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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 28th, 2018, 21:53   #1
J.Klassen
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Default Nissan Hardbody TDI Swap

Hello fellow engine swapers. My name is Jason. This thread is going to be about taking the weezy KA24E out of my 1997 Nissan Hardbody 4x4 and putting in a beast of an ALH TDI.

I had been thinking about and researching doing this for at least a year and a half before finally going ahead with it. The truck is mainly used as my winter vehicle as I drive my fun car for the rest of the year (Infiniti G35 Coupe 6 speed manual).

The 4 cylinder KA24E engine in the truck came with only 134 HP and 154 lb/ft when it was new. The last couple of winters had really left me wanting more. Not only was the power pathetic but I was averaging only 15mpg or 15.5L/100km. So it was drinking fuel like a full size truck and putting out power less than an economy car. Something had to change!

I got a 2001 Jetta TDI from an auto wrecker. They had just picked it up from a lady who was commuting 60km (37miles) per day until the auto trans started slipping badly. It had 362,000 km (225,000 miles)on it and he truck has only 196,000 km (122,000 miles).

In full disclosure the truck is running now and I am driving it, but these pictures are going to start from a year ago when I began the project.
So on with the pics, and we begin with the truck itself.




The trucks new home in front of my Dad's shop for the next year. At least I have a roof, and he gave me a corner of the shop to work in. The rest he uses to build custom kitchen cabinets in.

Good ol Johnny coming in handy.

The empty engine bay. I chopped the rad support out to make test fitting everything a lot easier.

The trucks transmission and transfer case next to the badly slipping autotragic from the donor car.
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Old January 29th, 2018, 05:27   #2
Giantmcm
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Bump for a great adventure of a swap. I had similar thoughts but with a 2001 Dodge Dakota Quad cab. I am curious to see how the hurdles were overcome.
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Old January 29th, 2018, 05:36   #3
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maybe look into using a toyota trans and t case ? the nissan gearboxes use failure prone keys to affix the main input counter gear instead of splines... they don't hold up well with the relatively torqueless gas motor
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Old January 29th, 2018, 05:48   #4
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cool project BTW, maybe the trans will be fine but i've personally seen keyway failures on 2wd and 4wd trucks ...
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Old January 29th, 2018, 09:46   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbote View Post
cool project BTW, maybe the trans will be fine but i've personally seen keyway failures on 2wd and 4wd trucks ...
He said it is already running and driving, so guess we'll have to see if it holds up for him or not.
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Old January 29th, 2018, 19:16   #6
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Nice. I have seen an xterra swap and the guy noted that the nissan crank had the same flywheel bolt pattern as the ALH. Was that also the case in your swap?
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Old January 29th, 2018, 19:19   #7
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Nice to see you posting your swap. Jason did some really nice fabrication and welding on this truck.
I saw it in person this summer when I delivered his adapter.
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Old January 29th, 2018, 19:24   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motohead1 View Post
Nice. I have seen an xterra swap and the guy noted that the nissan crank had the same flywheel bolt pattern as the ALH. Was that also the case in your swap?
That is an urban myth or something.
Its close but definitely not a direct bolt on.
Just far enough off to be a pain in the ....
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Old January 29th, 2018, 19:34   #9
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That is an urban myth or something.
Its close but definitely not a direct bolt on.
Just far enough off to be a pain in the ....
Ah ok that sounds more like it. He must have made it kinda work. Thats a little scary. Not the place you want to have an egg shaped hole.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 09:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motohead1 View Post
Ah ok that sounds more like it. He must have made it kinda work. Thats a little scary. Not the place you want to have an egg shaped hole.
Loneranger has had a truck running around like that for years now. Over 500k km on the swap. Ford 2.3/2.5 flywheel just needs the one bolt hole elongated about 1/4 inch and it bolts right up apparently.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 15:58   #11
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Right, not a big deal to elongate the holes since they all go out the same amount and don't have any slop. Flywheels always have an alignment "spigot" of some sort that the flywheel centers onto, the bolts just hold it onto the crank. The chances of the flywheel and crank having that same diameter of alignment spigot are pretty slim but stranger things have happened.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 18:21   #12
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I'm thinking the trans will be fine. Nissan used the same internal gear set in a version of the truck in Australia that had a diesel motor. I am not the kind of guy to dump the clutch on dry pavement hoping for a spectacular drag launch lol.

Thanks Randy, so far I have zero issues with the flywheel and adapter. You did a great job on making it happen with all the variables that were involved.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 19:28   #13
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Ok got the engine out of the 01 jetta and into the shop...

and it's going to need a good cleaning!


For everyone that does an intake manifold cleaning, they should know that they are not really fixing the problem.

The cam looked like it was in decent shape though, too bad the lifters had little spider cracks in the face of all of them.

Made my own injector puller out of a old slide hammer.

Bottom of the head. Not as carboned up as I thought it would be considering the state of the intake runners.

Into my little soda blaster cabinet it goes.

Made a tool to go into the drill press for pushing on the valve spring retainers. Wow did that work good. I thought I was going to have to pull pretty hard on the handle, but there was only a little effort needed to crack them free and then they moved easy.

Oh look there is a swirl path for the air to follow under all that carbon.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 19:42   #14
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Side view of the head. Look at all the light!

Hmm.. Pistons are going to need some love too.

Thats better.

Time to chuck in a few headstuds to keep that head down.


Got some new INA lifters and a nice Colt Stage 2 cam to got with them.


Cam installed and lined up at TDC with my alignment tool.

Man do those cam lobes ever come close to rubbing the head!

Got the injectors back. They are fitted with .216 +50% Firad nozzles.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 19:47   #15
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And after replacing all the seals, new timing belt, water pump, rollers and thermostat, I gave it some paint because when would be the next time I would have the such a great opportunity to work on the engine outside the truck.
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