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


Veteran Member
Oct 8, 2004
Woodstock, NY
Black '99 Jetta, Glacier Blue Audi 80 Quattro TDI
Mileage since swap; 21k
Started driving 9/28/12
Best mileage: first tank since trans. swap netted 49.1 mpg. Prior best tank was 47.5.
Impressions- The car's been noisy from the start with the 12mm plunger, injectors too small, and I was using HD gasser engine mounts. Suspension bushings are Delrin, the sub-frame bushings are solid aluminum. This created what have amounted to annoying vibrations to say the least. I removed a solid rear diff bushing I had installed; I found the correct weighted 1.9 diesel mounts; and finally installed the correct injectors this past New Years. I used a piezo/pulse timing light to held confirm the correct timing setting for this pump and set up around the same time. I had spent a lot of time changing the pump timing around looking for the sweet spot. This car was built to be simple and maintenance free, thus no PS, no ABS, manual crank windows, mTDI pump. I have a SM flywheel and at idle it's only a little noisier than my ALH Jetta with a SM also. This car is absolutely wicked in snow. I've wired a switch to the rear diff lock circuit to bypass the 15 mph cut-off. The body is the best feature of this project. I've done nothing to it since it showed up on the car carrier 2.5 years ago. This is an incrediblely strong, rustproof shell that IMHO is very well designed and built.
Gearing: For 2 years I endured the poor gearing of the V6 A4 gearbox. It was the best option I could find in this country at the time. It made the powerband very short and the engine was roaring in top gear. I knew right away I needed the correct box but I have a short commute and the local speeds are low so just dealt with it. In August I completed the TDI gearbox swap and have driven about 1500 miles so far. The particulars of the trans swap forced me to upgrade the front hubs to accomodate the larger-splined tripod axles from a '95 Audi 90. The brakes matched to the hubs were 2 piston G60 calipers which in turn require the use of 15" wheels. This was a hardship as I have 2 sets of wheels and tires I can't use on this car. The upgrade in brake performance though made it all tolerable.(The brakes are Great!) The current driving impression is that the gears are now perfectly matched with the engine.
Steering The steering effort prior to this last upgrade was stiff to say the least. Definitely not for the weak or faint of heart. The change to hubs from an Audi Coupe has changed the geometry for a positive effect. The steering is now lighter and it returns to center more easily. I'm really happy with that. The wheels are 15X7 and the wider width might require less steering input during turns. It handles sharp and crisp in spite of the higher ground clearance. This car isn't nose-heavy like my other 89q with the I 5; not at all. It feels more well balanced like an A2 Jetta with awd. The car is now as close to finished as I can say. I drove it @ 85 today for the first time for about 20 miles and it ran beautifully. I can feel the slightly bent wheel in the rear at higher speeds though. It's great to drive on trails in the woods as well. I find myself surrounded by poor road surfaces, low speed limits and no place to enjoy the thrill of speed without repercussions anyway. I enjoy the sensation of the road, hearing the sound of the engine, feeling when to shift. I acknowledge it's unusual to prefer a rougher, more gritty driving experience; I just never enjoyed low, smooth, sensory-free vehicles at all. The older I get the more certain I feel about it. My first car was a '62 baja-style Beetle field car with no fenders. I will always have my '85 BMW R80 for the same reason. I stick with what I enjoy working on and what I find to have longevity. Simplicity seems sensible to me and worth the pursuit.
Engine: The engine was a new crate motor, now has 21,000 miles on it. It starts more quickly than any other car I've had gas or diesel. It fires on the first revolution even at -10ºf. I attribute that to the 12mm plunger and the compression of a new engine. The oil consumption has dropped to about 1/2 qt in 5000 miles. It has a set of larger Titan nozzles by Franko6 and I dropped the 3rd injector; now all 4 are the same.

Mods: TDI gearbox, G60 calipers, new head, full intercooler with beaded boost pipes. Added SS flex in downpipe, I used SS harware in some of the chassis and suspension as well in the exhaust flange connections.

Issues: last summer I was adjusting the pump timing and left a small breaker bar on the crank pulley. It captured the wrench and spun the bolt off; the pulley and timing belt followed. The engine stalled and I tried to start it. Twice. I bent 2 valves. I bought a BN head and slapped it on instead of fixing this one as it was just easier. Can't have enough spares I say. {Careful with that wrench Eugene!}

Maintenance: Good access to TB, I have a Fumoto drain valve for easy oil changes. I've always preferred the older inline Audi layout for ease of service. No e-pump, PS, ABS, or BS.
Needs: Tachometer conversion circuit and to finish the cruise control bracket. Install vibration damper weight (ala Passat subframe weight) in appropriate position. I will upgrade to a larger turbo maybe a GT2052 after I swap an IDI into my other 80q.

