Golf 3 tdi cambelt change

Golf 3tdi User

Standard Member
hi everyone, my beloved golf 3 tdi will be turning 180.000 in a few miles, and still going very strong!!! :thumbsup:

Its time for the dreaded cambelt change...

Does anyone know how complex it is to replace the cambelt?

Cheers
 

un1eash

Distinguished Member
Its quite straight forward not nothing to complicated for a mechanic, for a DIY job i would only attempt the job if i'd done one before or were pretty handy with a spanner.
 

sean5302

Banned
It should take you about an hour as long as you have the special tools to lock the camshaft and the diesel pump.

Look on the clutch bellhousing for a rubber plug. Remove this plug and rotate the engine round to the scribed mark you'll see on the flywheel. This sets your datum.

If you haven't got the locking tools I can sell you a set cheaply.
 

car-man

Well-known Member
Aren't there a couple of different types of arrangement on the TDi engine?
The last one I did I needed a locking tool for the tensioner to stop the piston from coming out (A small cranked bar with a small slot in the end.)
 

sean5302

Banned
I don't know anyone who uses that tool, apart from you.

Most folks use proprietary tools for that purpose. The tool is actually used to tension the new belt but can easily be substituted.

The tools the OP needs are the pump pin and the camshaft locking bar.
 

car-man

Well-known Member
Actually, I realised the tool I mentioned was for the later PD engine.
I know the tool you mean to hold the tensioner, never needed one of those.
 

riget

Banned
It should take you about an hour as long as you have the special tools to lock the camshaft and the diesel pump.

Look on the clutch bellhousing for a rubber plug. Remove this plug and rotate the engine round to the scribed mark you'll see on the flywheel. This sets your datum.

If you haven't got the locking tools I can sell you a set cheaply.
An hour? How many have you done in an hour?

If he did it in 4 he'd have done well.
 

Golf 3tdi User

Standard Member
Firstly, thanks to everyone for your help.
I have done some mechanical jobs in the past, so I think I should be able to do it, I agree with Riget, it may take a good 4 hours though.
I havn't got any special tools, Thanks shaun for the offer, I am quite a long distance though (south of Italy) so it may be easier to find them locally, hopefully I'll be able to make do with regards to loccking the pulley etc.
I'll let you all know how I got on. I'll be starting tomorrow.

Cheers
:)
 

sean5302

Banned
Just be careful that you get the camshaft in the right position.

It has a slot in the end near cylinder 4 which will be horizontal.

You want it to be correct and not 180 degrees out.

To achieve that, use the flywheel mark under the rubber plug in the bellhousing to set your datum.
 

sean5302

Banned
An hour? How many have you done in an hour?

If he did it in 4 he'd have done well.
This engine was one of my designs from around 25 years ago. Book time is around 1 hour.

The time is spent removing rocker cover, cambelt covers and the engine pulley 4 bolts. It shouldn't take long unless something is seized.

Good luck to the OP.
 

Golf 3tdi User

Standard Member
Hello everyone, I am now 2 hours into the job and I am stuck, as I cannot get the V belt pulley off!
The 4 allen screws holding the pulley in place are seized, and are getting damaged. (unless they are reverse thread??).
I tried the ususal WD40 and the tapping with a hammer whilst applying force, but none of them move.
Any suggestions...
 

car-man

Well-known Member
The screws are normal thread, they are the typical poor quality allen screws that VW fit (not deep enough).
Are you using an allen socket or just allen keys, you need the best allen socket you can get for these.Try a torx bit if you have one, but only if it fits very tight.
I have undone these using a stud extractor that fits on the outside of the bolt.
Unfortunately on that engine this a very common problem.
One thing to check before you fit the new belt is to take off the water pump and see if it has a plastic impeller, if it does replace it with one that has a metal impeller, why they fitted a plastic impeller lord only knows.
 

sean5302

Banned
The screws are normal thread, they are the typical poor quality allen screws that VW fit (not deep enough).
Are you using an allen socket or just allen keys, you need the best allen socket you can get for these.Try a torx bit if you have one, but only if it fits very tight.
I have undone these using a stud extractor that fits on the outside of the bolt.
Unfortunately on that engine this a very common problem.
One thing to check before you fit the new belt is to take off the water pump and see if it has a plastic impeller, if it does replace it with one that has a metal impeller, why they fitted a plastic impeller lord only knows.
Your memory is not all it should be, old chap. :D

Plastic impellors were introduced on some small capacity petrol engines from around 2004.

The OP has an 1896cc diesel engine from around 1997. Almost certainly an AHU engine.

The Allen screws are perfectly OK and respond to the correct tools. People try and bodge using all sorts of nonsense. Never heard anyone recommend using a Torx bit in an Allen head before. That truly is shameful.

