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B5S4 Timing Belt Installation

Written by: Dimcorner from Audizine

This is meant as a reference only. I am not an expert mechanic and by no means certify this document as 100% accurate, correct, or complete. As you all know, messing up a timing belt job can cause extensive damage to your engine. I am not responsible for any damages to your vehicle or injuries to your self. Consult a certified Audi mechanic if in doubt.

Also used for reference material: APR’s B5 Snub-mount install and AudiWorld’s tech article on a All-Road T-belt replacement.

Tools and equipment.

Torx drivers (up to T-45)

Gasket maker tube

Screw drivers

Full range of sockets

Short and long socket extensions

24mm 12pt socket or wrench

Large crescent wrench

Shop rags

Jack and jack stands


G-12 coolant (used 2 liters)

Washer fluid

Tarp (optional, keeps floor clean)

Timing belt kit

Water pump w/ gasket

Thermostat w/ o-ring

Tensioning damper

Tensioner lever arm

Relay Roller

Serpentine belt

Timing Belt

  1. Take off front bumper.

    1. Jack car up and put on jack stands. ( I removed both front wheels to have easier access to wheel well liner).

    2. Remove underbelly tray by removing screws both near front bumper and towards rear

    3. Remove bottom front 3 screws holding wheel well liner towards front of car from both sides. Only the bottom one is absolutely necessary, but it made things easier for us.

    1. Pull out fog light grill by pulling straight out. Toughest clip for us was the ones in the top.

    1. Remove bumper retaining bolt located on the bottom inside where the grill was pulled out from. (should be next to fog light) It’s a long bolt so you will be there a while.

    1. Remove weather stripping from front of car.

    2. Here is where it got tricky for us. You are supposed to push in firmly on the bumper from one corner, push down on the edge by the fender well then pull away to unclip the bumper. It was very difficult so we used a long screw driver to help pry the clip from the inside of the fender well, made things A LOT easier. We only did the first one, after that the other 2 (one more on top and one in bottom) came off easy.

    1. After doing both sides pull bumper straight back about ½ foot to get access to washer fluid hose under the driver side lamp of the bumper. Unhook it from the body and it will drain all fluid off.

    2. Unplug fog lights. Connector is behind the fog light.

    3. Pull off bumper and put it to the side.

  1. Getting to front of engine

Loosen up radiator support

    1. Remove 4 screws (2 on each side) from upper radiator support

    1. Remove intercooler shrouds. One screw on side of IC and then you can bend the shrouds over the tubes that hold it in place.

    2. Remove the large bolts behind the bumper shock. These are pretty long too so you will be there a while. You can leave the 10mm nut in place. No need the remove the whole bumper shock.

    1. Remove radiator support screw from side of fender (one on each side by the IC)

Drain radiator and disconnect

    1. Drain radiator fluid by removing lower radiator hose by pulling back metal clip (or taking it off completely) and pulling the hose straight back. This was a PITA for me because the hose will not rotate since it’s notched and it will move back very slowly. You can rock it a little to help it move out, just keep pulling.


    1. Remove upper radiator hose from radiator by using same procedure above.

Unplug electrical connections

    1. Unplug headlamps (1 large connector, clip release is towards the bottom). I actually unclipped the whole panel thing (metal clip) and then turned it a bit to get to the actual wire connection. Made it much easier. Make sure you put the panel back if you do take it off right away.

    2. You will see that there are a few wires running from the driver side of the radiator towards the engine bay, these need to be unhooked from the engine side, luckily they are easy to get to (sort of).

    3. Remove the shroud around the power steering reservoir (pulls right off).

    4. If you trace the wires back you will see that there is a clip that holds down the wires to the frame of the car, this clip has to be un-done. It’s not a permanent clip so don’t cut it unless you want to buy a new one. You will see how it releases if you feel for it.

    5. Make a note of what connector goes where so when you put it back you know how it goes. Follow the lines and unplug those that need to be unplugged.

    1. Unplug the horns by the intercoolers. (I actually don’t know if this was 100% necessary, but I did them anyways).

Radiator support comes off.

    1. Unbolt the power steering cooling line from the bottom front of radiator (1 bolt in front, one on side of the line). Looks like a metal loop coming from the driver side of the car, around the front bottom of radiator, and back into car on driver side again.

    2. Remove off hood release cable, don’t lose the clips (2 small ones). The cable attaches behind the rubber cover, which just pops off, of the actual latch. You can slide the cable off the bracket and the ball too.

    3. Pull back the radiator support about ½ foot and have it support it (via boxes or a friend). You will need to unplug turn signal lamps so don’t yank off the support.

    4. Unplug turn signal lamps.

    5. This should free up the radiator support. You can now pull back the support and rotate the driver side of it off since the AC lines are still connected.

  1. Reaching timing belt and removal

Remove accessory belt and tensioner.

    1. Fan has to come off. There is a gigantic (bigger than 24mm) bolt that is counter screwed right behind the fan. I unbolted the fan itself first (4 screw in the perimeter of the fan right where the blades start), then locked the pulley in place, then used an adjustable crescent wrench to turn the bolt.

    2. Take off the pipe coming from the IC to the TBB. Should be 3 hose lamps (one on each end and one for the DV) and the bolt holding it in place. Careful with the clip that guides it. Try to pull straight up, not towards front.

    3. Use a socket wrench to de-tension the accessory belt and put a small screw driver in the hole above it to lock it in place. Make a note on how the belt was routed, you are going to need to put the new one back the same way. (Picture shows the assembly where the screw drive is in).

    1. Use socket to de-tension again the tensioner and remove screw driver. You can go ahead and remove the belt tensioner assembly.

