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DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

Old 07-31-2008, 08:14 AM
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Default DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

Hi all,
considering doing this on my own (i'm at 170k Km, and already have some maintenance/repairs going on) , i'm pretty well equipped for tools and have engine overhaul experience (distant past) but i'm not sure its a smart DIY project.
Is this a difficult / tricky procedure, are there any special tools needed or particular issues to look out for?
Where's a good place to get the overhaul kit?
Any other parts should be changed or inspected while doing this?

thanks
Frantz
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

It is 6 hours worth of work for an experianced mechanic, and they usually replace the water pump as well. I am hesitant about doing it myself as if you mess up its a bye bye to your engine pretty much and another 4-5 grand so I rather spend the moeny and let someone else take the fault for it, if anything messes up
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

Oh BOY, Frantz!
It is a time consuming process, and unless you have done it before, or know someone who can mentor you thorugh this, you will be better off taking it to a mechanic, but not a dealer!!!
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

Originally Posted by frob View Post
Hi all,
considering doing this on my own (i'm at 170k Km, and already have some maintenance/repairs going on) , i'm pretty well equipped for tools and have engine overhaul experience (distant past) but i'm not sure its a smart DIY project.
Is this a difficult / tricky procedure, are there any special tools needed or particular issues to look out for?
Where's a good place to get the overhaul kit?
Any other parts should be changed or inspected while doing this?

thanks
Frantz
You're going to need the cam lock tool which you can either buy or rent for the job. I have not done it myself but hear it is a tricky procedure if you are not too experienced..however if you're mechanically inclined and follow instructions well I don't think you should have too many problems. Its all up to you to decide whether its worth tackling it on your own to save some cash.

And if you're at 170 000 km i'd do it ASAP
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

Originally Posted by marko_tomas13 View Post
You're going to need the cam lock tool which you can either buy or rent for the job.

Thanks guys
Where do you rent such a tool, the dealer?

I found some well ilkustrated step-by-step guides on the web, doesn't look that bad to me.
I'd love to hear from someone who's actually done the job...
I'll get an estimate from the local Audi guys and think about whether its worth going the DIY route, since its money i don't really have right now.

Last edited by frob; 07-31-2008 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

The kit will run you for about $250-$350 for the parts and the quote from the dealer will probably be around $1000 - $1200 for everything
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

I've never done a TB job on a B5 but I did it on my B6 1.8. They look fairly similiar when I was researching all the DIY's. All the available DIY's on Audizine and Audiworld were pretty good (at least for the B6)

I had experience with one timing belt job on a 98 Honda CRV prior to doing it on my A4 and I found my instructions fairly straight forward. Unbolting and rebolting all the parts (bumper, rad, a/c, etc) was the most tedious part, simple but tedious. Just take your time when setting the timing and replacing the belts.

I found it helpful for installing the new TB to mark a tooth on the old belt (with a white marker or liquid paper) and the cam pulley and timing pulleys (using a straight line from the TB to the gear tooth). Then line up the new belt with the old belt and transfer the marks to the new belt. This way, when you install the new belt onto the gears and match up the marks, you know the TB is installed exactly to the location of the old TB.

Make sure the timing is correct before you release the tensioner pin. On my first try of releasing the tensioner, the belt moved half a tooth even though the timing was lined up correctly before releasing the pin. I had to recompress the tensioner using a bench vise and reinsert the holding pin and try again. On the second try, it was bang on.

Other than that, it was 8 hours of joy in my driveway!!

I picked up all my parts from MJM autohaus in the states. All the parts including water pump ran me about $250 shipped to my door. I opted out of having MJM shipping the coolant since I wasn't sure if it was going to cause me any issues at the border being a liquid. I purchased those at Mississauga Audi. So in the end, parts were about $275. Sure beats the $1300 +tx I got quoted at the dealer.

Having said I did above, I hope you are mechanically inclined otherwise this simple job can turn into a nightmare with devasting results.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

Last edited by Yohan; 07-31-2008 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

Originally Posted by Yohan View Post
...Other than that, it was 8 hours of joy in my driveway!!
...Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks Yohan, yes it does.
I've pretty much decide to go for it, as soon as i get the parts kit in and maybe a new front mount intercooler to install at the same time. I notced a small oil leak from the head gasket at the the camshaft hole plug, so i'll get that done too. I was thinking of changing most of the hoses (Intake & Rad) at the same time, and possibly things like check valves, PCV valves too, though after doing an engine shampoo most of the original hoses seem to be in surprisingly good shape.

I'll check out MJM for the parts. I found a complete TB & WP kit for ~ $220 on Ebay. Has anyone gotten such things from eBay and lived to tell about it? are these reputable sources and good quality ( or same as anywhere elese) or is it crap to be avoided?
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: DIY Timing belt change on 99 B5- is it hard?

having done the timing belt on mine 2001 b5 myself just last month, it not all that hard it's getting to the front of the motor thats takes time but once you all the front off the car(bumber,a/c condencer and the rad support) the front of the motor is there and the belt is easy to get at.

AudiWorld Tech Articles

is where i used the info to do the job.
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