Tell Us About Your Running Swaps: Mileage Racked Up,Impressions,Things You Would....

G60ING

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Location
Annapolis, MD
TDI
No TDIs Currently, I have an R36 Corrado. I've had an ALH Corrado swap, AHU Corrado swap and 2003 TDI Jetta
Bump for more running swaps
 

jjordan11

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Location
Lehi, UT
TDI
1988 Audi 80 quattro PD130, 1982 Westfalia TDI
Can we get some fuel economy posts from the Toyota pickup crowd?
 

Reddok

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Location
Hamilton, Ontario
TDI
'00 Jetta TDI 01M, '02 Jeep Liberty Renegade ALH TDI swap
30MPG from my Jeep Liberty TDI swap so far. About 1000kms on it. No major problems yet. Minor stuff - blew my custom P/S line and had to fix it properly and have a slight coolant leak where the Jeep lines meet the Jetta ones.

I would have used factory TDI mounts from the start to reduce vibration and I probably would have used the ACME adapter and a toyota transmission if I had to do it again - too many hours spent designing and customizing my own adapters.
 

jimbote

Certified Volkswagen Nut
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Location
spiral arm, milky way (aka central NC)
TDI
Tacoma 4x4 converted to TDI
Can we get some fuel economy posts from the Toyota pickup crowd?
OK I'll chime in a bit....my first checked tank was 31.7mpg ...with out trying...not sure what this tank will bring but I'm over 330 miles(uncorrected) with just under 1/2 tank....and like reddok I've just been enjoying the drive although the truck is far from "finished" ...lots of spaghetti still hanging where the glovebox should be, exhaust still exits just under the passenger floorboard...big hole in the firewall where the wire runs through and the loom boot "should" be:rolleyes: ....boost and egt are hanging out on the dash held in place by a piece of black foam:D ...truck is noisy when under load but most is from the unfinished exhaust....just last week I finally put the grille in only to discover my egt's went up almost 200 degrees average :eek: and the smoke noticeably increased, well the grille bars cover nearly 50% of the cooler...so guess where they are goin!! ...overall I'm very impressed by the power/torque from a lowly 2.0 diesel and I have no problem whatsoever getting in front of traffic and staying ahead...I've had the truck up to 100mph and it still had some left!!!...also let my cummins buddy drive the truck and he made a semi serious offer to trade for his 96' dodge five speed diesel ;) ...so that "boosted" my ego a bit :)
 

TDIwestfalia

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Location
Lake Tahoe, CA
TDI
97 TDI, 89 Westfalia TDI camper, 87 syncro 4x4
1989 Vanagon westfalia with 97 AHU motor
Mileage since being swapped:
27k miles
Started Driving: exactly 1 year ago

Mods: Malone Tune, PP520's then switch to Titans and much happier, liquid intercooled with 26" radiator up front, 2.5 stainless mandrel bent exhaust

Impressions: Great for long trips. I usually drive it around 65-70 MPH and get 29 MPG on average.(has a .70 4th gear and 215 70 16 tires) Drove it to Alaska this summer and pulled 500 miles out of the 16 gallon tank a few times.

Issues since going on the road:
I had the AHU head ported by Frank and he removed far too much material on it and the#4 intake port cracked and into a water jacket(hairline) on our way back from AK. He would not offer a solution or discount on another head. I ended up buying a stock head from him as I was stranded. He said I overheated the motor which simply never happened and I don't see how that would crack an intake port anyway. He simply took off too much material. Needless to say I will never use him for anything ever again. Live and learn.

gauges - VDO oil, EGT, boost, oil press & oil temp on dash


Mods for the future: Searching for a syncro 4x4 drive train to swap in. Its really not that hard to make a 2wd vanagon a 4 wheel drive if you have a donor vehicle, very little welding is required.

 
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teggy6

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Location
snoho, wa
TDI
toyota tdi in future
OK I'll chime in a bit....my first checked tank was 31.7mpg ...with out trying...not sure what this tank will bring but I'm over 330 miles(uncorrected) with just under 1/2 tank....and like reddok I've just been enjoying the drive although the truck is far from "finished" ...lots of spaghetti still hanging where the glovebox should be, exhaust still exits just under the passenger floorboard...big hole in the firewall where the wire runs through and the loom boot "should" be:rolleyes: ....boost and egt are hanging out on the dash held in place by a piece of black foam:D ...truck is noisy when under load but most is from the unfinished exhaust....just last week I finally put the grille in only to discover my egt's went up almost 200 degrees average :eek: and the smoke noticeably increased, well the grille bars cover nearly 50% of the cooler...so guess where they are goin!! ...overall I'm very impressed by the power/torque from a lowly 2.0 diesel and I have no problem whatsoever getting in front of traffic and staying ahead...I've had the truck up to 100mph and it still had some left!!!...also let my cummins buddy drive the truck and he made a semi serious offer to trade for his 96' dodge five speed diesel ;) ...so that "boosted" my ego a bit :)
is this in a toyota pickup? what year, and what motor did you use?
 

