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    Thread: Help with timing??? Crank and Flywheel TDC issue

    1. Junior Member
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      07-21-2011 02:09 AM #1
      What's the trick to get the flywheel notch and the Crank pulley to be exactly where they need to be?

      I turn the crank to get it into position with the Inter shaft marking, but then the flywheel is not in the right position.

      Camshaft is in the right position.

      Issue:
      When the Flywheel is in TDC the crank is not.

      How do I fix this???

      Tried and tried over and over. Can't get them both correct.

      I don't have a Bentley haven't bought one yet.

      An explanation would be amazing, seeing as that's why I am posting here instead of reading the book.

    2. Junior Member
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      07-21-2011 02:10 AM #2
      1986 Golf 1.8 8V

    3. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 02:20 AM #3
      How far off is it? A few degrees or like 180 out?

      the crack pulley and flywheel are bolted solid to the crank. If it's a few degrees then go by the flywheel, but theres no real way they can be far off. Best way to figure out which is most accurate is to take out the #1 plug and stock a dowel or long screwdriver in there... When the cylinder is at it's max height thee crack is at tdc.
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    4. Junior Member
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      07-21-2011 02:33 AM #4
      i can't tell degrees personally,

      but what I had done today was I replaced the Crank Front Oil Seal, and after doing that the timing is off and can't get it right. It ran great before hand. But now all it does is crank but not start.

    5. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 07:29 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Holo86Dub View Post
      i can't tell degrees personally.
      ...do you not know what degrees are? I'm not asking you to be a protractor... just if it's way off or just a smidge. Dont need an exact number...
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    6. Member VWDoc91's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 10:53 AM #6
      Look for the flywheel mark that represents TDC- it's a simple "cut" on every flywheel (circled yellow). It can be aligned with the pointer at the "north" position of tranny flywheel access hole to get TDC (circled red). Just line those two up. Make sure all the crank, cam and intermediate shaft sprockets are aligned before slapping the T-Belt on.


    7. Junior Member
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      07-21-2011 12:30 PM #7
      I've aligned those lines up in on the flywheel,
      But after I do that, everything else ends up in a different position.

    8. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 12:35 PM #8
      What is everything else? have you touched the timing belt yet?
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    9. Junior Member
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      07-21-2011 12:39 PM #9
      The timing belt came off when I did the Crank Front Seal cause it needed replaced since it was old and weak. Everything else is the mark on the intermediate shaft, camshaft and the crank pulley. Those three marks get messed up when I try to crank the engine after I get the flywheel at TDC.

    10. Member
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      07-21-2011 12:57 PM #10
      That notch should be for the 6 degress of ignition timing. Go off the mark on the crank pulley.
      My R32 swap and shaved bay jetta coupe build
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...ding-the-beast

    11. Member dankehoe1's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 01:16 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Holo86Dub View Post
      I've aligned those lines up in on the flywheel,
      But after I do that, everything else ends up in a different position.
      Okay, stupid question, but you DO have the belt OFF while trying to line things up right? Because if you don't, it should be pretty obvious you're gonna be chasing your tail pretty much forever

    12. Member VWDoc91's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 02:00 PM #12
      Now, the obvious question is.... if you say the marks are all over the place, the only thing to do is see if you forget to put the key in the crank snub before installing the crank gear?

    13. Junior Member
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      07-21-2011 03:11 PM #13
      Yes the belt is off while I'm doing it. I'm not the smartest person but I at least know not to leave the belt on while doing this.

    14. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 03:51 PM #14
      So how are the intermediate shaft and camshaft are turning while there is no timing eblt while you're aligning the crank i just don't get it.

      IIRC you go by the dot on the flywheel for TDC, not the notch, the notch's 6 degrees before TDC for ignition timing.
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      07-21-2011 04:18 PM #15
      Once I have everything lined up, I put the belt on and try to start the car with one short 2 to 3 second ignition turn. The car doesn't start and then the marks aren't aligned.

    16. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 04:19 PM #16
      Slack in the belt. Try setting the crank one tooth behind, or the cam and int. shaft one tooth ahead. Make sure to hand-crank it and re-check. The slack on the front of the belt is taken up by the crank turning and makes them approx. 1 tooth off.
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    17. Member a2lowvw's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 04:55 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Holo86Dub View Post
      Once I have everything lined up, I put the belt on and try to start the car with one short 2 to 3 second ignition turn. The car doesn't start and then the marks aren't aligned.
      on a 16v the intermediate shaft doesn't need to be in alignment but the cams do turn the crank over till it is at tdc and check the cam.

      which timing marks are you using on the cam as they have marks on both sides of the cam gear....
      Quote Originally Posted by 89-digi-jetta View Post
      ya obviouslyn a2lowvw is a douche!!! but of course douches l,ike him hill the scene right

    18. Senior Member Mr. Knappy's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 05:07 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by VWDoc91 View Post
      Look for the flywheel mark that represents TDC- it's a simple "cut" on every flywheel (circled yellow). It can be aligned with the pointer at the "north" position of tranny flywheel access hole to get TDC (circled red). Just line those two up. Make sure all the crank, cam and intermediate shaft sprockets are aligned before slapping the T-Belt on.

      No.

      First of all, line it up with the flywheel. Sometimes the keyway on the crank sprocket can wear out and give you a false reading. Second, do NOT use the mark shown above. Use the DOT next to it. Third, don't bother trying to align the dot on the intermediate shaft. Pop off the distributor cap and look for a little notch on the housing where the cap rests on the distributor. Turn the intermediate shaft until the CENTER of the rotor lines up with the notch. Then set the camshaft to the proper mark. The put the belt on make sure you take the slack out between the crank, intermediate shaft and the cam towards the FRONT of the car. Put on the tensioner and tighten the belt appropriately. Turn the engine BY HAND 2 rotations and recheck the marks. If all is good, fire it up. You might have to adjust the ignition timing and the idle speed but if you did that all correctly, it should be spot on and no changes needed. These cars are seriously the easiest things to do the timing belt on.

    19. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 05:31 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Knappy View Post
      Turn the intermediate shaft until the CENTER of the rotor lines up with the notch.
      The only issue I have with this is the distributor is adjustable for ignition timing, so i'd suggest using the intermediate shaft to center the whole setup, that way you don't have the dist. 0 TDC point set too far one way or another.

      Everything else sounds good
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    20. Senior Member Mr. Knappy's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 05:51 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by VDub2625 View Post
      The only issue I have with this is the distributor is adjustable for ignition timing, so i'd suggest using the intermediate shaft to center the whole setup, that way you don't have the dist. 0 TDC point set too far one way or another.

      Everything else sounds good
      Yea but at the age of these cars, who knows how many times the timing has been messed with, belt been removed, distributors changed, ect. If you use the rotor and the TDC mark, you know it's right rather than guessing with the intermediate shaft.

    21. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 05:52 PM #21
      I'd say the other way round. The intermediate shaft mark means the dist. is mechanically at 0 TDC, then you can adjust the dist. to match the int. shaft, and it's timed at 0 TDC, sort of like "resetting" the timing, then set the ignition timing after that.

      I don't think you're guessing at all with the int. shaft, it has marks on it that force it to line up...
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    22. Senior Member Mr. Knappy's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 05:54 PM #22
      Yea, you could do that. I never used to bother moving the distributor. That's just one extra step. I would just pop the cap off as soon as I opened the hood. Hell, I used to crank the motor till that was lined up and then took everything else apart.

    23. Member a2lowvw's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 07:59 PM #23
      i would check the distributor and make sure the cam mark you are using is correct.

      worst case if you don't trust the crank pulley or stamping on the flywheel pull the cyl 1 plug and verify the clinder is at the top of the stroke...

      or remove the belt, set the crank, intermediate shaft and cam to the correct spots and re-install the belt.
      Quote Originally Posted by 89-digi-jetta View Post
      ya obviouslyn a2lowvw is a douche!!! but of course douches l,ike him hill the scene right

    24. Junior Member
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      07-21-2011 09:31 PM #24
      I finally called my dad to come help me, he's a master tech so I figured he'd be able to help with some hands on teaching.

    25. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 09:45 PM #25
      It really is becuase of the slack in the belt. i dealt with this issue back when i was doing my first too. That's why you're supposed to crank it by hand 2 full rotations. The slack is taken out and you re-adjust the int. pulley and cam.
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    26. Member VWDoc91's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 10:25 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Knappy View Post
      No.

      First of all, line it up with the flywheel. Sometimes the keyway on the crank sprocket can wear out and give you a false reading. Second, do NOT use the mark shown above. Use the DOT next to it. Third, don't bother trying to align the dot on the intermediate shaft. Pop off the distributor cap and look for a little notch on the housing where the cap rests on the distributor. Turn the intermediate shaft until the CENTER of the rotor lines up with the notch. Then set the camshaft to the proper mark. The put the belt on make sure you take the slack out between the crank, intermediate shaft and the cam towards the FRONT of the car. Put on the tensioner and tighten the belt appropriately. Turn the engine BY HAND 2 rotations and recheck the marks. If all is good, fire it up. You might have to adjust the ignition timing and the idle speed but if you did that all correctly, it should be spot on and no changes needed. These cars are seriously the easiest things to do the timing belt on.
      While I may agree on this, whenever I get the crank at TDC, I put on the belt and tightened to spec, and it would just line up after I crank the crankshaft 2 revolutions by hand, and everything lined up, then I tightened to remove any slack until I can no longer twist the belt perpendicularly at the longest distance between sprockets- I've done that on many VW blocks for good 20 years. That's as good as I could get without the belt gauge.

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      07-22-2011 12:05 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by VDub2625 View Post
      It really is becuase of the slack in the belt. i dealt with this issue back when i was doing my first too. That's why you're supposed to crank it by hand 2 full rotations. The slack is taken out and you re-adjust the int. pulley and cam.
      When my dad got here, he asked me to show him what I had done in the first couple tries, said that was all correct, so I really didn't mess anything up. Compression was perfectly dead on. Something else was the issue, turns out the spark plugs were dead as Goku. So I went and bought 4 new Bosch, stuck 'em in and it fired right up.

      In the end just a spark issue from the plugs.

      I appreciate all of your assistance.

      Guess I'm not as dumb as I thought I was... second guessing myself is a huge flaw I have.

      Thank you all.

    28. Member VWDoc91's Avatar
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      07-22-2011 12:54 AM #28
      Who would have thunk of the dead plugs!?

    29. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      07-22-2011 05:56 PM #29
      That seems odd becuase plugs wouldn't cause the marks to not line up... they would cause the engine to not run though. I still think you had a belt slack problem that your dad helped you fix without realizing it
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      07-23-2011 02:17 PM #30
      I honestly wouldn't doubt it, but I had all the marks lined up properly.

      Once the belt was tightened how I had it, and he said it was right, it just wouldn't fire up.

      That's what made him check the plugs.

      It was a very odd and confusing situation.

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