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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, so there seems to be a ton of misinformation out there regarding the TDI motors and swapping them. I'm here to set this straight! I own a TDI specialty shop and have been working/modifying/swapping them for 7 years now. I've been there and done that with just about every avenue regarding them and will try to share my knowledge. I'm not going to discuss the IDI's are I feel they're barely adequate for a lawnmower on a good day with a hurricane tail wind.


List of basic motors that are out there that are good for swapping.
AHU/1Z - These are found in 96-98 Jettas and Passats. These are the old style blocks with an intermediate shaft and external water pump that are basically the same from the mid 70's till 98. Easy to recognize by stamped steel valve cover with 3 bolts in center holding it down. They come with a wastegated turbo that's the size of a pop can. The wiring harness is very simple and the ecu doesn't have an immobilizer. However, to tune the ecu it needs to be socketed and burned chips installed. Not a huge deal for any tuner, just an added annoyance IMO. They can be converted for VNT turbo operation by a vnt specific ecu tune and a 00-03 N75 turbo solenoid valve. Extremely worthwhile if you insist on using this motor. The main drawbacks to these motors are: slightly poorer flowing heads than later motors, tendency for oil leaks, 80kmi timing belt intervals, accessory bracketing sucks, and the ecu is rather dumb (think dos vs windows 98). If you're not planning on much over 150hp and you get one for cheap, they'll serve you well enough. If you want lots of power, skip to next options.

ALH - Found in 00-03 Jettas, golfs, and beetles. Technically ALH's were avaiblibe in beetles from 98-03, but the 98-99 beetle ecu/harnesses are bastard childs and totally unique. Trust me when I say stay away unless you get them for free, in that case sell them for a 00-03 ecu/harnesses. You'll thank me later.

This is my personal favorite, basically the 4bt of the VW world. Simple and best bang for the buck to modify. Can be brought up to a reliable 200hp/350tq with bolt ons, 275hp/450tq if you want to delve inside. ALH was the first diesel of the new engine block design that did away with the intermediate shaft and external water pump. Uses many less gaskets so generally much lower tendency to leak oil. Easy to recognize by cast aluminum valve cover held with 5mm allen perimeter bolts. If you can, get the motor (or at least the injection pump) off of an automatic car. Auto cars had 11mm plunger pump, manuals had 10mm plungers. These motors have VNT turbos that are mounted on a turbo-fold. Kind of pain for starter clearance on passenger side starter swaps. Easy solution is to get a 04-05 passat tdi manifold & turbo (small upgrade from stock ALH turbo) or any of the aftermarket 8 valve 4 cylinder exhaust manifolds on e bay and put on a bigger turbo (you know you want more power). Either of those manifold options will pick the turbo up and away from the motor giving you more clearance for starters.

The wiring on these may look somewhat intimidating at first to those that aren't electrical friendly, but once you gut it, it's extremely simple. The ecu for these is also much smarter than the older ones and is OBD flashable with a loader. Once the immobilizer is deleted by a tuner, there is no need to use oem key, cluster, or any of that crap. I can't even say how many people I've seen go through the hassle of trying to hide an oem key and cluster because so and so told them there was no way around it. Total BS there.

BEW - These are found in 04-05.5 Golfs, jettas, beetles. These are unit injection, no external injection pump. Same short block as an ALH, just different head. ECU/harness on these is very similar to the ALH once stripped for swap use and immobilizer deleted. Only major issues with these (and any of the unit injection motors) is that the cams are ground wrong from the factory with incorrect geometry. Somewhere between 50K and 150K, the cam and lifters will need replacing. Good news is a few years back I worked directly with Colt Cams to develop fixed profile cams that don't eat themselves. Bad news is because the cam is billet steel, it isn't a cheap job. A cam kit with cam/lifters/bearings/gaskets is $920. However, these motors are very quiet and smooth compared to the AHU/ALH. Power potential with these is just as good as the ALH, just more expensive to upgrade injectors on these vs the earlier rotary injected motors.

