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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
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
The buildup on mine actually looks like a little less than yours.. but I have no codes or errors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Id be curious to know what the resistance is of the egr sensor at cold, normal operating and after some time at 100km/h without any mods. Then take same readings with mods installed. Might be a simple resistor fix by bypassing egr temp/flow sensor? My guess is with the mods, the sensor does not detect egr flow gasses as being hot enough ie, insufficient flow CEL. Assuming this is your error code?
I'm guessing these systems are more complex than simply looking at EGR temp. Between the throttle plate, EGR valve, and MAF sensor they have a built-in way to look for feedback in the form of a drop in intake airflow, from which EGR flow can be calculated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Bloc, you might be right on system. Can’t hurt to keep trying at this point. All I know is I personally won’t ever own a 13+ without a egr/dpf delete tune after seeing what the 2 posted pic’s of your guys intakes. Our Gen 1 has never been touched & at 175k kms it had less than 1/10 of the amount of snot in intake. More of a light film than anything.
I'd reserve judgement until I get a manifold to clean and post how to clean the ports in the head. I've spent a bit of time staring at the engine compartment and see a manifold swap as not being too terribly difficult. Will know more about the intake ports when I get the manifold off.. I'm curious how deep they are.

But the trade-off with the newer engine is that significantly bigger turbo. I'm sure you are aware of the differences in power levels when tuned..
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Plot twist: the German manifold, while used, has VERY little coating inside. I’ll get some pics when I can and need to try and figure out how many miles it has, but if it’s anything other than nearly new there is something very different about the EGR or PCV systems in European 3.0 TDIs

Will update when I can
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·




This thing is off a Q5 which is lighter than a touareg or Q7 but still.. VERY little clogging. It's actually clean enough that I might just clean the ports in the head and install it.. then deal with figuring out how to clean my old manifold as a spare later.

Still trying to figure out how many miles it had.
 
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