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Thread: HiAce TDI

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    639

    HiAce TDI

    A couple of months ago, I bought a 1992 Toyota Hiace LH107 Super custom from a drywaller friend of mine for 800 bucks. It had the 3L engine, 5 speed, 4wd, and a cracked cylinder head :/

    I was originally looking into getting an old Toyota "Van" to do this swap in and build into a camper van, but found that the old Y chassis vans are really hard to come by in the 5 speed 4wd variety, just check out this piece of garbage some greasy old hippy was trying to offload for 2k:







    ****in thing had moss growing on it.....



    but it was 5 speed 4x4 which was what I was after so I drove all the way from Calgary to Kamloops to have a look only to find out that the dirty old hippie had swapped out 2 different vin plates from 2 different vans in order to kludge the thing onto the roads so I noped the **** outta there fast!

    Enter the Hiace:




    Not in too bad of shape considering the year and how much the previous owner drove it (says he and his wife put around 110k on it from import)

    Not a whole lot of rust on it either except a couple problem areas







    And the exhaust is coming apart



    So yeah, lots of work ahead post swap, if the swap is even possible :/

    Most of the research I've done suggests that an adapter plate that fits a 22re would work on the HiAce's G52 transmission, so Ill be getting a kit from TDconversions.com as they are able to provide the adapter plate and a mini high torque starter that will help avoid the TDI's turbo manifold. The other nice thing about the TDconversions kit is that the adapter plate allows the engine to be clocked into a more desirable fitment. This being a Hiace, engine bay space is tight enough as is, so fitment will be crucial when running all the necessary cooling, vacuum and intercooler piping.

    so now all i need is the TDI itself

    ...which i picked up in the form of a 2000 golf TDI manual with 171k on the clock for 900 bucks







    Now all I have to do is tear down the golf and save all the goodies for the swap: engine, harness, cluster, accelerator pedal, rad and cooling system, intake piping, basically everything but the drivetrain and interior stuff.
    Id like to keep as much as the original toyota stuff as possible including the ignition, cluster and fuel system to the tdi. Im most likely going to utilize all of the tdi engine accessories to keep things simple(r)

    Why go to all this trouble you might ask?

    Well for starters when I got the van the previous owner said that it consumer coolant and he had bubbles popping out of the expansion tank which he had written off to the cheap Chinese head gasket he put on it. But if you;re familiar with the L series engines at all, you'll know that these heads are very prone to cracking when they overheat, and thats exactly what happened



    I initially looked into repairing the head, or even replacing it with another, updated head from Toyota, but the new head would have cost me 1500 or so.

    Then I had a closer look at the cylinders:



    pretty gnarly scoring along cylinder 3.

    Previous owner said he had already had the cylinders bored out to 1 mm oversize and had installed some jank-ass ghetto aussie rebuild kit from ebay.

    With this in mind, I decided to just replace the engine

    ...until I heard how much it would cost

    3500-5000 canadian for a USED engine from either Japan, Austrailia or England.

    ouch

    So yeah it may be a lot of work and headache, but i settled on the TDI for a couple of reasons:TDI has an almost identical power output to the 3L, its a smaller displacement, but turbocharged engine, its electronically injected which allows for more tunability, and the parts for a TDI are FAR more plentiful in North America than 3L stuff.

    Plus since I've moved away from corollas and racing, I've been wanting something else automotive related in my life.

    So come join me on my crazy, hairbrained, half thought-out HiAce TDI conversion journey!

    I'll try to post more picd and updates frequently to keep myself motivated and to gather help from various folks from here and there.
    Last edited by Spence; 11-17-2019 at 01:43 AM.
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Fort McMurray, AB
    Posts
    251
    This is wonderful.

    My dream of owning a JDM toaster van has been effectively crushed by their medium-at-best highway performance. It's always great to live vicariously through others.
    Dean L.
    2007 Lexus LX470
    2000 Lexus LS400
    1985 Toyota Celica Supra 1JZ - 1JZ, restored

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    639
    I found for the 500 or so meters I drove this thing, the engine was REALLY slow, but that might be because of the gearing too, but the 3L sure doesn't go too fast even with a cracked head. I'm hoping the tdi when tuned for a bit more power will be a bit faster while still maintaining the legendary fuel economy of the ALH TDI.
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    5,281
    Looking forward to seeing this thing come together.

