will ruin their fluid.



Anyway, curious whether anyone has dealt with this before, or has any thoughts on ways to get the manifold cleaned.



Also, just for entertainment, here is what the often-clogged 99-03 VW ALH engine can end up looking like:


I've personally worked on a couple that my thumb wouldn't fit into the remaining path available for airflow.

If anyone else wants to go down a similar path the intake manifold part number is 059129711CF and not too expensive used on ebay from europe. New, roughly $450. And you'll still need to clean the intake ports on the head. I'll likely end up keeping my original to clean and have on the shelf as a spare to be swapped on later. Who knows, if I can figure out how to clean them I might import a few and start a cleaning service.
 

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If you are one of the lucky ones with alloy Y piece, then you could burn it clean:
it took years to build up so cleaning will take some time. When i replaced egr cooler, i decided to do some preventative maintenance. I tried oven cleaner on the plastic swirl flap manifold. It took ages, was very messy and gave up after 4 sprays, brushes and rinses. I could still scrape bits off with a screw driver but was worried something might dislodge into cylinder so I left it as is. It was no where near totally blocked to begin with though. i I did not try burning alloy intake as that looked ok apart from egr hole for which I scraped clean with a screw driver. How can this be better for environment unless the theory is to bin those caked up parts. Egr delete might be on the cards soon me thinks.
BTW - Plastic = more parts sales for vw
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It took 100k to get this bad.. I'd probably consider checking the manifold every 40k and with a clean spare on the bench a R&R shouldn't take more than a couple hours.

But yes, reducing EGR/soot flow into the intake is a major reason I'm considering a tune when I get my fix money from VW. On the older cars you could reduce EGR with a simple adaptation adjustment in VCDS but I seriously doubt they made it that easy on these.
 

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I suppose you need to eliminate one or the other but wouldn't it be better to get rid of soot from egr? Maybe you lose lubrication properties to turbo,swirl flaps and cylinder valves by installing a Catch Can?
 

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Bummer! I wonder what my '14 with 72k looks like! I will ask my VW diesel mechanic about this - including his experience with ALH and other previous gens he is familiar with - maybe we will take mine off and take a look if it is not too hard - thumbs up for coming up with solutions to clean, and the part number for new one..
 

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Maybe you lose lubrication properties to turbo,swirl flaps and cylinder valves by installing a Catch Can?
I don't believe they need lubrication as such. The turbo has its own oil feed, the swirl flaps are synthetic bushes and as such don't need oiling.
 

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Yep, that’s a mess. I’m working on a simple $0 fix for that mess, that anyone can do in their driveway for $0 with regular hand tools. Not sure if it will work on a 2013+ but I’m experimenting on our 2009 3.0L TDI & have gone a few days so far without a CEL.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The 13/14/15 engines don't actually have swirl flaps.. they have two separate runners from the first pic with the small throttle flap all the way to the heads. The lower runner stays open all the time, and the only "flap" is the small throttle plate.

That's just for info anyway, @hedditch was right about not needing oil in the intake.. everything gets its own lubrication.

Two ways to avoid the buildup would be less/no oil, and less/no soot. The catch can idea can work to reduce oil, but as mentioned often introduce their own problems. One small example is the stock PCV system has a heater in it to avoid icing up in very cold conditions. Most catch cans won't have provisions for this.

Less soot? Less EGR flow would help, but without a tune there basically isn't any way to accomplish this. Using good diesel with a higher cetane rating should reduce soot, though I don't know how much. Same story for injectors being in good shape, injection timing on point (can't adjust this), and generally just the engine running as well as possible. Yes, as things wear soot will increase, as well as oil flow, and it makes sense intake manifold clogging should happen more quickly. As mentioned, mine has 100k on it. AFAIK it was mostly freeway.. but I am very curious how quickly things start clogging once a clean manifold is installed. You can bet I'll be watching it.
 

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Interesting that the 13+ changed the egr/intake system. Is this typical for that much build up with only 100,000 miles ?

