Tech Article Title Author Date
3.0 V6 Timing Belt Service a_CQ 2007

Ok here we go. First I'd like to thank Tgr_Clw for a generous donation for this project. I was really joking when I mentioned it last week but his donation kept me full and beered up for couple days it took to do this, so again, thanks Roman!

I want to warn you that if you are doing this for the 1st time it will take some time. It took me overall about 2.5 days to do it all. Hopefully this writeup will reduce that for you to 2 days at most.

I will also say that if you decide to do this yourself, which will save you anywhere from $600-1,000 you should really invest $65 into Bentley manual. It will pay off right away and you'll have it for many years to come with your Audi.

As for the tools, you will need an asortment of metric tools. Sockets, wrenches, allen sockets and torx bit sockets. The primary torx bits used are T30 and T45. Allen sockets in 5, 6 and 8mm. Make sure you have a quality allen sockets as the cheap versions are easy to strip. I like Craftsman for simple reason of when something breaks, I just bring it back in and get a new tool, no questions asked. A good torque wrench is a must as well.

As for parts, its up to you. In addition to standard parts like belt, water pump, pulleys/rollers you can get a new thermostat, snub mount, timing and serpentine belt tensioner. I won't go into part numbers as Audi likes to change those so check with your delaer/parts supplier at the time of a job.

I didn't do the thermostat as you can do it at any other time without much extra effort. I should have bought new snub mount although my original was fine. I also now wish I bought a new serpentine belt tensioner - the roller/pulley on mine is making all kinds of noises when spun so I'll probably do that this spring, no big deal.
Timing belt tensioner is optional too. For about $90 extra its a good piece of mind, but I decided to leave it alone until next time. hope it lasts;-)

On to the job itself...
Prep and front bumper removal
Parked the car in the garage and got the laptop ready for reading bentley directions.



My garage is limited with space so I left the rear of the car hanging out until I completely removed the bumper and moved the front carrier into service position.



Jack up the car or drive onto the ramps so you can remove the belly pan and a bumper. If you have enough room in the garage I would jack up the car, put it on jack stands and remove front wheels. With the belly pan removed you will need to acces this one small torx bolt on each side of the bumper lower. Pry back the wheel well liner and you will see it. Goes in the small hole here:



Then you can pull the lower part of the bumper off the fender....just grab firmly the plastic part and yank hard away from the car. Don't be afraid to pull hard. You'll end up here:



Next up is 3 10mm lock nuts on each side of the bumper - they are actually on the inside of fender. If you look under the car you'll see them a bit lower and to the outside of the headlight. I used a stuby 1/4" drive ratchet and a 10mm socket. I love this little ratchet and recommend you have one as well. Great tool. So I reached from underneath, stuck my arm up there and found the 3 nuts (this doesn't sound good)....anyways, remove all 3 from both sides:



After this, you can pry the fog light grilles off. You'll see 4 tabs on each corner - slide a flat head screw driver in there and pull straight back. Then look underneath and you will see a 6mm allen bolt holding the bumper to the bumper shock. Bentley says go about 15 turns but it seems like a lot more...anyways, loosen those --no need to remove them alltogether-- on each side and your bumer is ready to come out. Its fairly light and comes straight out. Then, disconnect the headlight washer jet hose on the driver's side corner as well as 2 electrical connectors, for the fog lights and not sure what else.
you can see them hanging in the lower right of this picture as well as the white niple where the water hose connects to.



Carrier lock removal to service position

To remove the lock carrier you will need a T30 and T45 torx bits. make sure you have a good T45 one as I stripped one and had to run to Sears to get a better quality Craftsman unit. So, looking through the opening where the bumper grilles go you will see 3 greenish in color T45 bolts. Remove 2 on each side. Then get 2 longer bolts in same thread and pitch (M8 bolt) and screw in to the 4th hole you will see there. Sorry but I forgot to take a picture of this. You can see one of the bolts in this picture:



After inserting the extra long bolt in the 4th slot remove remaining 2 T45 torx bolts, one on each side. You will also have to remove the 2 T30 bolts on top of the carrier to the outside of each headlight. See 2 holes in the black piece on the right edge of this picture:



So remove all 4, 2 on each side. Next, you will have to remove all the plastics from the top of the engine. Also remove 2 philips screws securing the intake tract to the airbox.

