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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old June 12th, 2018, 22:52   #1
Internaut
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Unhappy Another timing belt problem thread

So I've reached a bit of a stall/snag during my timing belt replacement on my 98 Jetta AHU.. I just got the car a month ago and have already spent way more than I had planned on maintenance, but oh well. So I just gone done changing the clutch and went to test drive but I noticed a **** ton of white smoke with a horrendous smell coming from the engine bay.. so I took a good 5 minutes of pondering and found out it was coming from the timing belt area. I peel the cover back and after letting all the smoke billow out, I noticed that the tensioner was halfway ripped apart, and the timing belt was literally melting onto the pulleys. Thankfully I caught it soon enough before the belt actually snapped. I shut it down as soon as I noticed what was going on and pushed it into the shop.
So I pulled it all apart, and tried turning the crank to find TDC on the flywheel. I got about 1/2 of a full revolution and then it stopped. And I don't think it was the compression I was fighting, I think the valves were hitting pistons.. I had a long ass pipe on a 1/2" ratchet and if I had pulled any harder I probably would have stripped the ratchet out.. But that just didn't make any sense to me.. the car ran perfectly fine before I stripped her all down.. could there have been interference, but not enough to cause significant damage? And then me being an idiot cut the belt thinking maybe it was the tensioner getting caught up, (the plastic part that the belt rode on had been completely ripped off and wedged into the belt). so now I have no idea how to get TDC on the crank and the camshaft without the belt there.. I didn't think to make any markings.. and I also didn't think to check if my new flywheel had a TDC notch before installing, so I have no idea if it even does. I tried to find the notch but again whenever I turn the crank far enough it stops when it runs into the valves.. Also the intermediate shaft pulley seemed to somehow be siezed..? I pushed and pulled both directions on the bolt while the belt was off and it wouldn't budge.. is it supposed to be like that? I pulled off the valve cover and turned the cam until #1 was in the "v shape".. that's supposed to be TDC no?
My head is just spinning right now and I don't know what to do.. This is only the 2nd TB job I've ever done and the 1st one I did was on a Hyundai which was super easy.. I would think if I could replace a clutch I could replace a timing belt but apparently not..
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Old June 13th, 2018, 04:34   #2
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So the belt was still on, and presumably in time (or at least close enough), and you removed it BEFORE putting the engine at TDC?

If so, that was a mistake, however not a really huge one.

For safety sake, and the fact that it is not all that hard to do, I would remove the cam caps (carefully, slowly, all in unison, so all the cam caps come up together and no excess tension is on any one of them) and get the cam out. That way, you KNOW 100% at that point ALL the valves are closed.

Then you can roll the engine around at will until you find your TDC mark on the flywheel. I'd take #1 or #4 glow plug out, too, and stick a long probe or something down the cylinder so when it comes up, you know you are at least close and you can concentrate your looking in one small area. Hopefully it is easy to see since you just had the clutch/flywheel apart.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 07:48   #3
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One thought I had was it might make sense checking with your clutch supplier to see if they even mark the clutch... before you spend hours looking for a mark that may not be there.

Dunno why, but some don't... last clutch I did, for example.

If there's no mark you'll need to make one... with a reasonable high degree of accuracy... but can cross that bridge if need be. A stick down the hole will get you close but if you need to scribe an actual mark I personally prefer the "valve as a piston stop" method... can describe in more detail if you find out you have no mark to begin with.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 08:41   #4
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A mark on the clutch? Were you thinking flywheel as in an aftermarket flywheel?
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Old June 13th, 2018, 11:07   #5
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Thanks for the replies .. I'll message the FW seller and see if they can get me any info on the TDC notch. So after removing the cam and finding TDC on the crank I would just reinstall the cam and find TDC on it? How would I know where TDC is on the cam? And any thought on the intermediate shaft?
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Old June 13th, 2018, 11:09   #6
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There is no TDC mark on the cam, in gets locked in place with a fixture.

