Today I took on the thermostat to finally fix a P2181 code that I've been living with for the past 2 years. I did the method where you take out the alternator and access the thermostat that way. This job was NOT FUN. It's done though and I'm fortunate that I don't have leaks. Seating the new thermostat had me nervous because you don't really feel it "seat." I just got it in as far as I could then ran the bolts in slowly, alternating between the two.Thanks for the DIY, it helped tremendously. Managed to get the timing belt and related components replaced yesterday. It took at least 8 hours for me working slowly. I had help but that’s sometimes a blessing and a curse for me when I’m working on a task that requires concentration .
Some things I ran into:
The motor mount engine bracket is a pain. If you have performance motor/trans mounts, I strongly recommend loosening the transmission mount. I have BSH mounts and lifting the engine to remove the bracket caused it to pitch rearward toward the firewall making the mount very difficult to remove even with everything raised considerably. I ended up taking a second jack and supported the transmission to try to stop this.
If you have an aftermarket intake, remove it.
I removed the two smaller bolts from my pendulum mount.
I also removed the two bolts that bolt the downpipe mount to the subframe.
I have the one piece cover and I’m kicking myself for not ordering a two piece.
Also, I can’t seem to run in one of the timing belt cover bolts. It’s the one right below the engine bracket and I believe it goes into the water pump. Gets halfway and stops. It’s a VW OEM pump as well. Thinking of just leaving this one bolt off or using a shorter one there.
Thanks again for the DIY.
Also did the thermostat, but unfortunately I broke the metal hose gasket when reassembling. Obviously it leaked a lot. Had to do it all over again, on the bright side it only took me 1h30 the second time [emoji4]
Bleeding is not necessary on these cars. Just fill it, let it idle till temperature begins to rise, refill and go for a short drive. Recheck the level on the next drives, it will go down a bit.
Don't worry, if the expansion went empty, the car will tell you to check the level.