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I've read everything I can from previous posts regarding replacement of water pump, thermo, tensioner, timing belt and having just received all the parts from ecs tuning, I am ready to attempt the fix.

I plan on removing the hood, the headlight and headlight assembly, the wheel liner, draining the coolant from drain and hose going into oil cooler, removing old water pump and installing new, installing new thermo, and installing new coolant flange, then I think (from what I've read) tackle the timing belt.

Problem is I'm a bit of a numbskull when it comes to the TDC thing and would love to have someone explain how to find TDC on cylinder one, which is where Bentley tells me to align things prior to, during and after installing new timing belt.

And a couple of other random questions in that same arena:

With the belt on may I rotate engine either way?

I assume marking the rollers and old belt with white out or similar assures that I have all the ribs lined up just as they were on the old belt, so when I install the new there are no problems?

If I am not planing on turning over the engine or crankshaft do I have to make sure it is TDC on one?

Is it ok to turn the cam pulley without the belt on, either way?

Any words of advice would help me greatly and thanks in advance for helping a struggling newbie...
 

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Is it ok to turn the cam pulley without the belt on, either way?
- No. Not really, THIS is what'd fubar ya.

You seem to have it right up there. If the belt's on, feel free to turn the crank (which would turn the whole assembly).

marking the rollers-
Count your teeth, I put like 4 - 5 marks on EACH pulley to make sure everything was lined up. mark the pulley and belt, remove the belt; the count each tooth to make sure the marks line up correctly. I suggest you mark on timing belt teeth, not pulley teeth, no real reason, just more room when you need it, but pick one or the other, don't vary.

You are correct on 'why' marking the 'rollers' (actually mark the pulley AND the belt, remove the belt, transfer the marks onto the new belt, and line that up w/the marks still on the pulleys.)

If you're not going to turn anything; AND you're going to mark everything; you shouldn't HAVE to have it at TDC. As long as nothing moves, you're fine. The marks are so that if something moves, you can return it to the original position. A seperate verticle line would also help you eyeball that nothing rotated.

In theory, NOT RECOMMENDED, you could remove the belt and spin any pulley, and use the marks to line things up again. (if you did that you COULD feel the interference of valve on piston, if all the pieces line up in the right way, so I don't suggest doing that at all)

In all honesty, when I did mine, I didn't take the valve cover off, I didn't lock it in TDC. I marked the timing belt, and the pulleys, I used scissors to cut the belt off, marked the new one, swapped tensioners, swapped water pumps, and put it back on. No pulleys rotated on their own; (except the water pump which really doesn't matter, and was replaced at the same time) and in fact, everything felt very stiff. Your milage, may of course, vary. (I also have a 1.8t, and not a 2.0, but the same theory should apply there)
 

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DO NOT TURN CAM PULLY or CRANKSHAFT WITH TIMING BELT OFF CAR.

you can mark the belt/pullys etc with white out and transfer the marks to the new belt, just be sure to use at least 2 marks per pully (Cam & Crankshaft)

once this is done, you can pull the timing belt off but DO NOT let anything turn once the belt is off.

make sure the car is NOT in gear. :)

only turn the engine in its natural direction and ONLY with the timing belt on. a few degrees wont hurt anything, but dont turn wrong way on purpose.

if you choose to verify the engine is on TDC, there is a rubber plug on the bellhousing at the very top, remove this.
with a small flashlight and a helper, slowly crank then engine by hand with a wrench until the marks on the camshaft pully and the block line up at the top. then go to the hole in the bellhousing and look for the mark on the flywheel. it is a V shaped notch and should be directly under the V shaped protrusion on the bellhousing. it might not be exactly in the window so have your buddy turn (tap) the engine in both directions a few degrees to check. if it is not there, turn the engine over again until the marks on the camshaft pully and engine line up again and recheck like above. Reason for this is that the camshaft turns twice for every flywheel rotation. if it still does not line up and you cannot find the two notches on the flywheel side, have your buddy slowly turn the engine a few teeth at a time while you look for the notch on the flywheel, it is admittedly hard to spot and is very small, but with a good light, and some patience, you should find it.

good luck. basically, when I helped sukhoidave with his timing belt, we just marked the belt, took it off, replaced it and THEN we verified the TDC marks like above. they were golden, and his car runs like a top again.

Aaron

edit.. ya, what noR said :lol:
 
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