BHW - Found in 04-05 Passats. These are the most powerful factory tdi motor offered in the US at 135hp/236tq. With just a tune these jump to 170/325. Also the only factory longitudinal motor so accessories and oil pan are much more suited for longitudinal swaps. They also have a more traditional turbo/manifold setup that puts the turbo up much higher than and of the first 3 motors talked about. The turbo is also 3mm larger, will make about 20hp more than stock ALH/BEW turbo. These are basically the same as a BEW with slightly larger injectors, 81mm vs 79.5mm bore (these are a 2.0L instead of a 1.9L), 2mm larger rod journals, and 1 point lower CR. With the bigger rods, these will hold 240whp on stock internals without ever taking the head off (~275hp with a ported head), just a $200 set of arp studs for cheap insurance. Downside with these is they have same cam issues as BEW's. One other unique item these have that must addressed is a chain driven balance shaft module that bolts to the bottom of the block. It's a piece of epic fail that you need to toss in the scrap bin. The normal oil pump and chain drive from an ALH/BEW bolts right on and fixes that clusterfook. I'll post PN's for that later on.

BRM - Found in 05.5-06 jetta and beetle. VW's next block architecture design with a $120 rear main seal. It's basically a slightly updated BEW with a high mount turbo and more EGR bs. I would suggest avoiding unless you get it dirt cheap as it as a unique wiring harness/sensors. The ALH/BHW/BEW share many of the commons maintenance items that are much cheaper. These also are unit injection and have the same cam issues.

CBEA - Found in 09-12 jetta and golfs. These are the latest and greatest common rail, DOHC motors chocked full of emissions garbage courtesy of uncle sam. Great platform for power once "fixed", but still too expensive/complex for mainstream swaps just yet. I'd suggest sticking with one of the older motors for a few more years. I'm putting one right now into a race car at work, but budget is of no concern when the customer is some hedge fund manager. Must be nice :eek:




Many more updates will be added over next few days. sleepy time now. Stay tuned.
 

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thanks for that info. i am new to the turbo diesel world, and this forum. i have a 98 tdi that runs great but the car is very rusty. is there a tranny that would bolt up to this engine to convert to rear wheel drive? i am into rat rods and would love to use this engine for a cheap daily driver.
 

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Thanks for this! I have a 99.5 jetta which I am about to part out. I am planning to use the alh in a volvo 122 swap one day. I have heard that the ecu for these is wierd, too as it was an early model. Anything I should be aware of?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for that info. i am new to the turbo diesel world, and this forum. i have a 98 tdi that runs great but the car is very rusty. is there a tranny that would bolt up to this engine to convert to rear wheel drive? i am into rat rods and would love to use this engine for a cheap daily driver.
Easiest route for rear wheel drive is an acme adapter kit for a toyota 2wd or 4wd trans setup.

Thanks for this! I have a 99.5 jetta which I am about to part out. I am planning to use the alh in a volvo 122 swap one day. I have heard that the ecu for these is wierd, too as it was an early model. Anything I should be aware of?
Yeah, 98-99 beetle and 99.5 jetta/golf are goofy ecu's. As you already have it, just send it to a tuner (TDTuning is my preferred choice) for socket job, immo delete, and set of tuned up chips. The 00+ ECU's are flashable and don't require burning chips to change the tune.
 

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chrysler bought the VW block for use in the k car setups----vw stuff bolts in....the 2.5 dakota engine is a stroked out 1.6 vw engine....
 

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and why is this site comntinuely locking me out---i sign in--enter a post and get refused saying i have to refresh my page and sign in again---and it denies me again....bob
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Damn, I knew the K car motors had VW bell patterns, but I had no idea the early dakota 2.5's were the same. I'm a chevy guy so I never really dug into it much as I had no desire to tdi swap a K car haha. That's awesome to know! Here's a neat page I found on a quick search showing the early 2.5L dakota bell and what transmissions it will bolt to http://www.zukikrawlers.com/showthread.php?t=49450
 

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Clarification; I am confused. If the ALH motors stopped in 2003, why do I always see the parts listing extended to 2006? Like for my timing tool set, its for "99.5 - 06 Golf TDI ALH and 99.5 - 06 Jetta TDI ALH"?

Or is it that, between 2004 and 2006, you could have EITHER engine in those cars; you'd need to look for an IP or not to know for sure?
 