I recommend that the OP invests in a good socket set with Allen head sockets, or else visits a franchised dealer.
 
Last edited:

sean5302

Banned
Hello everyone, I am now 2 hours into the job and I am stuck, as I cannot get the V belt pulley off!
The 4 allen screws holding the pulley in place are seized, and are getting damaged. (unless they are reverse thread??).
I tried the ususal WD40 and the tapping with a hammer whilst applying force, but none of them move.
Any suggestions...
A good Allen head socket should move them.

If the heads are now ruined you may need to bodge through with a decent mole grip wrench on the circumference of the heads.

Good luck.
 

car-man

Well-known Member
Never heard anyone recommend using a Torx bit in an Allen head before. That truly is shameful

Why would rescuing someone from a disaster be shameful, if the allen screws have spread open (which they nearly always do if they haven't been removed before and rusted up)?
The splines of the torx bit dig into the corners of the hexagon and can give good grip, enough to undo the bolt.
Some of us have to use initiative at the sharp end of repairing motor vehicles, if that's shameful, then guilty as charged.
 

Golf 3tdi User

Standard Member
Hi there,
Hopefully I have stopped just short of ruining the screws... I was using a Halfords 3/4 allen socket, however the fit didn't seem right from the start, (perhaps at last service they didn't replace the bolts...) I have however just ordered a brand new top quality USAG Allen key which will arrive tomorrow and that should work! We'll see who wins :mad:

I would agree that the hexagon on the screws is not very deep and that the metal seems a bit soft.
If the new key doesn't work, I will try the torx, then the drill. Unfortunately there is no space to clamp the heads with a molegrip
bye 4 now
 

sean5302

Banned
Hi there,
I was using a Halfords 3/4 allen socket, however the fit didn't seem right from the start.
Well, that's the problem then.

All of your fittings are Isometric and, although the AF sizes are close in some types, you end up rounding the internal flats.

Whitworth,BSF,metric and imperial spanners are different standards and hence sizes,with few exceptions they are not interchangeable

Not sure what you mean by 3/4 but I guess you would mean 3/8 AF which is 9.52mm and just the right size to ruin the 10mm Isometric M6 head.

My memory is a bit like my friend car-man's. I recall that the key you need will be 8mm.

God help you when you get to the crankshaft pulley.
 

sean5302

Banned
Why would rescuing someone from a disaster be shameful, if the allen screws have spread open (which they nearly always do if they haven't been removed before and rusted up)?
The splines of the torx bit dig into the corners of the hexagon and can give good grip, enough to undo the bolt.
Some of us have to use initiative at the sharp end of repairing motor vehicles, if that's shameful, then guilty as charged.
An extremely good answer from a very naughty boy.

Glad you're not a surgeon.

Mind you, they can bury their mistakes. :D
 

Golf 3tdi User

Standard Member
Yes sorry my mistake, I edited off the wrong bit of info: it's a 6mm allen socket (3/4 is the square bit that fits the wrench)

Don't tell me I'll have to remove any other pulleys???
 

car-man

Well-known Member
An extremely good answer from a very naughty boy.

Glad you're not a surgeon.

Mind you, they can bury their mistakes. :D

I own and run a successful car repair business (sole trader), in my experience....40 years in total and 30 years in business....I have found that when you get in trouble like the OP, you just have to do whatever it takes to rectify a bad situation, even if it means using hammer and chisel, as our friend, riget, suggested, stuff happens, you just have to get on with it.
I'm not perfect, but I know how to repair motor cars, conventionally or otherwise, you just have to be resourceful, it doesn't always go like it says in the manual.
 

sean5302

Banned
Fair comment. I recognise that you have to service and repair cars of all makes without having resource to special manufacturer's tools etc.

I read the OPs posts with some trepidation, as I'm sure you will have.

The use of a 3/4 inch drive socket handle on an M6 allen screw won't fill either of us with glee.

It's guys like yourself that have to pick the pieces up when DIY goes wrong, so you are due much respect.

Not many tools are needed to do this particular job, so I'm a bit surprised that the OP hasn't spent 20 Euros or so to buy them first.

The thought of hammer and chisel on pulleys, be they timing or crankshaft pulleys, only leads to disaster and real expense. We'll see what develops.
 

riget

Banned
The thought of hammer and chisel on pulleys, be they timing or crankshaft pulleys, only leads to disaster and real expense. We'll see what develops.
Like car-man I have nearly 40years in the motor trade, and I was not kidding when I said hammer and chisel, many a time other mechanics in my garage came to me to remove nuts/bolts, and very often the hammer and chisel were the only tools to do the job.

You stick to designing them, we'll stick to fixing them:lesson:

The crank pully bolts undo easy with a zip gun:smashin:
 

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