Things I would do differently: I will eventually replace the solid CA bushings as with most of the 034 stuff I used it hasn't held up well. I'm going to consider Powerflex or make some sort of nylon rings to fit the stock rubber mounts to limit fore and aft movement. This movement is what usually destroys the rubber bushings prematurely.
Next time I will fabricate engine mount brackets that use the original 5 cyl. frame mounts. This would reduce some of the vibration through the subframe.

The project details are more thoroughly documented here:
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Veteran Member
Mar 3, 2008
Cedar Rapids, IA
2000 Beetle TDI
Diesel Town & Country

Mileage since swap: ~30k

Started driving:
June 2008

Best mileage:
40mpg mixed driving (it doesn't like interstate speeds all that much)

It's been a fun learning experience. This van definitely is a conversation piece. Some parts of me regret doing it - it has been a LOT of time investment. Now that I have a growing family, I am putting my time into them instead. (More on that later) With two successful trips from Iowa to Texas with few issues (none that put us on the roadside anyway!) I will claim this project as a success. That and coupled with the 37mpg average, it was great to accomplish a goal I set out in mind with.

Engine: 1998 1Z (also known as AHU) from a Jetta. Scored the whole drivetrain off eBay from a guy in Chicago. Did timing belt and water pump right away, throw out bearing, all new water hoses, etc. Starts and runs very well. Have had very little issues with the motor itself.

Removed EGR system and, just last summer, 0.205 nozzles. Wow what a difference those nozzles made! It is a whole lot more fun to drive now. Also put on smaller diameter tires a few months ago which improved the pep even more. Other than that, stock intercooler, stock ECU, etc.

Right out of the chute, I had a half shaft fail (see build thread here). Had a custom shaft built by Mark Williams Enterprises and it's delivered flawless service since. The one issue I've been plagued with on and off over the years is fuel delivery issues. Right away, found out the aluminum lines were clogged with old gas, that took me a few weeks to sort out. Then I had pumps failing (I'm currently on #4 I believe, but it has lasted several years now). I installed a PWM motor controller on the pump and also rerouted the fuel loop so the pump isn't cramming fuel into the IP anymore. Only other major issue has been noise/vibration. I've noticed this with a few others on this thread, but one should only go with OEM-style motor mounts. I used two of the Chrysler mounts and they simply weren't designed to absorb the energy in the spectrum of the diesel engine. Mostly at idle that is. I tried pouring my own urethane bushing a few years ago and that did little to improve the noise at idle. Family complains greatly about it. Other than that - the pulley on the oil pump shaft nearly came off one time, that was interesting. Not sure what went wrong - only guess is that I didn't torque the nut properly when I did the t-belt/water pump.

Oil and fuel filter changes.

Things I would do differently:
I would definitely use factory motor mounts. Also would have made the wiring harness longer to get it to a more serviceable location. Third, I would have gone with a factory diesel in-tank unit instead of the gasser unit which meant fuel pump.

So as mentioned above, my time is being diverted (happily!) to my family lately. Frankenvan is now for sale. (Shoot me a PM if you want pictures/details.) Also, if anyone has sold their conversion, please let me know what you got for it as a price-point. I honestly don't know where to start with the price.

Big thanks to the kind folks on here that made this build possible.



Sep 6, 2012
1969 Westy w/AHU eng&trans
1999 (A3) TDI AHU engine & 5-speed trans into 1969 Westfalia

Mileage since swap
~3k(just nearing the end of her sea trials! ;)

Started (really) driving:

Best mileage:
42mpg mixed driving

Because the van is considerably heavier than the donor Jetta, it is not quite as zippy - but still perfectly acceptable and were it chipped would probably be perfect; other projects taking up time and $ now tho. Dash fire from improperly grounding the glow plug system (my fault!) tied me up a few months replacing the cluster, sensors, and portions of the wiring harness - carry a fire extinguisher when you drive a VW van, that's the moral of the story! :)

1999 AHU from a Jetta - got the car for free and the van for $200, that's what got the project started; got tired of looking at them parked side-by-side in the yard. Rebuilt the engine top end and the usual water pump/timing belt kit, etc. etc.