scubagli

Veteran Member
Joined
May 7, 2009
Location
leeds ny
TDI
1986 audi 4000Q ALH SWAP in progress...
90 MKII Jetta 01 ALH, Swap was done in 01-02, 110k on swap almost 500k on shell.
I am the third owner, and did all the mods, in sig. I love this car, drive it year round, and have put 19k on it in just under two years.
 

jnxtheband

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Location
pdx
TDI
92 GTI AHU swap (gone), 91 GTI VR6
92 gti

98 jetta ahu swap with 188k. runs pretty well. 60 miles driven so far.

pros: running a b3 passat lower radiator support and mk3 tdi radiator. the b3 lower support gave enough clearance to keep the a/c compressor away from the lower radiator hose.

corrado slc airbox combined with a 95ish saab 900 intake boot. The tdi intake boot was too long in conjuction with the slc airbox.

regrets: using any motor mounts other than stock. I have a BFI poly transmission mount and it rattles the chassis way to much.

im using a 180 pvc pipe to bypass the intercooler till i find a suitable one to fit the car. Im trying really hard to not cut body sections to make one fit so the search has taken a while.
 

scubagli

Veteran Member
Joined
May 7, 2009
Location
leeds ny
TDI
1986 audi 4000Q ALH SWAP in progress...
92 gti

98 jetta ahu swap with 188k. runs pretty well. 60 miles driven so far.

pros: running a b3 passat lower radiator support and mk3 tdi radiator. the b3 lower support gave enough clearance to keep the a/c compressor away from the lower radiator hose.

corrado slc airbox combined with a 95ish saab 900 intake boot. The tdi intake boot was too long in conjuction with the slc airbox.

regrets: using any motor mounts other than stock. I have a BFI poly transmission mount and it rattles the chassis way to much.

im using a 180 pvc pipe to bypass the intercooler till i find a suitable one to fit the car. Im trying really hard to not cut body sections to make one fit so the search has taken a while.
big bumper? if so a frontmount fits no problem, no trimming required.
 

GTiTDi

TDIClub Enthusiast, Macht Schnell! Vendor , w/Busi
Joined
Oct 18, 2010
Location
3 Spruce st Wareham, gateway to Cape Cod Massachus
TDI
'91 GTI CJAA swap,'02 Jetta wagon ALH swap, '03 GTI 1.8T rally car, '03 Sprinter 3500
or a side mount from an A3...here is a pic of my SMIC vent that cost $1.97 from home depot...

only required minor modification to the inner fender..
 

Tdi Kick

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Location
GTA
TDI
91 Sidekick AHU, '13 A3 CBEA, '05 Passat Variant BHW
1991 Sidekick, AHU.

Done near 30000 kms on the conversion, driven daily, everywhere.

Feedback: I LOVE this truck! Its great to drive. a bit noisy, especially on hwy. These trucks are REALLY tough, though they have VERY little in the way of sound deadening. Add the removable tops to that...:rolleyes:

my goals for the truck:

I wanted what the North American market refused to give: a dead reliable fun to drive light truck with killer fuel economy and could carry my tools and equipt, and tow a solid 1500 lbs. I love my s-10/t-15 Jimmy's, but I was TOTALLY tired of 450-500 km to a 77 litre tank:mad:

There have been plenty of ppl who have done vw diesel into a trackKick, yet VERY few TDI's, most of them build primarily for off-roading, some with DD as a secondary.

Things I did right:

Keeping the engine setup STOCK until satisfactorily running. I'd done engine swaps before, mostly american v8 stuff and I'd learned that there is NOTHING more frustrating than chasing down "mod ghosts": conversion and drivability issues due to modifying the engine along the way. I kept the EGR,EGR Cooler, intercooler, ECM, sensor locations, and coolant system schematic all close as possible to stock. Then, AFTER it was satisfactorily running, modded it. I'm Glad I did.

Gearing, gearing, gearing. I worked really hard and creatively to find a solution for the gearing issue. These 'Kicks come with 5.12 gearing and 27" tall tires, rpm at 120kph/75mph is 4100:eek: NOT something I feel the AHU would enjoy:p If your goal is off roading, lifted, bigger tires etc, then this can work. For me, Daily Drivability would suffer far too much, and I also realized that the mileage that ppl are reporting with their Zuki diesels <over on Zuwharrie.com> was far too LOW for those very reasons. ppl with 1.9's were showing 27-30 mpgs in something this small!??! I felt I could do better.

Clutch Sizing: There are three different stock clutch sizes in various models of this truck. The largest one comes within 3/16 of an inch diameter of the stock vw clutch, and has the same amount of friction area. I also feel that specifying a pressure plate for 4wd makes a difference in clamping force, though I have no proof other than driving experience. It has yet to slip.

Rocketchip! Jeff was in my area, so I took advantage and RC2/3 went in. I could rant and rave for an hour about how much this totally transformed the truck. Drivability AND milage both went up, and I dont have to add much throttle to move this thing... Im REALLY glad I went thru the time and effort to keep the wiring intact!

