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Audi A4 B5 Generation – 2.8L V6 Timing Belt Replacement

Applies To:

1996 – 2001 Audi A4 2.8L V6

Vehicle In This Guide:

1998 Audi A4 2.8L V6 / 5 speed manual / 104,000 miles

Recommended Tools:

  1. Camshaft holder (Audi tool # 3391)
  2. Crankshaft lock pin (Audi tool 3242)
  3. Fan clutch removal tool (Schley tool 63600)
  4. Assortment of metric sockets and wrenches

Parts Needed:

  1. 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. audi a4 2.8l serpentine belt

4. Remove the right timing cover that is secured with three clips. Flat-head screw drive makes this easy. audi a4 b5 timing belt cover

5. Remove the left timing cover that is actually made up of two parts. Also remove the serpentine belt tensioner – one bolt. audi a4 b5 timing belt cover second

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. audi a4 b5 fan clutch

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. audi a4 idler pulley

8. Line up the timing marks starting with the crankshaft pulley. Rotate the crankshaft clockwise until the marks line up. audi a4 b5 crankshaft timing

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. audi a4 b5 camshaft timing

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. audi a4 crankshaft tool plug

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. audi a4 camshaft alignment tool

12. Remove the last timing cover that is held by two more 10mm bolts. audi a4 engine timing bottom cover

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.

audi a4 b5 timing components

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. audi a4 b5 remove water pump

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. audi a4 b5 thermostat

2. Install water-pump and torque bolts to 7 lb-ft. audi a4 b5 water pump install

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.
audi a4 b5 new timing components

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. audi a4 b5 remove pulley

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. audi a4 timing belt install

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. audi a4 timing belt preload

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. audi a4 checking timing

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. audi a4 engine timing cover install

10. Install the drive (serpentine) belt and route it as follows. audi a4 drive serpentine belt routing

11. When everything is done your engine should look like this.
audi a4 b5 engine parts

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. audi a4 bleed heater core 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. audi a4 bleed coolant

15. Make sure you remove the crankshaft holder tool!

16. Start the engine and make sure everything works as it should.

Related Articles
  • Hello, I have a question. I’m at the step where you line up the timing marks to the crankshaft pulley. When I did that the camshaft keys weren’t lined up. What could have been the reason why this happened? Thank you.

    • Hi there Dustin,
      If you do another rotation on the crankshaft the camshafts should line up. The cam pulleys are bigger than the crank pulley, so they turn half as fast. I think it’s 2 turns of the crank for each camshaft revolution.

  • Hi, I had my crank set at DTC and both large holes on sprockets facing each other. Then I cut TB and installed the bar to prevent sprocket spin. The guy skipped a step and for that reason when I went to loosen bolt on sprocket it rotated. I don’t know what to do to make sprockets align when facing each other. Is there a way to make them do so again?

    • I also have the same exact problem. When I was trying to loosen the camshaft bolt from the socket, the left side cam sprocket spun and now the wholes are not aligning to each other. I really need help, I don’t know how to put it back to where it needs to be and in time. Please, someone, respond so I can fix my car 🙁

    • Same here… did somebody post a remedy for this situation?

      The crankshaft lock pin is still in position. The passenger side camshaft rotated about 45 degrees, and it appears I cannot force it back for the wholes to line up horizontally… which way should I try to turn the camshaft sprocket to line it up?

  • Yesterday it was done without VW tools, but I made my own with which I can turn the camshaft from the pulley. First, I turned the crankshaft 30 degrees counterclockwis e so that the valves did not hit the pistons. I then released the pulleys on both camshafts with a puller. Timing marks can be found inside the valve mechanism. I replaced the sealing rings (4 pcs.) And the chains with tensioners. If you do not remove the camshafts, simply align the notches on the marks inside the valve cover. New timing belt in place (tightened). Finally, turn the crankshaft clockwise 30 degrees and tighten the camshaft pulleys (65Nm).

