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TDI Conversions Discussions on converting non TDIs into TDIS. More general items can be answered better in other sections. This is ideal for issues that don't have an overlap and are very special to swaping engines.

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Old July 10th, 2018, 06:28   #1
Rebubula
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Default 1991 Vanagon 1.9L alh TDI conversion transmission issue

Hello,
I have a 1991 vanagon with a 1.9L ALH TDI engine conversion with gowesty alloy wheels with 215/60r16 tire size. I got my transaxle rebuilt by Rancho Transaxles about a year ago with a 4.57 Ring and Pinion to help with my van running high rpms as highway speeds. When the transmission was installed a year ago, I also had my mechanic install a new clutch. A few months ago, I've been experiencing some slippage with some rpms jumps. My mechanic bleed the clutch slave cylinder and helped temporarily until the issue came back again. So I took it back to my mechanic and he said the only way to see if the clutch was failing was to drop the transmission. So I bought a new clutch anyway since he was taking it out(LUK brand clutch). He said there was no oil on the old clutch or anything noticeable that would cause it to fail. He also said that the flywheel looked good and didn't need to be resurfaced. So, after he put in the clutch, he took it for a test drive, making sure to drive some hilly roads to be sure it was good and it was. On a trip over the weekend, same slippage issue was happening when going up a long gradual incline. I would speed up on the flat ground in anticipation for the upgrade. The reason being that there was a loss of power and when I would apply more gas, the rpms would jump and come back down. I am concerned of being stranded on the side of the road. Is there anything you guys could think of that would help?

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Old July 10th, 2018, 07:19   #2
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Sounds like your clutch choice is not up to the torque required for the weight of the Vanagon.

Which clutch are you using - the 17-050 Luk kit?

BTW bleeding the slave will not help with a slippage issue - air in the slave will only cause the clutch to not fully release - it does nothing for clamping force or slippage.

What transmission are you using?
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Old July 10th, 2018, 09:33   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windex View Post
Sounds like your clutch choice is not up to the torque required for the weight of the Vanagon.
Which clutch are you using - the 17-050 Luk kit?
Yes, LUK 17-050. Is there a better choice in clutch kits that would work with my application?
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Originally Posted by Windex View Post
What transmission are you using?
stock rebuilt 83-91 vanagon waterboxer transmission with a diesel bell housing
I spoke with my mechanic and he said he spoke with a company called Kennedy Engineering. They said they make pressure plates and organic clutch kits but not for a diesel applications

Thoughts?
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Old July 10th, 2018, 09:58   #4
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You need a stronger clutch. What size disc are you using?
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Old July 10th, 2018, 12:58   #5
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Interesting.

A MK4 jetta tips the scales around 3000 lbs. A vanagon is 3500 for a westfalia according to google. an extra 500 lbs should not make the clutch slip that bad.

Is your engine tuned at all? I and others have had stg II torque (injectors and tune) put through the 17-050 with no slippage - and I did not drive conservatively.

Is it possible the release bearing is still pressing the pressure plate fingers somewhat?
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Old July 10th, 2018, 13:22   #6
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If it's using the stock diesel bellhousing then it might also have a 215mm clutch disc. My ALH Vanagon uses a stock clutch from a WBX which is 228mm, and it does not slip.
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Old July 10th, 2018, 13:59   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windex View Post
Interesting.

A MK4 jetta tips the scales around 3000 lbs. A vanagon is 3500 for a westfalia according to google. an extra 500 lbs should not make the clutch slip that bad.

Is your engine tuned at all? I and others have had stg II torque (injectors and tune) put through the 17-050 with no slippage - and I did not drive conservatively.

Is it possible the release bearing is still pressing the pressure plate fingers somewhat?

Most T3 campers dressed out tip the scales over two tons, and they are shaped like a T3, there is no comparison to a Jetta.

OP, user Andybees has had an ALH powered Vanagon for some time, I would PM him and ask what clutch setup he is using, I'm sure he'd be happy to help.
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Old July 10th, 2018, 15:57   #8
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I started with the OE clutch set-up that come in a Diesel Vanagon ........ slipped with me and my little skinny wife and our camping gear .. really a light load. Seems that was a 220mm clutch. Keep in mind, the Pressure Plate for the OE setup is not robust at all. (My Tin-top weighs 3640 lbs with half tank of fuel and me in it.)

I changed to a used G60 SMF from a late 90s Passat using the 228mm Vanagon clutch disc ........... no slipping, even pulling a camper. But, the Vanagon Clutch disc was ready to break apart after less than 15k miles (here's a couple of pics showing some of the cracks).





So, I then changed to a LUK DMF. I installed a pilot shaft that accepts the TDI clutch disc (28 splines) ............... I'll never go back to anything else as the DMF is quiet and smooth as silk. I have installed the "quiet" SMF clutch set-up sold by Idparts in a couple of Jettas ... it is quiet and smooth.

