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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old May 9th, 2012, 20:57   #1
Bran Diezel
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Default A couple ALH TB observations.

I am about 3/4 of the way of wrapping up my timing job on my own car. first off, whoever is using a stubby 5mm hex, a universal joint and 2 extensions is crazy for using all that to get the valve covers off. All you need is a 6" ball hex and you can get the valve cover off in less than 30 seconds.

2nd, not all tensioners are created equal. i noticed when i tore mine down the notches were not lined up but the eyes were in the 10 and 12 position. As I tried to line up my new tensioner the notches didnt line up till the eyes were in the 1 and 3 position and the belt was MEGA WAY SUPER TOO TIGHT. So I pulled up the .pdf manual on this site and noticed the notches lined up when the guys eyes were at 10 and 12. so i set mine back to this way and had just the slightest of belt deflection at the top which felt alot better.

i also think you can measure your belt stretch on this car without a vag com just by locking the cam and crank and looking at where the tdc icon is.

for example mine was about a 1/3 of an inch from the bottom of the window when i started. at full out too much tension it was dead on the bottom of the window, and after i retensioned the belt as mentioned about it was about an 1/8" from the bottom which is what the pics show to be right as well as my autodata timing belt bible.

i was using the new assenmacher cam lock btw
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Old May 10th, 2012, 07:54   #2
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I don't get it. The tensioner is spring loaded. The proper tension is achieved when the marks line up. I never paid any attention to the "eyes". Are you referring to the holes the spanner engages?

Were you winding it up in the clockwise direction?
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Old May 10th, 2012, 08:40   #3
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Something about that tensioner definately sounds...wrong. You may have the adjuster in the right place, and the tension on the belt might feel right, but the spring within the tensioner should make the notch and the button line up. I've done dozens (hundreds?) of ALH timing belts over the years, and never had the tensioner show what you describe. The only thing that I can think of is that the spring arbor lever might not be seated in its hole properly. At any rate, I would inspect the tensioner, removing it if I had to, to find out what is going on there.

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Old May 10th, 2012, 17:58   #4
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you may have a point. the arbor is in the hole, but the tensioner does not spring.

however i was able to spin the inner bearing with the notch independently of the pulley and the part with the spanner holes and not move the arbor. the previous timing belt i had done by a vw shop ran by an ex-dealership guy because i had no vag com or specialty tools and didn't want to mess with it if i didn't have all the equipment.

it had been 90,000 since it was last changed and upon tearing it down the notches were not lined up, and the holes for the spanner wrench are in the same spot they are now. I am not sure what kit he used last time but it was probably a contitech. i know that is oem but I decided to go with the Dayco kit with the reinforced belt.

you can hear just the tiniest of whines coming from it which tells me that the belt is slightly over tensioned. it may be because there is no spring action to the tensioner. in that case i am going to have a dramatically reduced belt life i know. i may get time next week to get back into it and see what is going on. i have installed 1000s of timing belts without a hiccup but this is the first one on a ALH. maybe mine will be the one that bites the dust lol
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Old May 15th, 2012, 09:06   #5
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My motor used to shake for a second after i would shut it off. like the sound of a bad motor mount. not anymore, must have been some slack on the belt vs. injection pump timing.

also a 16mm snap on 3/8 med. length socket is perfect for the back motor mount bolt.

Last edited by Bran Diezel; May 15th, 2012 at 09:18.
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Old May 26th, 2012, 23:32   #6
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I wonder if it's the belt? I went with dayco also and it is way to tight! Water pump failed in 6k miles! Just finished replacing that, I backed the tensioner off a bit just cuz but it is still super tight...
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