Have you read the procedure on how to do this job? It is pretty easy, and just about foolproof, if you do it correctly with the correct tools.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 11:48   #7
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I did look at the timing belt DIY and I bought the locking tools as well, but apparently I didn't read too in depth.. I think have a little better understanding now.. so I would get the crank at TDC and then get the cam in the "V" shape and then I can lock it up and get the cam sprocket off
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Old June 13th, 2018, 12:43   #8
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Yup, and the way to know the crank is at TDC is the mark on the flywheel, as viewed thru the inspection port in the transmission.

The final jig is the pin that locks the injection pump at TDC... as detailed in the HOW-TO pdf here on this site.

Oh, and to answer your other question the alignment of the intermediate shaft is neither here nor there... the stuff it drives is not TDC-sensitive.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 12:57   #9
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I wasn't worried about the alignment of the intermediate shaft I was just curious as to why I can't move the pulley.. although if that didn't move then wouldn't the engine go BOOM because the intermediate shaft runs the oil pump no? Idk just seems weird that I can't move it
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Old June 13th, 2018, 13:51   #10
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Ah yes, buried in your initial post.

Yes, the intermediate shaft should be able to turn, and yes you'll want to sort out why before going much further.

It drives the oil pump... which can seize... and also the vacuum pump, which can also seize.

Perhaps start with the vacuum pump... one 13mm bolt and it will pop up and out like a distributor from days of old.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 12:38   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Waldon View Post
Ah yes, buried in your initial post.

Yes, the intermediate shaft should be able to turn, and yes you'll want to sort out why before going much further.

It drives the oil pump... which can seize... and also the vacuum pump, which can also seize.

Perhaps start with the vacuum pump... one 13mm bolt and it will pop up and out like a distributor from days of old.
So I got the intermediate shaft moving.. I had to slip a cheater pipe on my ratchet to get it to move, is it normal for it to have that much resistance? When I did my oil pan gasket I took off the pickup tube to clean it out and for some reason I took out the little housing underneath the tube (has two gears in it and a shaft that I'm assuming connects to the intermediate shaft). I'm starting to think that maybe I put that housing back in the wrong way or I tightened it too much.. although if the intermediate shaft wasnt moving when I had the car on, wouldn't I get rod knock almost instantly from having no oil pumped through? And I ran it for a good 10 minutes and didn't hear anything.. I just don't want to have to take all the timing belt components apart again after installing if that pulley decides it doesnt want to move..
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Old June 15th, 2018, 12:43   #12
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The I-shaft should spin easily. You have a problem.

Take the vacuum pump out, see if the I-shaft spins freely then.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 13:08   #13
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Sorry stupid question incoming.. but where is this vacuum pump?
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Old June 15th, 2018, 13:14   #14
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Front of the block,toward the driver side. Follow the power brake vacuum line.
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Saying no to gas for 25 years:

Current: 02 Jetta, Auto; 98 Jetta, 5 Spd; 98 Dodge, 5 Spd, SB, 4x4; 84 Grand Wagoneer with Nissan SD33T, NV4500, Dana 300, Reverse Cut Dana 44, Dana 60

The Black Sheep (Only gasser): 85 CJ, 4.2 w/4.0 Head and Mopar FI.

Past: 85 Mitsubishi PU, 4D55T; 81 Rabbit, 1.6; 80 Dasher, 1.5; 79 Rabbit, 1.5
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Old June 15th, 2018, 13:29   #15
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Wow thanks I feel stupid now haha.. pump is out and the helical gear moves freely, no damage on the teeth or anything. I the other helical gear inside there.. same thing, moves freely and no damaged teeth, and the shaft from the oil pickup moves freely as well.. pulley moves smooth as butter.. my guess is when I put the oil pickup back on that shaft wasn't seated correctly in the vacuum pump.. that makes sense why it was so hard to bolt down... facepalm. I knew I shouldnt have taken that damn housing out
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