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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to attempt installing a 1.9 TDI diesel in a light truck, it will be my fall project. I have the truck and am now looking for the TDI engine. My question is this to any of you who may know. Has the TDI engine itself, not the fuel system or the turbo etc, but the basic engine block and head stayed the same thru the years? The reason I'm asking is because I wanted to know for example if i bought a late 90's model or early 2000 model engine would it be upgradable such as turbo's and other things of that nature where i could improve horsepower and efficiency if needed. The engine codes and variance in horsepower through the years is a bit confusing. Any help clearing this up before I buy would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Anything like the ahu/1z are all tdi and then you have the next ones which are the alh, I've no idea if all the parts fit each other apart from the injectors, there is also an afn which was like the ahu/1z but it had a vnt turbo so a lot easier to get more power, I think with either the afn or alh you could get 150 with bigger nozzles and a tune but that would be the limit for the vnt 15 turbo but then you could move onto a vnt 17 and go even further. The afn and alh having the vnt as standard makes them an easier option for tuning I would think, the ahu/1z would maybe reach about 130 on the standard wastegate turbo which you could upgrade but with it being a wastegate you run into lag issues which you don't with vnt. The ahu, 1z and alh are all 90 hp engines, the afn is a 110 and then it's onto the pd units which come in various outputs 100, 130, 150, 170 etc. That's about the limit of my knowledge anyway, you can also get a fair bit of info from wiki but I'm not sure they can provide the technical data that you might want.:)

welcometomyturbodies
 

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His location is in the US so he will probably not import one of the nicer engines:) Plus, you can get up to 200 hp on a stock block.

I would suggest a 98-99 parts car, maybe 2000. 2000+ they have immobilizer so you'll have a hard time with engine management.

The AHU engine itself is about the same 98-2003. The automatics have a bigger injection pump but you can swap it on. It's a well tested platform with many mod paths. 2004+ there were radical changes, not compatible with earlier.
 

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Engine I am considering

Here is the engine i am considering, your input is greatly appreciated guys thanks. Keep in mind i'm new to this so some of the things you say shoot right over my head but i'll catch up.



New from VW, NEVER USED... OR INSTALLED....PUMPE DUSE ......

A complete (as pictured) early VW TDI engine with common rail TDI fuel system.

This was purchased from VW Germany by VW North America for testing in VW Golf at their facility in Michigan. NEW NEVER USED.
It is NEW and on the same pallet it was shipped from overseas on.
The front plastic fan was added by VW's industrial engine division.
It is a mockup that is held on by four screws. It can come off in a minute..
This is an AJM code engine.
Comes with sensors, Garret turbocharger, oil filter housing and oil cooler, vacuum pump, clutch, sensors, intake manifold, fuel rail, and alternator, turbo, Valeo Alternator

Information located on the engine:

Markings on Block: .... GE 10.98..N038b 80.. ABH
Markings on Head: VW # 038 103 373 C ....
this is also called by VW's parts department # 038.103.265.C
The engine # label or tag on the Timing Belt cover states it is : engine code AJM . 003 703 date it was manufactured MFG 22-12-98 (Dec 22, 1998) @19:40 This exact engine was used in these european model cars:

98-01 Bora TDI europe
99-01 Golf TDI europe

May work in these cars with similar TDI engines:

Audi A3, A4, A6 98-01
Ford Galaxy 98-01
Seat Alhambra, Cordoba, Ibiza, Leon, Toledo, Inca 98-01
Skoda Fabia, Octavia, Superb 98-01
VW Beetle, Bora, Golf, Passat, Polo, Sharan, Caddy 98-01
 

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The AJM is the 115 hp PD engine. I wouldn't use it, the main reason is because the ALH is easier for tuning and engine mangement.

The PD engines require removing the injectors to upgrade them which is much more expensive and harder (read this article):http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/pumpedusedesc.htm and the engines tend to wear out their camshafts. The main reason for the PD technology was emissions.

While it will have 20 more hp out of the box, you can get way more than that from new fuel nozzles and a chip. An engine sitting for that long will also need all new seals. If it's not oiled it can also develop rust pitting on the cams-lifters, and other bits.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok guys thanks for all the info, i'm starting to sort this out. I have 3 basic fuel injection choices the old bosch rotary injection run off the timing belt used on the ahu ahl and 1z engines in the U.S in the late 90's and the AHL with this type of fuel system according to the article you had me read is still the most efficient engine to date.

Then you have the PD engines that have the higher injection pressures and run off the cam shaft which is prone to wear especially if the wrong oil is used and is harder to modify.

And last s the common fuel rail system which also uses extremly high pressures and piezoelectric fuel injectors which sound much more complex but with lower emmissions and quieter.

At this point it sounds to me and correct me if I'm wrong, for what I want to try the AHL engine with the bosch rotary fuel injection pump is the way to go.

