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I just tore my pump apart on my 04 2.0t with 141k miles and noticed other people have also been posting about it lately so I thought I would share some pics of the job.

I have a leak that has covered the back of my engine in oil, I replaced the valve cover gasket which improved the condition but it continues to leak, I noticed a bunch of black sludge under my pump today so I decided to tear into it.



While most seem to point out the black "racetrack" seal between the engine and the unit as the source mine appears to have been coming from the unit itself.



This grey gasket appears to be the source of the leak. It is inside the assembly which is disassembled by removing the top 13mm bolt as well as 3 T25 torx screws.



I took it apart on a whim with no replacement gaskets so what follows is only logical. . . RTV! :cheesy:



It looks like I used a lot more than is really there. Just apply a very thin coat AFTER you clean oil and dirt from the surfaces. Make sure you wipe the silicone away from the inside of the unit! The internals of the pump will dislodge any excess silicone and potentially clog the unit! reassemble it just finger tight. Wait 30 mins then finish tightening it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great post, did this work for you?
Thanks! :D

20,000 miles later, its working fine. Mine has some excessive wear in the impeller housing that has made it noisy for some time. So I suspect I will have to replace it eventually.

I would only recommend RTV if you have some experience with it or cannot source the gaskets/need a temporary solution. Low torque seals that need to be air tight can be tricky. The replacement gaskets are cheap and easy to access. Definitely cheaper then the $200 or so for a new unit and more reliable than RTV if you haven't had much practice with it. If you want to use RTV and aren't particularly familiar with it; make sure to use a high temp and oil safe formula and read a little about setting it up. Especially for the "race track" gasket, this notch where the rubber gasket was needs to be thoroughly filled with a slightly raised, even surface and given more time to set before final torquing. Particular care also needs to be given to placing it back against the head so the surfaces are flush at initial contact, and without smearing the still wet RTV. This insures that when the unit is torqued, the gasket will compress with even pressure along the surface

Also, regardless of the route you go; be careful when installing the bolts that fix the vacuum pump to the head. Make sure to avoid cross threading and use a torque wrench. The casting seems to be a bit soft there, particularly the top bolt hole. I've seen quite a few of them stripped out.

Best of luck!
 

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Interesting! I had my vacuum pump fixed not too long ago, and if I remember correctly, it wasn't cheap!

I wish I had thought to do it myself, but honestly, I just didn't have the time to be waiting on parts and figuring it out. I had to get the car in and out and back on the road ASAP.

Thanks for posting this though! Definitely bookmarking it for future reference
 

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I just tore my pump apart on my 04 2.0t with 141k miles and noticed other people have also been posting about it lately so I thought I would share some pics of the job.

I have a leak that has covered the back of my engine in oil, I replaced the valve cover gasket which improved the condition but it continues to leak, I noticed a bunch of black sludge under my pump today so I decided to tear into it.



While most seem to point out the black "racetrack" seal between the engine and the unit as the source mine appears to have been coming from the unit itself.



This grey gasket appears to be the source of the leak. It is inside the assembly which is disassembled by removing the top 13mm bolt as well as 3 T25 torx screws.



I took it apart on a whim with no replacement gaskets so what follows is only logical. . . RTV! :cheesy:



It looks like I used a lot more than is really there. Just apply a very thin coat AFTER you clean oil and dirt from the surfaces. Make sure you wipe the silicone away from the inside of the unit! The internals of the pump will dislodge any excess silicone and potentially clog the unit! reassemble it just finger tight. Wait 30 mins then finish tightening it.
Thanks for the post. Mine had a small leak so I replaced the gasket. Now seems to leak worse. Did it again with the The Right Stuff quick set up heavy duty RTV. Still the leak. I think it may be coming form the unit itself so will try your remedy.
 

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I did this same fix probably 40k ago, still holding.

let the sealant sit overnight before putting it back on the car.
I was wondering if your brake pedal was more stiff or less spongy after the seal fix? I would assume this leak may affect brake boost vacuum.

I looked up the specs for the 13mm bolts and it's 16 ft-lbs.
That may explain leaks after someone would try to RTV it and over torqued.
Which is easy for me to do after years of wrenching and having a heavy hand.
 

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Do you know if there is a source anywhere that sells that seal?

I do have some heavy duty red RTV left over from a head gasket project.
I disassembled, cleaned thoroughly, and applied a very thin layer.
The 3 cap bolts I put just enough amount of torque not enough to risk damaging threads.

Main 13mm bolts were torqued until I felt resistance and used leverage on shorter end of wrench.
Kind of the same way I do spark plugs since they just need to be snug.
I will let RTV cure overnight since the red stuff takes a longer time then the black stuff I usually use.

Hope it works otherwise it's time for a new pump because I hate oil leaks.

UPDATE:

After letting the RTV cure overnight I took it out for a short drive and it seems like it sealed the oil leak. I hope it holds.
I think the first time I tried it I was over torquing the bolts. So that is an important step.
 

