TDI conversions in California (Vanagon)

istewart

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
The time is fast approaching for me to dump the crappy wasserboxer in my 1987 Vanagon. The TDI is the most expensive engine conversion option, but will most likely pay for itself over the long haul, especially since there won't be anything to adequately replace the Vanagon on the market for years if ever.

It seems like I have two choices: an AHU conversion, which the guy at vanagonparts.com in Rancho Cordova quoted me around $10,000 for, and the fastforward ALH conversion which starts at the same price point. The fellow in Rancho Cordova swears and declares that his conversions are CARB-legal, while fastforward isn't so sure. I would greatly prefer the ALH option, but not if it's going to be a pain in the ass to make sure it's legal.

My question, then, is if anybody knows what it will take to get either of these conversions past the emissions regulators, or if there's anybody in state government whom I can get in touch with to ask.
 

karlaudi

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Location
San Francisco Bay area
TDI
2002 VW Golf GLS 1.9TDi; 2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDi
istewart said:
The time is fast approaching for me to dump the crappy wasserboxer in my 1987 Vanagon. The TDI is the most expensive engine conversion option, but will most likely pay for itself over the long haul, especially since there won't be anything to adequately replace the Vanagon on the market for years if ever.

It seems like I have two choices: an AHU conversion, which the guy at vanagonparts.com in Rancho Cordova quoted me around $10,000 for, and the fastforward ALH conversion which starts at the same price point. The fellow in Rancho Cordova swears and declares that his conversions are CARB-legal, while fastforward isn't so sure. I would greatly prefer the ALH option, but not if it's going to be a pain in the ass to make sure it's legal.

My question, then, is if anybody knows what it will take to get either of these conversions past the emissions regulators, or if there's anybody in state government whom I can get in touch with to ask.
You can go to the State of California CARB website and check for the CARB approval number or just call them. Vanagon Parts should be able to provide this information. If vanagonparts truly has a "CARB Approval" for this type of conversion, providing the proper documentation will be a piece of cake for them.

There was a VW Grey market wholesaler for years, here in the Bay Area, selling these conversions and / or TDi motors for years to the "Retail Market".

Too bad you do not have an old 1.6L Diesel Vanagon, as I would think the whole conversion process would be easier.
 

Hasenwerk

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Location
Quesnel, BC
TDI
1982 Cabriolet (BEW|VNT17|Stage4), 1989 VW TriStar Syncro soon-to-be CR TDI (CBEA), 2001 Ford Ranger Edge 4x4 (ALH|VNT17|R520|Stage4)
I am not sure of the California laws and regulatons. From what I have *heard* as long as it is a CA legal engine and as long as ALL pollution control items have been retained then it *should* be OK. But, as I can't garantee that, there is no way I am going to tell anyone that an ALH / AHU (put your engine here) swap is CA legal - that wouldn't be very right or honest. If someone can fill me in 100% to what the CA laws are, then please do so, so I can pass this informaiton on to other customers.

Cheers!
 

karlaudi

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Location
San Francisco Bay area
TDI
2002 VW Golf GLS 1.9TDi; 2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDi
Fast_Forward said:
I am not sure of the California laws and regulatons. From what I have *heard* as long as it is a CA legal engine and as long as ALL pollution control items have been retained then it *should* be OK. But, as I can't garantee that, there is no way I am going to tell anyone that an ALH / AHU (put your engine here) swap is CA legal - that wouldn't be very right or honest. If someone can fill me in 100% to what the CA laws are, then please do so, so I can pass this informaiton on to other customers.

Cheers!
A quick check reveals only gasoline to gasoline and diesel to gasoline conversions of Vanagons in California that are CARB certified and therefore legal.

Please refer to this link:

http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/devices/amquery.php


Generally you can update, but not back date. If the conversion has never been done before then there is a CARB process to certify. Which is why I though updating an older IDI Vanagon Diesel would be easier to convert to a current TDi specification than changing out a CARB approved gasoline engine equipped Vanagon for an engine combination that was never, in any form for this application, street legal in California as the old Diesel Vanagons were.

