Volkswagen Golf 3 timing belt and pump replacement

It’s required to replace the timing belt in a certain interval on each car. The timing belt replacement is made in 80-90 thousand km on average. It is required to seriously approach the current part replacement since a belt break can result into valve bending. Open our blog in order to learn more about the timing belt break consequences. The current photo report replaces the timing belt and water pump on a Volkswagen Golf III with a 1.6 AEE engine.

The tensioner pulley, but not the belt itself is the weak point in the third generation Volkswagen Golf cars. Sometimes the outer ring may crack, which results in a belt break as well as large money amount spending. Besides it’s recommended to replace the water pump (also known as the water pump) together with the timing belt replacement which we’ll discuss in the current photo report.

Note! Be sure to fill the antifreeze after water pump replacement and allow the engine to work before turning on the radiator cooling fan in order to make sure an air locks are absent in the system.

We recommend perform belt replacement every 80-90 000 km. Note: the tensioner pulley, but not the belt itself is the weak point in such motors. Sometimes the outer ring may crack, which results in a belt break as well as large money amount spending.


Besides we recommend replacing the water pump at the certain time since the impeller is plastic and often detached from the drive shaft on the original pumps, but not because of their bearings being destroyed or starting to flow.


Non-original pumps may have metal impellers.

  • Remove the upper timing belt cover;
  • Weaken the alternator belt tensioning roller while using 15 size key and remove the belt.
  • Now expose the timing phase by marks.
  • Then combine the mark on the camshaft gear with the belt cover protrusion.

Generator drive belt pulley mark is combined with the second protrusion on the casing bottom.

  • Now turn off the alternator belt pulley. 4 bolts with an internal 6 size hexagon. Be sure to previously clear the grooves to avoid the edges break.
  • Remove the pulley. Turn off the generator tension roller and remove it in order to gain an access to the housing mounting bolts
  • Now unscrew the casing remaining bolts and remove;
  • Release the timing belt tensioner;

Then take out the belt.

  • It’s required to remove the casing inner part if a pump replacement is included in the program. Now unscrew the camshaft gear for this;
  • First crank the crankshaft by the central bolt, counterclockwise, by 30 degrees in order to avoid accidentally valves meeting with the pistons;
  • The easiest way is to unscrew the camshaft gear bolt while using pneumatic tools.

loosen the 3 valve cover bolts and remove it if you don’t have such;

  • Then insert the wooden hammer handle between the camshaft cam and the blockhead.
  • Now unscrew the central bolt while holding it.
  • Then remove the gear. Turn off the casing bolts.
  • Now unscrew two mounting bolts pump.
  • Then take out the casing.
  • As usual the pump, which has not been touched for a long time, merges very strongly with the block.

First try scrolling by tapping on the upper ear in order to take it out carefully.


Then completely remove the pump while using mount or large screwdriver.

  • Keep in mind the pump is the lowest cooling jacket point, therefore antifreeze will pour out from there (in a pre-loaded container).
  • It will flow on a dirty block, therefore, avoid flood it back. It is better to buy a new one in advance.
  • Now insert the new one. Then put on the casing inside, bait and tighten the bolts.

Now put on the camshaft gear, while lubricating the bolt with a «thread lock» (unless a new bolt has been bought beforehand)

Now tighten while fixing a shaft the same way

Put on a new tension roller. It is required to pay attention to the fact «U» shaped plug to be fixed on the bolt head (front cover bolt)

  • Now check the top dead center on the camshaft.

Then rotate crankshaft clockwise up to reaching top dead center. You can use the following marks in case of generator casing and pulley absence: it is a cut on one of the teeth on the gear


And the engine front cover protrusion.

  • Now put on a new belt and turn the roller clockwise while using the L-shaped hexagon until the pointer comes up to the counterpart neckline by setting the top dead center on both shafts.
  • Check the marks alignment on the shafts, and check the belt tension indicator on the roller after making several crankshaft revolutions manually. Then correct, if required.

Continue further assembly in reverse order: housing, pulley, alternator tensioning pulley, alternator belt.

Then carefully tighten the valve cover bolts, since they break off very easily because of their design.

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