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    Thread: (MrDave's) Rabbit TDI Project: 1 year later

    1. 04-01-2004 10:29 AM #1
      The Rabbit TDI Project
      Supplemental: One Year Later

      or: you can get there from here, and it's lots of fun

      My first "Rabbit TDI Project" post was on April 1st, 2003.
      Here we are, April 1, 2004, so I thought I'd post a summary of
      what all has happened since then. And besides, with
      CrewCabCaddy's and Malone's posts on his TDI project, there has been
      a renewed interest here on the forums regarding my project.

      My TDI is my daily driver. In the last year I've put on about
      41000 kms. My economy has been running at about 50MPG (imperial)
      for the last few months, and now that the weather is warming up the
      mileage is going up, and should get better once summer diesel is available
      at the pumps. The fuel tank is rated at 57 litres, and I regularly
      run over 1000 kms on a tank of diesel. My record on a tank of fuel is
      1260 kms. Unfortunately, I ran it dry and was kinda stranded till
      some kind soul stopped and gave me a hand bleeding the injectors.

      The A4 and the A1 use different electronics with regard to the fuel gauge.
      Actually, the indication is backwards, comparing the two. What happened
      originally, since I'm using the A4 gauge cluster but the A1 gauge sender, is
      that when my fuel tank was full, the gauge would show that I was empty.
      (Complete with the idiot light and bell for low fuel). To solve this, I dropped
      the fuel tank, pulled out the sender, and turned around the resistor
      sheet, and now my fuel gauge works properly. The problem is that I
      didn't assemble it properly, and my gauge doesn't move till I have
      about 700kms on the tank, then it drops pretty quick. However,
      empty is empty, and I can't ignore the idiot light. Once the warning
      light is lit and the bell rings, it's about 50kms to empty. (learned that
      the hard way...)

      I had the opportunity to dyno the pickup last fall. Three runs on the dyno,
      the best of which was 101 hp at the wheels. Not bad for a engine that is
      rated 90hp at the crank, especially figuring I hadn't done any performance
      modifications to the engine.

      (the dyno didn't have a tach pickup for the diesel, so these numbers
      come from the hp/speed dyno)

      (yeah, ignore the big sweeping pen mark across the middle...)

      So then I did do performance modifications to the engine. I contacted
      Jeff at http://www.rocketchip.com]Rocketchip and sent off my ECU.
      He flashed the chipset and upgraded my North American ALH ECU to
      the European ASV ECU. The ASV engine uses the same base engine
      components as the ALH (injector pump, block, etc) but uses larger
      injectors and is rated at 110 HP. He then upgraded the chip to
      RC3.1, or the stage 3 chip. Along with this, I installed .205 injectors.
      I haven't had a chance to dyno this combination, but it sure is alot of fun.
      Winter was a bit of a problem: Narrow little tires combined with alot of
      torque and icy roads results in lots of wheelspin....

      Also, used a bit of LaminX on the headlamps:

      Problems I've had with my pickup since I put it all togeather:

      1. clutch slip: 250+ ftlbs of torque (estimated) plus a bone stock 210mm
      020 clutch, pp, and flywheel, combined with cold weather. It's
      warmer outside now, so no slip. 'Course, it's an 020 tranny, so I'm
      not driving it too hard.

      2. dead oil pan: The A4 engines have soft aluminum alloy oil pans. Plus,
      the pans are huge. Plus, the truck is low. I hit a speed bump wrong
      and the front end of the truck slammed down, and cracked my oil pan.
      I hit a bad pothole, and severely dented my pan, and cracked it again.
      Solution: pan guard from a NB 2.0. Looks good, feels strong, I
      feel alot better now. A whole lot better.

      3. CEL/DTCs: Suprisingly, I only have 3 DTCs in the engine ECU. And there
      is nothing I can do about them. One for no ABS, one for no airbags,
      and the third for no controller/ECU for the rad fan.

