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What does a good AAZ feel like?
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iliketowalk
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:03 am    Post subject: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

So since I have nothing to compare to... Wondering if the AAZ owners can tell me what it should feel like...

Setup
- SAAB intercooler, no fan
- AAZ K03 Turbo, running 15psi with manual boost controller
- Giles Pump, setup for 15psi on K03
- Transmission has taller 4th, unsure how tall as don't have a tach, but feels a little too tall.
- 215/75/15 BFG K02 on Mefro wheels

Startup
- Cold, it will fire in less than half a crank, very minimal smoke, little stumbling
- Warm, takes 2-3 revolutions, no smoke, no stumbling

Driving
- Coolant gauge runs dead in the center, up a grade it will climb to 5/8
- Pulls well in 1st,2nd,3rd
- 3rd is good to 55mph, but it's really screaming, usually shift at about 50mph if "in a hurry"
- 4th seems too tall, on flat ground can pull from 40mph or so without lugging if gentle with throttle, if climbing a grade, have to downshift to 3rd at 50mph and then stuck in 3rd
- Was running 215/60/16 before on aluminum wheels, and could do 70mph or so on flat ground before it felt like I was having to keep it floored
- With 215/75/15 on steel wheels, the happy place is 55mph, 65 feels like pushing it
- Part throttle I have what might be knocking / nailing? When I'm full into it or barely into it, it's smooth.

So my "feeling" is that it's not performing where it should be at 15psi. It's running a later pump that doesn't "need" to be timed with dial indicator, but went ahead and ordered one to recheck everything and see if that's causing any problems - should be here later this week.

Appreciate any feedback you guys have / experiences with our own rig that you can share.
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1984 Westfalia Camper "Westy Pete" - ARB/Solar [Sold but still in the family]
1987 Westfalia Weekender "Big Blue" - EJ22/Burley UCA,Bumper/CLK/215.70.16s [Sold]
1985 Vanagon "Frank" - AAZ/NAHT/Westy [RIP #CarrFire]
1990 Carat "SportVan" [RIP #CarrFire]
1987 Syncro "Miles" [RIP #CarrFire]
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

What are your pre-turbine EGT's on an extended grade?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

I have AAZ with Giles pump and mine also does a lot of clattering at medium speeds on a flat surface. Pulls good though, plenty of smooth uphill power with no clattering.

I get great power up above 2700 but below that the fueling doesn’t really kick in. Maybe a feature of the Giles pump, I thought I would adjust the aneroid so it pushes more fuel at lower RPMs. Maybe you are having the same problem but at a lower elevation. I really need to time my acceleration in traffic so I hit the power curve when I need it, because there’s nothing at the lower end.

Andrew has a point about the EGTs. I am only running a K14 but can easily hit 1400º on a long hill at which time I need to back off the power. Its possible you may have already burned your exhaust valves. Installing a performance pump without an EGT gauge is asking for trouble
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

EGT probe installed, will get numbers tomorrow.

I've put as few miles as possible on it since installing the pump, really just test drives here and there - hence my continued interest in learning more before I start to put real miles on it.
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1987 Westfalia Weekender "Big Blue" - EJ22/Burley UCA,Bumper/CLK/215.70.16s [Sold]
1985 Vanagon "Frank" - AAZ/NAHT/Westy [RIP #CarrFire]
1990 Carat "SportVan" [RIP #CarrFire]
1987 Syncro "Miles" [RIP #CarrFire]
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

You've quoted speeds in your original post. Are these actual or indicated speed? The tire combo you have selected is quite a bit larger than stock so your speedo will read lower.

One option worth considering is trying your stock rim/tire combo to see how it affects the behaviour of your van. Maybe you'll have to step the tire size down a bit further than 215 75s.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:00 am    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

I have the same engine with a 3spd automatic. The AAZ stock is 75hp with the turbo, less without. The AAZ can easily be made into a 100hp + motor with very minimal modifications. However it is pushing a vanagon. They're heavy, not very aerodynamic and the transmissions are geared all wrong for that type of motor.

If you are looking for something powerful like a modern day vehicle the engine you want is the TDI.

The only reason to go with an AAZ is to avoid all the computerization. It is plug and play, one wire to the fuel solenoid and you are good to go. No computers. But it cannot compete with modern computerized engines and you will be the slowest vehicle on the road by far.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:16 am    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

chrissev2 wrote:
I have the same engine with a 3spd automatic. The AAZ stock is 75hp with the turbo, less without. The AAZ can easily be made into a 100hp + motor with very minimal modifications. However it is pushing a vanagon. They're heavy, not very aerodynamic and the transmissions are geared all wrong for that type of motor.

