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2005-2006 BRM engine timing belt replacement-VW Jetta TDI part 1/3
2005.5- 2006 VW Jetta TDI timing belt replacement (1.9L BRM engine): part 1/3
This DIY shows how to remove and install a new timing belt on a 2005 or 2006 VW Jetta TDI
difficulty level: 3/5
The factory service manual says that the timing belt should be inspected at 80,000 miles and changed before every 100,000 miles. For unknown reasons, VW's USA website lowered the timing belt replacement to 80,000 miles for 2006 VW Jetta TDI 1.9L (I assume this also includes the 2005.5 model year Jetta TDI). Also review 1000q: BRM water pump removal. Disclaimer - this article is revised and updated to include the most current information but is not a substitute for the factory service manual! See the TOS Agreement for the full legal disclaimer. Although a timing belt job can successfully be done with basic tools plus the timing belt tools and basic mechanical experience, improper installation of the timing belt can cause severe engine damage so take all precautions listed in the factory service manual.
The article is divided into three parts: parts 1 and 2 introduce some important notes and timing belt removal, part 3 shows installation of timing belt part 2 which shows installation of the timing belt, torque specs, and final checks. If you like parts 1 and 2, part 3 is for premium members only so please join our community and upgrade your account to premium. If you find the tips on this page helpful, you can also use the donation button at the top so that I can continue to keep publishing great articles. The Bentley service manual is about $80 and doesn't even mention most of the tips here. This page has color photos, more detail, and videos. I know it will save you some money even if you're just reading this to know what to ask the mechanic. Thanks in advance!
Note about the TDI engine
If you've never done a TDI engine, the main difference is that you must buy/rent/borrow the timing belt tools. You can use a large adjustable 2 pin wrench to turn the camshaft sprocket and the camshaft sprocket pin can be substituted with any pin of equivalent diameter and length. However, the crankshaft lock is a fine machined fit and cannot be substituted.
If you are not familiar with the engine bay, label each plug or wire with a piece of tape and marker, not pencil. It will make installation much easier, especially if you are doing other maintenance items over more than a day. See 1000q: tips for the mechanic for more handy tips. Please read all of the instructions in the factory service manual thoroughly and the tips here before attempting the timing belt replacement. If any pictures are not showing up, you have any questions, or it appears this article has an error, please comment in the myturbodiesel.com forums and check this article history tab for past edits. If you are not comfortable that you can successfully do this job after reading the instructions in your factory service manual and the tips on this page, take it to an experienced TDI mechanic!
Timing belts cannot be visually inspected for anything other than obvious major wear like a frayed belt or rubbing pulleys. Timing belts look fine until a tooth breaks off and the sprockets slip, causing engine damage. TDI belts normally don't fail by suddenly snapping in half because the belts are built by the strands being wound around a spool. I strongly suggest changing the timing belt, idler roller pulley, water pump, and tensioner at or before 100,000 miles. This is the factory recommended change interval for the BRM engine. Change all of them because even if the new belt will last the next 100,000 miles, the other components won't.
Major differences with earlier TDI engines: All pumpe duse engines (North American market) use computer controlled injection timing adjustments. You can't use a ross tech VCDS computer cable and diagnostic software to fine tune the injection timing. The hard to reach motor mount horizontal bolt now has an access hole. The crankshaft pulley bolts are 10mm triple square. Almost all tensioners will need an allen wrench instead of the 2 pin spanner wrench. There is no need to remove the valve cover and there's more room under the hood. If you have experience with ALH engine timing belts, this will be much easier.
Before doing the timing belt, check your TDI engine for camshaft wear. If you have wear, I suggest replacing the worn parts while doing the timing belt so that you don't have to redo the belt later.
