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Re: VW Quantum Timing Belt job

oops - forgot to address to the net too!  Here's my posting:

>>I hope I don't offend anyone by posting this here - it's not a quattro,
>>but it's almost an Audi 4000...and my boyfriend's Quantum is almost
>>a quattro because it's a syncro...close enough?
>given the recent discussions about volvos, we could hardly object to mention
>of Audi's sister marque!  With respect to fwd vs. Quattro, it is fair to say
>that this list has always been equally open to fwd as well as Quattro.
After all,
>they both tend to break in the same places :-) 
>>A month ago I bought an '88 VW Quantum (i.e., 5 cyl. Audi engine).
>>The car looks & runs great, so I'm very happy with it. :-)
>>It has 90,000 miles. 
>>  Since I
>>don't have records, I think I must assume that it's my responsibility
>>to perform any preventative maintenance appropriate for this stage of
>>the car's life (no way to know whether it's been done already...) -
>>the current case in point being the replacement of the timing belt.
>chances are very good it hasn't been done.  Whether it is necessary is,
like all
>preventive maintenance issues, a matter of philosophy.  No damage will
>occur if it breaks on the highway.  The issue is whether you would rather have
>the work done at time of your choosing and avoid a tow, or avoid spending
the money
>for some period of time.
>>1.  How much should I expect to pay for replacement of the timing belt?
>>(parts & labor inclusive)
>It's a significant job - I think it is 3-4 hours of labor. The belt itself
is cheap ($15?).  Therefore,
>make sure you get a good belt, like a Continental (brand).
>>2.  Would you recommend that I replace the water pump as a matter of
>>course, or only if it shows signs of wear?  (I am told that the water
>>pump acts as the tensioner in this engine.)
>Yes, it is used as a tensioner. Tensioning the new belt will probably
>replacing the pump gasket, so the pump will have to be removed.  Considering 
>that the labor is free at this point, spend the $60 for a new pump.  At
90,000 you have
>reached the end of its expected life.  Leave it for later and you will
incur at least
>2 hours more in labor charges.
>>3.  Are there other things you recommend addressing while the engine
>>is dismanteled for this job?  Valve cover gasket?  Seals, O-rings, etc.?
>>Would you do these regardless, or only if they show signs of seepage/
>The valve cover gasket should be shot unless its been replaced.  If it is
>its probably better to replace it, but its not absolutely necessary unless
its getting
>oil onto the timing belt.  BTW, you can peek at the belt by loosening the
top cover.
>There is a LOT that should be done. At least, I would do all of the
following.  Most of it is easy to do.
>1. As a matter of course, your car should get fresh fluids - coolant and
oil at a minimum, 
>ATF (and filter) if it has a slushbox.  .  Replace the brake fluid (should
be done every 2
> years unless you live in a desert) and make sure that the fluid in the
clutch circuit is done
> too (if you have a stick).
>2 .Replace the oil, gas, and air filters.  Make sure you use quality filters. 
>3. This is also a good
>time to lube the door hinges and the door latch mechanisms.  As you
probably know,
>VW/Audis are prone to broken door handles, which is the result of
insufficient or incorrect 
>(e.g., white lithium grease/spray) lubrication. 
>4.  Replace the fan belts if they are worn.
>5. Presumably your cv-joint boots, brakes, tires, and alignment are ok,
since a shop looked
>at the car. If not, correct the problems.
>6. Time for a tune-up.  Replace the plugs, distributor cap, and points.
Whether you replace the wires
>depends on your philosophy.  Use only Bosch or similar (Beru?) parts.
>7. Put a good coat of wax on it.
>Happy motoring!
Jason Douglas
MTS Dept G057                        
MITRE Corporation