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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:48 am    Post subject: TDI powered Vanagon questions Reply with quote

Okay before I get flamed for not using the search function I did but I want to start a thread asking some questions that I have in particular. My wife and I are going to purchase a westfalia vanagon, I really would like a 90-91 gl. Preferably it would be nice to find a clean vanagon with a blown motor so I can get it for a better price since I am just going to pull the motor anyways. My questions are:

What year TDI engines can I use? What are the best years?

What do I need to make sure I get from the donor car to make this all possible?

Are you guys happy with your TDI conversion? Is it fast enough up hills? Can you cruise 70 and still accelerate when needed? Does it feel like a newer car or still underpowered?

Anyone driven a subaru and a TDI vanagon conversion and can offer a comparison or opinion?

What I am looking for is the following. I want a later model vanagon that I can jump in and do 70-75-80 on the highway without feeling like I am beating the heck out of it. If I do the tdi conversion I will also be doing a chip upgrade and better exhaust. I am considering doing the conversion myself but will most likely gather all the parts and have someone else install it for me to save time. I guess I would love to hear others thoughts who have already performed this upgrade and if you are happy with the results. I like my cars quick but more importantly to be able to push the heavy camper loaded down with gear.
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88 Double Cab
74 Porsche 914
2012 Tdi Sportwagen Pano

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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These folks know their TDi's, you can probably find the answer to most of your questions there:
http://www.greaseworks.org/tdivanagon

another option for SUVan power is the 1.8T that Stephan installs
http://www.stephansautohaus.com/VW_VANAGON_DIVISION/VW_Vanagon_Conversion_Engines.aspx

I have a 2.2 Subaru powered Syncro Westy. I am totally underwhelmed by the power, and do not recommend it.. Going 75mph on the highway is often impossible if there is a headwind or a hill.. and if you spend any time above 5000 feet, the fact it has no Turbo means it really sucks.. this answer is specific to your desire for 75mph performance..
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Westy-Life
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an 1986 with a TDI from a 03 Jetta (ALH engine code).

There are a number of different TDI engines you can use, and I would suggest reading/searching this site. http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/TDI-conversion/
There is a ton of knowledge there.

You also need to decide at what angle you want to install your TDI. You can mount some engines at 50 degrees to keep it under the engine cover or you can go the easier route and mount it at 15 degrees (the way it sits in the Jetta) and need to modify the engine cover.

Mine is at 15 degrees. I like the engine cover mod as it gives you a nice storage place for tools and other junk.
I love the power and climbing hills (mountains where I live) is now fun! The fuel economy is definitely worth it as well, and the TDI's have lots of options for making better than stock power via chips and upgrades.

PM me if you would like to hear more.
Cheers!
Dave
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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have a 2.2 Subaru powered Syncro Westy. I am totally underwhelmed by the power, and do not recommend it.. Going 75mph on the highway is often impossible if there is a headwind or a hill.. and if you spend any time above 5000 feet, the fact it has no Turbo means it really sucks.. this answer is specific to your desire for 75mph performance..


Thats the kind of things I want to hear. Alot of people try to defend their build just becasue they have it. I want to weed through the problem conversions and get the best conversion my money can buy. I am hoping to have a vanagon converted with a TDI for around 10-12k. I am not set on that price but I am going to take my time and purchase the parts as needed. Ideally I would like a new Tdi engine so I could be asured it was new. But I will also be considering low mileage engines.
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66 Westfalia
62 Double Cab
87 Westfalia Syncro
88 Double Cab
74 Porsche 914
2012 Tdi Sportwagen Pano

Currently looking for 62 Double Cab, 66 Westfalia Parts!
(Rear seat and pedestal, bumpers, mirrors)

http://www.baycountrymotors.com

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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You also need to decide at what angle you want to install your TDI. You can mount some engines at 50 degrees to keep it under the engine cover or you can go the easier route and mount it at 15 degrees (the way it sits in the Jetta) and need to modify the engine cover.



Thanks Westylife,

Well I think I will need to install it so that it is below the engine cover. Seems like If I go with the raised version my bed will not be flat downstairs.

When you say the easier route is 15 degrees why is it easier? What makes the 50 so difficult. I would like to keep the van as pure as possible.
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66 Westfalia
62 Double Cab
87 Westfalia Syncro
88 Double Cab
74 Porsche 914
2012 Tdi Sportwagen Pano

Currently looking for 62 Double Cab, 66 Westfalia Parts!
(Rear seat and pedestal, bumpers, mirrors)

http://www.baycountrymotors.com

"Do it the right way, or you'll pay for it"
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Westy-Life
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the 15 degree setup you can still use the bed on the bottom, we do, as our 3 year old has claimed the upstairs her room!

You will need to add about a 4 inch bump in the engine cover. Then you lay a piece of plywood over the cover, so that when the read seat is in bed mode, it lays even with the plywood. We roll out our 4" memory foam and dream away.

Again read the link I sent and you will find more info on the 50 degree setups. I am no expert just relaying what I hear, but there are oil pan/pick-up modifications to avail oil starvation. Custom brackets that need to be made to mount the engine, where as you can buy the 15 degree mounts - http://www.westyventures.com/parts.html - from Karl. Actually his photos show the engine cover mod.

