[Vwdiesel] turbo 1.6 or non turbo advice

Scott Kair scott3491 at insightbb.com
Wed Jul 7 17:06:14 EDT 2004

    All other factors being equal, I'd go with the td.  I've owned both, but
have sworn off na's unless the price is very right. The bump in power is
well worth the added complexity- charging down an on-ramp is no longer
invokes the suicide clause in my life insurance policy.
    There are some caveats, of course, in this case primarily the ordinary
precautions to take with any engine of unknown origin and which has been
outside normal straight and level orientation for an unknown duration. (An
immediate oil change would be in order.)  A compression check on top of
visual inspection for physical damage would be in order.  It would also be a
good idea to prime the oil pump before starting- or even removing- the
engine.  Those would seem to bargaining points, btw.
    There will also be some issues with the engine transplant, primarily in
relocating the fuel filter in order to route the intake hose to the intake
box, which will also be a transplant.  The '89 may also have the
thermostatic fuel filter (4 lines instead of 2), which may complicate a
    Parts scarcity is less a problem than is expense of major replacement
parts- pistons, rings, and injectors are more expensive.  Stick with a good
synthetic engine oil and do the first change early.  Also, while you have
any engine out, it's not a bad idea to install a freeze-plug heater if you
live in a colder clime, renew the clutch and rear main oil seal, renew the
timing belt, front shaft seals, water pump, etc.  Since you're looking at a
wreck, you might consider just swapping in the transmission, too.  Check the
codes at Roger's site.
       The na engine is very good for around town driving, but the turbo
adds an extra dimension to our beloved engines.
    Scott Kair

> Hello,
> My '89 Jetta with a "rebuilt" 1.6 na engine with 25k miles since I bought
> and installed is smoking blue and using a quart of oil every 200 miles
> already. It starts great and has as much power as ever but is burning oil
> like crazy?? At this point I am figuring on swapping the engine again and
> would like to tear this one down myself  when I have time this winter.
> I have a couple leads on engines. One of them is a 1.6 turbo in a '85
> my friend has that his son rolled. We believe the engine came through ok
> but he only had the car for 3 days before it was wrecked so don't have
> a  long history with it . I also have a lead on a 1.6 na. I am not at all
> familiar with the turbo and know parts for them are harder to come by and
> more expensive and wonder if the extra h.p. is worth it? Curious if you
> guys could buy either engine for about the same money if you would go with
> the turbo?
> thanks for any opinions,
> Bart
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