Tire experimenting: the 235's I initially put on were BFG all-terrains. I used them since I HAD them. These things are HEAVY!!! I have found Rotating weight played a HUGE part in this truck's mileage, since its overall weight is so low. I later dropped the bfgs and got my hands on a set of motomaster all-seasons in the same size. The difference was incredibly dramatic, believe it or not: i would honestly say it was like adding 1/2 again the drivability that the Chip had added. It also gained 4 mpg. IM NOT KIDDING.

Gauges: Given that this is certainly not the TDI's native home, I wanted to monitor very closely the effects a truck would have on it. EGT, boost, oil temp and press, active coolant temp are all installed and an eventual EMP is in the works. I had running baselines from stock TDI club's cars. this proved very valuable in keeping the engine (and transmission) healthy.

Engine Mounts/Oil Filter
: Left side engine mount is blocked by the stock oil filter. First idea was to remote mount the filter. Hoses leaked like a sieve. Found that a vw longitudinal turbo 4 (Audi/Passat) oil filter housing angles backwards. Threw remote filter onto floor, then backed over it with a large truck.:D:D:D

Things I'd do Differently

Probably rebuild the trans before putting it together, just for the peace of mind. The trans had 210k on it and *slight* input shaft play, yet was the only one I could find at the time with the ratios I was after. Use 2.5 to build the whole exhaust system; 2.5 was used for the downpipe, yet its not mandrel bent, and 2.25 I believe, from the cat back. a "less restrictive" cat, 2.5 throughout would be my next step.

Planned Upgrades:

Posi in front, a proper front mount intercooler behind bumper/grille, Big Turbo (k24 or perhaps a VNT), a little more boost and install the balanced Sprint 520's I've had sitting on the shelf. Should be fun! OH, and a paint job. Yeah, this thing could use it.;)


My ultimate goal is to surpass 40 MPG consistently with moderate driving habits. I just broke 39.5 us-mpg. With some more dialing in and the planned upgrades, I really do feel its possible to have a 42-45 mpg 4x4.

Sorry for the lengthy post... Hope this helps other ppl out.

Many thanks to the great community here on the TDIclub... made this swap SOOOO much easier!
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
Not on the road, yet!

1984 Vanagon with '02 ALH (Thread going here in the club)

Anthony, I too rebuilt and upgraded my tranny. The ol' Vanagon trannys are geared low........3500 to 3600 RPM bearly shows 65 MPH. My rebuilt tranny with taller 4th and 3rd gears should bring the RPM down around 2800 at 65 MPH. Taller tires will knock off another 150 RPMs.

I stated up front in my Thread that the tranny is something to consider when doing an engine swap!

I'm shooting for July 15th as "turn the key" day to see if it will run!:D
 

Tdi Kick

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Location
GTA
TDI
91 Sidekick AHU, '13 A3 CBEA, '05 Passat Variant BHW
1984 Vanagon with '02 ALH (Thread going here in the club)

Anthony, I too rebuilt and upgraded my tranny. The ol' Vanagon trannys are geared low........3500 to 3600 RPM bearly shows 65 MPH. My rebuilt tranny with taller 4th and 3rd gears should bring the RPM down around 2800 at 65 MPH. Taller tires will knock off another 150 RPMs.

I stated up front in my Thread that the tranny is something to consider when doing an engine swap!

I'm shooting for July 15th as "turn the key" day to see if it will run!:D
Yeah, I hear that on the RPM, Andy... I really do feel that proper gearing is the single most important step for ANY diesel swap. Some makes are just harder to correct than others.

2800 or so at 65 will work out very sweet, for your swap... you're hauling around a LOT more weight than I am... albeit with about the same "brick-like" aerodynamics:p

July 15th? Man, I'd be SOOOO stoked in your shoes! Go for it!

Cheers,
 

cbandy

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Location
missouri
TDI
pickup
MK1 VW Pickup 98 TDI

I wanted to add to the actual running Conversions. Started with 1981 VW pickup with approx 200K on the 1.6td. I found a 1998 VW Jetta AHU TDI last Novemeber 2010. I have had the TDI Pickup running since 02/2011. I have a little over 10,000 miles on the conv project. All electronics included minus air bags (electric door locks, cruise control, etc)

This project was very successful due to a couple of reasons.

1 - I bought the whole Jetta TDI so that I would have any parts needed

2 - Blizzard of 2010 in Missouri caused alot of days that I was stuck at home with alot of time

3 - I have had a VW/AUDI vehicle since I began driving alot of experience with german built vehicles

4 - Buy a VCDS so you know what the ecu is telling you (just factor it in.. it will pay for it's self overtime)

5 - VW Bentley Pub. Shop manual covering the years represented in conversion

6 - Have a desire to complete the project when it looks like something stands in your way. (couldn't get the ICluster to show anything but clock and odometer... ended up being the little color coded jumper boxes needed to be plugged in, that part of the car was previously dismantled)

7 - (add on to #1)A word to the wise try to find the donor car complete not in anyway dismantled you will understand what goes where better.

A few pics of project....












