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...
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
Who Needs a VR6