BEW engine timing belt removal for VW Jetta TDI, Golf, and New beetle - mk4 part 1
Timing belt removal for 2004 or 2005 VW Jetta TDI and Golf/New beetle TDI 2004, 2005, or 2006: Part 1/3
difficulty level: 3/5
This article shows how to replace the BEW VW TDI engine timing belt found on Golf and New Beetle TDI 2004-2006 and VW Jetta TDI 2004-2005.
The factory change interval is before every 100,000 miles with an inspection at 80,000 and 90,000 miles. Also replace the rollers/tensioner/water pump because they will most likely not last another 100,000 miles and replacement requires timing belt removal. Failure of the timing belt or components will probably cause severe damage to the cylinder head and maybe the whole engine.
Parts 1 and 2 show how to remove the timing belt. Part 3 shows installation, torque specs, and final checks - if you like parts 1 and 2, you must join the forum and upgrade your account to premium to view. If you find the tips on this page helpful, feel free to 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. Thank you in advance!
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. If you have never worked on a car, I suggest gaining experience with easier projects first before doing something as critical as a timing belt!
Note about the VW TDI BEW engine
If you've never done a TDI engine, the main difference is that you must buy/rent/borrow the timing belt tools. The crankshaft lock tool is a fine fit and cannot be substituted. During timing belt tensioning, the camshaft sprocket rotates independently of the hub underneath it. This sets belt tension evenly. Unlike many engines, you can't just remove and replace the belt by marking it because there are no accurate index marks on the timing belt. You must also remove the motor mount because it's in the way.
Some more tips: If you're not familiar with the engine bay, label the fuel lines and plugs/wires that you remove 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 1 day. See 1000q: tips for the mechanic for more handy tips. Please read all of the instructions thoroughly and check your parts before attempting timing belt replacement. If you have any questions regarding the tips on this page for replacing the BEW VW TDI engine timing belt, don't hesitate to ask at the forums linked at the top. 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 VW TDI mechanic!
Tools and Parts for timing belt replacement
(click links to compare current prices and kit components, shipping, tax, etc. ) 1 timing belt kit with some G12/Pentosin coolant and a timing belt special tool set is suggested.
1 timing belt kit (recommended) - from IDparts, Kermatdi, or Dieselgeek. The generic parts linked from here are often made by the same exact supplier as genuine VW and are the same exact part without the VW box. The different kits contain slightly different components and are all sold by well known TDI vendors. Below are the individual components.
CAUTION - generic parts available on ebay or other online sellers may be of questionable origin since some similar parts are also used on other VW/Audi engines. 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 kit. These are almost certainly low quality copycat parts! It's not worth saving a few dollars on critical engine parts when it could result in thousands of dollars of engine damage! I and many others have had bad experiences with this seller so never again.
I prefer the metal impeller water pump over the plastic impeller water pump because the plastic can sometimes fail and spin on the shaft. It's rare but it happens.
Parts list for timing belt kit
BEW engine timing belt VW# 038 109 119 p
water pump VW# 038 121 011 g
tensioner VW# 038 109 243 m
idler pulley (roller) VW# 038 109 244 j
serpentine belt VW# 06a 260 849 c
Always replace bolts/nuts (exact part numbers may be superceded) 2x 18mm motor mount bolts VW# n 102 096 05
2x 16mm motor mount bolts VW# n 105 167 02
15mm nut VW# 038 109 454 a
13mm nut VW# n 015 083 15
Note - The service manual does not specify to replace the 4x crankshaft pulley (harmonic balancer) bolts each time but they often get stripped and the torque spec has a "+1/4 turn". The service manual for the later BRM pumpe duse engine also does not say to replace the bolts each time. What you choose to do is up to you.
(37mm long version) 4x harmonic balancer (crankshaft pulley) bolts VW# n 903 396 05
(short version, unknown length?) 4x harmonic balancer (crankshaft pulley) bolts, part number unknown
2x horizontal motor mount bolts VW# n 907 124 01
1x horizontal motor mount bolt VW# n 103 280 02
aluminum motor mount (sometimes gets stripped) VW# 038 199 207 h
bolt kit (may be in your belt kit)
Also get some G12 or G13 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 spilled coolant. Do not use generic green coolant, see 1000q: coolant flush for more details.
genuine VW (1 gallon size , VW #G 012 A8F A4 ) genuine VW (1.5 liter size, VW #G 012 A8F M1),available from kermatdi 1.5L size, dieselgeek, or IDparts (1.5 liter size, VW #ZVW 237 G12)
WARNING: There was an old batch of VW tools tool 10050 which had the pointer arrow in the wrong spot to the right of the peg. It should be to the left of the peg. See this post in the forum for more details.
VW special timing belt tools
tool kit from metalnerd - Metalnerd's T10050 version is a newer universal design.
