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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 April 22nd, 2014, 18:34   #1
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CA
Default ALH m-Tdi marinisation to match Mercruiser outdrive

Hi all,

i have spend a good year designing an ALH water-cooled exhaust manifold plus an bell-housing that will fit to my 82 Searay.

Idea is to turn her into a economic fishing vessel.
Made the decision because i know a guy operation a 26 feet fishing boat that is powered by a 1.7L Mercruiser Diesel (Isuzu engine), very economical and still considerably fast, around 25mph.

These sets are hard to come buy (not sold anymore) and new Mercrusier Cummins units based on the TDI are extremely expensive, around $20k.

So here we go, bell-housing has been cast in Aluminium, will be shipped to me this week, i already organized an engine side starter and matching flywheel, test stand with homemade dyno tester is almost ready to go, will fire the thing up in approx two weeks.

Decided to go for a custom 20mm shaft mechanical Dextel pump with 12mm head, more about that pump later after it first ran. I am shooting for around 100 to 120 Hp.

Questions currently on my mind:

  • The engine will be Turbo charged, i am converting an SDI engine cause i had it laying around, i understand that block and pistons are identical to the TDI, but the head seems to be different, does anybody know what differs?
  • Read somewhere that the SDI injectors work fine with a turbo charged engine, true?
  • Since it is an extremely important indicator for marine engines (running at peak performance for hours) I will be measuring exhaust temperatures to find the ideal pump settings, did anybody measure that before on a m-Tdi or Tdi?
Will be posting pics of my project the next couple of days

Last edited by iddhi; June 14th, 2014 at 15:42.
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Old April 22nd, 2014, 19:06   #2
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CA

just found this Post regarding exhaust temps:


I don't have a gauge, but there's someone local with a chipped/injectored TDI who has a gauge right after the turbo.

400 F at idle.

700 - 800 F at highway cruise.

1100 F pedal to the metal at 160+ km/h.
close to what i need but i would be interested if someone adjusted an m-Tdi pump based on temperatures.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 16:47   #3
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CA
Default CAD screenshots of the water cooled exhaust manifold

Here the final version of the water cooled manifold, went through different stages in the last 10 months, 3D printing sections of it and modifying again. Idea was to print the complete exhaust in PLA material (sugar based) and cast it in my backyard using the "lost PLA method". This turned out to be adventurous due to the size of the part.
Will go for standard sand casting patterns now, a friend of mine working in this industry will dedicate his CNC equipment for a couple of weekends to me.

The manifold will fit 1Z AHU and ALH Tdi's, perhaps even IDI engines.

Note the two exhaust outlets, depending on if i want to use the engine T - charged or suction only.

Section view:

here one of the earlier 3D prints, tried to use this one as a casting model therefore the wax mess.
I used wax to close small holes in the print.

Here how i got the exhaust port and screw pattern into the CAD system, old school,
good old Diesel-oil fingers on white paper.
Later i scanned the whole thing with a normal office scanner,
then scaled it in the CAD software to find the centers and location of the holes to design the exhaust on top of it.

Last edited by iddhi; October 27th, 2017 at 22:36.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 17:21   #4
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CA
Default bellhousing CAD Screenshots

The mold pattern for this part has been finished this week,
an aluminum foundry has the mold at the moment an should deliver the cast this week, cant wait

Simulated assembly to the Gen1 Mercruiser outdrive:

Here some blurry pics of my "workingspace"

the Mercruiser Gen1 unit i am using to take measures for matching the TDI engine:

working on a adapter/damper-plate to match the Mercruiser shaft at the moment.

The Diesel will bring some "gear rattling" issues, especially at slow speeds according to what i read throughout the Net.

Will still go with the original Mercruiser adapter at the beginning to see how bad it really is.

had the engine side section hole pattern laser cut in 3/8 steel, making sure everything will match before casting, especially the starter to flywheel alignment.

