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Discussion Starter #1
Well it happened. I just blew the timing belt in my'04 conv.

From what I'm told valve and possibly valve guide damage is a given. The question seems to be if there's damage to the piston(s) and/or lower end.

At this point I need help deciding whether to dive in and start spending money to repair the thing or if swapping out the engine makes the most sense.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

trshman
 

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5/23/10 <3
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What was the mileage? Did it fail at speed? At idle?

Really, the best way to decide is to take the head off and see the damage.
 

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I echo Smileybug's reply.

As for me, my beetle jumped timing (no broken belt) and caused damage. The 1.8t suffered bent valves, damage to piston #1, as well as damage to the head, which they had to replace with a reman head. Thank God there was no cylinder wall damage.

My total repair, courtesy of WagenWerks, was 2800.00 and some change... And my total was on the good end, because they had a donor engine to get a piston from, which aren't cheap. Of course, the fewer parts to replace, the cheaper your bill will be. I'm hoping your beetle only has the bent valve issue and no head or piston damage.

I'm saying this, first of all hoping you don't have the damage my beetle suffered. Second, to give you a rough idea of what kind of money you might be looking at. I do know of some who've only had bent valves and ended up with a bill in the 1200.00- 1500.00 range.

Hope this info is a help to you. All the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Folks,
sorry about not replying sooner, I've been trying not to think about this over the weekend.

Anyway I've got 108K on the car and I was doing about 65 when it happened.

I know the manual says replace it at 100K but I figured there'd be some tolerance built it and was figuring to replace it around 120K. So much for that plan :)

I've found a guy that works only on VW's who quoted me around $1200 which includes everything short of a cracked head and piston related problems. Like you say first thing is to pull the head and see what we've got. Do you think a small block Chevy will fit in it??? :)

Thanks for the input.
trshman
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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I would take him up on that $1200 in a heartbeat. Some dealers would charge close to that for the timing belt/WP work!

As an aside, I feel really bad reading all these threads about timing belts going. It made me get off my butt and do the work on my wife's 01 1.8T a few months ago. Glad I did. I can't believe that people would go beyond the mileage knowing there is a chance of destroying their engine.
 

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I would take him up on that $1200 in a heartbeat. Some dealers would charge close to that for the timing belt/WP work!
Agreed. Get it in writing too


As an aside, I feel really bad reading all these threads about timing belts going. It made me get off my butt and do the work on my wife's 01 1.8T a few months ago. Glad I did. I can't believe that people would go beyond the mileage knowing there is a chance of destroying their engine.
Hence the reason we tell all who join the org to post and frequent the site often. We hope that those who join, will learn from the experiences of many of us, so as not to go through the same thing as we did.

Trshman I really hope that 1200.00 will get you back on the road and better than before.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks folks.
I intend to take him up on it but frankly asking for it in writing around here is an insult.
I live in a small town (pop. 4500) in east Tennessee. Moved up here from Miami 3 years ago.
Folks around here love their cars and guns and every mechanic I've met is top notch and from what I've heard this man is too.

I own 2 other cars('98 Expy/'66 LeMans) and I take care of my cars. I bought the VW this past February so I'm still learning about the car. I should have asked someone here about the timing belt but didn't. My fault and I'll pay for my mistake but I have to tell you I am surprised at VW for not building in more "wiggle" room on this.
I do all maintenance by the book but this is an expensive one so I think the "average" owner would try and delay doing it. Anyway I'll let you know what happens.
thanks again, trshman
 

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5/23/10 <3
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105k really is a stretch on the belts. Most people change them out from 60-80k. The Bentley repair manual (at least the one I have for my GTI) recommends the 60k for the 1.8T engine and I think 90k for the 2.0 (which doesn't even have a change interval listed by VW!). Either way, you were overdue. The belt is rubber so age is also a factor to remember as well. Hope the repair isn't too bad.
 

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I did mine right after I bought mine a year ago thanks to all the warnings from people here and I only had 77,000 miles :)
 

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$1200 is cheap if the work and parts used are quality. You should have the water pump, belt tensioner, roller, thermostat and related hoses. The cam chain tensioner (linking the 2 camshafts) tend to go around 150K, so you may want to replace that too.

As for when to change the timing belt, I let my '01 1.8T go to 100K miles for the first replacement. (The power-train warranty was 100K and the user manual recommends 105K, so I was covered.) The second replacement was earlier at 165K miles due to WP leak. After 50K miles on a belt, you should check its condition & tension at every oil change and replace it around 75K to be safe. In colder & hotter climate, rubber will age faster so adjust accordingly.
 
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