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The "Shock Treatment" Thread

Printed From: The W8 forum
Category: Problems, Tips and Tricks About the W8
Forum Name: The W8 Archive
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Printed Date: 06-Jul-2020 at 06:58
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Topic: The "Shock Treatment" Thread
Posted By: AlBrown
Subject: The "Shock Treatment" Thread
Date Posted: 06-Oct-2010 at 00:57
The shock treatment was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. It was kinda hard to get started though because nobody had pictures of what to do with the engine in the car. After finding the plugs it wasn't so bad. I am pretty sure I did it right, but I did use the car battery and I couldn't find anybody else who did it that way. Here are some pictures of how I did it and where some of the connectors are located. You should be able to follow the pigtails from the solenoids back to the connectors quite easily.

I plugged the test leads straight into the car battery.

Here are the connectors on the passenger side under the MAF tube. I used the test leads to zap the 2 prongs. I don't think it matters which one is positive.

Here is a little more zoomed out shot where I disconnected the air intake, and what the plugs look like hooked up.

And this is what I got when I did the seafoam induction, quite the show!
I had a concerned guy on a motorcycle stop and look, but when I grinned at him I think he figured out I was not on fire.

Hope this helps.

Posted By: veedub02
Date Posted: 06-Oct-2010 at 10:17
Thanks so much for those pictures! Wow - I may tackle that soon.

-- 2002 W8
-- 1987 BMW 325i Convertible

Posted By: AlBrown
Date Posted: 07-Oct-2010 at 00:26
No problem, good luck!

Posted By: tripwalking
Date Posted: 08-Oct-2010 at 11:44
Suggestion: wait till the engine's coooool :)

I used a cordless drill battery, but I don't see why the car battery wouldn't work.

------------- - Welder Series: hot rod chassis brackets

Posted By: Malcolm Tucker
Date Posted: 08-Oct-2010 at 13:07
Don't forget to alternate the polarity on the solenoid - you'll want to exercise it in both directions.

"I've got more on my plate than a spinster at a wedding"

Posted By: TheAutoTech
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2010 at 23:45
Just curious, but doesn't it also have those two plugs on the driver cylinder head also? I'm not having any issues with this currently but am debating doing a Seafoam job along with an oil change and shock treatment just to keep the gremlins away. I recently exercised the cam adjusters with the scan tool, but would like to give this a shot also.

"A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank." ~ Author Unknown

- Cody T.

Posted By: AlBrown
Date Posted: 13-Oct-2010 at 01:58
Yeah, but those are a lot easier to find. I took some pictures of that side but my ftp is down so I can't upload them yet unfortunately. If you just find the solenoids and follow the pigtails back its pretty easy.

Posted By: ___/ __/ _/
Date Posted: 29-Aug-2011 at 05:50

Bank 1 (US driver's side) is about the same work to access as Bank 2.

"I agree that the W8 is a great car--when it works... "

^Pure Genius! Why didn't I write that?!?

Posted By: billj3cub
Date Posted: 09-Nov-2013 at 12:21
A short summation concerning the W8 cam adjuster P0012 code and shock treatment of the solenoids:

You don't need to reverse polarity when doing the shock treatment. The plunger will extend out of the solenoid regardless of the polarity.
If the solenoid clicks then it is probably good. If it does not click then pretty much guaranteed the valve is stuck depressed down in the valve body, the spring can't push the valve back up, the plunger is hanging fully extended out of the solenoid (it only moves 0.070"), and you will not hear a click because the solenoid is already fully extended. I call the parts a valve and valve body because they are miniature versions of a automatic transmission valve and valve body. What has likely jammed the valve in the body are pieces of the super-fine mesh screen that was built into the solenoid holder and always comes apart over time. I have seen a new set of solenoids and their holder (big$$$) and the screen is a thicker more robust material but I would never reinstall that unit, new or old, without tearing the whole screen out regardless.

