1996 – 2001 Audi A4 2.8L V6
Vehicle In This Guide:
1998 Audi A4 2.8L V6 / 5 speed manual / 104,000 miles
- Camshaft holder (Audi tool # 3391)
- Crankshaft lock pin (Audi tool 3242)
- Fan clutch removal tool (Schley tool 63600)
- Assortment of metric sockets and wrenches
- Timing Belt Kit with water pump
This guide will show you how to replace your timing belt and water pump on a B5 generation Audi A4 with the 2.8L V6 engine. It is important that you have the correct tools for this job so take a look above to see what you need. As with any timing belt replacement job, it is crucial that you take your time and carefully double check everything that you do. Another point that I can’t stress enough is to use quality parts. The hydraulic dampener on this A4 failed after less than 30,000 miles – lucky for me there was no valve damage. So, unless you enjoy changing your timing belt every year, spend a little more for quality parts. This guide will also show you how to replace the water-pump and thermostat.
Removing Timing Components
1. Start by taking off the front bumper – you can follow the steps by reading the Audi A4 B5 Front Bumper Removal guide.
2. Move the carrier out of the way by following the steps found on the Audi A4 B5 Move Carrier Service Position | Removal and Installation | page.
3. With the carrier out of the way, loosen the tension on the serpentine belt by rotating a 17mm wrench clockwise and remove the belt. To make the fan clutch removal easier you can take out the fan blades that are secured with four allen bolts.
4. Remove the right timing cover that is secured with three clips. Flat-head screw drive makes this easy.
5. Remove the left timing cover that is actually made up of two parts. Also remove the serpentine belt tensioner – one bolt.
6. Remove the fan clutch – 32mm wrench works great. It is reverse thread so turn the wrench clockwise to loosen it. You will need some way of holding the pulley while you turn the clutch. An Audi fan clutch holder tool works great for this task.
7. After the fan clutch is out of the way you can remove the idle pulley and bracket. It is secured by four different size allen bolts.
8. Line up the timing marks starting with the crankshaft pulley. Rotate the crankshaft clockwise until the marks line up.
At this point the camshaft “keys” will line up and be facing each other. NOTE: the larger holes should be on the inside and the small holes should be pointing out.
9. You want to make sure that the crankshaft does not move so remove the plastic access plug from the engine and install the crankshaft holder tool. Access plug is on the driver side bottom of the engine (right under the engine mount). Note: The 12V 2.8L (1997 and below) engine has a crankshaft position sensor in that location instead of a plastic plug. Remove the sensor and install the tool in the same spot.
10. Install the camshaft holder tool.
11. Remove the crankshaft pulley, it is secured by eight allen bolts. It is a good idea to replace these. NOTE: pulley can only be installed one way. ANOTHER NOTE: when you remove the bolts you may find that the pulley is stuck. You can use a pry bar or big screw driver to carefully nudge the pulley out. FINAL NOTE: You may have to move the AC lines out of the way to remove the crankshaft pulley – they are secured with one 10mm nut.
12. Remove the last timing cover that is held by two more 10mm bolts.
13. If you are going to reuse the hydraulic dampener, then de-tension the belt by rotating the tensioner roller clockwise (using an allen key) until you can insert a pin through the top hole of the dampener. Then remove –
- Timing belt
- (1) idler roller
- (2) tensioner roller
- (3) tensioner relay
- (4) hydrallic dampener (if you are replacing it)
NOTE: The 12V 2.8L (1997 and below) engine does not have #3 and #4.
14. If you are changing the water-pump, then remove the 9 mounting bolts and the 2 nuts. To get to one of the water pump bolts you will have to remove the power steering pump pulley (1). After you remove the three allen bolts you will likely find that the pulley is frozen solid. Remember, it is not pressed in, so grab a pry-bar and gently pry it out. Just to the left of the water pump is the thermostat housing – it is secured by two more bolts.
Installing The Water Pump, Thermostat, and Timing Components
1. Here you can see the water pump is removed and a new thermostat installed. NOTE: Install thermostat first, then o-ring, then thermostat cover.
2. Install water-pump and torque bolts to 7 lb-ft.
3. Install the rest of the timing components. Torque –
- idler roller – 33 lb-ft.
- tensioner roller – 15 lb-ft.
- tensioner relay – no torque provided
- hydrallic dampener (tensioner) – 7 lb-ft.
4. Before you can install the timing belt you will have to loosen the camshaft sprockets. With the camshaft tool in place, loosen the camshaft bolts and back them out about 5 turns – this will give you enough slack so you can pop the sprockets loose. Remove the camshaft tool. Because the sprockets are pressed in you will have to get a puller and pop them loose. When I say pop, I mean it, you will hear a loud pop. Once you pull the sprockets free – hand tighten the bolts back in. At this point you should be able to rotate the sprockets by hand.
5. You can now install the timing belt. Start at the crankshaft sprocket and go to the right over the idler, over the driver camshaft sprocket, then under the water-pump, then over the passenger camshaft sprocket, and finally over the tensioner pulley. You don’t have to worry about the camshafts moving because the sprockets are able to rotate freely. Once the timing belt is on correctly you can remove the pin from the hydraulic dampener.
6. Install the camshaft tool but do not tighten the bolts yet. First you will have to pre-tension the belt. Grab an allen socket and apply 11 lb-ft. of force in the counterclockwise direction.
7. Tighten the camshaft bolts to 41 lb-ft. and then remove the camshaft tool.
8. Install the first timing cover and the crankshaft pulley. Rotate the engine by hand several times and make sure that all the timing marks are lined up correctly.
9. Once you have verified that the timing is correct you can continue with the installation of the remaining parts, starting with the timing covers. Install the idle pulley and bracket. Install the power steering pulley.
10. Install the drive (serpentine) belt and route it as follows.
11. When everything is done your engine should look like this.
12. Reinstall the carrier.
13. Reinstall the bumper.
14. Bleed the coolant system. Make sure your car is level. Pull back the hose clamp and then pull back the hose until the bleed hole is no longer sealed. Pour coolant into the reservoir until coolant begins flowing out of the bleed hole in the hose. At this point, reinstall the hose and clamp. There is also a bleed screw on the front coolant pipe. Again, loosen the screw and pour coolant until it flows from the bleeder hole. Reinstall the bleed screw and torque to 15 lb-ft.
15. Make sure you remove the crankshaft holder tool!
16. Start the engine and make sure everything works as it should.