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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 January 11th, 2018, 07:15   #1
Exenos
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Default Manual glow plugs or ECU controlled?

I'm finishing up the last few bits of wiring on my truck and I'm trying to decide what to do with the glow plugs. Should I run them manually or let the ecu control them? I tend to lean towards manual control of stuff so I guess really what I'm asking is are there any real reasons to have the ecu control them or is that just a convenience?
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Old January 11th, 2018, 07:24   #2
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I second this question and can the ecu be made to not throw a code with manual glow plugs.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 07:25   #3
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Why not have the ECU control them? Then you get afterglow and correctly timed preglow. It's just a few wires, hardly any more than doing a manual setup.

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Old January 11th, 2018, 07:41   #4
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I dont know about him but on my bhw swap simplicity. I dont use the boat unless the water is warm enough to swim in. That means it's May and lows in The 60s.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 07:44   #5
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I'd still want the glow plugs to run every time (which they do even when warm, for the after-run period)... if they never cycle they can get carbon buildup, and then get stuck in the head.

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Old January 11th, 2018, 08:24   #6
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Good point...
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Old January 11th, 2018, 12:37   #7
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let the ECU do it! Its a great feature of the TDI. All the work to swap a TDI into something only to disable one of its great features? Makes no sense to me.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 13:23   #8
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Not the same, but I had 2 cylinder Volvo in my sailboat and it was a pig to start without glow plugs.

I would in this case go automatic, no guessing when and how long to cycle glow plugs.
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Old January 13th, 2018, 08:22   #9
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I dont know about him but on my bhw swap simplicity.
Simplicity on a BHW would be accomplished by leaving the glow plug system as-is. The glow relay is integrated into the engine wiring harness and does not require any outside wiring other than a 50 amp fused battery feed.

Also, BHW glow plugs (depending on version) are either 5volt or 7volt and require a PWM controller to operate from a 12volt source. The factory glow plug relay is not actually a relay, it is a PWM power amplifier. The ECU drives it with a PWM signal. The glow "relay" also reports individual glow plug current back to the ECU to sense glow plug failure.
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Old January 13th, 2018, 11:34   #10
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If you have the ECU installed I see no reason not to let it perform this function, as others have said it provides the post-start glow cycle function too so it has a lot of benefit.

In this case it relieves you of having to push and hold a button for some unknown amount of time too.

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Old January 13th, 2018, 20:50   #11
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Alright, fine. I guess I'll just let the ecu do its thing. And here I was hoping I could add another switch to my dash...
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Old January 14th, 2018, 19:35   #12
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If you do decide on manual glow plugs dont use a switch unless it opens back up automatically. If you forget to turn it off, you can drain your battery and kill your glow plugs at The same time.

I usually used an old push button style. Count to five and start.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 12:52   #13
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Alright, fine. I guess I'll just let the ecu do its thing. And here I was hoping I could add another switch to my dash...

You CAN also have a manual switch as well. One of the wires to the glow plug relay goes low when the ECU wants to turn it on. You can connect to that wire, ground it with your switch and the glow plug relay will turn on. Now, if the ECU then throws an error or not is another question.

I can't really see a need for this though as the ECU does a good job at regulating the glow plugs. You can via software change how long and what temperature the glow plugs active too.
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