I hope this helps! :)
 

istewart

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
From hunting around on other forums, it appears that a gasoline-to-diesel conversion is indeed possible with a trip to the smog referee. However, that may just be Internet speculation, so I've contacted CARB via email and will call them if they don't respond. Supposedly, as long as the engine comes from a California car and retains all factory emissions equipment, there's a very high chance it will be considered legal... but I want this in writing from a CARB official before I go ahead with anything. I'll also have to ask them if the custom exhaust piping on the FastForward conversion would be a sticking point. Is there any emissions equipment like a filter or anything on the ALH exhaust system? You guys don't disable EGR, do you? I know quite a few people seeking performance have fitted straight pipes and disabled EGR, but California doesn't demand diesels go in for inspection, so it's unlikely they'd get caught unless they got pulled over. Even then, only the most well-trained of CHP officers would notice, as TDIs are still rather rare here, and not especially popular for performance modification compared to more common imports.

Referee approval would certainly make sense, as there are a number of popular engine swaps which I know have been performed in California that I don't see on that list. GM LS1s into Pontiac Fieros and Mazda RX7s, Subaru engines and Mazda rotaries into air-cooled VWs (although very few of those need to be smogged, but I'm pretty sure the Subaru swap at least has been done on late-model GenII Westfalias), and even GoWesty's uprated wasserboxer... unless they're using the excuse that it's the same engine. On the other hand, I just might've overlooked these, but the site isn't displaying anything for me right now even though it was earlier.

At the very least, I can argue with them that a late-model TDI can't possibly pollute more than the crap-grenade wasserboxer, especially one that's fast closing in on 200,000 miles. Even though they haven't let new diesels into the state for the past few years, I seriously doubt CARB has some irrational vendetta against the technology.
 

Hasenwerk

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Location
Quesnel, BC
TDI
1982 Cabriolet (BEW|VNT17|Stage4), 1989 VW TriStar Syncro soon-to-be CR TDI (CBEA), 2001 Ford Ranger Edge 4x4 (ALH|VNT17|R520|Stage4)
istewart said:
From hunting around on other forums, it appears that a gasoline-to-diesel conversion is indeed possible with a trip to the smog referee. However, that may just be Internet speculation, so I've contacted CARB via email and will call them if they don't respond. Supposedly, as long as the engine comes from a California car and retains all factory emissions equipment, there's a very high chance it will be considered legal... but I want this in writing from a CARB official before I go ahead with anything. I'll also have to ask them if the custom exhaust piping on the FastForward conversion would be a sticking point. Is there any emissions equipment like a filter or anything on the ALH exhaust system? You guys don't disable EGR, do you? I know quite a few people seeking performance have fitted straight pipes and disabled EGR, but California doesn't demand diesels go in for inspection, so it's unlikely they'd get caught unless they got pulled over. Even then, only the most well-trained of CHP officers would notice, as TDIs are still rather rare here, and not especially popular for performance modification compared to more common imports.
I can do the exhaust how ever you want it to be. I have used cats on these exhuast systems with great success - in fact they are a pretty good muffler. Making the EGR work isn't an issue either - it really all depends on what the customer is looking for. TIG welder = build almost anything! :cool:

istewart said:
Referee approval would certainly make sense....
That's why it best to do your homework now before you do the work and find out that it may not be possible - like some other "famous" conversions out there. :rolleyes:

istewart said:
At the very least, I can argue with them that a late-model TDI can't possibly pollute more than the crap-grenade wasserboxer, especially one that's fast closing in on 200,000 miles. Even though they haven't let new diesels into the state for the past few years, I seriously doubt CARB has some irrational vendetta against the technology.
Now you're talking about politics... anything is possible, or impossible - I find it depends on how warm their coffee is and if there is anything in it beside cream and sugar.:D
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
I've done an AHU into a Vanagon by means of the Fast Forward kit. Works great BUT the inline engine (any inline, not just the TDI) has a far too high mean piston speed to make the Vanagon a highway cruiser like the short-stroke waterboxer can. The gearing is just too low. The waterboxer will happily cruise along all day at 5000 RPM (been there, done that) and while it certainly is not very efficient it WILL do the job. The TDI lays down and dies at 4000 RPM, and really is not very efficient over about 3500. So if you like cruising at 70+ MPH you need to invest in the taller gears. Bigger tires are NOT the answer. The correct 185R14 reinforced tires are a necessity with the big box.

