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This is my 1.0E Lupo....


I got this little car in October with the intention of using it as a stopgap car to see me through the winter. 

It certainly has got under my skin! Plagued with a constant idle speed misfire and wrongly diagnosed multiple times, I decided to do things properly and investigate fully as to the cause ..... This turned out to be an expensive journey that we are about at the end of.

Firstly I decided to grab a spares car, simply for its engine and a couple of other bits as it also had an AUC 1.0mpi in it that seemingly ran flawlessly.received_392324258608236.thumb.jpeg.4a29906461f574a541433c43e62c044f.jpeg

I had no issues pulling it to pieces as it ended up being extremely bent, to the point that the entire front end moved when we removed the front crash bar. It didn't in the slightest bit drive in a straight line. And I thought, the engine was fine (the main thing I wanted it for).IMG_20201110_141757.thumb.jpg.59b7a834d87262be10fb597e573e6e8b.jpg

Progress was fast in removing important parts I wanted. 

But anyway back to the engine situation, I had issues with some of my engine removal tools being delivered and in the mean time I did much research into issues with burned valves and worn valve guides on these AUC engines. It was decided to take the head off as a precaution before fitting the engine ..... I'm glad we did! 

This engine ran fine, no notable misfire, no smoke, however there was an obviously dead lifter. 

As the head was removed it became immediately obvious that exhaust valves on cylinders 1, 2 and 3 were badly burned. The cam was also binding and scored on the journals. So, off to the engine shop it went! 

Report was 3 valves burned, all 4 exhaust valve guides worn way beyond tolerance, the cam had to have the bearing faces polished and the top was twisted..... Great! 

The good news is that £320 and almost 3 weeks later, it was ready to collect...received_1096297730818665.thumb.jpeg.80268cf9b3b62cd2d5560d0e7bfecfd2.jpeg

There is a lovely job. All inlet valves cleaned, new exhaust valve guides x4, new exhaust valves x4, reworked camshaft and best of all 3 angle valve seat cuts across the board with new valve stem seals and a complete head set. 

I do however wish people would service engines properly. The next job on the list was to clean and re-oil the lifters as we knew one was dead, just not which one. 

If you don't change your oil often enough let these next pictures be a lesson as to why you should ....IMG_20201209_183700.thumb.jpg.5855768fe05b6b1a9f20d9102db72fe6.jpgIMG_20201209_183807.thumb.jpg.53aade7936550d4893d66d3298e942f7.jpgIMG_20201209_183813.thumb.jpg.e531a350459fca749cbed64c271dbb50.jpgIMG_20201209_184216.thumb.jpg.3bcc410787ec54c53f9f71b84f026b70.jpg

that was simply what was stuck inside the lifters. Carbon, grit and other dirt. This engine hadn't had frequent oil changes and this is the net result.

After everything was cleaned off it was re-oiled and stored in oil for the next couple of days work ahead so nothing goes rusty and I don't need to worry about dry lifters....IMG_20201209_183820.thumb.jpg.a2514d1ac7c5190bdc4411daefa42e21.jpgIMG_20201209_193049.thumb.jpg.6c0747223cdba6dedf58fa86000cfc48.jpg

and just for prosperity here is the dead lifter ....IMG_20201209_183826.thumb.jpg.39f631cd6f21f2c860e7fdc7323635df.jpgIt will stay compressed....IMG_20201209_183833.thumb.jpg.269fc74492417bae3711468c59867602.jpgOr extended, but will not spring as it should. There is also no sign of a spring internally when pulled apart so that's possibly in the sump. 

There you have it, my VW Lupo that was purchased cheaply and intended to be thrown away. Getting a second shot at life because I have somehow become extremely attached to it. 

I will update on progress as I go.

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Cool. OMG! What was in the oil...?! 

I've never seen the result of a wheel coming off with a Lupo. Interesting how that front of the sill section is so strong. Must have made a loud bang though! Cool. 

Watching this thread. I feel good things are about to happen here. 👍🏻

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11 hours after starting the repair work and no workshop manual ..... It's done!!!! 

Unfortunately not really much in the lines of pictures but I did find out some interesting points and how awkward things can be if not done correctly. 

The 11 hours was spent outside on the driveway, cold, occasionally wet and now totally seized up because of arthritis 😆

First thing of note..... Check the brake servo hose from the manifold. Mine had a hole rubbed right through it and was causing a huge air leak (unknown to me) and registering a cylinder 3 misfire on my reworked cylinder head. 

Secondly .... VW engines have a huge appetite for burning valves, seats and guides. It's just a thing I guess. The fault on the original head seems to be a cylinder 1 exhaust valve that has an oval head and a groove burned into the valve seat. That explains the 78% leakdown we had into cylinder 2 through the exhaust then. 

I did find that my water pump was past its best a very long time ago. Had to buy a replacement halfway through the job because my spare engine was also on its original plastic impeller VW unit. There was no way in hell I was trusting that. 

The end result of today's work is a very quiet engine at idle, stable rpm of 870 and a bit of a fruity note over standard if driven harder than you maybe should. 

Was it worth the almost £470 to fix the AUC? In my opinion hell yes. My little Lupo should be good for another 70k before the engine explodes again now. 

Was it sensible ..... Probably not at around half the price of a PD conversion. 

Except for my total mass panic because of death rattle while the lifters bedded back in. I'm properly pleased with my day 👍🏻

Apologies for lack of photos I will see what my dad managed to take and wether they are worth uploading later.

