1987 Volkswagen Jetta Timing Belt Installation Instructions

The Volkswagen Jetta is a compact car manufactured by Volkswagen since 1979. The 1987 model is a second generation Jetta, which includes 1983 through 1992 Volkswagen Jettas. The 1987 Volkswagen Jetta has a four-cylinder, 1.8-liter engine with a single overhead camshaft, which requires a timing belt. The procedure for installing a timing belt is generally the same for all Volkswagen vehicles made from 1985 to 1989.

Tools Used: Socket wrench set, Open-end wrench, Torque wrench

Timing Belt Installation

Disconnect the battery cable on the negative terminal with a socket wrench to avoid starting the engine. Detach the accessory drive belts and the crankshaft pulley. Remove the cover for the front timing belt and replace the mounting bolt for the crankshaft pulley temporarily.

Turn the crankshaft clockwise to align the timing mark on the camshaft sprocket with the timing mark on the rear timing belt cover. Remove the locking nut on the pulley for the timing belt tensioner. Turn the tensioner counterclockwise to reduce the timing belt tension.

Install the new timing belt so that the timing mark on the tooth of the timing belt aligns with the mark on the rear cover of the timing belt. Grip the large nut on the crankshaft pulley with an open end wrench and remove the smaller locking nut with a socket wrench.

Turn the timing belt tensioner clockwise to place tension on the timing belt. Adjust the tension so that you can twist the timing belt 1/4 turn between the camshaft sprocket and the intermediate sprockets.

Turn the crankshaft clockwise by two complete turns until the timing marks align once again. Adjust the tension on the timing belt and align the timing marks again. Tighten the locking nut on the timing belt tensioner to 33 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Install the front cover on the timing belt with a socket wrench and install the accessory drive belts. Connect the cable for the negative battery terminal. Start the engine and check for a growling noise, indicating the timing belt is too tight.

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