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How do you install a belt on a VW?


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2008-07-02 02:08:50
2008-07-02 02:08:50

First and foremost, make sure you have a diagram before removing the old belt. If there isn�t one under the hood, get out the pencil and paper and draw it out labeling the pullies and arrows pointing to the direction the belt travels on them. Save this paper in the glove compartment when the job is done for future reference. As far as replacing goes, it depends on the engine. Believe it or not, they are different amongst manufacturers, makes and models, so Bclear! If there is a spring loaded tensioner, you�ll need to turn the tensioner back to relieve pressure, and slide the belt off the tensioner pulley. Depending on the tensioner, you may be able to use a socket wrench with the right socket, 3/8� drive with socket wrench, or in some cases, you�ll need a tool that is meant for just this called a belt tensioner wrench. After it is relieved of tension, the belt can be removed. The new one gets routed the same, if you can�t remember, refer to your diagram. If you didn�t make one and can�t remember, listen closely and you�ll hear me laughing at you. Some belts require motor mounts to be removed and some are just plain nasty, such as the 1.9 motor found in Ford escorts. I would be careful with a volkswagon however, too much pressure could cause the entire car to collapse. If there is no tensioner. Look for a bolt going through a bracket that the alternater or power steering mounts to. Loosen the bolt, pry back whatever components keeps tension, and replace the belt. Make the tension respectfully taunt and tighten bolt back down after the belt is replaced. You need a 21mm socket, a big flat-tip screwdriver, a ratchet and a new belt. You need to know whether you have a generator or an alternator before you buy the belt, because the top pulley is different and I have heard one is longer than the other. A really big crescent wrench will work if you don't have a 21mm socket with you--you DO have one, right? It's used to change the oil, among other things. First, look at the pulley and note the two notches cut in the rim. There are two notches in the back side, too...use the 21mm socket to turn the pulley until one of the back-side notches is facing up. Stick the screwdriver in the notch, then turn the pulley counterclockwise until the notch jams the screwdriver against the generator/alternator casting. Then just turn the nut off. Remove the front side of the pulley, and the belt will come off. You'll notice some metal discs that fell out. They're the shims and they're how you adjust the belt tension. Loop the belt around the bottom pulley, then over the generator bolt. Put half the shims on the bolt, then the front side of the pulley, followed by the rest of the shims, the little cup and finally the nut. Start turning the nut clockwise. The belt will move to its proper location in the pulley, and when it does get the notch pointed back up, stick the screwdriver back in and tighten the nut nice and tight. Now for the fun part...the belt deflection, halfway between the two pulleys, is 13mm. If it's too tight, you put more shims between the pulleys; if it's too loose, take some out. Yes, you must remove the face of the pulley--and yes, this is a mean thing to do to someone. But eventually you will persevere and get the tension right. When you've found the proper number of shims, write inside the cover of your copy of How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive the proper number of shims for a new belt on this car.

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