Edited by Chonpy_snake
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Excellent. Fast work and a good result then. :)

Don't forget the gearbox. Worth a flush and some nice fresh oil. Drain with the wheels spinning to get any lumps out!

You know what, reading your comment on the vacuum or servo hose reminds me of so many many vdubs on here and that I've worked on that have had the misfire symptoms you mentioned. Even the mk2 has the same fault, where the join to the manifold gives up, sucks in additional air and then runs lean. Then eventually burns out the valve exactly like you describe. On the mk4, there was a recall for the vacuum hose. SMH.

Yeah loads of pics please!

Edited by mk2
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37 minutes ago, ObjectiveAway said:

Like from me, well done.

My Lupo's 1.4 8V MPI (AUD) engine is noisy like diesel, however compression was well, after reading this I know some lifters are definitely dead.

If the lifters are really bad it will eventually chew up the cam and journals (bad as I believe the AUD is the same and incorporates the rocker cover as cam box). 

Lifters are about £50 a set new, I think I have 7 spare AUC ones you would be welcome to that are known good but require cleaning. That's if the lifters are the same on both engines. 

Pretty much would require some dirko sealer, lifters, timing belt, tensioners and water pump to sort it and well worth the job.

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36 minutes ago, Chonpy_snake said:

Pretty much would require some dirko sealer, lifters, timing belt, tensioners and water pump to sort it and well worth the job.

I already have new timing belt kit from INA installed, new lifters are coming next, I cant decide to eighter buy another head and prepare it before instaling or replace just the lifters and forget about it. 8 INA lifters coasts less than 25£, KOLBENSCHMIDT about 35£, i will buy new ones, thank you for offering your spare ones.

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Advice would be (if you have the ability) have the head at least checked. 

Get a compression test and a leakdown test done to be sure there are no valve or guide issues present.

These engines really do have an amazing appetit for burning exhaust valves and wearing valve guides.

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Photos I could find that were taken of the work as it was being done.


The original cylinder head that was removed. Cylinder 1 valve in a bad way and the rest well on the way.Screenshot_20201215_002103_com.android.gallery3d.thumb.jpg.47ed662adb7321458e0b048b8a45d7e4.jpg


Closer view of that cylinder 1 exhaust valve that sort of shows what happens as they burn out. It is no longer round either.Screenshot_20201215_002112_com.android.gallery3d.thumb.jpg.88cac3b0509f139f425d369c468fb77f.jpg

This just shows the camshaft that had to have the bearing faces polished and the lovely skim job on the top face.Screenshot_20201215_002125_com.android.gallery3d.thumb.jpg.44747d5e3a08a9f320d855419aab70a7.jpg

Everything just about back together, complete with new water pump visible. The Circoli water pump has a metal impeller instead of the VW standard plastic one.Screenshot_20201215_002051_com.android.gallery3d.thumb.jpg.69b0a9def20e2f5f963d2adb0384043b.jpg

The reason we should always change the water pump when doing the belt ....IMG_20201210_142312.thumb.jpg.246a2ae45928d9bc923f4e0907e2c48a.jpg

Mileage at completion ...Screenshot_20201215_002135_com.android.gallery3d.thumb.jpg.277236ece15d6bf5d47df24eaafeabc4.jpg

That's the rest of the photos I have that weren't to hand on the original post.


January 30th I have a booking at the body shop for replacing the lower drivers door hinge. £40 all in as I am supplying the part. After removing the swine from the donor car I decided it best to let a professional do the swap. I don't want to disturb the wing and my double hex sockets are too big for the space available 

Edited by Chonpy_snake
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My mind is wandering towards an engine swap.

This is dangerous territory as I'm well aware due to wiring issues and the like.

Luckily for me I understand wiring to a high enough degree to splice looms if needed and have done a few conversions in the past. 

I just can't decide what to look at fitting .... I certainly don't feel that the car needs 200bhp. But it would be nice to have a bit more grunt. It's quick enough for what it is with the 1.0 MPI, certainly more capable of hauling itself around than it was before I had the head reworked.

Main points are to keep it looking as sleeper as possible, a relatively easy swap would be preferable (possibly rules out the 20v t), something different would be nice .... Maybe a 1.4tsi as fitted to the Octavia with the little turbo. It's a good compact unit and relatively quick.

Just pondering with it at the moment as I have a feeling 2021 is going to be boring. 

Suggestions on a postage stamp and levels of difficulty if you please. These things usually are best planned for a longer term build in my experience. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like I have to take the top off the little 1.0 again. 

I have an oil leak from 2 points on the rocker cover. The usual one near the oil filler cap and another around the centre head bolt. 

Another timing belt kit and a set of new lifters this time me thinks.

Anyone any experience of the ability of sorting this without the cam springing out of place? 

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Cover maybe, but not entire head surely?

I don't think the car can take much more than 150hp-ish. At least not without it becoming difficult to handle. It is short wheel based after all. And front wheel drive. From lupos I've tried that have been modded, I'd say the gti has the best balance of power and torque- and drivability. You want to move away from the 085 box too.

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Yeah just the cover, it's just a pain in the balls being part of the carrier assembly and holding the cam in place on these later AUC engines. From existing experience the cam just wants to jump free as you remove the cover and I was hoping there may be a workaround to avoid all the fuss 🤷🏻‍♂️

As far as gearboxes are concerned the only contender I have found is the 02m but they all seem to be hydraulic clutch and cable shift. I gather these are not straight swap and need the shift cables and some pipework and a different clutch pedal setup. Got to be an easier option short of buying a GTi.... I don't want a GTi due to the premium on them and the lack of available vehicles.



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