Monday, August 30, 2010

Replacing water pump and timing belt on 2000 A6 2.7l, DIY auto repair

So, Audi's are a pain in the ass to work on.

Just to get that out of the way. But on the bright side I have a more intimate relationship with my car, and a higher tolerance for how far I can take her apart now.

Because I have not shed my need for a vehicle, I had to fix her overheating problem. So to the internet I went and found myriad sires for Audi repair, few of which related to my particular issue. There was one though. And did very well describing the dis-assembly for my water-pump replacement.

Because I am willing to do the work myself I saved over $600. YAY DIY!!!

For those wanting more information on how to replace the water pump, thermostat, and timing belt in a 2000 Audi A6 2.7l:

instructions after the break


10mm, 17mm and 24mm sockets
T30 and T45 sockets
5mm, 6mm, 8mm and 9mm (or3/8") allen sockets and wrenches
various length extensions and ratchets to drive said sockets


new water pump (with metal impeller)
new timing belt
new thermostat
razor blades
big catch pan for fluids
super grey gasket sealer


4each 160mm long 8m x 1.25 threaded bolts
cam alignment tool

I will list the steps and the (approximately) proper order

1. Remove the bumper
A. There are 3ea 10mm nuts on the inside of the fenders holding the bumper on. I found it easiest to access the passenger-side from above by removing the air intake which has to come out anyway (remove the two screws at the front end where it meets the core support, and pull the whole inlet tube and front inlet). It is easier to access the driver-side from underneath (I did this by feel)
B. There are 2ea 10mm screws on the inner fenders, directly in front of the tires at the bottom that need to come out
C. Now remove the fog light grills by sticking a screwdriver between the slits where the tab shows (opposite end from the bulb) and prying it away to release it, then pull from the side with the tab and the whole thing should release quite easily.
D. On the upper edge of the hole where you just removed the grills there is an 8mm allen bolt remove one from each side.
E. Now at the edges of the bumper at the wheel-well, pull the bumper outward to the side with a little downward pull (don't be afraid to put a little muscle into this, it is necessary), with a downward/forward/outward tug each side should release pretty easily
F. Slowly pull the whole bumper forward, trying not to drop it, once it is out about 3-4 inches it will want to fall, just ease it down so you can disconnect the fog light and horn connectors, and on the driver-side the washer feed (white hose connector with a black clip that needs to be pressed to release, make sure you are ready with a bottle to catch the fluid, just over half a gallon will come out)

2. Remove the core support (not entirely, you will be moving it forward about 4-6 inches)
A. You will need to remove the air-dams that direct air to the intercoolers (there are tabs on the bottom inside that slide over little pins then the whole shebang pops off, the baffles on either side of the front of the radiator are removed with one screw each
B. The A/C coil and fan need to be removed now, there are 1each 10mm screws on either side towards the top and 1each T30 screws on either side at the bottom through a suspension grommet, there is 1each 10mm nut on the lower side of the driver-side radiator holding the hoses in place, once these are all removed you can swing the coil/fan around, and with a little twist set it down out of the way
C. At the junction of the core support and fenders there are 2each per side T30 screws holding the core support on and directly below the headlights there are 1each per side T30 screws, remove these
D. The driver-side bumper mount has 3each T45 bolts holding it on and the passenger side has 4each T45 bolts (these are M8x1.25 threaded bolts and can be replaced with longer bolts to ease the job of sliding the core support forward without having to set it on anything while working on the engine) once these are removed the whole core support will be free to move around held on only by the radiator hoses and oil/transmission cooling hoses
E. Slide the core support all the way forward and get a big pan to collect the coolant. Remove coolant reservoir cap and drain the radiator (plug is on lower driver-side). Remove the hose by pulling the wire retainer out, then prying one side loose while keeping a good grip on it (it will want fly away) now the hose is free to slide off it should come off easy, if not give it a wiggle. Now do the same with the top hose
F. Disconnect the headlight wire on the driver-side

Now the core support should be as free as you can get it without disconnecting oil/transmission cooling lines (which you do not need to do), leaving at least 6 inches of workspace to get to the front of the engine.

3. Now remove all the stuff to get to the timing belt and water pump.


Just kidding.

