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Re: Timing belt

> >Nonsense ... just about every pawn shop in the known world will have
> >several for sale at any given time (don't forget to negotiate the
> >price!) and if you insist upon buying one new, Harbor Freight Salvage
> >sells some decent & cheap ones that will work just fine.  For $20 to $50
> >(tops), you're in business.
> Jeffrey, maybe that's true for your part of the world, but not everyone 
> on the list lives there or even near there. Remember, this is a global 
> list.

Touche ... but don't pawn shops exist everywhere?
> The point, however, is that I see no reason for anyone to spend $20 or
> $50 for a tool they're likely to only use a couple of times. I'm 
> talking about quattro subscribers that don't take their Audis apart on a 
> regular basis: the kind of folks that may change the timing belt just 
> this one time (for whatever reason, such as curiosity...) but don't 
> intend to perform this procedure on future vehicles. Basically, if you 
> can't do this without such a tool, why bother doing it yourself? Unless 
> you plan to get a lot of future use out of a dial gauge, I still don't 
> recommend buying one. 

I see your point but since the going rate for a timing belt R&R around here
is $300 plus parts (I assume it's about the same elsewhere), you will still
come out ahead even after buying the tools.  Not to mention the possibility
that your car may actually run better as well... 

> Unless you're replacing the camshaft gear with something else that isn't 
> keyed for your engine, this is a little pointless. Sure, if you're 
> installing an adjustable gear you would have to go through this. But 
> since the OE camshaft and camshaft gear are keyed, there's no point; at 
> TDC the dot should end up at the appropriate place and the lobes should 
> be in the right position. If this isn't what happens, then it's likely 
> that your camshaft has become distorted.

Back in '89, when I was racing my 4k in a stock class where it wasn't legal
to install an adjustable cam gear, I went through a box full of them that I
borrowed from a local salvage yard in order to find one that best suited my
needs.  I was amazed by how many of the dots were NOT located at TDC when I 
measured them on my engine ... from what I've seen since, this is still the
case today.  Yes, I personally am very picky about this sort of thing but I
assume this is also true of most Q-heads, especially those who do their own

> In the end, you're not likely to get absolutely perfect timing anyway 
> because the timing belts don't tend to fit 100% perfectly (as you 
> mentioned) and the only way to achieve near perfection is to install and 
> adjustable cam gear (as you have done). 

Agreed.  The original point I was trying to make -- don't take the accuracy
of the timing marks on the engine for granted -- is still valid and it's up
to everyone to decide for themselves how they wish to deal with this fact.

I didn't intend for this to turn into a bladder-emptying contest (although,
that said, I'm pretty sure mine IS larger than yours!)  ;^)

     _             _             
    / l       l o l  \       l o   Jeffrey Goggin
   /__l l l / l l l  l l l / l l   * * * * * * *
  /   l l_l \_l l l__/ l_l \_l l   AudiDudi@delphi.com