Differences between these tips and the service manual
I found that there are some differences between what is shown in the service manual and what may be on your car. The motor mount type shown in the manual may be different. You may not have a lower charge air duct between the intercooler and turbocharger. You don't have to remove the accordion hose coming off the air filter box. Installing the belt on the water pump last is difficult because the belt will be tight, these tips suggest a different method. There is also an access hole for the horizontal motor mount bolts which isn't mentioned in the service manual.
Tools and Parts list for 2006 VW Jetta TDI timing belt replacement
(click links to compare current prices and kit components, shipping, tax, etc. )
Timing belt kit (recommended) - click the links to see the current prices for the timing belt kits from Dieselgeek kit. The different kits may contain slightly different parts. Because VW contracts many components to a third party, many of the linked generic parts are made by the same supplier as genuine VW parts and are the exact same part. The kits above may vary in exactly what parts are included. Below are the individual components.
Also get some G12 coolant to replace lost coolant. You only need 3 liters of coolant or 1 gallon and an equal amount of distilled water for the timing belt job and to account for any spilled coolant. (Do not use generic green coolant, see 1000q: coolant flush for more details) ,dieselgeek (1.5 liter size, VW #ZVW 237 G12) ,available from kermatdi 1.5L size
CAUTION - generic parts available on ebay or other online sellers may be of questionable origin. The above linked sites are all well known and experienced TDI vendors.
CAUTION - I would not buy the or any other of this seller's copycat sites' timing belt kits or tools. They're probably low quality copycat parts! It's not worth saving $75 when it can result in thousands in engine damage! I also had a bad experience with this seller so never again.
Get a metal impeller water pump. Avoid the plastic impeller water pump since they sometimes fail and spin on the shaft. This will cause coolant overheating.
Individual parts list for timing belt (I recommend a kit - generic parts linked here are suppliers to VW so the parts are the same, just not in VW boxes)
timing belt VW# 038 109 119p
timing belt tensioner VW# 038 109 243m
idler roller/pulley VW# 038 109 244j
water pump VW# 045 121 011h (I suggest a metal impeller pump)
serpentine alternator/AC belt VW# 03G 903 137b
Always replace bolts
13mm motor mount bolts (quantity: 2, please see note in part 2) VW# n 019 502 13
16mm motor mount bolt w/out stud (quantity: 1) VW# n 905 969 06
16mm motor mount bolt w/stud for fuel filter bracket (quantity: 1) VW# n 910 296 01
18mm motor mount bolts (quantity: 2) VW# n 105 524 01
Although the Bentley service manual doesn't list the tensioner nut as always replace (and completely omits the idler roller nut), many timing belt kits include them and the torque spec on the 15mm bolt includes a final turn which suggests it might be single use only. I use a light touch of blue medium strength Permatex locktite on them as insurance. According to the Permatex blue locktite data sheet, you do not need to adjust torque values.
15mm tensioner nut VW# 038 109 454a
13mm idler roller/pulley nut VW# n 015 083 15
VW timing belt tools:
These tools are available as a kit from metalnerd and are distributed by dieselgeek for metalnerd. measured dimensions are approximate only!
I also rent the tools as a courtesy service, see this page for details: myturbodiesel tool rental
crankshaft lock VW# T10100 (some early build 2005.5 might use VW# T10050, see notes below)
serpentine belt tensioner lock VW# T10060 (optional but very helpful, also available from samstag tools)
camshaft pin VW# 3359
timing belt tensioner pin VW# T10115 (pin with the triangle handle. Most tensioners include one in the box, so separate purchase not suggested)
10, 13, 16, 17, 18 mm sockets/wrenches. 16mm deep socket.
regular pliers and spring hose clamp pliers (pictured below right, these are optional and are the remote operated type)
wheel chocks/blocks of wood, floor car jacks, jack stands
10mm triple square bit for the harmonic balancer pulley/crankshaft pulley bolts (not a torx)
Note - triple square bits may also be called 12 point, XZN, or "serrated wrench" for 12 point metric socket head screws. You can find them at Autozone or NAPA. The Napa part numbers are: 8mm - SER2304 - $4.99, 10mm - SER2305 - $5.49, 12mm - SER2306 - $5.99
Ross tech VCDS cable.
