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Discussion Starter #1
I am getting ready to replace the timing belt for the first time tomorrow. (first time for me, i'm sure the car has had a couple by now) Seems like a pretty big project, but i think everything will work out.

There are 216K miles on the car now. I don't know when the last TB change was, although the belt on the car doesn't appear to have any flaws.

wish me luck!
 

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It took two of us who are very mechanically inclined, (but not vw people) 10 hours to do the timing belt service on my 1999.5 jetta.

That included 1 hour running to town to buy replacement bolts for the ones we stripped then subsequently drilled out, and an hour or so making our own custom tools. One to hold the camshaft, and a special tool for counter-holding the camshaft sprocket.

we used a punch to remove the sprocket from the camshaft, this method worked quite well for us.

We thought we would have the job completed by noon, but we worked from 8 am until 6pm. UGG!

Everything went well. We replaced all of the valve cover bolts with hex heads, and also replaced the harmonic balancer bolts with hex heads. used the metric equivalent of grade 8 bolts.

Allen head bots suck!

i'll try to post photo's of our custom "tools"
 

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FYI I am moving your posts since the 1999.5 is an ALH engine and is a mk4. This is the mk3 forum and the thread which you posted in is talking about a different engine.
 

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Here are the special tools we made for the tb project.

this is the tool that holds the camshaft in place. Made from a piece of 3/16 steel. Had to grind down the outer edges of the "E" to make it fit. The actual vw tool apparently is .177 of an inch thickness, and 3/16 is just a little thicker (guessing maybe .185 or something) It ended up fitting very snug.



The other odd tool we needed but didn't have was the camshaft sprocket counterholding tool. Oddly enough, we had a manual window crank mechanism from a late 80's Chevy laying around that with a bit of modification worked perfect to counter-hold the sprocket. Too bad i don't have photos of it in action....

 
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