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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)
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.