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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Ottawa (Canada)
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Upcomming belt job (Questions)

Just about to order my parts for the belt job and had some questions. What should I order (i.e. change without question) and what should I check first. Here is what I am changing for certain:

Timming belt
Balance shaft belt
Water pump
alernator belt
Power steering belt

As it stands I am thinking that if the roller spins freely and sounds good leave it. Should I change them anyways. Are there any that can be left and others that should be changed even if they seem fine?
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1987 944S
2000 passat 1.8T wagon
Old 06-21-2004, 04:26 PM
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I would say as long as you are already doing all that, and you have the money, change all the rollers too.

Would be a shame to have to go back in if one went, and a lot of times, once in there, they will come apart in your hands. Even when they fail, they will quite often take their belt with them shortly thereafter. Is easy to change them with everything opened up.

You'll be glad you did.

EDIT: I just saw you have an "S". Even more important to do. Your Cam belt drives only one cam. The other cam is driven from that belt and cam by a chain. You might have someone look at the pads and tensioners for the chains too. The chain drive teeth on the cams as well. They are famous for dropping a tooth from the cams. The dropped tooth usually shows up in the oil pan, but the missing tooth allows the cam to jump time. They can be welded and the tooth regrinded, or replace the cam$$$$. The rubber drive belt is heftier for the "S", I have heard, but never been able to verify that. You can usually see a fibre thread in the sidewall of the belt.
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Last edited by singpilot; 06-21-2004 at 08:00 PM..
Old 06-21-2004, 06:15 PM
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I already ordered the pad and will be inspecting all the cam related stuff as well. Hey is there an order I should do this in? Head then belts? Other way around??? I know that I can't do it at the same time cause I will definetly screw up the timming somewhere.
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Old 06-21-2004, 06:35 PM
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i need to know this answer too, i am doing a waterpump and timing belt job, are rollers the only other thing to order??
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Old 06-21-2004, 07:20 PM
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Remember that the rollers can be different depending on what tensioner you have. Worst case, you open it up, and have to get the correct rollers. The ramps are plastic, and are likely tired too. One of the ramps has been upgraded to metal.

Do you have oil in the airbox? You might want to get the shaft seals if you do. The oil in the airbox might be coming from the belt cover being suck cooled by the intake. You'll see the hose.

Check the Clarks' Garage site ahead of time, so you have a good idea of where things are supposed to line up BOTH before and after.

As you open stuff up, take a digital pic of the belt routing (I know, but you'd be amazed), and the relationship of the cams and ramps and rollers to each other. Close up pics. I guarantee you'll be looking at these as you put them back together.

Make sure everything is correctly timed BEFORE you take the belts off, remember the balance shafts are marked differently than the camshaft. Study the drawings ahead of time so you know what to look for. A one tooth mistake WILL make a diff. One of the balance shafts will LOOK backwards. It's not. Check the site carefully. Verify the marks BEFORE you take the belts off. The balance shafts will rotate freely after you remove the belts, so you'll have to know how to put them right...exactly. The heavy side of the balance shafts WILL roll to the bottom, so they will not stay where you put them until you put the belt back on. The camshaft will be stiff, and won't move unless you bump it(that's a good thang). Or use it as a handhold while struggling with something down below(that's a bad thang).

I'd buy a dist cap and rotor too, you may damage / break these getting them off. Save the cap R&R until the end, and BE CAREFUL about the firing order (transfer only one wire at a time). A stupid mistake here will make the other stuff you've done be suspect when it runs like $hit after.

Before you start tearing stuff apart, practice getting the engine to #1 TDC. Find that hole on the top of the flywheel housing, and you'll need a BRIGHT light. Make sure you have the tools and wrenchs specified in the Clarks' Garage site. Including one that will fit on the crank bolt. I believe the site says to take the crank pulley off, but I have never done that. It's a pain to wiggle the belts on and off of the crank pulley, but a lot less trouble than removing the crank pulley. If you do choose to remove the pulley, you'll need the flywheel lock, and be removing the starter to install it (sounds like more work to me). MAKE SURE you torque the crank pulley back to the spec when you reinstall it. Your oil pump counts on this torque to operate. Screw that up, no oil pressure very suddenly, probably after you are enjoying the test drive. Ouch.

NOT removing this pulley is why NOT having a flywheel lock is also NOT that big a deal. Spend at least 5 minutes looking at everything before you remove the belts, and you'll see how everything works. You'll move the engine to #1 TDC using this crank bolt. And after everything is reinstalled and verified, you'll test rotate the engine using this bolt. Try to turn only in the correct direction.

Check the TDC position any time you THINK you might have moved the crank. If you have a flywheel lock, spectacular. If you don't, no big deal.. just check it every time you THINK you might have disturbed the crank. The flywheel mark might look slightly different than pictured in the site. Once the belts are off, do not allow the cam or the crank to move (batt disconnected, car in neutral, well blocked cuz the front end is up in the air, right?).

The cam's position can be marked to a reference on the housing, and the crank can be checked by the flywheel mark. Just don't let either move while the belts are off.