I've had a few guys ask if I would build them one like it...
after 500+ hard hours (some lasting until very very early in the morning)
I don't think it would be cost effective.... You must be willing to put the work into it yourself to make it worth while. I want to add HOW MUCH TDIClub has helped me in this process..... WOW couldn't have done it without ya!!!!!!!! Thank You All for helping me do what could've been the impossible. cost approx $3500 not counting labor

One little issue that came up recently... make sure you have a good ground to your chassis. I had repositioned my battery to allow for intercooler and didn't ground from battery to chassis only to transmission and it appeared to be the dreaded 109 relay but it ended up being loss of ground.
 

AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
cbandy, I agree with your comments about getting the whole car. But, for those who can only come up with what's available from a potential seller, they need to ask for all that missing stuff. The OBD, the cluster, the five colored connectors, the 14-pin connector (ALH), ignition with key, the clutch and brake switches, etc., are all important items that are not always in that "wiring harness" that's included with a sale. (You may or may not use it all, but if you don't have it and decide to use it, well, you go to go shopping.)

One thing I did that I feel will be very benefitual when I'm finishing the wiring is copying the wiring schematics. I enlarged the schematics. It makes them much easier to read. You can also make notes on them.

Doing as much of the electrical yourself is very important.............you will know more about what to do if there should be a problem in the future. Just ask a mechanic to work on a conversion when it goes kaput!

Great work!
 
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cumminsfromthecold

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Location
HumCo
TDI
'84 Toyota 1Z 4WD x-cab
'84 Toyota 4x4 1Z TDI

Andy and cbandy, you guys (and previous success stories here) make great points (above) that I hope people pay attention to. All of your points I'll not bother repeating, but they are very important. Nice work, guys :cool:

The Toyota TDI swap I'm talking about is here. Was it worth it? Yes, without a doubt. :)

My truck's gone over 3000 miles so far in almost every imaginable condition and terrain (except a sand dune, actually) in temps 0 - 85 deg F. I haven't done a long distance drive longer than 5 hours in one shot, but those two drives have shown me what's going on. Truck had 0 problems. The short 4lo crawls (over nothing extreme, but certainly over stuff that's beyond the reach of the average 4x4) have proven the truck very adept at offroading. On longer trips on highways and freeways, the power is great (engine is stock) and I could drive in the fast lane all day... if the truck wasn't such a relative bucket of bolts... that can't corner.

Use hydraulic motor mounts. The vibrations and rattles I get in the truck with the 325i mounts could be worse, but they are indeed pretty bad. This is my major complaint - vibration and irritating resonance. I am used to the noise and bouncy ride, but most passengers generally act like the truck is super uncomfortable. I will adjust or replace springs and shocks next year. Vibrations at speed - between 30 and 75mph - are minimal, and are least noticeable at the higher speeds.

I get 28-32 mpg driving around at 6000' on B10-B100.

The truck weighed 4800 lbs with the 22R in it. I need to have it weighed.

In 4wd on road in snow, the truck rallies like a lifted, top-heavy A6 wagon when floored in 2nd gear. (I drove an A6 much of last winter). The truck never had nearly enough torque to do anything like that before. That is an awful lot of fun to have 4 wheels spinning while drifting and clawing your way up a big wide hill. The truck climbs like a champ (like all Diesels).

The IP is drawing fuel a long distance up into itself in extreme cold sometimes, and the hard morning starts are hopefully soon to be remedied thanks to some help from a fuel filter heater and a block heater, each under $40. I worry only about one thing on the truck - the IP working so hard on these freezing mornings. I need absolutely perfect fuel line connections to ensure no air's getting in that long distance to and from the fuel tank.

In general, the swap went well and works well because:

I bought almost exclusively new German, Canadian, or USA-made parts for nearly everything. Avoid Chinese parts - simple.

I took my time - only needed it running by summer. Buy a motorcycle to get you through a job this big. Read. Read a lot. TDIClub has invaluable information throughout it. I have nearly twelve inches of papers/documents I used and countless bookmarks and info gleaned from the web. When you are unsure, step back and research it. Find a local expert on the motor and on your recipient vehicle. If they are truly good, pay them what they are worth and be grateful for them.

I took 8 months from the time I decommissioned both vehicles to the time I could drive the Toyota to work. This project cost me $7500. I had to pay for actual welding. I did every other bit of work myself (with a little-a lot of help from my friends and you guys!)

I did most of the hard stuff that I didn't want to do while the motor was out. Couldn't do it all because of $ at the time. Don't hurry. Think carefully about what you'll be able to do repair and maintenance-wise upon having the motor in your truck. For example, I did the complete OldPoopie timing belt kit after I had driven the truck around for a few weeks.

I verified information from a second source. Very few people seem to really know what they're talking about regarding TDIs. I am no expert, and I found a whole lot of people who, if they were in fact expert, didn't really know how to explain things too well. The experts are here on Fred's forum - read enough around this forum and you will be able to discern who's who. There are a small handful of guys I know personally, just coincidentally, for whom I am grateful. I did have a friend locally swap a 1.6TD into a Samurai two years ago. That was the first such swap I'd seen, and it allowed me to see what it was I kept hearing about. It became real. Then I saw e*clipse's '92 Toyota TDI. His first fire was with me happening upon a visit. It helped motivate me exponentially. It also intimidated me because he's an electrical engineer (I am nothing close). E*clipse's truck and Chaz's Sammi allowed me to begin wrapping my head around the whole concept. Go see one of these if you can - it puts things in better perspective if you're unsure about pursuing this kind of project.

