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Thread: HiAce TDI

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    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
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    Fort McMurray, AB
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    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
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    Calgary Alberta
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    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
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    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
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    Oct 2010
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    Calgary Alberta
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    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
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    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
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    Calgary Alberta
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    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
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    Oct 2010
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    Calgary Alberta
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    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

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  9. #9
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    Oct 2010
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    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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  10. #10
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    Oct 2010
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    Calgary Alberta
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    Boss has gone on vacation for 3 weeks which means I get to bring my van to the shop to work on the swap!

    I've got from today till Jan 6th to work on it and in that time I'd like to get the following stuff done:
    -mate engine to transmission and build mounts
    -figure out how to get the downpipe away from the starter and build heat shields
    -figure out intercooler routing as well as cooling system
    -timing belt, water pump and acsessory belt replacement as well as any other bearings
    I probably won't get all of that done but that's my goal.

    Got the tdconversions.com adapter plate and starter bolted in as well as the 22re clutch and flywheel.

    Big thanks to Gary for lending me his clutch alignment tool, which is actually an old input shaft from a w58!

    The flywheel clearance is really close to the adapter mounting bolts but I don't see it being an issue


    Now the starter is gonna have a few issues to sort out as well. For "starters" (see what I did there har har) I need to route the turbo oil drain away from the starter body which will be fairly easy; I just have to rotate the banjo bolt and spin the hose to the other side. Next, I have to re route the downpipe somehow and make up some heat shielding for the starter and possibly wrap the downpipe




    The starter engagement is bloody perfect so I'm stoked about that


    Starter is in a pretty awkward spot to get at so hopefully when everything is all mounted up it'll be somewhat acessable from the underside, and hopefully it won't foul the engine mounts

    Tomorrow I'm gonna take out the old block and start prepping the engine cavity for a new engine! Hopefully everything will fit the first try hahah.....
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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  11. #11
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    Oct 2010
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    Calgary Alberta
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    Started pulling the old 3L out of the hiace yesterday and things went pretty well


    I had to cut out a section of the cross rail to yank the engine upwards though, but thats what the previous owner had to do as well so I followed his cut lines. Im going to eventually weld on some captive nuts and a plate on either side so it can be removable for any major engine service.





    With the old engine out, it was time to insert the tdi into the cavity

    I had done a couple of test fits when I found out that the AC pump wasnt going to fit against the front diff, so unfortunately I had to delete the AC as well as hack out a chunk of the mount to clear the body side engine mount




    ...And then I hit a pretty substantial roadblock with the swap: The adapter plate wont fit the G52 bellhousing.


    apparently the hiace bellhousing had a whole bunch of extra mounts for engine stiffeners and shifter linkages that the north american bellhousings lacked.
    if you look at the photo, just below the starter there are 2 bolt holes, and a matching pair across the housing: this is for a pair of stiffener mounts that bolt up to the block to help secure the transmission as there is no cross member supporting the transmission



    Starter clearance is also a concern as I cant re locate the starter as the vw side adapter has no room for it and the starter is going to hit the bellhousing



    Im not super concerned just yet as my brother knows a machine shop owner who is going to make up a new adapter plate using the old one as a reference and copying the hiace bellhousing. Hopefully he will be able to help make up some of the engine mounts as well.

    One other concern is that the intake manifold is sitting quite high up in the engine bay which means that the drivers seat cover wont be able to go over top any more so I'll have to either get a custom intake made up($$$) or clock the engine more to the right, which could result in oil circulation problems if the oil pan is tilted too much.

    It's not game over just yet but the good news is that the engine does fit in the cavity and wont foul on the diff or the anti sway bar

    Small victories
    Last edited by Spence; 12-15-2019 at 01:01 PM.
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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  12. #12
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    Oct 2010
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    Calgary Alberta
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    Lots more progress has been achieved in the last couple of weeks!


    managed to get the tdi to sit inside the engine cavity!



    there will have to be some modification to the intake manifold as the ASV flange is sitting too high for the drivers seat cover to fit back on which is kind of important if i ever want to actually drive this thing!



    and through sheer stroke of luck, the passenger seat fits completely over the engine! although the oil filler cap is about 12 mm higher than it needs to be so I have 2 options on the subject:
    Option A: I could cut a hole around the cap and make up a relief cover for it that will sit inside the center console, this will sit on half of the drivers side cover panel too so it might not be as clean as I'd like
    Option B: I could find another 2 valve covers at pick and pull and block off the stock location of the filler cap and move the filler neck about 40 mm back of where it sits now, but I don't know how to weld aluminum nor am i exactly willing to pay for it to be done



    you can see it poking up here

    I had some issues with the stock body mounts as well. They were sitting a bit too far forward for the VW block to be able to mount to as well as fouling the VW's n75 valve diaphragm(the little controller that actuates the vanes on the turbo)



    so these had to go which was a shame as i kinda wanted to reuse the old engine mounts as they were really heavy duty. I figure just the bottom half of the old 3L weighs as much as the whole ALH!