Once you remove all that you can then slide the whole carrier out and have it rest on the securing bolts you inserted earlier next to the bumper shocks. Look at the picture above to see what it looks like.

Serpentine belt & tensioner removal

Before you remove the belt, get a 6mm(or 5mm??) allen socket and break lose 3 bolts on the power steering pulley.
Then, take a 19mm open end wrench and some sharp metal object like a pin or I used test light/circuit tester. Slide the wrench in the srpentine belt tensioner like this:



This is more clear picture of where it goes:



Pry down on the wrench and have a pin ready to insert into a little hole on the other side of the big spring on the tensioner...pry down until you can insert the pin.
Can't really see the hole here but once you're there you'll see it, or feel it.



Slowly release the wrench. Once its locked you can remove the belt. If you are re-using the belt mark the direction of its rotation so when you put it back, it goes on the same way. If putting on new, no worries.

To remove the tensioner you will need a 6mm and 8mm allen sockets. This picture will tell you exactly where the bolts are:



When doing a big job like this I like to leave the bolts with each component they go with so I don't have to scratch my head later what bolt goes where.

Next, you will remove the 3 PS pulley bolts and that pulley - it may take some effort to slide the pulley off. Wiggle it of or slightly tap on each side back and forth till it comes off.

Removing valve covers

This is fairly easy but it takes some time. I'll rush through this and cover basic points as its pretty self explanatory.

Passenger side

Remove top of the airbox. Remove the MAF and hose going to throttle body plenum:



Remove the top bolt holding the oil dipstick to the valve cover. Also remove the 10mm bolt down low on the side of the head:



Remove front top timing belt cover. 2 T30 bolts, screwed to the valve cover actually. Disconnect coil pack harness and pull out coil packs. each valve cover has 12 T30 bolts - remove them all and disconnect the breather line on the back of the valve cover --black plastic tube. You can now remove the passenger valve cover. Its a bit tricky on this side as you have 2 fuel lines and a dipstick. I wigled it underneath the dipstic pulling away from the firewall.

Driver's side

Move coolant expansion tank out of the way - no need to disconnect any lines. Remove top timing belt cover. Remove coil pack and its harness. Disconnect breather line on the back of the valve cover and remove the 12 T30 bolts. I had a problem with the back and lower-most bolt on this side. I couldn't get any tools in there to loosen that last bolt so I did this -- 1/4" drive T30 socket and a 6mm allen L slid inside to turn it. Should come out easy then.

The bolt:



The socket and 6mm allen setup:





You'll be looking at something like this:




If you haven't quit by now for the day you are doing good!!

Timing belt alignment to TDC (top dead center)

You will now need the special cam lock tool. if you can find and borrow one, great. If not, you can rent it. I bought a timing belt kit from Blau parts and they will rent you all the special tools needs. They sent me more than I really needed.

Make sure your car is in neutral, whether manual or tiptronic. Pull on the mergency brake as well.

I used a 15/16" 12-point socket to slide on the main crank bolt in order to rotate the engine. I am pretty sure 24mm 12-point will work too. I tried 24 and 25mm 6-point but that didn't work, so I borrowed the SAE (may God be with me) socket from a guy next garage over.

Rotate the motor until the line on the crank pulley aligns with the arrow on the front timing belt cover -- like this:



But, at this point you may be 180* off, so make sure you can insert teh cam lock tool on both sides. On the passenger side, you will insert it between spark plug #2 and #3. if you cannot put the tool on that means you must rotate your engine one more time.



On the driver's side, the cam lock goes the same way but between cylinder #4 & #5. 4 is towards the front of the motot.
you may try turning the crank back and forth just a touch so that both cam lock tools slide all the way in their slots.

Once in, tighten them via the bolt that goes through the middle. Not too tight but tight enough so they can't slide on the cams. 10nm is what it takes.


