Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Highlights of my personal 2000 EV 1.9 TDI and 5-spd conversion

2000 Eurovan 4-cyl TDI conversion w/5-spd conversion

Maiden voyage w/TDI eng and 5-spd trans.

With stock VR6 & auto trans:

2000 Eurovan MV Weekender with 395k miles on stock VR6 eng/auto trans.

When this EV popped up for sale I couldn't resist based on the mileage alone.  This was a meticulously cared for one-owner van.  It was owned by a traveling musician who toured all around the US in it and racked up some serious miles.  The most amazing thing of all is the fact that this is the original VR6 engine--never rebuilt--and only the second auto trans:  the original trans was replaced under warranty at ~68k miles and has never so much as had the ATF or filter changed since.  This trans was still running strong and shifting smoothly when I yanked it a few weeks ago--so go figure.  Anyone interested in a museum grade 01P transmission??

I am now in the process of converting it to TDI and 5-spd and built it from the bottom up to handle 200+hp and 400+ft/lbs torque.  Most of the mods are intended to increase the air flow through the engine to achieve maximum power output and minimize inherent airflow inefficiencies.  These performance mods include:
  • Ported and polished rebuilt cylinder head
  • Custom ported/polished/coated PD150 intake manifold
  • huge VNT-17/22 hybrid turbo
  • Stage II custom cam grind from Colt Cams, Inc. of Canada
The additional mods to achieve these power levels are to facilitate significantly higher than stock power levels and to  keep this engine together under the rigors experienced at these power levels.  These mods include:
  • Rosten H-beam rods
  • ARP head studs
  • 11mm ALH injection pump configured to work on 1Z/AHU IP bracket and with the 1Z/AHU harness
  • HFLOx warp 4 injectors rebuilt/balanced by DFIS in PDX.
And some pics to sate the hungry:

1Z block loaded with 0.50mm over ASV pistons.

P n P intake and exhaust runners.
Measuring piston height projection

Head mated to 1Z block, secured with ARP head studs.

VNT-17/22 turbo.

Another shot of turbo.

PD150 intake manifold PnP with 2.5" race pipe.

Front view.

Race pipe view.

Race pipe removed view.

Installed view.

Inj. pump plugs shown for comparison: AHU plugs on the L (8 and 3 pin), ALH plug combines the two plugs into one 10 pin plug.

IP harness retrofitted with AHU plugs, and installed on 1Z eng.

Stock unmodified AHU IP bracket on R, and modified AHU IP bracket on left machined out to 68mm to fit the ALH IP hub.

11mm ALH IP wiring with AHU plugs shown.

ID plate from IP.

Wiring harness from 97 Passat with FA ECU.  This will replace the 12'+ of VR6 wiring harness in the pic below.

VR6 eng harness on R, auto trans harness on L.

Time to add a clutch pedal and clutch hydraulics to this 2000 EV automatic.

Clutch hydraulic line shown from master cyl to fire wall exit into eng bay.
EGT probe install pre-turbine on VNT-17-22 hybrid

Complete engine mated to trans almost ready for install.

View from trans side.

View from back side.

Front view of eng on a tall dolly ready for lowering the van for install.

Engine timed, oil primed, ready to run.

Timing belt business end of engine.  This IP pulley fits the ALH IP and fits under the T-belt cover unmodified.

View of tilted oil filter flange, larger V6 Passat oil cooler, SS turbo oil supply line, new starter and new trans mount.

Rear view of engine, block heater, EV dipstick, electronic VSS sender in trans, custom turbo support bracket, custom modded R trans final drive shaft support bracket (modified to fit with VNT turbo which blocks its upper securing bolt hole), BEW turbo oil return line which is just 1-2mm shorter than the stock ALH one and fits this application perfect without unduly compressing.

1Z wiring harness disassembled, lengthened where needed and soon to be taped back up.

Test fitting modified TDI harness before re-wrapping and final installation.

Preview of the fun part of this conversion: Mating the harness to the fuse block.  

Stock MK3 Jetta pedal cluster

 Time for some pedal fun!

Close up of thottle pedal potentiometer upper right.

MK3 Jetta pedal on L with pedal pot. peg cut off; Stock early EV pedal on far R, and my modified EV pedal in the middle with the MK3 pedal pot. peg end welded onto it to fit in the stock location in the T4.

Final install.  Pedal is installed in stock position only now it pulls the pedal pot instead of a throttle cable.  This plugs into the ECU wiring for electronic throttle control.

Diesel filter install:

First identify a suitable location; build a bracket to hold a VW diesel fuel filter: install.

Diesel fuel filter in custom adapted MK2 Jetta diesel bracket.

Fuel filter and injection pump primed with fuel, ready to fire!!

Clutch hydraulics on T4s share the brake fluid reservoir, and conveniently all EVs with auto trans have the correct reservoir but with the nipple blanked on the end.  Short work for a set of hose cutters.

VCDS communication!  Not bad for first attempt.  This thing is now ready to fire up and fine tune timing.


I'm three weeks into this conversion and 5 weeks since I started the engine build on Halloween day.  I'm at the point I think of as the doldrums in every conversion I've ever done.  Each day more stuff is getting taken care and all the major systems are final, yet it feels like the strong gale has died off and the only progress is made by tedious tacking fore and back.  Lots of little stuff that eats up time: tying up loose ends on wiring, securing vacuum hoses, double checking torque specs, topping off fluids, etc.  It's at this point every time that I'm amazed anyone ever completes one of these--it's certainly not for the faint of heart nor those short on attention to painful minutia.  It is doable though--provided you have enough patience, perseverance and of course money!  The light at the end of the tunnel is within sight and soon all this hard work will be putting a smile on my face as I drive down this rig down the road. 

Tomorrow I plan on rebuilding the front suspension before driving it out of the shop on its maiden voyage.  Hopefully I'll get all this done with enough time to get an alignment by the end of the day:  R&R both axles, both lwr ball joints, both tie rod ends, both sway bar links, both shocks and install the winter tires.  And if things go really well I hope to get an appt with the exhaust shop on Fri to have an exhaust sys installed.

Success is so sweet. On the maiden voyage with the new drive train.

I hit a couple snags working on the suspension yesterday that precluded me from driving out of the shop on Thurs.  I had a brand new Lobro CV joint (the expensive German ones) come apart in my hands so that was the big deal breaker.  I had to overnight a new CV joint and fortunately had it by 9am this morning and was able to finish the front end work and get this puppy on the road in short order. Luckily I was able to get a last minute appt at the muffler shop today and had them build/install a 2.5" straight pipe exh system on it, so I guess I still met that goal.  It's now at the alignment shop and I'll pick it up first thing tomorrow AM and then I finally can start having some fun driving it around and breaking in the new motor--perfect time to rest my work-weary hands a bit.....


  1. Drool. I need a ride in that! :-)

    1. Thanks man. It will drive out of the shop tomorrow once I finish rebuilding the front suspension. Wow is it gonna be sweet!! It's gone fairly well and smooth, though I've been dealing with lots of other small stuff along the way which has slowed my progress. I'm trying to get an appt for fri at the exhaust shop for a 2.5" straight pipe exh. system. All my plumbing from turbo/IC/intake manifold is 2.5" so this sucker is gonna breath nice and easy.

      I'll post some pics once it's on the road.