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RE:V8Q Timing Belt Job

 -=> Jeffrey T  Myers illuminates us with <=-

 JTM> Has anyone changed the t-belt themselves?  How difficult is it and
 JTM> what were some problems encountered?  Also where can I find the setting
 JTM> for timing marks.  Lastly, has anyone found a manual on this car ('93)
 JTM> Thanks,

 JTM> Jeff

      Yes, and I'm currently driving my uncles "fly by wire"
      (no feedback from controls) piece o crap Cheby Cavalier,
      because the V8Q is still down till I get some time to
      deal with it.  I am lucky that I have a friend who works
      at a dealership and he borrows the tools necessary for
      the job, as outlined in the service manual.  As another
      lister said, it is a 10 hour +job. I wouldn't tackle
      it without the proper tools.

      It's a royal PITA job, not because it is necessarily a
      difficult job, but because workspace is TIGHT, most
      if not everything is difficult to access, and if
      Magilla Gorilla did the job the last time, getting
      bolts and nuts off in tight quarters is rough.

      Most important thing is to follow the procedure to
      the letter, and take your time. This is not a job
      to be taken lightly, the consequences of skipping
      a step, or forgetting something are dire at best.
      The manual does have some errors, the most glaring
      one is that the manual tells you to remove the right
      side cover, THEN remove the harmonic balancer (this
      is another gotcha...since the manual refers to two
      disinct parts with the same name, vibration damper),
      but if you remove the cover, you have no place to
      secure the tool necessary to imobilize the vibration
      damper.  Maybe these things have been corrected in
      the fiche, I haven't checked it yet.

      After getting all the necessary parts, (check my
      post in the archives) I started in on it last Saturday,
      with a borrowed lift at a friends shop, the tools
      necessary, and a clear head and schedule. Things went
      along very well, the belt on the car looked very good,
      seems it had been changed not too long before I bought
      the car, but I continued anyway since I wanted to get
      in there and do the water pump, it looked factory.
      Lucky I did too, the waterpump bolts (hexes, thanks Necarlsum)
      were on the verge of rusting to the point of no return. If
      I had waited another few months, I'm sure the bolts would
      have all snapped at any attempts to remove them.
      The waterpump itself had a badly rusted impeller, with
      one of the vanes eaten about half away. (The new water
      pumps have a plastic impeller.) One of the rollers
      had a bad grease seal and was running dry.

      Buttoned everything up, taking this opportunity to
      change the distributor caps, rear cam oil seal,
      half pan gasket (thanks again Audi, for putting
      the bolts of the half pan behind the stabilizer
      bar), was going to changed the distributor rotors
      too, but they looked OK, changing them involves
      breaking the old ones off so I left the old ones
      on.  Cut all 4 brake rotors and changed pads too.

      Turned the key, car started right up, but with an
      awful metallic sound coming from the front of the
      engine. Sounded almost like a squeeling alt. bearing.
      I removed the accessory belt, and the noise continued.
      Looked underneath, and there were metal shavings coming
      out from behind the vibration damper.  Took everything
      on the left bank apart again and discovered that the
      vibration damper was trying to occupy the same space
      as the lower bearing fork behind the TDC indicator. I
      vaguely remember my ole physics teacher mentioning
      this was a no no. I then loosened the vibration damper
      to see if I could re-torque it, or something, and the
      damn thing came off while I was pulling it forward.
      This is about where I gave up on the V8Q for the day,
      pushed it in the yard (my friend would need the lift
      first thing Monday). I'm going to tackle the problem
      this Saturday..again, my friend from the Dealership
      said he would come down and help me, but it looks like
      I'll have to redo the whole thing again to get the
      belt back into place.  I've done the timing belt on
      a 928, and this one is a bigger PITA, but that's just
      my biased opinion.

      As for the manual, I could copy the timing belt section
      for you if you're really up to the job, I also copied
      the microfiche, which covers any differences between
      the 3.6L and the 4.2 which I assume you have in your

      I would HIGHLY recommend changing the tensionser, rollers,
      water pump and anything else you'll come in contact with
      when you do this job. It might not be a bad idea to
      buy a set of new WP bolts.  It might also be a good
      idea to get all sledgehammers and picks out of reach,
      at least far enough away where you can think about
      what you're about to do to the car.

      I'll keep you posted on what happens this Saturday.
      May the Audi gods be mercyful.