Now around town the TDI bolted to the stump-puller 091 trans will vault the Vanagon up to speed with authority, albeit with quite a bit more noise and vibration than the 'boxer.

I've also installed a 2.3L Go Westy waterboxer...now THAT is simply amazing! Too bad it still has spark plugs :rolleyes:

I personally do not think the waterboxer is that bad of an engine, just misunderstood and often tossed aside as some sort of freak in the Volkswagen lineup. I helped install one in a '73 Type 3 years ago. It was quiet, reliable, and FAST! And it was the smaller 1.9L! First time that Fastback buried its speedometer, I'm sure! The plumbing we had to do was a huge undertaking, though.
 
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karlaudi

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Location
San Francisco Bay area
TDI
2002 VW Golf GLS 1.9TDi; 2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDi
oilhammer said:
I've done an AHU into a Vanagon by means of the Fast Forward kit. Works great BUT the inline engine (any inline, not just the TDI) has a far too high mean piston speed to make the Vanagon a highway cruiser like the short-stroke waterboxer can. The gearing is just too low. The waterboxer will happily cruise along all day at 5000 RPM (been there, done that) and while it certainly is not very efficient it WILL do the job. The TDI lays down and dies at 4000 RPM, and really is not very efficient over about 3500. So if you like cruising at 70+ MPH you need to invest in the taller gears. Bigger tires are NOT the answer. The correct 185R14 reinforced tires are a necessity with the big box.

Now around town the TDI bolted to the stump-puller 091 trans will vault the Vanagon up to speed with authority, albeit with quite a bit more noise and vibration than the 'boxer.

I've also installed a 2.3L Go Westy waterboxer...now THAT is simply amazing! Too bad it still has spark plugs :rolleyes:

I personally do not think the waterboxer is that bad of an engine, just misunderstood and often tossed aside as some sort of freak in the Volkswagen lineup. I helped install one in a '73 Type 3 years ago. It was quiet, reliable, and FAST! And it was the smaller 1.9L! First time that Fastback buried its speedometer, I'm sure! The plumbing we had to do was a huge undertaking, though.

Years ago the Porsche factory ran Vanagons with the 6-cylinder wasser-boxer motor as factory company cars to transport Porsche Staff in groups as needed. As iIrecall the motor never when into production and possibly Oettinger picked up the tooling to build these motors. These Vanagons were reviewed in the predecessor of European Car magazine, then called VW & Porsche and prior to that Volkswagen Greats.
 

karlaudi

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Location
San Francisco Bay area
TDI
2002 VW Golf GLS 1.9TDi; 2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDi
Fast_Forward said:
I can do the exhaust how ever you want it to be. I have used cats on these exhuast systems with great success - in fact they are a pretty good muffler. Making the EGR work isn't an issue either - it really all depends on what the customer is looking for. TIG welder = build almost anything! :cool:



That's why it best to do your homework now before you do the work and find out that it may not be possible - like some other "famous" conversions out there. :rolleyes:



Now you're talking about politics... anything is possible, or impossible - I find it depends on how warm their coffee is and if there is anything in it beside cream and sugar.:D

If you pick from the VW / Audi parts bin as much as possible and do a clean factory like installation, like the best of European Tuners, like M-T-M, pleasing the CARB should be a piece of cake.

If I were to do this, I would try to match an early IDI Diesel Vanagon installation and base the TDi motor on the earliest TDi sold in the USA / Canada/ California with a Cat.

The best to both of you on this project!