If you are looking for something powerful like a modern day vehicle the engine you want is the TDI.

The only reason to go with an AAZ is to avoid all the computerization. It is plug and play, one wire to the fuel solenoid and you are good to go. No computers. But it cannot compete with modern computerized engines and you will be the slowest vehicle on the road by far.


Thanks for this - very helpful to hear someone else's "feeling" here. I'm actually totally fine with how it runs, that's part of the problem - I could easily live with it, I just want to make sure I'm not grossly overlooking something that will cause long-term harm.

I wanted an AAZ specifically because of the one wire system, no DBW, etc... My biggest lesson is that I should've done the swap myself, both for a better understanding and less work overall.

What's your "happy cruising speed"? Obviously this is down to gearing / tires to a certain extent, but I'm curious anyhow.
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1984 Westfalia Camper "Westy Pete" - ARB/Solar [Sold but still in the family]
1987 Westfalia Weekender "Big Blue" - EJ22/Burley UCA,Bumper/CLK/215.70.16s [Sold]
1985 Vanagon "Frank" - AAZ/NAHT/Westy [RIP #CarrFire]
1990 Carat "SportVan" [RIP #CarrFire]
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

CdnVWJunkie wrote:
You've quoted speeds in your original post. Are these actual or indicated speed? The tire combo you have selected is quite a bit larger than stock so your speedo will read lower.

One option worth considering is trying your stock rim/tire combo to see how it affects the behaviour of your van. Maybe you'll have to step the tire size down a bit further than 215 75s.


These are indicated speeds, so you're right these could by off be a few MPH - will do a GPS run and get corrected numbers. Just in tire size it's 5%, so 3 mph or so difference.
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1984 Westfalia Camper "Westy Pete" - ARB/Solar [Sold but still in the family]
1987 Westfalia Weekender "Big Blue" - EJ22/Burley UCA,Bumper/CLK/215.70.16s [Sold]
1985 Vanagon "Frank" - AAZ/NAHT/Westy [RIP #CarrFire]
1990 Carat "SportVan" [RIP #CarrFire]
1987 Syncro "Miles" [RIP #CarrFire]
1987 Syncro "Boz" - Bostig/FrontRunner/Decoupler/BFG/LED/LMNOP [Sold]
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:00 am    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

iliketowalk wrote:


These are indicated speeds, so you're right these could by off be a few MPH - will do a GPS run and get corrected numbers. Just in tire size it's 5%, so 3 mph or so difference.



actually ... your 215-75R15 are 7.3% bigger than stock based on BFG's website data. I am running tires that are 3.1% larger than stock, Nokian 205-65R16 and noticed a difference going from the stock DK 4th of .85 to a .82 at last rebuild. On it's own that is 3.7% and combined is 6.9%. Given trean design ... my tires are 'likely' a little lower rolling resistance than yours.
I have the same intercooler (with fan) and Giles pump rebuild set at 15psi and my K03 is boost limited at 14-15 psi also. My pump is a JX rather than an AAZ.
Living in the Vancouver, BC area, I drive on varying hills everyday and the shifting timing is as you have described in your initial post. On the flat I am comfortable in 4th from 50 - 70mph although I endeavour to be in what feels like my Westy's 'sweet spot' of ~57-62mph.
I feel you will find a bigger gap between GPS verified and your speedo reading than you are anticipating although, as others have stated above, if you are not happy w your shift point from 3 --> 4 and downshifting required from 3 --> 4, you may find dropping a tire size (or two if you do in fact have a .82 4th which would be netting you 11.2% higher 'gearing' than stock) and that will get you (back to) more 'drivable' shifting .
just my 2 cents ... I have driven this pump / tire combo over all sorts of terrain for 40,000+ miles w the last 25,000 being w the taller .82 4th.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

jerrydog411 wrote:
iliketowalk wrote:


These are indicated speeds, so you're right these could by off be a few MPH - will do a GPS run and get corrected numbers. Just in tire size it's 5%, so 3 mph or so difference.



