Friday, August 13, 2010

Water cooled IC upgrade

Today I took some time in the 98* heat to upgrade my intercooler a bit.  I have been eye-balling this spot under the hood that is basically a hidden inverted scoop that collects air from the front of the van and channels it through the hood towards the back of the engine.  This is where the factory air-to-air intercooler gets its cooling air from in the factory 1.9TD ABL engines in the T4 in Europe.  The factory air plenum that was there just slides out of its slotted seat and gets tossed in the parts bin.

Fortunately for me I had a good used stock Vanagon heater core (yes, the front one--my hens have teeth too mind you) sitting on my shelf from my old sweetheart 82 TDI Vanagon that I recently sold.  I replaced it prophylacticly this past winter after I had a dash fire that started in my blower motor and destroyed the heater box.  No sense putting it all back together with a 28yr old heater core that no doubt would have failed 2-mths later (humble nod to St. Murphy), so I ponied up the big money and got a custom reprod unit from Peter at Van-Cafe.  Anyhow, this Vanagon heater core has been screaming to me to be used in my EV TDI project and today I finally got around to making it happen:

This is a provisional install plumbed in series with my other IC radiator and Bosch pump and will be pulled if it proves to be inconsequential.  I don't love the aesthetic of it, but for testing I wanted it simple and solid.  It actually fits in that spot quite nicely and the hood release mechanism did not have to be altered.  No clearance issues with the coolant bottle when closed or the AC switch on the other side. The heater core is affixed with radiator fan push-pin type hardware and the heater hose is held with riveted P-clamps in three spots (all interior to the hood channeling).  My goal is to replicate or at least get close to the intake air temps (IAT) of my 96 Passat TDI which maintains a reliable 20* over ambient throughout most load and ambient temp ranges.  After I took this pic I finished up the install with some aluminum ducting tape and made a very nice air tight attachment to the hood which will force all the air that comes in through the front underside of the hood (see openings at the top of the pic) to exit through the heater core. 

TDI Fest PDX is just around the corner and I'm hoping to have quite the head turner in the TDI conversion Show-N-Shine class!

Monday, August 9, 2010

36.3 MPG! Thank you .658 5th!

Last night I had to run up the PDX to pick up my family and drove a steady 65mph with cruise on the way up. Had a bout of road construction traffic that was stop and go for about 15-mins on the way there but still got 33.3 MPG on that leg. On the way back though things really started to shine: No construction and less traffic overall, 36.3 MPG with the cruise set on 65MPH.

Other notable conditions: running B20 in the tank, GPS confirmed speed/distance, ambient temp around 65* F, no AC the whole way, van only lightly loaded (3-total passengers and a couple bags of luggage).

I've got a custom chip tune coming soon that will be tweaked to optimize efficiency and secondarily to optimize power so I'll let you all know if we see any notable changes, but overall I can finally say that I'm very pleased with the mileage.