Gas engine swaps from other VW/Audi models


mbettman

New member
Anyone have any experience w/ the "volkswagen approved" A3 engine swap from Tiico? It's more expensive and complicated to install than a regular rebuild, but I'm wondering if it's worth it from a power/reliability/ mileage standpoint. Any info at all would be helpful.
Matt
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
TII has its own web site, www.tiico.com , but so far, no one has posted any experiences on this site, either here on in Suppliers.

Do watch your wording, "VW Approved" does NOT mean approved by VW for use in any other market than South Africa. The RSA produced buses have numerous differences from the Hanover produced buses sold in most of the rest of the markets, including US & Canadian. Since RSA has some very stringent laws on percent of content for automobile production (outrageous import duties) the engines and many components will be built in RSA to what may amount to difference specs and quality. During my many years down there, I noticed many differences in local production VWs, some good & some bad.

This is not to infer I approve or disapprove on the conversions or have any first-hand experience with TII, but I just don't want other readers to misinterpret the term "VW approved." It's not 'approved' and sold by VW in the US & Canadian markets and therefore NOT supported by them from a parts & service point of view.
 

ctdamore

New member
I installed one of the tii conversions in my 84 westy about 2 weeks ago. The engine runs great. The instalation was pretty straight forward.Peter provided a VW part # list for all the parts but I am sure that my not so freindly VW dealer would be less than helpful if you tried to source parts from them. Peter does stock parts for his product. I am used to their lack of intrest in Vanagon's(VW Dealer). I have yet to check the MPG. Power wise it seems better but I changed to a 5 speed with a gear change from 4.88 to 4.56.The only down side I would say is the wait I ordered the motor on 2/26 and it arrived 5-26. Peter was always available and was easy to work with.
 

garnetolson

New member
I recently installed a 2.0L ABA code engine (A3 Golf/Jetta Block) into my 88 Westfalia. I used FastForward's crossmember & mounts, and a KEP adapter plate. The engine sits at a 15° angle, and thus intrudes into the cabin a bit. I used a 1.8L 8V head & Digifant engine management (to limit height compared to the Motronic A3 head-manifold), and the thing runs really well! Highly recommended if you can live with the inconvinience of the bed being raised about 4"! Contact me for more info -> garnet.olson@trican.ca
 
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mbettman

New member
Jollymon,
Where did you find a five speed Transmission?
How long did it take you to install the new motor? Thanks for any info you can provide...My '86 2.1 is getting tired and I'm looking for options to replace.
Matt
 

Camper

New member
Hello all,

My name is Peter Elpel, I am new to the forum, for what its worth, I have a '84 vanagon with the A3 Jetta conversion, my mechanic salvaged most conversion parts from a wrecked diesel vanagon (bellhousing, motor mounts, etc.), I have now got 2 years and 60,000 km on this conversion and get about 10.5 l/100 km and just love it. Put a upside down 8" by 6" metal cake pan on engine cover where intake protrudes. Cost me about $5,500 canadian turn key. Cheers,
Peter ;)
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred from another post to consolidate same topics.

Conversion to a jetta engine

Paul L. Junior Member # 1969 posted 08-15-2001 04:53 AM

I'm looking at an '84 that has been converted to a Jetta engine 3 or 4 years ago by a mechanic voted best mechanic in the city 4years out of 5. I will have more details tomorrow when I go test drive it but in the mean time, what are some of the concerns I should have?

My wife and I are getting into VW vans for the first time and want to go in aware.

Thanks,

Paul

Camper Junior Member # 1227 posted 08-15-2001 11:34 AM

Hello there,

is that conversion done by Russell at Autospiel? If yes, I have one. I had it done May '99 and am very happy with it, about 10 - 10.5 liters/100 km fuel consumption. Enough power to make it up the malahat in 4th. gear doing about 90 km. If you like, come by and take a look at mine, I live in Brentwood Bay.

Cheers,

Peter

Audi 5 cyl bellhousing pattern

ywg396 Junior Member # 870 posted 06-23-2001 02:05 AM

After purusing the VW of South Africa site, I feel the 5 cyl Audi is a good way to go on my 81 2.0 L

I also have a donor 81 diesel vanagaon for watercooled conversion and for a bellhousing for the 2.0L trans

Is the bellhousing bolt pattern the same a the VW inline 4 cyl. Will the diesel bellhousing work, Engine tilt not withstanding.

How about a 5 cyl intercooled turbo swap from a donor audi 5000, has it been done?