I should clarify also the main reason for my project above all else is to get maximum fuel mileage. I don't want to end up with an underpowered pooch either that won't get out of it's own way.I want enough power to do the job but I don't want to race it either or defeat the whole purpose of what I'm trying to do. That is why it is important for me to make a good choice on engine options so I can start out at the minimum but easily power up if need be without alot of hassle. I picked the VW engine mainly after reading so much about how well it had performed in the automotive world but if you think any other diesel would fit the bill i'm all ears. Thanks to both of you for your great input so far, it has helped greatly to clear up alot of the mystery about the differences in these engines over the years and as it is most of the time, simpler seems to be better or the KISS method as I have heard it called (Keep It Simple Stupid) thanks once again and any further input you have I would love to hear.
 

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ALH engine. Found in 98-2003 is your best bet, they get the best mpg too. Engine management gets more complicated the newer you go. You also need an intercooler, ecu, bunch of stuff.

The engine looks in good shape but again, 10 years of sitting in storage can cause internal rust. For $3000 I'd just buy a parts car since you will have everything you need off of it. For $5000 you can have a runner in decent shape!
 

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I agree with the "parts car" concept, as you will then have a donor vehicle with all of the ancillary items that you may need. You will also have a techpub, well sort of, to base wiring and troubleshooting from.

***BREAK, BREAK, IMPORTANT QUESTION***
Front wheel drive or rear wheel drive truck? What is your power train method and route: VW transaxle to front wheels via a custom CV shaft, or some wild bell housing adapter to join the TDI to another make and model transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
drive train

custom made bell housing to automatic transmission and transfercase. I love the donor vehicle idea as well but finding one local could be a trick as i have been looking with little to no luck, but now I have a more specific idea of the year I'm looking for. Not many in these parts especially diesel.
 

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Roger, automatic transmission, I will throw you a major engineering hurdle that you will need to resolve - how are you going to 'modulate' the shifting? The shifting of an automatic transmission is modulated with (1) of (3) methods:

1) Computer Controlled Solenoid Shifted - This type of automatic transmission is shifted by the ECM, which makes all of the shifting decisions based on engine parameters, road speed, and throttle requests. Based on the earlier discussion, you are going to steer away from the more sophisticated diesels. However, it would be a major engineering achievement to get a VW ECM to shift a transmission other than their own. Computer controlled solenoid shifted transmission came into play in the mid 1990s.

2) Vacuum Modulated - This type of automatic transmission modulates the shift points by monitoring the vacuum generated between the throttle valve and the cylinder intake valves. High vacuum occurs during small throttle inputs and the transmission shifts earlier. Low vacuum occurs during large throttle inputs and the transmission will shift later, upwards or up to the full throttle limit set by the governor weight selection. A diesel does not have a throttle plate and is fully aspirated all the time, plus a TDI is equipped with a turbo and the manifold is going to be under a pressure not a vacuum. The pressure from the turbo will be interpreted by the vacuum modulator as a wide open throttle condition and will perform full throttle shifts. There may be custom vacuum modulators for turbo equipped engines, but I don't know of an application you can pull from. Vacuum modulated transmissions were in production from the 1960s thru the early 1980s. They were phased out due to shifting problems caused by the early vacuum controlled emission systems, which caused unpredictable shifting problems due to the emissions systems cycling in and out and altering the manifold vacuum.

3) Throttle Valve Modulated - The vacuum modulated transmissions were replaced by throttle valve modulated transmission that monitored the throttle input directly. The throttle valve was a cable connected to the throttle plate on one end and connected to the valve body in the transmission on the other end. Throttle valve transmissions were in production from the early 1980s thru the mid 1990s. I think that this is best bet for your application. You would have to design, fabricate, and install a throttle valve cable connection at the foot pedal, as there is no throttle plate on a diesel. You would also have to ensure your input ratios were correct, so that the throttle valve (inside the transmission) was fully relaxed at idle and fully compressed (while not limiting throttle input) at wide open throttle.
 

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You are right

It will be a trick but not impossible. I have no plans to try to get the ECU to do the shifting I will probably do as you suggested which was the first thought I had as well. I will be building this with a neighbor who does this stuff all the time so i'll lean heavily on him but if it doesn't work then out goes the automatic and in goes the manual. It will get done if i can find an engine. Anyone know the best place to shop besides ebay ? I'm already scouring the local area for wrecks, i actually came across one which is rare around here but the first thing sold was the engine and transmission.:annoyed
 

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When you select the torque converter you want a stall speed that matches the peak torque of the engine. This will give you the most torque multiplication and allow the engine to come up to speed quickly. I would also opt for a full mechanical lock-up converter, which will require some mods to the valve body since you are not going to have an ECU providing speed input.

To maximize fuel economy, if you can choose the gear ratios, set the final gearing to put the engine speed at peak torque while at the 'expected' normal driving speed (60 MPH to 70MPH) - but don't go too high. My first car was a hand me down 1982 Z28 Camaro. I pulled out the 3-speed automatic, put in a 4-speed automatic with overdrive, drove it at highway speed and noted the engine speed, then I installed an aftermarket camshaft that matched the RPM that peak torque occurred at to 70 MPH. In the end I took a 20MPG highway fuel economy to 28MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'll keep all that in mind and thanks for the suggestions. I hope when I'm done I have a truck fun and cheap to drive as well as being a novelty. Back to the engine search I go.
 
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