TDI Town & Country

bikeprof

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Location
Pagosa Springs, Colorado(YEAH!)
TDI
1996 Passat B4 Variant white, 1996 Town & Country 3.8 LXI
YEP, or trade down on the size of the tires for a higher gearing ratio which WILL be way easier to do.
You can also keep the taller tires w/rims for higway speeds and better MPG.

"Gasser" trannies are dime a dozen..., how many do you want?
 

Losha

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
TDI
06 Jetta TDI DSG, 2001 Golf TDI, 97 Passat TDI, 02 NB 1.8T, 01 A4 1.8T
My idea was (if I ever do TDI conversion into van) get chip, bigger nozzles, VNT-17, and that should give me planny of power and still great mpg. Wouldn't you guys think that would be fun to have TDI with around 140hp/200+tq in Caravan and still get like 30mpg.:D
 

bikeprof

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Location
Pagosa Springs, Colorado(YEAH!)
TDI
1996 Passat B4 Variant white, 1996 Town & Country 3.8 LXI
Losha: Actually, it should be close to 35MPG +/- @ highway speeds!

What I meant in my earlier post was to replace the existing tires for smaller circumference ones, therefore raising the final drive ratio, in town, this is better for faster pick-up of speed(in case, FYI.).
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
Hi - back from the blackhole with updates - the TDI is in its new home! I have uploaded pictures at my gallery here. I took the half shafts (all four of them) to the drivetrain shop Tuesday - rough estimate was three hours - far faster than I could have ever done them. Next up is intake plumbing, coolant hoses and (yay!) wiring.

I'm still missing a wastegate control solenoid, so if anyone knows where I might get one of those cheap, by all means, let me know. Otherwise, I have a two-way solenoid I can use in the mean time.

Cheers,

Travis
 

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
FrankenD:

It would have been SO much easier to simply bolt in a 2.5TDI to a Eurovan gasser, but with so many Caravans around, I can understand your choice. Keep it up and we can see you cruise the highways and biways any day now.
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
I did look at going the VW minivan route, but most of those were in Canada, older, and just plain old ugly (no offense - just my opinion :D ) So I decided to do something that would use parts that were readily available from local stores and chassis that were a dime a dozen. Or in our case, $500 for one.

Thanks!
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
Quick update (I'll post the pic's soon, I promise :rolleyes:) I got the halfshafts today from the machine shop - they look great. I have the accelerator pedal mounted now too. Now, on to the plumbing - where is everyone getting this wonderful blue tubing for their intake?? I really like it and cannot for the life of me find a place to get it. Also, I have an idea, but was wondering what others might suggest for radiator hose. The upper is the same size on the motor as on the Chrysler radiator, but the lower is two different sizes, so I may need to fab an adapter (yay).

Later!

Travis
 

vwmikel

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
May 5, 2005
Location
Las Vegas, NV
TDI
'94 Golf Sport TDI
Frankendiesel said:
Quick update (I'll post the pic's soon, I promise :rolleyes:) I got the halfshafts today from the machine shop - they look great. I have the accelerator pedal mounted now too. Now, on to the plumbing - where is everyone getting this wonderful blue tubing for their intake?? I really like it and cannot for the life of me find a place to get it. Also, I have an idea, but was wondering what others might suggest for radiator hose. The upper is the same size on the motor as on the Chrysler radiator, but the lower is two different sizes, so I may need to fab an adapter (yay).

Later!

Travis
Try ebay and type in "Silicone Connector" or "Silicone Coupler".
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
I updated the photo gallery for those interested. Here's my first attempt at posting pictures in the forum - if it works, this is the driver's half-shaft. Saddler Powertrain in Cedar Rapids IA (ring a bell?) did both shafts for me. They did a fantastic job - custom made bushings welded on and trued up.



I sure hope they recover from the flood - their business is about 40 feet from the river bank. They were under probably 8 feet of water when the river crested.

Anywho - next up is wiring and plumbing for me. I'm looking at options for the intake - I think I'll go with a cone filter for now and to at least get it mobile, I'll skip the intercooler. This is just short-term until we get settled into our new house where I can clean up the loose ends. For one thing, I don't want to tow the van out to the place, but it would also be a great vehicle to haul stuff!

Later,

Travis
 

TDIsyncro

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
Saskatoon, SK
TDI
Audi/TDI x 2
Frankendiesel said:
Quick update (I'll post the pic's soon, I promise :rolleyes:) I got the halfshafts today from the machine shop - they look great. I have the accelerator pedal mounted now too. Now, on to the plumbing - where is everyone getting this wonderful blue tubing for their intake?? I really like it and cannot for the life of me find a place to get it. Also, I have an idea, but was wondering what others might suggest for radiator hose. The upper is the same size on the motor as on the Chrysler radiator, but the lower is two different sizes, so I may need to fab an adapter (yay).

Later!