Thnx
 
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mkillar

New member
Just a note about the in-line engine conversion. I purchased an '82 (former deisel) Westy converted to an inline 4 this past spring. The present engine is an '89 Audi 2.0. The previous owner told me he originally had a VW 1.8 installed but upgraded to the 2.0 "Bubble Block" about a year before I purchased the van. I'm pretty picky about how things should look and work close to "factory" as far as wiring and such and I noticed some things that didn't look professional but I purchased the van anyway. The fuel injection on my westy is non-electronic, probably very early 80's. The Audi uses a distributor that has electronic timing advance and a knock sensor controller since compression is 10.5 : 1. The electronic timing control and knock sensor was NOT installed on my van, the timing being "bumped up" by advancing the cam two notches on belt just to get the van to run decent. Needless to say, that had to go. I had a mechanic friend find the proper timing control unit and knock sensor (there were a couple of years where Audi and maybe VW used a separate timing and ECU) and install them, resetting the cam properly. Once done the 2.0 really came to life. After a good going-over, I took it on a 6,000 mi. trip to the Western US and the Canadian Rockies. The van had great power and performed flawlessly. I could cruise at 70mph easily, the low transmission gears (actually an early 80's aircooled tranny with the highest factory ratios) holding it back both in speed and mileage. Countless times I reached for that non-existant, higher fifth gear. I ran good gas (premium) the entire trip. (Premium in the west can get to be pretty low octane compared to the east coast). Mileage was a consistant 24 - 25 mpg which I thought was great for a LOADED Westy. I can highly recommend the in-line 4 conversion. If you are having someone else install the conversion I would be 100% certain they were a high quality, trustworthy mechanic and have a knack for fabrication (and I don't mean of the truth) to make the job "professional", and most importantly dependable. Even after my successful "roadtest" trip I'm still wondering what "damage" may have been done to the engine by not having the proper timing controls installed by the mechanic for 10,000 miles or so. I guess I'll find out as the years go by. My strongest suggestion is "Mach's gleich richtig" (Do it right the first time). I think you'll be quite pleased in the end. I know I am.
 

ctomk

New member
I recently installed the TII 2.0 l inline 4 Golf/Jetta kit in a 1986 Vanagon Camper with very positive results. The kit went in perfectly with excellent directions and technical support from the importer. Although it is expensive, it replaces many parts that one would do in a rebuild as part of the kit - hoses, clutch, wiring harness, clamps, hardware, etc. I have almost no formal mechanical experience and was able to install the engine in a couple of weekends with a minimum of tools. A couple of borrowed floor jacks were useful and either strong jack stands or ramps are necessary.

The engine runs well from getgo with good power getting 23 MPG with mixed use before and after the VW formal setup of the electronic engine computer. Vibration and noise are as good or better than the 2.1 waterboxer and the extra power and torque are VERY noticeable. Cooling is well integrated and it doesn't seem to overheat even at high altitude in mountain driving. It does warm up a lot faster so the heater works after the first few minutes. There are some minor quirks such as integrating the oxygen sensor and California emissions features, but the TII technical support got me easily through that. To me the kit is a lot simplier than swapping a rebuilt engine and the results a lot more satisfying. All those hoses, tubes, sensors, and tangle of mysterious parts are replaced by a new modern engine, wiring, and electronics than runs perfectly. I did replace the fuel injectors rather than reusing the old ones, but the old ones can be refurbished for $30 each -- look on the internet. If your catalytic converter and muffler need replacing, do it when you install the kit. Step 1 of the instructions was to steam clean the entire engine compartment. I didn't do that and as a result, used a lot of engine degreaser and spent much time cleaning parts just to remove them.
 
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G

Guest

Guest
6-1-01 purchased the Tiico 2.0 liter engine
8-2-01 engine delivered to my mechanic
9-17-01 installation completed
9-20-01 mechanic installed new fuel pump, fuel filter, starter relay, starter
9-28-01 mechanic installed larger (90 amp) alternator

Total cost - not cheap
engine: $3700
shipping: $180
installation: $750
fuel pump, etc $240
alternator: $175

Total: $5045

We VW types are skilled at justification so here goes:

My Tiico was just over $3700. While it was being installed in my 83.5 Westy, my mechanic showed me a remanufactured 2.1 waterboxer engine which a customer had just purchased for $2800. My mechanic installed the same engine in the same van 6 years and 100k ago. I paid an extra $900 for the zero mileage Jetta engine which should last a lot longer than 100k and have none of the coolant leak problems.

One month and 1500 miles after installation, I have much more power and so far none of the bucking vanagon syndrome problems which plagued my 1.9 waterboxer. Everyone who knows VWs is impressed by how much with the lid off or on, it looks much like VW put the engine in. It is a bit louder than the waterboxer but that can be addressed with sound dampening material.
 

James Bennett

New member
http://www.fastforward.ca/VanagonSwap/ sells an engine-less kit. Their conversion is installed at a 15 degree angle, requiring modification of the engine cover as the conversion protrudes above the original cover.

[Moderator note: There is a Fast Forward topic under the PARTS forum where previous customers have discussed their experiences.]
 