  • I have a 1998 Audi a4 quattro 2.8 v6 and a pulley fell off. i believe it would be the tensioner pulley since it is at the top, small, and different than the rest. now let me add that the bolt is missing that holds it in place and I see wear on a small metal piece that was left hanging on the slot where the pulley is supposed to be. Is it safe to drive it home 20+ miles on the express way with out the serpentine belt or could i still bypass it to get home. if not what exact parts would i need to buy to get my car running healthy again.

    • Sounds like you will need to replace the serpentine belt tensioner. Not an expensive part and is easy to change. Is the car drivable? Yes. But it is not safe. Since there is no tension on the belt your power steering will be gone and your alternator will not work so your battery will not be recharging as you drive. Does the battery have enough juice to last 20 miles? I have no idea.

      If you replace the tensioner then it is also a good idea to replace the serpentine belt as well.

  • Artem, I had to replace the chain guides (plastics) inside the heads and the 1/2 moon gaskets etc etc….does the mark on the camshaft have to be dead center on the arrow (stamped in head) or there’s some tolerance? I used the tool and everything seems to be lined up but somehow they are not perfectly centered either at the beginning or the end and Im not sure if it has to do with the tensioner… … and Thank you for this informative page…its really appreciated

    • The manual states that the marks on the camshaft must line up with the arrow on the head. I know you said that they are no centered perfectly but do they at least line up?

      • Yes they do but see the lines on the camshaft are a little thicker than the arrows on the head cap…I finally check for a third time and realize that the hydraulic tensioner takes care of the alignment in a way too…since it advances the chain a hair when it lifts up and everything lines up perfectly he is up and running perfectly fine now..Thank you

  • How important is it that I get the camshaft holder tool and crankshaft pin
    Is there anything else I can use just a simple screw driver to keep them in place?

    • It is pretty important if you want the timing to be correct. I just can’t picture anyone using screw drivers to keep the camshafts aligned. They have to be correctly aligned and the only way to do that is to use some kind of a bar. Some people have made their own bars and there are some schematics online. The crankshaft pin you can probably replace with a standard bolt but you would need to know the correct length of the pin tool.

      You can buy both tools on ebay for $60 and then sell them for almost the same amount. I highly recommend that you get the tools, especially if this is your first time doing this job.

  • I cant locate where to install the crankshaft tool. Do I need to remove the crankshaft position sensor first and put the tool in from there? I have a 1996 A4 2.8.

    • If you look right under the motor mount bracket (driver’s side) you will see a black plastic cap/cover that is held in place with a 10mm bolt. Remove the bolt & cap and then you will be able to install the crank lock pin.

      • either I am blind or just stupid. I cant find this plastic cover anywhere. The only thing I see in the area you described is the crankshaft position sensor. Once I pulled the sensor out, then it looks like it has threads to install the tool. Any thought if this is the correct spot for my car (1996 a4 v6 2.8l)

        • Guess I learned something new today. Looks like the 12V 2.8 engines have the crankshaft position sensor in that spot while the 30V 2.8 engines have a plastic plug and the crank sensor is in a different location.

          So yes, remove the crank sensor and install the tool.

          Article has been updated.

          • One last question concerning my 1996 a4 2.8 12v. Does this motor not have a hydraulic tensioner or dampener? My car has neither (step 13 I only have parts 1 and 2…dont have 3 or 4). Is that normal?

  • You are correct – no hydraulic tensioner. You tighten (step 6 of installation) part 2 and check belt tension between the passenger side cam sprocket and water pump pulley. Tension is correct when you are able to twist the belt 90 degrees and no more. I should also mention that this step is done with the cam sprockets loosened up (step 4 of installation).

    • I just finished my timing belt thanks for your amazing detailed instructions. However, I’m still having engine issue with my a4. Is there anyway to contact you through an personal email to ask you for advise?

      • I get a lot of questions so unfortunately have little time to get back to everyone. Your best bet is to post in an Audi forum. I think you’ll get a much faster response. Thanks for stopping by.

