How to replace VW Beetle Timing Belt on 1.9L TDI ALH Engine Code
Wondering how to replace the timing belt on a VW Beetle with 1.9L TDI ALH engine? Blauparts is here to help! Below are step-by-step VW Beetle timing belt installation instructions and tips, developed by our master technicians. Our hands-on experience has helped us create instructions that are specific to your VW Beetle engine. Detailed instructions include complete VW Beetle front bumper removal instructions.
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DISCLAIMER: VW Beetle timing belt installation is a complex repair procedure and should be performed by experienced automotive technicians, trained in performing proper timing belt installation.
Blauparts recommends that an Audi VW Factory Trained ASE Certified Technician perform timing belt repair. One who has been trained in specific timing belt procedures for your exact vehicle engine. This is for your safety and to prevent improper installation by untrained and unqualified installers and technicians, leading to possible engine damage.
Always read the factory service manual safety instructions and guidelines. Always wear safety glasses and other safety items when performing the following repair.
Jump To Section >> Removal of old VW Beetle Timing Belt
Jump To Section >> Installation of new VW Beetle Timing Belt, Tensioners, and Seals
Jump To Section >> How To Fill The VW Beetle Cooling System
How To Step 1
Position the vehicle in the air on proper automotive jack stands and remove the passenger side front wheel.
How To Step 2
Remove the protective splash pan using a T-25 Torx driver.
How To Step 3
Remove the lower intercooler hose by removing (1) 10mm nut (1) spring clip and (1) hose clamp located in the passenger side wheel well.
How To Step 4
Loosen and remove the passenger side fender liner by removing the spring clips from corresponding studs.
How To Step 5
Using a 16mm wrench, loosen and remove the serpentine belt by turning tensioner clockwise.
How To Step 6
Using a 13mm socket, remove (3) bolts that secure the serpentine belt tensioner to the engine.
How To Step 7
If the forward upper intercooler hose clamp is not accessible you may need to remove the front bumper in order to remove the passengers side headlight. If the hose clamp is accessible remove hose clamp and continue to step 18.
How To Step 8
Remove the bumper cover to gain access to the hose clamp at the top of the intercooler. Pull up (vertically) in the top side corners of both the passenger and driver side of grille trim. Then push inward towards engine and once again pull up on the top side corners of both the passenger and driver side of grille trim. Be careful not to break the clips molded into the grille.
Pry up and remove the spring clip from the hood latch lever. Then using a flat blade screwdriver, spread the latch apart so that the rod clears the latch pins and remove latch.
How To Step 9
Pull upwards on the grille and remove it.
How To Step 10
Using a T-25 Torx driver, remove (4) screws from both passenger and drivers side on the front side of wheel well.
How To Step 11
Using a T-30 Torx driver, remove (5) screws on the top of the bumper cover.
How To Step 12
Remove passenger and drivers side lower front bumper grilles.
How To Step 13
Using a T-30 Torx driver, remove (1) screw from behind the grille opening on each side of vehicle that secures the bumper cover to the radiator.
How To Step 14
Begin to remove the bumper cover, but pause to remove the bulbs from the rear side of the marker lamps. It may be advantageous to use 2 people for this step.
How To Step 15
Unplug passenger side headlamp. Then use a T-25 Torx driver to remove the (4) screws holding the headlamp in place.
Remove headlamp (2 upper screws and 2 lower screws).
How To Step 16
Use a 1/4“ drive rachet and 10mm socket to remove (3) nuts from your engine cover.
How To Step 17
Use a pliers to remove all clamps from intercooler hose between the intake manifold and intercooler. Twist the intercooler pipe and remove the pipe through the headlamp opening in the radiator support.
How To Step 18
Drain the coolant from the engine by removing the lower hose from the oil cooler, located just above the oil filter. Then, drain the radiator at the radiator drain knob located on the lower drivers side of the radiator.
