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My neighbor bought a 1998 MK 3 Jetta with a naturally aspirated 2.0

This is the cars second engine and the dealer told him it had only 80K on it.

He was pulling the valve cover off today to replace the gasket and I happened to come over. I told him about the notorious timing belts and we opted to open the inspection cover all the way an have a look.

The belt is so loose I can slide it to the edge of the cam pulley with just a little wiggle from my fingers. Worse; the belt is showing imprints of each little tooth on the outside of the belt.

I will try to put up some pics of it. I don't even know how he got it home without it breaking.

OH and is it normal for the CAM pulley to be rusted?
 

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this should be in the mk3 section... if there is one lol. but check the tensioner, it might've failed or is fully extended... if fully extended then you need a new belt but i would replace the belt regardless
 

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That's not correct. Some people have been lucky, but many more have had a fata negine damage after the timing belt went.
 

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moved; wrong forum originally.
 

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That's not correct. Some people have been lucky, but many more have had a fata negine damage after the timing belt went.
Interesting. Just going on what I've been told by a person that has torn one down. But I didn't get the whole story. It's a crap shoot, but most times it turns out ok.
 

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its a crap shoot, most times you wont damage the engine but sometimes it will bend a valve or 2, almost always it never does enough damage to the pistons so only a head is needed. best part on a 2.0 is a running head you can barely give away for 50 bucks.

timing belts are tit on the 2.0, just make sure you keep the intermediate aligned correctly as well as the cam and crank gear, the intermediate shaft controls the timing on the motor.
 

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That's not correct. Some people have been lucky, but many more have had a fata negine damage after the timing belt went.
I have to get me some of that "fata negine damage" - will it help my level 98 Paladin? :lol:
 

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I think I got that one beat, but mine was no longer running.
Crappy cell phone pic:
 

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timing belts are tit on the 2.0, just make sure you keep the intermediate aligned correctly as well as the cam and crank gear, the intermediate shaft controls the timing on the motor.
And if the intermediate shaft doesn't align properly, pop off the distributor cap to find the proper alignment. That's what I ended up doing even though I made all the necessary marks that were suggested in a write-up I found on Vortex.
 
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