  • On page 2 of this DIY it refers to puling the camshaft sprockets loose before installing the new TB. Per instructions I loosened the camshaft sprocket bolts 5 turns and then use a puller to pop the sprockets out.. Here’s the Issue .. While pulling the sprocket it looks like the cam may have rotated. I felt this slight movement just before the sprocket popped (Which its suppose to do because it’s pressed in). Does anyone know if there’s a way to check the timing for Cams 1,2,3 ??? I want to do this before putting the new belt back on/ see if there’s any other way to do it apart from pulling the valve cover???

  • If it moved slightly, then use the camshaft tool to put them back in their place. The camshaft “keys” (the one’s that the camshaft tool goes into) can only be installed one way so even if the camshaft sprocket is loose, you can still use the “keys” to align the camshaft correctly.

  • So the sprocket is all that matters? He is asking the same question that I have – took off the camshaft sprocket and the it saw the camshaft spin about 30 degrees clockwise on the passenger side camshaft – how do I get it back to it’s exact position? The sprocket is loose and have no idea of the exact position relative to the camshaft….

  • is it possible to install the belt without lossing up the sprocket screw ? And also what about lining up the mark on camshaft to the mark on the plastic cover? Thank u

    • I’m sure it is possible but you run the risk of messing up the timing – especially when you go to apply the tension on the belt.

      Not sure which marks you are talking about. As I remember it, there are no marks on the plastic cover. The cams are aligned using the camshaft tool – no marks are used.

      • Hey thks for your previous input…my issue is that i have a 97 A4 2.8 6cil witch i got without belt n nothing is marked. If u can help ill send u a lunch.thks

        • I don’t know the whole back story on your A4 but if I got a car with no timing belt then it most likely snapped while the engine was running and the previous owner never bothered to replace it. My point is that there is a good chance that the valves are bent.

          If you are set on replacing the belt then to align everything follow step #8 in this guide. Rotate the crankshaft until the notch on the pulley lines up with the arrow on the plastic cover. Then rotate each camshaft until the camshaft “keys” face each other (with the larger holes on the inside) and you are able to install the camshaft tool. That’s it, no marks required.

  • Hey, i got a question to asked you. do you really need that cam shaft holder tool for a 12v 2.8 quattro? if you do is there any other alternate i can improvise because that tool is pretty expensive.

    • James,

      The tools make this job almost impossible to screw up. Do you really need them? No. If you can find a way to mark everything and keep everything in place as you change the belt then you don’t need them. An alternative is to make the bar yourself out of steel or wood – here is one guide: I don’t know the exact dimensions, only that the 12v 2.8 bar is shorter than the 30v 2.8 bar.

      What I did was buy the bar and locking pin on ebay for $60 (that’s with shipping), used them, and then sold them on ebay for $15 less than the new price.

  • I have a question on this I was driving on the freeway when this tensioner broke off and my serpentine belt came off. You mean to tell me this can cause my engine to go to crap? In really worried about this. I was not aware this would happen.

    • You are talking about the serpentine belt which runs the power steering, alternator and ac compressor. This belt is not the same thing as a timing belt. Your engine will be just fine.

      • Seriously thankful for your response. I was freaking out as my girlfriend’s transmission went out the other day I was extremely worried. Did not want to be without a car for that long. Thanks again for replying.

  • Hey Thanx Artem for the post. I haven’t had any timing belt issues yet, I think it was done before I got it, but it has been helpful for a belt change and tensioner fix. Now I need to get to the starter which is behind the alternator. Upon removal of the alternator I stripped a bolt. So in order to get at it I’m trying to remove the left timing belt cover and I can’t get the second part off. If I try any harder I think I’m gonna break it! How the heck did you do it without breaking it or tampering with the (A/C?) or whatever that black plastic hose is? That’s right in the freaking way! lol.

    • that’s not an a/c hose , if you’re talking about the ribbed hard plastic hose in front of the alternator that just a smog hose and you can remove it by pinching the clips on it.