How To Step 19
Use a phillips screwdriver to remove (2) screws securing the coolant tank. Remove both hoses connected to the coolant tank and locate them to the side.
How To Step 20
Use a 5mm allen wrench to remove the single allen head bolt that secures the power steering reservoir to the motor mount. As an option, you can choose to completely remove both power steering hoses for easier access to the area.
How To Step 21
Loosen the (5) spring clips located around the cover, then remove complete upper timing belt cover.
How To Step 22
Use a 6mm allen to remove the (4) allen head bolts on vibration damper. Counter hold the crankshaft by using a 1/2“ drive rachet and 19mm socket. Remove vibration dampener.
Torque Spec this fastener, 7 ft lbs + 1/4 turn.
How To Step 23
If you are planning to install a new lower crankshaft seal at this time, loosen lower crankshaft toothed pulley bolt. Position special tool #3415 in lower crank toothed pulley and use breaker bar with 12 point 19mm socket to loosen main crank bolt.
Please Note: Do not remove bolt or toothed pulley at this time. Just loosen the bolt.
How To Step 25
Use a 10mm wrench to remove the (2) 10mm nuts holding the vacuum hose bracket located below the vacuum pump on the drivers side of valve cover. Loosen vacuum hoses from support bracket.
How To Step 26
Use a 10mm wrench to remove (2) bolts that hold the coolant manifold on at the right side of the cylinder head. This will allow clearance for the removal of the vacuum pump.
Torque spec for this fastener is 7 ft lbs.
How To Step 27
Use a 13mm wrench to remove (3) bolts securing vacuum pump to cylinder head.
Torque spec for this fastener is 15 ft lbs.
How To Step 28
Use a 5mm allen wrench and socket to remove (7) allen head bolts retaining the valve cover.
Please Note: Use allen wrench to remove allen bolt located under the egr valve
Torque spec for this fastener is 7 ft lbs
Remove plastic plug from bell housing on driver side of engine.
How To Step 29
Rotate crankshaft until both valves for cylinder #1 are completely up and fully seated.
How To Step 30
Insert the cam locking tool #3418 into the slot on camshaft. If you cannot, rotate crankshaft 180 degrees and re-attempt to insert the cam locking plate.
Please Note: NEVER use locking plate to torque crankshaft or camshaft bolts.
How To Step 31
Locate and align the machined marker on the flywheel with the notch protrusion in the bell housing.
How To Step 32
Install the flywheel locking tool #4004 on lower toothed pulley of the crankshaft. Tighten allen bolts hand tight, then add 1/4 turn with a 5mm allen socket.
How To Step 33
Insert fuel pump locking pin/tool #3359 into hole in fuel pump toothed pulley and then thru hole in fuel pump casting. It is possible to install pin/tool 3359 to the right of the hole and have the injection timing off by about 30 degrees. If this is done your engine will not start.
Please Note: you may have to tap gently on the pin tool to get it into the hole in the fuel pump casting. Never turn over engine by injection pump.
How To Step 34
Support engine with suitable engine support.
Warning: Failure to use an appropriate and safety approved engine support could result in injury or death.
How To Step 35
Use a 1/2“ drive rachet to remove (2) 18mm upper motor mount bolts.
How To Step 36
Use a 1/2“ drive rachet to remove (2) 16mm body motor mount bolts and remove body side motor mount.
How To Step 37
Remove the cast motor mount bracket secured to the engine by removing (2) 16mm bolts on the top side and then (1)16mm bolt on the bottom side of the bracket.
A swivel extension might be required.
How To Step 38
Raise drivers side of engine to remove motor mount bracket.
Please Note: This can be difficult. Make sure the lower bolts have been fully removed from the bracket so they are not in the way. Lift bracket up and then forward toward front of car. You may have to lightly pull on the a/c evaporator pipe to allow the motor mount bracket to clear. If you are unable to remove the bracket towards the front, you will need to remove the turbo air intake pipe in order to remove the motor mount by moving it towards the rear of the vehicle.
