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Wolfgang, VW Master Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 4414
Experience:  Senior VW Master Tech 15 yrs
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I am looking to speak with a Volkswagen specialist who has a

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I am looking to speak with a Volkswagen specialist who has a number of years experience with Volkswagen and is familiar with a 1999 VW Cabrio.

What is your issue with the vehicle ??

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for the response... Can I get back with you tomorrow morning if that's okay? I'm on my way out the door with my family for dinner. What would be a good time to respond in the morning? Thank you....Mark

You can respond on here when ever you have a chance since tomorrow is sunday not really sure when ill be on but ill check on your question tomorrow to see whats going on here thank you

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have a 1999 VW Cabrio. I took it in for Smog and the mechanic said I needed vacuum hoses and a throttle body for it to pass He replaced the vacuum hoses and did not have a throttle body in stock to replace. After he replaced the hoses, the check engine light came on with a PO341 code. The code is for a camshaft position sensor. The car ran perfect before the smog and when it left his shop the check engine light was on and it felt like it was running on 3 cylinders. He said the vacuum lines and the camshaft sensor were totally unrelated. Speaking with another mechanic on Just Answer there was a problem on where the camshaft sensor was located on the Cabrio and I originally order the wrong part. The mechanic said to replace the distributor and gave me some instructions on what to do. I replaced the distributor and the throttle body and now the car won't start. Can you give me more detailed instructions on how to replace the distributor to make sure I did it correctly and some Items I could check to see why the car won't start? I removed the gas lines when I was removing the camshaft cover to line up the sprocket and reinstalled the gas lines. I lined up the camshaft sprocket as shown in the instructions and checked all of the electrical connections were reinstalled. I understand it's Sunday so answer if you can..

When you did the distributor did you have the engine on top dead center ?? also do you have a capable scan tool to set basic settings on the throttle body with a scan tool??

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I think I had everything on top dead center. If you had a procedure or steps you can send me I can double check. I do not have a scan tool for the throttle body.

What does the car do when you try to start it ??

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Just keeps turning over but won't start

i dont have a procedure on pdf to send you, am trying to find you a good link with instructions on how to do it

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Sounds good thanks

look over this video

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I can check it out tonight after work
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Video looks great. Can I align everything up using the camshaft pulley ( that's what I did earlier)? If I use the crankshaft pulley, does it have a mark to tell me TDC or do I look in the window by the distributor? I will work on the vehicle tomorrow morning. I think I did everything right but I will go over everything tomorrow. Thanks..
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I viewed the video. did the whole procedure over again with the same result. It turns over but doesn't start. The camshaft sprocket has a T and O. I aligned the arrow on the shroud with the T on the sprocket. I looked through the window (the window was in a different location than on the video) and could never see any kind of notch on the crankshaft pulley but every time I turned the camshaft pulley to rotate the engine the same spot on the crankshaft came up in the window. I reinstalled the distributor with the rotor facing # 1 cylinder and the rotor center of the notch on the distributor. The camshaft pulley also has another dot on it. I installed the distributor to where the dot and the arrow on the camshaft shroud lined up and did not start. I reinstalled the distributor back to where the arrow and the T are aligned. What can I check next??
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
How long will it take to get an answer? Can you help?? Do I look somewhere else????
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Pls opt out

Thanks for choosing Just Answer . I'm Wolfgang here to help!!

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can you set the crank at tdc and then take the dist cap off and take a pic of the distibutor (top view) and a pic of the camshaft gear so i can see it it is installed correctly!!


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you very much for the response. I am working this week and can take the picture tomorrow afternoon. To get the crank at TDC, can I use the markings on the camshaft sprocket and the camshaft plastic shroud cover? That's what I have been using the last few times to get to TDC. There is a T and an O on the sprocket and I align the T with the arrow on the cover. Is this the right marks? I do have a scan tool. I was on vacation last week to work on the vehicle but went back on Monday so I will have to work on the vehicle weekends. I replaced the distributor because I hade a camshaft sensor fault (PO341) and I also replace the throttle body. When I was younger I worked as a auto mechanic at a local garage in the 70's but the vehicles today are just a little different. I have been tinkering with cars all my life but am far from an expert. I understand it may take some time for an answer.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have always set the engine at TDC with the camshaft sprocket and an 18MM wrench. I tried doing it with the crankshaft pulley behind the right front tire but I could never find any marks on the crankshaft pulley to align anything up from below.

first off how loose is the timing belt? because that fault is the indication that the timing is out due to belt stretch . so now would be the time to change the timing belt and tensioner roller.

let me know on the pic Mark!!


