My Timing belt likes to drift off center!   

First off, the bottom pulley (outside and the inner cog washer (some washers are integrated to bottom cog starting in 1995) hold the belt straight, (it tries) so, I will assume those parts are not missing.
Lets drive it some more?  (In this case, only the belt was bad)
Leaving it like this will lest road sand inside, and this will kill the cogs, in short order.  Can't tell a 19 yo kid that, so he removes it and paints cogs, RED.  Looks cute, but sucks,  The cover has a nice seal too, to keep out SAND.
If you let a rock fall inside, it will wreck the belt in 1 turn, as it pinches cog to belt.   (snaps the belt internal strands, it does)

ALL THE WAYS for belt drift:

The Macro List: 
Bad belt  or bad cog / idler alignment?  

The Micro:  (mechanics, view) 
  1. The PO's belt was bad and the PO, failed to replace the destoryed belt cover, same with bad water pump , pumps pulley cutting into said cover.  that is the PO's problem , now yours.
  2. The  belt is bad, even new belts are bad, see the Gates belt paper, in the new box , it lists all dumb things done to belts (no , don't twist it inside out , or running an old belt , now run backwards)
  3. Cogs bad inside or out side (inside damage is caused by key failure (bad torques) (outside damage by running with no cover or cover is RIDDLED with CUTS and holes, allowing sand/rock ingress and damaged and worn badly?)
  4. The failed head job , ploy, the head has 2 Ferrel pins, in the 2 corners "LOST?", to lock head to block (the angle is fixed),  if missing either ferrel pin, the cam belt will drift.  "the HEAD IS TWISTED"
  5. Idler mounted wrong: The step in the book showing how to index the idler arm to  back side TANG, was not done at all, 16 Phase 2  STEP 11 ,   or  on 8v. step 31
  6. Idler bad, the bearings are gone, and now runs canted. 
  7. The Mechanic , never did the tension'ing steps, at end of procedure.  or set the the tension of this belt, guessing it was  like an  accessory serpintine belt (at 100lbs; bad to bone), do not skip the tension-er calibration steps.!
  8. Collision damage bent cam wheel  cog, or you dropped head to the floor and its cog,or engine hoist hit the cog, bent cam cog.
  9. The bottom cog loves to fail, because NOBODY EVER reads TSB's  This warning sheet from 1996  ,(retroactove to G16 engines) is the #1 cause of bad engines.  Causes a destroyed, crank snout, key and cog.
  10. Tensioning the 8V like a 16V or the reverse, is a FAIL!
  11. Not replacing the damaged bad cover.

The PO: means, the  previous owner {skin flint?|} (the last guy with 2 left arms and never did maintenance on car, nor ever replaced all bad parts found, at the 60k mile service.) 

rev 2

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