Timing belt 97-98 VWJetta,Golf,GTI
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In this page we will describe how to replace the timing belt on a 97-98 VW Jetta, Golf, Cabrio and GTI equipped with a 2.0 L engine, most of these steps will also apply to 1993-1996 VW Jetta, Golf and GTI if they have a 2.0 L engine, the main difference between VW vehicles built from 1993 to 1996 is the design of the timing belt tensioner, 1997 and 1998 models have a different timing belt tensioner design.

The recommended timing belt interval to replace the timing belt in this VW engine is every 60,000 miles, specially since this engine has been identified as an INTERFERENCE engine in which the possibility of valve to piston damage in the event of a timing belt failure is MOST LIKELY to occur.

The vehicle we are working on is a 1997 VW Jetta with a 2.0 L engine, we will illustrate how to perform this repair with simple hand tools, even though VW recommends the use of timing belt tensioner tool part number V159, we will show you how to do it without this special tool.

         
  

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   



   
    

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

  


 






- Before you start this job, loosen the lug bolts on the right front wheel as shown in the picture,  don't remove the lug bolts completely yet.

Next, raise the front end of the vehicle, place two jackstands under the sub-frame, remove the right front wheel for easy access to the harmonic balancer, disconnect the negative battery cable.


















Next, remove the small hoses attached to the air cleaner assbly













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- Loosen the hose clamp that secures the air intake hose to the throttle body.

 

 

 

  

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- Unplug the MAF ( mass airflow sensor ), detach the clamps that secures the air intake hose to the air intake assbly and remove it from the vehicle











- Note the relationship of the fuel lines, one is the inlet hose , the other one is the outlet, if the vehicle still has the original fuel lines, they will have arrows showing which way the fuel travels, the fuel rail is also marked, slide the hose clamps back, and gently pull the fuel lines away from the fuel rail.

NOTE: If the fuel lines are so dry that you can't slide them off, and you are afraid to break the fuel rail, you can leave them connected, they will be on the way, but you will still be able to do the job.









- Next, loosen the power steering pump adjusting bolt

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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- In order for the power steering pump to move and be able to loosen the power steering belt, you will need to loosen the bolt that secures the power steering bracket located in the opposite side

















- Now you can slide the power steering pump  to loosen the belt by the adjusting bolt as shown in the picture.

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

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- To remove the alternator/AC belt, all you have to do is release the tension from the serpentine belt tensioner as shown in the picture.


















- Next, undo the clips that secure the upper timing belt cover in place and remove it from the vehicle.

 

 

 

 


 

  

- Locate the green timing mark plug located on the transmission belhousing near the cylinder head, remove it to gain access to the TDC timing mark.












- With the plug removed, have a friend turn the engine slowly till the TDC mark is aligned as shown in this picture, at the same time to make sure that the engine is in fact in TDC instead of 180 degrees off, the TDC mark on the camshaft needs to be aligned also, remove the distributor cap and make sure that the rotor is pointing towards the No. 1 spark plug










- Holding the harmonic balancer with one hand to make sure that the engine remains in TDC, loosen the 4 pulley bolts as shown in the picture, remove the bolts and place them in a container for future use, the harmonic balancer and the pulley should come off by pulling gently on them, if they are stuck due to rust, you may need to use a small bry bar to get them to come off.











- With the front pulley removed, loosen and remove the bolts that secure the lower timing cover in place.

 

 

 

 








- To gain access to the small nut holding one side of the lower timing cover, it will be nesesary to remove the serpentine belt tensioner pulley.

 

  

 

 

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- Don't forget to remove the bolt near the center of the lower timing cover, once that bolt is removed, remove the lower timing cover.

- Mark the relationship between the balance shaft and the crankshaft to make sure that they maintain the same alignment after the new timing belt is installed.











- Next loosen the timing belt tensioner bolt, move the belt tensioner away from the timing belt and remove the belt from the vehicle. If you can afford it, install a new timing belt tensioner to make sure that  the bearing won't freeze and cause timing belt failure. 

  

  

- Compare the old belt with the new belt to make sure that they are the same lenght, install the belt starting from the camshaft pulley, following by the crankshaft pulley, and finalizing with the timing belt tensioner pulley, if you don't have the special tool needed to adjust and tighten the timing belt tensioner you can do it with a flat screwdriver, a torx socket and locking pliers.

Have a friend pry gently on the flat screwdriver to make sure that the tensioner pulley is sitting against the belt, next, pry gently on the locking plyers in a clockwise motion, the hydraulic adjuster will extend as you do this, the small piston should extend all the way, and the larger piston should extend approximately 0.04 ins., tighten the tensioner bolt.

Make sure that all timing marks are aligned, if any of them is not aligned you need to loosen the belt, aligned the marks and tighten the belt again.

Once you are completely sure that all marks are aligned, turn the engine two full revolutions by hand, check belt tightness and double check again that the timing marks are aligned, if they are and the belt is not loose, proceed to install the parts you removed from the vehicle in the reverse order you took them off.

If you have access to a timing light; set the ignition timing as described on the hood label, if you don't have access to a timing light and you made sure that all the marks were aligned properly, your car shouldn't have timing problems.







Test drive the car, make sure that it runs great, there shouldn't be any noises coming from the engine if you did the job correctly.