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The timing belt seemed OK but that could be the problem. Do you have an answer on the questions above about alignment with the camshaft pulley and the alignment marks. I want to make sure I am aligning it right. The PO341 code on the scan tool says it's the camshaft sensor???

i need the pic of the dizzy with the cap off at tdc . i need to see where the rotor is pointing!!

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

ok the dizzy is in the wrong spot that is why it will not run . by looks of the timing belt looks real old so most likely it is stretched.

go to this link and its a video of how to line the dizzy up correctly !!!

lets see after this if the vehicle will run

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Wolfgang, Thanks for the response but I'm still lost. What is the dizzy and where is the right spot?
I used this video to line everything up twice before. Other than the distributor, the video doesn't show what to line up. I'm not sure what is not lined up. The rotor is pointing toward #1 cylinder and aligned with the notch on the distributor. There is no window on my cabrio in the location shown on the video to check the mark on the crank. There is a window but it's on top of the housing above the transmission. The video instructs to turn the crank pulley below but nothing about any marks on the crank pulley to line up. How do I know it's lined up from below? It doesn't show how to line up the camshaft sprocket and the shroud. Is it the T, O, and the arrow on the camshaft sprocket that is supposed to be aligned? What marks do I need to match up for it to be aligned right? Can I align everything using the camshaft pulley? I really appreciate your help. I'm just frustrated because I've been messing with this for over 2 weeks and I can't get it figured out. Thanks,

the pic attached is the dizzy where it needs to be lined up to the small mark on tdc . tdc on the camshaft is in between the O and T. and on the flywheel side there should be a zero lined half way like the second pic . look at B side of the pic that is tdc on the crank.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
This is how it is now. Pictures 1669 and 1670 show the T-O mark aligned with the arrow on the housing but no "0" in the window for the crankshaft. The distributor seemed lined up. Pictures 1666 and 1667 shows where the camshaft sprocket is when the "0" is in the camshaft window. You can see the pictures of the distributor and rotor alignments in each case.

line up the crank first that is tdc in that window. then the camshaft should be in the middle of the O & T and the rotor of the dizzy should be at the small line of the plastic . that is the correct set up!!

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Can this happen when I never removed the timing belt? I would have to remove the timing belt first before I made this correction, correct?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
When I called to order a timing belt kit, I have 2 choices. One with a water pump and one without. Do you know which option I need. Vin# ***** *****

Yhe water pump is separate and not driven by the timing belt so the water pump is not needed unless it is leaking.

you just need the timing belt and the timing belt tensioner roller . make sure it is for an ABA motor not AEG

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Perfect... Thanks...Is there a chance the motor is messed up if the crank isn't lined up with the camshaft. Do you have an idea how this could have happened? I will work on it this Friday...

if the belt was real loose yes it will jump. technically its not a valve bender but i seen stranger things!!

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** been excellent support.. I may need some direction on timing belt replacement. I,ll let you know this Friday...


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Wolfgang, Everything is apart and I am ready to remove the timing belt. I don't believe the intermediate shaft sprocket is aligned with the crankshaft vibration damper pulley. Which marks have to align on these? I see a T/O on the sprocket and a line on the damper pulley. As the picture shows that I sent, the camshaft sprocket aligned at the T/O position alignes the distributor up. What position does the intermediate shaft sprocket have to be in?

disregard marks on the sprocket just make sure that the rotor is lined up with the mark on the dizzy . small gap mark not the large one!! then get your belt on then once you tension the belt rotate the crank 2 times and recheck your marks . if off adjust accordingly!!

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Perfect... Thanks

hows it going?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Back together. The car runs great. Still has a check engine light on. I'll check it out tomorrow. Many Thanks!!!!!!!!!

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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Wolfgang, Thanks for your help. I will give you an excellent rating and will be asking for you in the future.

my pleasure!!!! thanks

Wolfgang, VW Master Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 4414
Experience: Senior VW Master Tech 15 yrs
Wolfgang and 4 other VW Specialists are ready to help you