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01 VW jetta glx vr6 2.8l water pump replacement

I have to replace the water pump on my jetta as the bearing has went bad in it causing significant play and destroying the serpetine belt. I don’t have the Bentley repair manual but have done some research online only to find that there are two ways of doing this that involve either a 50+ step process from a well established vw enthusiast web site that will take 4 - 8 hours to do or a considerably less step that takes around 40 - 60 minutes to do. The first requires that allot of the engine bay items be removed or relocated and the engine and transmission be unbolted and lifted then shifted to the drives side while the second one requires the dog bone support be unbolted and the engine dropped down to allow for the removal of the water pump. Which of these is right because I’d hate to spend a hole day doing the first and I’d hate to do the second only to break something.

Also is it required to use the G12 coolant or can I use the Prestone extended life coolant?

Apparently the engine can be lowered enough to gain access to the water pump by disconnecting the engine mount. But it requires that a pry bar be used to force the engine down just slightly to remove the old water pump and install the new water pump.


Tester says the engine can be “forced” down just slightly to remove the water pump. I believe him, but I don’t like the word, “forced.” Sounds like potential trouble to me.

There’s no way you’re going to do this in an hour, even if you “force” the engine down. Stop dreaming.

I’d take it to a good VW mechanic and write a check.

I generally do all of my own repairs short of tearing apart the transmission which is the only thing that I have never learned how to do so taking it to an hourly mechanic and paying close to $100 hour labor is not going to happen. I’m looking for clarification on information on which method is correct or if both are options not that I should be helpless and let someone else do the work.

Bump to top.

I’m not familiar with the VR6, since I own the 4-cylinder version (same year). My manual also specifically does not cover the VR6, just the 4’s.

You said from the “well established vw enthusiast web site” they list the many-step process, but not where you found the quick, down and dirty process. Going on that alone, it sounds like you don’t trust the short procedure you found.

In my dealings with this car, I’ve come to understand that many of the things they say I must do (remove this many parts, whatever), I can very often perform the maintenance I need to do without removing everything they say to remove. Having said that, even though my hands aren’t particularly small, I am pretty agile, have a huge selection of tools, and can typically find a way to get into those areas I shouldn’t be able to.

When I did my belt/water pump, I didn’t have to remove anything, except the motor mount they had the brilliant idea to mount in the middle of the belt path. It was tight, to be sure, but I got it done.

I would be hesitant to remove all those things, but the “force it down” procedure doesn’t sound too kosher to me, either. Probably somewhere in the middle may work. I would also use caution when pushing and pulling on the motor, as there are so many lines to consider, and I wouldn’t want to have to fix those, just because I was too lazy to remove part X.

Have you considered using blocks and/or tranny jacks to support the motor, then disconnect the motor mounts, and get that inch of space? It might be enough. If you have the replacement pump in hand, you should be able to figure out how much space you really need.


The second option came from members of the same site so there has been a 4 year debate on it there however I tend to be thorough when it comes to something new and something that could become a headache if not done right and knowing the show and the experience I felt it worthwhile to come here and ask. With the VR6 engine in the 01 model of jetta the water pump pulley sits about 2 inches from the right frame rail and about center of its height so it would necessitate a raising or lowering of the engine to remove it but since the bentley manual does not really cover this procedure clearly its left up to the owner to figure it out.