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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 October 31st, 2009, 09:36   #1
mark smith
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Default vw tdi kit car

As the owner of www.factoryfive.com I wanted a kit car that would appeal to my daily driver buddies and others who already own one or more of our high performance kits.

I am on twitter at www.twitter.com/factoryfive if you are into these projects and I am trying to do this live with the help of the various online communities that support the vw's(the factory five community connects on www.ffcars.com)

the thread that reviews our progress to date is called "mark smith...time to talk) and I figured it was time to get the input of the die hard tdi community.

I am just at the point where we are choosing the body shape and top configuration so any advice is welcomed. Here is the concept for those that have not heard of it:

Gen iv golf or jetta tdi

cut rear off the car

cut the front off the car just forward of the front suspension mounts

cut roof off the car

lower dash 6" and lower seats 6"

move the tdi fwd engine and gearbox to the rear for a mid engine sports layout.

modify the front upper suspension to accom a no strut shock system

add front and rear subframes to hld engine/fuel tank batt etc

we call it the G3f (go green go fast) and the new company I started to launch it is separate from factory five and is called Smyth performance, inc.

have fun.

mark smith
fact5 at comcast dot net
twitter "factoryfive"
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www.ffcars.com(factory five discussion site)

Last edited by mark smith; July 14th, 2010 at 11:32.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 17:20   #2
Pat Dolan
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Many years ago, when I was a boat builder, we thought seriously about building a Rabbit-based kit. Ended up doing the prototype in aluminum welded monocoque, VW drivetrain at the rear, used VW strut rear suspension, SLA front suspension (using rear coilovers for front suspension), and a VERY clean and light body. Ended up weighing about 1,200 lbs., was the perfect home for a diesel, but we ended up doing different projects. Still have the car, body gone when toolmaker went TU and new owners "lost" the plug. Would love to do this again (but would not go the exotic material route).
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Old November 8th, 2009, 05:54   #3
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With a little work, that FF '33 coupe kit you offer would make a really cool mid-engine TDI driver.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 17:21   #4
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I've always loved your cobras and the new gtm is awesome....i just have one problem with these cars....no back seat. How about something ultra-sporty like the gtm with a back seat and tdi for fuel milage so you can drive it anywhere without feeling guilty??


Also mark...how about some pics of mini me???
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Old November 9th, 2009, 05:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFM
With a little work, that FF '33 coupe kit you offer would make a really cool mid-engine TDI driver.
My thoughts too. Full top, full fendered, fo me please. But I'd consider keeping the front engine layout, a 1.9 TDI put north-south and driving a Toyota gearbox (or other pre-engineered bellhousing/adapter set) and then back to the ring and pinion rear axle. If for no other reason than to keep the cost down to something only just out of my reach.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 11:08   #6
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Mark:

In keeping with your RWD layout, were you contemplating an open or closed car? "Sports car" or street rod (from the sounds of your suspension ideas, I am guessing the former).

IMHO, sticking with the A-series platforms (probably MkIV for availability) and designing the whole thing to roll in a donor car on one side, and your kit from the other would be important. I don't think cutting the car apart is a good idea. I believe you will find that removing parts from one to bolt into another is a lot more saleable (yes, we did the market research, but I think this is what you ALREADY do with your 5 litre Cobra kits, not so?)
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Old November 9th, 2009, 11:39   #7
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After driving a Pontiac Fiero for the past couple weeks (since my tdi is still down), I can't help but think how much fun it would be with a ~200hp tdi and a 6 speed. I'm seriously thinking about finding an 88 GT with no motor or tranny for my next project .

Saying that, I think a rear engined kit car along the same lines would be amazing. Make a 99.5-04 engine cradle drop in and you'd be set.

BTW - The gtm and street rod kits are pure automotive sex on wheels. Keep up the good work !
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Old November 9th, 2009, 12:02   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fact5
Gen iv golf or jetta tdi
cut rear off the car
cut the front off the car just forward of the front suspension mounts
cut roof off the car
lower dash 6" and lower seats 6"
move the tdi fwd engine and gearbox to the rear for a mid engine sports layout.
modify the front upper suspension to accom a no strut shock system
add front and rear subframes to hld engine/fuel tank batt etc
we call it the mini me as it somewhat resembles a factoryfive gtm right now...but a bit smaller.
have fun.
mark smith
fact5 at comcast dot net
twitter "factoryfive"
www.twitter/factoryfive
www.ffcobra.com (factory five discussion site..not related to cobras or shelby in any way whatsoever)
How about:

1. Cut car at firewall.
2. Remove front fenders, bumper skin, hood.
3. Weld up a light-weight, compact aluminum tube-framed 3-wheel!, 3- passenger chassis to firewall.
4. Cover new chassis in fiberglass. Use aluminized, uv-resistant plexiglass windows all around. 3 VERY light seats (2F, 1R in center). Egress/Ingress via hinged clamshell style door that is sealed to the body sill via vacuum (integrate a rubber channel into door sill and/or body sill to the car's vacuum reservoir. Essentially this becomes the new vacuum reservoir for the Tdi. Use a solenoid check valve to isolate from system during ingress/egress from vehicle.
4. Optional: The clamshell style "door" could be counterbalanced at the front to make it easier to open and not require electric lifts or heavy-duty struts.
5. Make new hood, front fenders, and bumper skin to match body style.
6. Delete original wheels and replace with lightest wheel/tire combo available in optional 16", 17" size formats.
7. Minimal gauge pod(s), 2 optional styles in fiberglass or aluminum.

