1988 Volkswagen Scirocco Tighten Timing Belt Tensioner

If you have to tighten the timing belt tensioner on a 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V engine, you should also replace the timing belt since the same amount of labor is required for both jobs. The Scirocco uses one of four engines: 1.5, 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8. All engines are interference engines. The timing belt doesn't usually break, but stretches past the scope of the tensioner. You can only tighten the tensioner so many times before it doesn't have the throw to tighten the elongated belt.

Tools Used: Set of wrenches, Set of sockets, No. 2587 tensioner pulley wrench, Torque wrench

Tighten Timing Belt Tensioner

Disconnect the battery ground cable and lay it aside, making sure it doesn't touch metal. There are two types of accessory drive belt tensioners: sliders and tensioners with pulleys. Loosen the bolts on the sliders for each accessory, then push the accessory toward the engine. Lift the belt off the pulleys. If the tensioner has a pulley, use a socket or wrench to rotate the pulley toward the engine to loosen tension on the belt. Lift the belt off the pulleys.

Remove the water pump pulley, crankshaft pulley bolts, crankshaft pulley and timing belt covers using the appropriate sockets.

Install the crankshaft pulley temporarily, using only one bolt to hold it in place. Turn the crankshaft clockwise until the timing marks line up. The timing marks on the intermittent shaft pulley are a line on the block and a notch on the crankshaft pulley, which line up at the 9 o'clock position. The camshaft timing mark lines up at the 3 o'clock position. If, after lining up the intermittent shaft timing mark, the camshaft does not line up, turn the crankshaft one more turn, and both marks will line up. If you are going to replace the timing belt, continue to Step 4. If you are going to just tighten the tensioner, skip Steps 4 and 5.

Loosen the tensioner nut, then push the tensioner pulley counterclockwise, away from the belt. Tighten the tensioner nut just enough to hold the tensioner out of the way. Remove the crankshaft pulley. Lift the timing belt off the sprockets and pulleys, if you are replacing the timing belt, instead of just tightening the tensioner.

Install the crankshaft pulley temporarily. Make sure the timing marks are still lined up. Remove the crankshaft pulley. If you are replacing the belt, install the timing belt, working in a counterclockwise direction, starting on the crankshaft sprocket. Route the belt around the intermittent shaft, then up to the camshaft sprocket, keeping it taut. Bring the belt down behind the tensioner pulley.

Loosen the tensioner nut. Turn the tensioner pulley using the tensioner pulley wrench (or a suitable standard wrench for earlier models) clockwise until the belt can be twisted through 90 degrees halfway between the crankshaft sprocket and the intermittent shaft pulley.

Hold the pulley in place and tighten the tensioner nut to 33 foot-pounds of torque. Temporarily install the crankshaft pulley. Turn the crankshaft two turns until the timing marks line up again. Check the belt tension as explained in Step 6. If the belt tension is not correct, remove and reinstall the belt. Install the rest of the parts in reverse order of removal. Tighten the crankshaft pulley bolts to 15 foot-pounds of torque.

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