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Machining the VR6 head?

Table of Contents
[gti-vr6] Head Gasket Epic Part 2 (The Story) "George Achorn" <coolidge@tidalwave> Wed, 1 Apr 1998 21:48:58 -0500
Re: [gti-vr6] Head Gasket Epic Part 2 (The Story) "Holland J. Phillips" <hjp@pacbell> Wed, 1 Apr 1998 18:47:47 -0800
Re: [gti-vr6] Head Gasket Epic Part 2 (The Story) jawkjn@cstone (Jason Whipple) Wed, 1 Apr 1998 23:17:51 -0500
[gti-vr6] Re: Head Gasket Epic Part 2 (The Story) AWE16VR6 <AWE16VR6@aol> Thu, 2 Apr 1998 12:55:47 EST
[gti-vr6] VR6 Head deecee@exit109 Mon, 06 Apr 1998 22:28:47 -0400



From gti-vr6-owner@dev.tivoli Wed Apr 1 20:21 CST 1998
From: "George Achorn" <coolidge@tidalwave>
To: "Corrado" <corrado-l@corrado-club>
Subject: [gti-vr6] Head Gasket Epic Part 2 (The Story)
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 21:48:58 -0500
Cc: "gti" <gti-vr6@dev.tivoli>, "jetta" <jettaglx@igtc>
 
Hey,
	My Jetta VR6 experienced headgasket failure last week, and my coolant was
quite oily, though not dripping too badly. I brought it in to my dealership
where I have an extended new car warranty with GE. The head gasked and some
other seals are being replaced on the warranty company, but on removal of
the head and inspection, it was found that the head was pitted. 
	Here's where things get tricky. I authorized the head to be sent to a
machinist and machined which they quoted me at $850-$900 and I think this
is on top of the $770 my warranty company gave them for the other repairs.
This sounded high, so I called Todd from AWE and he told me it sounded high
too. My dealership told me the majority of this was labor for disassembling
the head. I'm gettin' gouged. I think they are double billing (me and the
warranty company) for some of the work hours, so I have a breakdown from
them on the hours involved which I will cross reference with my dealership
to make sure everything is on the up and up.
	A side note. My warranty company has authorized $25 for a rental car, and
that the dealer requested for me. Question, why am I driving my wife's car
and there are no loaner keys in my pocket? Olay I will be asking for $25
atleast to be deducted from the bill.
	Next, and here is where things get crazy, I called the dealer I used to go
to in Washington DC. I left a message briefly describing my plight with the
service manager. He called back and got my machine and left a message
saying that the VR6 head should NOT be machined. This changes the plane of
the head and screws up valve clearance and timing. He said the result would
be an engine that does not run right if at all. So now I have to call my
local dealer tomorrow and tell them to put the project on hold until I get
things verified. I am presuming that if I can get something in writing,
that my warranty company will pay for a new head and all installation, and
my dealer, well what are the chances they won't try to charge me for the
machining and possible ruining of my head?
	Does anyone know anything about machining or not machining the head. Does
anyone know the difference in VW billable hours between headgasket
replacement process and the disassemble/reassemble process involved in
getting the head machined. Thanks-G

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From gti-vr6-owner@dev.tivoli Wed Apr 1 20:50 CST 1998
From: "Holland J. Phillips" <hjp@pacbell>
To: "George Achorn" <coolidge@tidalwave>, "Corrado" <corrado-l@corrado-club>
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Head Gasket Epic Part 2 (The Story)
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 18:47:47 -0800
Cc: "gti" <gti-vr6@dev.tivoli>, "jetta" <jettaglx@igtc>
 
George,

Call New Dimensions and talk to Dwight or Chris.  They had the head off 
my '97 to replace the bent exhaust valves (DOH!), and I seem to 
recall them saying something about the VR6 head NOT being machinable.
They can also give you the labor breakdown in hours for all the 
work you're having done.  They have had to replace several VR6 heads due 
to corrosion. 

Holland

&#112;hillip3&#64;apple<img src=/i/dc.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>
&#104;jp&#64;pacbell<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>

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From gti-vr6-owner@dev.tivoli Wed Apr 1 22:20 CST 1998
From: jawkjn@cstone (Jason Whipple)
To: "Holland J. Phillips" <hjp@pacbell>
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Head Gasket Epic Part 2 (The Story)
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 23:17:51 -0500
Cc: gti-vr6@dev.tivoli
 
Just to clear things up, the VR6 cylinder head CAN BE MACHINED. I have
watched as it was done, installed the ported head, and hauled ass down the
road in it! The head is the same design as the euro VW Heron head used on
early GTI's and is similar to old ford 2.0 heads, flat bottom with the
combustion chamber in the piston. They can be machined, but like any other
overhead cam engine, not a great deal of material can be removed. I wouldnt
replace a headgasket without taking a flycut off of the head.