Options:

integral tow hitch receiver.
trunk area over/around rear wheel OR no trunk, expose and show off rear wheel and suspension.

Design goals:

1. Car should have 20% less frontal area than donor MarkIV vehicle.
2. Car should have 35-40% less mass than donor MarkIV vehicle.
3. Center of gravity should be at least 4.5" lower and as far forward of its geometric center than donor vehicles.

This car would get 25-35% better fuel economy (or more) and be a hoot to drive, while being able to tow MORE than a donor MKIV due to light weight and tube-framed chassis.

If you can do that then tell me where to send my check please
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Last edited by nicklockard; November 9th, 2009 at 12:04.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 03:01   #9
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Default I'd like a TDI in a reverse trike.


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Old November 11th, 2009, 05:01   #10
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Default Here's a picture WOW!

http://twitpic.com/ngjya

WOW!WOW!WOW!
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Old November 11th, 2009, 06:49   #11
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I second that wow.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 09:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicklockard
How about:
4. Optional: The clamshell style "door" could be counterbalanced at the front to make it easier to open and not require electric lifts or heavy-duty struts.

Design goals:
3. Center of gravity should be at least 4.5" lower and as far forward of its geometric center than donor vehicles.
Clamshell (or gullwing) doors are notorious weight adders. Not so much the doors, but their support structures in the roof. Hinge points, gas strut mount points, the gas struts themselves have to be much stronger because they have to hold the door up, not merely 'out'. The added weight up at the top of the vehicle, even if only 1/2 of the door set is attached there, does not fit in with the desire of a lower weight and a lower Cg.
A counterbalance effectively doubles the doors weight.

Does the door window reside in the top half of your clamshell? Into what does the glass move when it is desired to open the window?
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If the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression,
the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.

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Last edited by Lug_Nut; November 11th, 2009 at 09:52.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 10:10   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lug_Nut
Clamshell (or gullwing) doors are notorious weight adders. Not so much the doors, but their support structures in the roof. Hinge points, gas strut mount points, the gas struts themselves have to be much stronger because they have to hold the door up, not merely 'out'. The added weight up at the top of the vehicle, even if only 1/2 of the door set is attached there, does not fit in with the desire of a lower weight and a lower Cg.
A counterbalance effectively doubles the doors weight.

Does the door window reside in the top half of your clamshell? Into what does the glass move when it is desired to open the window?
You're right. A clamshell style door is usually heavier. But I've said all windows should be Plexiglass, so that reduces weight a lot. Yes, I would have windows integral to the lid, otherwise weather sealing could be a nightmare. Also, instead of a counterweight, how about a spring pulley placed low in the front of the car to help lift the lid?

You're right about a counterweight too: a counterweight is not the way to go, as it would add too much weight. With a spring-pulley, you would not even need a light weight strut. You could make the spring force equal to or slightly stronger than the force required to open. And the spring pulley could be a cam-style pulley so the help would be nill at first but actually lift the door beyond an initial effort. You'd only have to use a little force to start to open it; the spring pulley could do the rest. I could imagine a spring pulley (steel coil spring + aluminum pulley + poly-sheathed steel cable + aluminum mounting bracketry) of no more than 6.5 lbs.
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Last edited by nicklockard; November 11th, 2009 at 10:13.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 12:17   #14
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You've already got a kit car that can be adapted to TDI, the Philadelphia academy X Prize team had a GTM kit they are putting a 1.9tdi and one of my longitudinal Tdi 6 speed transmissions.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/33394453#33394453
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/automobiles/18PRIZE.html
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Old November 11th, 2009, 16:30   #15
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Sorry I missed the thread guys...was looking for it in news...

Just to clear up a bit..

the ffr gtm is a great hipo supercar but the cost and complexity of the kit can put the finished car price into 50k +...not what i was looking for.

I love having the firewall and all the accesories from the tdi remain in the car for ease of assembly...those items take a ton of time for our customers to install.

the transverse engine layout is not my favorite but the packaging and ease of finding donor drivetrains can't be beat. If I can keep the kit below 10k people are driving a 2000 lb reeeally fast mid engine 55-60mpg commuter sports car for 15 grand..how fun is that in the home built world I deal in

so yes follow along on www.twitter.com/factoryfive or www.ffcobra.com the thread is called "mark smith time to talk"

So far a great reception from the closet diesel guys(a few vr6 turbo guys too) who are part of the 8000 strong factory five customer base...good times indeed.


mark smith
2002 135hp tdi wagon, 2000 tdi wreck currently being cut/transformed into first diesel production kit car.
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