Setting timing on 1991 Volkswagen Jetta

I have a 1991 Volkswagen Jetta with a 1.8 liter engine. How do i set the timing? I think it is done through a hole in the bell housing but dont see any timing tabs.

by in Mishawaka, IN on April 04, 2010
4 answers 1 comment
ANSWER by on April 04, 2010
Remove (unscrew) the plastic plug in the bell housing and you should see the tab. I think it is a 27mm tool that is needed to unscrew the plug. Here is the tool: http://bit.ly/bSrtZz
ANSWER by on June 26, 2010
sell it now
ANSWER by on October 16, 2010
HOPE YOU USE A TIMING LITE.....THAT WITH THE RIGHT SPEC FOR THE ENGINE IS THE WAY TO GO!.....IF YOU CAN'T SET TIMING THE BELT WAS NOT INSTALLED PROPERLY, GEARS AND TIMING MARKS DID NOT LINE UP BEFORE THE BELT WAS INSTALLED ...BLAME THE MECHANIC!
ANSWER by on February 12, 2013
you will need to gain access to the passenger side of the engine and remove the timing belt cover. there is a mark on the cover and a matching mark on the cam pulley that need to be lined up, just take a 19mm wrench to turn the pulley. next remove your distributor cap and unplug the small cap on the bell housing to see the flywheel. you do not need to completely remove that seal just pull out the plug. there is a small line on your distributor which should be pointing towards your engine and that your distributor rotor should be lined up with. look inside the bell housing and make sure you can see the small mark/chunk taken out of the flywheel. this is your timing mark for your tanny. if none of these 3 things line up your car wont start and you will need to loosen your timing belt and turn the crank until it all lines up. if your distributor is in wrong it can make following basic instructions quite a hassle so make sure its straight and your rotor connection is not bent of burnt. i drive a 90 jetta 8v and have replaced both my timing belt and distributor. also you might want to think about just doing your waterpump too if your completely replacing your timing belt, its a lot of pointless disassembly just for a belt so why not make it worth it, waterpumps for those cars are relatively cheap anyway so be smart and do it all at once, its better for all the old hardware anyway not to continuously get ripped apart. had many OE bolts break on me.
COMMENT by on October 20, 2013
On my 90 jetta, I have a plastic timing belt cover. When I remove the cover you can see an arrow (wiht O.T.) pointing down at about 12 o'clock. My camshaft pulley only has a dimple stamped on it. Is the dimple supposed to be lined up with the arrow? When I line them up, I can turn the crank very easily, which is telling me I am not at TDC. I have seen some other forums where they say the dimple should be lined up with the edge of the cylinder head and valve cover gasket. Do you know which is correct?
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