    • I know I had the serpentine belt tensioner removed. Then I undid the two clips and the second cover came off with no problems. Like eric pointed out, you can always disconnect the black hose.

  • I changed the belt and tried to test fire it without the fan belt before I put everything back together just to see if it would start to see if everything is fine. I don’t want to put it all together and then have to take it all back apart. But it won’t start does it all need to be assembled before it would start is it wired that way?

  • Thanks very much for the posting. I am about to do this task myself. In regards to the removal of the crankshaft pulley. After I install my crank locking pin can I use it to hold
    the pulley in place while I remove the bolts (in other words apply pressure against it). I am not sure if this might cause damage to the crankshaft).

    • Those bolts are only torqued to 15 lb-ft (they should be) so I don’t see it harming anything. However, if I remember right, the locking pin only prevents the crank from rotation clockwise. I believe you will still have to hold the crankshaft with a socket on the end while you loosen the pulley bolts counterclockwise.

  • 2001 Audi 2.8 ( C5 A6 ) idler pulley torque settings

    I have a 2001 Audi 2.8 (V6 C5) can you tell me the torque setting for the following:

    1/ idler pulley (2 bolts)

    2/ idler pulley mount to engine block (2 bolts)


  • I now have the valve covers off and they are dirty with oil and crud. What product do you recommend to clean the inside of the cover? I tried some brake clean but that did not seem to work to well.

    thx Peter

    • A brush and a degreaser such as Simple Green works well but be sure to dilute it properly and rise it off thoroughly. I’ve also used kerosene to clean engine parts.

      Whatever you do, don’t clean it with gasoline – that is dangerous for many reasons.

  • Wonderful information about vw timing belt installation. I wish I saw this before I installed mine. I removed the crankshaft pulley before marking. Now I don’t know how I am going to recover the timing. My car does not turn over after starting it. Can you help please how I can identify the marks on the crankshaft.

    • You don’t have to mark anything. The crankshaft pulley can only be installed one way. Install it and make sure the factory mark on the crank pulley lines up with the mark on the timing cover. Then line up the camshafts like I show in the guide. Install the belt and the timing should be correct.

  • Thanks a million! I’m proud to say, with this help i managed to do this myself & men thought women can’t do anything! Haha THANKS so much for your time to set these instructions together to help others 🙂

  • Hi,

    I recently bought a 1997 Audi A4 2.8L V6 Quattro and I need to replace the timing belt soon. So I am wondering what other seals I should expect to replace when I do this job?

    • Technically, none. If, however, you have an oil leak or just want to do this as preventative maintenance then I would recommend getting the complete valve cover gasket kit. It has the cam chain tensioner gaskets, 4 cam seals, 2 end caps, 2 half moon seals, and then the valve cover gasket itself. Blauparts have a video on how to replace them.

      As for the front crankshaft seal, if it is not leaking then I would not mess with it.

  • I am attempting to replace my water pump/thermostat tomorrow. I have already replaced the alternator in this car so I have confidence that I will succeed here. I have a limited amount of tools so I’d like to know what size sockets/allen bits I’ll need. Also, I have read that the factory pump is inferior to other models in that the factory model uses plastic in some places. Any suggestions there?

    • Unfortunately I do not have the socket/allen size information. As for the factory water pump – yes, originally the water pumps used a plastic impeller which was inferior. Audi later changed the material of the impeller to PPS. Aftermarket water pumps will have metal impellers. You really can’t go wrong with either one and each one has been known to fail.

  • I changed my audi A6 Quattro 2.8L V6 1998 belt and tried to start it without fan belt, water tank, etc. Do I need to put everything back together before starting it or I can start without the rest of the parts connect..? Pls help!!

