Basic Tasks: Removing the Belly Pan
Removing the shield that protects the bottom the of the engine is easy and grants access to front, bottom and side of engine from underneith the van. Volkswagen calls this shield the "Radiator Support Splash Shield" which is part number 7D0805685L. Removing the belly pan is necessary for changing the oil.
Time:Under 15 min
Tools:Sockets: 13mm, 10mm; ratchet extensions
1. The front includes the radiator and bumper frame. Many tasks can be completed simply by removing the front grills and leaving the bumper in place. If your goal is complete removal of the front including the bumper you'll need to remove the belly pan. DUH! Never get under a van (or anything else heavy) that isn't well supported! The front of the van should be at a slight elevation before removing the pan because the pan should swing down slightly to unhook from the back. While raising the van isn't strictly necessary it will reduce the difficulty significanly. ROAD TIP: If you need to make an emergency repair on the road there are lots of ways to get the van front high enough to remove the pan. Use a tall curb or incline. Just be super careful: e-break, chuck the wheel, etc.
2. There are 4 (13mm) bolts and 2 (10mm) nuts securing the pan to the frame. The bolts are found two on each side and the two nuts are towards the rear of the pan. Crawl under the van and remove these 4 bolts and 2 nuts. You'll want to use an extension for the 2 (13mm) bolts on each side. TIP: The 2 (10mm) nuts may be missing as they tend to rattle or rust off over time.
3. The front of the pan is secured with a clip and the rear of the pan is secured with 2 hooks. Release the front clip by pushing up on the pan and pushing back on the clip. This should result in the front of the pan swinging down by the rear clips. The rear of the pan is unhooked by pulling the pan forward out from under the front of the van. If the pan isn't swung down enough pulling the pan forwards will prove difficult. TIP: If you can't get the pan to slide forwards, try lifting the van higher so the pan will swing down more. You can always reclip the front of the pan temporarily while you increase the height.