Upgraded / Redesigned FSI Cam Follower – Aftermarket

1/22/12 Just a quick warning: this company may not be as legitimate as the VW community thinks. Several Mazda websites do not have fond memories of this particular company. I’ll have to find more information…Stay away for now.

Update: 8/2014

Nothing has proven to be as good as just replacing or checking the cam follower periodically. I’ve been lucky with the wear so it’s far easier for me to not worry about it. Unfortunately, there are a variety of factors that contribute to what kind of wear you see and your experience may vary wildly. Keep on top of your oil changes and keep track of your follower wear!

For the past few months, the company HPFP Upgrade has been working on creating a cam follower that is more durable than the oem piece. Testing is now practically complete. I’m guessing that they are in production right now with a probable February release. HPFP Upgrade is a relatively new (to me) company that focuses on the fueling system for various direction injection cars.

There’s been a good deal of anticipation regarding this product. Any product that can help with the FSI’s follower problem is welcome. The company states that it has achieved an increase in durability through the use of hard chroming. By creating a surface with less friction, there is less wear between the follower and cam. Testing supposedly confirms their claims. In addition to the new surface material, the oil flow holes were relocated to the sides. Information is limited right now as the company has yet to officially release the product.

Early Production Photos – Note the revised oiling hole locations

Of course, the product is untested by the mass public and details such as warranty have yet to be hashed out. There are still unanswered questions. How will the relocation of the oil holes affect things and how durable will the follower and hard chrome finish really be in real life application? HPFP Upgrade asserts that the the new finish is much tougher than the OEM DLC coated follower and slicker as well. They also say that the relocation of the oiling holes also has nothing but positive effects, although their reasoning is yet to be seen. The company seems to have done its homework, field testing a few units with favorable results. So far better than another company that just made the follower thicker and omitted the DLC coating…*cough*kmd*cough*. The design is superficially similar to followers used by Mazda.

I’m following this product quite closely and will probably try it out when it does finally get released.

Here’s a thread on the MKV forum with a few details but it unfortunately turns into a flame war in a page or so. Upgraded FSI Cam Follower

If you do end up getting this in a month or two, let everyone know what you think of it in the comments.

Camshaft and Cam Follower Warranty Extension

 

In addition to the pcv and intake manifold motor, Volkswagen also extended the warranty on the camshaft, cam follower and high pressure fuel pump to 120,000 miles or 10 years. As before, they will reimburse any out of pocket expenses related to failure of any of these components provided you have proof of payment and repair. Keep in mind this does not cover replacing followers, only components that have failed or have insufficient hardening. Look through the following letter and see what applies to you.For more information, check out my other posts:Cam Follower Camshaft and Cam Follower Warranty Extension

Camshaft and Cam Follower Warranty Extension

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! 2012 is here and it’s going to be a good one!

Just a few quick updates for this post…

First things first, sorry for the extreme lack of updates, the MKV front is getting a little older and a little quieter. That’s alright though, the MKV generation of cars has been holding up pretty well. The FSI follower problem has been troublesome for a lucky few and there are various small sensor/peripheral problems (thrust sensor, low pressure fuel pump, pcv and diverter valves etc.)  that owners have had to deal with but overall, the cars have been robust. Maintenance just needs to be kept up to date. I recently rolled past 108,000 miles and the car runs great.

Still coming for the month of January:

The recently mentioned aftermarket cam follower is still awaiting final finishing but the company states that it should be released as soon as this month. This follower is supposed to provide 3x the life of the OEM follower by using a different surface treatment (hard chroming). If the product lives up to its promises, FSI owners can rest just a little bit easier about their cam follower issues.

The Koni Yellow Dampers are holding up well and I think I finally got the rebound settings perfect for the stock springs. When you have adjustable dampers, it’s almost impossible to just pick a setting and not fiddle with them. They tempt you at every corner. I’ll do a write up with the settings soon.

November – Quick Update

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written a post, things have been a little quiet on the MKV front. My car is in a place where I like everything on it so I’ve been leaving it alone. The platform is getting older but that doesn’t mean new things aren’t being developed! There are a few particular developments that I want to talk about regarding fueling and cam follower improvements. One company has decided to research and produce a replacement follower that should all but eliminate excessive wear from this part. It has not been released yet but is due to show up in December. I’ll have more information as it becomes available.

Cam Follower 45,000 Mile Checkup

Second Cam Follower, around 45,000 miles on it. The car has almost 100,000 miles now.

I pulled the cam follower to check how it was doing.  It’s been quite a while since I last checked.  I’m estimating the total mileage on this to be about 45,000 miles.  This is only the second cam follower this car has seen.  Nonetheless, the wear is excellent and I’m popping this one back in.  I’ll check back in 10,000 miles, which this should easily last.  The DLC coat is still not completely worn through in the center.

Cam Follower Warranty Extension

Good news everybody! VW of America has decided to extend the cam follower, high pressure fuel pump, and intake camshaft warranty to 120,000 miles or 10 years. I received a letter in the mail. It took a while but VW finally did the right thing.

