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General VW Discussion This is a place for General VW topics (the company, not your vehicle). General topics about a specific vehicle should be posted in the General TDI Dicussion Forum sections for that vehicle platform. A4, A3 & B4, B5, etc.

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Old August 26th, 2005, 14:18   #1
BWoody
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Default How to import a used European TDI?

I need a van and want a VW TDI Eurovan. I know they sold them in Europe. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to import a 2000 or so TDI Eurovan to the states? I have a friend with German citizenship who lives near me and my niece is going to Amsterdam for 6 months for a dental school residency.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 15:17   #2
dieseldorf
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Default Re: How to import a used European TDI?

Woody, can't be done. If it could, everyone, including myself would have already done it.

Review NHTSA importation guidelines.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 17:26   #3
Brian24
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Default How to import a used European TDI?

It can be done if its over a certain age. But its like 20 or 30 years or something.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 18:00   #4
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Default How to import a used European TDI?

you would have to buy a U.S. spec'ed van over there.friend of mine has been living in germany for the last 17 yrs.he bought a U.S. spec'ed 2000 vw weekender van new,but could not get a diesel at the time.so got the vr6.weather or not they were even availible or just none out there is hard to say.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 23:45   #5
Ed's TDI
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Default How to import a used European TDI?

You can bring over any car you want ... piece by piece by piece.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 05:13   #6
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Default How to import a used European TDI?

Quote:
You can bring over any car you want ... piece by piece by piece.
True, but you better have a US spec body with appropriate VIN to stuff those parts into if you intend to register it for street use. And unless you have a fabrication works to custom make mounts, pans, etc. you ought to plan to get a body that matches the one used on the european model so that those parts fit properly.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 09:52   #7
BWoody
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Default Re: How to import a used European TDI?

Would any Eurovan body due? I read the thread about the V6 AWD TDI Passat conversion and it seems rather intimidating for a non mechanic. I assume the 10K in cost was without labor.
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Old December 18th, 2005, 15:27   #8
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Default TDI vans in Mexico

I also would love a TDI T5. Check the VW de Mexico site. They sell them there. Going down and getting one and driving it back would be no problem, but I still haven't figured out how to legally register it here. Any suggestions??? Group buy????
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Old December 19th, 2005, 00:37   #9
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There is one possible loophole but never tried it. Europeans can bring cars into the USA for temporary personal use but must agree to export the vehicles. However I have heard of German & other European military coming to the USA & bringing their cars with them. In some areas they have to register them locally. Once registered in a state I have heard you are "home free" & if sold, apparently is treated like a legal American spec car. I have heard the feds don't follow up to see that cars brought in legally for temporary use but they might if someone makes a complaint to the proper authorities. You might also have problems getting insurance on the car. I wouldn't recommend doing this since you might possibly lose your car. My favorite cars are Citroens but Citroen has been out of the U.S. market since 1973. I do have a 1979 Citroen CX diesel "gray market" car which someone else brought into the USA & had it legally converted to USA specs. Its a nightmare I wouldn't want to go thru & understand after the early '80s it became much more difficult because individuals were bringing in M Benz Euro spec cars they could then buy new in Europe for around $13,000, pay $1,000 for shipping, $3,000 for conversion to U.S. EPA-DOT specs & sell them at a nice profit for less than the M. Benz wholesale USA cost for similar models then carrying a MSRP of $30,000. I heard that M. Benz, BMW, & Porsche then lobbyed congress to get the law changed so that the manufacturer could state a vehicle of theirs DID NOT meet USA DOT-EPA specs even though it actually did since some country's specs (Sweden & Japan) for example, exceeded USA DOT-EPA specs except for some minor issue like installing a serial number in the left bottom windshield area visable from the outside.
I resent such laws & I presume most of you do too.
I think it would be far more inexpensive to import diesel engines & related accessories & convert gas engined VWs & other cars to diesel but you would have to know these cars inside & out, what differences exist between similar gas & diesel models, etc. Does anyone know anyone making these conversions? I think someone could make some money here if they lined up a reliable source in Europe for wrecked TDIs with good engines, imported them & installed them in gas VW Jettas, Golfs, etc.
It is my understanding that if a car is 25 years or older, you can now import any such vehicle legally & not have to modify it to DOT-EPA specs. Before doing so, I would carefully research U.S. customs regulations to make sure this is legal & don't rely on my info here.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 01:02   #10
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Default Importing a TDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by spotfire
I also would love a TDI T5. Check the VW de Mexico site. They sell them there. Going down and getting one and driving it back would be no problem, but I still haven't figured out how to legally register it here. Any suggestions??? Group buy????
What would happen if you drove an American spec gas powered VW into Mexico (Eurovan, Jetta, or Golf) & the engine broke down, & you then replaced the engine with a TDI from a totaled Mexican TDI. If you could find a reliable source, you might be able to buy a wrecked TDI in Mexico & legally import it for parts. If you live in Calif., you had better check if you can convert a gas engined VW to a diesel as diesels in Calif. are currently exempt from the smog check, as you probably know.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 08:45   #11
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Ah, and there you found one of the CARB loopholes that we might have found - your car "breaks down" in front of a dealership, and the car with the best MPGs that that dealership sells is a TDI.

Basically, buy a Eurovan that, on the same frame, had a TDI as an option, and drive it into Mexico. Pull the oil drain plug about a mile from a junkyard that can do the TDI conversion. Drive it in - without the oil drain plug. The idea is that you want to wreck the engine in it, so that it's DEFINITELY dead, and you HAVE to buy another one. You were told that it was an engine that would work in your vehicle.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 09:32   #12
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Exclamation If you can't buy it here , you can't bring to here

There are too many issues to go into them all . The main one is design differances in safety . Airbags are even different in Europe . This the main road block . Lack of US tested emissions is another brick wall to cross .

We can't even import diesel cars from Canada due to different laws, believe me I've tried !!! Europe forget it . Not going to happen .

Sorry
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Old December 19th, 2005, 09:42   #13
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When I lived in Hawaii 13 years ago a fellow had bought a old style Beetle new in Mexico a few years earlier and brought it to Hawaii . He used the vin # off an old US spec Beetle to register the car in the state . He got away with it until in a yearly safety inspection the guy inspecting the car noticed the vin # stamped in the trunk didn't match the vin plate on the dash .

The state confiscated the car and shipped it back to Mexico . He also had to pay a really large fine .
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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:39   #14
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Hmm... there's better ways to do THAT...

VIN stamped in the trunk different? Grab the trunk from the same car that you get the VIN plate from (unless it was in the frame, in which case you'll have to do the Mexican-body-and-engine-on-US-frame trick...)
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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William J Toensing
What would happen if you drove an American spec gas powered VW into Mexico (Eurovan, Jetta, or Golf) & the engine broke down, & you then replaced the engine with a TDI from a totaled Mexican TDI. If you could find a reliable source, you might be able to buy a wrecked TDI in Mexico & legally import it for parts. If you live in Calif., you had better check if you can convert a gas engined VW to a diesel as diesels in Calif. are currently exempt from the smog check, as you probably know.
I read that Mexico has no TDIs.
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