Jason Whipple
turn2
&#106;awkjn&#64;cstone<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>

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From gti-vr6-owner@dev.tivoli Thu Apr 2 12:02 CST 1998
From: AWE16VR6 <AWE16VR6@aol>
To: gti-vr6@dev.tivoli
Subject: [gti-vr6] Re: Head Gasket Epic Part 2 (The Story)
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 12:55:47 EST
 
<<	My Jetta VR6 experienced headgasket failure last week, and my coolant was
quite oily, though not dripping too badly. I brought it in to my dealership
where I have an extended new car warranty with GE. The head gasked and some
other seals are being replaced on the warranty company, but on removal of
the head and inspection, it was found that the head was pitted. 
	Here's where things get tricky. I authorized the head to be sent to a
machinist and machined which they quoted me at $850-$900 and I think this
is on top of the $770 my warranty company gave them for the other repairs.
This sounded high, so I called Todd from AWE and he told me it sounded high
too. My dealership told me the majority of this was labor for disassembling
the head. I'm gettin' gouged. I think they are double billing (me and the
warranty company) for some of the work hours, so I have a breakdown from
them on the hours involved which I will cross reference with my dealership
to make sure everything is on the up and up.
	A side note. My warranty company has authorized $25 for a rental car, and
that the dealer requested for me. Question, why am I driving my wife's car
and there are no loaner keys in my pocket? Olay I will be asking for $25
atleast to be deducted from the bill.
	Next, and here is where things get crazy, I called the dealer I used to go
to in Washington DC. I left a message briefly describing my plight with the
service manager. He called back and got my machine and left a message
saying that the VR6 head should NOT be machined. This changes the plane of
the head and screws up valve clearance and timing. He said the result would
be an engine that does not run right if at all. So now I have to call my
local dealer tomorrow and tell them to put the project on hold until I get
things verified. I am presuming that if I can get something in writing,
that my warranty company will pay for a new head and all installation, and
my dealer, well what are the chances they won't try to charge me for the
machining and possible ruining of my head?
	Does anyone know anything about machining or not machining the head. Does
anyone know the difference in VW billable hours between headgasket
replacement process and the disassemble/reassemble process involved in
getting the head machined. Thanks-G>>

Hey George,
So they are gouging you after all!  If I'm reading this right, they are
charging $850-900 *just to machine the head*!!!!  I told you on the phone that
this is way, way excessive, and will repeat it here.  
Technically, there is no spec on VR6 head decking limits.  First time I had a
head here that needed decking, I went through all my microfiche and manuals,
called my local dealer connection, several VW tuners, and finally found my
answer from Darrell at Techtonics.  He confirmed that there was no factory
spec, but that the head could be decked to the level of the spark plug
threads.  There is enough "slop" in the timing chain to compensate for the new
cams/crank index.  Sure enough, as Jason Livingood can attest, a VR6 head
decked to this level will operate with NO problem.  VW would prefer to sell
you a complete new casting... at $1800.  So through many real world
experiences, I can assure you that there is no problem decking the VR6 head at
most .020" !!!  That should be more than enough to smooth out the corrosion.
Complete disassembly of the VR6 head can in no stretch of the imagination take
a professional more than 2hrs.  This includes valve springs and manifolds.
The exhaust studs can be left in for any machine work, there are no sensors to
remove, no freeze plugs to replace... so basically this is a simple head to
work on.  Decking will not affect compression ratio, either, since the entire
combustion chamber resides in the piston.  Lifter clearance problems will only
be encountered if the valve seats are machined excessively, which doesn't
sound necessary in your case.  Total price for disassembly/reassembly and
decking the head should be no more than $350-400 tops!!  And that's at dealer
labor rates!
Sounds like you need a second opinion.

Good luck,
Todd
Air & Water
VW Tuning
Philadelphia

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From gti-vr6-owner@dev.tivoli Mon Apr 6 21:39 CDT 1998
From: deecee@exit109
To: gti-vr6@dev.tivoli
Subject: [gti-vr6] VR6 Head
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 22:28:47 -0400
 
Last week someone inquired about shop time to R&R a VR6 head.

Under VW warranty R&R is 6.90 hours
REplacement with an exchange head  8.50 hours.
Disassembe head  2.00 hours.

The maximum head distortion is 0.1mm
Minumum cylinder head height 139.5mm

There is no mention in the VW repair manual as to being able to resurface a
head. The only head work is seating new valves in an exchange head.

Hope this helps.

Don
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