Removing the timing belt


Next, you will have to remove 8 bolts on the front of the crank pulley. I completely forgot to take a picture of those but you can feel them. They are 6mm allen and laid around the main crank bolt. Make sure that the socket you use is inserted fully before ettmpting to break those lose. They are not tight but may strip, and that's not good.

After removing all 8 you can now remove the crank pulley or damper as Audi calls it. it may take some effort again due to some rust/dirt between it adn the crankshaft. I used a hammer and tapped on 4 (+)sides back and forth until it came out. once out, note the 2 little notches on the inner circle. this will be important for puting it back on.

With it removed you can now get to the bolts holding the front timing belt cover. There are dozen of hem and they are 5mm allen. See this picture for refference on where the bolts are:
Looks like 7 of them:



Plus, you will have to remove one lower bolt for the coolant pipe on the front:
My little mirror - another great tool to have around!



The coolant pipe can stay connected. Just wiggle the cover out.
This is what you'll see:



Next step is breaking the camshaft bolts lose. Each camshaft has a cap like this:



You will first have to remove the metal circlip. I used 2 small jewelers screwdrivers:



Get some paper towel ready as once you pry the cap out there will be oil coming out:



To pry the cap out use a simple flat head screw driver.



I recommend you do the following:
Remove one cap - break that cam's bolt lose and put the cap back on, without the circlip. The reason for this is to prevent oil from leaking out onto your cam puley and further down the motor. It made a bit of a mess for me and I wish I thought of this earlier. instead, I kept trapping the oil coming out constantly.

So, to break it loose, use a breaker bar and 18mm socket - make sure it is 18mm - don't just take 18mm, put it on and try to break lose. Knowing Audi they may have changed the size of teh bolt on '04 or '05 model or something, who knows. Alawys confirm the bolt size.

Do not worry about moving your cams or something, as long as you have the cam lock tool on.



I must note that I chose not to use a crank locking pin. I did few timing belt jobs on older V6 motors and never used it and my budy Russ (Audi tech) approved that as well, as long as you don't move your crankshaft once the belt is off.

So, once you break all 4 cam bolts lose you can then compress the timing belt tensioner. to do so, you will need a 8mm allen socket. you will insert the socket like this:



You will also need a pin to hold the tensioner compressed. Compressing this guy took some effort. What you need to do is push down the wrench and simply lean on it with all your weight -- tensioner will compress slowly -- be patient, it will go down. have a pin ready to insert and lock it in place. I made a mistake and missed a "3rd hole", but it was fine like that:



You can then release it and remove your timing belt. Cam pulleys will spin freely but your cams will stay locked on place - this is normal.
Leave the pin in the tensioner until you are ready to tension your new belt.



Next step is to remove the 3 pulleys/rollers that timing belt rolls over. One being the one that tensions the timing belt. Another one is eccentric pulley that sits below and to the right of the water pump, and finally the one you see in the picture here, between the coolant pipe and power steering pump.



Next in line for removal is your water pump. Before you do this I would drain the coolant from your radiator. If you look below the car, on the passenger side bottom of radiator you will see a plastic cap. You can use pliers to grab it and turn so the coolant can come out.

Now, to remove the water pump you actually need to release power steering pump bracket that's bolted to the block. 3 bolts hold it down. 2 on the front...



And on the other side...top piece is the PS pump bracket and below you see the water pump. You can also see the glimpse of one and only bolt that's used for the water pump and hidden behind this bracket - go Audi engineers!

the 3rd bolt is actually tricky to spot but it is bolted directly from the top, between the intake manifold and the PS pump. You can kinda see it deep here:



To remove it, I used a 6mm allen socket on a long extension. Slide it down between the IM actuator and the Im itself, like this...



Remove the bolt all the way. I actually loosened it almost the end, then pulled the extension out and used a magnet tool to pull the bolt out.

You can now remove all 10mm bolts holding the water pump. Place a drip pan or something underneath the front of the motor as coolant will pour out.

Water pump removed:



Hidden bolt hole:



After removal, clean the mating surface of the block & water pump and bolt in new unit. My original one had a metal-like gasket and replacement part had paper gasket. Should be fine. Water pump bolts are only 10nm. if you don't have a small torque wrench, this is just one-hand light snug. No need to go too tight.

