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Discussion Starter #1
Hello and glad to be here. I have always been impressed with the TDI and I finally baught a 2001 Beetle TDI 5spd with 125K a week ago. The car runs great and not any problems. After reading and learning quite abit from this site, i have become conserned about the Timing belt. All I have is a verble from the second owner stating the dealership said it had been changed. Is there something I can check to see if it has or will a belt inspection buy me a little time? I'm not new to engines and have built a few and raced them (dirt track) but am new to the TDI. I know i can do the TB change and will invest in the Metalnerd tools. Now I am "Old School" and had success tunning by feel. Is it possible to fine tune the Injector pump without the Vag-com? Should I post this question on another thread?
 

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After the markings wear off you really can't tell the difference between a belt with 50k or 100k. You can see if it's damaged but when they break a tooth snaps off and the belt strips. They normally don't snap in half so there's not much to inspect. For all you know they meant the serpentine belt.

I rent the tools upon request so if you need them it'll save you some money.

No, the IP is all electric control. No dial gauge or anything can tell you anything. Thanks for the intro, I have moved your post since you sounded like you had some deep questions :)

welcometomyturbodies
 

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Usually it's not the belt that lets go... A proper timing belt change on your model car would include the belt(s), tensioner, 3 idlers, water pump, and a bunch of single-use so-called "stretch" bolts... usually the bearings on one of the idlers or water pump that give up the ghost, and there's really no secure way of verifying their condition (although you can look for telltale signs of losing their lubricant or weeping coolant from the water pump). BTW, many dealers don't routinely change all the components during a timing belt change, so it's advisable to treat each new-to-you TDI as if it needs an immediate timing belt system change. There are many vendors who specialize in providing kits that include all the needed parts - you can find them either posting here or over on the tdiclub... (just stay from one that's in North Carolina...)

If you've locked down the engine properly at TDC for the timing belt change, your timing should be close enough to drive for a while before meeting up with someone who has VCDS (new name for Vag-Com) to do the final tuning... There are a couple of reliable TDI specialists in the D/FW area and I don't believe they'll charge you that much for a little touch-up...

All the best,

Yuri
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the great info. sound like I need to get started on the TB right away. I do feel better knowing that i can get it close enough to get it to a VCDS.

I noticed there are alot of venders to choose from and different brands of belts. I plan on keeping this car a long time and putting several 100k miles on it, so i'm looking for the best. I noticed that some venders are offering DAYCO timing belt alternative at no extra cost. Is that the better belt? Please point me in the right direction.

Thanks, I can see how one can get hooked on this TDI thing. Their cool little engines!
 

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Dayco makes a very good belt - but people have noted that it may be a tiny bit noisier than a "regular" Contitech or Gates belt... They'll all do the job...

The TDI community is well served by the specialist vendors, and I'd be very hard pressed to recommend one over the others... (BTW: I mistyped above... I meant to stay away from a certain vendor in North Carolina - he has numerous websites out there, and sells on eBay as well...)

I've bought parts from dieselgeek, boraparts, idparts, and metalmanparts - and they've all been first rate... There are others... (I've also ordered from the Canadian suppliers... more of the same...)

Just follow the directions to the letter, don't take any shortcuts, use quality parts, and you should be fine... One of the veterans on the TDIclub - Justin Grow - has put together a checkoff list which I find essential... since I lost the link to his updated document, I've updated his original one... I'll PM you the link to download it...

All the best,

Yuri
 

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Hello and glad to be here. I have always been impressed with the TDI and I finally baught a 2001 Beetle TDI 5spd with 125K a week ago. The car runs great and not any problems. After reading and learning quite abit from this site, i have become conserned about the Timing belt. All I have is a verble from the second owner stating the dealership said it had been changed. Is there something I can check to see if it has or will a belt inspection buy me a little time? I'm not new to engines and have built a few and raced them (dirt track) but am new to the TDI. I know i can do the TB change and will invest in the Metalnerd tools. Now I am "Old School" and had success tunning by feel. Is it possible to fine tune the Injector pump without the Vag-com? Should I post this question on another thread?

Tunning by feel? Not sure that what means but once you read the TB DIY you'll see how to do it and why you can't just use paint match marks to replace the belt!welcometomyturbodies
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No, I never did plan on taking short cuts on the TB install and using paint marks. thats why I stated I will be investing in Metalnerd tools. "Tuning by feel" is what us old guys used to do before computers and we got pretty good at it on gas motor that is for me, like adj. air/fuel, change jet size, adv. timing, rev it up a couple of times and jump in hall @$$. OK back to reality and to TDI.

Yes you are right, after reading the great/detailed write up on site. I see that I can't adj. the IP by feel and jump in and hall ... I was just wondering if it was possible. I know it's time for me to change with the times and take it to a VCDS for the fine tune after the TB change.

Thank you all for getting me on the right track, I will let you all know the out come when it its all done and how far I was off on the VCDS reading.
 

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Up date

Up Date, I just performed my first TDI TB change and took me all day Sat. and 1/2 Sun. Included 100K Cont. belt, tensioner, pullies and water pump while using the Metalnerd tools. Did discover that this was the original belt with 127K and previous owner said he heard from the dealer that the TB was changed was actually the surp. belt.

When I first set TDC by turning the crank and locked the cam, I did notice the crank was about 1 to 2 deg. advanced, I'm sure due to belt stretch. Before I set the tensioner I ensured crank, cam and IP was perfectly lined which I noticed the crank had moved slightly even though was locked with MN tool, so very imortant step. I made sure cam and IP pulley was loose when I set tensioner but when I did set the tension the cam pulley moved slightly but the IP stayed in the factory setting and did not budge. After two hand rotations of the crank, everything stayed the same. Long story short it fired right up and went for a 60 mile test drive and noticed it ran even better with more power through out even when I thought it it ran great before. So my question is the VCDS timing check that important sence the IP did not move and if it is, how urgent and is there a Guru around Dallas preferably East of ?
 

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The point of the tools (other than cam-crank timing) is for injection pump timing. It'll make sure the car will start and most of the time, it's within an acceptable range of timing. However, I prefer to put timing a little advanced for easier starts and because it'll retard as the belt ages. You can still drive the car without a problem as you've found out, but it's best to get it checked out when possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice to go a little advaced and to Yuri for the list of Gurus' in my area. I called Brian who is closest to for the VCDS check, real good guy to talk to and can't beat the deal to make it right and piece of mind of $42.50 if IP needs adJustment. I will still update to let you know how far I was off.
 
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