PM'd BTW.

Cheers!
Dave
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porker buzz
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dont forget to budget for a uprated higher ratio box if you go the tdi route as it will be useless without it,
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BlackDogVan
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thats the kind of things I want to hear. Alot of people try to defend their build just becasue they have it.


And that pretty much sums up 99% of the arguements and "opinions" to be found in online forums. Well put.

I have a TD vanagon, love it, but am upgrading to a TDI in the fall for the tuning power & the challenge of building a mechanical TDi. If you don't know already you can do a TDI without the computer & spendy little sensors. Some would argue that they can use a scanner to find fault codes, but in my experience that mostly helps you find which $150 sensor has bit it. You really should check out westy ventures site. Karl has 15 degree mounting kits & mechanical tdi pumps for sale as well as installation & my limited knowledge of US geography has him closeish to you.

With the m-tdi you can still use all the nice go-fast tdi goodies (except chip tuning) like big turbo's & injector nozzles and still get all the tdi efficiency & fuel economy. (o crap, better go get on my flame suit)

Good luck with the build!
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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So does karl only do the mechanical version and 15 degrees. I think I am wanting the 50 degree and electronic version. I like being able to have the obd capabilities and chip ugrades.
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66 Westfalia
62 Double Cab
87 Westfalia Syncro
88 Double Cab
74 Porsche 914
2012 Tdi Sportwagen Pano

Currently looking for 62 Double Cab, 66 Westfalia Parts!
(Rear seat and pedestal, bumpers, mirrors)

http://www.baycountrymotors.com

"Do it the right way, or you'll pay for it"
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wildenbeast
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have a TD (AAZ engine). The conversion took a very long time. I ended up sourcing my own parts as well to save $$$. This saved me some money in the short run, but I ended up buying two major components (turbo and injection pump) from a source that all the TDI builders would have known to be junk. So, some of the money saved ended up being put toward these components. I have noted my pitfalls for others to not make the same mistakes on my website;

http://billwildenberg.shutterfly.com/vwvanagon

Up until needing to replace the two parts I mentioned above, I was really happy with the power, especially for a high roof (adventurewagen) syncro. I thought that the fuel economy wasn't as good as I was hoping for but with the new injection pump, this should change things (at least a little). I could cruise at 75 mph fairly easy. I could also pull 55 mph up I70 to Eisenhower tunnel. Vail pass was a test of my EGTs so I always backed off there...

Anyway, I hope this helps. There is a lot to learn from the forums, Andrew and Karl who frequent the Samba and other diesel forums, etc...

You could always buy a Vanagon that is already diesel and upgrade it too;
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=778909


Bill
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

casey79westfalia wrote:
Quote:
You also need to decide at what angle you want to install your TDI. You can mount some engines at 50 degrees to keep it under the engine cover or you can go the easier route and mount it at 15 degrees (the way it sits in the Jetta) and need to modify the engine cover.



Thanks Westylife,

Well I think I will need to install it so that it is below the engine cover. Seems like If I go with the raised version my bed will not be flat downstairs.

When you say the easier route is 15 degrees why is it easier? What makes the 50 so difficult. I would like to keep the van as pure as possible.


Although not the TDI, my Jetta 2.0 @15* required the same ~4" tubbing of engine lid. Bed can work this way. Nice to mount engine w/o mods to it, but in future I'd go 50*. Don't know about the TDI though....

Ar 15* wouldn't an engine carrier bar would have to be made? I had to make one for my install.

All engine lid pics:

http://tubaneil.googlepages.com/enginelidtubbed

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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1981 VanaJetta 2.0 Westy "Jaco"
1988 Westy To Be Named! :^)

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://sites.google.com/site/t2t3vaggasengineswaps/home

My Air Cooled Vanagon to 15║ Jetta ABA swap pages:
https://sites.google.com/site/tubaneil2/15degreeengineconversion
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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I am doing 50 for sure. I like what you have done to make the conversion work but I would rather have it stock back there.
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66 Westfalia
62 Double Cab
87 Westfalia Syncro
88 Double Cab
74 Porsche 914
2012 Tdi Sportwagen Pano

Currently looking for 62 Double Cab, 66 Westfalia Parts!
(Rear seat and pedestal, bumpers, mirrors)

http://www.baycountrymotors.com

"Do it the right way, or you'll pay for it"
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

casey79westfalia wrote:
Yeah I am doing 50 for sure. I like what you have done to make the conversion work but I would rather have it stock back there.


Gotcha.

I like the idea of 50* too.

Best on your swap!

