I put "electroshock" in the title for the benefit of those searching for how to free their cam adjuster solenoids.
Longer description of this:
OK, so that procedure requires unfastening the connectors at the back of the engine, rigging up pigtails, and a voltage source (even if just touching pigtail wires to exposed battery terminals.)
If you have VCDS, there are output tests to cycle these solenoids. I have read where people mentioned this as an alternative to direct connection to voltage, but found no good description of how to do it. So here's what I figured out:
WITH THE ENGINE OFF, BUT KEY IN RUN POSITION, Go to the engine controller and look for output tests.
On my 2003 W8, selective tests are not available, only sequential. (I assume this would be true of all W8s.) So you just have to start the first one and click next until you get to the test you want. Starting the next test will stop the previous one.
You want tests 4, 7, 8, and 9. When you get to them listen for the solenoids clicking. Let it run until you think the solenoid is working OK. After the 9th test you can cancel the rest. Here is the order of the output tests:
EVAP purge valve
SAI relay J299
* Bank 1 intake cam adjuster N205
EVAP leak detection pump
Engine mount solenoids N144/N145
* Bank 2 intake cam adjuster N208
* Bank 1 exhaust cam adjuster N318
* Bank 2 exhaust cam adjuster N319
Coolant fan controller 2
Coolant fan controller 1
Relay aux coolant pump
Fuel injector 1
(next seven are the other fuel injectors)
A few more tips on output tests:
It may only let you go through the tests once per "session." Not 100% sure what constitutes a session. Sometimes VCDS may say the tests are not available. If that happens, you may have to exit the controller, if not VCDS entirely, and may have to key off/key on, or maybe even start the engine and stop it again. I had to do that to get the tests to run, but I didn't do it enough times to figure out all the requirements.
The voltage applied to the solenoids by these tests will not be as high as if you directly connect the solenoid to a 12v battery. Some people feel connecting directly to 12v may work better for really stuck solenoids, and some people also connect them with reverse polarity. I don't know whether or not that really helps, but trying the VCDS output tests is definitely easier as a first attempt than the direct connection method described in the link above.
BTW, my solenoids are working fine. I only looked up how to do this for future reference, for the inevitable time they start giving me trouble.