You can now replace all the timing belt pulleys/rollers you removed earlier. The roller you see here on top is torqued down to 45NM - you can do this now.



You can also torque the tensioner roller. I believe it gets 45NM as well, but I'll double check.
The eccentric pulley can be snug but it must stay free to rotate.

Now you can put the new timing belt on.
You will then tension the belt via that eccentric pulley. In order to do it properly Audi has a tool seen in the pics below but if you don't have it, you can use needle nose pliers with bent ends (any tool store has them). Rotate the pulley so the tool you use is centered accross the water pump pulley. Like this:



Then as you hold it in place like that use a wrench to tighten down the bolt holding that pulley - no need to torque it at the same time, but you can. When its tight enought to stay in place you can let go off the tool and torque it down to 23NM I believe.



Next, Bentley says to "pre-tention" the timing belt. I am not sure why this is needed but I did it. To do so, you will insert the 8mm allen in the tensioner roller and rotate clockwise tensioning your belt - set the torque to 45NM. Go until it clicks.



Then, you will have to release the pin holding the tensioner compressed. To do so, put pressure on the tensioner so you can remove the pin. You can let it go and it will slowly go back, but not far enough to tension the belt. You will use your torque wrench again, this time set at 25NM and tensione the belt for the last time. Tensioner should stay in place.

Now, you will have to use the special tool to adjust cam timing. Somehow I skipped taking a picture of that. First do the passenger side exhaust camshaft. Make sure your cam lock tool is still in place. Remove the cap pictured earlier. Insert the tool and rotate the cam clockwise using very light pressure, until it stops. It may move few milimeters or it may not at all. Repeat on the driver's side exhaust cam. You can now tighten all 4 cam bolts. Do all 4 with moderate pressure first to ensure that if one moves all other move with it now, although they should not move if your cam lock tool is tight on both heads. After this, torque each one of them to 100NM.

You should have new seals for the cam pulley caps as well as new circlips. Replace now all 4 of them.
Put back on the lower timing belt cover. Replace the crank pulley/damper. Be very careful to put it in the same position where it was....remember the 2 little notches must align with the crank itself. Also, your TDC mark should be back in same place when you removed it, lined up with the arrow on the timing belt cover. Put back in all 8 allen bolts holding the crank pulley in place.

You can now remove the cam lock tools. Before doing anything else use that 15/16" or 24mm 12-point socket and rotate your motor few times to ensure it moves freely. You may get some resistance if your spark plugs are in - this is normal so don't be afraid to push it a little.

Everything should be fine if you followed directions.

You can now replace the valve covers, installing new gaskets. Those VC bolts are tight, but not too crazy. remember, your VCs are plastic! Also put the PS pump pulley back on and replace the serpentine belt tensioner. Put the serpentine belt back on and tighten the PS pulley bolts.
It should look like this, just where you started..



Put the coil packs back in, connect it all. Remember to connect 2 breather lines on the back of the valve covers. Reconnect the airbox and a MAF sensor housing.

Put the lock carrier back in place and re-install the bumper.

To fill the car with coolant, open this bleeder screw...actually remove it all the way.



Fill in the coolant through the expansion tank until it starts coming out through this bleeder hole. Close this bleeder and move on to the hose going to your heater core. You will have to remove the plastic cover over the battery and brake fluid reservoir. Remove the clamp from the top hose and slide the hose back so the little hole in the rubber line is not covered by the hard line below. Fluid will eventually come through here as well. When it does, push it back and replace the clamp.

To be honest, I didn't do this. I tried but it was too hard to slide that hose back so I just bled the air out of the system by leaving the expansion cap off and running the car for few minutes, watching the water temps. It always worked for me before and it did this time.

After filling the coolant you can finally start the car. Do not run the car without the coolant in it as it may damage the water pump seal, since this is lubricated by coolant/water.

Well, that's about it. You can put the top engine plastics back on and go for a drive.

I sure did! Perfect conditions too!






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