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Timing belt replacement duration

12951 Views 26 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  nmJbyrd
I am attempting my first timing belt replacement and interested in what people think it will take me to complete the repair. It depends on loads of factors so here is a little info to help color your estimate. I am a marine engineer so I have worked on many diesel engines but usually with connecting rods as big as I am (6 ft), cylinders with 5ft diameters, and you can stand inside the crank case (I have a picture of that somewhere). I am doing this on my 2006 BRM engine, Blauparts parts kit and their special timing belt tools. I have read chittychittybangbang's articles twice for this repair too and it seems straight forward. I will be doing it at my friend's shop where I have access to a lift, air tools, torque wrenchs, engine lifting beam and a helping hand when I need it. I am not trying to race through this, I will be thorough and methodical in my work but I just am not sure if its going to take me three days or four hours. Oh, I guess i should say oil changes take me about 20-30 minuters and changing my brake pads is usually an hour from start to clean up.

Another reason I want to know is because I will be at my friends shop at 3 ish this afternoon and he said he wants to go home at 9 and I am not sure if I can finish it tonight in the 6 ish hours I have. I dont want it to go over into tomorrow morning but if it must I want to mentally prepare to ask my wife to come pick me up!

Thanks for your help with estimating.

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Well at 118k I would change the belt and the tensioner...
... as well as the water pump and idler...
Does anyone know how much dealerships charge to change the timing belt? I have a 2006 Jetta TDI. TIA
Too much...

Most dealerships in the U.S. don't have a terribly good reputation for doing this properly or standing behind their work... Would you happen to be taking a trip to the Atlanta area any time soon? There are a couple of well-regarded independents there... (Roger Feldt and Troy Sentz...)

All the best,

How long does it take to do the job?
It's best to either combine this with another goal for the trip - so that you can leave the car behind (and possibly rent a car for the day), or else make this the only point of the trip and join in the "fun" - learning a thing or two, if you're interested in this type of thing... This is the type of job that I consider making an extra effort to make sure to get done right by someone experienced with the type of engine... I drove for almost 4 hours to get to a TDI-club "guru" for my first (emergency) timing belt replacement... have done the next 5 myself...
4-6 hours.
If nothing goes wrong (or is found to be urgently needed - like a crank seal or something to do with the camshaft, injectors, or maybe a newly discovered broken glow plug...)

its always a good idea to do front seals and water pump
Water pump, for sure... ditto for the idlers... As for the front seals: the consensus appears to be that if they're not displaying any sign of seepage, leave them alone!!! That goes double for the new-style so-called Teflon seals... they can last a very long time (400,000 miles or more) and are easily damaged during replacement.

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