How To Step 39
Remove and lower timing belt cover by removing (4) 10mm bolts.
Important: Apply Loctite to these bolts when reinstalling the cover.
How To Step 40
Loosen and remove timing belt tensioning idler, timing belt, and all other fixed tensioners. Also remove water pump.
How To Step 41
Position tool #3415 in lower crankshaft toothed pulley. Using a 12 point 19mm socket, remove crankshaft bolt.
How To Step 43
Using tool #3203, remove lower crank seal. Inspect crankshaft for possible groove from where the old seal rubbed on the crankshaft. Lubricate the sealing lip of the new crank seal with clean motor oil. Using tool #3265, gently tap new crank seal into place. If a groove existed in the crankshaft, recess the new seal slightly deeper so the seal lip rides on a new surface area of the crankshaft.
Important: Do not rotate or turn the crank shaft at this time.
How To Step 44
Re-install toothed belt pulley and torque bolts to 88 ft lbs + 1/4 turn.
How To Step 45
Clean machined area where the water pump will mate with engine block. Install the new improved water pump by turning all water pump fasteners equally snug by hand and then slowly and evenly torque the fasteners to 7 ft lbs.
How To Step 46
Use a pliers to loosen the hose clamp at the thermostat housing and remove hose. Then use a 10mm socket to remove (2) bolts securing the housing to the engine block. Remove old thermostat, noting the orientation of it. Clean thermostat mating surface on engine block. Install the new thermostat in the same orientation as removed. Install new o-ring to housing, then install housing to block. Torque housing to 7 ft lbs. and reinstall hose and clamp
How To Step 47
Install (3) new upper and lower FIXED tensioners. Apply a small amount of thread locker and torque fasteners to specifications.
Smaller tensioner torque spec 16 ft lbs.
Larger tensioner torque spec 22 ft lbs.
How To Step 48
Install improved 62mm O.D. fixed tensioner using the new bolt # GK29001 supplied.
Torque fastener to 30 ft lbs + 1/4 turn.
How To Step 49
Install timing belt tensioning idler. Position backing plate flange on tensioner with slotted hole in plastic cover and slide tensioner onto stud. Tighten securing nut only finger tight at this time.
How To Step 50
Temporarly remove tool 3418. Loosen cam sprocket with tool #3036 by about 2 turns. Reinstall Tool 3418 with camshaft at TDC Then using tool #T40001 and a 3/4 drive rachet with 18mm socket, apply tension to center of cam bolt until the cam sprocket pops off.
How To Step 51
Loosen and remove camshaft cam cap. Remove camshaft seal. Inspect camshaft for possible groove from old seal wearing on camshaft seal surface area.Lubricate the seal lip of cam the seal with clean motor oil. Slide in new cam seal. If a groove existed on thecamshaft, locate the new seal a few millimeters deeper on the camshaft so that it rides on a new surface area. Reinstall cam cap and evenly torque nuts to 15 ft lbs.
How To Step 52
Reinstall cam sprocket and only tighten finger tight at this time.
Warning: Do not loosen center bolt! Loosening center bolt changes injection pump factory settings which can only be adjusted by using special equipment.
How To Step 53
Loosen (3) 13mm bolts on injection pump sprocket. Do not remove bolts completely, just break them loose.
How To Step 54
Install timing belt by positioning it over the lower crank toothed pulley and then work your way upward.
How To Step 55
Double check that the timing belt is properly in place and engaged in the teeth of the lower crank pulley, the teeth on the camshaft pulley and the teeth on the injection pump pulley. Center timing belt on all pulleys and idlers. Next, Set timing belt tension. Remove tensioning idler nut and apply thread locker. Loosely reinstall nut. Remove tool #T40001, then use tool #T10020 to apply tension clockwise to the tensioning idler pulley. Align top dead center marks. Once marks are aligned, tighten nut and torque it to 15 ft lbs.
