I am in the process of breaking down the top end on my 1990 2.1. I am at the point of removing the wrist pins, however they are pretty tight. I purchased the removal tool, VW #3091 but they are still really tought to remove. I am doing this with the engine still in the vehical. Anyone have any experience with this, and how they were able to remove them?
Moderator Note: Added tool number.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 07-20-2009 at 06:20 PM.
After doing this I am going to post a response to my own question just in case someone else has to do it.
First off, It is not even worth it to try and do this job with the engine still in the vehical. The powerplant assembly of vanagons (ie,motor, exhaust system, fuel system etc are in one nice neat package that is simply and easy to remove (relatively). So I pulled (or dropped)the powerplant.
In order to remove the sticky wrist pins I simply heated up the pistons with my propane torch, thus softening the varnish on the wrist pin, and they pretty much slipped right out.
The VW wrist pin removal tool, #3091, is basically an internal puller. It goes into the wrist pin, expands and then allows you to pull the pin out.
Bentley 13.44, Fig. 3 points out the wrist pin bore in the piston may become burred (and presumably fouled with varnish or carbon). They suggest boring with another VW specialty tool, #3159 reamer.
The burrs are often little gouges from applying the piston pin retaining circlips and should be relatively minor. You may be able to avoid the reaming by using emery cloth on a dowel or a Dremel style tool. Dremel makes both drum sanding bits and a rubberized polishing bit that work well for small touch-up and clean-up jobs such as this.
However, if your work is of this magnitude, Tom is correct in that engine removal is preferred. It also allows better inspection and repair/cleaning/touch-up of other items while out.
My ace source of all things VW says the tool doesn't work all that well anyway. I've found an old polished down wrist pin makes a pretty good driver.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 12-31-2008 at 04:36 PM.
In the process of rebuilding my '85 1.9L I was forced to build a tool with what I had around. (I would rather not spend money on a tool I am only going to use one time unless really needed). I found that a long piece of allthread, two nuts, and a peice of flat iron with a hole drilled in it worked really well for removing the wrist pins. Place the flat iron on the coolant opening, run the all thread through the flat iron and the wrist pin. Then use a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the first nut on the other side of the wrist pin and twist the allthread onto the nut. Make sure you have all the threads on the nut. Then put the other nut on the other side of the flat iron and turn it to remove the wrist pin. Make sure the allthread doesn't rotate, or you will take the nut on the wrist pin side off. I used a pair of vice grips for this. Also watch you don't pull the cylinder over so far as to bend the head stud. A rubber hammer should help you get the wrist pin out.
To put the wrist pin back in, I used a 10mm socket on the end of a long extension and hammered it back in. I found the 10mm socket with it's tapered end fit nicely in the end of the wrist pin to keep it from slipping.
'85 VanagonGL Westy
'85 VanagonGL Westy