VE tdi swap into b5 Audi A4

TDI_Nate_

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Central PA
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2001 Alh Jetta, Galactic Blue, 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI Black Uni, Non-sunroof, 6-speed
So this is my first time posting so I apologize now for anything I may have mixed up or otherwise wrong.

I've been looking and trying to research as much as possible for the past couple weeks into whats involved in putting a VE TDI into a b5 Audi a4. I know in Europe they got a VE TDI in the a4(AFN, AHH, AVG) as far as I can tell they are most similar to our AHU, just with different power outputs. I have also seen through a number of threads here that the BHW TDI fits fairly nicely but I want to stick with VE for it's ease of maintenance and overall mechanics if it isn't miles more difficult. So I have many questions,

1.)What is the best engine to use to swap a b5 a4? AHU? ALH? BHW?

2.)I've gathered that getting a late model 00-01 b5 with dbw, 1.8t and manual is the easiest chassis to start with, is that a correct assumption?

3.)My plan(at least in my head) is to get a European b5 ecu, cluster, and engine wiring harness and replace it with the one in the swap car, would this be the easiest way to do the wiring or am I way off here? Is there things that are still going to need pin swapped or otherwise wired? I know the b5 is non-can-bus hence why I figure I can use another cluster and ecu but keep the original key. Again correct me if i'm wrong.

4.)Engine mounts? what is best to use that's OE? BHW mounts? 1.8t? or others? Snub Mount? I'm hoping I won't have to custom make them but what is best?

5.)Is it correct that even though it's not perfect gearing, the v6 b5 trans is best and the v6 rear diff for a TDI swap until the money for a euro TDI trans came up? And the 4 cylinder TDI will bolt up to said v6 trans?

6.)If i use an ALH or AHU(I want to use this one hopefully), being originally transverse, what accessory bracket should or could I use to fit in the a4? BHW? 1.8t?

7.)What exhaust manifold should I use? BHW? Euro one? Don't really want to go custom. Also what turbo?

8.)How do you do the downpipe? Custom I am assuming. The rest of the exhaust I just plan to straight pipe.

9.)I believe I had read that you can use the gas tank on the a4 and just add or make a return line, take the fuel pump out and add either a lift pump or sending unit, and take all the evap stuff off of it. How should I go about the fuel tank situation?

10.)If I use an ALH will it be an extra level of pain to make the vnt vacuum stuff work?(I know there are at least 3 ALH engines local to me I could get for a good price, hence the question)

11.)If I do it price wise the best I can does it seem feasible to have this swap completed for $4,000? Minus the TDI trans I'll figure that part out later.

I am decently mechanically inclined, and am in no rush to complete said swap so I should be fine not rushing myself. If I don't know how to do something or get hung up my brother and father are professional mechanics so it should work out alright(have access to Mitchell on demand and other software). My only downfalls are electrical I'm a bit slow at, although as long as I can find wiring diagrams I can probably figure it out, I do not have vag-com and it is not necessarily easy for me to get a hold of around me, and I do not have great welding skills or a TIG welder(although there are shops around me that could). I really want to do this, I think it will be an extremely worthwhile swap to have a TDI, manual, Quattro (and hopefully wagon) car. It's everything I want in a car actually, and it doesn't seem to terribly hard, but I have never done a swap so I have really no idea. So if there are other good threads, notes, or any other personal experiences you all have had please share with me. I want to know as best I can what I'm getting myself into before I go and start acquiring parts. Sorry for being wordy, I try to be thorough and fully understand stuff, and if you have questions for me, feel free.
 

TDI_Nate_

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Central PA
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2001 Alh Jetta, Galactic Blue, 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI Black Uni, Non-sunroof, 6-speed
Thanks for that one, I've read through some of it and it seems helpful! I'll surely come back to it.

Something for everyone else I think I have just learned, the late model b5's may have actually had an immobilizer, although that isn't a huge deal because I'll want tuned anyway, does that mean early b5's do not? If so then they have the 1.8t with the throttle cable and I would need to know how to convert it to dbw for the TDI. Unless it would just be easier to tune out an immo in a later car.
 

eddieleephd

Top Post Dawg
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May 27, 2012
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2002 jetta Wagon
The immobilizer goes with the ECU and cluster. The new engine will either need the old immobilizer chip, or the key. A tuner might be able to adapt it to the key that belongs to the b5

