Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Timing Belt

Print

Timing belts are designed to last 60,000-75,000 miles (96,000-120,000 km). If the vehicle has been stored for long periods (2 years or more), the belt should be changed before returning the vehicle to service.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8


WARNING
Do not turn the engine or camshaft with the timing belt removed. The pistons may contact the valves and cause internal engine damage.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: A common timing belt and gear arrangement used on Volkswagen 4-cylinder gasoline engines



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Timing belt and gears used on diesel engines

Dasher, Fox, Quantum and 1975-84 Rabbit, Scirocco and Jetta

Timing belt installation will be less confusing if the engine is set for TDC (Top Dead Center) of cylinder No. 1 prior to belt removal or replacement.

  1. Remove front belt cover(s).
  2.  
  3. Turn the engine until the 0 or TDC mark on the flywheel is aligned with the stationary pointer on the bell housing. On 4-cylinder engines, turn the camshaft until the mark on the rear of the sprocket is aligned with the upper edge of the rear drive belt cover at the left side of the engine. On 5-cylinder engines, turn the camshaft until the mark on the sprocket lines up with the left side edge of the camshaft housing. The notch on the crankshaft pulley should align with the dot on the intermediate shaft sprocket. Remove the distributor cap; the distributor rotor should be pointing toward the mark on the rim of the distributor housing.
  4.  
  5. Remove the crankshaft pulley(s).
  6.  
  7. On 4-cylinder engines, hold the large nut on the tensioner pulley and loosen the smaller pulley lock nut. Turn the tensioner counterclockwise to relieve the tension on the timing belt.
  8.  
  9. On 5-cylinder engines, loosen the water pump bolts and turn the pump clockwise to relieve timing belt tension.
  10.  
  11. Slide the timing belt from the pulleys.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Install timing belt and retension the belt by the turning the pulley or water pump. Reinstall the crankshaft pulley(s). Recheck alignment of timing marks. Torque the tensioner nut to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Check the timing belt tension. The tension is correct when the belt can be twisted 90 degrees with the thumb and index finger. Check this along the straight run between the camshaft sprocket and the water pump.
  4.  
  5. Turn the engine two complete revolutions (clockwise rotation) and align the flywheel mark at TDC. Recheck belt tension and timing marks. Readjust as required.
  6.  
  7. Reinstall the cam belt cover and drive belts.
  8.  
  9. If the belt is too tight, there will be a growling noise that rises and falls with engine speed.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Align the notch on the camshaft sprocket with the edge of the cylinder head on 8-valve engines



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Aligning the notches on the intermediate shaft sprocket and crankshaft pulley



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Aligning the sprockets on 16-valve engines



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Tension is correct when the belt can be twisted 90 degrees



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Holding bar used on the back end of the diesel engine camshaft



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Pin holding the injection pump sprocket in place


WARNING
If the timing marks are not correctly aligned with the No. 1 piston at TDC of the compression stroke and the belt is installed, valve timing will be incorrect. Poor performance and possible engine damage can result from improper valve timing.

1985-89 Golf, GTI, Jetta, Cabriolet and Scirocco
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable and remove the accessory drive belts, crankshaft pulley and the timing belt cover(s).
  2.  
  3. Temporarily reinstall the crankshaft pulley bolt and turn the crankshaft to TDC of No. 1 piston. The mark on the camshaft sprocket should be aligned with the mark on the inner timing belt cover or the edge of the cylinder head.
  4.  
  5. With the distributor cap removed, the rotor should be pointing toward the No. 1 mark on the rim of the distributor housing. On 8-valve engines, the notch on the crankshaft pulley should align with the dot on the intermediate shaft sprocket.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the locknut on the tensioner pulley and turn the tensioner counterclockwise to relieve the tension on the timing belt.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Check the alignment of the timing marks. On 16-valve engines, the mark on the tooth should align with the mark on the rear belt cover.
  2.  
  3. Install the new timing belt. Engage the flats of the large pulley nut with an open end wrench and loosen the smaller pulley locknut. Tension the belt by turning the tensioner in a clockwise direction. The belt should be able to be twisted 90 degrees at the middle of its longest section, between the camshaft and intermediate sprockets.
  4.  

On some engines, the tensioner may not have the large pulley nut. Instead, a spanner wrench is used to engage the 2 holes in the tensioner.

  1. Recheck the alignment of the timing marks and, if correct, turn the engine 2 full revolutions to return to TDC of No. 1 piston. Recheck belt tension and timing marks. Readjust as required. Torque the tensioner nut to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the belt cover and accessory drive belts.
  4.  
  5. If the belt is too tight, there will be a growling noise that rises and falls with engine speed.
  6.  

Diesel Engines

Some special tools are required. A flat bar, VW tool no. 2065A, is used to secure the camshaft in position. A pin, VW tool no. 2064, is used to fix the pump position while the timing belt is removed. The camshaft and pump work against spring pressure and will move out of position when the timing belt is removed. It is not difficult to find substitutes, but do not remove the timing belt without these tools.


WARNING
Do not turn the engine or camshaft with the timing belt removed. The pistons will contact the valves and cause internal engine damage.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable and remove the accessory drive belts, crankshaft pulley and the timing belt cover(s). Remove the camshaft cover and rubber plug at the back end of the camshaft.
  2.  
  3. Temporarily reinstall the crankshaft pulley bolt and turn the crankshaft to TDC of No. 1 cylinder. The mark on the camshaft sprocket should be aligned with the mark on the inner timing belt cover or the edge of the cylinder head.
  4.  
  5. With the engine at TDC, insert the bar (VW 2065A) into the slot at the back of the camshaft. The bar rests on the cylinder head to will hold the camshaft in position.
  6.  
  7. Insert the pin (VW 2064) into the injection pump drive sprocket to hold the pump in position.
  8.  
  9. Loosen the locknut on the tensioner pulley and turn the tensioner counterclockwise to relieve the tension on the timing belt. Slide the timing belt from the sprockets.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the new timing belt and adjust the tension so the belt can be twisted 45 degrees at a point between the camshaft and pump sprockets. Torque the tensioner nut to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Remove the holding tools.
  4.  
  5. Turn the engine 2 full revolutions to return to TDC of No. 1 piston. Recheck belt tension and timing mark alignment, readjust as required.
  6.  
  7. Install the belt cover and accessory drive belts.
  8.  
  9. If the belt is too tight, there will be a growling noise that rises and falls with engine speed.
  10.  

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo