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    Thread: 1.8t Timing issue. Please help!

    1. 04-29-2012 10:32 PM #1
      Ok, so here's the situation. My timing belt broke while i was rolling down the road. car stalled. After much research and work, i discovered that the head needed to be rebuilt, as there was valve damage. Fast forward to today. I just finished setting the timing on the engine after putting it all back together. When i set TDC for the pistons, i did it with the head off the engine, watching the piston and the line on the flywheel. After the engine was back together with everything looking correct, and i set the timing (thinking it was correct), i attempted a start but it just coughed and cranked. no ignition. I'm afraid that i set the timing incorrectly. I only found one mark on the flywheel. There is only one mark on the cam sprocket that lines up with a mark on the valve cover. After tensioning the belt, i re-checked to make sure all lines were still on. Everything looked lined up perfectly. When i re-installed the harmonic balancer on the crank sprocket, the timing mark lined up with the mark on the lower timing belt cover. I did a compression test post attempted start and it registered 30psi.

      Here are the big questions i have here: What is the compression gauge supposed to read for this engine? How can i be certain that I was on the compression stroke and not exhaust stroke when i set the crank to TDC? What should i do now?

      The car is a 2000 Jetta GLS 1.8t AWD 5spd.

    2. Senior Member 87vr6's Avatar
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      04-29-2012 10:59 PM #2
      If you did a compression test and got 30psi on any cylinder go ahead and take the head back off.

      When you set timing with the head off the block, you turn the crank clockwise and watch cylinder #1, which is the pass side cylinder on your car. When that piston comes up to the top, that's TDC.

      You don't need to worry about the flywheel, as long as the crank pulley and cam pulley line up to their marks before AND after you put a timing belt on, you should be golden.

      So, if this what you did, and are positive you had everything done right, you might have coincidentally broken either the cam pulley key way or the crank pulley key way.

    3. Member Rac_337's Avatar
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      04-29-2012 11:04 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by seanraw View Post
      Ok, so here's the situation. My timing belt broke while i was rolling down the road. car stalled. After much research and work, i discovered that the head needed to be rebuilt, as there was valve damage. Fast forward to today. I just finished setting the timing on the engine after putting it all back together. When i set TDC for the pistons, i did it with the head off the engine, watching the piston and the line on the flywheel. After the engine was back together with everything looking correct, and i set the timing (thinking it was correct), i attempted a start but it just coughed and cranked. no ignition. I'm afraid that i set the timing incorrectly. I only found one mark on the flywheel. There is only one mark on the cam sprocket that lines up with a mark on the valve cover. After tensioning the belt, i re-checked to make sure all lines were still on. Everything looked lined up perfectly. When i re-installed the harmonic balancer on the crank sprocket, the timing mark lined up with the mark on the lower timing belt cover. I did a compression test post attempted start and it registered 30psi.

      Here are the big questions i have here: What is the compression gauge supposed to read for this engine? How can i be certain that I was on the compression stroke and not exhaust stroke when i set the crank to TDC? What should i do now?

      The car is a 2000 Jetta GLS 1.8t AWD 5spd.
      stock compression should be 180psi or so. i think the low is like 160.

      you can only be on one part of the stroke.

      put something into the cylinder to find tdc. i use a long screw driver or welding filler rod works well. put it at tdc. where does the mark on the cam gear sit?

      did you remove the cams when you rebuilt the head? did you time the exhaust and intake cam correctly? if the exhaust keyway is inline with the triangle on the cam cap, you should have 16 rollers.

      pics of the cam gear at tdc and the exhaust/intake cam at tdc showing the keyways lining up with the cam caps near the tensioner would be a help.

      also check this thread:

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...-belt-and-BOOM

      if you're getting only 30psi, something is major wrong. is it 30psi across all cylinders? i'd pull the head and double check everything.
      Last edited by Rac_337; 04-29-2012 at 11:06 PM.

    4. 04-30-2012 11:29 AM #4
      I had the head rebuilt at a machine shop. I assume he set the cam timing correctly. I don't know whether he took the cams off at the shop or not, but i'd think that's part of the rebuild. All 20 valves and sleeves were replaced.

