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 FAQ: How to change your GS timing belt (pics included) 
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Joined: January 27 2005, 7:36 PM
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Location: Everett, WA
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Post FAQ: How to change your GS timing belt (pics included)
Ok.. I have skipped a lot of steps here and I also have the benefit of having my engine out on a engine stand. A lot of you will be doing this while your engine is in your car. You will notice that I have already removed everything that would normally have to be removed before you can do the following steps. Alternator tensioner, PS Tensioner, Waterpump pulley and the plastic covers are all gone for this mini write up. The main purpose of this write up is to show you the proper way to remove and install the timing belt alone. So lets get started.


First line up your timing marks. You can see them circled in Red in the picture above.

Next loosen the auto tensioner bolts (bolts 1 & 2) and remove bolt 2 altogether. Now loosen bolt 3 and remove the pulley. Now you can safely remove the timing belt. Now if you bought an entire kit.. you will be wanting to remove and replace the auto tensioner pulley and the two idler pulleys.. these are circled in light blue. Now if you didnt need to get a new hydraulic ram for the auto tensioner.. you will need to collapse it back down so that you can reinstall it. Place the Hydraulic Ram into a vice like you see in the following picture.


Note the holes in the ram and in the housing. You want to make sure that these line up and stay lined up as you slowly compress the ram with the vice. YOU MUST TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS STEP!!! If you try to compress the ram forcefully with the vice you will blow out the seals and ruin the ram. Just turn the vice slowly.. you will be able to feel when the ram releases and then just tighten the vice a bit more.. and repeat until the ram looks like this:


Compress the ram down completely so that the hole of the shaft lines up with the bottom hole on the body (I have no idea why there are two holes on the body LOL) Now you can use a allen wrench or hex wrench and slide it through the two holes. I used a small clip I had laying around.. it should look like this when you have finished:


Now you can reinstall the ram. Place the top bolt in and pivot the bottom of the ram towards the waterpump. Now tight the top bolt snug leaving the bottom bolt out for now. Reassembly is pretty much the reverse of removal. Make sure your timing marks are still aligned. Then install the Timing Belt following this route:

1) Crank
2) Bottom Idler Pulley
3) Front Cam Gear
4) Auto Tensioner
5) Rear Cam Gear

Double check that you have tension between the Crank and the front cam gear, You should also have tension between the Crank and the Rear cam gear.

Now reinstall the top Idler Pulley. Press down on the pulley and hold it in place while you get the bolt started.. This is best done with two people.. it will help prevent cross threading the bolt.

Next you will loosen the top bolt of the auto tensioner and pivot it away from the waterpump to get the bottom bolt to align. Put in the bottom bolt and torque both bolts to spec. Now remove the hex wrench to allow the tensioner ram to engage fully. (You can find more details and the torque specs in the online shop manual)

One last thing.. rotate the engine by hand at least one complete revolution (I like to do 2 revolutions for my own peace of mind) and make certain that your timing marks are still lined up. Trust me.. you dont want to have to take it all apart if you arent lined up right. So double and triple check your marks now before you start putting everything else back together.

Hope this helps make this seem a bit easier for folks :) Cheers


"So long.. and thanks for all the fish!" "Momma says VW Bugs are the devil" "This one time at band camp.. I stuck a flute in my Throttle Body" ;)
"Screw you guys.. I am goin home"

I am the Cranky God of Mods!!! Tremble before my fury!! LOL

July 28 2006, 3:31 PM
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