Travis

I have purchased silicone hose from these guys http://www.siliconeintakes.com/ They were good to deal with. They also have a website called freezeboost.com Also, your local truck supply store should have the straight sections in stock.
For radiator hose adapters - I have used all kinds of stuff in the past including copper pipe with fittings, muffler pipe, and spent hours in the warehouse areas of local parts suppliers looking through the wall of hoses. Just make sure you weld/braze/solder a lip on the end to make sure the hose can not blow off. If you can get away with some standard sizes, the stainless steel joiners from the silicone suppliers will work for patching a bunch of hoses together. On another note, silicone coolant hose is a wonderfull product and the intercooler hosing has roughly the same temp and pressure rating...might be an idea in there.
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
It's Alive

Frankendiesel has breathed its first today! :D I ran enough wiring to power up the beast and there was just enough fuel in the lines for me to call it a success. Sorry for no picture updates - lots of effort this weekend though - wiring is in and 90% hooked up. Don't have luxuries like cruise, A/C, speedo or tach though. After the test run, I got all the coolant lines installed (bypassing the heater cores for now) - found some really spiffy flexible SS coolant line on eBay that I used for the lower hose. I'll post pictures soon as the description would be a mile long...

Just as a side note - we're moving this week, and I'm trying my best to get this thing mobile right now so I don't have to drag it out to the new place. Wiring is lousy (just enough for it to run), plumbing is pretty good, and several items won't work yet (a temp gauge would be nice :rolleyes:), but hopefully with a few more hours of labor, it'll be drivable. These minivans make great moving vehicles too you know... ;)

I anticipate driving it around with my laptop talking to the ECU for these first few weeks to monitor vital signs. Now if I can just get it to the muffler shop w/o being pulled over. :cool:

Later!

Travis
 

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
Travis:

Fantastic. Good luck with the move. Looking forward to seeing some pics of the Chysler in near-complete stage and hearing about how it drives.

Pat
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
Maiden Voyage

Frankendiesel has hit the streets...

Synopsis of bugs discovered: Fuel delivery - I kept having fuel return lines pop off their appropriate spigot. Turns out the return line was just as plugged as the send line (don't know if I mentioned that already - obviously that was cured before initial start-up). Funny how gasoline will turn to solid black gunk after sitting for a year plus. I had to run a wire down both lines to get them unclogged. After clearing this issue, it will pull fuel past the stock (unpowered) in-tank pump.

Exhaust - I took it to my boys at the muffler shop today. They did a fantastic job - I forgot the camera in the van as it was on the hoist, so no pictures of that yet. They did, of course, put the cat back on, but I went with 2.5" straight back after that. It sounds very mild (it IS a minivan afterall) and should breath very well.

Clutch - this is the bug I'm still working on. The clutch doesn't disengage the pressure plate all the way. You can imagine the fun I'm having in city traffic with this. You have to stop the vehicle in order to go from reverse to first then restart. Well, my muffler guy pointed out today that my master cylinder is perfectly verticle and as such, I've got a pocket of air above the entry point of the reservoir. So I need to pop the piston out the top of the master, let gravity do its thing, then reassemble - should be no air after that.

All this amidst moving; boy moving...what a pain. It's amazing all the STUFF you can accumulate in just 8 years. :(

I'll try to get the camera unloaded tomorrow and update the photo gallery. It finally looks like a van again!

Later,

Travis
 

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
Travis:

If you had asked, I would have come down and helped you move if you would have come back here and finished my TDI conversion.

Pat
 

markward

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Location
Loxahatchee, Florida
TDI
82 Vanagon and 2011 JSW
Travis, before you pull the master apart, try back bleeding. Take a clean oil can and fill with brake fluid. With a piece of clear hose, connect the oil can to the bleeder on the slave cylinder. Open the bleeder and pump the oil can smooth even pumps. This will force the fluid back up into the master and then into the resevoir. It should carry the air with it. Start with a near empty resevoir to keep it from spilling over.
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
Hi gang - long time no see; was in the "blackout period" with our move and all (which has gone well BTW). I updated a picture on my gallery, but Franky has hit the streets! Drove it out to my new place July 18. I didn't have a clutch, but was desparate to have it moved out, so about 11:00 at night, I powershifted my way out with no exhaust system. It ran great...for a while! The next few days it was plagued with more fuel line blockage (did I tell you that story already?) on the return line this time. Those have subsided, so the fuel is flowing. I have a custom 2.5" exhuast (sans-muffler) that sounds nice and mellow (requirement for a minivan you know).

Oh - the clutch - I rebuilt the master cylinder, which had probably been damaged by my use of the PS fluid w/seal "conditioner" but it still didn't work. Well, long story short, air was getting trapped because of the vertical mounting scheme. So my buddy had a great suggestion - draw a vacuum on the system through a bleeder jar, then release the vacuum and the system will draw in the new fluid. Beautiful man; beautiful. Clutch works fine now.

Next step is to get the PS pump hooked up before driving it much longer. Then I need to wire in a wastegate controller, move the ECU from under the hood to a more protected area, plumb in the intercooler (bought a 3" AL tubing kit off eBay) and tidy up the wiring. It really is fun to drive. I've filled it up once at the pump and no one gawked, mainly becuase it was one of those multi-fuel pumps, so it wasn't obvious I was putting in diesel.

