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    Thread: MK1 TDI build options: 1Z or ALH ? Soliciting opinions from other TDI swappers

    1. Member OverdriveGear's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 20th, 2006
      Lexington, KY
      1987 Cabriolet diesel, 1985 Golf 1.6 diesel
      01-31-2016 09:47 PM #1
      Hi folks. As the title states, I'm preparing for a MK1 TDI build and have a number of options. I've developed a set of owner project requirements and would like to hear some feedback from others that have performed similar builds. Here are the basics:

      My application

      1987 Cabriolet that currently has a 1.6 NA in it. The injection pump and injectors are built by performancediesel.ca and runs like a top every time. Just weak on power. Air conditioning works but is totally impractical in the 1.6NA and acceleration happens...eventually. I had resolved to the fact that if I was going through the trouble of getting more practical power, I wasn't going to mess around with a 1.6 TD or 1.9 AAZ or even an m-TDI. I wanted the real deal. The car is in very nice stock shape with the only real chassis upgrades being upper and lower strut braces from Raceland (a must for ANY MK1)

      What I want out of the project:

      I want to maintain the stock look and feel but have more streetable, practical, and reliable power from a TDI.

      I am not planning on autocrossing, tracking or the like; perhaps the occasional grand-touring drive.

      I want to be able to have the AC and be able to accelerate onto the highway at normal highway speeds and go up hills at more than 45 MPH.

      Comfortable (relatively speaking for a MK1) and economical interstate cruising at 75 MPH and not be flat out on the throttle.

      02A or 02J 5-speed transmission is required

      What I currently have for swap:

      I have a wrecked 1996 B4 Passat TDI complete donor car with 200k+ miles on the original engine that runs as well as a stock 02A transmission. It doesn't run like new but it does run OK. This is a 1Z first generation TDI engine obviously.

      Build Options:

      Like I have stated, if I'm going to the trouble and expense of doing a quality and clean swap for this vehicle (which is not a daily driver) I want to get the most out of it. Here are my options I see at this point:

      1. Drop in the 1Z as is without modification and make it work.
      2. Take apart the 1Z and do a mild rebuild on it including crank/main bearings, bottom end gaskets, new piston rings, light hone, rebuild cylinder head, new stock injector nozzles.
      3. Same thing in point #2 except include ECU tune of 1Z for more power and upgrade nozzles for more flow.
      4. Full-on rebuild of the 1Z with ALH pistons and VNT turbo. This one could get very expensive quick and has potential for scope creep.

      So by this point, it may be practical to consider finding an ALH donor car and forgetting the 1Z and do a mild build on the ALH. This would require marginally expensive custom motor mounts and perhaps special exhaust considerations.

      Of course then it comes to expense. Really, I'm just trying to meet the project requirements for the least amount of dollars, whatever it may be.

      The question:

      Based on your experience and knowledge of your own particular build and knowing what I am trying to accomplish, what would be your recommended path I take? There are no wrong answers here, just wanted to solicit experienced opinions on the matter.
      1987 Cabriolet 1.6 NA diesel w/ Giles pump
      1985 Golf 1.6 NA (Westy)

    2. Member
      Join Date
      Aug 2nd, 2010
      Fargo north dakota
      81 caddy n/a tdi, 02a.
      02-01-2016 05:50 PM #2
      1z ahu
      Bolts in like stock.
      my engine has three times the mileage of my car
      ASE Master Tecnician

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