Engine Specific Info and Questions > TDI - VE Pump TDI Engines

Eating timing belts

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I have had one timing belt partially fail once already, though the belt didn't fully separate it did prevent the engine from starting. After retiming with a new belt and tensioner it fired up without issue. I've been keeping an eye on the new belt and it appears that it is also destined for the same fate. Attached is a photo of the current belt at the IP sprocket with around 1500 miles on it. This is a 50 degree mTDI in a Vanagon.

I will pull the aux belt and covers and get a closer look at things but I wanted to get any opinions of folks that may have seen this before as I've not been able to find any obvious reason why the belt is trying to depart. My van has quite the arse sag and the engine tilts that way somewhat, but there are a lot of saggy Vanagons out there.

Any thoughts on why the belt wants to head away from the engine? Thanks

Wow, way too much wear for 1500 miles unless it is on way too tight or rubbing on something.  I have seen less wear on some with ten times that mileage on them. Something is not right in Denmark.

Pulley alignment is generally the culprit for belts walking away from the intended direction.  Check the IP bracket bolts to see if they are good and tight under the IP.  Or just see if you can get the bracket to wiggle some with a long screwdriver between the engine block and the bracket.  I know it is a pain to get under and work on it but that might keep you from having to pull the IP just to see they bolts are indeed tight as need be.

That looks terrible.  How tight is the belt?  You can clearly see the tooth impressions in the belt which makes me think it is waaayyy too tight. 

What makes this even more confusing for me is that I swapped the injection pump, ip sprocket, ip mounting bracket, and new tensioner when this new belt went on in replacement of the shredding belt. When I look at the belt with the engine running, the alignment seems fine to me.

The tensioner tightness is simply lining up the nub with the slot, yeah?
There isn't anything behind the tensioner aside from the metal tin? Tensioner -> Tin -> Engine

I will give it another hard look and probably take a video. The TDI has nice torque over the stock engine but leaving the belt behind is pretty extreme. :P

You will likely get a "whirring" sound with an over tight cambelt. They won't last long overtight, nor will the bush bearing in the injection pump. The teeth of the belt look to be shredding too, also likely to be overtight.

There are some crap tensioners out there, usually in a "GENUINE!" Gates, Dayco, or whatever timing kit box, slathered in Sellotape, filled with assorted no name ***e, bought on Fleabay. (Library image of course ::))

I've been screwed twice this way. ::)


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