Triple check all the timing marks before you leave #1 TDC after reinstalling and tensioning the belts. Then check again. Rotate the engine thru one complete correct direction turn, and check again. Check the tension, rotate one more time, recheck and retension, and do it again, until you are really tired of turning that engine over 1/8 of a turn at a time. 1500 miles from now, you'll be doing this checking the tension again, so get good at this.

Most of all, Have fun!

I don't know that the order in the S makes any difference, just do things one at a time, and keep checking that the crank and cam have not moved once the belts are off. Treat the rubber belt job as separate from the chain cam work, and finish one before starting the other. I might even do all the rubber work first, run the engine to make sure everything is OK, then tackle the chain stuff.

I keep remembering things. When you get your water pump, it might look different than the one you have. The 'turbo' pump is the only one still made. It will have a exterior passage blocked off by a plastic piece. The 'old' style had a weak bearing setup. Don't let the fact that it looks different freak you. Look closely, and all the interior passages will match up. The outside will look slightly different.

Another memory. Be REALLY CAREFUL... let me say that again.

BE REALLY CAREFUL with the turnbuckle adjusters for the power steering and alternator/AC compressor. SOAK both ends AND lock nuts in WD40, and use TWO wrenches to loosen / tighten them. Remember, it's a turnbuckle. One end will have backwards threads. Look very closely at the threads, and you'll see which direction is loosen and tighten before you start wrenching. Clean the gunk and look closely.

They are VERY fragile, and getting hard to find ($$$) on eBay. I keep an extra ONE for my car. No power steering on the '83.
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Last edited by singpilot; 06-21-2004 at 10:09 PM..
Old 06-21-2004, 07:47 PM
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Don't be in a hurry. Don't plan on doing this without taking a trip to the parts store in the middle of this. Hopefully, you'll have something else to drive while you do this job. You'll know everything about the front end of this engine when you are done. Be careful with all the plastic parts (airbox, ducts, AirMassSensor, wires and radiator fins as you work alongside). Remember to bleed the water system really well (bleed bolt) when you start up after. Leaving the front end up in the air will help this.
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:26 PM
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If you are doing the water pump you should also replace the front oil seals. They are easy to replace once you are in there. Just make sure if you do the seals you also change the three sleeves or it will leak.

Ed
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Old 06-21-2004, 11:35 PM
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Well, even after that excellent description I still have a question. Can I go ahead and do the belts iff I don't have my bellhousing and torque tube on yet? Will this make it too easy to turn the crank???? I am thinking it will make it easier to see the flywheel and that is a good thing? I just wonder if all that stuff helps to keep the crank in one place.

Replace the seals even if they are not leaking??? I guess I may as well eh? I just wonder if leaving them alone is less of a risk then installing new ones. Damn I hate all these "while you are in there things" I am going to have a brand new car soon and the only thing broken was a release bearing. Ah well, you just gotta love these cars anyways, lots of maitence but ZERO breakdowns. 7 years no swearing by the side of the road. Can't complain.
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1987 944S
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Old 06-22-2004, 05:06 AM
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Oh yeah, I ended up buying the belt and roller kit from Zims so I have that + a water pump and the infamous chain ramp. Maybe a front end re-seal kit?? Anything else???
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1987 944S
2000 passat 1.8T wagon
Old 06-22-2004, 05:08 AM
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I will usually say that if the seals are not leaking, leave them alone. Getting them right can be difficult, and there is only one way to know if you didn't get it right. Yep, it will leak after. Look to see if there is oil in the airbox, outside of the filter. No oil there, and the belt covers are reasonably dry when you open them up, I think I'd leave the seals alone.

I don't think the torque tube being disconnected will affect the resistance to turning the crank change. The crank will still not rotate loosely, it has all the friction of the internals of the engine even with the drive shaft unhooked.

The bellhousing being off WILL make it easier to see the flywheel marks, but the housing having the hole to sight thru is the normal reference to #1TDC. Find out if that is the case... otherwise the #1 piston might have to be used to insure or verify TDC if you cannot determine from the flywheel.


Keep us posted on how it's going.
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Last edited by singpilot; 06-22-2004 at 07:26 AM..
Old 06-22-2004, 07:21 AM
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Hi there,

I have just completed the same job that you are asking about. You are quite right to change out all the belts, also do the rollers because while they might sound ok now they could fail 5 or 10k down the road.

I also changed out the waterpump and thermostat since they have been known to fail. I also changed out the chain tensioner, chain pad and the chain itself.

I would also recommend that you change out the spark plug seals and all 13 seals that hold down the camshaft cover.

All in all, I paid 1300 for parts and a further 280 to get the job done by a non-porsche mechanic who has worked on a couple of 944's.

You might think I went a bit of overkill but at least I know now that when I push the car hard, the parts under the bonnet can cope...they are no longer 17 years old!!

Best of luck to you,
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1987 Porsche 944S with 101K on the Clock!
Old 06-22-2004, 07:38 AM
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