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Old 11-16-2010, 07:44 PM   #23
Lsmaclea
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It all has to do the with ability of the belt to "stretch". As mentioned in my timing tips, it is possible to have the crankshaft and cam gears both aligned on the markings, with the belt being one tooth off in either direction. This is just one of the hassles of having a belt, which due to it's construction and materials, does NOT have a definite circumference; it stretches.

I have only replaced one timing belt myself before (00' AVH 2.0 Golf) so my technical background is limited, but I still am not sure I agree with you ZachL. I have a thought I'll try to explain below:

If the timing belt on the motor is off by even just one tooth, the timing is way out of whack.

Therefore, there is an exact number of teeth that MUST be on each side of the pulley system. That number is the same for the old, and replacement belt.

Therefore, if someone marks the old belt to the pulleys well, and transfers the marks to the new belt properly, doesn't rotate the pulleys at all, and then installs the new belt such that the marks line up perfectly to the pulleys, I don't see any way for the timing to be off. You've ensured that the same number of belt teeth are between the marks you made. Therefore, the timing must be right.

IMHO, this is the best way to change the belt. Using the marks appropriately, you can assure yourself that the old belt is in exactly the same (and also correct) positioning as the old belt. This guarantees proper timing.

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BTW, the only reason for rotating the crank 720 is because it rotates the cam 360, bring the only factory markings back in line to compare with your drawn markings.
This makes sense to me now. Clever way of double checking. I guess you could bolt the pulley back on just to check. Just use two bolts, and don't torque'em too tight. But I'd have to agree with you, mark the pulley to the block for ease and accuracy.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:11 PM   #24
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Zach L This is a very helpful post, you have saved me quite some money on repair costs. I was wondering on how to change the camshaft seal since you did not mention it.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:35 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Lsmaclea View Post
I have only replaced one timing belt myself before (00' AVH 2.0 Golf) so my technical background is limited, but I still am not sure I agree with you ZachL. I have a thought I'll try to explain below:

If the timing belt on the motor is off by even just one tooth, the timing is way out of whack.

Therefore, there is an exact number of teeth that MUST be on each side of the pulley system. That number is the same for the old, and replacement belt.

Therefore, if someone marks the old belt to the pulleys well, and transfers the marks to the new belt properly, doesn't rotate the pulleys at all, and then installs the new belt such that the marks line up perfectly to the pulleys, I don't see any way for the timing to be off. You've ensured that the same number of belt teeth are between the marks you made. Therefore, the timing must be right.

IMHO, this is the best way to change the belt. Using the marks appropriately, you can assure yourself that the old belt is in exactly the same (and also correct) positioning as the old belt. This guarantees proper timing.



This makes sense to me now. Clever way of double checking. I guess you could bolt the pulley back on just to check. Just use two bolts, and don't torque'em too tight. But I'd have to agree with you, mark the pulley to the block for ease and accuracy.
I see marking the gears as a non-optional must do. Yes, marking the belt is an additional step that would be helpful.

Whether you mark the belt before installation or just rotate the crank 720, finding out if your timing is off by a tooth is not the hard part. The hard part is physically putting the belt on the correct tooth. Refer back to me talking about slightly spinning the crank back counter-clockwise just a tad. BTW, even if marking the belt, I'd still go through the step of rotating the crank 720 as a fool-proof cautionary measure to make sure everything is timed.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:18 PM   #26
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Thank you for this great DIY, Zach!
I'm a stealership hater and you saved me serious $. :)
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:59 AM   #27
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ZachL, I completely agree that marking the crank pulley to the block, and rotating the newly installed belt 720 degrees is a must. Using that approach, as well as a careful, methodical, belt to pulley marking system, you can "measure twice, cut once." Putting the new belt on such that the marks line up is a pain, and takes some elbow grease. But I'd be happy to struggle a bit to put the new belt on, if I knew the new belt was going back on with the right timing, the first time.

For anyone who wants to read a good explanation about marking the belts to the pulleys, have a look at:

http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...!-Pics-Inside!