I bought the VAGCOM software. Not cheap. But just have it. You'll need it to be sure you aren't wrecking your motor when you first start it up.

Move the engine and transmission forward an inch or two. I didn't and SkiInNC told me to. A) I lacked the $, and B) I figured I would just do a solid job of connecting hoses and wires between the engine and firewall so that I didn't have to worry about it for 40,000 miles. Still, that time will come when I have a very awkward replacement/fix to do.

I used the expensive heavy walled heat proof Viton hose for $9/ft. and Viton rubber when you can (e.g. on the gas tank fuel line gasket where lines enter and exit the tank). You don't want to keep messing with fuel line, especially when having to remove the bed of the truck for access to the fuel tank. Nothing will scare people away from innovating and creating faster than someone who doesn't do it right and makes it look risky or impossible (which I only did a little ; ). I don't want to have to replace a fuel line in the middle of the night because I used a cheapo fuel line and stopped looking under the hood, even if I do carry extra on the truck. :rolleyes:

I recognized that I was now the chief mechanic (very funny to think about, and tiring). Know that you will have no one around to tell you if something is wrong with your vehicle. You will be the only one familiar with it and how it should sound, run, perform. Whether you want to or not, you will be the one fixing it. You will be the one who knows when something's vibrating and needs to be checked or not. Only you will know what wires connect the ECU and the power source, the fan and the manual over-ride switch, or the oil pressure sensor to the gauge, or if your glow plugs are good/working, etc...

I started with original-owner owned vehicles. I did with both the truck and the '97 Passat. I looked for each for 6 separate months before I found what I wanted. Both ran very well. The Toyota I knew from driving it a year and a half - the Passat for 4 months. I had driven my '99.5 Jetta ALH TDI for just over 3 years and worked on it most of the time I'd owned it. The ALH was where I first familiarized myself with and learned about the TDI first-hand. Know how each vehicle drives, feels, smells, squeals, and you'll be better equipped for and attuned to your swap.

Examine your motivation(s). Determine that it's the right swap for you. Be honest about what you need to do and how long it will take. Then commit. You can do it! You will succeed if you recognize that one of the arts of life is asking good questions. This requires humility; keep it around, because you'll need it throughout your swap. You will learn a lot and grow immeasurably. I still have a lot to learn.

I would not have attempted this without this forum. The information is all here. You guys are great! :D It has truly been a great, rewarding experience, busted knuckles and all.
 
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AndyBees

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2003
Location
Southeast Kentucky
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta TDI, Silver 2000 Jetta TDI (sold), '84 Vanagon with '02 ALH engine
Examine your motivation(s). Determine that it's the right swap for you. Be honest about what you need to do and how long it will take. Then commit. You can do it! You will succeed if you recognize that one of the arts of life is asking good questions. This requires humility; keep it around, because you'll need it throughout your swap. You will learn a lot and grow immeasurably. I still have a lot to learn.

I would not have attempted this without this forum. The information is all here. You guys are great! :D It has truly been a great, rewarding experience, busted knuckles and all.

Well written experience............ brings reality to the forefront!

Well, a conversion has been on my mind since 1985 right after I purchased my first VW Vanagon. I purchased it to make a trip to Alaska.......then drove the darn thing up there 6 more times! That ol' Vanagon is the Air-cooled with the flat 4 2.0 liter engine. That engine is a horse. It was awesome during all those trips, even though in '97 I did have major engine issues in Delta Junction, Alaska.......burnt valve among other things. But, I was able to get back on the road in record time thanks to several locals and a good VW junk/grave yard for parts!:D

Anyway, my "purpose" in doing a conversion is to have a reliable vehicle to fit the needs and expectations of many more trips to the north country. That old AC 2.0 engine got about 18 MPGs and 20 at best.

So, I am now 61 and hope to be driving my conversion north for the next 15 to 20 years! I am eager to get it finished soon and have an opportunity to "iron-out the bugs" for the maiden voyage next summer!

If all goes well, I would like to document the trip along the way!:D
 

worm12ga

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2011
Location
New Jersey
TDI
Mk2 Jetta AHU swap, 03 Golf Tdi
91 Jetta with 98 TDI

The engine was out of my daily and had about 320,000 on it. The 91 came from a friend of a friend who blew the motor/diff (that should have been a sign to walk away, more on that later)

I've got just under 2 years and 30,000 miles on the road with it now. Overall, I love it.