Entire nose of the Jetta stripped down and welded under the rear of the van (with the utmost in engineering care to prevent dogtracking). Audi electronic e-brakes (ever tried to bleed newer Audi calipers? Would rather shave an angry badger), Saturn Vue real-time-adjustable electric power steering (this of all things made the greatest difference in driveability - on max power you can spin the steering wheel with one finger while parked), A3 dash mounted into van body, front-mounted radiator, fuel tank (plastic Jetta OEM) mounted in low rear leaves a huge amount of storage behind the engine/trans (which still fits under the original bed/rear deck profile) - fuel filler relocated to very rear right corner, shifter linkage is two TDI linkages mounted back-to-back in an 'S' form under the body pan, with a heavy bar link between them to transmit correct motion to transmission (which is of course mounted behind the driver). Factory ZF rack (hurt to cut apart a perfectly good rack!) disassembled and TIG-welded solid to the Jetta crossmember to preserve functionality of the original tie rods for wheel adjustment. Rear wheel wells had to be curved out slightly for proper clearance (Jetta front end is about 1 inch wider than stock van rear end, if I remember correctly). Power steering pump is retained (for a drive belt) and the system is just 'dead-ended' so it circulates in a closed loop (actual power steering is electric, as per above). Custom redundant gauges, of course...etc. etc. The list is extensive!

FIRE! That was probably the worst. :) Other than that just glitches and oversights from the swap...intercooler piping was insufficient strength and split, giving the engine a nice oil bath...engine access covers beneath the rear seat still aren't as easy to remove as I had hoped and need some more redesign...front (original van) end had to be raised about 2 inches to maintain proper 'look'...Jetta seats are REALLY hard to get low enough to use in the van, would love to have another 2 inches or so of 'drop'...did not pare down the TDI wiring harness enough before starting and have too much wiring left in the loom for 'unused' systems (seat heaters, A/C, etc.) that really gets in the way when you're sorting wiring issues later...rear wheels are 4 x 100 Jetta while front wheels are 5 bolt van, meaning I have to carry two spare tires...lots of fiddling with the brake system (now four-wheel disc - front beam is from a 1973 VW van with calipers) and eventual removal of the proportioning valve...etc.

Maintenance: Oil changes

Things I would do differently:
I would ABSOLUTELY leave the fuse panel/ECU in the original configuration (near the engine, now in the rear) instead of wiring them up to the dash, and just wire all dash controls forward instead. I also should have painted it blaze orange instead of some godawful GM grey/brown that I apparently picked in a moment of Cthulhu-esque insanity.Just starting to poke around for another 1999 TDI wiring harness so I can completely clean it up over the winter, then totally re-wire the whole van and do a more organized job of it.

Many apologies to the people on here who PM'd me up to several years ago after I posted a few pics and a short profile on this site. Turns out I never log in to come browse the forums and that resulted in me never getting my messages until last week. Ooops!! Somehow the years got away and before I know it it's bloody 2017. :\ I really hope the few people doing a similar project made out okay!!

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Veteran Member
Jan 19, 2014
90 Corrado 1Z, 97 1Z Passat, 85 Golf NA
That is awesome.

In the next year or two I'll get on with swapping ALH into the eurovan. Should be fun


Veteran Member
Mar 17, 2013
2001 Audi A4 Avant quattro w/BHW TDI & 01E 6-speed
BHW TDI from a 2005 Passat
01E 6-speed code FTL from a C5 A6 2.5 TDI
swapped into a
2001 Audi A4 Avant quattro (originally 1.8T 5 speed manual)

Miles driven since complete

Build thread
(careful before you go down the rabbit hole... it's a LOOOONG saga)

