Monday, May 30, 2011

GTA trannies coming home for installation

You just gotta love this site:

Vanagon trans on L, EV 02B on R.  Rebuilt, re-geared and ready to go!

AHU/1Z engine Mann oil filter comparison

AHU/1Z engine Mann oil filter comparison

There has been some chatter recently (and a TSB from VW sometime ago, see below) about using a higher capacity oil filter on TDI EV and Vanagon conversions.  All of these filters will fit the AHU/1Z TDI engine.  The stock AHU/1Z one is on the far L, the A1 Rabbit one is in the middle and is a fraction taller and maybe 1cm wider, and the 93-95 2.5L Eurovan one is on the far R, noticeably taller and about as wide as the A1 filter.

  If you want to have greater oil capacity and have the space then the early EV oil filter is the way to go.  If you don't have much space lengthwise but want to hedge your capacity up a bit, the Rabbit diesel (78-84) is a suitable choice.  And if you're a stockophile like myself, then you might just hang your oil filter hat on the good ole AHU/1Z filter (Mann W840/2).

For more info on the Technical Service Bulletin issued by VW, google
VW/Audi TSB #04-01 Group 17.

EV mods/upgrades

While the rest of the US was out camping/fishing/barbequeing today, I had some nice quiet shop time to do a few small upgrades/mods on my personal van. 

Oil cooler upgrade:
B5 Passat oil cooler installed on my TDI EV.  Impressions: overall engine temp runs ~7* F cooler.  This is mostly an experimental mod as I have never had any temperature issues, just need to get a beta test going on a TDI EV as we already have one on a TDI Vanagon.  Tight fit, but fits with no mods save the longer oil cooler standpipe.

Fog lights (to be continued....):

 These fog lights are the factory fogs from an A3 Jetta and I like what I'm seeing in terms of possible fitment in the blank above my hand.

Westy interior light LED upgrade:

This is a super cool mod: My mid-cabin interior light in my 93 weekender had a failed ballast, so instead of paying big money for the same antiquated technology, I installed LEDs.  Total cost: <$15--basically the cost of one fluorescent bulb.  Total amp draw of this set up is 0.25 amps at 12.5v.   Fit like a glove in the stock Westy light fixture.
On test-bench checking parameters.  Yep, it's bright.  And yep, uses hardly any current.
Soldered LED wiring to stock Westy lamp switch, bypassing all the funky circuitry that is necessary for the fluorescent bulb and going straight to 12v, and keeping stock appearance/functionality.
 Wiring complete and fixture ready for install.
Fixture installed, now awaiting enclosure to finish it up.
 Final product.  Bright, efficient, inexpensive, long lasting.  Version 2.0 of this mod (ie, my rear cabin light) will get a potentiometer next to the switch as well so it can function as a dimmer.

Fiamma 45 awning install

 For the better part of the past year I've had this new Fiamma 45 8' awning sitting under my bench awaiting installation and today in an ever short window of ephemeral sunshine I finally, FINALLY! installed it on my van just in time for the summer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

1990 Vanagon Carat TDI conversion--Go Time!

It's been a long time coming and we're long behind schedule but today we had our engine initial startup on this project and everything went seemlessly--and for a Monday that's saying something!!!  Today we started on the rear disc brake conversion we are doing for this customer as well using the Small Car kit.  Hubs are at the machine shop being turned and hopefully we get them back soon so we can start getting some test miles on this rig.

AHU TDI engine installed at 50* in 90 Carat--yes all the wiring is complete in these pics, it really is that clean of an install!

Custom red silicone DV hoses, DV coolant pressure bottle, custom bottle bracket, relocated PS reservoir, A2 diesel fuel filter, clear nylon fuel supply hose, almost zero discernable wiring--nuff said.

Vanagon airbox in lwr R corner w/custom MAF flange.
 Intercooler set up w/180* silicone hose into intake manifold and custom GW IAT sensor pipe, and Saab intercooler.
 Cluster mods complete (VSS, check eng light and glow plug light), tach mods complete, cruise control complete and functional, and custom EGT gauge installation off of A-pillar--sweet!

Conversion work and pics done and taken by and

Concept to Prototype to Production--TDI MAF sensor to Vanagon airbox custom flange

With each conversion we do we strive to always raise the bar another notch or two.  On this TDI conversion (90 Carat) we've made a couple big strides in raising the level of our conversions while maintaining our dedication to quality, reliability, functionality and servicability.

Over the past few months we've been working on developing this custom flange that allows the TDI MAF sensor to bolt directly to the stock Vanagon airbox.  It started out as a concept that turned into a  rough-shod prototype (layers of paper board glued together) made by a friend and fellow indie VW mechanic here in town after I described to him what we needed to mate the MAF to the Vanagon airbox.  This was then brought over to our local CNC shop, made into a CAD file, prototyped with small changes, and then put into production, with the first one being installed on the 90 Carat conversion that is currently in the final stages of completion.

Another upgrade we are rolling out with this Carat conversion is the use of the larger stock OEM oil cooler found on A5/B5 VW models.  This oil cooler fits on the stock TDI oil filter flange with the installation of a slightly longer oil filter pipe to accomodate its bigger size.  Any concerns regarding peak oil temps. under heavy loading are alleviated with this larger oil cooler.

Here are some pics of these upgrades:

Custom CNC aluminum flange for mating  TDI MAF to Vanagon air box
MAF sensor bolted to custom flange, bolted to Vanagon airbox--bench test fitting phase.
 Top view.
 Side view.

Back view.

Final installation:  Vanagon air box, custom aluminum MAF flange, and MAF sensor connected to blue silicone intake hose.

Another angle of installed airbox/MAF layout.

And here's our prefered airfilter for the Vanagon: The stock Syncro air filter for dusty conditions.

 Larger sized oil cooler installed on TDI oil filter flange.  Coolant hoses are uncut and unmodified, and fit this cooler nicely.
Large oil cooler  hiding under bright red DV silicone coolant hoses :-).

Custom TDI MAF flange concept, design, and production by and

Monday, May 16, 2011

1990 Vanagon Carat TDI conversion

OK, finally have some big progress updates.  So little extra time these last few weeks.  Either those extended months of rain have taken their toll on our collective pysche (still haven't had 3 consecutive days w/o rain here since Feb. 19th!) or the days are defying seasonal expectations and are actually getting shorter....

Engine installed last week, and bit-by-bit being hooked up this week.  Here are some of the recent action pics:

 Underneath van pics of engine/trans install.  Engine crane at the back of the van lifting the engine, jack under the nose of of the trans.
 "And when they were neither up nor down, they were neither up nor down."
 Frt trans mounting seated on cross-member with new bolts/washers.
 Engine fully self-supported.
 Another angle of freshly installed eng.
Now it's time for some silicone action: 
One hose, two hose
red hose, blue hose.  

Red=coolant, blue=charge air.
Speedo head rebuilt at speedo shop in PDX and zeroed out per customer specs.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

1990 Vanagon Carat TDI conversion

Busy in the salt mines with not much time for blogging the past couple of weeks.  Here's a short update on this project.  Engine was installed this past week and will be running by next week.  More pics/info coming soon.

Pre-turbine EGT probe locating/installing:
 Hybrid K03/04 turbo bolted to AHU manifold, examining the lay of the land and determining best location for probe install.
 Location selected and marked with an X.
 Location being drilled out.

 And tapped.
Probe installed.

Final installation--of course, much easier to do on the ground than in the van!