Timing belt 1998-2001 Volkswagen 2.0 L engine
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                1998 to 2001 VW Jetta Timing Belt Replacement

  In this page we will illustrate how to replace the timing belt on 1998-2001 VW Jetta, Cabrio,Golf, GTI and new Beetle equipped with 2.0 L engines.

The vehicle we are working on is a 2001 VW Jetta equipped with 2.0 L engine, these steps will be similar for the other models listed above.

This engine is considered an Interference engine, in which the possibility of valve to piston contact in the event of a timing belt failure is most likely to occur. Volkswagen recommends check and replacement if necessary every 40,000 miles, we don't recommend to extend the timing belt replacement intervals beyond 60,000 miles to avoid a timing belt failure. 

We also recommend to replace the timing belt tensioner at the same time, the timing belt and timing belt tensioner can be purchased as a unit when you buy a timing component kit, these component kits are manufactured by several companies, we chose a Gates timing component kit for this job, Gates is a very reputable brand that has been manufacturing belts, hoses and other items for a long time with great success.

To adjust the timing belt tensioner in this particular engine you will need a Volkswagen tensioner wrench
part number: T10020

If you don't have access to this special tool you can use angle needle nose pliers instead, the recommended time and labor for removal and installation is 2.6 hrs.
















 Before you start working on your vehicle, disconnect the negative battery cable to avoid electric shock that could damage the electronic parts.

Remove the plastic cover by removing the nut that holds it in place as shown in the image, pry gently on the opposite end to release the clips that secure the cover to the engine and remove it from the vehicle.

 Next, disconnect the fuel vapor hose from the intake plenum, it is easier to remove the upper timing belt cover if you also remove the round fitting that this hose is attached to.

 Next, release the 2 metal clips that fasten the upper timing belt cover to the engine and remove it from the vehicle.








 To be able to access the crankshaft pulley, it is necessary to remove the front wheel and the right front plastic splash guard from the vehicle, loosen the lug nuts with the vehicle still on the ground as shown in the image, next lift the front end of the vehicle with a floor jack and secure it on jackstands, proceed to remove the right front wheel and the plastic splash guard.


 Remove the serpentine belt by releasing the tension from the serpentine belt tensioner using a wrench as shown in this picture.

 Remove the 4 allen head bolts that fasten the crankshaft pulley to the crankshaft as shown in the picture.

NOTE: It is not necessary to remove the crankshaft center bolt to be able to remove the crankshaft pulley in this particular engine.

 Remove the allen head bolt that fastens the engine cover bracket to the intake plenum as shown in the picture.

 Remove the 3 bolts that fasten the bracket and the serpentine belt tensioner to the engine and remove them from the engine.

 Remove the bolts that fasten the lower timing belt covers to the engine block and remove them from the engine.

 Turn the engine by hand by the crankshaft center bolt using a ratchet and a socket in a clockwise direction, align the TDC timing mark on the camshaft sprocket as shown in the image.

 This particular vehicle has a manual transmission, the TDC alignment marks on the crankshaft are located in the flywheel, locate the orifice on top of the transmission to access the TDC alignment marks on the flywheel.

 To make our job easier, we chose to paint an alignment mark on the front crankshaft sprocket, that way we didn't have to look at the back of the engine to make sure that the crankshaft was aligned with the no. 1 cylinder on TDC.

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