Originally Posted by WRX_FTW
The rear cover is trashed trust me, all of the mounting points are still attached to the front cover that is in about 4 pieces. I've used the method you're referring to on Hondas... A particular instance where apparently the previous owner didnt use enough antifreeze in the radiator and used mostly if not 100% water and the first night below freezing that I started my car you can imagine what happened to the water pump. Being that these are interference engines though and I'm having to remove the cam gears I'd rather play it safe, the entire engine only has 2k miles and its not worth the money I spent on it to have to do it all over again to save a couple hundred bucks. As far as the condition of the belt, I don't know if the timing cover snagged it as it was flying apart, or if something hit it after the timing cover came off (plastic underpinning is gone). I'm not happy about any of it obviously but I'm more glad that I was able to catch the damage before it was too late.
If the rest of the cover is ****ed then yeah replace it. I just saw the upper left corner.
I did it on my wifes beetle which is an interference engine. The timing of the engine never changes, the cam and crank never change position. A new belt will have the exact same number of teeth.
Its much simplier and easier to do it that way and if the marks wont line up then you know for sure that it has to be re timed, if they do line up then there is no way the timing can be off since it was correct in the first place.