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Hagerty Employee

Piston Slap: A hotter cam for the dirty diesel?

Jon writes:

Do you know which would be the best replacement camshaft for the BRM engine in my 2006 VW Jetta TDI?  I’ve been told that in 2005–06 VW camshaft suppliers had bad steel in some. I have done oil samples since the car was brand new. I will see on the next sample at 7500 miles. The car has about 162,000 on it. It’s mostly stock; I have a G-force chip added 10 years ago, which I love: It picked up 5 mpg with it; I get 39 mpg (A/C off) in the city!


Sajeev answers:

Now hold on a second!  You don’t need to change a BRM camshaft because it might fail ...


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Advanced Driver

Well said. In other words 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Community Manager

Thank you!  Honestly, I should be that brief in my assessment. 

New Driver

I am that Franko6 and creator of one of the cam kits you are talking about for the VW PD engines.

We get asked about performance gains quite a lot. It is hardly our major concern, as we find the cylinder head engineering faulty for large power upgrades. Our main goal is longevity and economy, NOT big performance. I know that is not what people want to hear, but being 'frank', I ask often enough, "Do you want the bitter truth or a sweet lie?" The truth is cracking in the injector bore can put your cylinder head in the scrap pile. Of the 4,000+ cams we have sold, we have a loss ratio. 1:1000. But that is following our recommendations. We consider a 50% hp upgrade a reasonable limit for this group of engines. More can be done, but life expectancy suffers.

Btw: We also concern ourselves with piston fit. Sizing pistons to fit the bore is a part of our hallmark for highly successful engines.
Community Manager

Thank you for chiming in, Franko6! It's refreshing to hear your priority is longevity and that you tell your potential customers this. I am glad to hear that folks like you still exist in the automotive aftermarket!  

Thank you again for replying, I sincerely appreciate it.