T10050 crankshaft lock (or equivalent MNT10050)
T3359 camshaft lock pin (or equivalent MN3359)
T10115 is normally included with a new tensioner
T10060A serpentine belt tensioner lock (can substitute with metal pin)
5mm and 6mm allen wrenches
19mm 12 point socket
10mm triple square bit (not torx or star, it's a triple square head)
regular and deep socket 13, 15, 16, 18mm sockets/wrenches
T25 Torx bit/screwdriver
regular pliers and remote cable operated spring hose clamp pliers (pictured below, these are optional)
wheel chocks/blocks of wood, floor car jacks, jack stands
engine support and chains/shackles (shown in use near the bottom of the page)
Procedure - timing belt removal
If you wish to use a service cover, do so now. I tape an old clean towel to the fender to prevent scratches from belt buckles, jeans buttons, or watches. Also make sure you don't have loose necklaces, hair, sleeves 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..
Pull the engine cover straight off to remove it. There are some pop snaps that hold it on.
Raise the car and rest it securely on jack stands. See 1000q: jack points for some pictures of where the factory jack points are. Make sure the car is safe and secure before getting underneath it.
Remove the plastic splash shield under the car by removing a few T25 torx screws. I replaced mine with a metal skid plate due to low ground clearance, see 1000q: skid plate installation.
Drain the engine coolant in the radiator. There's a valve at the bottom corner of the radiator. Use a hose to divert it into a bucket. See 1000q: coolant flush and 1000q: water pump replacement for more pics and details. You don't need to do a full flush during a routine timing belt change since most of it will be drained anyways.
Remove the coolant reservoir overflow hose and coolant sensor plug. Also remove the 2x phillips screws holding the coolant reservoir down (yellow arrows in below pic). This is a good time to check for coolant migration, see 1000q: coolant migration for more details. Once it's loose, remove the hose underneath the coolant reservoir and tuck it to the side.
Remove the fuel lines at the fuel filter (white arrows in below pic) and tuck one end to the side. Also unclip them from the plastic intercooler output pipe. After removing each spring clamp, twist the hose to break the seal before pulling it off. This makes it much easier to remove the hoses and helps prevent damage to the line. If they won't come off, remove them at the engine side. Note the blue and white arrows and mark which is the feed and which is the return line. Diesel fuel melts rubber and asphalt driveways so wad a rag around the ends to prevent excessive spilling. Tightly wrap some clean rags or paper towels around the exposed fuel lines to avoid contamination.
Optional: change the fuel filter if it's due for its 20,000 mile change. See 1000q: fuel filter change if you need more tips.
Remove the 5mm allen bolt holding the power steering reservoir down (red arrow in the above picture). Move the power steering reservoir and line around as needed for clearance but don't disconnect the lines.
Remove the plastic intercooler output pipe (it's the hose you've been working around). There's a shielded electrical wire stuffed in the side, move it to the side. This will give you more clearance. There is 1 spring clip at each end holding it down. Tape over the open pipes so nothing falls into them. I try to avoid using paper towels because they tend to get stuffed down the piping but the pipes may be oily and prevent the tape from sticking.
If the retaining tabs on the rubber hose are worn off, it will cause a massive boost leak and poor running. You can use an aftermarket doggie collar from KermaTDI or replace the hose. For the BEW engine the hose is VW# 1j0 145 838 t
Remove the serpentine belt (alternator/power steering/AC belt).
Place a wrench on the serpentine belt tensioner to align the hole in the tensioner and tensioner body. Insert VW tool T10060 or equivalent to hold it in the loosened position (you can also use a nail). You don't need to hold the tensioner back but it makes accessing the 3x 13mm bolts holding it on easier.
Remove the serpentine belt tensioner (3x 13mm bolts) and the upper timing belt cover to its left/aft (2 clips).
If the car is not on jackstands yet, engage the parking brake, jack up the car, rest the car securely on jack stands, chock the wheels, and make sure the car is stable, safe and securely raised before doing anything else. I use wood blocks to raise the car. Here are instructions and some more useful tips: 1000q: tips for the mechanic , 1000q: making wood blocks.
Remove the plastic splash shield under the car (bunch of T25 torx screws).
Remove the passenger side side splash shield (2 speed nuts, one is yellow arrow). Remove the speed nuts by sticking a screwdriver in the gaps and turning it.
Here is a picture of it removed. The speed nuts (silver discs) slide into little clips.
At the same time, remove the 10mm "nut to body" nut and clip holding the piping to the intercooler (green arrows above). Thread it back onto the stud to avoid losing it. Move the intercooler pipe to the side. There's a rubber elbow at the turbo which will let you bend it. I don't suggest removing the rubber hose because there should be room to bend it to the side and work around it. Pictured below is an older type hose - yours is the same except the intercooler side uses a wire clip instead of a spring clamp.
Continue to part 2/3 - BEW engine timing belt removal continued