A. Remove the clutch-fan, I used a crescent wrench and wedged a screw-driver in one of the slots from the side (they make a special tool just for this, but it is only used for this fan, seems a waste of money to me) this is reverse thread, i.e. righty-loosey
B. Remove the serpentine belt with a 17mm socket on the tensioner (loosen completely then use a pin to hold it open, a small screwdriver works as well)
C. Remove the tensioner, 1each 8mm allen bolt in the center
D. Now remove the power-steering pulley (very top) it takes a 6mm allen (3each bolts) and a 9mm allen in the middle (3/8” allen is the same size) to hold it in place
E. To facilitate easier work from here on out you should remove the top ends of the post-intercooler air inlet pipes, 1each 10mm bolts hold them to the timing belt covers and 1each clamp hold them to the Y-pipe, you also need to remove loosen the clamp holding the diverter-valves on, plug all exposed holes with clean rags to prevent anything getting in there. Now twist them up and out of the way, I used zip-ties to hold them out of the way
F. Remove the timing belt covers, the middle one has 2each spring-clips that hold it on (one top, one bottom), the passenger side has 2each 10mm bolts and the driver-side has 3each 10mm bolts (the driver-side might be held in place by the fan bracket, if it doesn’t come easily it will once you remove the bracket, remember this when reassembling, it is a puzzle to get these four pieces together right while putting everything back together)
G. Remove the fan bracket 2each 6mm allen bolts (one of which is crammed up high at about 8 o’clock in relation to the pulley, 1each 6mm allen bolt at 5:30ish through the slot in the pulley and a 5mm at about 11 o’clock through one of the small holes in the front of the pulley and voila you’ve just removed the hardest piece in the whole job (this took me forever because I had a ton of trouble finding all the bolts)
H. Now you need to turn the engine to TDC there is a timing mark on the crank you will need to turn the crank using a 24mm 12 point socket to line this up with the timing mark on the cover, the cams should be lined up and if you lay a yardstick across it should line up with the holes on the front of the cams at this point I made marks with a paint pen on the cams and housing to ease lining these back up, timing is everything and if these move you could damage your engine (do not fear, if you make marks everything should line up easily)
I. Remove the crank pulley, 8each 6mm allen bolts
J. Remove the cover behind where the pulley was, 2each 10mm bolts, mark with paint pen the crank to the engine block here as well, easier to check at a glance
K. Using an 8mm allen wrench turn the timing belt tensioner all the way to the right, this will feel strange as it is tensioned with a hydraulic device, once all the way open use a small allen wrench through the pin hole at the top of the hydraulic cylinder and through the shaft to the pin hole in the opposite side of the cylinder
L. Now you can remove the tensioner pulley, 1each 6mm allen (careful the washer on the back side)
M. CAREFULLY remove the timing belt so as not to move the cams (there is also a special tool to hold the cams in place, if you get nervous working on cars, this is the only tool I recommend buying)
N. Before you can remove the water pump at this point you need to remove the 3each 6mm allen bolts holding the power-steering pump in place, there are 2 in the front and one hiding in the back on the passenger side, I used a long t-handle allen wrench with a ball end, but you can use 6mm allen socket with a swivel adaptor (this is the second trickiest part of the job)
O. Now you can remove the water pump, there are 9ea 10mm bolts and 2each 10mm nuts holding it in place, one of the bolts is behind the power steering pump which just needs to be lifted a half inch or so to access the bolt, coolant will spill when you remove the water pump so have the pan below the front of the engine (if you have a large shop towel, it may stop most of the fluid)
P. Clean all the gasket surfaces well with a razor and use this opportunity to clean the general area as well
Q. Remove the water pipe to the left of the water pump location, this is where your thermostat is, replace that as well, use a moderate dose of super grey gasket sealer when replacing the pipe

Now you are done with the removal part of the job. Drink a beer, relax for a minute and think about the fact that the dealership would have charged you about $250 or so to get to this point.

Now the replace part of the job:
A. Replace the water pump, use sealer sparingly if at all with a metal gasket, and sparingly with a felt gasket, tighten the bolt starting with the ones closest to the pulley and work your way out (tighten these but do not over-tighten, if it feels tight it probably is tight enough, these bolts can snap)
B. Now replace the timing belt, CAREFULLY. I started at the crank and went to the driver-side crank first, this should be very tight (you can do this, but it might take a few tries to get it tight and all the teeth filled by belt teeth, AND paint marks lined up) it should be relatively tight across the water pump to the next cam as well
C. Now replace the tensioner pulley, use the 8mm allen to release pressure on the allen you used to pin it and pull the pin
D. Now turn over the crank with the 24mm socket two(2) complete rotations to line up your paint marks on the crank/block check your marks on the cams, nice when it all comes together isn’t it?
E. Pat yourself on the back if it worked the first time. If not, un-tension the timing belt and try it again. Once it is right, pat yourself on the back.
F. Replace the cover and crank pulley
G. Replace the 3each 6mm bolts on the power-steering pump and its pulley
H. Replace the fan bracket (remember the puzzle at this point)
I. Replace the cam / timing belt covers
J. Replace the post-intercooler inlet pipes
K. Replace the serpentine tensioner
L. Replace the serpentine belt, I found it easier to wrap it around all the pulleys saving the tensioner for last. Remove the pin from the tensioner (gotta crank it open again obviously)
M. Replace the fan (remember lefty-tighty)
N. Replace the radiator hoses
O. Replace the headlight harness wire
P. Push the core support back into position
Q. Replace 7each T45 screws on bumper mounts and 6each T30 screws on fenders / under headlights
R. Replace A/C cooler/fan
S. Replace baffles and intercooler air-dams
T. Replace bumper, taking care when guiding the 6 threaded pins back through the fender, there are plastic bushings around them that need a little guidance into the holes

Drink another beer or 5 and think about the savings. Also congratulate yourself on doing one of the most dreaded jobs on your car.

If this has helped you let me know.

I need to give some credit to (not the same engine, but close enough to help) and (power steering pump hint came from here)


Unknown said...

Wow....... Way more work than I was expecting. Glad I looked it up before I bought one of these. Found one for $1800. This should help me drive the price down even more.

Great article man. Best DIY walk-through I've seen.

sam_fromVT said...

You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. You saved my ass when it came to replacing the water pump on my '00 A6 4.2L, never would have attempted it if I didn't find your post. Thank you so much! I probably owe you a beer, haha!

Richard C. Lambert said...

And did very well describing the dis-assembly for my water-pump replacement.
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John said...

Roth and Sam,

You are very welcome. Eight years later, and I wish I had taken pictures. I now have a few GoPro cameras that could have time-lapsed the entire thing from multiple angles. Which is the plan for any repairs and upgrades for my new (older) '87 VW Syncro Westy.

I am glad that this may have helped at least the two of you.

Sam Smith said...

To tell the truth, manufacturer's recommendations vary on this score, some suggesting that you renew the impeller every year, and others that you replace it only as needed Johnson/Evinrude water pump kit Any rust patches on your fuel tanks should be sanded and touched up

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Bro phenomenal layout there...that 2.7T is a pig, a fun awesome driving pig..ive owned mine since 2004 and its an 02...sick of paying the shop for service and i always looked at that engine and task as witchcraft..thanks again.

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