How To Step 56
Remove injection pump pulley bolts one at a time and install new bolts and tighten to 15 Lbs.
How To Step 57
Tighten Cam Sprocket bolt with tool #3036. Torque to 33 ft lbs.
How To Step 58
Remove locking pin tool #3359 from injection pump sprocket.
How To Step 59
Remove tool #4004 lower crank lock pulley tool.
Please Note: Install (2) the allen bolts and nuts onto tool that where supplied with the tool.
How To Step 60
Remove tool #3418 cam locking plate.
Warning: NEVER use tool #3418 to tighten or torque fasteners! Damage to camshaft may occur.
How To Step 61
Turn engine over by hand two full revolutions and verify that there is no interference.
How To Step 62
Bring # 1 cylinder of engine to top dead center and verify all timing marks align properly as outlined earlier.
How To Step 63
Install the lower timing belt cover.
Important: Apply Loctite to the (4) 10mm bolts when reinstalling.
How To Step 64
Reinstall motor mount casting to engine block. Be sure to apply thread locker to all existing bolts. Install lower bolts into motor mount casting before positioning bracket in place, then position casting into place in between engine and body of vehicle. Install the (3) bolts into casting at the same time and start threads of all the bolts before tightening any one of them down.
Torque spec for these fasteners is 33 ft lbs.
How To Step 65
Reinstall the body half motor mount with (2) bolts.
Torque spec for these fasteners is 30 ft lbs +1/4 turn
How To Step 66
With the engine lowered and back at the proper level, install the motor mount to engine bracket bolts.
Torque spec on these fasteners is 44 ft lbs +1/4 turn.
How To Step 67
Locate any components removed not specifically addressed in this guideline and re-install.
How To Step 68
Review each step found in this set of guidelines to ensure each component has been addressed properly and has been re-fastened to specification.
How To Fill VW Beetle Cooling System After Timing Belt Replacement:
How To Step 1
Reconnect the lower oil cooler hose to fitting.
How To Step 3
Install your coolant expansion tank cap, start your engine and allow the engine to warm until the radiator fans cycle at least once or until you are sure the thermostat has opened. You can safely bring the engine up to around 2000 RPM to quickly develop heat in the engine in order for the thermostat to open.
If the coolant expansion tank fluid level goes down while you are running the engine, turn off the vehicle and carefully remove the coolant expansion tank cap. Re-fill with coolant to the max line and re-start the engine and let warm again until the radiator fan cycles.
How To Step 4
When the engine has cooled re-check the coolant and add as needed.
Service BulletinsImportant Repair Information.
Please read the
following bulletins BEFORE beginning timing belt service.
- Subject: How to prevent premature water pump failure? Proper cooling system service procedures.
QuestionsDo you have a specific question regarding 1.9L VW Beetle timing belt replacement? Or anything timing belt related? We're here to help!
BLAU® Official O.E. INA VW Beetle Timing Belt KitsOur goal is to make your VW Beetle timing belt repair job a success. Preventing any possible problems during this crucial repair is our number one priority. Over 27 years of VW German heritage and small family owned business way of thinking has strongly influenced our Gen II BLAU® VW Timing Belt Replacement Kits.
Related TDI VW Beetle Timing Belt Replacement Information
Cost of ReplacementHow long does it take and how much will it cost to replace the timing belt on my VW Beetle with 1.9L engine?
BLAU® Official O.E. ComponentsWhat are the brand names of the timing belt components that originally came on my VW Beetle 1.9L TDI ALH?
Change IntervalsWhat is the factory recommended timing belt interval for VW Beetle 1.9L TDI ALH engines? How long will new timing belt parts last after replacement?
Special ToolsDo I need special tools to replace the timing belt on the VW Beetle 1.9L engine? Can I do it without the tools?
Related ReplacementCan I just replace the timing belt? What other parts should be replaced during VW Beetle timing belt service?