(I'll just cover the TDI/01E-specific stuff here, not the chassis improvements I made)
- engine rebuilt from bare block
- block magna-fluxed, machined and blueprinted: line-bored and honed, deck milled straight to even out the combustion chambers (they were off from the factory)
- deck height milled to the lower range of specification for a 3-hole head gasket to minimize compression ratio
- oversized BHW pistons (81.5mm), skirts anti-friction coated, tops Gold Coat ceramic coated (by SwainTech)
- Integrated Engineering Tuscan rods
- rotating assembly spin-balanced to within 3 grams @ 4", all components static-balanced to 0 grams
- cylinder head exhaust gasket-matched and very lightly ported
- 3-angle valve job
- cylinder head milled to restore combustion chamber volume after 3-angle valve job
- combustion chambers ceramic coated (by SwainTech)
- Colt Cams stage 3 cam
- Darkside Developments high-lift valve springs, anti-friction coated (by SwainTech)
- OEM valves ceramic-coated on faces, valve stems anti-friction coated, exhaust valves ceramic-coated on backside.
- custom-fabricated bronze valve guides
- injectors with Bosio R783 nozzles rebuilt and calibrated by DBW
- cam journals drilled for doubled oil flow using OEM cam bearings (not Franko6-modified bearings)
- exhaust manifold ceramic coated (by SwainTech), drilled and tapped for EGT probe and EMP gauge right before the turbo
- custom GTB1756VK turbo with billet compressor wheel, turbine housing ceramic coated
- top-mount pusher-style vacuum VNT actuator on a custom bracket, tucked in under the EGR cooler
- 4 bar MAP sensor
- Apikol side-mount intercooler for B5 A4 1.8T
- silicone intercooler elbows up to the plastic intake line
- MANN Pro-Vent 200, draining directly back to the oil pan
- 1.8T AWM oil pan: has a port for turbo oil return, which I use for the Pro-Vent oil drain. Also has accommodations for the oil temperature/level sender, which I've transplanted from my 1.8T to keep my instrument cluster happy
- BSM delete kit with BRM oil pump gear
- radiator from a B5 A4 1.8T automatic car
- 01E transmission cooler lines made up of a combination of different cars' lines and connected to the factory B5 Passat location on the front clip
- South Bend 228 mm Stage 3 Endurance clutch and flex plate with OEM DMF, rated for 425 ft-lb torque
- JH Motorsports solid short-throw shifter and all associated shifter upgrades
- BuzzKen 2.5" downpipe with high flow cat
- 2.5" Techtonics Tuning exhaust
- brand new BHW wiring harness, modified to accommodate a B5 Audi A4
- ASV housing drilled and tapped for a boost gauge
- modified B5 Passat TDI bare fuel pump shoved into the original gasser Audi A4 surge housing
- fuel tank filler neck drilled out to accommodate truck stop nozzles
- all gasser evap stuff removed and capped
- fuel line T under the hood to accommodate an inline fuel pressure gauge
- GKN front axles for manual-transmission TDI B5 application (130mm flange tripod inners)
- transplanted the fuel cooler rail from the B5 Passat TDI (bolts right in)
- transplanted the front subframe from the B5 Passat TDI (bolts right in)
- relocated battery to the trunk, added a cutoff switch and a battery charger where the battery used to be
- FrostHeater intended for a B5 Passat TDI (bolts right in)
- aftermarket 2-piece driveshaft (with center bearing)
- custom Malone tune, 1000 rpm idle
- custom turbo inlet pipe
- everything else on engine is 100% OEM, including EGR and all associated bits, airbox, etc.

This is now the greatest car I've ever owned. I've owned 17 cars (classic muscle cars, GM cars and trucks, Ford cars and trucks, a Toyota, a Nissan, Audis and VWs), this one for the last 5 years as a 1.8T gasser. I constantly look for excuses to drive it. It can instantly go from smooth and relaxed to fast and relentless. Montreal traffic doesn't stand a chance. I currently get around 40 mpg at 70 mph on the highway, and this keeps improving as the engine breaks in. If I'm REALLY pushing it in 90+ degree heat, the EGT *might* reach a maximum of 1450f. Boost is smooth and instant. Oil consumption has been zero so far, but it's only been 2500 miles and one oil change. Thanks to the 3.889 final drive and 0.56 6th gear, rpm on the highway is nice and low.

Issues since going on the road
- No cruise control in any gear. Malone has been unable to resolve this yet. This drives me absolutely bonkers. I hope it gets fixed soon.
- No A/C. This is an issue with the Malone tune which is currently incompatible with climatronic. Has not been resolved yet. I have a temporary solution kludged up, but I really hope this gets fixed soon.
- turbo exhaust vanes are over-aggressive when the engine is sill cold, presumably to "encourage" the exhaust to go through the EGR valve. This causes the engine to choke and sputter unless I'm super-gentle with it until it reaches operating temperature. I wish there was a way to change that behavior :(
- One of the brand new Shaftec axles was defective from the factory. Replaced with GKN, and now everything is fine. Front axles for this setup are difficult to find, but ID Parts recently started carrying them for a reasonable price.

Things I'd do different
- probably stick to a stage 2 cam rather than a stage 3
- stick with OEM valve springs rather than the high-lift variety. It took a bit of work to make sure the installed height was right, but turns out the 3-angle valve job gave me just enough extra height to make it perfect without having to grind down the seats
- no more ceramic coating on the back side of valves. It covers the seating surface, and I had to re-lap all my exhaust valves to get them to seal again

Mods for the future
Drivetrain-wise? Probably nothing. This 17+ year old car already has 280,000 miles on it. I built this setup to last another 280,000 miles. I may tweak other aspects of the chassis, but the engine and transmission are near perfect for my needs already. I *may* buy another FTL 01E and rebuild/upgrade it in case the existing one ever fails... I installed it "as is" and it probably already had 200,000+ km on it from its previous life in the UK. But so far it's been absolutely flawless. I bet the transmission cooler and extra fluid capacity have something to do with that. Maybe I'll get a WaveTrac limited slip differential for the rear end someday... first I'll see how EDL handles the torque from a built TDI in winter.
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