Distributor rattling

Bernie Benz b.benz at charter.net
Tue Jan 27 11:44:23 EST 2004

> From: Phil Rose <pjrose at frontiernet.net>
> At 7:01 AM -0800 1/27/04, Bernie Benz wrote:
>> Bentley says tight enough that you can just twist its longest span 1/4 turn.
>> This is not quite tight enough, IMO.
> I'll assume that you have "cured" (one or more) distributor rattle
> situations by retightening the timing belt to just beyond that "1/4
> turn" spec?
Phil, you are introducing confusion into my belt tightness opinion!  Not
"just beyond", but less than 1/4 turn would be correct.

I have never experienced the "distributor rattle" syndrome on either my 3B
nor 7A, always running tight belts so, No, I have never cured a nonexistent

Some time ago I did disclose to this and the 20V list my theory and rational
concerning the reason for this syndrome and resultant dist gear breakage and
timing chain wear.  Check the archives for this thread and the resultant
lengthy banter.

> Of course the basic problem with Audi's (and most other)
> belt-tightening specs, is the lack of an objective means to establish
> the force--torque in this case--to be used. Over time...and many
> t-belt jobs...one presumably gets the required "feel" for belt
> tension, but otherwise...it's a pretty darn vague kind of spec.
Also, there those DIYers among us insecure enough that they must use an
uncalibrated torque wrench on every nut and bolt.
> Ingolstadt's assembly line possibly has a specialist (Karl, the
> 300-lb Monkey Lad)  who does nothing all day but twist timing belts.
> ;-)
> Phil
> P.S. I used my own personal version of that  "1/4 turn spec" for the
> t-belt I replaced on the red car, last year; and there's been no
> significant distributor rattle. However it did rattle a lot before
> the belt change, and the old belt did seem quite loose.
IMO, had nothing to do with the belt change.


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