V6 Replace Motor Mounts

by: wootar


When doing an oil change a couple of months ago I noticed a dark purple liquid on the drivers side of the belly pan. Having recently done a coolant flush I figured that I had a leak somewhere. But the liquid was not watery, it was oily. Off to the Passat World forums for answers!

After some searching I discovered that the aptly named “Barney Blood” was from the hydraulic engine mount on the drivers side of the engine. With some further research into the replacement procedure, I decided to do the job myself.

Looking at the location of the mounts revealed this:


  • ramps
  • Jack and Board to hold Engine
  • 13mm Stubby Wrench
  • 10mm Socket
  • 13mm Socket
  • 18mm Socket
  • 2 Flat Head Screwdrivers
  • Wire Cutters


  • 2x hydrolic motor mounts - 8D0-199-379-AT
  • new strech bolts (optional)

  • To begin the process of changing the mounts I first put the car up on ramps.
  • Remove the belly pan to get access to the underside of the engine.

To do the removal of the engine mounts you have to support the engine as you take the things apart that hold it to the car. The suggestions here is to place a board under the oil pan to distribute the force of a jack used to hold up the engine. The Haynes warns that the weight of the engine will be on the transmission mounts and the snub mount but to be safe I went with the board method to aleviate any stresses on these mounts. As you can see here I used an old board between the jack and the pan:

  • I was surprised how little it got in the way while working under the car. I started with the drivers side mount. At this point the Haynes recommends that you take the top nut off of the mount. I found that it was very difficult to get enough room or leverage to get at the nut while the plate that holds up the mount was still in place. The space to work in is extremely small and the nut is not perfectly vertical either; it is angled slightly toward the engine. This makes the 13mm stubby wrench an absolute must.
  • I think I read at some point on the forums that people had managed to get a small socket wrench up there to get the nut loose but that may have been for the 1.8 engine.

To get around the space issue I moved ahead to unbolting the mount support bracket. The first step in removing this is lowering the front stabilizer bar. There are two nuts on the bracket holding it up to the engine mount brackets on the drivers side and passengers side of the car. I found that I had to remove both sides of the stabilizer to get enough clearance to drop the engine mount bracket.

  • With the stabilizing bar now out of the way you can begin to remove the engine mount bracket. Remove the nut on the engine mount so you can move the bracket supporting some cables out of the way. Below that is another nut that attaches the bottom of the mount to the mount bracket.
  • There are now three bolts holding the bracket to the car. There are two shorter bolts toward the front of the car and one larger bolt toward the rear. The larger bolt is a stretch bolt, and from what I can gather, helps keep the subframe attached to the car. The Haynes recommends that this bolt be replaced as it is a stretch bolt. I asked the parts guy at the dealership how much it would cost, I think he said around $6, but that he would have to order it as when they do the procedure, they don’t replace it and therefore do not keep them in stock. I have seen argument on the subject of stretch bolts, specifically on the axle bolt. It seems some say that if it is a stretch bolt that it absolutely must be replaced and others say that everything will be fine if you re use it. In this case I choose to re use it.
  • Anyway, with these bolts out you can remove the mount bracket and gain better access to the top nut on the mount. I started with the two smaller front bolts and then did the rear bolt as is indicated by the Haynes manual. With the bolts out the mount bracket comes easily down off of the engine.
  • As you can see, it was clear that the hydraulic fluid was leaking out of the mount.
  • I approached the nut from the rearward side of the engine, using the space that had been opened up by the removal of the engine mount bracket. Even with the stubby wrench in hand it took a while to get that nut off, but eventually I got it free.

With the top nut off the mount will come off of the car revealing the upper engine mount bracket. There is a washer that goes between the top of the mount and the upper mount bracket on the engine. I pulled it off of the old mount and re used it on the new mount.
Installation is pretty much the reverse of the removal. Take the new mount and put it up against the upper engine mount bracket. There are little notches on the top of the mount that key it in the right position.

  • Tighten the top nut down. There is no way in hell you are getting a torque wrench in the small space so I just got it good and snug given the limited leverage you can get on it.

Place the engine mount bracket back in position. I found that the sub frame had dropped a little and that the larger rear bolt would not thread in.
This is from the passenger side but you can see the dropped frame:

  • I had to start with the two front bolts, tightening alternately, to push the bracket up against the sub frame which then pulled everything back together so I could get the rear bolt threaded. I made sure to tighten the two front bolts in an alternating pattern so that they lined up with the original marks they had made on the bracket. It looked like if I had tightened one down and then the other that the bracket would not have been in the right position, but rather turned in one direction. I don’t know if this would mess with anything but I wanted it back up there the way it was.

With the bracket in place you can tighten the nut for the engine mount and re install the cable bracket and nut.

  • At this point you can do the passenger side mount. The procedure is exactly the same as the drivers side other than having to deal with the starter motor power cable. It is attached to the mount bracket and is held there by three zip ties and a plastic clamp.
  • You have to cut the zip ties and then un clip the lower and upper parts of the plastic clamp. I used two flat head screw drivers wedged into either side to separate the two halves and get the cable loose and out of the way. Reinstallation is simple enough, just snap the plastic clamp back together and replace the zip ties that were cut.
  • Here you can see the starter cable bracket as it is attached to the mount bracket:
  • I didn’t have any surprises on the passenger side, it was the same as the drivers side. Again, I had to remove the mount bracket before getting the space necessary to get the top nut off.

With the mounts replaced on both sides you can pull the stabilizer bar back up and re attach the brackets with the nuts. Make sure the bushings are in the right position before you tighten the brackets down. Lower the jack holding the engine.
Put the belly pan back up and with that you are done!

In total it took me about 2 hours to do both side mounts. I'm hoping that I can get away with not doing the snub mount until I either have to either replace the water pump or timing belt as I don't want to go as far as putting the car into almost service position unless I absolutely have to. I did not notice any difference in vibration from having a broken mount to replacing it with a new one. I think that I caught it early enough that it did not have a chance to totally destroy itself inside and get loose enough to affect the amount of vibration and engine movement.

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