actually ... your 215-75R15 are 7.3% bigger than stock based on BFG's website data. I am running tires that are 3.1% larger than stock, Nokian 205-65R16 and noticed a difference going from the stock DK 4th of .85 to a .82 at last rebuild. On it's own that is 3.7% and combined is 6.9%. Given trean design ... my tires are 'likely' a little lower rolling resistance than yours.
I have the same intercooler (with fan) and Giles pump rebuild set at 15psi and my K03 is boost limited at 14-15 psi also. My pump is a JX rather than an AAZ.
Living in the Vancouver, BC area, I drive on varying hills everyday and the shifting timing is as you have described in your initial post. On the flat I am comfortable in 4th from 50 - 70mph although I endeavour to be in what feels like my Westy's 'sweet spot' of ~57-62mph.
I feel you will find a bigger gap between GPS verified and your speedo reading than you are anticipating although, as others have stated above, if you are not happy w your shift point from 3 --> 4 and downshifting required from 3 --> 4, you may find dropping a tire size (or two if you do in fact have a .82 4th which would be netting you 11.2% higher 'gearing' than stock) and that will get you (back to) more 'drivable' shifting .
just my 2 cents ... I have driven this pump / tire combo over all sorts of terrain for 40,000+ miles w the last 25,000 being w the taller .82 4th.


You're absolutely right, I meant 5% difference between the tires I was running and the new tires. I feel like I did a GPS run with the old tires and the speedo was almost dead on, but definitely going to check again with the new tires.

Nice to hear your setup is working well for you, and that you feel the "sweet spot" is right around 60mph, that was my rough feeling too.

I wish I had a tach so I could tell what 4th gear the PO had installed, it is a big gap between 3rd and 4th, I honestly feel like it's too big in terms of tractability. Any tricks anyone knows of to determine gearing without a tach? I thought about rolling the van in 4th gear for N revolution of the motor and measuring distance traveled and/or tire/wheel rotation but haven't had to chance to actually give it a go.
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1984 Westfalia Camper "Westy Pete" - ARB/Solar [Sold but still in the family]
1987 Westfalia Weekender "Big Blue" - EJ22/Burley UCA,Bumper/CLK/215.70.16s [Sold]
1985 Vanagon "Frank" - AAZ/NAHT/Westy [RIP #CarrFire]
1990 Carat "SportVan" [RIP #CarrFire]
1987 Syncro "Miles" [RIP #CarrFire]
1987 Syncro "Boz" - Bostig/FrontRunner/Decoupler/BFG/LED/LMNOP [Sold]
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

iliketowalk wrote:
chrissev2 wrote:
I have the same engine with a 3spd automatic. The AAZ stock is 75hp with the turbo, less without. The AAZ can easily be made into a 100hp + motor with very minimal modifications. However it is pushing a vanagon. They're heavy, not very aerodynamic and the transmissions are geared all wrong for that type of motor.

If you are looking for something powerful like a modern day vehicle the engine you want is the TDI.

The only reason to go with an AAZ is to avoid all the computerization. It is plug and play, one wire to the fuel solenoid and you are good to go. No computers. But it cannot compete with modern computerized engines and you will be the slowest vehicle on the road by far.


Thanks for this - very helpful to hear someone else's "feeling" here. I'm actually totally fine with how it runs, that's part of the problem - I could easily live with it, I just want to make sure I'm not grossly overlooking something that will cause long-term harm.

I wanted an AAZ specifically because of the one wire system, no DBW, etc... My biggest lesson is that I should've done the swap myself, both for a better understanding and less work overall.

What's your "happy cruising speed"? Obviously this is down to gearing / tires to a certain extent, but I'm curious anyhow.


My ideal cruising speed is 110km/hr or about 65mph. That is with the 3spd automatic, 17 inch Ronals and a 3.27 Country home Campers ring and pinion. It is very slow to get to that speed, I figure maybe it is a 12 - 14 second vehicle 0-60mph. But it is a Vanagon westfalia, weighs over 4000 pounds and it is shaped like a brick so there is a lot of air resistance in the higher speeds. I have the Giles Pump also but no intercooler and I'm running stock boost. I did the swap myself and it was a three year project that I worked on during the summer.

There is probably nothing wrong with your AAZ it is just pushing a heavy, non aerodynamic vehicle with a transmission that is geared for a boxer motor and not a diesel. If you had 150hp back there with a TDI you wouldn't notice but with the AAZ you do notice the lack of power.

For me I don't care, it's a weekend getaway camping vehicle so I am not racing it. I drive in the slow lane.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

My AAZ measured 92HP on the Dynamometer in Denver, which is pretty good considering the elevation there. That is significantly more power than 75 the above poster stated, but I am running the Giles pump:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Good cruising speed for my van is 68 at about 3300RPM, but if I don’t watch it I can hit 75 without noticing. I have stock tires with an upgraded 5-speed, R&P is 4.57 compared to the stock 5.43 gears. Tire size may increase in the future but I think this is just about the ideal gearing.

