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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 March 15th, 2017, 20:33   #1
john.jackson9213
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Miramar, Ca. (Think Top Gun)
TDI(s): 1996 B4V
Default 1986 diesel Jeep Comanche TDI conversion

My search for an original diesel Jeep Comanche started 6 or 7 years ago. After a couple of conversations with the California DMV and BAR about attempting to do a diesel conversion on my 1991 Jeep Comanche I quickly figured out that the best thing for me was to find a real 1986 or 87 original MJ diesel. It simply avoided a whole lot of issues in California.

Last June I finally located a real factory equipped 1986 Jeep Comanche with the Renaullt 2.1 Turbo Diesel engine for sale on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The truck was in very nice shape, but the Turbo Diesel engine was a total basket case. Literally the bed of the truck was filled with multiple failed parts from several Renault engines and transmission. The truck was listed as a parts truck and the price was right. After verifying this was a legitimate, factory diesel Comanche, and viewing a number of pictures, I purchased the truck.

Then I drove 1200 plus miles from San Diego to Victoria on Vancouver Island to pick up this truck and then towed it 2000 more miles to Matt Whitbread’s shop in northern Michigan to begin the TDI engine conversion over the winter.







After dropping the diesel at the shop, the plan was to drive to the airport in Chicago, park the `91` Comanche and fly home. The drive the 96 Passat engine doner to Chicago, pick up the Comanche and tow the Passat to the shop for the engine transplant.

Things did not go quite as planned. The Passat lost a head gasket 150 miles into the trip. So I rented a car to get home, then flew back to Chicago to pick up my Comanche at the airport.
From there, I went on to the TDI Club's annual convention in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin. While there I got a line on a 98 TDI engine at a good price. Best news was it was just an hour away from me. So Sunday I made a 3 hour side trip and purchased the engine. Here it is in the back of the Comanche:





In mid February, it was finally time to get the 86 MJ into the shop and out of the Michigan winter.



Renault engine ready to be pulled out:



It is out! 2.1 TD and AX-5 on the floor:



Cracked cylinder here and a crack in the cylinder head explain the problems with the 2.1 TD engine:



The now empty engine bay:

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1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.

Last edited by john.jackson9213; March 16th, 2017 at 21:05. Reason: testing picture links
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Old March 15th, 2017, 21:04   #2
turbobrick240
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Sweet. My first truck was an '87 4x4 MJ 2.5L. Loved it. Never seen a factory diesel. Good find! That renault motor must have been pretty weak if they mated it to an AX5.
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Old March 16th, 2017, 22:08   #3
john.jackson9213
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Next attention moves to the VW TDI engine. Here is a link to a quick video of the TDI engine running on a test stand. This was simply a test run to see what might be wrong with the engine.

https://youtu.be/Gkyb3PRWwbk


Lots of smoke, but the engine does run. Next step is to replace all the gaskets, a new timing belt, new water pump and a rebuilt alternator. The original alternator was frozen - so it was sent to a rebuilder.

TDI engine stripped down to long block, prior to being resealed.






Notice the problem in exhaust port #3? See all that carbon?






A cylinder leak down test showed the rings to be in good shape. So the head was pulled. Inspection of the cylinder bores shows original factory cross hatch pattern still visible in the bores.









Inspection of the cylinder valves shows likely oil leak in the #3 exhaust valve. See the wet area around #3 valve. Brown stuff is cardboard from the head being put on a sheet of cardboard to avoid damage to the head surface.







So the head is off to the machine shop to be freshened up and new valve seals. A new head gasket and upgraded head bolts will be ordered before the head goes back on. The cam and lifters look great, so will be reused. This will mean a 2 week or so work stoppage. In the mean time, a freshly rebuilt (by Giles at Performance Diesel in Tronto) 11 mm injection pump and a set of fresh, larger nozzles (from Bora Parts and DFIS) are ready to go in when the head comes back from the shop.


Other items waiting to be installed include:


Engine adapter from http://gastodiesel.tdconversions.com/

New 4.0 flywheel, pressure plate, heavy duty Luk clutch, new master and slave cylinders.

New 4.0 exhaust system ordered to replace the 31 year old rusty one. Whitbread to build custom down pipe.

Good, used 2 wheel drive AX-15 was purchased and delivered. Yes, the truck is a 2 wheel drive.



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JJ
1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.