2005 2006 VW Jetta TDI timing belt removal procedure - part 1/3
If you wish to use a service cover, do so now. I tape an old clean towel to the fender to prevent scratches. If you have a belt buckle, jeans button, or watch, it can put scratches into the paint. Also make sure you don't have loose necklaces, hair, sleeves, etc., when working on your car, consult your factory service manual for all cautions, always wear eye protection, see the TOS for the full legal disclaimer, etc..
Loosen the passenger side (right side) lug nuts. Raise the car, chock the rear wheels, rest the car securely on jack stands, and make sure the car is safe and secure before doing anything else. I use 2 sets of jackstands, minimum - one at the factory jack points to carry the weight of the car and another almost touching the front subframe as a backup. Also see 1000q: wood blocks for another idea of supporting the car. It won't work on the passenger side since you have to remove the wheel.
Remove the passenger side wheel's lug nuts and remove the wheel.
Remove the 2 piece plastic engine cover. It just pulls straight off. I suggest using compressed air to clean the engine bay - you'll be under the car and you don't want dirt falling into your eyes.
Remove the intercooler - intake piping. Instead of removing all the clamps, I suggest removing the 2 spring clips at indicated by the arrows below. Separate the small fuel/coolant hoses crossing over the piping. Also remove the screw on the bracket near the middle. I tape over the hoses because it's more visible and because paper towels tend to get stuffed down into the piping. If there is excess oil tape won't stick well so wipe it clean first. If you find the upstream connection (at the intake manifold) keeps popping off you can buy an aftermarket clamp from kermatdi.
The Bentley service manual says to remove the plastic accordion-like hose coming off the intake air box. I would not remove it since it's on the other side of the engine and you don't go anywhere near it unless you want to use the factory lift point (explained in further detail below).
Remove the serpentine belt by putting a 17mm open wrench on the serpentine belt tensioner knob and turning towards the front of the car.
Insert pin T10060 through the hole on the knob and into the tensioner housing to hold the tensioner in the loosened position.
Now remove the serpentine belt tensioner (2x 13mm bolts). I found that using the left hand with a ratchet head wrench is an easy way to remove the lower bolt. If you locked the tensioner with a pin there's more access to the lower bolt. Here you can see the two holes for the pin lock.
Bend the flexible neck of the windshield washer fluid reservoir to the side by removing its 1x 10mm bolt.
Unplug the coolant level sensor on the coolant reservoir. Remove the coolant tank (2x torx screws, yellow arrows below) and it's upper and lower hoses. Also unclip the wire loom and set aside. Before doing this, I like to drain the coolant to minimize the mess. I suggest removing the hose at the oil cooler and applying compressed air to the upper coolant reservoir hose. See 1000q: water pump replacement for detailed pictures.
Underneath the car: Remove the lower plastic belly shield/splash pan and right lower wheel well liner. They are held in place with 8 T25 torx screws indicated by the yellow arrows below. The rear are 3x T30 torx screws (white arrows).
Remove the front lower wheel well liner (white screws below, a few on the bottom aren't visible). The yellow arrows below are for the upper wheel well liner. You don't have to remove all of the torx screws, just remove enough to bend the front portion to get access to the motor mount bolt pictured below. This access hole is not mentioned in the factory service manual. DO NOT REMOVE the bolt until after the engine is supported. If you remove the motor mount bolts before supporting the engine, the engine will fall down.
Optional: remove the entire wheel well liner to get more clearance. Removal is recommended to also clean out the dirt collected at the rear of the wheel well. Water from the windshield drains into that area and all the dirt will settle in there and collect moisture, causing rust. The lower turbo piping shown in the Bentley manual is another mistake in their book.
Continue to part 2/3 - BRM engine timing belt removal