Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crunch time in TDI conversion land

The last few weeks have been action packed with conversion work--and that won't be letting up until well into Jan. at this point.  We've been fortunate to have some really nice Vanagons around the shop lately:
From L to R:
90 Westy 2wd w/TDI conv. & auto to 5-spd conv.
89 Westy Syncro w/TDI conv.
87 Westy Syncro TDI conv. coming soon
85 Westy 2wd TDI conv. w/5-spd conv. and LSD trans

Here's some bottom up pics of the 90 Westy TDI conv. we just finished:

And here's some pics of one of our in-house TDI engine builds for a conversion project:
 1.9l AHU TDI engine.  First the engine is completely stripped down to the bare block.  Then it is brought to a machine shop with the pistons to be used in the rebuild and hot tanked, new I-shaft brgs installed, and cylinders bored to spec.  Then we get it back and on the stand, tape it up and paint it our fav color du jour.  Then the rebuild process begins: install piston oil squirters, main bearings, crankshaft, install rods onto pistons, then piston assemblies are pushed down the cylinders and bolted to the crank journals.  Short block is now essentially done with a few peripherals in this pic.

 I hope I don't sound like too much of a gearhead by saying that's a damn pretty sight.
 Step by step the engine is built up to 99% completion on the stand.

And of course I have to have some of my own fun too, so here's a preview pic of one of my weekend personal side projects:
Let's just call this one FMIC prep work.... More pics/info/specs coming soon once I reveal TDI EV IC Ver. 2.1.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Towing with TDI EV: 5000lb Westy from Seattle to Corvallis

In tow--265+ ft/lbs of torque at work
 I get asked the question about towing with a TDI EV often and so far my answers have been mostly theoretical.  Well now, I have some real world experience and in short my new answer will be, "No problem, tow away!"

Early this morning we headed up to Port Orchard, WA (400+ miles round trip) to pick up an 82 diesel Vanagon Westy that we just couldn't pass up.  We opted to take the EV since both of our normal tow rigs ('06 PSD and an 85 F250) are fuel hogs and bolstered with my recent dyno #'s I felt compelled to use my Eurovan and see what all that torquey TDI engine could do.  Well, we were both impressed the whole way home.  It did awesome cruising back at 60-65mph, and took all hills at a min. of 50mph, limited not by the power available, but by my hawkish eye on the EGT gauge ;-).  At 50+ mph on the big hills the temps. were very comfortable at below 1250* F pre-turbine.  Overall we had a 100% flawless trip, with no engine temperature issues whatsoever (a steady 193*F the whole way).  The power wasn't only adequate it was comparable to what our big trucks are like under tow.  Very impressive.

Overall trip MPG avg. was around 23.5 (B50 all the way up and 3/4 home, last 1/4 on D2),  so no doubt it was working to get us back here, but I'm certain that it was all well within SOP of this sweetly tuned TDI powerplant.  And, in the end we got 1.5-2x better fuel economy than the full-size Ford trucks we own, and of course it's always more fun driving a VW!

93 Eurovan w/4-cyl TDI towing an 82 diesel Westy.