Last edited by iddhi; October 27th, 2017 at 22:38.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 19:29   #5
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Location: Provo, UT

That is awesome!
1986 Samurai AHU MTDI swapped, stretched, built
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 19:39   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Springfield, VA
Fuel Economy: 130 MPGe

Very cool project! Subscribed.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 14:37   #7
Join Date: May 2014
Location: lososos
TDI(s): TDI1

Very Cool, looking forward to seeing the outcome!
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 07:22   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Cambridge, MN
Fuel Economy: 42.2/50.0/58.1

Very cool project.

For your current setup, you could use an AHU manifold which moves the EGR valve away from your water-cooled exhaust manifold making things a little easier.

Here is what it looks like:

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02 Jetta TDI 340k (42.2/50.3/59.4 MPG) // 01 Eurovan 24V (18 MPG) // 00 TDI Ranger (39MPG)
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Old May 4th, 2014, 17:15   #9
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CA

short update, foundry informed me last week that the casting of the bell failed, they had to cast again, expecting the sample this week.
I had been busy re-designing the exhaust manifold since it would have been very challenging to tool, due to the 45 deg angle of the side outlet.
Went to 90 deg instead, straight up, will post pics of the new design soon.

Also finalized the layout of the engine dyno test bench, based on a low cost hydraulic-pump brake system, got inspired by this guy here:

Ordered a data logger from mccdaq.com that will allow me to create data charts.

Signals we will log are:
  1. RPM
  2. Foot pounds (Horse Power = Lb-foot x RPM / 5252)
  3. engine temp
  4. exhaust temp (maybe before and after turbo)
  5. Boost pressure
  6. Intake temperature (since i don't have the water-cooled inter-cooler yet)
  7. Fuel intake, Liter/hour
I choose horse power over KW since i wanted to keep the setup scaled but compact. (otherwise i prefer the metric system)

KW would have required using Newton meter measures instead, thus the load cell arm would have extended one meter (3.3 feet instead of just 1). Sure i could have used a shorter arm and calculated the output accordingly buy again i wanted to keep the setup scaled so it is easy to calculate and explain to others.

So here the current project status, working on the engine mounts at the moment, the width between the steel beams and the engine height above them is exactly the same as in the boat, that way i don't have to re design the mounts.

The big blue part in the center represents the hydraulic pump.
The load cell will end up being on the other side of the engine since i mixed up the rotation at the beginning ;-)

this screenshot shows the engine bracket i am currently working on. The block size is represented without head and oil pan, will spend more time for detailing later on. For now only the outer dimensions and the hole locations were important to me.

Last edited by iddhi; October 27th, 2017 at 22:39.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 17:50   #10
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CA

Hi Nick thanks for the input regarding the manifold!
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Old May 5th, 2014, 15:05   #11
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CA

The bell casting arrived!
I am a happy camper. next step, machine surfaces and drill holes.

Last edited by iddhi; October 27th, 2017 at 22:40. Reason: replaced photobucket links.
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Old May 10th, 2014, 05:59   #12
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Location: Sarnia, ON, Canada

This is a very cool and innovative idea. Please keep us posted.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 16:10   #13
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lehi, UT

Indeed, very nice. That bell housing looks good. Are you going to have the foundry make a few of those?
82 Vanagon Westfalia TDI
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Old May 28th, 2014, 17:02   #14
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CA

yes, more will be available once i figured out the whole setup.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 17:13   #15
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CA

Short update,

i had many issues getting that exhaust tooled...... the learning curve for casting parts design is steep, had to change my design three or four times until a casting pattern could be modeled out of it, parting lines, undercuts and draft angels were the most problematic issues.

In addition i finalized the design of my portable dyno test stand. I could limit the width so it would fit through our living room door (i have the most patient wife on the face of this planet).

Had all components laser cut, will weld the unit together over the weekend and post more pics.

Last edited by iddhi; October 27th, 2017 at 22:41. Reason: replace photobucket links
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