This DIY is for a 2.0 8V motor, but the concept is the same, and the author gives a great explanation of the belt marking approach.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:55 AM   #28
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Thank you for this great DIY, Zach!
I'm a stealership hater and you saved me serious $. :)
Haha ...that's why I did it. Good to hear!
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:14 PM   #29
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Anybody else have feedback on doing this job? This DIY is great, but it's always nice to have more inputs.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:42 PM   #30
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Anybody else have feedback on doing this job? This DIY is great, but it's always nice to have more inputs.

Hi all! Yes, I have some feedback on this job as I've just done one on a 2.0 turbo fsi. I found this thread when I was having trouble getting the engine mounting bracket out past the cambelt cover and inner wing. The op said it just comes out but the one I was working on didn't, and there was no way it would have without removing the battery and battery tray and then loosening off (but not removing) the three (18 mm) bolts on the engine mount which is below the battery. Once this is done the engine moves over just enough to get the mount on the cambelt side out, it's still a bit of a squeeze though.
I'm a mechanic and was trained by VW in the eighties and have done thousands of cam belts on most makes of car (some Alfa Romeos can be a bit 'challenging' )
I thought the op was very well done and anyone following it as a guide shouldn't go wrong. IMO the most important advice is turning the crank 2 revolutions after the new belts been fitted then checking the marks and the belt tension.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:37 PM   #31
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Hi all! Yes, I have some feedback on this job as I've just done one on a 2.0 turbo fsi. I found this thread when I was having trouble getting the engine mounting bracket out past the cambelt cover and inner wing. The op said it just comes out but the one I was working on didn't, and there was no way it would have without removing the battery and battery tray and then loosening off (but not removing) the three (18 mm) bolts on the engine mount which is below the battery. Once this is done the engine moves over just enough to get the mount on the cambelt side out, it's still a bit of a squeeze though.
I'm a mechanic and was trained by VW in the eighties and have done thousands of cam belts on most makes of car (some Alfa Romeos can be a bit 'challenging' )
I thought the op was very well done and anyone following it as a guide shouldn't go wrong. IMO the most important advice is turning the crank 2 revolutions after the new belts been fitted then checking the marks and the belt tension.
Thanks for the input. I've done a couple of these timing belts now. I've never had to loosen the transmission mount (as you mention), but it is always a VERY tight fit pulling the bracket out.

There is a black plastic shell that covers the fuel line connections in that area. It is this plastic "box" thing that gets in the way. Applying a large amount of elbow grease will allow it to slip through.

BTW, as I mention in the original post, having less flexible aftermarket engine mounts would probably necessitate disconnection of the transmission mount and/or the downpipe. Either will allow greater engine movement.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:57 AM   #32
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Thanks for the input. I've done a couple of these timing belts now. I've never had to loosen the transmission mount (as you mention), but it is always a VERY tight fit pulling the bracket out.

There is a black plastic shell that covers the fuel line connections in that area. It is this plastic "box" thing that gets in the way. Applying a large amount of elbow grease will allow it to slip through.

BTW, as I mention in the original post, having less flexible aftermarket engine mounts would probably necessitate disconnection of the transmission mount and/or the downpipe. Either will allow greater engine movement.
I'm wondering if the us spec left hand drive models have a bit more room on the timing belt side because the car I worked on was completely unmodified but there was absolutely no way that the mount could be removed without loosening the transmission mount first.
I can remember doing a cambelt on a mk 4 20v golf and struggling to get the mount out but it came out eventually without undoing anything else (that's the one with the hydraulic tensioner that doesn't come in the cambelt kit over here, the joy!!)
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:47 AM   #33
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sub'd. going to need this in a couple of days. thanks for the write up !!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:19 PM   #34
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nice work on the DIY. looks like it took a fair amount of effort to do
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:32 AM   #35
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Awesome diy, so glad someone wrote it up. I plan on taking care of mine within the next few weeks.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:12 PM   #36
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About to do another one of these as well.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:06 PM   #37
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Very detailed DIY here sir, Thanks you putting it together. I will very likely follow it when it comes time to do mine. If I dont have it done when the dealer fixes the cam follower. If they have to replace the head due to damage they might as well do the belt since they have to take it off anyway to remove the head.


