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Old 10-19-2006, 07:50 PM
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Exclamation 2003 and earlier TDI's: Chech your injection pump for leaks

Hi folks,
With the nationwide introduction of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (June - Oct 2006), people with distributor pump TDI's (not the Pump Duse) have been seeing their injection pumps begin to leak. Impex and Dieselgeek are now selling seal kits. Here's a thread where the replacement of the seals is recently discussed and described:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=146953

Our NB TDI has run on the new fuel (with unfortunately no biodiesel or other additive in the tank) for a few tankfuls over the last couple of months, and the middle seal on the pump has already begun to leak. This despite the fact that in between ULSD fillups I did fill up with biodiesel and used some PowerService. The stuff apparently attacks the seals right away even if they are in good shape.

Here's a pic of ours, engine side:
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:26 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up!
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:44 PM
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Thanks!

Are there any noticable symptoms of this leak other than looking directly at the injector?
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Old 10-20-2006, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k8thegr8
Thanks!

Are there any noticable symptoms of this leak other than looking directly at the injector?
The TDI will still run like a champ with the leak, with no performance issues at all. So the only way to tell is to take off the engine cover and take a good look at the injection pump with a flashlight both sides.
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:02 AM
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I imagine it'd still be a warranty issue for those under coverage.

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Old 10-21-2006, 04:53 AM
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The horror of the Cali low sulfur change over from a few years ago returns. When the Cali low sulfur fuel first came out, we lost every injection pump in the fleet. So did almost all the other diesel fleets. At that time so many people sent in angry letters, the State of California, they started paying for injection pump rebuilds to fix the problem.
Before spending any of your own money, contact your government to see if they will pay for the rebuilds. After all it is their fault for not doing enough testing to be sure the fuel is safe to use.
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:30 AM
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Good point Hannaco. So this is nothing new. Change the diesel formulation dramatically, and the seals on the injection pumps will go. On paper, the fuel supplier and retailer are liable for problems caused by the fuel itself. So if you are lucky enough to fill up all the time from the same station, and keep the receipts, perhaps they could help pay for the injection pump seals fix. It's not an expensive fix though, as the seals cost $10-20 depending on the set you get.
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Old 10-22-2006, 09:45 PM
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Some Q. pop readily to mind :

1. Is this something that all the TDI's from 1999 to 2003 can expect to see in the very near future, regardless of mileage ?

2. Are the replacement seals now available made of a different material than the OE seals so that one could expect this to solve the problem permanently ?

3. If this seal replacement job were done at the same time that the timing belt/water pump/serpentine belt replacement job was being done, would it make it an easier job ?
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:01 AM
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1. Yes, the seals shrink due to the way the ULSD is refined.
2. Yes, the new seals are made of a different material.
3. Maybe. You would save on the part of the labor that is common to both jobs.
The seals are cheap, but the labor will be high if done in a shop.
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Old 10-23-2006, 02:03 PM
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I will be undertaking the timing belt replacement job on my 2002 NB TDI in the near future, doing the work myself. I have not done this before, but I have good mechanical skills, tools, and experience, and I think I understand what the job consists of.

What I was thinking - once everything is disconnected from the injection pump, wouldn't it be fairly easy to remove the pump completely, and do the seals replacement as a bench job, turning it up as needed so that nothing would fall out ?
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:32 PM
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Default "Its the lower aromatics of ULSD"

The helpful folks at the tdiclub have posted that this problem has to do with the difference in aromatics content, which is lower in the much better ULSD. Aromatics used to swell the seals with LSD, and the absense now makes the seals reset in some way, causing leaks.

Here's what the US gov says:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=156285

Quote:
Fuel System Seal Leaks - Non-nuclear industry operating experience using ULSD shows an increased incidence of fuel system leaks at points where elastomers (O-rings) are used to seal joints, with most leaks occurring at the fuel pump and injectors. The evidence to date suggests the problem is linked to a reduction in the aromatics content of the ULSD which affects seal swelling, as does seal material and age of the material.
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