Things I did right, or am just happy with:
Used the Koni Reds from the mk3 (have since replaced with yellows under warranty)
Located battery in the trunk, freeing up room in the engine compartment
Bought VCDS (it would be foolish to even try these swaps without one, in my opinion)
Found an intercooler from a Saab at a junkyard, it fits great where the battery used to be
Added wheel spacers on the back to match the wider mk3 front end
Replaced most of the suspension bushings with poly ones
Swapped rear drums for disks, with Mk4 calipers

Problems:
As someone else mentioned, solid engine mounts are a bad idea for a TDI. The thing rattled like crazy until I swapped one of them out. It still has two solid mounts and still shakes a bit, but it's liveable now

This particular Jetta was a really bad choice for a project like this. The previous owner really was an idiot, and after 2 years I'm still trying to fix some of the messed up wiring. Not to mention the hidden rust he neglected to tell me about, wood screws holding in trim and speakers, and all other manner of half-assedness If I had more time I would find a complete Mk2 harness and redo the whole thing.

I had a friend change the timing belt while we were working on the swap. As we all know, only people experienced with TDI's should attempt this. After bringing it to a TDI guru, the engine has been 100%. (Richard in NJ, I forget his screenname)

Things I regret:
The idea for this project came to me when my first 98 TDI began smoking pretty badly. I purchased a second identical black 98 Jetta TDI for a very reasonable price, and my plan was to pull the first engine, rebuild it with some performance upgrades, and eventually swap it into the second Jetta.

When the Mk2 became available, that seemed like it would be a more 'interesting' project. A good friend of mine offered to do the swap for a reasonable price, so we pulled the first engine and tore it down. One of the cylinder walls was severely scored up, and I didn't want to bore it out larger. At the same time, my friend's girl got pregnant, and suddenly the project had to be completed within just a few months.

So, we decided to just swap in the running TDI from my daily into the Mk2, so I could worry about rebuilding engine #1 on my own schedule. This left me without a daily car, and I spent about two months borrowing cars and hitching rides.

My biggest regret is when I chose to undertake this project. Not having a spare vehicle, having a short timeline, and not having adequate funds to do some things 'right' the first time, were all mistakes.

I also was working for AmeriCorps at the time, so I had to leave a lot of the work for my friend to do. This meant that I wasn't as familiar with the swap as I would like to be, and I spent a long time learning while I was driving it (and breaking things on it).

Do I love my mk2 TDI? YES. Would I do it again? Probably not.

If anyone is considering such a swap, be sure you are very familiar with VW's in general and TDI's in particular. Some of the build threads on here and vortex make this project look a lot easier than it is. There is more to this than simply compiling a laundry list of components from different cars and just slapping them together.
 

meby

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Location
Southwest Michigan
TDI
2000 Ford Winstar ALH TDI 5 spd
Examine your motivation(s). Determine that it's the right swap for you. Be honest about what you need to do and how long it will take. Then commit.
I will try and post about my own swap (tdi/windstar) at some point, but would like to comment about the above quote.

Commitment is crucial to the success of any project! This may not work for some people, but for myself I have found that one of the keys to following through is putting myself in a position where I have no choice but to finish. My tdi/minivan project was on the road and drive-able in two weeks (about 150 hours combined total for myself and a friend) from the start of the project (not counting research). When we tore apart the donor (00' Jetta) I had only my reg cab pickup for transportation. The Jetta was my family's main source of transportation. We reached a point in the swap that if we couldn't make it work, I was screwed - for me that was a powerful motivator! :eek: Without that motivation, the swap might never have been made functional. I know that sounds really risky, but for me every project i've done that failure wasn't an option, has been successful (and i've done a fair amount). Some of the projects without this motivation failed/were never completed.

Also, research is good and should be done, but keep in mind that you can only research to a point and then you just have to start or quit. All the education in the world is worthless without experience.

Now get out there and build something! :D
 

jimbote

Certified Volkswagen Nut
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Location
spiral arm, milky way (aka central NC)
TDI
Tacoma 4x4 converted to TDI
just over 45k miles on my tdi converted tacoma since march of 2011.... average around 30mpg +/- 2-3 depending on driving conditions and how much fun I'm having.... one breakdown so far that required a tow back home.... fuel pump relay melted and shorted out the fuel stop solenoid :/ .....overall very satisfied with the swap.... I don't even think about it anymore I just jump in and drive.... about the only time I open the hood is to show someone the engine....it just never breaks!! ....some things I would have done different?

my first wiring version tried to incorporate the toyota relays into the harness...it ended up being too complicated so I went for a second standalone version that used a real relay 109...this cleaned up and simplified the wiring tremendously ....

I would have used VW fans controlled by a VW rad switch and a simple relay to run the fans when the AC is on.... I ended up with some expensive flex a lite fans and went through about four "imperial" fan modules and two fan motors (replaced under warranty) before swapping control brands...now I use a "derale" dual fan controller and it works great...

