A3 2.0 Timing Belt Install
1996 Jetta GL by: Keith Kozma

The following describes the steps necessary to replace a timing belt in a 2.0 VW Engine. I have included pictures to help with the install. I recommend the purchase of a Bently Manual for this procedure, however, it is not necessary.

First of all, you need the right tools.  You will need the following:

First of all - since you will be removing the serpentine belt and accesories belt, I recommend replacing these as well. Now, jack up the passenger side, secure with a good jack stand, and remove the tire. Next there is a plastic splash shield that covers the lower pulleys, remove this. At this point you will see what type of 3/4" socket you will need. Next, using you 13mm Box Wrench, loosen the adjuster nut on the power steering pump, then use your vice grips to loosen tension on the accessories v-belt and remove.

1. Next remove your airbox, p-flo, or whatever type of filter you are using. This will make things MUCH easier. Once this is done, there are two clips on the timing belt cover. 2. Pop these (they should be easy to release) and wiggle out the cover. 3. Using the 13mm Box wrench remove the bolt on the serpentine belt tensioner and remove the tensioner, then the belt.
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1. Now, using the 3/4" Socket, rotate the engine clockwise until all the TDC (top dead center) marks line up. On the cam gear you will see an OT mark as well as an OT mark on the engine block. Sorry about the poor picture, the flash flushed out the mark on the gear, but trust me, its right under that arrow.. 2. The lower pulley has a notch in it to line up with the lower cover piece you haven't removed yet. Using your impact wrench, remove the bolt from the lower pulley, and then pull off the pulley. **Note: First try removing the 3 allen head bolts (either 5mm or 8mm, I can't remember). With these off you do not need to remove the entire pulley. In the case of this car, those wouldn't budge, but I was able to remove the crank bolt. Wierd, huh?
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Next, using your 1/2" socket, 10mm Socket and Allen Wrenches, remove the bolts holding the lower belt cover on, and remove. Then using the 13mm box wrench, loosen the bolt on the timing belt tensioner and release tension to the belt. Now you can remove your old timing belt. Next you will see the distributor gear. This gear also has an OT mark on it, but don't use this one! Pull the distributor cap off and look for a notch in the housing that points roughly straight back. Make sure the rotor is pointing at this mark and you're all done!

Next, install your new timing belt, and replace the lower cover.

You are done with the hard part. Simply put everything else back together in the reverse order of disassembly. I have included the three figures that I used in the bently manual to complete this job. Enjoy and good luck!!!!

Some newer cars have a new style timing belt tensioner, if your car has this tensioner, good luck! That thing is the biggest pile of crap I've ever seen. I ordered the parts to convert mine to the old manual adjust tensioner. MUCH easier to work with!