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2003 1.8T conversion
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VWZigs
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:50 am    Post subject: 2003 1.8T conversion Reply with quote

I have done a couple of days research on this type of conversion and have found little info. I have a (2003) 1.8T donor car available to me if I want it and am wondering how much of a hassle it will be to put into a stock 91 Vanagon. For those of you who have done this conversion:

Does the transaxle have to be re-geared to accommodate the stronger engine?

Does the old diesel engine carriers/mounting brackets work for this conversion as well?

What other issues arose from this conversion?

All input is appreciated but we all know that Vanagon conversions are widely debated so please offer info on the 1.8T and not on how the Suby engines are better. Very Happy

FYI: I have 91 Carat with a stock 2.1 and a manual transaxle. The donor car is a 2003 Audi TT, complete car (it was t-boned)
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1621
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, the TT variant is the cat's ass as far as the 1.8T engines go. IIRC, they put out 225hp stock, versus 180 for most of the other versions. Good score.

The transaxle doesn't need to be re-geared, but it is nice having the 0.77 4th gear for highway cruising. Some others may chime in about swapping out the 3rd gear as well - I didn't and it's sometimes a big jump from 3rd to 4th. Generally I just run up the RPMs a bit higher before going to fourth and it's not been an issue.

Not certain about the diesel carriers.

You'll need to have some of the fault codes deactivated, i.e. air bags, ABS, and probably a few others. APR Tuning can do this for you, but I'd speak with Stephan's Autohaus first.

Since I didn't do the conversion myself, I would recommend contacting a few people to gain some information first hand.

-Stephan (Beetsport) at Stephan's Autohaus in Sacramento is the first person I'd contact, he's completed a number of these conversion now and is probably your best resource.

-Dredward (samba name) did his own conversion with some advice from Stephan.

-Loogy was working on a 1.8T conversion, but I'm not certain how far along he is on the project.

Good luck and let us know how things unfold.
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Last edited by 1621 on Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully you found that the user with username beetsport does this job. I bet they will tell you all about it.

http://www.stephansautohaus.com/VWVANAGONDIVISION/VWVanagonConversionEngines.aspx
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shenan-agon
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1621 wrote:
First off, the TT variant is the cat's ass as far as the 1.8T engines go. IIRC, they put out 225hp stock, versus 180 for most of the other versions. Good score.



Depends on which version of the TT - some were 180, some were 225. The difference is a K04 turbo in the 225 version vs. a K03s in the 180, if I recall. If it has two intercoolers, it's a 225.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to see some more pictures. From the description on their website, it does not sound inexpensive. I wonder what a turnkey cost is? It would be a nice ride when completed.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: 2003 1.8T conversion Reply with quote

VWZigs wrote:


Does the old diesel engine carriers/mounting brackets work for this conversion as well?



I think the 1.8t has to be a 15* install. Don't know if there's any advantage to modifying the DV carriers etc. but here's a pic from Beetsport showing part of the carrier:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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BlackDogVan
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe 1st gen 1.8T could use the diesel bits, it was the same block architecure as the ABA gassers & 1st gen TDI's. This would be a 15 degree / kennedy adapter plate job.
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1621
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a couple pictures from my 1.8T in a 2wd Westy. Work performed by Stephan. A couple notes: The ECU is fitted into the rear lower cabinet, I'm sure it could be mounted elsewhere but this seems as convenient enough space as any. The air box is from a 90's era Dodge Caravan (don't recall exact model information right now) and fits in the driver's side D pillar. Still retains the drive-by-wire, so the gas pedal was replaced with one from the donor vehicle - NB in this case.

Pic of the engine installed:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Raised decklid with additional storage:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Intercooler in the passenger side D-pillar with dedicated fan:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Engine carrier with skid plate to protect the aluminum oil pan. Not a necessary item, but something I felt better about having in place. Also note that in a 1.8T converted 2wd van the engine sits about an inch lower (picture the stock syncro mount) for engine clearance purposes.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by 1621 on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have a picture with the engine cover on, but the mattress up? Looks like a nice extension they made.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1621 wrote:
Here are a couple pictures from my 1.8T in a 2wd Westy. Work performed by Stephan. A couple notes: The ECU is fitted into the rear lower cabinet, I'm sure it could be mounted elsewhere but this seems as convenient enough space as any. The air box is from a 90's era Dodge Caravan (don't recall exact model information right now) and fits in the driver's side D pillar.
Engine carrier with skid plate to protect the aluminum oil pan. Not a necessary item, but something I felt better about having in place. Also note that with a 2wd van the engine sits about an inch lower (picture the stock syncro mount) for engine clearance purposes.


Great pics Eric. That 1.8T is a sweet looking swap.

I'm still not uber clear on differences between Syncro and 2WD re: stock engine height in bay.