Later,

Travis
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
St. Lois - hey, was just there a while back in the Greasy Benz. My wife is actually going to go down there in January. I'll keep you on call if the van breaks down - LOL! :D Come on up anytime - lot's of interesting TDI's in the neighborhood.

I want to drive up to Waterloo this month - there's gonna be a TDI GTG that coincides with the iRenew energy expo. At this rate, I probably won't make it. :( I really need that PS pump hooked up...

Travis
 

Losha

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
TDI
06 Jetta TDI DSG, 2001 Golf TDI, 97 Passat TDI, 02 NB 1.8T, 01 A4 1.8T
Congrats on your successful TDI conversion into minivan!!!

Hey, you mentioned once that you are planning to make a trip to SD sometime once you done with project. Are you still planning on come down here? i would love to see your new Chrysler Town & Country TDI,.
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
Oh yeah - we go through SD about once or twice a year...next trip isn't planned yet, but probably be spring '09. I'll be sure to drop you a line though. Maybe by that time I'll be searching for veggie stops ;-)

And for those who might be curious about performance data so far - I haven't driven off the first tank yet, so I don't know mileage nor do I have a good estimate as I have spilled quite a bit with all the fuel line seizures. It has also done a fair amount of idling for troubleshooting...stand-by for news.

You can definitely tell the tires are taller - it is geared very high. I don't think I've even hit 5th gear in town yet (45mph, estimated only - speedo isn't online yet.)

Travis
 

Losha

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
TDI
06 Jetta TDI DSG, 2001 Golf TDI, 97 Passat TDI, 02 NB 1.8T, 01 A4 1.8T
oilhammer said:
Just aquired a '99 T&C with a blown 3.8L....and I am pretty sure I can get a wrecked (but still running) '98 Jetta TDI for cheap.

Hmmmmmm....... :D
Go for it man!!!!! Good luck, keep us updated if you decided to do conversion.:D
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
After almost hijacking the TDI Saturn thread, I thought I'd bump this thread for a quick update.

Wiring is almost done. I just need to wire in the wastegate control solenoid, fan control temp sensor, and a few other odds and ends. I have a clutch reservoir mounted and installed from a Yamaha crotch rocket. It didn't need to be very big, and this little guy has a cute little mounting tang complete with rubber bushing and steel insert. I'll try to get pictures soon.

Next big hurdle is the intake plumbing. I have a "universal" intercooler mounting kit from eBay that I think will get me most of the way there. I think I may need to mount the intercooler way down in front of the tire (protected by the plastic fender liner of course). I just can't find any room on the front of the van for the IC.

Travis
 

phazersonstun

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
Location
Southern California
TDI
Only parts...
DUDE! sweet conversion! I remember some guy put an Isuzu 3.3 into a 1998 Dodge caravan and was getting over thirty miles to the gallon! This is a great idea because these vans are pretty well put together, and can be made to last. And you are right when you said the parts would be easy to find.

Keep It Up!
 

markward

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Location
Loxahatchee, Florida
TDI
82 Vanagon and 2011 JSW
Travis, it is probably a little too late, but some of the people doing conversions to Vanagons are using a water cooled intercooler. It requires a seperate elec pump and small radiator, but does take away the requirement of having the intercooler in the air flow. Keep you accel pedal dry. :)
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
Do you know that fellow who put the Isuzu in his van? I have a copy of an article from a farmer's newsletter with his name and phone number. He's right over in Illinois too; I should really call him sometime :)

I had dismissed the idea of a water cooled intercooler early on, but could be convinced otherwise. I like simple. Simple = reliable. So running water lines and adding a pump just didn't appeal to my simplistic mindset. And of course the extra expense wasn't very appealing either. But I'll go take a look at the Westfalia boys and see if I'm missing out on anything. I would still have to plumb in the intercooler somewhere though and even though I'm putting an I4 in place of a V6, I'm running out of room for this ancillary stuff!

Thanks,

Travis
 

Frankendiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI
So tonight I was working on the wastegate controller...I bought a boost controller from an ALH (VNT turbo obviously) thinking "oh, a wastegate control is a wastegate control." Well, I forgot that the ALH was using the variable nozzle turbo that does not have a wastegate. Anyway, my question tonight is - does anyone know how the VNT boost control solenoid works? I blew & sucked in all three ports (labelled 'VAC' 'OUT' & 'ATM') and energized/de-energized the coil and cannot figure out what is going on inside this little solenoid. I'm guessing it won't work as a wastegate control solenoid. :( I need to go up to my neighbor's '98 TDI and see how his wastegate controller is wired in; I'm assuming it's a simple solenoid that either connects the wastegate to vacuum or vents it. Can anyone confirm or deny that?

Thanks!

TLG
 
Last edited:

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Cool project!

The AHU does not have a VNT... the ALH, PD, and CR do. The AHU is a standard wastegate style turbocharger.
 
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