I would have ditched the intank high pressure high volume FI pump for a low pressure unit that I have now...I was using the intank FI pump in conjunction with a holley bypass FPR and I think I had the pump choked back so far it overloaded my fuel pump relay melting it and shorting the fuel stop solenoid leaving me dead in the water.... i now run a low pressure intank pump from an early FI ford ranger and eliminated the bypass FPR

I would have skipped all the slipping or chattering clutch experiments and gone with my current clutch (how's that for hindsight 20/20 ;))

overall I'm very very happy with the truck ....great power/torque, fuel economy, reliability and practicality ...it gets used!! and overall fun factor is a big plus, off idle holy $#i+!! torque and pull through 4k rpm always brings smiles :)
 
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CFM

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Location
Wells, Maine
TDI
1995 Saturn with a 1997 TDI drivetrain.
Wow, it's been four years and almost 90k on the Saturn TDI swap! A few minor issues of my own doing, but overall the car has been very reliable and still knocks down high-60's this time of year...even topped 70 mpg a few times this summer, although I still have yet to best my all-time high of 73.2 mpg.

A second battery in the trunk for the winter months helps with starting chores, along with a fresh starter when I found the original one was getting tired. Oil changes about every 7500 miles, and it's due for a timing belt this fall - I change that short of 50k, just to be safe. My son borrowed it a few times, and reported he got into a few stop light Grand Prix's with it ("It's ok, Dad - I won.").
 

cumminsfromthecold

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Location
HumCo
TDI
'84 Toyota 1Z 4WD x-cab
'84 Toyota with '97 1Z TDI

Great reading about the swaps with many thousands of miles!

Since I replaced the throwout bearing, things have been great. Mostly local miles, one 400 miler to SF and back. Coming up on 15,000 miles. Getting a tune this weekend that should boost me up to 17psi and 20hp/40tq for a total of ~ 130 hp and ~ 200 ft. lbs. tq. I've been driving it all over and, since putting in a digital oil pressure gauge, see my 26psi at warm idle like I should. I still use my nose gauge most, especially for water temp since I still have no gauge.

I've posted here before, but one thing that I'd reiterate to others is - re. Toyota swaps - to extend the throwout bearing mainshaft/whatchamacallit a bit (unsure how much) so that if your tranny and motor do separate a little :)D) because you undertightened and didn't locktite things, you'll know it but won't wreck the throwout bearing. You'll then be able to access tranny housing bolts, the rear coolant flange, low pressure oil switch, etc... And, I also just learned that a newer Yota crossmember will move the engine/transmission/transfer case forward the ~ 3" you'll want for engine clearance at the firewall. If I'd have known that, I think I would have only had to lengthen the rear driveshaft. Oh well. It works as is.

Keep the cruise control. Put flex at the turbo between it and your hard exhaust pipe.

Go fast. They do naturally. :)
 

G60ING

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Location
Annapolis, MD
TDI
No TDIs Currently, I have an R36 Corrado. I've had an ALH Corrado swap, AHU Corrado swap and 2003 TDI Jetta
Tell Us About Your Running Swaps: Mileage Racked Up,Impressions,Things You Wo...

I've racked up approx 75k miles and have settled into treating it like any 20 yr old oem car. I've got to the point where I'm doing maintenance items on items that were replaced during the initial conversion.
 

vw_nut

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Location
Beechgrove, TN, 37018
TDI
, 1981 VW pickup TDI Conversion, , 2000 Golf TDI,1985 Cabriolet 16V,2006 jetta
Well after racking up over 50,000 miles on my build, it has been the most reliable thing that i have had, never leaving me stranded anywhere, now that my daily driver is back its time to fix some of the things i have been putting off.
1. the flexible ducts i used they collect condensation from the A/C and i need to work on a different tubing
2 the center plastic which covers the radio and heater controls needs to be redone the glue has not held and im seeing cracks
3. my dome light needs to be wired so the dome light comes on when i open the door, just wasnt important at the time but i have to take the dash out so ill work on that
4. the Dreaded Heater box repair has to be done i wish i would have rebuilt that before i put it in but i didnt know about it so im gonna put in a new core while its out just because i dont want to take it out again at least for a while.
5. im thinking about redoing the intercooler from water to air to just air, i am not sure how ill do the intercooler yet but i have gone through 2 pumps now and not sure why they arent lasting but since the motor is comming out im gonna look into a custom made intercooler
i can say that its been very enjoyable doing the swap,almost more fun doing it than when it was done, but driving it is the cats meowwwww and a good sense of accomplishment when done.( of course its never done is it now) i didnt know a lot about nothing when i started this project and was gonna have someone else do a lot of the work but im so glad i took the time to do the work and its been rewarding ive learned a lot and im not sure i did everything according to hoyle but i did what i thought was best. Ive had a lot of help from the club and cant thank them enough for their expertise, ive met a lot of clubbers and really enjoyed the fellowship
 

k_harley

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Location
Lowell, MA
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI, 2005 Audi S4, 1997 Audi A4 Race car, 2004 Passat TDI 6MT 4motion
Id like to chime on on my 2001 B5 Passat TDI swap that my wife uses as her daily driver. We've covered about 22k miles on it in the past year and a half.

I don't think I've run into many issues other than normal stuff failing like alternator, a boost hose re-clamping here and there..... you know.

I think my fuel economy is around 42 MPG running B100, but my wife can't keep her finger off the trip reset button long enough to test it.