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mpulse

New member
I am planning to install a tiico on an '85 and am looking for tips on mating it up with the auto trans. Tiico indicated a potential problem with the bolt pattern, depending on what transmission came with the van. The mechanic I plan to use has installed these conversions, but never on an automatic. Any thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks
 

garnetolson

New member
The kit from Fast Forward accomodates the auto transmission nicely. You will have to modify your existing linkage arm for the kick-down if you want it to work, otherwise, shift it manually on the hills. Mine has about 20,000km on it since I changed it spring of 2001. Runs flawlessly! Coolant hoses were a bit of a chore to sort out, but the auto trans works very well. Fast Forward supplied KEP's aluminum adapter plate for mating the I-4 engine to transmission, and it fit perfectly. FF also supplied a new flex plate to mate the I-4 output shaft to the auto's torque converter. Again, perfect fit. I used the 2.0L ABA engine's power steering pump for the vanagon steering, and also used it's cruise control vacume pod. No problems other than the 1st attempt at an exhaust system was a bit loud. That's been addressed now, and I'd never go back to a water boxer!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same topic.

disco Junior Member posted August 18, 2002 10:51 AM

I'm the owner of the first 2.6L 5 cyl. Audi engine installed in my 85 Westy. Look out Tiico!! You guys better find a better engine cause this is the one to have! Mine came with a 5 speed transmission which I had converted from an Automatic. As for the rear engine compartment, There's a small hump banged into the lid to clear the intake manifold and distributor. With the mattress in place you can hardly notice any modification. Required no cutting of the cabinet or the body. My mechanic Karl from Westy Ventures in Gapland Maryland is the man! He replaced the rear springs with syncro springs to give it a little extra height in the rear. Then he did a little modification to the engine mounts so the engine would sit a little lower. Wha-La..no need for the 4inch lift using the supplied rear engine compartment lid. I don't no which is more fun, driving this mean machine or looking at peoples faces when you blow buy them in a Vanagon. It runs incredibly smooth. Shifts amazingly. I can accellerate up hill in 5th gear! I'm still under 500 miles at this time so we'll see if any problems develope. Gas milage? Well I haven't made any calculations yet but I tell you I can drive over a hour longer now on a full tank. If your thinking of a conversion, this is the one. Check out the stats at Overlandparts.com. Only the first few kits will come with the 5 speed transmission.

cumnock Junior Member posted August 23, 2002 01:38 PM

Cost???

How many "pesos" are you out of??????

disco Junior Member posted August 27, 2002 02:24 PM

Cost of 2.6L conversion

The kit itself was $6000. That includes the 5 speed transmission , exhaust , and the wiring harness and motronic computer. Labor came to around $1500. It was his first conversion of this type and he didn't know how long it would take so he stuck with the quote he gave me. Future kits will be cheaper since they won't always come with the transmission. If you plan to drive your vanagon forever like me, it was well worth it!!
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same subject.

82dieselwesty Junior Member posted February 08, 2003 11:41 AM

Hi and help, I have recently taken my 1.6l diesel engine and gearbox out of my 1982 westvalia and purchased a 2.1l waterboxer and gearbox complete with all the stuff that makes it work, however I have not done this before and am looking for some advise. I am mechanical but most of my experience is with BMW motorcycles, although this is only slightly larger it is rather daunting.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same topic.

sudnstop Junior Member posted January 04, 2003 05:44 PM

We own a 91 Westy (Helga) and the engine is in need of a rebuild at 108k miles, along with the tranny. I have read the posts talking about the TIICO motor and have spoken to a local guy that has one and stated that he has had to replace the oil cooler twice. I would rather have an underpowered and trouble free motor than worry about having the oil cooler and hose fail in the middle of Wyoming in the dark.. Could anyone provide an some longterm use stats?! We live in Florida and in knowing this comes the realization that you have atleast a full days worth of driving before reaching a state worth camping in..

Greg

January 04, 2003 05:51 PM: Sorry, I forgot to ask in my earlier posting. Has anyone heard of zinc drain plugs to prevent the electrolysis in the waterboxer?? If so do they work?

Greg
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Go back to your basic chemistry lessons. The "electrolysis" that you think may contribute to the corrossion of some Waterboxers is in the COOLING system where there is conductivity and the necessary divergent metals for electrolysis. It's not a problem with the oil thus a sacrificial anode in the lubrication system would serve little purpose.

Since the coolant contains anti-corrossion additives, their value in that system is questionable. See the various coolant posts, including the one in the TIPS forum.

Finally, consider that all but the cheapest aftermarket drain plugs are galvenized or cad plated (both zinc alloys) and that there are numerous other alloy and zinc components within the engine, why would any electrolysis focus on the drain plug? Electrolysis follows basic electrical/chemical physics, primarily path of least resistance.
 
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Hi,

Quick update on our Tiico installation. Ours is in an 84 Westy, we did it 1.5 years ago, we've now got 23,000 miles on it - city, hi-way, all climates.

Excellent performance all around, particularly in the areas of fuel economy, hill climbing, and reliability. We've changed the oil and filters, regularly. That's it. Good product.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Tiico warranty.

Be sure you understand the following provision of the Tiico warranty.

1.3 The warranty will only apply:
a. If the engine is installed by an authorized VW franchised dealer or Bosch service center repair shop or pre-authorized installer by Tii Trading Co.
 
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rhunt

New member
Does anyone have a bad experience with a Tiico conversion? I just ordered mine and should be installing it and a few weeks.

Any major problems?
 

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