I'm running a tranny from an 80 model Air-cool with the 4.57 R&P with upgraded 3rd 1.14 and upgraded 4th .77 on 215/75/15 tires! 70 mph = about 3075 RPMs.

Bragging a bit here: It will cruise all day long at 70 mph (GPS verified) pulling the camper ......... doesn't skip a beat on hills. It does have a mild Stage 1 Malone tune!

Side note: at the moment, I am pulling maintenance from bumper to bumper. Tranny is out, radiator upgrade under way, radiator pipes are out, rear axles are out, new Moog ball joints in, new OE top bushings, and on and on.... Anyway, I noticed that the DMF has been slightly rubbing the diesel bell housing which I had clearanced for the G60 SMF. So, obviously, the DMF requires just smidge more room!

Hope this is helpful!

EDIT: The engine never had the Stage 1 tune when I was running the OE Diesel Clutch set-up!
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Last edited by AndyBees; July 11th, 2018 at 00:59. Reason: Add comment and photo
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Old July 10th, 2018, 19:51   #9
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Where did you get the input shaft? I am in the process of putting an alh in a 75 westy with a kit from foreign auto supply. The trans is getting 3rd and 4th gear swapped out right now and I want to make sure I get a good clutch in it as it will probably have a stage 1 tune also. Sorry if I hijacked anything!
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Old July 11th, 2018, 01:15   #10
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Casey823, someone in the Samba messaged me and suggested that I should consider using the pilot shaft designed for the TDI clutch disc. I purchased it from him... seems I paid $70 shipped. I've not seen one since. I doubt he was a vendor, most likely just dumping something he had. That was about 5 or 6 years ago. I had the shaft for at least a year, maybe two years, before I installed it.

Google searched and found these two links with the shaft:

https://www.brickwerks.co.uk/input-shaft-t3-tdi.html

https://www.vwbusshop.de/091311105A-...I-clutch-/-ZMS
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Last edited by AndyBees; July 11th, 2018 at 01:28. Reason: Add links
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Old July 11th, 2018, 08:05   #11
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Thanks a bunch!
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Old July 11th, 2018, 12:41   #12
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i installed a 17-050 dmf on my heavy 1z westy and it performed pretty flawlessly, on top of being used (around 40k) it had been saturated with gearbox lube (i did clean the disc before reinstall)... it did slip a few times right after install but did not slip under full power (11mm rover, gt2052 @ 20 psi, dlc 1019's) after a few thousand miles of moderate use ... if you really are running a luk 17-050 maybe it wasn't broken in properly ? ...keep in mind the 17-050 requires a special TDI splined input as referenced above by andy
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Old July 12th, 2018, 04:23   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyBees View Post
Casey823, someone in the Samba messaged me and suggested that I should consider using the pilot shaft designed for the TDI clutch disc. I purchased it from him... seems I paid $70 shipped. I've not seen one since. I doubt he was a vendor, most likely just dumping something he had. That was about 5 or 6 years ago. I had the shaft for at least a year, maybe two years, before I installed it.
Google searched and found these two links with the shaft:
https://www.brickwerks.co.uk/input-shaft-t3-tdi.html
https://www.vwbusshop.de/091311105A-...I-clutch-/-ZMS
I contacted brickwerks and they also gave me a link to their dual mass flywheel clutch kit. Do you think this kit along with the input shaft would be a proper way to go about it? And is there any modification that has to be made to adapt the dual mass. They don't offer a warranty but any chance you have any thoughts on an estimated lifetime of this setup? I typically don't drive my van more than 3000 miles a year and mostly on highways.
Thanks
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Old July 12th, 2018, 06:56   #14
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As I stated, I'd never go back to the OE style or the SMF. The TDI engine at idle in neutral clutch engaged (pedal up) is hammering your transmission. That is one good reason to have a DMF which absorbs those pulses as each cylinder fires. Next, the OE clutch/flywheel and an upgrade SMF clutch/flywheel will rattle at idle as well as at low speeds while in a pull.

A LUK DMF will wear out your Vanagon. I put 291k miles on the OE DMF that come in my 2000 Jetta. It did not go bad, due to all the "hand wringing" I was reading here about how bad DMF are, well, I changed it as preventative maintenance. In hind sight, I should have left it alone.

Check eBay and Amazon for prices on DMF kit as well as Idparts and other vendors that support the TDI Club.

Oh, and make sure your transmission has the proper oil for a Transmission. The stuff on the shelf in the parts stores, Walmart, etc., is Gear Oil ......... if it doesn't say Transmission Oil somewhere on the label, well, it's not transmission oil. There is a difference!
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Old July 12th, 2018, 08:47   #15
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Andy, there was no bell modifications needed? any clearance issues? The trans in the westy I am using is an 002. The guy doing the gears said I would need an 091 bell for a 228mm clutch.
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