Sent from my Armor_2 using Tapatalk
 

TDI_Nate_

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Apr 30, 2018
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Central PA
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2001 Alh Jetta, Galactic Blue, 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI Black Uni, Non-sunroof, 6-speed
Ok, so then is it safe to say if I got the euro ecu from say an afn, get the immo tuned off, I should be able to use the key the swap car came with?
 

d24tdi

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Jan 6, 2019
Location
MT
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96 B4V
I looked into a swap like this several years ago (had an AHU that ended up going into my Toyota pickup instead) and concluded that the simplest car to start with would be a particular mid year B5 A4 that had the old block style engine like the AHU, but with DBW. It was a narrow year range and a specific engine code to get this combination, IIRC late 1999 or 2000. Go too early and you have to convert from cable throttle to DBW, not too big a deal but more work. Go too late (2001, late 2000?) and the 1.8T engine would be the later style layout with timing belt driven water pump, more similar to an ALH (or BEW/BHW).

If an AHU/1Z is what you want to use then the late B5 cars would require more work since the motor mounts, accessories etc from that late style 1.8T would not be compatible with the older type TDI and you would need to track down those parts from an older A4 or Passat. The AHU will bolt right in place of the older style 1.8T or into any B5 using the older style mounting parts.

On the other hand if you are considering using a Passat BHW then a late year B5 A4 with the revised style 1.8T would be a simpler swap since the BHW also has the later style block design. An ALH or BEW would also bolt in with those late 1.8T mounting parts, though more work to deal with the rest of the details using a motor from a transverse platform. If you had a complete Passat donor car then with its mounts and accessories you could bolt the BHW into any year B5 A4, though I believe the V6 versions might have some differences with subframe and radiator crossmember vs the 1.8. BHW wiring harness and plumbing pieces, etc, would also provide a lot of easy solutions where other engines would create some (minor, manageable) challenges.

Regardless of which engine and car you go with, the US BHW exhaust manifold, VNT17 turbo, and probably downpipe would all be the easiest bolt-on options for solving those questions, and a good setup for strong performance. Any of the engines will bolt up to a V6 trans though you'll need to figure out a suitable clutch and the V6 gearing will be less than ideal.

Good luck if you go for it, I thought this would be a neat setup to put together and no doubt it would be a fun result. :)
 

TDI_Nate_

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2001 Alh Jetta, Galactic Blue, 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI Black Uni, Non-sunroof, 6-speed
d24tdi, thanks so much for that info! That was a huge help and cleared up a few thing! So then I figure if I'm going to do this I'm doing it the way I want, so a late 1999/early 2000 model b5 with the ATW 1.8t will be the swap car(that's the motor with external water pump and dbw, older style block) and will get an AHU. I know what exhaust/intake manifold I'll use now, and turbo. I could either get a custom dp made or I saw Darkside sells dp's for them as well! I think I've got a grip on the trans situation too now, and clutch I've read from other threads, as well as the rear diff. The motor mount situation I think I have a grip on now too, I just wish I could eyeball it in person but oh well. So now the only questions I really have left are as follows,

-Fuel tank/lines, can I use the existing gasoline stuff only take some gas bits off and add diesel specific things or no?

-The accessory bracket, I've made up my mind i'm going to use the ATW 1.8t model b5 and an AHU engine, both are 058 blocks I believe. Will that be a good thing or how should I do it?

-My biggest question, the ECU and engine harness. If it makes sense, I am thinking of getting an AFN/AVG TDI Euro ecu and engine harness and putting it right back where the ATW's was in the car. The swap ecu having been immo defeated and egr deleted. I'm sure there are some differences on the AHU side on the motor, hence my questions. How should I go about the ecu and harness?

If anybody else would like to chime in on any of the other questions, answered or not, please do. Like I said I want as much info as possible before diving into this.
 

2many diesels

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Location
Nor Cal
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rabbit pickup 1z swap Audi A4 Quattro ALH. 02 Beetle TDI. 99 Golf TDI. 03 Wagon TDI. 914 Porsche ALH t
My son and I have done three b5 tdi swaps...AHU, ALH, and a BEW. Personally I like the alh swap the best, but all are good.
2001 facelift b5. Started as 1.8t auto.Used v6 tranny and diff. The other two have tdi trannys but non existant now. As far as I know I have the last available tdi fifth gear for this tranny, will put it in some day.
Used 1.8t mounts and us spec ecu with immo delete and tune. I did buy a uk cluster... just for the glowplug light.
If you use a late b5 chassis with bhw, I think it is almost plug and play on the wiring from a passat donor.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
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Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
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02 golf ALH
the slightly deeper v6 gearset really isn't horrible with the added weight you're pushing around compared to the same ALH in say, a golf or jetta
 

