Rebuilding a 2.0 TSI after timing failure at 173k *ON A BUDGET* (less than $1k spent) - And Then Balance Shafts 2 Years Later


The Fixer
*DISCLAIMER- Every engine failure is unique. You may find more or less damage than I've encountered. This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but rather documenting what I find, and fix. You may opt to do additional work beyond the scope of this rebuild.
At the time of this posting, a used engine is $2700-3800 from places like LKQ. So let that guide your decision making process.*

Summer 2022 update
Heads- OEM $1638
Reman $800
NAPA reman $680 (out of stock)
Balance shafts- Lubeck $140
lower timing chain and sprocket coming from ECS $145 shipped.
Febi Bilstein timing chain lower 06K109158BS
Hamburg Tech intermediate drive sprocket 06H103319Q
Balance shaft puller $41 shipped
Misc hardware, gaskets, filter $50
Balance shaft job total ~$400

This is going to document the repair of a GTI that had the infamous timing chain tensioner fail.
It was running one hour and wouldn't start the next. All the intake valves are bent.

You need to remove the intake, there are threads on this.

The timing chain covers, crank pulley, timing chain. Again, there are threads that cover this.

You'll need to detach the downpipe from the turbo, oil and coolant lines. There are also a few various lines around the head that will need to be unbolted or detached. Then you need your special 10mm 'polydrive' socket to get the head bolts. I bought mine on Amazon for about $9.
Now you can remove the head and check your pistons.

It's hard to see in the picture, but the exhaust valves are fine. So that will be some savings too.

Now I'm going to order parts and then I'll start removing the old intake valves and cleaning the head. More to come...
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Go Kart Champion
Following. Nice work tackling this job. Readily available information on timing system work for the 2.0 TSI engine has skyrocketed in the last 2 years since I replaced my timing chain/tensioner and wrote my Timing Chain Replacement Tips post. Glad to see others tacking tough jobs and documenting them to help others.

But for god's sake please clean up your engine bay! :ROFLMAO:


The Fixer
LOL this car was leaking a little, obviously. If you're wondering, this is actually the 09 GTI I sold to a friend over 4 years ago. It has 173k.
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The Fixer


The Fixer
Leaves? Not much I can do about them until this goes back together. We got a little rain when I was pulling the head too. No worries, they'll be gone at reassembly.


Autocross Champion
Leaves? Not much I can do about them until this goes back together. We got a little rain when I was pulling the head too. No worries, they'll be gone at reassembly.

Thought maybe it looked like some chunks on the left side, hard to tell tho.


Autocross Champion
Subbed :cool:


The Fixer
I'm searching for valve removal tools...holy crap they are expensive. Going to pull the cams tomorrow and see if I can MacGyver my way through them. I was able to save the timing cover without damaging it...that saved almost $200.
My parts list though ECS is about $720 right now, which includes TRW valves, ARP head studs, Febi chain, and all VW gaskets.
I researched Febi pretty hard when I did my 2010, I was happy with the purchase and about half price of the VW chain.

Dans GTI

Ready to race!
FYI you can now get a OE timing cover through fcp euro for $90 shipped.


The Fixer
FYI you can now get a OE timing cover through fcp euro for $90 shipped.
That's a great price, thanks. I got a new crankshaft seal for the cover, $6.58. I also found an ARES valve spring compressor that should do the job nicely. $49 from Amazon (Summit has it too). I pulled the cams off today, everything looks good. I'll have more disassembly pics later this week.


The Fixer
Here is the parts list so far...including special tools I didn't already own, the cost of rebuild is about $780 plus new fluids.

ARES 70370 overhead valve spring compressor $49
Vim Tools V3452 Head Bolt Tool (10mm polydrive) $8.15
036109675 valve stem seals x8 $15.60
06B103113C camshaft end cap $4.78
06D109601M intake valves x8 $84.72
06H103383AAKT head gasket set $100.72
06H115418AA cover plug $3.16
06J133201BH intake manifold (this was already bad) $149.75
06K109158AD upper timing chain $66.95
06K109467K timing chain tensioner $68.99
06L103085B crankshaft seal (might be duplicate of head gasket set) $6.58
204-4302 ARP head stud kit $166.78 (stock bolts are $27)

The timing chain rails are all in good shape...I know people replace them but I didn't on the 2010 and these look just as good.
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The Fixer
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New member
My gti had 12mm triple square headbolts. Interesting that some of them have the older polydrive.

Also last year I bought that head gasket set for $65...... somethings wrong with ECS... Now I just get parts form online dealers or FCP

Glad your saving a lot of money on the timing cover though! I didn't know there was an Elring one available