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How to change timing belt?

how t change timing belt on golf mk3 8v do i need to reset the timing on distributor awell when dong the timing belt?do i just take the belt off then turn the crank pulley twice to put the car on timing then to fit the timing belt?then distributor?how does it work?

A Bentley manual would be good to get for this and all other Mk3 service needs. If you’re planning to keep the car it’ll pay for itself many times over.

You’re going to need a manual.

cheers mate.

One way to NOT mess up the timing is to cut the old belt around the middle, all the way AROUND (NOT across). Remove half. Leave the other half around the gears and everything. This keeps everything in proper position. Start the new timing belt on the gears and stuff. Then, you can cut off the remaining half of the old belt. Slide the new timing belt on completely, adjust the belt tension, and put everything back together.

Carefully Align The Timing Marks Before Removing The Timing Belt.
Turn the motor slowly using the crankshaft bolt, not cam shaft(s)!

Then you can remove the belt. Don’t turn the crankshaft with the timing belt removed (in fact you should remove the negative [-], ground, earth battery cable so that the engine can’t accidently be “turned over”). Many cars can suffer severe engine damage when pistons collide with valves when the crank is turned with the belt removed.

Everything should still be lined up for you to install the new belt, since you haven’t turned anything after you removed the belt. Just carefully recheck the marks after the belt goes on to make sure you’re not off a tooth.

All was timed before you began and should still be timed afterwards.

You’ll need to find the proper procedure for loosening and later, retensioning the belt (tensioner). This varies from one car model to another. Look in that new service manual. It’s all in there.

Take your time, check and double check, and good luck.


There are two way to do this. One is to buy a good service manual (and lots of tools) and do it yourself. Don’t even attempt a job like this without a manual.

The other way is to take the car to a mechanic and write a check.

Have you figured out the blue smoke issue yet? A timing belt isn’t going to fix that.