:D :)
 

westyman

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Location
Fort Rock, Oregon
TDI
'90 Syncro 16" highroof camper mTDI project; '97 Passat TDI sedan 'parts car'
oilhammer said:
I've done an AHU into a Vanagon by means of the Fast Forward kit. Works great BUT the inline engine (any inline, not just the TDI) has a far too high mean piston speed to make the Vanagon a highway cruiser like the short-stroke waterboxer can. The gearing is just too low. The waterboxer will happily cruise along all day at 5000 RPM (been there, done that) and while it certainly is not very efficient it WILL do the job. The TDI lays down and dies at 4000 RPM, and really is not very efficient over about 3500. So if you like cruising at 70+ MPH you need to invest in the taller gears. Bigger tires are NOT the answer. The correct 185R14 reinforced tires are a necessity with the big box.

Now around town the TDI bolted to the stump-puller 091 trans will vault the Vanagon up to speed with authority, albeit with quite a bit more noise and vibration than the 'boxer.

I've also installed a 2.3L Go Westy waterboxer...now THAT is simply amazing! Too bad it still has spark plugs :rolleyes:

I personally do not think the waterboxer is that bad of an engine, just misunderstood and often tossed aside as some sort of freak in the Volkswagen lineup. I helped install one in a '73 Type 3 years ago. It was quiet, reliable, and FAST! And it was the smaller 1.9L! First time that Fastback buried its speedometer, I'm sure! The plumbing we had to do was a huge undertaking, though.
Some misconceptions here:
1) Yes, a stock TDI won't make any usable power beyond 400 rpm. But with the right free-flow exhaust, chip and/or injector change, well-designed intake and intercooler system, and a bit larger turbo, they will pull quite strong to 5000 rpm. But for goodness sakes, REGEAR it! What's the point of not using the real benefit of the TDI and it's gobs of torque at lower rpms? Mine, in a Syncro, will cruise all day at 80 if I'd like, but there's really no reason for that IMO.

2) There is also absolutely no reason to stick with the tiny stock tires, as there is a plethora of larger and better choices out there in both 14, 15, and 16" to swap to.

3) Properly done, a TDI won't have noticeably more vibration

4) We''l wait and see how long the souped-up GW wbx'ers last, so far their 2.5 blows all over the map. And it will never get much over half the fuel mileage of a TDI. Oh yeah, and doesn't run on alternative or renewable fuels. :D

For whatever the price, I think the TDI is the greatest thing ever for the Vanagon. BTW, Overland Parts in Gilroy is about to introduce a complete and tested TDI-ALH bolt-in kit for substatntially less than any of the conversion folks out there, and comes with everything new and zero-miles. Contact your nearest Overland dealer. :)
 
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istewart

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Fast_Forward said:
That's why it best to do your homework now before you do the work and find out that it may not be possible - like some other "famous" conversions out there. :rolleyes:
I don't have the 10 grand necessary right now, but I want to have all this laid out beforehand. The Vanagon is the most logical project car I have or can get ahold of easily, and making it last another 20 years is rather important to me as there's nothing on the horizon that can adequately replace it. VW may see fit to drop a TDI in their upcoming minivan, but no matter what, it'll still be a rebadged Chrysler... and there's a long list of reasons why I haven't traded the Vanagon in on one of the far more common junkmobile Voyagers.

I definitely plan on swapping the transmission, since my stock unit is suffering from the third-gear problem which will ultimately destroy it. I may have a 5-speed installed before the TDI swap and get the taller gears installed later.

I don't care how powerful GoWesty's engine is, it's still a wasserboxer and I firmly believe the wasserboxer is maligned for good reason. The 1.9L is more reliable than the 2.1L, because the 2.1L is a bored and stroked version of the 1.9... meaning it suffers from the same risks as similarly-sized aircooled drag motors, in addition to the cooling system! My stock wasserboxer has been through one rebuild already, and changing a timing belt is a whole lot more attractive than changing head gaskets at similar intervals.

I will get in contact with Overland and see what they have to say, but if they can't install it without raising the engine cover (as Fast Forward can), then there's no point in doing it. The Vanagon's clearest advantage over its lesser imitators is the storage space in the back. All in all, it may take me the better part of two years to save up for this, but if it gives me a car that will run for another 20...
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Yeah, that is the other problem with the TDI, if you put it at the FWD factory setting of a 15 degree tilt (as I did with the FF kit) you have to build a little "shed" in the engine cover for clearance. I have heard of people setting the engine lower in the deck, but then it hangs so low in back you bottom out easily.