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I hope you will provide accurate and reliable information about m-TDI injection pumps.I have read everything I can find on the and it's confusing as hell.Also power numbers are 130hp to 280hp with just an m-TDI pump tuned properly.I'm planning to attempt to build two m-TDI pumps for my 1.9TDI I'll be putting in my boat when I get it built.I'd rather stay away from a dyno but I may have to go away and find one.I don't think there's an engine dyno within 500 miles of me.
 

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I hope you will provide accurate and reliable information about m-TDI injection pumps.I have read everything I can find on the and it's confusing as hell.Also power numbers are 130hp to 280hp with just an m-TDI pump tuned properly.I'm planning to attempt to build two m-TDI pumps for my 1.9TDI I'll be putting in my boat when I get it built.I'd rather stay away from a dyno but I may have to go away and find one.I don't think there's an engine dyno within 500 miles of me.
Power depends on air and turbo boost . Not just the pump you're using.
 

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Found this to be quite informative.
 

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Power depends on air and turbo boost . Not just the pump you're using.

Yes of course but some guys on different VW forums are making these claims with completely stock engines.I think their numbers are wrong.

What about M-TDI injection pumps for AHU/1Z and ALH engines?Any solid reliable info on building these?I want my 1.9L engine to be able to run without the aide of an electric system.When I'm 60 miles out in the middle of no where,I want to be able to keep motoring, if my electrical system craps out.The only way I have found to do this is with a full mechanical IP.From research,I have come to the conclusion that that a built 1.6L pump won't handle the load and could possibly snap the IP's small main shaft.I'd like to be able to put a hybrid IP together based on someone's IP that is reliably putting down 150HP on a stock 1.9L.I know it's possible to do this trough proper IP tuning.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I hope you will provide accurate and reliable information about m-TDI injection pumps.I have read everything I can find on the and it's confusing as hell.Also power numbers are 130hp to 280hp with just an m-TDI pump tuned properly.I'm planning to attempt to build two m-TDI pumps for my 1.9TDI I'll be putting in my boat when I get it built.I'd rather stay away from a dyno but I may have to go away and find one.I don't think there's an engine dyno within 500 miles of me.
Yes of course but some guys on different VW forums are making these claims with completely stock engines.I think their numbers are wrong.

What about M-TDI injection pumps for AHU/1Z and ALH engines?Any solid reliable info on building these?I want my 1.9L engine to be able to run without the aide of an electric system.When I'm 60 miles out in the middle of no where,I want to be able to keep motoring, if my electrical system craps out.The only way I have found to do this is with a full mechanical IP.From research,I have come to the conclusion that that a built 1.6L pump won't handle the load and could possibly snap the IP's small main shaft.I'd like to be able to put a hybrid IP together based on someone's IP that is reliably putting down 150HP on a stock 1.9L.I know it's possible to do this trough proper IP tuning.
In all honesty, MTDI pumps are a subject I'm going to cover very lightly. Yes, they can support anywhere from 100-300hp, but I've only ever seen one dyno of over 200hp with an MTDI pump. It was super smokey and the owner commented of a super touchy throttle and many, many hours of pump tinkering. As others said, total fueling package, engine build, and turbo determine your overall power. Not just a magical pump.

There's 100 different ways to do build a pump; the correct ways are expensive but simple, the cheap ways are complex. The whole debate between 17mm and 20mm driveshafts is honestly a joke in my personal opinion. The smallest cross section of either driveshaft are the two ears that drive the yoke that drives the cam plate. I had a chinese 12mm pumphead lock up on a 17mm shaft MTDI pump and it snapped the ears, not the shaft. So don't get hung up on the shaft. Go grab a 3mm allen key and see if you still think it's a big difference.

To get a full E-TDI setup to run is super simple once the ecu is tuned for standalone operation. 70% of the wires get removed and the only sensors left, are MAP, crank sensor, CTS, INJ pump, gas pedal, and 3rd injector. Add one two wire solenoid for boost control if you want to use that feature. You can also wire in the oem cruise control system easily so no frankenstein stuff is needed. No oem key or anything special is required either. The only sensor that will keep the vehicle from running is the crank sensor which in 7 years of running a TDI shop, I have never seen one fail. The chance of you having a zombie attack or shut off solenoid fail (which is still on a mechanical pump) is greater.