Well if they dont try to charge me full labor for the job that is.
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:03 PM   #38
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This weekend I did another timing belt job for a guy out in Katy. Also installed one of my PCV solutions I'm about to make a DIY for soon. He had an air conditioned garage for me to work in... woot!!

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Very detailed DIY here sir, Thanks you putting it together. I will very likely follow it when it comes time to do mine. If I dont have it done when the dealer fixes the cam follower. If they have to replace the head due to damage they might as well do the belt since they have to take it off anyway to remove the head.


Well if they dont try to charge me full labor for the job that is.
I cross-posted this DIY on EAG as well

If you end up needing someone to do your TB, need your valves hand scrubbed, etc. just LMK. I'm very competitively priced. There's a guy driving down from Ohio on the 23rd for me to work on his car, but other than that I'm free.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:07 PM   #39
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Where does one get replacement allen bolts for the crank pulley?
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:34 AM   #40
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Where does one get replacement allen bolts for the crank pulley?
The dealership.


Oh and I just did this, this past weekend. Everything on the DIY was good for my 08 GTI, with just a couple of differences. My timing cover doesn't have that little window you took out on yours. Also it has two bolts holding the bottom half on under the engine mount bracket which was a serious PITA because we couldn't get the bracket out without getting the bottom half of the cover off. Also the crankshaft pulley was held on by triple square bolts instead of allen bolts on mine. Got lucky that the person who was helping me out had them. Had to also put the original timing belt tensioner back in because the cheap new one got completely stripped pretty easily too, no big deal though it was in good condition and I'll order a new one soon anyway. Other than those differences everything went well, and thanks to this write up I saved myself a good amount of cash!
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:57 AM   #41
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Nice write up.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:53 AM   #42
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The dealership.


Oh and I just did this, this past weekend. Everything on the DIY was good for my 08 GTI, with just a couple of differences. My timing cover doesn't have that little window you took out on yours. Also it has two bolts holding the bottom half on under the engine mount bracket which was a serious PITA because we couldn't get the bracket out without getting the bottom half of the cover off. Also the crankshaft pulley was held on by triple square bolts instead of allen bolts on mine. Got lucky that the person who was helping me out had them. Had to also put the original timing belt tensioner back in because the cheap new one got completely stripped pretty easily too, no big deal though it was in good condition and I'll order a new one soon anyway. Other than those differences everything went well, and thanks to this write up I saved myself a good amount of cash!
Yes there are 2 versions of the plastic timing belt cover - one is a 1 piece cover with the window up top, the other is a 2-piece cover without the window.

Be glad you have the 2-piece... I've done both and would much rather the 2-piece. Like you said, you had a hard time removing the bottom piece to get the mount bracket out... well, with the 1-piece version it's impossible (obviously) to remove anything. The bracket must be removed with the belt cover still on. Best thing to do is to remove all the bolts from the 1-piece cover to allow it to move around while removing the bulky engine mount bracket.

When I do my timing belt for the second time I'll probably replace my cover with a newer 2-piece version and cut the old one out!
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:55 AM   #43
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Yes there are 2 versions of the plastic timing belt cover - one is a 1 piece cover with the window up top, the other is a 2-piece cover without the window.

Be glad you have the 2-piece... I've done both and would much rather the 2-piece. Like you said, you had a hard time removing the bottom piece to get the mount bracket out... well, with the 1-piece version it's impossible (obviously) to remove anything. The bracket must be removed with the belt cover still on. Best thing to do is to remove all the bolts from the 1-piece cover to allow it to move around while removing the bulky engine mount bracket.

When I do my timing belt for the second time I'll probably replace my cover with a newer 2-piece version and cut the old one out!
Yea didn't think about that, must be a PITA being one piece.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:07 AM   #44
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Nice write up.
Thanks, I've used my fair share of DIYs so I owed it.
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