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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Timing Belt

Steve Vernon

Time:

8 hours8 hrs

Tab:

$50 to $80

Talent:

*****

Tools:

T30, T25 Torx, 18mm, 16mm, 13mm, 10mm, 8mm wrench and socket, extensions, universal joint, flathead screwdriver, pliers

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

New timing belt

Hot Tip:

Patience, patience, patience

Performance Gain:

Don't grenade your motor

Complementary Modification:

Replace your timing belt tensioner

Volkswagen recommends changing your timing belt every 100,000 miles. The timing belt connects the engines crankshaft with the camshaft. While there are very specific procedures you need to perform to eliminate the possibility of damaging the engine it is still a DIY project if you take your time and pay attention to the details. Note if you do not follow the specific details and line up the crank to cam sprockets incorrectly you can do terminal damage to the engine so just take your time and double check everything as you go. This would also be a good time to replace the tensioner and rollers. Please see our article on timing belt tensioner and roller replacement.

You will need to begin by safely jacking up and supporting the vehicle. Please see our article on safely lifting and supporting your vehicle for further assistance.

Note: there will be several pieces and components missing in the photographs that you will not need to remove. These pieces have been removed for photographic purposes only. You only need to remove what is described in each step. All engine mount bolts and coolant pump bolts are single use only and must be replaced after each use.

If you do not have an after market air induction system you will need to remove the engine cover.
Figure 1

If you do not have an after market air induction system you will need to remove the engine cover. Please see our article on engine cover removal for additional assistance.

You will need to remove the charged air pipe.
Figure 2

You will need to remove the charged air pipe. The charged air pipe and hoses run from the induction system and divert air before it reaches the throttle body (red arrow). This charged air runs through a pipe that is secured by an 8mm bolt (blue arrow) and T30 Torx (green arrow) and enters the interior by a quick release fitting (yellow arrow). Please see our article on charged air pipe removal for further assistance.

Next you will need to remove the under body trays.
Figure 3

Next you will need to remove the under body trays. A great many of these cars have had the engine trays and front side shields removed over the years and not replaced. If you happen to have a car that still has all the under trays and original hardware here is what you need to do. There are four T25 Torx screws (red arrows) on each side holding the tray on, remove them and slide the tray back out of the friction clips (yellow arrows) on the front air dam. Please see our article on under body tray removal for further assistance.

You will need to remove the ribbed belt (yellow arrow) and tensioner (red arrow).
Figure 4

You will need to remove the ribbed belt (yellow arrow) and tensioner (red arrow). Please see our article on ribbed belt removal for additional information.

Remove the timing belt guard to see the belt and sprocket.
Figure 5

Remove the timing belt guard to see the belt and sprocket. Begin by removing the two T30 Torx screws on the top of the guard (red arrows).

The guard is a tight fit so use care not to break it when removing it.
Figure 6

The guard is a tight fit so use care not to break it when removing it. With the guard off (red arrow) you can see the belt and sprocket (yellow arrow).

You need to turn the engine until the notch in the sprocket (red arrow) lines up with the mark on the head (yellow arrow).
Figure 7

You need to turn the engine until the notch in the sprocket (red arrow) lines up with the mark on the head (yellow arrow). Note; someone had marked our sprocket in two places with white but you will be able to see the notch in the sprocket (red arrow).

You can turn the engine over in a clockwise direction by using a 19mm twelve point socket on the nut on the crankshaft (red arrow).
Figure 8

You can turn the engine over in a clockwise direction by using a 19mm twelve point socket on the nut on the crankshaft (red arrow).

Remove the crankshaft pulley.
Figure 9

Remove the crankshaft pulley. Hold the center bolt with a 19mm socket (red arrow) while removing the six 6mm Allen bolts from the pulley (yellow arrow).

The crank pulley has a locating pin opening (red arrow) that correlates with the crank pin (yellow arrow) so you can only install it in one position.
Figure 10

The crank pulley has a locating pin opening (red arrow) that correlates with the crank pin (yellow arrow) so you can only install it in one position.

Remove the five T30 Torx screws on the lower timing belt cover (red arrows).
Figure 11

Remove the five T30 Torx screws on the lower timing belt cover (red arrows). You will not be able to remove the cover yet as you have to remove the motor mounts first.

You are going to have to move the overflow reservoir to get the engine mount out.
Figure 12

You are going to have to move the overflow reservoir to get the engine mount out. If you use care you do not need to drain the coolant tank; separate the small line from the reservoir (green arrow), unplug the electrical connection (yellow arrow) and remove the two T25 Torx screws (red arrows) and set the reservoir out of the way with the top up keeping the reservoir from spilling. If you are nervous about spilling disconnect the hose on the bottom and drain the fluid from the reservoir. Please see our article on replacing your coolant reservoir for additional assistance.

Use a 10mm wrench and remove the fill tube for the windshield reservoir (red arrow).
Figure 13

Use a 10mm wrench and remove the fill tube for the windshield reservoir (red arrow).

You are going to need to support and be able to lift the motor while performing this job.
Figure 14

You are going to need to support and be able to lift the motor while performing this job. Place a piece of wood under the oil pan to help distribute the weight of the motor between the pan and the jack. Place your floor jack towards the right side of the engine and support the weight (red arrow).

