[Vwdiesel] What engine would you want?

LBaird119 at aol.com LBaird119 at aol.com
Tue Mar 10 23:59:42 PDT 2009

In a message dated 3/10/2009 9:42:10 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
davevw at yahoo.com writes:

> I would prefer it to be something out of a VW, mostly because I'm pretty 
> familiar with many different VW engines, and have all sorts of manuals.

  For the most part, manuals won't be of a lot of help here.  Seat of 
the pants territory!  ;-)

> Things to consider (that I've thought of so far) would be:
> *Reliability!

  Mostly that'd be a gasser, or a 1.9TD as James said or a TDI.
Gasser gives you:
 Fresh bus engine and yes, do something more 
common and reliable than a 2.0
  Inline gasser IE Rabbit engine.  Problem is it requires the diesel 
engine goodies to adapt AFIK.
  1.9TD would give good power, nearly the cost of a used TDI, 
nothing fantastic for mpg from what I've heard.  Possibly a 
little more scarce of internal parts.
  1.9 TDI  Dependable, certainly an involved job to do right but 
probably one of the more reliable choices, best mpg and diesel!

> *Ease of repair, and finding parts in South America if necessary

  Rabbits were common, bugs, not sure about the diesels.  We 
have a south-of-the-border list member somewhere.  Maybe 
he could help there.

> *Ability to limp along for awhile if necessary

  That's usually a gasser.  The Vanagon engine probably being easier 
to adapt in but not quite as reliable.  Mosly due to wrong coolant, 
and not changing it.  Head to water jacket gasket issues.

> *Fuel availability

  Either shouldn't be a problem.  Diesel was real prevalent when I was 
there in '76 (moreso than in most of the US).  The price is generally 
substantionally lower than gas, south of the border as well.  Fuel 
price difference alone could pay for any difference in cost of the 

> *Power and Economy

  Power?  How about fresh Rabbit gasser with a supercharger?  :-)
1.8T?  MPG winner should be a TDI.  Chip it and it'll win a power 
battle over anything short of a really hopped up turbo gas or V-6!

> *Other considerations I haven't considered?

  Ease and cost of finding necessary components, level of expertise, 
willingness to pay a pro if needed, time availble to convert and 
debug, budget...  Extra fuel capacity, stick with air or go to water 
cooling, extra batteries, armor plating?  ;-)

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