Monday, April 25, 2011

1990 Vanagon Carat TDI conversion--and the building of another torque monster

It's been a long row to hoe the last few weeks this month.  In the big exhalation after finishing/shipping our 99 EVC TDI conversion, we've had lots of other loose ends to finish up and just last week we finally got under way on our latest TDI conversion project, a sweet 1990 Vanagon Carat from Canada. 

Here are some pics of the engine build:

 Custom color for our customer: Star-spangled blue (AKA, Ford BK in Napa parlance)
 ASV pistons 0.50mm over and Rosten H-beam rods.
 Pistons with rods installed.
 Pistons installed in block.
 Shiny new pistons and shiny bored out block
 Measuring piston height projection
 ARP headstuds and 2 notch headgasket installed.
 Gotta love that sight.

New cylinder head awaiting installation.
Long block complete just waiting for some peripherals.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

T4 Eurovan TDI Syncro clip pickup

It's not every day you get to turn wrenches in the shop.  Sometimes you have to saddle up your sweet lassie and head on out over the mountains to fetch some prize from far off VW lands.  This was our fortune yesterday as I headed over to Bend to pick up a 97 Eurovan T4 5-cyl TDI Syncro front clip.  This was a good test of my personal 93 TDI Eurovan, and again and again it continues to impress.  Working this van like I do it's imperative to have an EGT gauge and a trip like this it would not be possible without one.  Mileage with empty trailer was ~22.5 MPG up and over two mountain passes, and with the loaded trailer on the return leg ~24.5 MPG.  Avg speed up the passes w/loaded trailer was 45mph in 4th, held back not by available throttle, but by EGTs.  For sustained temps the max I was willing to entertain was ~1350* F.

Over the Mountain

Summit of Tombstone Pass on outbound trip.  Trailer is a heavy steel dual-axle car hauler, probably 2,000lbs emptyPiece of cake.

 As crazy as I might seem, Herr Henning has me beat.  He drove over 1000 miles from So. Cal to Bend, OR like this.  Loaded like a Schwarzwald  layer cake: base layer 2-deep of 20 automatic Vanagon trannies, a layer of plywood, and then an EV TDI Syncro front clip on top.  Yep, he's got me plenty beat.
 Ken of GTA manning the forks and lifting the EV off.
 Gotta love that sight.
 And this one even more!
 Herr Henning helping with final positioning.

 Loaded, chained, binders set, time to hit the road!

Typical gauge readings climbing Santiam Pass full load: ~3500 RPM in 4th, ~1350* EGT.  Passing full-size trucks towing 5th wheel trailers up the pass was sheer delight--watching their faces as I overtook them: priceless.

Summit of Tombstone Pass--it's all downhill from here.