    Jeff

    2011 GSE20 Lexus IS350 6MT F-Sport with LSD
    2005 NCP13 Toyota Yaris RS 5MT Hatchback
    1993 TCR10 Team Mondor Toyota Previa GT-S RM 5MT Studded Ice Race Van
    1986 AE86 Toyota Corolla GT-S 5MT Supercharged

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    639
    It's been a slow slog getting things done but progress has been happening!
    I placed an order for my adapter kit from tdconversions.com which includes the flywheel space, clockable adapter plates, and a high-torque mini starter to help get around the turbo manifold on the tdi. I'll need to order some kind of speedometer and tachometer electric input converter to get the voltages right from the hiace to the tdi harness. Lastlatvian suggested a Dakota digital Speedo converter thing so I'll get one ordered up.

    I really should have been labelling connectors and stuff when I initially started removing parts as it's kind of a huge mess in the engine bay right now:


    Now there was some variance in what the manual was showing for sensors and what was on the engine: there were so many different models of hiace and each one had very slight differences in wiring and electrical components. I think I've located the coolant temp sensor on the side of the block tapped into the water jacket of cylinder 4:


    I couldn't locate the oil level warning sender, but I think it's underneath the injection pump so once I remove the engine I'll see if it's hiding under there and wire it in. The other side of the engine had what looks to me like an oil pressure sender, but the dash doesn't have an oil pressure guage, so I'm not sure what this thing does:

    I'm gonna try to find the Speedo sender and label it so when I get to splicing the 2 vehicle's harnesses together I'll be able to use the stock cluster instead of using the vw cluster.
    Also one of my headlights is out and these vans are an absolute cunt to change the headlamps out of so I'm thinking of replacing the bulbs with LED bulbs so I won't have to change the lamps ever again!
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    1
    I love the idea. Good work on the progress!

    I'm pretty sure that last sensor is a simple switch for a oil pressure light.

    I can vouch for Dakota digital products, but i'm nor sure why you need a speedo signal? Isnt it at the tail of the transmission and wont be different after the swap?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    639
    The Speedo signal come from a cable off the transmission and is sent to a speed sensor. Problem is the vw ecu might require a vehicle speed input to get the fuel metering correct, but I'm not 100% clear on that. The voltage and resistance values might be different between the 2 vehicles so having the intermediary digital conversion box might be the trick.
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    639
    Got off early today and headed up to my dads garage to get started on the golf teardown. So far all I've done is remove some plastic bits and labelled a few things. Once my brother shows up tomorrow with his diagrams and expertise we will label more stuff and maybe get the front end off


    It's so nice to be able to work in this shop out of the cold!



    And as a bonus, my adapter plate kit from tdconversions.com came today! The kit consists of engine and transmission side adapter plates, new starter and crankshaft spacer with pilot bearing already pressed in!



    My plan is to at least get the engine out this weekend and hopefully get the wiring harness out as well; my dad's not super happy his Volvo has to be parked in the neighbor's garage...
    Last edited by Spence; 11-28-2019 at 09:46 PM.
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

    Rotate when Irate

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    639
    I think I've got all the necessary bits labelled for transplant now:



    There's a lot going on but luckily most of it will be removed for the swap. I do plan on keeping things such as the anti shutter valve and a/c system that are commonly deleted from tdi swaps. I do intend on deleting the MAF and EGR. EGR mostly because the intakes get all coked up on these engines and most tdi swap guys delete the maf and I'm not sure why :/
    I did tank the engine completly out and had to saw the exhaust out but that's fine because the engine will be in rwd configuration so I'll need to put an elbow on the downpipe anyway.





    Next up is to get my van into my shop at work. Bossman is heading to Hawaii on the 13th so he's letting me bring my van in. I'm gonna focus on getting the engine mounted up with the adapter plate and cross my fingers that I'll have enough room to run all the coolant lines and intercooler piping. Although getting the engine out I don't think I'll have any clearance issues with the sway bar but the alh is a lot taller than I thought so it might be a tight fit.

    Also got to screw around on my old Yamaha et340



    It totally looks worse than it was
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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