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A4 1.8T B6 Timing Belt Change - DIY

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by Phil-UK, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Phil-UK
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    Phil-UK New Member

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    [Aug 30, 2011]
    Hi all,

    I am buying the parts today to do a timing belt change on my 2003 A4. It has 89K on the clock and that's plenty, not going to leave it till the very optomistic 115K in the manual.

    I've got the haynes manual to help me as well as reading through other belt changes online but is there anything I should be aware of or look out for? I will be buying the whole kit (includes tensioner) and changing the water pump and auxillary belt as well.

    Water Pump - I've seen different views on using genuine or after market. Basically plastic impellar for genuine or metal for a GSF for example. But I've also read that some of the metal ones are leaking from the seals. Personally I'd rather stick to genuine even if they are plastic. If I am going to change the timing belts myself in future I just drop in a new pump every time, so I think I should be fine... what do you think?

    Phil
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  3. S3 GAZ
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    S3 GAZ Member

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    [Aug 30, 2011]
    I did my 1.9tdi timing belt. Hardest part was getting the front bumper off lol. Not sure if u need to for the 1.8T
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  4. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    [Aug 30, 2011]
    The cambelt interval was changed retrospectively to 5 years or 75000 miles for 1.8t engines anyway, the manuals are out of date.

    When my plastic pump failed, I switched it for a GSF metal one. That pump and the oem one are all sealed by an o ring that fits inside the block, so don't see how one could be more leak prone than the other. They're identical apart from the impeller material.

    Read up on setting the tensioner properly, it's not quite a 'pull the pin' type installation.

    Otherwise, it's not too bad a job, but access is a bit tight with the bumper pulled out to the service position.
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  5. Phil-UK
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    Phil-UK New Member

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    [Aug 30, 2011]
    @S3 Gaz... Yeah I have to take off the bumper too and pull the front of the car into the 'Service position', sounds like fun, Not!

    @Tooks... Does the water pump come with a new O-ring?

    75K for belt change and mines at nearly 90K... Holy cr*p!!!

    From what I read I got the impression that the seals that leak are the seals within the actual pump, around the impellar shaft itself rather than the seal between the pump and the engine block (O-ring). I guess there's a seal before the bearings?
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  6. S3 GAZ
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    S3 GAZ Member

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    [Aug 30, 2011]
    When I did my s3 I replaced the plastic water pump with one from gsf with the metal impellor. The plastic one I took out was beginning to disintegrate and that was at 60,000 miles. I would not put a plastic on back in. Bits breaking off to me is far worse than a seal failing.
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  7. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    [Aug 30, 2011]
    Yes, the metal GSF pump came with an o ring.

    I'd not heard about the bearing seals leaking, but certainly the item I got looked like a quality item. GSF has 3 pumps in stock, the most expensive being the oem part, a much cheaper plastic 3rd party one, and the metal one which was in between the two.

    To be honest, if you're changing them every 75000 miles, then any of them will probably do the job, but I wanted to eliminate the obvious weak point of the plastic impeller coming unstuck from the shaft, which is what mine had done and according to the service records had been changed 50k previously (though looking at it, I'd be surprised if it was changed!).

    I accept my metal one may leak before that anyway, but thats the luck of the draw I suppose!
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  8. Phil-UK
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    Phil-UK New Member

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    [Aug 31, 2011]
    Well I went yesterday and bought the parts. I was still undecided on which water pump but I had my car booked into my local VAG specialist & Revo agent to have a stage 1 remap and thought while I'm there I'll also ask his opinion. He recommended sticking with the OEM as the metal impeller ones are heavier which puts more load on the cambelt and he has seen more failures with it than OEM so I've gone for OEM.

    Didn't get my remap done : ( The guy plugged in his laptop ready to do it and we smelt petrol, looked under car and saw a leak from the fuel filter area, near the back wheel. Turns out I got to have a new fuel pipe so I need to get that sorted first and foremost. Booked in for tomorrow so will change fuel filter as well.

    I am doing the timing belt this weekend (DIY), I guess it would be a good time to upgrade my DV while the car is in the service position. What DV do you all recommend? The Revo guy said the TIP and DV aren't too bad on the A4 1.8T and are fine for stage 1, should I even bother upgrading it then? Looking at the Awesome ones I see there are 2 types, a 5-15 psi version and a 15-23 psi. Which would be best for the Revo stage 1 remap? Should I just buy a new OEM one maybe?

    Appreciate your help
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  9. docurley
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    docurley Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 31, 2011]
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  10. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    [Aug 31, 2011]
    The above is the guide I used too, very helpful.

    I'm surprised to hear the comments about the metal impeller pumps causing more belt failures.

    The weight difference between the impellers must be marginal (the metal is a light cast alloy), and when you think about what else the cam belt has to turn (ie the camshafts), it's a low torque item in comparison. Cambelts are very strong, I can't see them snapping due to turning a water pump, unless that pump is seized...

    Anyway, as we've said, as long as they last the life of the belt, it's academic I suppose. :)
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  11. kev1000
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    kev1000 Member

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    [Aug 31, 2011]
    Does anyone know can the bumper still be removed with a votex bumper attached to it?
    I'll be changing the T-belt in the next couple of months and i'm guessing the votex bumper is going to make access to bolts on original bumper a right pain??
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  12. Phil-UK
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    Phil-UK New Member

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    [Aug 31, 2011]
    @Tooks... sorry, I re-read my comment after reading yours and realise I wasn't very clear. When I said "he has seen more failures" I meant of the actual water pump rather than the cambelt itself. It was to do with bearing and seal failures. Sorry should have been more clear. As you say I think they are both fine for 60K miles anyway. He did say it's when people leave them and never bother changing you get the issues mentioned.

    @Kev1000... I'm also interested in this reply, my car also has the Votex bumper. This job looks hard enough without more hassle, I do hope it's not too bad with this on.
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  13. richie_jones
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    richie_jones Member

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    [Sep 2, 2011]
    Thats a great guide, do you know if one exists for the 1.9TDI engine, or is the procedure roughly the same....
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  14. Phil-UK
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    Phil-UK New Member

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    [Sep 4, 2011]
    Well timing belt now done! All in all took 6 hours. To update on the Votex bumper issue, it's no problem, just remove the 2 side grills around the fog lights to access the vertical bumper bolts and that's it, the procedure is the same, it will come off still attached to the original bumper.
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  15. kev1000
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    kev1000 Member

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    [Sep 4, 2011]
    Thanks Phil, for the tip about the votex.Mine would have to stay attached to the original as I used tigerseal when I fitted it.Good to know I can get at bolts.Cheers bud!
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  16. smg496
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    smg496 New Member

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    [Dec 18, 2011]
    Hi Guys,

    I have a 2002 A4 Avant B6 which is on about 55000 but as it's the original belt I think it's overdue for a change. Due to the wrong parts being sent I am now in a position where I need to install the belt, tensioners and rollers outside today in a rather nippy 7 degrees C! The SKF instructions recommend ambient (20 degrees) so am I making a big mistake if I ignore this? The car is disassembled so cannot be moved now unfortunately.

    Cheers, Simon.
    #15

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