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Hi Guys and hope you can help.

My old Passat has just reached 195,000 miles and so was due for its third cambelt which I changed before Christmas, along with a few other issues - new radiator, new oil cooler etc. But immediately afterwards the new belt was noisy. The weather has warmed-up today so I took the opportunity to take another look at the belt and to see if I can reduce the noise.

I can't see any issues with the belt and its installation. FYI I fitted a Gates kit including belt, hydraulic tensioner and two idlers, and a new Febi water pump - all good OE quality stuff. Setting and resetting the gap between tensioner arm and tensioner body to the required 4mm +/-0.5mm has been a bit of a faff (its an early engine variant which isn't self-tensioning) but I reckon I've now got it as good as I can get it, and whatever I set it to it doesn't seem to affect the noise anyway.

Today I replaced the newer tension roller with the one previously fitted - this seems to have made no effect. A friend suggested that a new belt on old sprockets might cause this, but I can't detect any wear on either crank or cam shaft sprockets. Running the engine with the belt covers off I can't detect the noise as coming from one particular sprocket or pulley: it just sounds 'general'. I don't think the sound is the dreaded chain drive to the balancer - its a screaming noise rather than a knocking noise. The only other source I can think of is that the spring in the hydraulic damper is out of spec and at the aforementioned 4mm gap, the pressure on the tensioner might be too great. But with quality parts from Gates this really shouldn't happen, yes?

Any ideas please as to what the cause of the noisy belt could be, and what I can do about it?


Thanks, Stu
 
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