TDI_Nate_

Active member
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Location
Central PA
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2001 Alh Jetta, Galactic Blue, 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI Black Uni, Non-sunroof, 6-speed
Thanks for the continued replies! So I will for sure use a v6 trans and rear diff until I have the money for a TDI 6-speed from Europe. So now that I have discovered Frans's site on here I've had another thought. How easy would it be if I bought from Frans a complete AFN TDI engine/harness/ecu? Would that be the easiest way to do this? I figure it gets me around trying to find a motor or donor car, gets me around having to figure out the accessory bracket, and at least in my mind should be a drop it in and wire it up swap seeming as it would be from an another b5 a4? And as long as I Immo defeat everything the new TDI cluster and the key that came with the swap car should work? Also is the engine harness tied into the check system in a b5 a4(the system that checks the bulbs and such) at all or is it totally separate?
 

d24tdi

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Jan 6, 2019
Location
MT
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96 B4V
The tricky part from what I remember when I looked at this idea is that the TDI-geared 01A 5 speed quattro gearboxes are hard to find. 6 speed quattro trans with TDI gearing is easy to get, but bolting one of those into an A4 means getting axles, mounts, linkage, rear driveshaft, and rear diff that are all different from what the car would have come with. Can't remember if the subframe is different also but it might be.

Might want to start the search now for a TDI quattro 01A if you want to use one of those, they exist but will take some looking to find. Or plan on the 6 speed conversion but be aware that it won't drop right in where a 5 speed was before. B5 S4 would be the only source for some of the A4 01E parts in the US, though all of it can be found from Europe easily enough to go that route.

Or as someone else said above, especially with a VE 1.9L in a heavier AWD A4, you could make the case for just living with the ratios of the V6 gas 01A trans. It will have the engine buzzing on the highway but these don't seem to really mind revs, and the impact on economy seems to be minimal, really just a matter of driver comfort and noise level with the engine spinning at 3k and beyond. Wouldn't need to downshift for passing or hills, the shorter gears would help the engine move the car around well. Especially if highway speeds aren't that high where you are, you may find you don't mind it at all.

As for the idea of the AFN swap, I don't see why it wouldn't work out. There's another guy in here who recently did something similar with a Euro PD motor and swap kit from Frans into a B6 A4. Overall seemed like it went well. Might be easier than finding and ripping apart a donor AHU car here in the US, and would get you a lot closer to plug and play if you could get the Euro B5 accessory setup, cooling system, harness, etc, with it.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
It will have the engine buzzing on the highway but these don't seem to really mind revs, and the impact on economy seems to be minimal, really just a matter of driver comfort and noise level with the engine spinning at 3k and beyond.
ditch the puny stock turbo and they'll make good power out past 6k
 

TDI_Nate_

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Location
Central PA
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2001 Alh Jetta, Galactic Blue, 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI Black Uni, Non-sunroof, 6-speed
[486], I figured that would help honestly, and I know putting a cam in these 1.9's shifts the power band up into that area rev range, so paired with a larger turbo I'm sure it would be quite happy at the slightly higher rpm a gas v6 trans would supply. Honestly it is probably the way I'll do it cause I'll get good power, I was thinking at least a b5.5 vnt17.

d24tdi, thanks again for all the information you are sharing, and the repeated responses. Honestly I'll probably stick with the gas v6 trans for a while and slowly assemble parts to do a euro TDI 6-speed swap.

As for the engine choice I'm leaning towards an entire AFN swap from Frans(engine, harness, ecu), it seems easiest and should cost relatively the same money as finding a donor with a good motor then having to figure out the wiring and ecu situation. Plus it'll come with the accessory bracket and accessories the way it is in a euro car so it should go right in.

I know I keep repeating myself but it really is the biggest hurdle for me doing this project. So I've decided as stated above, that I am going to use an AFN ecu and harness. Is it going to be as simple as remove gas ecu and engine wiring harness, install tdi ecu and wiring harness, and plug in? I'm sure there are some little things here and there, but generally speaking is it going to hopefully go something like that? And then the Cluster, I'm gonna get a UK early TDI cluster so everything is correct, is that and the ecu going to need Immo defeated? I've read different things on early b5's some having and some not having an immobilizer, my concern is I am going to need to be able to use the key the original 1.8t US car came with. I think I have everything figured out for this swap but that at this point honestly, so any direction here would be greatly appreciated!
 
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