  • Hi-not sure if this will help- I used this “guide” for Tools Required when I did it (A4 1.8) •Drain pans for coolant and power steering fluid •Assorted Torx® drivers
    •Assorted Allen sockets
    •Assorted sockets, including 17 mm for camshaft nut and 19 mm 12-point for crankshaft nut.
    •17 mm open end (to rotate accessory belt tensioner)
    •Torque wrench
    •Snap ring pliers (or VW tool for tensioner pulley) Tightening Torques
    •Water pump bolts – 15 Nm
    •Drive belt covers – 10 Nm •Accessory belt tensioner to block – 23 Nm •Drive belt tensioner pulley retaining nut – 27 Nm
    •Camshaft sprocket bolt – 65 Nm (48 ft-lb)
    •Crankshaft sprocket bolt – 90 Nm (66 ft-lb) plus ¼ turn (TTY bolt – always replace)
    •Crankshaft pulley retainer bolts 10 Nm + 90°+ ¼ turn (TTY bolt – always replace

    -hope you don’t mind that I shared the list, might be useful together with your amazing guideline!!

  • If I broke my exhaust camshaft on my 1998 Audi A4 do you think there is a high probability that valves were bent? I have the front of the car off and valve covers on bank 1,2,3 and the cam broke in half just past the first 3 lobes. this means the other lobes were not going to move from the position they were in when the cam broke. This would include the intake cams. By looking at them the valves are not being pressed down on any of the remaining lobes. Is it possible with the cam broken the pistons could have forced the valves up and turned the remaining part of the exhaust cam and intake cam controlling those valves into a safe position without bending the valves?

  • My car is currently in the show to have the water pump and timing belt changed. They cannot for the life of them, remove the nut in front of the Fan Clutch Pulley. They are loosening in the right direction, but they have applied an acetylene torch to it and used an air driver with no avail. Have you ever heard of that thing being impossible to remove? The only option I see is to cut it off and replace it… which is another $250 I can’t afford. Any ideas?

    • Yes that thing is a biatch to remove. The main problem is keeping the pulley from rotating which is why you need a good tool to hold it in place. After that it’s just a matter of applying lots of torque – you can see in step 6 photo that I use a long wrench. To get even more toque you can slip some kind of pipe over the wrench and use that for leverage.

      If they are using a torch and it still won’t come off then they are doing it wrong.

  • Hi Artem

    I have a 1995 2.8 12valve Audi, the serpentine was brittle and came off, I drove it back home 1km and replaced the belt and now my vehicle wont start. there is no spark. Had a guy run the diagnostics everything passed. I checked all fuses are working when they should. There is 12volts coming into the coils and leaving to the module on the air cleaner having 3pins.BUT when I crank it the other end of that module now 4pins only has 0.3volts and same when I crank and test the speed sensor. I am now totally lost….

  • Hello, I have a question. I’m at the step where you line up the timing marks to the crankshaft pulley. When I did that the camshaft keys weren’t lined up. What could have been the reason why this happened? Thank you.

    • If the camshafts keys were off by a few degrees then that’s okay – it could be due to a loose belt. Just rotate the cams into the correct position so that you can install the locking bar.

      If the keys are facing completely different directions then you may need to rotate the crankshaft one more time.

      • Hello when I line up the timing marks on the camshaft, the left and right camshaft are misaligned. In the book or your diagram when you aligned The timing marks the left and right camshaft are aligned with the small holes on the outside and the larger holes on the inside and the smaller holes on the outside i rotated it many times.

        How could I get the left and right camshaft to align correctly?

        • First, make sure that the CRANKSHAFT is in the correct position (timing mark lined up with the mark on the timing cover). At this point the camshafts “keys” should be lined up or should be close.

          Next you need the camshaft locking bar (step 11). It can only be installed one way and that is when the large hole on the camshaft “keys” are inside and the smaller holes facing out. If the camshafts are not aligned but are CLOSE you can rotate them by hand (use the bar for leverage if you have to). The timing belt may need to be removed before you can rotate the cams if they are way off. Once the locking bar is installed then you know the cams are aligned correctly.

          So the question is, how bad are they misaligned? A few degrees? Completely opposite directions?

