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Discussion Starter #1
So long story short, the stud holding the timing belt tensionoer pulley snapped off when I was on the freeway causing the timing belt to come off. Is there any possibility that my head and valves aren't totally f*****d? Do I need to pull the head to find out how bad it is?
 

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If it's a 1.8t (4 cylinder) or a V6 you are more than likely going to need some major valve work. I honestly can't see how wouldn't cause damage.
First thing to do is a compression test. That will reveal all.
 
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How do you tension it correctly?
Any chance I don't have to remove the head or replace valves?
To tension it correctly, check the manual for the correct tension and use a tension wrench.

It is almost certain that some valves are damaged.
 

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Personally, I'd avoid cranking it to do a compression test. No reason to beat the piston crowns up any more (than they already are).
Absolutely correct.

I misspoke by saying a compression test. I was thinking of using compressed air into the cylinder(s).
Removing the valve cover and looking at the cam lobe positions, you'll be able to see which cylinder to apply air to.
If air comes out the exhaust and intake then you know you've got a problem.
I just posted compression test without really thinking about it.

I do have to admit, scotts13 post is better advice than my general and vague post of earlier.
 

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Some valves are bent, pretty much no question. Unless this is a pristine car you love, or you like projects, I would probably junk it.
 

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Absolutely correct.

I misspoke by saying a compression test. I was thinking of using compressed air into the cylinder(s).
Removing the valve cover and looking at the cam lobe positions, you'll be able to see which cylinder to apply air to.
If air comes out the exhaust and intake then you know you've got a problem.
I just posted compression test without really thinking about it.
That's a cylinder leak down. An inspection camera down a plug hole would be able to see the valves, and it becomes greatly obvious when they are bent.
 

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I wouldn't even bother with looking at it. Chances of valve damage are about 99.999999%.

I put a junkyard head on a 1.8t I had. It's not a bad job but be sure to get the proper PolyDrive bit before heading to the junkyard or you'll never get the head off. Also be sure to un-torque the head in the proper sequence steps, etc. I think I paid $59 for the used head, $125 to have it surfaced, cleaned and checked by a machine shop and about $100 for the gasket set. It was a satisfying job in the end and was my first time getting that deep into the engine, although I don't think you could really say I was in the engine block at all.
 

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If it is a 1.8t engine and you have done the timing belt job yourself, a cylinder head swap has the potential to be a good "next step" DIY learning project, if you have a good selection of tools and patience.

In my experience, the 2.8 V6 heads swap is a lot more of an undertaking, being substantially more time consuming and frustrating due to workspace constraints. So much so, that I no longer work on the V6's at all (I don't have that level of patience 😥).
 

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I had a friend who had a 2.8 V6 (same as i had) his tensioner went. He had a new belt fitted and it was totally fine (not that he looked into the cylinders...) I would have checked if it was mine - but hey, it's his money!
 

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...I paid $59 for the used head, $125 to have it surfaced, cleaned and checked by a machine shop and about $100 for the gasket set.
Having the used head checked for warps or cracks is highly recommended, due to the possibility that the car is in the junkyard because it overheated.

Those timing belt roller bolts, if they loosen or break, are what's referred to as a "single point failure". I'm more cautious with those things than just about any other bolts on the car.
 
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