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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can buy the ECS kit for $260 and have fun putting it in :)

because I'm not happy about giving away $650-$700 for something that I can do my self

I have never done timing belt before so I will use the DIY write up http://www.clubb5.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=60301

anyone has any cons and pros to doing this job ? ... should I even try it myself or forget it cuz I will screw my car up

and also has anyone done it yet ?

btw ... I have a 98' passat manual 1.8T with 99k mile on it

I will also replace spark plugs as I'm on it ... what spark plugs should I get ? :)
 

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I wish I could find that picture from the dude who snapped a picture at what he took off to get to the timing belt. It looked like his car had the front shaved off. It is doable but there is a reason the charge you 400 bucks in labor for the swap!
 

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I agree with danteshors....if you want to tie up your car for about two days...and printout the DIY pages, then I wish you good luck. I have done many thing on cars these past 40 yrs, but after looking into what was at stake doing the TB by myself, I opted for the dealer. If he makes a mistake, then its covered by them, if I do it, then who knows what damage I could do. This is not like a brake job, or replacing an alternator...this is something the big boys do for a living, and they have all the tools to do it. If you intend to keep the car another 3 or more yrs. then let someone else take the responsibliity, and give your self peace of mind. Too many times I've read where someone on this board did it, and then was asking for help, because the engine won't idle right, or they hear a whine....if you have never done it before, take it to someone who has.
 

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I did the timing belt on my old B5 a couple years ago using the kit from ECS. It was the first major work I had done on any car - previously had only done brakes and oil changes. Using the information available here at CB5 I was able to pull it off - though it took all weekend. It was satisfying though - I will do it myself again when it's time on the 2000 B5 Variant that I am buying tomorrow. I say go for it.
 

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Word of advice: Make sure you have a second vehicle available to run to the parts store just in case.

Too bad you're down in the bay area. I have power tools and I know how to put the front of the car in the service position, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for good words of hope

I feel better now :cry:

:D ... I'm still very tempted to do it myself ... if I screw it up and the car wont idle ... than I will take it to a mechanic ... and it still would be cheaper than getting my belt done somewhere else

or perhaps there is someone in bay area that is willing to help me :) ... I will pay of course ... (about a $1 an hour :lol: )
 

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Doing the timing belt, assuming you are comfortable with your mechanical skills, shouldn't take you more than 4-5hrs.... It's actually relatively simple. Just a lot of big peices of stuff to take off..... :) Good Luck. It's not as bad as it seems.

Ryan
 

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I plan on doing it myself too. i've replaced timing belt on american cars b4 but never a german one. the only reason its dificult is because you have to remove the front end. im not looking forward to spending 5-8 hours replaceing the belt but "we do what we must". this is one of the reasons the germans lost WWII. they make things better then us americans but they make it too dificult to repair and maintain. the only reason to let the dealer do it is because if it breaks then they are responsible. your paying (that extra $400 labor) for the Warranty. even then they might try to screew you. if you want something done right then do it yourself. just make sure you dont rush your self, take your time and make sure its done right!
 

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Sausage- I guess you already know where I stand on the issue...it's not a job for the faint of heart, but it's not really any harder than doing a brake job. There is just a lot of stuff to take apart and there is a nervous feeling when you start the engine for the first time after you're done. Like I said in the writeup, get yourself a Haynes manual and read their procedure; that should tell you if it's a job you want to tackle yourself.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions,
Matt
 

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majikblackb5 said:
but why did he have to remove the front bumper to get to the timing belt????
As you have likely noticed, the front bumper frame, radiator, etc. is pretty well wrapped around the front of the engine. You'll need to move the radiator to get to the front of the engine and at all the belts, covers and what not to get the T-belt out.

As such, that is the source of the "spare car for parts" and "two-day process" remarks. It is not an immediately quick process, even for the VW techs.

However, the car does have a "service position" you can use, whereas it (front clip) hinges to one side to allow you to work on the car, as opposed to just removing the front end all together.

Since this is a DIY project, it can be done at home, but you do need to know a little about doing these sorts of jobs. As mentioned, it is about the same as a full brake job, maybe a little more difficult, but it is an OK DIY.

All of the belts involved are self tensioning and most of the screws and bolts removed are not super critical to re-torque (a good idea, though). Just stick to the instructions and come ask if you need help, you'll do fine.

HTH,
Mark
 

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i should be doing my timing belt soon, i hear you guys talk about the "service position", is this position refering to the "pulling back" the front end(instead of removing it) and letting it sit/hangs on the bolts that attach the front end to the frame??

i want to know everything before i start it (in a few months) to make the job easier.
although it looks like brain surgery, (from the pics) i think it look squite simple! just time consuming!!!

for anyone doing the TB i would sugest changing everything that can be changed in the prosses, to keep from having to go "there" again!!

anyway what is the "service position? thanx...............

ALfredo
 

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Not sure what the "service position is", but to take off the bumper is real easy. Just a couple bolts (two of which are hidden under the corner lamps) Then the radiator and then just gently move the AC cooler or whatever it is called out of the way and voila, you have un impeded access to everything. Figure you are going to replace the water pump so draining the radiator is neccesary and why not just take it off... :)

In my opinion it was easier just to move everything out of your way instead of trying to work around it.

Ryan
 

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Alfredo,

Yeah you are right, the service position involves removing 8 or so long bolts and then the entire radiator assembly (lock carrier as they call it) slides out on a couple pieces of rod you thread into the holes where the bolts were installed. This allows the entire front end assembly to slide out about 8 inches or so and gives you plenty of working room w/o having to disconnect or even drain the radiator or A/C cooler.

This job really isn't too bad at all. Took me 10 hours from start to finish to do TB, all belts, and water pump. Just take your time and triple check everything.

HTH,
-Chris
 

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Here are a few tips I learned doing mine,

Use the bumper bolts instead of the threaded rod, They are the right size threads and the lenght is good to because the head of the bolts stops you from pulling the lock carrier to far forward and do some sort of damage.

Have plenty of rags.

Take photo's of the exact position of the cam and crank timing marks with the old timing belt installed.

Use paper cups or baggies for bolts you remove and write on them what they came from.

I bought the complete kit from ECS too, but didn't end up changing the water pump. Once you learn to put the lock carrier in the service position it only takes 30-45mins. Not doing the water pump saved me alot of time and I'll get it later it's not like timing belt has to be removed to get to the water pump! I didn't even take the water pump belt off. The ECS salesman made me feel like I had to, and by putting the new belt on cause to much new tension on the old pump and it would soon fail so just change it anyway, Well he was full of crap anyway!

I say go for it :thumbup:
 
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