  • Im really am not familiar with this part of the car and i call some parts the wrong name sometimes. But I meant to say I lined up the crank shaft perfectly and the left and right camshaft is completely different.
    How can I align the left and right camshaft correctly. I also rotated the crankshaft many times and the same result happens.

  • They are way off. The left looks kind of like this ( \ ) with the smaller hole on the right that is pointing down and the right camshaft looks like this ( – ) with the small hole on the right. That is a pretty accurate description of it using the direction it looks just how it does I’m the parentheses. Also this is how it would look facing the the front of the car. So I’m going to need to take off the timing belt and rotate the camshaft keys like you said.

  • I replaced my timing belt , the timing is fine, my problem now is, when I start the car it start with a high ruffing , I checked all my air pipes the are fine, now I don’t no what is a problem, pls would you advice me on this

  • Hi trying to change the timing belt but can’t get the part off that is in front of the cover have tried everything but the bolt just will not give any ideas pls it an Audi Quattro tdi 02

  • Hi. I have just installed a new drive belt,water pump and thermostat in my 2001 VW Passat 4motion V6.
    I lined up the timing marks on the crank with the arrow on the casing and the two cams large holes are perfectly in line pointing inside. Everything looks right??
    The car will not start?
    I checked the no1 cylinder and the piston is not at TDC it is at the bottom. when i bring the piston up to TDC using crank wrench the lines on the crank do not line up with the arrow on case and my cams are out of wack .
    Like i said its a none starter now??

  • Hey, I am currently in the middle of this process! I just took off the timing belt tensioner to discover that I have no relay and dampener at all! Which is whatever considering I bought the car in a torn apart state and with boxes full of parts! But my question is probably obvious but, is there a way you can bypass one or did it get left out by accident by the previous owner? And if do need one, where could I get one?

  • Hello, Great write up with pics. I have a question about what I think is a very similar Audi engine, the 2.6l abc. I have the crankshaft at tdc on the pully marks and one of the camshafts looks correct but the other is slightly off. The one on the left as I look at it has the wings horizontal with the big hole on the inside(should be correct) but the one on the right has the wings about 5 degrees off horizontal pointing slightly down on the inside and I don’t think I can fit the camshaft holding tool like this(coming in two days mail order). My question is this, Is it definitely the case that the wings that the camshaft tool holds actually somehow lock into the ends of the camshafts like some sort of woodruff key? I’m concerned that they might also be able to rotate freely like the sprockets do when they are pulled and if the right camshaft is already off then how do I know where the correct position is? Is there a mark inside the cam covers? Clearly the last garage did not use the tool or it wouldn’t look like this and I guess that they probably didn’t loosen the sprockets before tightening the belt and it pulled the right camshaft timing slightly off tdc. I welcome your thoughts and any description of the cams. Thanks in advance for your time.

    • Hi Alistair, you are correct – the “wings” can only be installed one way and are keyed to the camshaft. They cannot be rotated without rotating the camshaft. The camshaft sprockets, however, are pressed onto the camshaft and will rotate freely once you use a puller to pull them free. If you find that the right camshaft is slightly off horizontally then use a wrench to rotate it in place so that you can install the tool. It may sound confusing but once you look at the tool and the cams, it will make sense.

      • Many thanks for the reply. It all makes sense now. Itching for the tool to arrive so I can get the job done properly. It seems that it has done 70,000 miles with the camshaft timing slightly wrong. Who knows, it may perform a little better after my diy belt change! Thanks

  • The picture of the crankshaft plug hole should be a little better. If you are working on a 2.8 its north of your oil pan. However you should look by the AC compressor, that’s where your average human being will be able to fit their hand to get to the plastic plug or sensor on these motors. If you are tool literate your best bet is a easy red quarter drive mini. They fit any where. The tool you get via Amazon does work, however you will need to apply pressure to get it to rotate into the hole. Even still if the threads are not perfect you will will need to pay attention to the crankshaft position so when you put the balance back on it will not be out of timing with the camshafts. It sounds far more complicated then it is. Basically do not over think your work at the point where you would start using these tools, and pay attention to the orientation of the crank and cams and you will be okay.

