Pump timing on '90 Jetta - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-09-2014, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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Pump timing on '90 Jetta

I'm looking at buying a 1990 VW Jetta diesel (N/A, I think). It's at a good price because it stalls at idle... so you have to give a little gas to keep it running at a light.

This happened after the pump was reinstalled. So I'm guessing it was not installed properly and the timing is off (probably needs to be advanced a little bit?).

How hard is timing these IPs? I found a video explaining it and it looks pretty straightforward - do some stuff with a dial gauge, loosen mount bolts, and twist it. In the video, the engine was out of the car, is it particularly difficult to do with the engine in the car? Also can it be done easily by trial and error instead of the dial-gauge method... i.e. just mark the pump and mounting area and rotate the pump a little bit at a time? Am I oversimplifying? Getting in over my head as a relative beginner? I'm somewhat familiar with first gen Cummins 6BT engines but haven't worked on a VW diesel before.

Thanks, looking forward to learning more about these cars.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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OK, got the car. Here's what I've noticed:

Hard to start - got to give it lots of gas to get it to start and keep gas on to keep it running for a while

Noisy - are these engines usually so loud? I have a Cummins and I think this VW is pretty loud.

Once it's warm, you can leave it in park or neutral w/o extra gas but if you shift into gear without giving it gas it'll stall.

It doesn't stall quite so easily when the choke is pulled out.

There is air in the fuel lines for the diesel fuel tank (seen in clear plastic tubing). But the problems persist when I switch over to veggie oil, which does not have any bubbles in it.

Definite lack of power

I made the mistake of taking it onto the highway... after a few miles at 75 km/h the oil light came on. When I pulled over and looked under the hood there was oil coming out of a weep hole on the engine block (kind of whistling/hissing) in the area below the #3/#4 injectors. This hole has not been weeping since when it's running. Is this some sort of relief valve?

I've messed around with the timing but I can't make a decision either way. It being so noisy tells me it's advanced, but the fact that it idles better with the cold start out tells me it wants to be more advanced. But when I retarded it a bit I think it ran a bit better. When I advanced it I had even more difficulty getting it moving in gear. So I basically have no idea.

The guy I got it from says that it ran fine with a leaky IP. But he had another Jetta with a non-leaky IP so he had a shop swap them. And since then it hasn't run right.
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