My mom had an '87 Vanagon that is still going strong with its new owner at 220k miles without troubles, so I know it is possible for them to last. The biggest issue to me was its abysmal fuel economy. With its 3 speed non-lockup autobox, it could barely get 17 around town, and on the highway it was more like 15. Took a vacation one summer, and loaded down with the A/C blasting keeping 5 people comfy it only managed 13 on our trip to Florida!:eek: In contrast, my '82 4-speed Vanagon can get low 20s without a problem.

However, the '87 Vanagon never broke down and in all the time we had it it needed one voltage regulator (brushes wore out at 130k), a couple water pumps, one muffler, and both upper ball joints. When she sold it, the A/C compressor was noisy and the steering rack was starting to leak.

I am a firm believer in 20w50 oil and proper G11 coolant/distilled water mixture changed every year.

Incidentally, both the 1.9L and the 2.1L have a 94mm bore, just the stroke was increased. And this is why the lower end on the 2.1L seems to have signifigant wear at 150k miles or so. Our '87 is an exception, although I did test its oil pressure around 165k and it was on the low side but not so low it was turning the warning system on.

The TDI won't easily work in the 40 degree angle as the factory diesel T3 was, but I've heard with some pieces from the factory T3 turbodiesel you can get them to work. Something having to do with the oil drain on the turbocharger?

Either way, if you go the TDI route get the taller gears in the transmission. I think FF sells a taller R & P or something. Ideally a 5-speed would be worth its weight in gold. With the stock gearing, the AHU engine I did (which has an Upsolute chip, straight pipe, and HUGE intercooler with fan) will burn the tires off from a standing start in second gear...first is virtually worthless. If you could get the RPMs in fourth to be around 3000 RPM at 70 I think it would be the best package ever.
 

michigandon

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Location
Wake Forest, NC
TDI
1998 A3
What about using an aircooled tranny? According to the guys @ the vwdieselparts forum those offer the highest gearing and are best suited for a diesel conversion.

No personal experience, just repeating what I've read up on.
 

Hasenwerk

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Location
Quesnel, BC
TDI
1982 Cabriolet (BEW|VNT17|Stage4), 1989 VW TriStar Syncro soon-to-be CR TDI (CBEA), 2001 Ford Ranger Edge 4x4 (ALH|VNT17|R520|Stage4)
oilhammer said:
Yeah, that is the other problem with the TDI, if you put it at the FWD factory setting of a 15 degree tilt (as I did with the FF kit) you have to build a little "shed" in the engine cover for clearance. I have heard of people setting the engine lower in the deck, but then it hangs so low in back you bottom out easily.
We are no longer selling the 15 degree mounting kit that you have installed. Not that it was a bad kit, just that our 2nd generation kit is significantly better and the last 10 kits we have sold, nine were for ALH/BEW TDIs and one for a 2003 1.8T - simply no demand for the older style blocks with the higher milage on them. The 15 degree kit does need to have an engine cover modificaiton. The 23.5 degree kits that we install here do not need an engine cover modificaiton, no turbo mods, and there is no loss in ground clearance!!! Basically the perfect installation for mounting an ALH / BEW into your Vanagon. Vibration on a properly installed engine with the old kit was "as bad" as the wasserboxer, the new installation kit works even better and is easier to install and cheaper to produce - it's all around much more refined and improved product and it has a lower price too! :)

oilhammer said:
The TDI won't easily work in the 40 degree angle as the factory diesel T3 was, but I've heard with some pieces from the factory T3 turbodiesel you can get them to work. Something having to do with the oil drain on the turbocharger?
The factory T3 was 50 degrees. There is no practical way of making a late style TDI work at 50 degrees without tonnes of custom part fabrication. As motor mount locations are different and the oil pan and oil pump are completely different. Turbo drain lines are also an issue at this angle like you pointed out, but manipulating the turbo and a custom drain line will solve that - basically too much work for the average shade tree mechanic to do.

