VW Timing Belt Installation

Written by james marshall
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A timing belt synchronises the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft, so that the cylinder valves open and close in the correct sequence. It is quieter than a timing chain but requires replacement at regular intervals, typically every 60,000 miles. The procedure for installing the timing belt in a late-model Volkswagen depends on the engine rather than the specific model. A four-cylinder 1.8-litre model is a common engine size in a late-model Volkswagen.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wrench and socket set
  • 5mm bolt
  • Hex wrench
  • Torx wrench
  • 2-pin spanner wrench

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Disconnect the negative battery cable with a socket wrench to prevent the engine from starting. Rotate the belt tensioner for the alternator clockwise with a wrench to release the tension on the serpentine drive belt for the alternator. Detach the drive belt and release the belt tensioner.

  2. 2

    Hold the pulley for the viscous fan in place with a 5mm bolt, and remove the mounting bolts for the fan with a hex wrench. Disconnect the viscous fan assembly, and remove the upper cover for the timing belt with a socket wrench.

  3. 3

    Turn the centre bolt on the crankshaft clockwise with a socket wrench to align the timing mark on the camshaft with the timing mark on the cylinder head cover. Remove the bolts that fasten the crankshaft damper to the crankshaft bolts and detach the damper.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the cover for the lower timing belt. Push the timing belt tensioner downward with a Torx wrench to release the tension on the timing belt. Detach the timing belt from its sprockets.

  5. 5

    Turn the crankshaft sprocket to align the timing marks again if necessary. Place the new timing belt onto the crankshaft sprocket so that the arrow on the timing belt points in the clockwise direction. Replace the lower cover for the timing belt with a socket wrench.

  6. 6

    Connect the crankshaft damper to the crankshaft with a socket wrench and align the timing mark on the crankshaft with the timing mark on the crankshaft housing. Install the timing belt onto the camshaft sprocket and timing belt tensioner in that order.

  7. 7

    Turn the number one cylinder on the timing belt tensioner clockwise with a 2-pin spanner wrench until the cylinder is fully extended. Tighten the mounting bolt on the timing belt tensioner by hand. Turn the crankshaft two complete turns clockwise with a socket wrench.

  8. 8

    Hold the timing belt tensioner in place with the spanner wrench and tighten the mounting bolt for the tensioner with a socket wrench. Complete the installation of the crankshaft damper to the crankshaft.

  9. 9

    Turn the crankshaft two full turns clockwise to align the timing marks for the crankshaft and camshaft. Replace the upper cover for the timing belt with a socket wrench and install the viscous fan assembly. Attach the drive belt for the alternator and connect the negative battery cable with a socket wrench.

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