Once you get up to the 150-250hp range, the electronic motors with a vgt turbo drive sooooo much better than an mtdi setup. Less smoke, quieter, better mpg, perfect boost control, etc. Before anyone jumps on me for MTDI hating, I have a MTDI 2.0L AHU in my 81 rabbit. But it has a stock Ko3 on it with small nozzles and a 10mm pump head. It definitely has it's place as I didn't have an ecu/harness and just needed the thing to run, not go fast or do anything. My built wagon on the other hand with compound turbos, 12mm pump head, and 5x.013" nozzles is Electronic and drives like stock if you keep your foot off the floor. If you all want is under 150hp and nothing fancy or don't have the ecu/harness, then it's a good option. Otherwise, if you want to make some decent power with good manners, go electronic. You'll be very happy in the end.
 

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In all honesty, MTDI pumps are a subject I'm going to cover very lightly. Yes, they can support anywhere from 100-300hp, but I've only ever seen one dyno of over 200hp with an MTDI pump. It was super smokey and the owner commented of a super touchy throttle and many, many hours of pump tinkering. As others said, total fueling package, engine build, and turbo determine your overall power. Not just a magical pump.

There's 100 different ways to do build a pump; the correct ways are expensive but simple, the cheap ways are complex. The whole debate between 17mm and 20mm driveshafts is honestly a joke in my personal opinion. The smallest cross section of either driveshaft are the two ears that drive the yoke that drives the cam plate. I had a chinese 12mm pumphead lock up on a 17mm shaft MTDI pump and it snapped the ears, not the shaft. So don't get hung up on the shaft. Go grab a 3mm allen key and see if you still think it's a big difference.

To get a full E-TDI setup to run is super simple once the ecu is tuned for standalone operation. 70% of the wires get removed and the only sensors left, are MAP, crank sensor, CTS, INJ pump, gas pedal, and 3rd injector. Add one two wire solenoid for boost control if you want to use that feature. You can also wire in the oem cruise control system easily so no frankenstein stuff is needed. No oem key or anything special is required either. The only sensor that will keep the vehicle from running is the crank sensor which in 7 years of running a TDI shop, I have never seen one fail. The chance of you having a zombie attack or shut off solenoid fail (which is still on a mechanical pump) is greater.

Once you get up to the 150-250hp range, the electronic motors with a vgt turbo drive sooooo much better than an mtdi setup. Less smoke, quieter, better mpg, perfect boost control, etc. Before anyone jumps on me for MTDI hating, I have a MTDI 2.0L AHU in my 81 rabbit. But it has a stock Ko3 on it with small nozzles and a 10mm pump head. It definitely has it's place as I didn't have an ecu/harness and just needed the thing to run, not go fast or do anything. My built wagon on the other hand with compound turbos, 12mm pump head, and 5x.013" nozzles is Electronic and drives like stock if you keep your foot off the floor. If you all want is under 150hp and nothing fancy or don't have the ecu/harness, then it's a good option. Otherwise, if you want to make some decent power with good manners, go electronic. You'll be very happy in the end.
Good info.I'll keep the shaft issue in mind.I understand about driveability issues and turbos.This will be in a boat running under load and at a constant rpm.There won't be any quick on off full throttle runs.It will be a slow run up to rpm and stay there until throttling down is required.

An E-TDI will fail, and shut down, if the charging system fails and the battery voltage drops.That's the reason I am going M-TDI.If I am out in rough water,I won't be able to stop and diagnose an E-TDI.I know the same can be said for M-TDI,but it's usually a fueling issue that shuts them down,which will be easy to diagnose and repair on the fly.It's either a bad lift pump or clogged filter.I will carry many spares and rebuild kits on board.My lift pump will be belt driven.I will have three filters 10 micron and 5 micron before the lift pump,and 2 micron engine mounted before IP.90% of the time the 2 micron filter is the cause of shut down.I will reduce that chance by having a fuel polishing system on board and using it frequently.
 
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