Tactics, Tools Essential for Profitable Timing-belt Service

Technical Editor Dave Cappert takes a look at timing-belt service, as well as some of the specialty tools required by some OEMs for the service.


While it’s clearly a good thing to know what to do during timing-belt service, all the knowledge in the world won’t do you much good unless it’s combined with the right tools. The following suggestions are intended to give you some awareness of the different types of tools that are available and some of their applications.

Getting to the timing belt, or other parts on the front of the engine, means getting all the other stuff out of the way first. SP Tools recently introduced its fan clutch quick reference guide, showing the match-up of the company’s different fan clutch and pulley holding tools with different engine/vehicle combinations.

The 61600 Universal and 62100 32mm fan clutch wrenches fit 1996 and later Audi engines except 1996-2001 2.8L. This latter application can be addressed with the combination of the 61600 Universal and 63600 Four-Pin Wrench. This combination also fits the 1998 and later VW Passat with the 3.0L engine.

The Sir Tools 3040 Cam Master Kit V-8 can be used to securely align the camshaft and crankshaft during cylinder head R&R on BMW V-8 engines. The 2727 Universal Cam Spoke Lock, also from Sir Tools, prevents movement of the camshaft pulleys to retain proper timing on dual overhead cams (except for Subaru) when replacing the timing belt.

The Sir Tools VA 6027 (for Audi two-valve engines) or VA 6028 (for Audi five-valve engines) Cam Securing Bar for Audi engines locks the camshafts during timing-belt service. Both need to be used in combination with the VA 6025 Lock Bolt to secure the crankshaft.

The Snap-on AS4395A Timing Belt Tension Tester shows the relative tightness of the belt for comparison to tension specifications. This tester works in conjunction with the AS4559 Universal Engine Timing Kit, which secures the pulleys from movement to prevent loss of timing during service.

Start synchronizing the right service procedures with the proper tools and you’ll soon have everything indexed for a profitable venture in timing-belt service.

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