Question about 1991 Volkswagen Passat

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I need to know the torques specs for the head bolts on a 1991 vw passat, can you help

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  • Volkswagen Master
  • 2,002 Answers

I,m assuming that you have the head off for some reason. So before you put it back together you need to know a couple things. Make sure your crank is lined up with your timing mark for TDC BEFORE you put the head on the engine. Also the timing marks on the head have to be lined up BEFORE you put the head on. If they don't do this properly you will bend valves when you try to get it lined up.
The head bolts must be tightened in a specific order or the head will crack.They must also be removed in the reverse order. The five bolts on the exhaust side of the engine are numbered from the timing belt in this order: 10-4-2-6-8. The five bolts on the intake side are numbered from the timing belt in this order: 7-5-1-3-9. Sorry I can't send pics so maybe draw this out before you start, basically it a set of X's.
timing 10 4 2 6 8 distributor
belt 7 5 1 3 9


The torque is done in 3 stages. The first torque is 30 ft-lbs (40Nm). The second torque is 43 ft-lbs (60Nm). The third torque is 1/2 turn or 180 degrees. This final torque can be done as 2 1/4 turns or 90 degrees if you wish. Hope this helps.

Posted on May 19, 2011

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  • 6 more comments 
  • Robin Wallace Chew
    Robin Wallace Chew May 19, 2011

    Thank you for your post. The car blew a head after being run with low anti freeze. That's why it's off. My husband is a diesel mechanic but not a car mechanic. We can't afford to have someone do the work. It cost me enough to have the heads repaired. The car has been torn down for three months. I'm getting very frustrated that it's not back together yet. So, I thank you for the info, any other tips you might have will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again

  • cy schousboe May 19, 2011

    Glad I could help. If you are going to keep this car for a while go to BentleyPublishers.com and order the service manual for your car. It's about $70 but it is as close as you will ever get to a VW service manual. It includes diagnostics and trouble shooting as well as repairs and tips.They specialize in VW manuals.

  • Robin Wallace Chew
    Robin Wallace Chew May 19, 2011

    Again , Thank you . I was wondering why I couldn't find a manual for this car. This is our first vw.

  • cy schousboe May 19, 2011

    If it's your first VW, you need to know that they can be tempermental. They are high maintenance, meaning a lot of times it doesn't take much to make them act bad. Pay close attention to little things, before you replace a sensor check the wiring going to it. VW wiring is fine wire and it breaks easily especially at the connector. Cracks in insulation or bare spots will make it act up, so check these types of things carefully before you buy expensive parts. There are very susceptable to slight changes in vacuum as well. Keep the vacuum hoses in good shape. A small exhaust leak can make the O2 sensor act up, the engine will rev up and down. Fix the exhaust leak first and see what happens.
    You basically have a street legal race car which can be a riot to drive but it needs to be maintained like a race car. You should also look into vwvortex. forum. There can be a lot of useful info there as well. Your car will fall under the B3-B4 and 16V categories. The B3 is for everything except the engine and the 16V is for your engine. There are 2 2liter categories, one for 8 valve and one for 16 valve. A Passat has the 16 valve. Always check their FAQ section first for help. All you need to sign on is an e-mail address, and it doesn't generate any spam or unwanted email.
    Be careful where you take it to get it worked on. A lot of mechanics don't know any more about a VW than you and your husband do, so always check their VW experience first. I spent $1000 to rebuild a rebuilt head because the first guy didn't know VW's.
    Anyway, happy driving.

  • cy schousboe May 19, 2011

    Once your husband gets the timing belt on and tightened up, recheck all the timing marks. Quite often they will move slightly when he tightens the tensioner. If the marks have moved, re-line the crankshaft mark first. If the cam mark is off, remove the belt and turn the cam gear back to it's place and replace the timing belt. I know this will theoretically move the timing ahead but if he doesn't do this it won't start. The timing can be moved 1/2 or even 1 tooth without any trouble. I should have included this the first time, sorry about that, but I didn't realize what you was going on.

  • Robin Wallace Chew
    Robin Wallace Chew May 28, 2011

    Fortunatly we hooked up with a mechanic that works only on VWs. He is very good. We have run into another issue though. The knock sensor on the front of the engine is totally obliterated. In calling around for one I was told that I have to get the proper coor connector cap (green or blue) if not we could blow the motor. Well, since we don't know what color the cap was , we are again at a road block. This is the final step to having this thing on the road. Arghhhh, I am s frustrated. Would you know what color the cap should be? Once again your info would be a great help. The connector it goes into is Black. That's all I can tell you.

  • cy schousboe May 28, 2011

    My 1992 has 2 knock sensors on the front of the engine under the intake. One is between #1 and #2 cylinder and the other is between #3 and #4. They have dark blue connectors. The black one you are looking at is likely the one for the ignition reference sensor. It has the exact same pin configuration and knock sensors will plug right in to it. The black one plugs into the #4 plug wire. The plugs for the knock sensor should be in the same area as the black one. look around, they may have fallen down by the transmission.
    When re-installing the new one don't use any washers or spacers and torque it to 11-18ft.lbs. The torque is critical to their proper operation so don't skip this step. Hope this helps.

  • Robin Wallace Chew
    Robin Wallace Chew May 28, 2011

    I'm going to owe you lunch by the time we're done here. Thanks again

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recessed bolt 13 ftlbsaf151d2.gif

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Assuming 3.0 V6, per my manual:

All in FT pounds torque,unless noted:

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Exhaust manifold nuts: 18
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