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Is the vacuum pump hard to get out of there? I really wish that I had done it myself, but, it's whatever, and it was probably better that I had my garage do it for me as it came with a 2 year warranty (both the part and the labor are guaranteed for 2 years). But it was a good chunk of change to have that done...
 

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Is the vacuum pump hard to get out of there? I really wish that I had done it myself, but, it's whatever, and it was probably better that I had my garage do it for me as it came with a 2 year warranty (both the part and the labor are guaranteed for 2 years). But it was a good chunk of change to have that done...
Not hard at all. Unplug wire harness next to unit, then one vacuum line. Then after the two 13mm bolts and bracket it pulled back you can remove the other vacuum line. Then the pump just pulls out. Recommend placing a rag or shop towel under it first since some oil will come out.

It's unfortunate what shops charge for simple jobs.
My bro n law recently picked up a Mercedes for only $1k because a shop wanted to charge the owner $3k to replace the tranny.
A $160 part later and I had it shifting like new again.
 

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Not hard at all. Unplug wire harness next to unit, then one vacuum line. Then after the two 13mm bolts and bracket it pulled back you can remove the other vacuum line. Then the pump just pulls out. Recommend placing a rag or shop towel under it first since some oil will come out.

It's unfortunate what shops charge for simple jobs.
My bro n law recently picked up a Mercedes for only $1k because a shop wanted to charge the owner $3k to replace the tranny.
A $160 part later and I had it shifting like new again.
Really? What part did you have to change out?
 

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The conductor plate above the valve body.
Common problem in Mercedes 722.6 and Chrysler NAG1 transmissions.
Puts the transmission in fail safe/limp home mode so you only get 2nd and reverse.
No kidding. And the garage told the owner that they would have to change out the transmission? That's... actually pretty awful.
 

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No kidding. And the garage told the owner that they would have to change out the transmission? That's... actually pretty awful.
No kidding at all. Actually pretty common for shops to do this to people on a regular basis. Once I got lazy and took my car to a shop to get a simple oil change (80 BMW 320i). Waited 5 hours for it. Picked it up and after I got home I saw the oil filter was still the old one.
 

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First off, thanks so much for the detailed write-up, it's pretty awesome and extremely helpful. I have what is probably a stupid question but: did you simply discard the grey seal? Or can you just keep it, but use RTV under the seal (inside the groove, then ypu put the seal back) and on top of the seal before putting the cap back on?

I just tore my pump apart on my 04 2.0t with 141k miles and noticed other people have also been posting about it lately so I thought I would share some pics of the job.

I have a leak that has covered the back of my engine in oil, I replaced the valve cover gasket which improved the condition but it continues to leak, I noticed a bunch of black sludge under my pump today so I decided to tear into it.



While most seem to point out the black "racetrack" seal between the engine and the unit as the source mine appears to have been coming from the unit itself.



This grey gasket appears to be the source of the leak. It is inside the assembly which is disassembled by removing the top 13mm bolt as well as 3 T25 torx screws.



I took it apart on a whim with no replacement gaskets so what follows is only logical. . . RTV! :cheesy:



It looks like I used a lot more than is really there. Just apply a very thin coat AFTER you clean oil and dirt from the surfaces. Make sure you wipe the silicone away from the inside of the unit! The internals of the pump will dislodge any excess silicone and potentially clog the unit! reassemble it just finger tight. Wait 30 mins then finish tightening it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
First off, thanks so much for the detailed write-up, it's pretty awesome and extremely helpful. I have what is probably a stupid question but: did you simply discard the grey seal? Or can you just keep it, but use RTV under the seal (inside the groove, then ypu put the seal back) and on top of the seal before putting the cap back on?
good job.Very clean work.

Anerobic sealant is best for this job. . .
Thanks guys. ;ol;

I kept the grey seal with all sides coated in RTV. In hindsight I probably would have done exactly what Qwik recommended by removing it and using an anaerobic gasket maker. I didn't have any on hand at the time though. If you go that route using anaerobic be aware: remove the grey gasket, don't get it on rubber or plastic and know that it is really difficult to remove once it sets. It hardens much like red thread locker.

Anaerobic is kinda pricey, but great stuff. Very forgiving.
I love RTV, but its almost an art. It needs a lot of prep work. Surfaces need to be clean enough to eat off. . .
 

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Fantastic writeup

I just did the fix to my Vacuum pump seal...... 1000 Miles in and dry as a bone... no leaks..... I was looking at $400 just for the pump...... Thanks for a great writeup.... this works great!!!!!!!!
 

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I just did the fix to my Vacuum pump seal...... 1000 Miles in and dry as a bone... no leaks..... I was looking at $400 just for the pump...... Thanks for a great writeup.... this works great!!!!!!!!
FYI- Brand new vac pump at thesaabsite (PN 55561099) runs a little under $150.
 
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