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Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, GTI: 1985-1992 (A2) 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?


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Last Post: Jan 7, 2004 1:52 PM Last Post By: bwwaters
bwwaters

Posts: 57
Registered: 12/09/03
16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 15, 2003 1:33 PM
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I did a quick search but did not notice a solution to this question, so here goes.

1990 2.0L 16v code 9A, my ignition distributor is leaking oil through the distributor shaft, not the mounting o-ring. VW does not sell a seal. Reputable parts houses on web sell a new Bosch distributor complete (hall unit, cap and rotor) for $180. /free shipping to lower 48. Considering the hall unit alone runs $104 at the same place, I do not think buying a new unit is a terrible deal, except that I just need a $5 seal.

So before I buy the new unit and save my hall unit out of my old as a spare, does anyone know of anyone who DOES carry the distributor shaft seal? Someone does, because there are rebuilt units available. Can't rebuild w/o the seal.

Thanks again. Byron
JoeBean

Posts: 4,697
Registered: 02/14/02
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 15, 2003 5:24 PM   in response to: bwwaters in response to: bwwaters
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It is possible to disassemble the distributor but I don't know of any place that sells a seal for it. There is a blowup of the distributor assemlby in the manual if you have it. It gives a better idea of how to take it apart. In the case of the 2 distributors that I've disassembled both had very worn distributor shafts which caused oil to leak past them. I don't think replacing any of the parts would have fixed the problem in the first place.

If it makes you feel any better this is a very, very, very ,very common problem (very). I have no idea why this distributor is so lousy when it comes to oil leaks.

Terry

P.S. - As I was writing this I believe that someone posted in the B3 Passat forum that they new of a parts place to get a rebuild kit for this distributor. Try searching that forum for info (the B3 Passat primarily had the 2.0L engine, with the exception of the VR6 in later years, a 1.8L in the synchro and a 1.9L in a diesel. The synchro and diesel were Canada-only I believe).

Terry

Message was edited by: JoeBean

MadRabbits

Posts: 2,201
Registered: 05/04/03
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 16, 2003 9:50 PM   in response to: bwwaters in response to: bwwaters
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Byron, did you contact the dealer about the seal? There ain't much they can't get you and from memory the seal for the distributor is less than $10....

Larry...
Art

Posts: 2,743
Registered: 09/08/00
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 16, 2003 10:37 PM   in response to: bwwaters in response to: bwwaters
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Good Evening,

Byron is correct; there is no seal available from VW (or Audi - I checked). About the only thing I can think of is to remove the seal and see if there is/are:
1) a VW part number, I'll bet that there is. Perhaps that will be a starting point.
2) A dimension like maybe 20x16x4 which would mean OD x ID x thickness. Again, a starting point.

Let us know if you find anything.

Arthur LeBrun
Bentley Publishers
GTI GUY

Posts: 30
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 17, 2003 6:10 PM   in response to: bwwaters in response to: bwwaters
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These folks list O-Rings for everything if you can come up with the proper size.

http://www.oringswest.com/

Their web site has a toll free number as published below.

1-888-722-2602

Let us know if they were able to help you!

Roger

Message was edited by: GTI GUY

bergtho

Posts: 24
Registered: 03/03/02
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 30, 2003 2:27 PM   in response to: Art in response to: Art
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The seal size is 12x19x5. The factory size is 12.5x19x5, but that half size is virtually impossible to find, so just go one half size down. I was finally able to find a Canadian dealer which carried this seal, the part number is 051 905 085 BRE (or PRE). It was about $9+shipping. Replacement is a little work, but doable if you are careful.
GBergthold
JoeBean

Posts: 4,697
Registered: 02/14/02
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 30, 2003 3:59 PM   in response to: bergtho in response to: bergtho
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Thanks for the info!

Terry
bwwaters

Posts: 57
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 30, 2003 7:30 PM   in response to: JoeBean in response to: JoeBean
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Yes, thanks. What kind of dealer did had it? Would you post contact info. Thank you. Byron
MadRabbits

Posts: 2,201
Registered: 05/04/03
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 30, 2003 9:45 PM   in response to: bwwaters in response to: bwwaters
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Here's a link to the install that bergtho is describing. Also as I spoke to the parts guy at my local VW dealership about this today while I was there for some routine shopping he confirmed something that I read on VWVORTEX. If you take the seal dimensions to local NAPA guy he may be able to search the book for a seal matching your needs, though it's not for the distributor (I believe it's from the transmission of a non-VW car). Seems to be working for some people....

Larry...

http://www.gti16v.org/16vfaq.htm

bergtho

Posts: 24
Registered: 03/03/02
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Dec 31, 2003 12:44 AM   in response to: MadRabbits in response to: MadRabbits
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I went back and looked up my receipt for the seal. The seal was purchased from Southgate VW, Phone # (780) 435-4821, they knew just what I was talking about when I called the parts department. With shipping the total was only $6.58 about 3 years ago.
HTH,
GBergthold
bjdufay

Posts: 59
Registered: 01/06/04
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Jan 6, 2004 12:53 AM   in response to: bwwaters in response to: bwwaters
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I replaced one of these seals once, it is not a fun job, odds are it will start leaking again soon. Best offspending the 175 bucks and just buy a new distributor.
MadRabbits

Posts: 2,201
Registered: 05/04/03
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Jan 6, 2004 1:54 AM   in response to: bjdufay in response to: bjdufay
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Ben that's very sound (albeit expensive) advice. One would have to weigh the amount of time he would intend to keep the car and it's overall condition to determine if it's worth it. I always fix 'em like I'm going to keep 'em forever, but that's me.

Larry...
bwwaters

Posts: 57
Registered: 12/09/03
Re: 16v Distributor leaking oil, who has the seal?
Posted: Jan 7, 2004 1:52 PM   in response to: MadRabbits in response to: MadRabbits
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The part number posted previously is still good. I ordered the seal yesterday. I would not mind buying a new distributor, if I could just buy the distributor w/o the hall unit and cap and rotor, then is should cost about $70 to $90 (the hall unit is listed $104). All of that works fine on mine. I just did a restoration of the car, including complete rebuild of the engine. So yeah, its worth a new distributor, but I'm still going to give the $6.50 seal a try to start.

To bjdufay: I am curious. What was so bad about disassembling the distributor and replacing the seal. I admit that I have not done the job, but it appears to be fairly straight-forward. Looks like a drift pin holds on the clutch, once that is out, looks like the clutch comes off and the shaft comes out and I have to remove the hall unit to gain access to the seal. Do you have any pointers for me. I plan try the seal before buying the unit.

Thanks, Byron

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