Neil.
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1981 VanaJetta 2.0 Westy "Jaco"
1988 Westy To Be Named! :^)

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://sites.google.com/site/t2t3vaggasengineswaps/home

My Air Cooled Vanagon to 15║ Jetta ABA swap pages:
https://sites.google.com/site/tubaneil2/15degreeengineconversion
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rsxsr
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An ALH at 50 degrees with a TDI pump and stock oil filter will not clear the engine compartment. The engine would need to be dropped more than I would prefer. Do a search on my username in the Samba Gallery for some photos of the conversion. There are no kits that I am aware off for the later TDI. All the parts need to be made from scratch. The earlier TDI pre 98, will work with the NA 1.6 diesel factory mounts etc. Flybywire technology is fairly advanced. Adapting the wiring, to the stock vanagon is a lot of work. That is why some suggest an M-TDI. I must caution you. This is a huge project and very costly. Also, if you have a problem there are only a few qualified people to help. When I travel, I carry a laptop with the VAG-COM software, a Scan gauge, a vanagon manual, and a New Beetle manual. I have a volt ohm meter and a test light along with a good assortment of tools. There are bolt in kits for the Subara and Ztec engines. I think they might be better suited for your needs.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I am just researching at this point. I am not scared of a difficult project. I have no doubt that I couldnt get a later tdi motor going with alot of effort. I am in no rush at all. My father also has a mechanic that can do just about anything. He just dropped a new motor in my moms 08 mini cooper and did all the programming and what not. He use to work for american airlines as a mechaninc. He has always worked on my Bmw's. He would love to do a conversion for me I am sure. he loves the challenge.

With that being said I dont want to make things more difficult for myself if they dont need to be. I would like the engine to sit in there at 50 so I dont have to modify the engine lid. I guess I could always just get another engine lid if I ever put the stock motor back in. My main concern is that even with the tdi I will be short on power. If I am going to spend a bot load of money I want to make it worth it. I think I need to drive someones TDI vanagon and anothers subaru and see what I like. I like the idea of the tdi better for longevity,gas mileage and capability of running veg. oil. Those are the selling point for me. Power is the biggest concern.
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66 Westfalia
62 Double Cab
87 Westfalia Syncro
88 Double Cab
74 Porsche 914
2012 Tdi Sportwagen Pano

Currently looking for 62 Double Cab, 66 Westfalia Parts!
(Rear seat and pedestal, bumpers, mirrors)

http://www.baycountrymotors.com

"Do it the right way, or you'll pay for it"


Last edited by casey79westfalia on Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
..... Do a search on my username in the Samba Gallery for some photos of the conversion. ...... That is why some suggest an M-TDI. I must caution you. This is a huge project and very costly. Also, if you have a problem there are only a few qualified people to help. When I travel, I carry a laptop with the VAG-COM software, a Scan gauge, a vanagon manual, and a New Beetle manual. I have a volt ohm meter and a test light along with a good assortment of tools.


I thought all conversion people carried that stuff! Wink

rsxsr

Interesting pics. Did you weld up a custom oil pan? If so, why?

Cool to see plumbing etc.

Neil
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1988 Westy To Be Named! :^)

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://sites.google.com/site/t2t3vaggasengineswaps/home

My Air Cooled Vanagon to 15║ Jetta ABA swap pages:
https://sites.google.com/site/tubaneil2/15degreeengineconversion
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Mr. Electric Wizard
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any reason why you want to go TDI?
There are other options out there for more power and torque.
A Turbo Zetec or a Subie 2.5 for instance would be more than enough power.
The mileage wouldn't be as good as a TDI, but not too much worse.
You don't need to change the gearing in the tranny either.
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rsxsr
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it is a custom pan. I bought a new pan and cut the mounting flange off. I fabricated it to mimic the stock diesel pan. I wanted the filler tube and dipstick behind the license plate. I also wanted to put the original shields back on.

To the original poster, I don't think a TDI is for you. If you put a rocket chip in and a bigger turbo, you will probably twist the axles out or gernade the transmission. The vanagon is about as aero as a shoe box and as heavy as two elephants. The TDI is quick off the line, but its real advantage is MPG and the torque. It laughs at hills. Without accomodating for the stock gearing you'd be lucky to see 25mpg at 70mph. With a 4.57 ring and pinion I am turning 3100 rpm at 63 mph. Join the Vangon conversion group at yahoo as suggested. http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/TDI-conversion I can not say much more. It can be done, but is more work than you can imagine. Mine took 7 years in my spare time. Regards
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
Yes, it is a custom pan. I bought a new pan and cut the mounting flange off. I fabricated it to mimic the stock diesel pan. I wanted the filler tube and dipstick behind the license plate. I also wanted to put the original shields back on.



Thanks.

DV pans were on my mind. Just reading up over on the DV Yahoo list about the concept of MIG welding a steel DV type pan. Should I tilt my Jetta 2.0 to 50*, it would be interesting to copy a DV. (though I'm sure buying a used one is less $)

Neil.
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1988 Westy To Be Named! :^)

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://sites.google.com/site/t2t3vaggasengineswaps/home

My Air Cooled Vanagon to 15║ Jetta ABA swap pages:
https://sites.google.com/site/tubaneil2/15degreeengineconversion
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1621
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a couple shots showing a different raised decklid (2") to clear the engine. A donor engine hatch was welded up to some square tubing, which in turn creates really nice storage compartments. Swap the mattress pad to some memory foam and it's better than stock. I just don't want you to immediately discount all your engine options based upon a couple of decklid photos.

BTW - I know little about TDi's except that I want one! Very Happy

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