Determining Head Gasket Hole Size

When replacing a head gasket on any motor it is vital to know the thickness of the head gasket on the car. Even though engines are made to exacting measurements, small variations can add up. To deal with the variation in block height, piston and bearing size there are are different thickness head gaskets. It is often impossible to know which head gasket you need based on the model year or VIN since the judgement was often made on the spot during the engine build.

Its easy to find your head gasket thickness. The thickness of the gasket is denoted by “holes”, e.g “1 Hole”, “2 Hole” or “3 Hole” thickness. The holes are physical, circular holes that are stamped into a small tab on the gasket. Follow the break to find the head gasket size on your TDI.

Step one is get to the front of your vehicle.

2002 Jetta TDI Front

Front Of Car...Clearly

Step two, open the hood…

TDI ALH Engine Cover

TDI ALH Engine Cover

Remove the engine cover. On many models this requires a 10mm socket ro remove three 10mm nuts. They are located under the circular plastic caps in a triangle shape, they are visible in the above photo.

TDI Engine

Green Circle is the area we are concerned with...

With the engine cover off we are going to look between the injection pump and the engine, the area indicated by the Green square. Some model TDIs don’t have an injection pump, so there won’t be anything in front of the engine blocking your view.

Head Gasket Size Tab

Thats the straight above view. You can make out the tab, though its a bit dirty.

Head Gasket Size Close Up

Head Gasket Size Close Up - This is a "2-Hole" head gasket...

The important holes are the circular ones, in this case this tab has 2 circular holes, making it a “2-hole” head gasket. The elongated hole all the way to the left does not count.

Importantly, there are only three sizes – 1, 2, or 3 hole. If you find a tab that doesn’t have a hole, or has 4 holes, you aren’t looking at the right thing. Remember, the elongated hole DOES NOT COUNT.

Here are some common TDI head gasket part numbers:

Vehicle

Size

OEM Part Number

AHU/1Z Head Gaskets – MkIII Jetta TDI & B4 Passat TDI

1 Hole

028103383BP

2 Hole

028103383BQ

3 Hole

028103383BR

ALH Head Gaskets -
MkVI Jetta TDI  ‘99-’03
MkIV Golf TDI ‘99-’03
New Beetle TDI ‘98-’03

1 Hole

038103383H

2 Hole

038103383J

3 Hole

038103383K

BEW Head Gaskets -
MkIV Jetta TDI ’04-’05
MkIV Golf TDI ’04-’06
New Beetle TDI ’04-’06

1 Hole

038103383DE

2 Hole

038103383DF

3 Hole

038103383DG

BRM Head Gaskets -
MkV Jetta TDI ’05-’06, 2009-2010
(same as BEW above)

1 Hole

038103383DE

2 Hole

038103383DF

3 Hole

038103383DG

Sportwagen 2009-2014 CBEA/CJAA,

Golf CJAA 2010-2014,

Jetta CJAA Mk VI 2011-2014

1 Hole

2 Hole

3 Hole

03L103383AQ

03L103383AR

03L103383AS

NMS Passat CKRA (before 6/30/2011)

1 Hole

03L103383AJ

 

2 Hole

03L103383AK

 

3 Hole

03L103383AL

NMS Passat CKRA (after 6/30/2011)

1 Hole

03L103383BM

 

2 Hole

03L103383BN

 

3 Hole

03L103383BP