At 175,000kms our 09 only had a light film....a bit less than 1/16”. One thing I have noticed is the egt’s at immediate stopping, engine still running is the highest I have ever seen on any diesel engine. Always well over 400 deg’s & sometimes over 500. And this is the factory get probe sensors after the turbo, so it is much hotter before the turbo, which is the proper place to measure egt’s. I don’t like shutting down my diesel engines until 300 degs pre-turbo. This would take 10 mins idling with the 3.0L TDI. Crazy. So, I started looking at the egr & intake system of the Touareg.

There is a simple throttle valve motor attached to charge air pipe before the intake plenum on a Gen 1. I have pulled the close off disc completely out of throttle motor which motor still turns the shaft but it can’t block off any charge air when egr requests disc to close & at least that part won’t throw a CEL because it thinks it’s still working. My understanding is the throttle motor closes approx 3/4 of the way when egr requests. This allows the egr flow to pick up by slowing down the charge air & egr provides the rest of flow to engine, until egr no longer requests.
On the Dodge Cummins ( most of my experience ), we simply pull the electrical plug off throttle motor for customers that don’t want to do a delete programmer....it stops motor from working & allowing egr flow into intake...it throws a CEL but gains the customer 2 mpg. With delete programmer, a egr/cooler delete & dpf delete the 6.7L Cummins gains 5mpg.

So I also cut a small piece of tin to make a blocking plate & drilled I believe a 3/16" hole in middle & inserted it in egr runner pipe to intake, where it hooks up before the “Y” of the intake plenum. 1st cold morning 11kms down CEL. Drove back home & noticed just under 350 degs for egt’s in park & dropping fast. That’s an approvement on egt's. So I drilled a slightly bigger hole & afternoon same drive ( we have to drive our daughter to catch school bus 11kms one way & also trying to have a constant for testing/experimenting ), no CEL....Getting somewhere !!!

Next morning another CEL. Tells me the colder mornings, the egr requests more than afternoon warmer drive. So for the heck of it, I took the blocking plate with hole completely out of equation....so back to stock/open from egr to intake plenum.....not ideal but needed to prove a point to myself. Afternoon drive, no CEL. Next morning, no CEL. Ok, that’s progress. 2 days later & drives longer than 50kms, no CEL.

So, I drilled a larger hole & re-inserted block off plate again. Next morning, CEL. so, I’m going to enlarge hole size until morning drive no longer throws a CEL.
I’m eventually going to do the ECM egr/dpf/scr delete but not until I find out what is going to happen with the 3.0L Gen 1 dieselgate mess. Here in Canada, VW is dragging their feet & nobody knows what will happen. Until then, I’m going to experiment.

Mark
 

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Hi Mark, can you throw up some photos to help describe where and what you are doing? Is it at the end of egr system? I imagine all this work at the beginning of egr system would be very labour intensive.
 

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I don’t mean to hijack your thread Bloc....just hoping if I can figure this out, maybe we all can learn from it & maybe something similar will work for the 13+ engines. Only takes a few mins to do, so easy pezy.
With a slightly bigger hole in block off plate, my wife drove approx 35kms this morning before CEL came on. So that is an improvement from 11kms the earlier cold mornings. Just finished drilling hole 2 bit sizes up, so I’ll see what happens tomorrow morning.
 

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Will do. Wife left this morning for a 2hr one way shopping trip. She reported she made it about 100kms before CEL. Gaining approx 40km per drill size now. Who knows, it might just be a temp thing or maybe it will work long term. Best thing is nothing gets damaged or modified. Can simply put back to stock if this doesn’t work :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My guess is that if it ends up having enough of an impact on EGR flow to reduce soot and subsequent clogging, the ECM will be able to detect it as abnormal and throw a code. If anything this would be even more likely with the 13+ engines, considering they are more advanced with regard to emissions. One would assume this includes error detection.

That said... I don't consider it a hijack, but I was more interested in what people have done to address the manifolds (especially plastic) and intake ports once they are already clogged.

Personally I'm leaning toward either dealing with the clogging via PM manifold changes, or tuning out the EGR flow along with some more power/torque.
 

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Hey all, mine is 2014 with 174k km it all started with limp mode error turbo actuator stuck then injector fault balance and misfire... tracked down to clogged DPF and error codes related to pdf... funny thing is turbo and pdf was replaced by the pervious owner in warranty... now I'm stuck with lots of issues today i cleaned all the intake and throttle...

here is a picture of my intake and throttle
 
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