Last edited by john.jackson9213; March 16th, 2017 at 22:27.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 04:50   #4
CRSMP5
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oil feed port to head is at #3 and the hg seeps oil right into#3 ive had them seep so much it forms a trail of oil right out the exhaust valve.. hence i doubt its a valve stem seal issue... it seeps between the layers of the headgasket

Last edited by CRSMP5; March 17th, 2017 at 04:52.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 13:19   #5
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Sweet! I remember seeing that Comanche for sale a little while ago. I live in Vancouver and concidered going to check it out. Good luck with the swap!
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Old March 17th, 2017, 14:39   #6
john.jackson9213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjjeeper View Post
Sweet! I remember seeing that Comanche for sale a little while ago. I live in Vancouver and concidered going to check it out. Good luck with the swap!
Yes, this truck has been sold 3 other times since 2013, before I finally got it. It ran (somewhat) in 2013. Think I have an old video. But each of the last 3 owners has tried to "fix" a Renault engine, only to end up with more broken/spare parts. The bed was full of them.
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1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.

Last edited by john.jackson9213; March 17th, 2017 at 17:43.
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Old March 17th, 2017, 15:12   #7
A-man930
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Interested to see how this downpipe from Whitebread turns out...
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Old March 29th, 2017, 13:00   #8
john.jackson9213
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The cylinder head is back from the shop. Next step is to check and replace the rod bearings. Will see if we need stock rod bearings or .001 oversize rod bearings to just tighten up clearances a touch. Plan is to use 12.9 head bolts when the head gets put back on rather than the stock TTY bolts. The 12.9 is both stronger and much less expensive than the VW TTY bolts.

More pictures next week.
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1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.
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Old April 5th, 2017, 22:19   #9
john.jackson9213
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Progress pictures:

Cylinder head after trip to machine shop.



First coat on the block.



Should make spotting oil leaks easy, right.




Head is back on with 12.9 bolts. Piston protrusion was all within .005 group and required a 2 hole gasket.

Rod bearings get replaced next.

EGT probe has been ordered from Ebay. Manifold will be drilled/tapped for EGT probe.

Starting to shop for upgraded turbo. Looking for GTC1549VZ or GTD1752VRK.
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JJ
1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.

Last edited by john.jackson9213; April 5th, 2017 at 22:22.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 00:05   #10
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GTD . GTD . GTD all the way!
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Old April 6th, 2017, 00:11   #11
john.jackson9213
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Email sent to Frans last weekend! Yes, that GTD is looking doable.
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JJ
1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 01:35   #12
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Yeesh I just got my GTB back on the road, now we've gone all the way to GTD??

Sent from my XT1097 using Tapatalk
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Old April 7th, 2017, 11:28   #13
john.jackson9213
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Latest update pictures from Whitbread's shop

Matt says: " Yeah, all the old bearing looked great. Mains plastigauged right at .002". Put all new stock main, rod, and thrust bearings in. Turns over perfect. "



See the nice, rebuilt 11 mm pump from Giles at Performance Diesel:




Front view:

__________________
JJ
1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.

Last edited by john.jackson9213; April 7th, 2017 at 12:25.
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Old April 9th, 2017, 07:17   #14
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I will be watching this build!
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Old April 11th, 2017, 22:49   #15
john.jackson9213
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Latest progress and a new issue.

First the issue. See the pitted transmission input shaft? Emery cloth did not help. Pits are too deep.



Fortunately, Whitbread had another AX-15 input shaft left in the shop from another customers TDI/Toyota conversion. So Matt took a couple of hours time to open my trans and swap out the input shaft. In the process he found water at the bottom of the transmission. Likely from when I stored the transmission in my back yard last November and December. The heavy California rains got past my Harbor Freight tarps.



Here it is all back together.



Adapter and new Jeep flywheel mounted on the TDI engine.



Clutch and pressure plate mounted, ready for the AX-15.



One more small issue - need a replacement lower timing cover. Put an ad in Classifieds.



And that is it for the Tuesday update. Looks like Whitbread is getting close to test fitting the power train into the Comanche.

For me, it is back to working on Income Taxes - I will be busy most of the weekend with that. !!
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JJ
1996 B4V, Hella E-Codes, GLX leather, EuroTuning.cz 02A 6 speed conversion w/.71 5th and .588 6th gear, A4 shift linkage by Matt-98AHU. 11 mm pump by Oldpoopie. Now, GTC1549VZ turbo by Whitbread. TDtuning, 24 lbs. boost, 162 hp, 285 lb/ft tq. Smoke Free (9/18/15). Koni Yellows and Big Brake 5 lug conversion.

Last edited by john.jackson9213; April 11th, 2017 at 22:56.
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