zero clearance motors

Peter Haddad

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Location
West Haven, CT
TDI
96 Passat, 98 Jetta, 97 Passat, 05 Passat
2005 Passat 2.0 Diesel, 210K miles, bought used at 155K and well maintained, but I don't know if/when a timing belt was done.

last week, Alternator clutch/pulley let go and the belt naturally got torn up and wrapped around the crank pulley.
But that's not the problem
When it happened, the engine stalled and wouldn't start back up. It sounded like it wasn't getting fuel... if I kept cranking, it "wanted to" fire, but wouldn't.
Naturally, I bought belts.
But when looking for an accurate routing diagram, I found this guy whose serpentine broke/tangled at low rpm, and broke his timing belt. ?? here it is...
https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicAdvice/comments/qc8np8
Yikes... hadn't even considered that... but before I spend any more money/time on it, Can anyone tell me if this is a zero clearance motor.
Ever heard of such a thing? I haven't...

Thanks for any info... best... pjh
 

2004LB7

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Location
California
TDI
2006 Jetta
Interference engine might be the word your looking for. And yes they are

I had something similar happen to mine. Acc belt shredded a d wrapped around the engine pulley. A few pieces made it inside the cover and worked their way into the timing belt causing it to skip some teeth. Would almost start but never catch.

I don't remember it it was two or three teeth off but it was enough to cause the valves to kiss the pistons. Had to send the head to Frank.

Take the cover off and check the timing of the belt and see how many teeth it may have jumped. You might be ok if it's only off one, but if it's two or more you might need to pull the head and replace the valves
 

Peter Haddad

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Location
West Haven, CT
TDI
96 Passat, 98 Jetta, 97 Passat, 05 Passat
ugh... thanks.
In my day, the 70's, we called them zero clearance, but with zero clearance, naturally there's interference!
;)
You're now the second guy, you and the link I posted, to whom that happened. I'll take the timing cover off and look, but it looks like I'm the third.
Thanks... best... pjh
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
If the serpentine belt takes out the timing belt the timing belt cover will be damaged, usually at the bottom.
 

2004LB7

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Location
California
TDI
2006 Jetta
If the serpentine belt takes out the timing belt the timing belt cover will be damaged, usually at the bottom.
Not always. Sometimes the timing belt just looses time, or strips a few cogs off. No indication there is any damage until you take the cover off and inspect the belt and timing
 

2004LB7

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Location
California
TDI
2006 Jetta
ugh... thanks.
In my day, the 70's, we called them zero clearance, but with zero clearance, naturally there's interference!
;)
You're now the second guy, you and the link I posted, to whom that happened. I'll take the timing cover off and look, but it looks like I'm the third.
Thanks... best... pjh
There is a thread somewhere around here that has several other people that had the same thing happen. So, while rare, it is a known problem
 

2004LB7

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Location
California
TDI
2006 Jetta
Found my thread with the belt issue

 

Peter Haddad

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Location
West Haven, CT
TDI
96 Passat, 98 Jetta, 97 Passat, 05 Passat
Thanks LB7.
I read through that thread.
Living on social security, one of the reasons I drive a VW diesel, so I'm not sure what to do.
I'm gonna put a serpentine on since I already bought it, and see if it starts. Don't see why it should, but it's free to try and the engine was perfect before the serpentine blew... and that was only because the alternator pulley/clutch let go.
I assumed the problem was the alternator clutch, so I had that taken care of... new pulley/clutch and brushes for $70.
We'll see. I'm praying.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Should be some up your way.
 

noob_tl

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2012
Location
Central Indiana & Western Illinois
TDI
None, sold my 2003 NB
I'm gonna put a serpentine on since I already bought it, and see if it starts.
A properly functioning engine will start just fine without a serpentine belt. If it's not starting, it has nothing to do with any of the accessories that belt drives. The serpentine belt breaking would not have caused the engine to die. You would have lost power steering, A/C, and battery charging, but the engine would have kept running. Unfortunately there must have been other damage, and the timing belt is by far the most likely suspect given that you said the serp belt wrapped around the crank.
I wish I had better news for you, it really sucks to have this happen.
 

JETaah

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
mi 48836
TDI
96 B4V, 2005 BEW Beetle, 2005 Jetta Wagon
Stop! Check the mechanical timing before anything else.
If you keep rotating the engine over a chunk of serpentine belt that is caught in the path of the timing belt it could progressively throw it further off time and cause more damage.
 

Peter Haddad

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Location
West Haven, CT
TDI
96 Passat, 98 Jetta, 97 Passat, 05 Passat
Yeah, I realized that and didn't bother with the serpentine...
contacted the tdi mechanic recommendation in CT... waiting to hear back.
thanks... best
 
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