    passenger side gone



    and the drivers side. you'll notice 2 hard lines dangling there: these are actually power steering lines going to something called a trochoid pump that runs off the speedo driven gear. I guess its to boost ps pressure when 4WD is engaged? I kinda want to get rid of it, but if I can keep it intact then I will

    see these 2 bolts are where I'd like the mounting plate to mate with the block but again these pesky lines are in the way:



    There's a set of plates available online and i think ill spend the 120 bucks and just buy em to make life a lot simpler.

    now onto another critical problem: shifter linkage cross shaft and the slave cylinder



    as you can see here, the linkage shaft is PERILOUSLY close to the slave, but doesn't actually make contact, which is nice. problem is, the shaft is on a slight upwards angle and I'm Not sure if it'll be a problem but I wont be able to tell until the end bracket is bolted to... something

    on the stock G52 bellhousing there are a couple of aluminum bosses that the bracket bolts into. but since this is a totally different bellhousing with completely reversed starter placement, it'll need some kind of bracket or standoff to make it work.



    When I had initially dropped the engine into the cavity and bolted it to the trans the first time i was thrilled! although the oil pan was fouling the diff brace a little bit, i was able to grind most of it back.



    its still making contact, so Im going to have to work the pan over with a hammer ever-so-slightly to make it fit without it vibrating on the diff brace.

    There's a bunch of other fitment issues to deal with including the turbo downpipe hitting the shifter linkages, but that's an easy one to sort out.

    for now my main focus is the engine mounts and the cross shaft bracket. Im going to take the van over to NAF mechanical services in Calgary to get some help mounting the engine and getting my aluminum welding done as I dont know the first thing about aluminum welding, nor do I have the power requirements or tools to do so.

    I did however get a shiny new intercooler that's WAY too big but should work out real nice!



    So thats where Im at as of the start of the new year. Hopefully the engine will be supported and back in my garage by the end of the month!
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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  13. #13
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    Jun 2008
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    Looks dope, invest in some gold heat wrapping before the final install and some exhaust heat wrap and you'll be golden.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodenturn View Post
    DK should ban such nonsense. 2 cents~ sr86 www.dorikaze.net/showthread.php?32933-Elizabeth

  14. #14
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    Oct 2010
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    Calgary Alberta
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    How well does that stuff work? It'll be pretty hot in there especially without ac
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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  15. #15
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    Oct 2010
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    It's been a while since the last update so here we go!
    After getting the engine mated to the transmission, I started work on getting the shifter to work again now that the bellhousing has been swapped for a w56. I made this work by building a bracket that picks up on the top 2 bolts of the transmission and runs around to the shifter cross shaft



    I had to add a couple of braces to the bracket as it was a bit flimsy off the bat but you can see how it connects to the cross shaft pickup bracket


    After that was done I went to put the driver seat back in to test the shifter, but found thst the oil filler neck and intake manifold would foul the cover so so modifications were necessary.


    You can see the oil filler neck is in the way, but conveniently, there is room just 3" back from the standard position so I took the valve cover to a machine shop and had them weld the filler 3" back and weld over the gaping hole




    Now that the valve cover fits, it was time to modify the intake:
    The asv flange and intake plenum body were way too tall to fit underneath the engine cover so some drastic modifications had to be made


    I already chopped the top off just to get it under, but further cuts had to be made



    Finally, I took the chopped and cleaned bits to the machine shop to be welded up alongside the valve cover



    Beauty.

    Now the driver side engine cover fits!

    Once I was satisfied with the shifter position and engine height, it was time to make the engine mounts.
    I started off by getting some 1/4" steel plates from td conversions that bolt up to the block and build some cardboard templates from there



    These are the engine side mounts



    And these are the body side mounts

    Once the engine plates were installed I lowered the engine down and tacked the body mounts including the 1" spacing for the polyurethane bushings



    Once everything was in position, the mounts were fully welded to the body and the engine finally installed!!

    I still have to find a steel oil pan so I can mould the pan around the front diff brace

    After the engine got mounted, I brought the van back to my garage so I could get started packaging the intercooler and radiator together

    I got some random Kijiji intercooler and a really expensive afco rad and fan package and started building a new rad support



    Pretty happy with the way this thing turned out!



    Here's the rad and intercooler packaged together resting on poly bushings.



    And here it is sitting in the engine bay.

    Next thing to do was to make a top mount clamp thingy to keep things stiff yet functional.





    The clamp picks up onto the stock rad retainer bracket and uses more poly bushings on the top side.


    Now that the rad and intercooler are nice and tight it was time to start plumbing!

    I picked up a ton of free intercooler piping from my brothers mk2 diesel Jetta and put it to good use





    I'm still gonna need a ton of piping and reducers as the 3" intercooler is massive compared to the 1 1/4" turbo outlet on a stock tdi..

    Cooling system is almost done, I just need a couple of aluminum hose reducers to finish off the lower rad hose



    Next up to do while I wait for more parts to come is to modify and mount the digital throttle, and to mount the vw ecu and run wires
    http://i.imgur.com/whGaEBG.jpg

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