      4. glow plugs: Eeek. A4 Bentley paper manual has the wrong wiring diagram
      for the 2002+ TDI. 2002 brought about the new glow plug module
      which fires off a different ECU pin, compared to the 2001 and earlier
      ALH engines. Plus, I had a 2001 engine harness, so my glow plugs
      didn't work, and I was using the wrong GP module. Changed the
      module, fixed the wiring, glow plugs work.
      Got the European ECU, glow plugs stopped working.
      Changed the wiring back, changed from a GP module to a simple relay
      and now all is well. The ASV ECU, and all european ECUs, including the
      European version of the ALH use a dumb relay to control the GPs.
      The North American ECU uses a smart diagnostic GP module, I think
      as part of the polution control system.
      Regardless, all is working now.

      5. Mysterious starting problem: Sometimes the pickup wouldn't start.
      Checked my fuel system, checked all my wiring, checked pretty much
      everything, but it remained very tempermental. Finally traced it back
      to a faulty 20+ year old ignition switch. Changed the switch, fixed the
      problem. Turns out that the ECU won't let the engine start if there is
      no power to the ECU...

      The future:
      Due to the massive torque of the little diesel engine, I'm planning on upgrading
      the transmission. I don't think that the 020 that I'm currently running will
      be able to hold the power and last for hundreds of thousands of miles.
      So, I currently have a Passat TDI 02A cable shift tranny on my engine stand
      and I will be swapping it in hopefully sometime this summer. This will also
      allow me to run a larger clutch and larger CVs. I have the cable clutch
      adapter for it already, and with the 02A, I can simply run Scirocco 16V axles,
      so the whole swap should be relatively painless.

      Finally, a little bit of badge tuning

      Yeah, pardon the cleanliness of the truck. It's kinda spring around here,
      and I've had to do a bit of off-roading lately...

      Summary: 40,000 down, 460,000 to go.


      Part 1: Introduction
      Part 2: Installing the Engine
      Part 3: Transmission
      Part 4: Wiring 1
      Part 5: Speedometer and Cluster
      Part 6: ImmobilizerIII
      Part 7: Drive By Wire
      Part 8: Intercooler
      Part 9: Intake and Exhaust
      part 10: MFA and Cruise Control
      Part 11: The Dash
      Part 12: The Little Things
      Part 13: The End (for now)
      Part 14: 6spd transmission and brake upgrades
      One Year Later
      Dyno results
      Who Needs a VR6
      TDI Rabbit
      Last edited by MrDave; 02-16-2015 at 04:06 AM.

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    3. 04-01-2004 11:02 AM #2
      this caddy is just amazing i've followed the progress of this and bugged you alot with questions and i love how its turned out [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    4. Member vr6Cop's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 1st, 2000
      Music City
      04-01-2004 11:38 AM #3
      Good update Mr Dave [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      Cheers, Adrian
      726 bottles of beer on the wall.

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    6. 04-01-2004 07:52 PM #4
      I remember those threads, they were great (still is).
      Wouldn´t it be possible to use the A4 fueltanksender?

    7. Member
      Join Date
      Oct 2nd, 2001
      Vancouver, B.C. Canada
      1993 Eurovan Westy TDI, 1996 Golf TDI, 1997 Golf Variant Syncro TDI, 2011 Golf TDI, 2014 GSW TDI
      04-01-2004 08:06 PM #5
      I was wondering about your Rabbit, Dave, and seeing this thread made my day! Thanks [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    8. 04-01-2004 09:38 PM #6
      Hey MrDave, look forward to seeing you at the airriders season opener. Great post.

    9. Senior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 22nd, 2002
      I own a wish-list. In four shades of blue.
      04-02-2004 01:23 AM #7
      Quote, originally posted by MrDave »
      The problem is that I
      didn't assemble it properly, and my gauge doesn't move till I have
      about 700kms on the tank, then it drops pretty quick. However,
      empty is empty, and I can't ignore the idiot light. Once the warning
      light is lit and the bell rings, it's about 50kms to empty. (learned that
      the hard way...)