      I did the compression test on cylinders 1 and 2, and they both read around 30. Even though i lined the flywheel mark up to the right place, is there a chance that the piston was at the top of the exhaust stroke and not the compression stroke? Would there be any compression if that's the case? or does it matter at all, so long as the #1 piston was at the top of any cycle?

    5. 04-30-2012 03:56 PM #5
      From what I understand, the piston reaches top twice. Once on the compression stroke, and once on the exhaust stroke.

    6. 04-30-2012 10:22 PM #6
      Hey guys! First off, I want to thank you for your help in pointing me in the right direction so far! I was finally able to get back over to the garage where I'm working on my Jetta. We double checked tdc for the #1 piston and the marks on the timing and valve covers. Next, we removed the valve cover to check the cams, and found that they were not timed correctly. Now that I know for sure this is where the problem lies, I think I have a couple directions to go. I'd rather not have to remove the head in order to set the cam timing. Is this possible?

    7. Senior Member 87vr6's Avatar
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      05-01-2012 01:38 AM #7
      If the cam and crank marks are at TDC, how far off are the cam marks? If the arrows on the caps are pretty close to the windows, then leave it, take out your chain tensioner and get the cams where they need to be. But if they are way off you'll have to remove the head one way or the other, and you might find bent valves.

      If the cam timing is off I'd imagine the compression check wouldn't be good, however, did you check all 4 cylinders? And only 1 and 2 were bad?

    8. 05-01-2012 02:34 AM #8
      The cam marks are really far off. I'd say that the exhaust cam was set close to the correct place, and the intake cam was set in the exact opposite position. when cranking the engine by hand, i could see one notch on the cam and not the other. further rotation would reveal the previously not visible mark and hide the initially visible one. I guess the main idea here is that the machine shop mechanic didn't set the cam timing correctly when he reassembled the head. I'm hoping that my attempt to start the engine with the cam timing so far off didn't bend newly installed valves. I inspected the valve sleeves where they contact the cams, and everything looks like it's making good contact. I'd like to come up with a solution to timing the cams without removing the head again. I only checked cylinders 1 and 2 when i did the compression test. Did not check the other two, but after i looked at the cams, i doubt a test on the other two cylinders would yield more positive results.

    9. Senior Member 87vr6's Avatar
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      05-01-2012 07:28 AM #9
      OK. One by one, sorry to be harsh if it sounds that way...

      Quote Originally Posted by seanraw View Post
      when cranking the engine by hand, i could see one notch on the cam and not the other. further rotation would reveal the previously not visible mark and hide the initially visible one.
      You're screwed. The head is done.

      Quote Originally Posted by seanraw View Post
      I guess the main idea here is that the machine shop mechanic didn't set the cam timing correctly when he reassembled the head.
      That is a very correct assumption. Now make him pay for it.

      Quote Originally Posted by seanraw View Post
      I'm hoping that my attempt to start the engine with the cam timing so far off didn't bend newly installed valves.
      Hoping isn't going to make anything better. See my first reply. Head is toast.

      Quote Originally Posted by seanraw View Post
      I'd like to come up with a solution to timing the cams without removing the head again.
      I think by now you've caught the drift, but just in case, your head is done. It's coming off to be rebuilt, let alone getting the cams timed properly.

      Make the shop pay to fix it, that is, get it fixed by a shop that knows VWs, and send the bill to the original guy.

    10. 05-01-2012 08:22 AM #10
      get the cam timing correct and do a compression test again. As far as i can tell u didnt start the engine u only cranked it for compression test. So the big damaged might not have been done depending on where the valves were during the up stroke of the piston.

      Or bring it back to the shop before u touch as if they think you have messed with it they wont stand over it.

      Just my two cents. I have seen this happen before and ppl get away with it so

    11. Member T-Boy's Avatar
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      05-01-2012 09:56 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by kjkg60 View Post
      get the cam timing correct and do a compression test again. As far as i can tell u didnt start the engine u only cranked it for compression test. So the big damaged might not have been done depending on where the valves were during the up stroke of the piston.

