For your information:: Replacing vw 2.0L timing belt!!



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Dec 19, 2015
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My first time dealing with a VW 2.0L engine was 2 hours after buying my wife a 1998 VW new beetle with a 2.0L automatic with 223000kms.

We drove 2.5 hours to the city to look at a few NB's. And my wife wanted this 1998 NB because it was a automatic. Test drove it, it ran good, it seemed to have a little bit of a rough idle. but i thought get it home, do a full service with new sparkplugs and wires. Check MAF, O2 sensors , it will be ok.

After buying it she did some shopping before going home. Leaving the city the car started to loss power going up hills, wife would put her foot into the gas pedal and it would make it worse, it just choked off and slowed down. She pulled over and and i check MAF sensor, looked for vacuum hose disconnected or leaks. Nothing i could see off hand. We went back into the city to parts store, bought a cheap scanner. MAF,O2 faults, but also a camshaft position sensor fault . Parts store had a CSP sensor i bought it. then looking into replacing it,, wow. not a thing to do in a parking lot. So i figured we would go to a Princess Auto, buy some cheap tools and go to a friends to fix.

but on the way down the free way the car totally quit. wouldn't start after. Pulled it off free way with our other car and parked in a shopping mall parking lot. drove 2.5hrs home to get my truck and rented a car dolley and back to the city to pull car home.

tested compression...nothing. removed covers to look at timing belt, looks good. lined up timing marks..... way out. crap.

started tearing into it, removed head, valves were bent, piston heads dented up. ordered parts , rebuild head,new head gasket, put head on, but on a new water pump , new tensoner. but in the back of my head i was wonderig why it went out of time. old belt looked good, deflection was good. looked at camshaft pulley, good.
Looked at crankshaft pulley for timing belt, few dents in a couple teeth. Run my fingers around the pulley i found the problem.

from what i figure....pulley was fatiqued, a small enough piece may have broken off and going between the pulley and belt causing belt to jump a few teeth. i think this is the reason for the rough idle when we test drove it. Once my wife got to highway speeds more pieces broke off, throwing out timing enough to cause the engine to bog when stepping on accelerator. Then on the freeway in the city , i stepped on the accelerator pedal to get up a hill. the transmission kicked down hard and engine rev high, blowing pulley apart more, putting time so far out the valves smacked the piston heads. No compression, valves are bent.


So to the point i am writing this, if your replacing the timing components and you have a high mileage car, maybe spend the money for a new crankshaft pulley. Could save you from spending more money. Because doing the timing belts twice and rebuilding cylinder head would cost more then a high mileage 2.0L car is worth.
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