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16V fuel rail access! (AND distributor!)

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If you own a 16V, or are going to work on a 16V, most likely at some point you are going to have to remove the fuel rail for one reason or another. When you pop the hood and you find it, that's when you want to shut the hood and walk away!


FEAR NOT! I have come to share knowledge!


The factory service manual is about as useless as a 3rd elbow on your forehead when it comes to describing how to gain access to this thing, and unless you are using child slave labor, or are Gumby, it's actually not possible to do it their way!


Here is how to do it:

Step 1: As with all projects, be safe, *discharge the fuel system pressure and disconnect the battery.*

Step 2: Make sure the engine is cool

Step 3: Carefully remove the vacuum harness from the ports under the plenum

Step 4: Lift the front of the car so you can get under it safely

Step 5: From underneath the car, unbolt the bottom of the front intake brace and disconnect the knock sensor

Step 6: Unbolt the A/C compressor from the mount, disconnect the A/C clutch electrical connector, carefully move the compressor out of the way (manipulation of some hoses may be needed) *DO NOT DISCHARGE THE A/C*!

Step 7: Disconnect the fuel injector and knock IAS harness.

Step 8: Unbolt the top of the intake manifold brace and remove it from the engine bay

Step 9: Unbolt the rail from the intake manifold and pull towards the front of the car

Step 10: Disconnect the soft fuel hoses and maneuver the rail out of the engine bay


That Step 6: removing the A/C compressor, yeah, that is a game changer! It allows you to be able to actually get in and work. You now also have room to get to the distributor!


The front intake manifold brace may or may not be present on your car. It is very common for it to be left off as it is considered redundant and in the way.


You MUST use sealant on the bottom bolt threads of the intake brace as this hole opens into the crankcase and WILL leak oil if you don't.


Notice: I didn't take the fan out, I didn't drain the coolant, and I only got under the car once (no counting putting it back together)


When I went to put the A/C compressor back on, I found that I had to put the lower "front" bolt in and thread it first, otherwise it would NOT start, no matter what.


In the words of Chilton's: installation is the reverse procedure




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