      Or bring it back to the shop before u touch as if they think you have messed with it they wont stand over it.

      Just my two cents. I have seen this happen before and ppl get away with it so
      Judging from how far off time OP described, doesn't matter that he only cranked it for compression check. The valves only need to kiss the piston once and it's done.

    12. 05-01-2012 04:32 PM #12
      I'm back on with an update! I went and talked to the shop guy today. He agreed to adjusting the cams for me, which he did on his lunch hour today. He also agreed to rebuilding the head again, this time for free, if it turns out that i bent valves again. He also said that everything looked good from the top of the engine and that he doesn't think any valves were damaged, since they are hydraulic and hadn't been pumped up yet. so, now that the cams are set correctly, I'm going to reset the timing all over again and see if i can get the thing to start. I'm covered either way by the shop, so if it fails this time, i'm not worried anymore. If it does work now, I'll post back later to let you know! Thanks again for your advice! I wouldn't have been able to find out where he went wrong without you guys.

    13. Member T-Boy's Avatar
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      05-01-2012 04:48 PM #13
      Glad it worked out for you.
      Last edited by T-Boy; 05-01-2012 at 04:50 PM.

    14. Junior Member ziggieboi's Avatar
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      05-01-2012 07:59 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by seanraw View Post
      I'm back on with an update! I went and talked to the shop guy today. He agreed to adjusting the cams for me, which he did on his lunch hour today. He also agreed to rebuilding the head again, this time for free, if it turns out that i bent valves again. He also said that everything looked good from the top of the engine and that he doesn't think any valves were damaged, since they are hydraulic and hadn't been pumped up yet. so, now that the cams are set correctly, I'm going to reset the timing all over again and see if i can get the thing to start. I'm covered either way by the shop, so if it fails this time, i'm not worried anymore. If it does work now, I'll post back later to let you know! Thanks again for your advice! I wouldn't have been able to find out where he went wrong without you guys.
      Why wasn't it right the first time? I would be wanting to find out his reasoning behind the cam timing being off so much! I mean, one notch, honest mistake. 5 or more? Did he not inspect the head during disassembly? proper research before hand? How much did you pay this mechanic to do the work? Anyhow, good luck, excited to hear the end results.
      2003 vw jetta 1.8T / 5 speed / leather / love

    15. 05-03-2012 10:13 AM #15
      Hey hey! So, I had the shop guy come out to adjust the timing for the cams while the head was still in. He assured me that if it didn't run, then they would rebuild it again for free. After, I attempted the start and it worked! I didn't bend any new valves when i attempted to start it with the cam timing off...probably just got lucky. Anyway, I'm glad you guys helped point me in the right direction to discover the cam timing was off.

      Thanks again!

    16. 05-03-2012 10:17 AM #16
      When i went in to the shop to tell him about my issue, he said that the information they have for specific vehicles is limited, and that he didn't have the specs for that particular head, nor do they have internet access at that shop, so he tried putting it back the way he thought it was supposed to go when he took it apart. He immediately said that it was definitely his fault/responsibility, tho.

    17. Junior Member ziggieboi's Avatar
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      05-03-2012 05:26 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by seanraw View Post
      When i went in to the shop to tell him about my issue, he said that the information they have for specific vehicles is limited, and that he didn't have the specs for that particular head, nor do they have internet access at that shop, so he tried putting it back the way he thought it was supposed to go when he took it apart. He immediately said that it was definitely his fault/responsibility, tho.
      Well at least it's running! After the correction, did you do another test? I had a mechanic offer to remove and replace the head and replace valves for $660.00 LABOR ONLY! He freaked me out when he said nothing about gasket replacement costs and other parts as if he was going to use the old parts. I ended up doing the work myself and 660 is about right, labor wise it took a good while, but it was my first head job.

      on finding a mechanic who is willing to admit he was at fault.
      2003 vw jetta 1.8T / 5 speed / leather / love

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