      I'm pretty sure you already know this, but...I had the exact same problem when I finally installed the mk4 fuel pump in my mk3 tank. All I had to do was loosen the retaining ring for the fuel pump/sender, and turn the unit 90° so that the swingarm had a full range of movement. Now I have almost all the range of the gauge. I'm still off by about 2 needle-widths up top, but if I turn the pump another 5° that'll solve that.
      Thanks for posting the links, MrDave, I'll have to read up on that whole project [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      My car
      and its identity crisis
      I dodged a bullet there. Note to self: cease fire.

      “If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.” — Mario Andretti

    10. 04-02-2004 01:11 PM #8

      The A4/MK4 tank sender won't work with the A1/MK1 pickup fuel tank.
      (kinda hard to fit a 4" round sender into a 2" round hole).
      I think the reason my fuel gauge is a bit buggy is that when I took the
      sender apart, a spring went flying, then I couldn't figure out which
      way the spring went, so I reassembled it in the way that made the most
      sense to me, but I think it's hanging up on the swingarm mechanism a bit.
      Next time I drop the fuel tank I'll try to fix it. Till then, full is full, empty is empty, everything in between doesn't really matter that much. Besides,
      I tend to drive by the odometer rather than the fuel gauge anyway.

    11. 04-03-2004 11:52 PM #9
      Looks awesome Dave. Hope to see you and the caddy at bugthaw.

    12. Member
      Join Date
      Jun 17th, 1999
      West Michigan, USA
      1998 Jetta VR6 (bone stock daily driver), 1982 twin screw Cabriolet, 94 Mazda B3000 4x4
      04-05-2004 12:32 AM #10
      Hey Dave,
      Love that torque curve...must be a really driveable car around town! Keep up the good work...
      Peter Tong

    13. Member
      Join Date
      Apr 3rd, 2001
      Vancouver Island, BC
      84 GLI 2.0L 8v
      04-05-2004 04:18 AM #11
      We're putting a TDI from a 2000 Jetta into an 80's Vanagon right now. The engine and tranny are together, subframes are made, and it's sitting in the engine bay properly. The wiring harness is laid out on a board, and we have the correct instrument cluster. So mechanically it's done, just gotta get stuff wired.
      I'll have to show your project to the guys, so they can get some pointers. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    14. Member firestartergli's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 13th, 2004
      Edmonton, AB
      90 434WHP VRT GTI, 85 mk1 Conv, 1982 VW Caddy, 89 5L mustang Turbo'd, 2013 Tiguan daily, and more
      04-06-2004 10:01 PM #12
      Dave give me a call when you get the chance, I am sure you still have my number, if not just pm me here or on the airriders forum, I wanna see your car plus I wanna show you my turbo rabbit! C U L8R
      Check out Buster, my Nitrous fed VR6 mk2 GTi here

      Trouble from the get go!!!

    15. 04-08-2004 07:47 PM #13
      MrDave that looks great. I am working on a similar project and was
      wondering if you came across similar issues. My 91 Jetta diesel is
      receiving a 98 AHU TDI. and trans. The engine and trans are in the frame and
      everything is wired up and plumbed but not running or rolling yet.
      Here's my question: the Jetta had 90mm axles; I ordered up 100mm
      axles for the same year gas car and put them right in, but I measured
      the distance across the flange faces of the old trans and the new one
      and the new trans is approx. six tenths of an inch wider.
      Did you find the same thing, and do you think it will cause any
      problems; or will it simply be absorbed by the normal travel of the
      balls in the CV races? Oilheat
      and found that the new flanges

    16. 04-08-2004 07:58 PM #14
      OK, OK, my word processing skills are poor and I can't even find
      out how to edit a post! Please disregard that last line, it's some
      sentence fragment that crept back in while I wasn't looking.

    17. 04-08-2004 10:51 PM #15

      Honestly, I haven't got to that point yet.
      Putting the 02A into the A2/Mk2 is a common thing.
      You could probably search the forums and find out.
      I'm curious too for my A1/Mk1, but I have yet to read about anyone
      running into any problems or having to shorten the axles.

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