The following procedure should take about two hours from start of tear down to finish of reassembly:
Take the intake manifold off.
Remove the valve cover.
IMPORTANT: Disconnect the battery so you cannot mistakenly turn the engine over then stuff rags into the cam drive openings around the chains and gears quite thoroughly so nothing can fall down there. Get even the smallest item stuck down low in the chain/gears where you can't reach it and it is game over.
Remove the two Torx screws that hold the solenoid on. Use a strong pencil magnet to catch the screws even though you previously stuffed rags in the cam drive opening. Every caution you take will be worth it.
Using two flat bladed screwdrivers carefully pry the solenoid as straight up out of its holder as you can. If it does not come out perfectly straight don't worry. When prying out, one of two things will happen:
1) If the solenoid breaks off the valve body, leaving the valve body behind in the holder, then carefully clean out the 3 cracked or chipped edges of the valve body where they were crimped/staked around the solenoid. It will be obvious what I am talking about when you are looking at these parts.
You will see the valve in the valve body with an offset oil passage hole near the center. That oil hole delivers oil to the solenoid for cooling and lubrication purposes.
Stick a straight pick tool in that hole, cock it side ways gently then try to draw the valve out. If it stuck, and it will be, (remember why we are in there?) then try alternately (gently!) pushing, pulling and twirling until it eventually starts moving and you can draw it out. Take your time and don't force it. It will come out faster than you initially think. You don't want to unnecessarily score or chip the valve or the bore it rides in. Pull the spring out of the bottom of the bore with a pick tool and carefully set it aside. Every one I have taken apart that was stuck had either tiny bits of screen or large chunks of screen or something in between. The valve is really simple, just wipe it clean.
Cleaning the valve body is more difficult. I suggest you remove all those rags you stuffed in the cam drive area, hook up the battery, then have an assistant crank over the motor and let oil pressure flush out the debris until you are satisfied the body is clear.
2) If the solenoid and valve body pull out of the holder as an assembly then you will have to pry the valve body off the solenoid then follow the procedure outlined above after 1).

Disconnect the battery and again pack rags back around the cam drive to protect against dropsies then carefully place the spring back in the bore, shove the solenoid straight back down into position then carefully fasten the solenoid in place with the two Torx screws. Now would be a good time to drive the solenoid with battery voltage 50 to 100 times to hear that satisfying "click" and gain confidence that the valve is indeed free and not wanting to hang up.
Pull the rags out, install the valve cover, reassemble the rest of the intake, hoses and solenoid connectors. Drive the car around and be glad you did not unnecessarily have a shop remove the motor, replace the cam adjusters and solenoid assemblys and blow $8,000 when all it takes is a few hours work to clean the solenoids. Think of it as regular maintenance (until all the screen material is gone) like cleaning the throttle body or replacing the spark plugs. The best part is you know exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it and can easily do it again if needed. No Fear, No Worry, No Sweat. The W8 lives again.

I am torn between the two: Had this clear understanding and procedure (and $300 verses $8,000 to have a shop do it) been known 5 years ago the W8 market would still be strong today and I would not have been able to get mine soooo cheep. But I do shed a tear for the untold millions of dollars unecessarily thrown away and all the broken hearted owners that had to walk away from their dream car all from one unecessary screen and one tiny valve that was easily cleaned.

'02 Passat Sedan W8 Automatic

Posted By: i03w8
Date Posted: 01-Apr-2014 at 22:22

I know where the sensors are. I just replaced valve cover gaskets on both sides.

Posted By: Superman
Date Posted: 13-Jun-2014 at 14:56
Here is a good picture.

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Posted By: HowlinW8
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2015 at 13:09
Someone willing to get the pictures up again?
I will perform this this weekend.

Posted By: Superman
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2015 at 16:43
It's on YouTube. -

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Posted By: HowlinW8
Date Posted: 03-Jan-2015 at 12:30

Posted By: Superman
Date Posted: 03-Jan-2015 at 19:14
Let us know how it goes. Best wishes.

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Posted By: HowlinW8
Date Posted: 06-Jan-2015 at 17:47
Didn't help, i'm doing the solenoid cleaning right now. Hope the problems will go away after that. Found a big piece of screen plugging one of the oilchannals

Posted By: orangeokie
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2017 at 04:16
My VW mechanic tried the shock treatment, but it didn't work. I ended up replacing both banks.

Posted By: Superman
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2017 at 04:47
How much did that cost?

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Posted By: Uberhare
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2017 at 04:55
Glad I've got a parts engine, but someone hacked the harness for all 4 of these solenoids.   I assume they were shocking them.

04 Passat W8 Wagon,04 Phaeton W12, 10 A3 TDI, 05 Passat TDI Wagon (6spd M/T), 93 Corrado VR6
89 VW LT31 Florida, 89 Vanagon Whitestar, 67 Beetle Limo, 64 PA28-140

Posted By: orangeokie
Date Posted: 04-Mar-2018 at 03:37
Originally posted by Superman

How much did that cost?

They failed at different times. The first one was paid by the extended warranty I bought when I bought the car. I asked them if they would pay for the other one too, while the engine was out of the car. The warranty company said no, (I should have paid for it my self, but I didn't.)

A few months later the other side went, and I had to drop the engine and pay for it all on my nickle. If I remember correctly it was about $2500 parts and labor. I am very happy with the results however. Car runs perfect.

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