Quote, originally posted by White Jetta » It's just to transfer the marks to the new belt and be able to put it back on exactly as it came off, tooth for tooth between the pulleys. The marks would go from the belt onto the pulley before removing it. It's just for another measure of safety on this "get it right once or be sorry" operation.
That, and since it is easy for the cam to bump over one way or the other withthe belt off, the marks are just a fail safe to make sure everything is where it ought to be. The new belt doesn't just "slip on", it takes quite a bit of force to get it on, and it is real easy to move things around. But if you make sure all of you marks line up, you know you are good to go.
Like I said, we don't even put the engine at TDC. Just mark the belt and the gears, transfer the marks to the new belt and put it back on. Keep the makrs all lined up and you know it is right. Once everythig is back together, we do turn the engine over by hand, just to verify that it is indeed in time.
As for 02-03 cars being consistantly a tooth off... I'd be a bit leery of the shop that told me that.