Remove the two 13mm bolts holding the bracket between the chassis and motor mount (red arrows).
Figure 15

Remove the two 13mm bolts holding the bracket between the chassis and motor mount (red arrows). Remove the bracket.

Remove the access plug from the right wheel well and remove the 18mm bolt holding the mount to the engine (red arrow).
Figure 16

Remove the access plug from the right wheel well and remove the 18mm bolt holding the mount to the engine (red arrow).

Use a universal joint and an 18mm socket and remove the lower mount to engine bolt (red arrow).
Figure 17

Use a universal joint and an 18mm socket and remove the lower mount to engine bolt (red arrow). You can see in thisPicture the access hole in the fender well for the other bolt (yellow arrow).

Figure 18

Remove the two 18mm bolts from the chassis to engine mount (red arrows)

Remove the two 16mm bolts holding the mount to the chassis (red arrows).
Figure 19

Remove the two 16mm bolts holding the mount to the chassis (red arrows).

You can remove the chassis part of the engine mount (red arrow) from the vehicle.
Figure 20

You can remove the chassis part of the engine mount (red arrow) from the vehicle.

Using the floor jack raise the motor to get enough clearance to access the last 18mm motor mount bolt (red arrow).
Figure 21

Using the floor jack raise the motor to get enough clearance to access the last 18mm motor mount bolt (red arrow).

The bolt is long so you will need enough clearance between the chassis and mount to be able to remove it (red arrow).
Figure 22

The bolt is long so you will need enough clearance between the chassis and mount to be able to remove it (red arrow).

Remove the motor mount from the vehicle.
Figure 23

Remove the motor mount from the vehicle. It is a very tight fit and you will have to raise and lower the motor to get it out. Use caution when raising and lowering the motor and never have your hands, fingers or arms in between the mount and engine and chassis when doing so.

You can now remove the last two T30 Torx screws holding the lower timing belt cover on (red arrows).
Figure 24

You can now remove the last two T30 Torx screws holding the lower timing belt cover on (red arrows).

Remove the lower timing belt cover (red arrow).
Figure 25

Remove the lower timing belt cover (red arrow).

You can now see the entire front of the motor.
Figure 26

You can now see the entire front of the motor. Use a 19mm twelve point (red arrow) to turn the motor clockwise and ensure the witness mark on the cam sprocket (yellow arrow) lines up with the witness mark on the head (green arrow).

With the timing belt lined up on the head make a few witness marks on the crank sprocket and case (red arrows).
Figure 27

With the timing belt lined up on the head make a few witness marks on the crank sprocket and case (red arrows).

I like to make two or three witness marks which gives you more areas to look at whether you are working above or below the motor (red and yellow arrows).
Figure 28

I like to make two or three witness marks which gives you more areas to look at whether you are working above or below the motor (red and yellow arrows).

With everything removed you can now have access to all the components on the front of the motor: the cam sprocket (purple arrow), belt tensioner (red arrow), rollers (yellow arrows), crankshaft sprocket (blue arrow) and the coolant pump (green arrow).
Figure 29

With everything removed you can now have access to all the components on the front of the motor: the cam sprocket (purple arrow), belt tensioner (red arrow), rollers (yellow arrows), crankshaft sprocket (blue arrow) and the coolant pump (green arrow).

To remove the belt you need to loosen the 13mm nut (red arrow) on the tensioner and then using an 8mm Allen turn the tensioner counter-clockwise until all tension is off the belt.
Figure 30

To remove the belt you need to loosen the 13mm nut (red arrow) on the tensioner and then using an 8mm Allen turn the tensioner counter-clockwise until all tension is off the belt.

Slip the belt off the coolant pump first (red arrow).
Figure 31

Slip the belt off the coolant pump first (red arrow).

With the belt off the coolant pump you can remove it from the rest of the pulleys and remove it from the engine (red arrow).
Figure 32

With the belt off the coolant pump you can remove it from the rest of the pulleys and remove it from the engine (red arrow).

Installation is the reverse of removal.
Figure 33

Installation is the reverse of removal. Always put the belt on the crankshaft pulley last. With the new belt on turn the tensioner in the direction of the arrow (red arrow, clock wise) until the notch aligns with the tab (green arrows) and tighten the 13mm nut. Use a 19mm 12 point socket and turn the engine two complete rotations clockwise by hand. The witness marks on the cam sprocket, head and marks you made should all line up. If everything does not line up at TDC remove the belt and try again until you get it right. You are not finished the job until you can turn the motor by hand two rotations and everything lines up. Failure to get this right can lead to catastrophic damage to the motor when you start it up.

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Comments and Suggestions:
FSI Comments: Last weekend I did my first Timing Belt replacement on my 2007 GTI FSI BPY. I used all the correct parts and followed this DIY. I rotated twice the Camshaft and everytime the marks matched. I thought everything worked out ok. I drove the car for about 5 miles and all appeared to have worked out according to plan. The engine sounds smooth. Later I got the CEL ON and code P0016 Incorrect Correlation.

I toke apart everything and the marks still match, any advice ?
June 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The cam gear is likely off one tooth. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Toolio Comments: I have fitted a new tensioner and I can not get the notch red arrow to align with the tab green arrow. Does anybody have some advice?
March 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Are you rotating the the pulley using the hex with the bolt cracked loose? - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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