So a stock 2WD engine sits lower in bay than the Syncro? For some reason I thought it was the other way around.

Next time I'd mount ECU in or under cabinet in rear. I bet it's WAY easier for testing continuity/resistance etc. than having ECU under bench seat. I would also take time to run OBD interface to front though having it at rear is ok.

For the OP, FWIW, I used a Caravan V6 air box same location. There are 2 different V6 boxes. IIRC I used the 3.3 V6. It fits fine and works, but may be too small.

Mine w/o MAF etc. still with Caravan bits. I deleted snorkel/boot and connected MAF via Home Bleepo plumbing bits. Should have epoxied a mounting flange for MAF as per Honda box below.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Another 15* ABA swapper uses a Honda box. Likely could be used with 1.8T Seems to have a larger filter element than my Caravan one. Not sure if this is better or not.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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1981 Westy air cooled to 15 ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50 ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

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Alaric.H
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1621 wrote:
Here are a couple pictures from my 1.8T in a 2wd Westy. Work performed by Stephan. A couple notes: The ECU is fitted into the rear lower cabinet, I'm sure it could be mounted elsewhere but this seems as convenient enough space as any. The air box is from a 90's era Dodge Caravan (don't recall exact model information right now) and fits in the driver's side D pillar. Still retains the drive-by-wire, so the gas pedal was replaced with one from the donor vehicle - NB in this case.

Pic of the engine installed:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Raised decklid with additional storage:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Intercooler in the passenger side D-pillar with dedicated fan:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Engine carrier with skid plate to protect the aluminum oil pan. Not a necessary item, but something I felt better about having in place. Also note that with a 2wd van the engine sits about an inch lower (picture the stock syncro mount) for engine clearance purposes.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Engine carrier with skid plate to protect the aluminum oil pan. Not a necessary item, but something I felt better about having in place. Also note that with a 2wd van the engine sits about an inch lower (picture the stock syncro mount) for engine clearance purposes
.
I would say the engine skid plate is very necessary after looking at all the dents in mine.


Last edited by Alaric.H on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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1621
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
Do you have a picture with the engine cover on, but the mattress up? Looks like a nice extension they made.


No pictures like that, but it's really not much different than what you would normally see - no modifications to the engine cover itself. A donor hatch was cut out and welded to the square tubing (you can kinda see it in the first and second pictures). This enables the engine cover to fit as it would normally.

To even out the bed I replaced the original foam inside the rear cover with 4" of memory foam (single 2" pad doubled up) which compresses to the same level of the folded out rear bench when you lie down on it. Raised decklids are not the big compromise many folks make it out to be.
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1621
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alaric.H wrote:

I would say the engine skid plate is very necessary after looking at all the dents in mine.


Let's just say you and I don't follow the same trails. Laughing


Neil,

If I understand correctly the Syncro's engine sits an inch lower in the bay than the 2wd like you said. In order for the 1.8T to fit properly in the 2wd it too needs to be lowered an inch to the Syncro height - thus a slight loss of clearance in 2wds. Hence the skid plate. I've since more than made up the difference by adding the VC lift springs and larger wheels and tires. The tires are a slight detriment in terms of putting power to the road, but the big gains in power compensate for the larger diameter.

Fixed the above comment to reflect that the converted 2wd engine is lowered to the Syncro's height.

Also, that airbox looks to be the same as the one used in the 1.8T conversion.

Erik
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I am in the beginning throes (not that bad really) of a 1.8T swap. Here is a link to the thread where I began asking questions.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=378731&highlight=details

My plan is to do as much with as little as possible and still end up with a professional, reliable conversion. So far I have my wiring totally figured out. I am placing the ECU in a separate box that will also contain a power relay and the fuel pump relay along with a small fuse block and the barometric pressure sensor. This box will be placed in the left hand air plenum.

I plan on using a modified Vanagon engine mounting bar to mate to the stock AUDI engine mounts. I do not want to use a Kennedy adapter (for personal/financial reason) and I can't seem to find a Mexican/Brazilian bellhousing for a decent price, so I am considering changing directions and using a modified diesel bellhousing...if I can find one that is (anybody have one that they want to sell?). I'm not sure if my plan will work out, but I'm willing to try.

The intake position is planned to be in the left side air plenum. I have not made a firm decision on the intercooler yet. The two options are to use the stock intercooler or use a air/water intercooler. Financially speaking, using the stock air/air intercooler makes the most sense. However I have some serious doubts as to how efficient I can make the air/air system work. Its obvious that an air/air intercooler can be made to work adequately, but I have some doubts as to whether or not an air/air system can be made to work as efficiently as possible given the parameters the Vanagon's architecture (perfect airflow through the intercooler).