oilhammer said:
Either way, if you go the TDI route get the taller gears in the transmission. I think FF sells a taller R & P or something. Ideally a 5-speed would be worth its weight in gold. With the stock gearing, the AHU engine I did (which has an Upsolute chip, straight pipe, and HUGE intercooler with fan) will burn the tires off from a standing start in second gear...first is virtually worthless. If you could get the RPMs in fourth to be around 3000 RPM at 70 I think it would be the best package ever.
Yes, taller gearing is a must - ideally I think you want your 65 MPH speed to be at 2700 RPM plus or minus. I, like Karl, can cruise at 80 with great ease in my Syncro. There is more than enough torque to handle 29" tall tires and taller gearing. Also, by changing 4th and 3rd if budget allows, you still retain stock gearing at the bottom end for off road and city driving. The taller R+P that we sell is for the automatic Vanagon, as there is no way that I am aware of that you can change 3rd gear to something taller.
 

istewart

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
oilhammer said:
Yeah, that is the other problem with the TDI, if you put it at the FWD factory setting of a 15 degree tilt (as I did with the FF kit) you have to build a little "shed" in the engine cover for clearance. I have heard of people setting the engine lower in the deck, but then it hangs so low in back you bottom out easily.
FF's kit fits under the engine cover, and since he's using it in offroad vehicles I don't think that bottoming out is as big a risk (although the Syncro does sit higher than a stock Vanagon, and higher still than my lowered-from-the-factory Wolfsburg).

Apparently only the first two gears on the 5-speed need to be swapped out? That's what I've read, anyway. And I want whatever's going to get me the best fuel economy. I've also heard that there's a 21-gallon fuel tank available from Europe. Is that true? If so, how much is it and will it fit in my van or is it specific to a Syncro or something?

Also, I got in touch with Overland and they say they will release info about their kit in late June.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Seems when I had my T3 Synchro I did some measuring and didn't think its lowest point was much different than the early 2WD T3, even though it looked much higher. I know the driveline sat lower in relation to the body. There is a huge area above the Synchro's transaxle where the large fuel tank lives, but if you look above a 2WD T3 you won't see nearly as much room. Also, the engine sits "way down" when you view it from above looking through the engine compartment lid on the Synchro.

I'd be interested to see the new 23 degree setup, that would be a really nice deal to still have the flat floor. Is there any issues with oil pickup or do you build a different part for the oil pickup tube?

As far as vibration, the stock 2.1L waterboxer cannot be heard nor hardly felt behind the wheel in a properly tuned Vanagon. But the AHU engine never lets you forget it is there. I'd never find it unacceptable, but it gave off a bit more vibration felt in the seat of your pants at idle than any of my other diesel Volkswagen front-drivers except for the A1 cars. But, I would imagine that the liquid-filled mounts on the A2 and A3 cars do quite a bit to squelch the diesel vibes! But the roar of a straight-piped TDI from the back of a Vanagon sure sounds sweet to me!

Another thing as far as transmissions go, is to get the reinforced welded 3rd/4th shift fork that the late 091 trans was notorious for breaking. In fact, that's how I got my Synchro for a good price...it was stuck in 4th gear!:D

FF, is the taller R&P for the autobox the same R&P that the manual uses, or is it something different altogether? I agree, about 2700 at 65 MPH would be ideal. Right in the meat of the TDI's narrow power curve. The stock gearing in the T3 makes you feel like you are driving a TDI Golf/Jetta/NB around in 3rd gear all the time on the highway!:cool:
 

istewart

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
The Syncro fuel tank is in a different place than the 2WD one. For all I know, the 21-gallon tank I heard about could be off the 16" Syncros or something, I'm just wondering if anybody knows for sure.

The Wolfsburg Edition is definitely lower than the early Vanagon... the '82 diesel my grandfather had rode a couple inches higher. Sometime in 1987 or after, they dropped all the 2WD Vanagons to the Wolfsburg height from the factory.
 