I’ll load the letter once I get it scanned. documents added below

Here are a few links related to the cam follower problem:

Cam Follower 1

Cam Follower 2

Cam Follower 3

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Post Weekend Updates – Brakes, Sensors and Fuel Pump Edition

I finally got some time to work on the car this weekend.  I was able to do install the speed bleeders, do full flush and bleed with ATE Superblue fluid and finally install the thrust sensor.

Some strange findings on the thrust sensor – I took of the old one only to find out that it was already the updated version.  Dammit.  I hope it was on it’s way out or something.  If you didn’t know already, I was having fuel supply issues on a long trip.  Read all about it here…Click me! I won’t find out until I take another long trip in the heat.

The problem seems to be cropping up in the forums a little more, so at least I know other people have experienced the problem.  There’s still very little information on exactly what is going on.  If anyone knows anything, leave me a comment!

About the speed bleeders… (SB1010S)

They worked perfectly!  That was probably the least trouble I’ve had with bleeding the brakes.  Granted, it would probably be even easier with a pressure bleeder.  These turned out just fine but if you want to spend just a little more, you can get the pressure bleeder and be able to use it with multiple cars.

The ATE Superblue brake fluid is helpful in determining whether you’ve flushed all the old fluid out of the system.  The fluid is, you guessed it, blue.  Once the fluid coming out of the bleeder is blue, you know you’ve flushed all the old crud out.  ATE has an amber colored fluid that you can alternate between flushings to help  you determine if you’ve flushed the Superblue out of the system.  Same specs, just amber.  It’s called Type 200 I believe.  The ATE fluid is a little pricier than store bought but the specs are excellent for a daily driver; 536 degree dry boiling point and 396 wet.

I also re-lubed all the caliper and pad slide points.  I opted to use high temp grease for the back of the pads instead of the tacky silencer stuff.  It might help the pads shift around when they need to instead of tacking them in place.  I’ve been getting an annoying squeal for the past few weeks despite the pads being good still.  Hopefully the the grease will allow the pads to move just enough to eliminate it.  So far so good.

I also did a quick cam follower check to see if anything out of the ordinary, glad to report that after 30,000 + miles on the 2nd cam follower, the DLC coating is barely starting to show some signs of wear, and this is on APR stage 1 software too.  Sweet!

Cam Follower and Oil Change Article

Since the MKV generation is starting to hit higher mileages, the cam follower wear problem is starting to pop up more often.  I see it being posted more in the forums.  Usually it’s by people who just bought the car used or simply were unaware of the issue.  That really sucks.  Anyway check out the page under the maintenance drop down or click this link.  Cam followers and Oil changes – Warning

Heres another article: Cam Follower Troubleshooting

Edit:  I see a couple of searches for “revised follower”  – Sorry there is none, this is what we have to deal with and the solution is constant awareness-

I borrowed this picture to show the possible damage.  If the original owner wants it removed, please tell me.

Cam Follower – Progress Report

This current follower has 30,000 miles on it, 15~20,000 of it on APR Stage I.  I changed out my first one at around 57,000 miles.  This new one still has not developed any appreciable wear.  The DLC coating is still there, unworn for all intents and purposes.

There has to be a rhyme and reason to all this.  Is it really just people using poor oil?  Not breaking the car in properly?  Too early for the first oil change?  Manufacturing flaws?

While there was improper cam hardening with the A cams, the B cams supposedly remedied that problem and there are still reports of failure.  My car does not have any accelerated wear.  Other cars chew them up in as little as 10,000 miles.

My advice would be to check at least every other oil change until you’ve established the rate of wear.  Then you can increase your intervals.  Keep in mind that wear is also accelerated as the cam follower wears down.

Links to more information:

Cam follower check

Maintenance Page

Troubleshooting

Howdy All!

Well, I haven’t nearly written as much as I’ve hoped to.  However, school is almost done and hopefully that’ll give me some boredom to write with.  (See what I did there?)

Things recently done to the car:

I just checked the cam follower today for the 2nd time since I got it chipped.  That’s about 10,000 miles ago or so?  At a total of 20,000 miles on the follower, there is no wear on the thing.  Amazing!  I guess I’m lucky.  Still a good idea to keep checking every other oil change or so.  I’m still using Lubro Moly 5w40 and it has done the job so far.

I’ve softened up the shocks and swaybar on my car as well.  The car feels less jittery when set on the softer side of things, and also rides much better.  I want to see if I can go even softer while maintaining the handling.

On the down side, I think one of the rear shocks is leaking.  Dammit, 125 to rebuild. Also, and people, help me out if you can, my rear passenger side is 1/2 higher (measured in fender gap) than the driver side rear.  It’s driving me nuts.  I’m fine with leaving it alone, but I need to know if it’s fine.  More bad news?  A rock tore up my right side foglight but thats no biggie.