I mean you should know your vehicle clearance and drive accordingly. People will say "aluminum pan, it's the low point of the motor, etc". Smashing your steel oil pan isn't ideal either. There was a logical reason the tdi has aluminum pan, but I can't remember. Rigidity with the bell housing or something?I've owned multiple MKIV cars for the past 20 years, driven well over a half million miles in them. Some lowered. Never broken an oil pan. It's not a flawed design, it's a user problem.
Cool swap! what kind of MPGs do you get with it typically VS max highway?https://forums.tdiclub.com/index.php?media/tent.138133/
2" of lift, stock turbo, .216 injectors and tune. Enough power to pull a small toy and gear. Still gets 47mpg highway, not sure how much towing affects mpg. I have 205/70/15 Geolander AT's, great on gravel and dirt roads, fair in the snow. Better tires for traction can be found, but it travels mostly the road. Handles two tracks good, but gearing is kinda high for sharp curves and whoop de do's in the woods. I Never leave home without a skidplate, on any of my vehicles.
That said, it just wasn't quite good enough, some places I go just require 4wd.
https://forums.tdiclub.com/index.php?media/fe6e3d2a-f74d-42c1-8f36-fccf88bdcc5b-jpeg.145427/ So I kept it, but added this
I'll have to see if I can find pics of what a 6/10 trail looks like ....I don't really do any hardcore trails, in fact the hardest trail I've done was Stony Pass up on Colorado, rated around a 6/10 on OnxOffroad and other apps.
If I'm getting a TDI I'd want to have it long term. For a short term beater I'd just get an old Prius or Camry.OP, it sounds like you may be letting remote hypotheticals develop into disproportionate purchase anxieties.
Speaking from experience (jeeps and tube truggies/wheeling in NC,TN,UT), the cheapest thing you can do long term is just to drive whatever vehicle you have now regardless of MPG- especially if you expect to "save into" another project just by having a different daily. Unless you rack up an uncommonly large number of miles a year, the savings just won't be realized. Ever.
Try using any number of online cost of ownership or dollars per mile calculators and see how much you'll be saving over your intended ownership period. Then estimate that with current trends, a crapbox stock Tacoma will be valued somewhere around eleventy trillion dollars on the used market by the time fuel prices come down enough that you're considering selling your temporary TDI/Subaru/Tercel.