Hasenwerk

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Location
Quesnel, BC
TDI
1982 Cabriolet (BEW|VNT17|Stage4), 1989 VW TriStar Syncro soon-to-be CR TDI (CBEA), 2001 Ford Ranger Edge 4x4 (ALH|VNT17|R520|Stage4)
oilhammer said:
I'd be interested to see the new 23 degree setup, that would be a really nice deal to still have the flat floor. Is there any issues with oil pickup or do you build a different part for the oil pickup tube?
We look after the oil pickup tube! You can see the pictures of our first conversion - I need the neatened up version of those photos now... at http://www.hasenwerk.ca

oilhammer said:
As far as vibration, the stock 2.1L waterboxer cannot be heard nor hardly felt behind the wheel in a properly tuned Vanagon. But the AHU engine never lets you forget it is there. I'd never find it unacceptable, but it gave off a bit more vibration felt in the seat of your pants at idle than any of my other diesel Volkswagen front-drivers except for the A1 cars. But, I would imagine that the liquid-filled mounts on the A2 and A3 cars do quite a bit to squelch the diesel vibes! But the roar of a straight-piped TDI from the back of a Vanagon sure sounds sweet to me!
Besides on start up and shut down, I never had any vibration issues with any kit that we had done assuming there was nothing impeding the engine and that mounts were orientated the right way. The number one thing that causes vibrations is the exhaust - make sure it can not move as compared to the engine. I have seen many a stock TD Vanagon in Europe with more vibrations than what I have ever seen with one of my installs.

oilhammer said:
Another thing as far as transmissions go, is to get the reinforced welded 3rd/4th shift fork that the late 091 trans was notorious for breaking. In fact, that's how I got my Synchro for a good price...it was stuck in 4th gear!:D
Any competant transmission rebuilder will insist on the late style Synchromesh being installed in there - this is the failure point on 3/4 with these gearboxes. You bust the fork after trying to force out the stuck gear! :rolleyes: By the way... the van is a Syncro, the thing in the gearbox is a Synchro. :)

oilhammer said:
FF, is the taller R&P for the autobox the same R&P that the manual uses, or is it something different altogether? I agree, about 2700 at 65 MPH would be ideal. Right in the meat of the TDI's narrow power curve. The stock gearing in the T3 makes you feel like you are driving a TDI Golf/Jetta/NB around in 3rd gear all the time on the highway!:cool:
The R+P in an automatic is completely different than a 091 / 094 transmission.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Sorry about my spelling...you'd think a Volkswagen nut like me, especially a Vanagon nut and a guy who has owned a couple 4WD ones would know how to spell "Syncro" :cool: :D

Especially since I bought new decals for the '87 van I had and put them on...big bold letters!:eek:

One thing I miss, was the mountain-goat Jeep-embarrassing off road ability of that Vanagon! Even with stock sized tires on the factory alloy wheels it was amazing how agile that van was. I better stop or I'll be looking for another one to buy....;)
 

Kerrshadda

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2010
Location
29 Palms, CA
TDI
Planning to buy and modify
Here is the website that has the basic guidelines on it:

(http://www.autorepair.ca.gov/80_BARResources/07_AutoRepair/Engine_Change_Guidelines.html)

Also here is the number for the San Bernardino County Smog Referee, you have to call and set up an appointment then they will call you back (800-622-7733) You can ask him all your smog related questions.

He is the one that told me if I put a TDI in my traveler it would be smog exempt. If the vehicle is older than 1998 he will confirm it is a diesel then you get a tag that makes it smog exempt.

Ref.-(http://dmv.ca.gov/vr/smogfaq.htm)

Wow this is an old post! NM....doh!!!
 
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gruppe_a

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Location
Lake Tahoe, CA
TDI
'91 Golf
He is the one that told me if I put a TDI in my traveler it would be smog exempt. If the vehicle is older than 1998 he will confirm it is a diesel then you get a tag that makes it smog exempt.
If the vehicle is older than '98? I thought the engine needs to be older than '98...
 

caddywompus

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
TDI
2000 Eurovan 1.9 TDI AHU 5-spd syncro
The donor engine always has to be from a later CA legal vehicle than the one being removed.
 
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