I've passed inspection twice with no more hassle than the comment from the inspector "huh, I didn't know they made these in diesel". Even though I registered it as a diesel, inspection report still shows 1.8t gas.
 

greengeeker

Vendor
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Cambridge, MN
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS
'00 ALH into '00 Ford Ranger

Miles since being swapped: 11,000 miles
Overall fuel economy: 38mpg
Started Driving: June 2013

Mods: PD150 intake, 2.5" aluminum IC pipes, front mount intercooler, R520s, Malone Stage 1.5 tune

Impressions: awesome little truck that is used as a truck, dyno'd at 110whp/220ftlb (with stage 1 tune)

Issues since going on the road:
1. Only electrical "gremlin" was laughable when I forgot to tighten down the little nut on the fuel shutoff solenoid.
2. The truck is running a little hotter coolant temps than I anticipated. I'm not sure if it has to do with the design of my cooling system, pump cavitation, or clogged core from the wrecker yard car. All I know is there is no way I can hook up my a/c system with the coolant running as hot as it is - would only exacerbate the issue.

Minor non-swap related issues:
3. my non-oem coolant flange on the end of the head is warped slightly and leaks small amounts of coolant
4. back edge of my valve cover weeps a little oil
5. As soon as I installed my r520 nozzles I have been having an issue with leaking return hoses when I do hard WOT pulls
6. my driver's side inner tie rod is SHOT. Replaced!

Mods for the future:
1. Upgraded clutch.
2. Boost gauge and pyrometer
3. GTB2056vk.
4. 11mm IP
5. Retune
6. Aero mods. I haven't decided which way I want to go with this buy my intention is obviously to increase my highway mileage. I'm still trying to decide between belly pans, a front air dam, lowering the truck among other ideas.
 

archemitis

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Location
minnesota
TDI
200 Golf, 1974 Westfalia TDI
I've got a 74 VW Westfalia bus with an AGR 1.9TDI Im just about to hit 10k miles (in less than a year including 5 months of winter storage)on my conversion, and it is currently my daily driver. I run a 091 transmission and only changed the 4th gear to a .70. Its the tallest gear available and works pretty well, 3k RPM is 70 mph, which is pretty good for power, and ok for economy. I see 30 MPG when traveling a little slower than 70 and around 25 when traveling at or above 75. The transition from 3rd to 4th isnt as bad as you would think, but if I had to do it again I would probably figure out a good 5 or 6 speed transmission option.
Stage 3 tune with a big intercooler, 2.5 inch exhaust with a glasspack, and its a ton of fun to drive! Quiet, smooth, very drivable... So glad I chose a TDI over the Subaru motor options so many people go for these days. Great investment. Couldnt have done it without this forum. Thanks everybody.

Here she is a thousand miles from home fully loaded.
 

K1Cowboy

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Location
Palm City, FL
TDI
2000 Audi S4 AFN TDI
My TDI Swap: AFN TDI into a 2000 B5 S4
Mileage since being swapped: 3000 mi on new swap
Started Driving: I may get flamed for this but only month ago, excuse my lack of drive time, but this thing is dialed in.
Mods: 140 HP tune, 2.5 TDI V6 01E trans. 240mm clutch
Impressions: I wish I had done this swap 10 years ago, she is a blast to drive. I find myself looking for excuses to go for a spin.
Issues since going on the road:
I swapped the fuel lines accidentallly after doing a power service fuel treatment. It ran fine for 2 days until the tank burned down under the return level. Then i was left on the side of the road like an idiot.
Things I wish I have done:
I did a modified mark and pray timing belt replacement. It ran fine but I just couldn't live with myself for half-assing the job so I re-did it correctly. It ran even better and MPG's improved. I even made all the tools.
New motor mounts. My swap came with good "proper" looking mounts, only to find out that they were gas mounts and the vibration in the car was unbearable.
I replaced them with OEM BHW mounts and all is good.
Things I'm glad I did:
Sourcing a drop in AFN swap from Frans. No fab work needed for mounting brackets and everything bolted right in. I almost dropped an ALH in it, needing to fab the brackets for all the mounts and accessories. I'm a damn good machinist, welder, and fabricator, but I couldn't afford the downtime on my daily driver. For the cost and effort, it didn't make sense either.
Studying the forums on similar swaps. SO much time and effort went into this. It made the build go so much quicker knowing what to expect and what parts to have on hand before the swap arrived.
Studying wiring diagrams and making charts BEFORE I started the swap. This was the only way I was able to drop the motor in and hear it run right away, only needing to fix a few minor details.
Ditch the high milage in tank fuel pump. I read to many stories of them failing. Pumpectomy works great unless you get crazy mods. I can always an inline later or a new lift pump.
Doing the swap while I still had a good running car. I've sold over 2k worth of old parts and still have the old engine left to sell yet.
People said I was crazy to take a perfectly good running car and tear it apart. Perhaps they were correct. However, all those same people are amazed at the final result, and heads spin when I tell them I'm consistatly getting 40+ MPG in mixed driving on an AWD car.
Mods planned in the future:
Bigger Turbo, either a BV43 or a 17/22 longitudinal hybrid
Bigger Injectors
FMIC
Tune to support mods
 
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