    2. Might as well remove the pulley from the power steering pump (top silver disk). I held the pulley in place with a shop towel while I turned the bolts.

Reaching the timing belt and setting it on time.

    1. Remove timing belt cover. 3 total cover, one on each side and the center on is towards the passenger side.

    2. Use a 24mm 12 point socket or wrench to turn the crank bolt and set it on time. There is a mark on the accessory belt pulley that will line up with a mark on the shroud around it. Also the 2 oval thingies on the cam pulleys will be horizontal. The mark on the pulley is hard to see because it’s covered and you can only see it when it’s very close to be on time. I turned the crank until the ovals were in line and then looked for the tick mark to do fine adjustment.

Marking timing belt and removal

Note: This is what I did since I did not have a cam lock bar. You must be VERY, VERY careful with the timing.

    1. Mark the timing belt and the cam. I marked the peaks of the timing belt and the valleys of the cam. The left cam had 3 dots (one per valley on the cam and one per peak on the belt), 2 spaces, and 1 dot. The right cam had 2 dots, 2 spaces and 1 dot. The crank gear had 2 dots, about 6 spaces, and 2 dots. This marking scheme allowed me to identify which dots go where without messing it up. You won’t be able to mark the crank part yet but keep this in mind.


    1. Remove accessory drive pulley by removing the 8 screws holding it to the crank. You can now mark the crank gear that turns the timing belt. Also remove the shroud that sits around it.

    2. De-tension the timing belt by turning the bolt on the tensioning roller clockwise. You will see that this compresses a piston. Put a strong wire in to keep it compressed. I actually skipped this and just removed the tensioning damper since I had a new one and was not going to reuse this one.

    3. You can now take the timing belt off. Be careful with it to not move the cams much and not erase your marks (if you don’t have a cam lock bar).

    4. I went ahead and immediately marked the new timing belt with the exact same marks in the exact same places (the peaks). I double checked the belt marks 2x over for the entire length of the belt. Cannot be off AT ALL. Put belt aside, make sure you don’t’ rub off the marks.

    5. Remove the timing belt tensioner and the roller.

  1. Water pump

Water pump removal

    1. Loosen up the power steering pump. 2 bolts up front and one bolt by the top behind the TBB on the passenger side. This one is a PITA since mine is a 2000 and the F-Hose is right in the way. I took the bolts off, be careful not to drop the top bolt.

    2. Loosen up the bolt holding the oil dip stick and the bolt on the lower right below it. (not sure about if the 2nd bolt needs to be loosed, but I did it anyway).

    3. Remove the assembly where the fan was on. There are 2 bolts behind the pulley. You can get to them through the holes and notches on the pulley itself. There is one towards bottom and on the top left (this one you get to using one of the 3 holes closer to the center).

    4. Remove bolts holding the water pump. It’s going to let loose quite a bit of fluid. One of the bolts holding it up is behind the power steering pump. You can move the PS pump to get to it since you took off the bolts holding it down a few steps before (you did do that right?).



Water pump install

    1. I used a thin film of gasket making goop to install new water pump and gasket. Make sure the gasket is lined up properly.

    2. Bolt down the water pump.

  1. Timing belt install

Installing new timing belt

    1. Here we go installing the new belt. I went ahead and removed the center roller (relay roller?) in order to put the belt in and installed a new tensioning roller and tensioner lever arm (my kit came with it). Basically slide the new belt in making sure all the marks line up. I then installed the relay roller with the belt on. This made it easier to slide the belt in place.

    2. Bolted down the new tensioning damper and pulled the pin to let the piston come up.

    3. Hand cranked the engine 4 full turns to make sure there was no impedance.

  1. Re-assemble car

Front of engine

    1. Bolt down the 3 timing belt covers

    2. Bolt down the power steering pump.

    3. Re-install the PS pulley

    4. Attach the shroud that is sits around the crank. Also re-install the accessory belt crank pulley (only goes in one way since there are 2 notches on it).

    5. Attach the fan assembly back on (remember the 2 screws behind the pulley).

    6. Attach the accessory belt tensioner.

    7. Slide new accessory belt on and tension the belt.

    8. Re-attach the fan.

  • At this point if you have a snub-mount you might as well take out the old one and slide the new one in

Radiator support

    1. Hold the support bracket about ½ a foot away from the front of the car.

    2. Reconnect turn signals, headlamp, and horn.

    3. Reconnect the wires that attach near the PS reservoir (don’t forget to clip the cables to the frame of car).

    4. Reconnect upper and lower radiator hoses (don’t forget metal clips).

    5. Attach radiator support back on car (4 bolts top, 2 on below turn signals).

    6. Bolt down the support with the long bolts behind the bumper shocks.


    8. Reconnect power steering line at bottom of radiator.

    9. Re-attach intercooler shrouds.

Front Bumper

    1. Hold the front bumper about ½ a foot away from the front of the car.

    2. Reconnect fog lights and washer fluid (make sure to clip back the fluid hose).

    3. Re-clip the bumper back on.

    4. Bolt down bumper next to fog lights. Clip the fog light grill back on.

    5. Screw down the fender liner back and bottom tray.

    6. Re-attach weather striping

  1. Crank the car up


    1. Top off the radiator fluid.

    2. Top off washer fluid.

    3. Pray to the deities that you did this right.

    4. Start up the car. It sounded strange the first 5 seconds, but then settled back.

    5. Shut off car, top fluid off again.

    6. Repeat “d”. This time car should sound fine.

    7. Clean up garage.

    8. Wash hands.

    9. Go eat dinner.

I was low on radiator fluid the next day and had to top off with some water. It has been 1 week since the timing belt replacement the radiator fluid levels are stable.


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