  • Hi; regarding Mal’s challenge dated’ 11-19-2015 22-42
    that when the camshafts are well alligned with a locking bar how is the TDC position sopposed to look like?
    i would also be keen to understand this procedure as a way to confirm final timing settings.

    Best regards

    • Look at picture number 8
      The mark on the crankshaft pulley is lined up with the little mark on the back cover.
      That is TDC. In this position you can insert the special screw in tool into the hole in the crankshaft casing. You need to carefully remove the sensor first so you can screw in the tool.
      To sum up, you need two tools. One to lock the crankshaft and the other one to lock the camshafts. Only like that can you safely remove the timing belt.

  • Hopefully someone can help. Replaced the old leaky water pump and old timing belt, using the locking tools I know that my cams and cranks are all lined up properly. After I put the new timing belt on and applied tension I tried turning the crank over to make sure everything is lined up. When I hand crank the crankshaft I can only get about 30 degrees before it just gets tight and locks up, wont turn anymore. Am I off a tooth?? Is something binding that I’m not aware of? I’d like to think I’m not a total idiot but please someone prove me wrong!!

  • Hey happy i came across this….i..have 1999 audi a6…i just got done running the vacuum lines and took it for a test drive …it was running fine on my 10 mile drive to my friends for a side job. before i drove it had running why i did radiator fluid flush n change….thing drove beautiful!! Long story short after the 10 mile drive…as soon as i pulled in the driveway…let it idle and a rubbing noise like a tool or Nut was in the belts some where…turned it off and on a few times ….now i got the whole front back off i noticed the timing belt is rubbing that plug on front driver side…camshaft t sensor? I think held in by two torx 15 ……anyway i didn’t even touch the serpentine belt while doing vacuum lines…and timing feels a little belt has a little play…im stuck and don’t know what next step should be timing was done with water pump and thermostat at 60kmiles by prev owner…i have reciete…im a bodyman…take good care of here…its at 159k…i dont know any insight? Would be great thanks

  • Hello, I did a complete TB job along with cam tensioner gaskets etc 80000 k ago. All of a sudden I notice oil leaking at various places around the valve cover gaskets. I checked t he spider hose but it seems ok. Any thoughts as to what may of caused this. Just a note the cambor plugs and cam tensioner gaskets along with cam seals are all in good condition. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


  • I used this guide to take my A4 B5 2.8L V6 apart, trying to get the heads off as well. Is there anywhere I can look to take the heads off? I’m doing an engine rebuild and I can’t find out how to get any further than the timing. All the intake is off and the timing now. Please help.

  • when do you use schley 63600 I didnt see any photos of it being used also where are the radial seals that came with the Kit I got how are those installed?

  • Where were you three years ago? LOL. Your instructions and pictures to replace the timing belt, water pump and thermostat was excellent. Three years ago my 1998 Audi A4 2.8L had to have its timing belt replaced. I could not find any good instructions and the forums weren’t really helpful so I got it done at a garage for $1300. However, he didn’t change the thermostat and didn’t even mention it as I would have said go ahead. Three years later the thermostat goes bad. I call every where and they want at least $800 to replace the thermostat. I do another search and found your savior of a blog. I took the timing belt off to replace the T-Stat and your instructions were perfect! Noticed you posted in 2019. Thanks.

  • Hi guys,

    On doing timing belt job…
    I’m stuck at the crank sensor, bolt removed and AC pump for access! Issue is I can turn crank sensor all around but can’t pull or screw it out! Also noticed the wire going into sensor slightly frayed. So I’m planning to replace same time.
    Any suggestions? The sensor I referred to is where crank locking tool goes in behind AC pump close to engine mount.
    1997 Audi Cabriolet 2.6 V6 abc engine code.

    • If the sensor turns around then all you need to do is pry on it. It’s been a long time since I’ve done the job, but there should be room to pry with a small flathead screw driver.

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