Like I said, I can drive up mountain passes at cruising speed but the pyrometer tops out and I have to back off. Probly need intercooler to really push it to the max.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

Finally got the EGT installed:

- Up a moderate/steep grade (mountain road) in 3rd gear, WOT for 30 seconds (ran out of straight road and would have had to shift), 1250F.

- Cruising under moderate boost, around 8-900F.

Basically I couldn't get it to 1300F and I was trying, going up the grade at WOT it would hit 1100F then slowly creep up from there.

I am getting a decent puff of black smoke on WOT, but clears up as revs climb.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:49 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

I don’t know what WOT means but those temps sound about right. Once you hit some long hills driving in top gear at full power you are going to see the true numbers. 3ᴿᴰ gear doesn’t count. Exhaust heat is cumulative, so the temps will continue to rise the longer the hill is. But 1250 is safe, 1350 would be the upper limit. And sustained high temps are more damaging than short bursts.

I actually detuned my turbo because I don’t have an intercooler. I also leaned out my injection to not smoke at 7,000ft. But today I drove 2000 feet downhill to Albuquerque where I definitely observed the engine underfueling. I should have been getting noticeably more power from the denser air, but in its detuned state it only ran slightly better. I think that’s just symptomatic of the way the AAZ runs. I’m pretty happy with it because I get good power with no smoke.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

WOT = Wide Open Throttle
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

I have an AAZ powered Syncro here in Germany.
215/70R15, K14 turbo, stock AAZ pump.

On the Autobahn, I can hit 125kph (77mph), but he doesn't like it too much.
I don't have an EGT gauge, but with an 85d thermostat, long uphills will see the left side of the temp needle in the middle of the LED.

1st gear gets me ca- 25kph (15mph)
2nd- 40kph (24mph)
3rd- 80kph (50mph)
4th tops at 120kph (77mph)

Cruising about in 3rd is great. I can go from 25- 80kph- traffic dependent.

I get around 500km (300mi) from a 72ltr (19gal) tank (ok, 3/4 of a tank...)
I average 60ltrs (15gal) per filling.

Hope this helps you.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

Yeah - this has been really helpful.

Drove some more today.

In 4th gear, cruising on flat ground at about 60mph, 700F.

In 4th gear, climbing up a grade, 1100F, this is about 65% throttle. If I stand on the pedal, it will climb to about 1250F, still haven't been able to get it above that, and any less pedal will immediately bring it back down.

Basically if I were driving it "normally" I wouldn't ever be seeing temps over 1100F, to get it above that I have to really be leaning on it. That said, I try to drive any vehicle in the "sweet spot" right before you have to give it a lot more throttle to go a little faster - so I wouldn't be complaining if I could get the thing to go faster.
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1985 Vanagon "Frank" - AAZ/NAHT/Westy [RIP #CarrFire]
1990 Carat "SportVan" [RIP #CarrFire]
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

Pardon me, but I'm not clear about what exactly a Giles pump is or what the relationship is between the pump and the boost setting on the turbo. I'm a Mercedes turbodiesel guy, so on those the turbo boost setting is managed by the wastegate and the only relationship to the injection pump is the boost signal sensed by the ALDA (same as the LDA on the VE pumps). On the MBs, this aneroid is just a simple fuel governor which restricts injected fuel volume at idle, but it then progressively reduces this restriction when submitted to increased boost pressure. It can help the engine produce boost earlier or later in the RPMS under load, but it doesn't set absolute boost pressure levels.

Any enlightenment would be welcomed.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

Boost for a given rpm/load, if less than max boost, is limited by the amount of exhaust flow and fuel being injected. Once max boost is reached it is regulated by the wastegate via manual boost controller if fitted.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: What does a good AAZ feel like? Reply with quote

So Andrew - with those EGT numbers you think leave it alone? More fuel?

I'm also going to double check cam and IP timing. Using a dial indicator for IP (despite having the newer style pulley), it sounds like 0.95mm should be roughly what I want with the Giles pump?
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1987 Westfalia Weekender "Big Blue" - EJ22/Burley UCA,Bumper/CLK/215.70.16s [Sold]
1985 Vanagon "Frank" - AAZ/NAHT/Westy [RIP #CarrFire]
1990 Carat "SportVan" [RIP #CarrFire]
1987 Syncro "Miles" [RIP #CarrFire]
1987 Syncro "Boz" - Bostig/FrontRunner/Decoupler/BFG/LED/LMNOP [Sold]
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