My engine is an AEB from a 1998 AUDI A4. This engine is different from yours in that I have a cable throttle, no secondary air injection and my engine was mounted longitudinally in the AUDI chassis. The transversely mounted engines have some different ancillaries, oil pan, coolant manifolds, wiring layout, engine mounts, etc. This means that what I do with my conversion will most likely not directly translate to what will be needed for your conversion. Not that these things couldn't be adapted/changed, it's just that they are different.

A few things that I found very helpful are the links that are in the thread that I started on the details and buying a Bentley manual for the 1998 AUDI A4. Studying the wiring, cooling layout, vacuum layout, etc. has allowed me to come up with my own approach to solve the integration issues.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1621 wrote:


Neil,

If I understand correctly the Syncro's engine sits an inch lower in the bay than the 2wd like you said. In order for the 1.8T to fit properly in the 2wd it too needs to be lowered an inch to the Syncro height - thus a slight loss of clearance in 2wds. Hence the skid plate. I've since more than made up the difference by adding the VC lift springs and larger wheels and tires. The tires are a slight detriment in terms of putting power to the road, but the big gains in power compensate for the larger diameter.

Fixed the above comment to reflect that the converted 2wd engine is lowered to the Syncro's height.

Also, that airbox looks to be the same as the one used in the 1.8T conversion.

Erik


Ah. Ok. That makes sense. Syncro body is higher. And thanks for info on airbox.

Re: engine height. Like other swappers, I noticed there was a bit of leeway in engine height. But if drivetrain tilted too low, linkage binds up. I wonder if your drivetrain was tilted or entire thing lowered keeping the angle the same. Obviously it worked out just fine. I never measured the difference between stock engine position and what I installed though I did transfer a rough mark from center of air cooled engine to frame before removing engine. I just tweaked it so that there was wiggle room between *tubbed* engine lid and so that lid ended up being flush with existing 4" high Z bed. But now I'm OT. Wink

To OP. I found that a worm gear winch was handy not only for engine in/out but made for a great way to fine tune drivetrain height before making carrier. And a level on tranny helps too.

Incomplete, but gives an idea.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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50 ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

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BlackDogVan
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

loogy wrote:


I plan on using a modified Vanagon engine mounting bar to mate to the stock AUDI engine mounts. I do not want to use a Kennedy adapter (for personal/financial reason) and I can't seem to find a Mexican/Brazilian bellhousing for a decent price, so I am considering changing directions and using a modified diesel bellhousing...if I can find one that is (anybody have one that they want to sell?). I'm not sure if my plan will work out, but I'm willing to try.


www.vanagon.eu

Jurgen is a super solid vendor, 9.999/10 .(he'd be a 10 if he'd clean the parts Very Happy).
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

loogy wrote:

I plan on using a modified Vanagon engine mounting bar to mate to the stock AUDI engine mounts. I do not want to use a Kennedy adapter (for personal/financial reason) and I can't seem to find a Mexican/Brazilian bellhousing for a decent price, so I am considering changing directions and using a modified diesel bellhousing...if I can find one that is (anybody have one that they want to sell?). I'm not sure if my plan will work out, but I'm willing to try.


Overland / Eurospec sells all the mounting parts to do this, including the Mexican bell. (I'm one of the resellers)

OR, make me an offer - I have one of the Mex. bell housings, used.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips on the bellhousings, guys. I had thought about that guy in Germany, but had reservations. Good to hear that he is reliable.

Karl, I get dealer pricing on Eurospec stuff, but even then the price is just too high for my cheapskate mind. This conversion is slated to cost me less than $1000 and that includes EVERYTHING. I want to recycle as much as I can from the existing parts. So far I am right on track...with the exception of the bellhousing. Like I said, this conversion is being done with my own approach. I thoroughly enjoy the process of figuring out how I can make it all go together with as little money as possible without sacrificing quality. I will PM you on your used Mexicali one.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the easiest/cheapest clutch/flywheel/ input shaft setup?
On the higher output 1.8t from the TT with the k04 turbo, I'd have a good look at the torque curve, excessive lag from a larger turbo might not be the better option for a daily driver van vs. a TT or GTI.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:17 am    Post subject: 1.8T Stephansautohaus Reply with quote

Stephan of Stephan's Autohaus is in the middle of the 1.8T conversion process on my 91 Syncro and I can vouch for his unbelievable quality and integrity and great professional service. We are going a little over the top with using APR's Stage III + conversion and should see some crazy HP and TQ numbers when all is said and done. According to APR when this engine is dyno'ed in a GTI (obviously a different animal) they see 340 hp & 320 tq (at the wheel). The conversion is in and Stephan is in the fine tuning and breaking the engine in at this point. I will post some pictures or maybe Stephan will if / when he sees this thread. Once the engine is broken in we will be doing some dyno runs and see what kind of numbers we get. Stephan is the best for this conversion in my opinion.

APR dyno for stage III+ in a 1.8T in a GTI:

http://www.goapr.com/products/tvs3plus_power_figures.html
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