Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TDI - Day 2

Well, the next 8 hours have been spent on the TDI install, and I'm not really that much further along. Why? Well, most of that time has been spent doing research.

The first few hours were spent thinking and digging on the engine mounts. I found a guy to design and fabricate the engine mounts.... or so I thought. He had experience building roll-cages and building race cars, so he sounded up for it. Unfortunately, he hasn't answered emails, so I may need to find someone else. So, those hours may have been completely lost.

The next few hours were spent making decisions on the transaxle to use. After fielding advice from round the world, I found German Transaxle in Bend. They have been rebuilding and improving VW transaxles for ages. They recommended sticking with the stock 002 transaxle initially. I could get a rebuilt, hopped up 002 transaxle from them in the future for about $1500. That new tranny could get the bus up to 75mph at 3200 rpm. Apparently, there wouldn't be much of a step between gears either, as they would be changing the ring & pinion not individual gears. This was encouraging. Since I have a '84 wasserboxer transaxle with 80k miles on it and a full set of shift linkage, I figure I can sell those ($500) and be partway to the new transaxle.

Next, was finding an adapter solution that would mate the ALH TDI to the 002 transaxle. After talking with a few different vendors and fabricators, I went with Kennedy Engineering Products. They have a 091 adapter ($510) and a 002 adapter ($400). I asked if there was a need to get the 091 bellhousing and larger adapter. They said no, so $440 ($40 shipping) and 3 1/2 weeks later, I have my adapter. Upon inspection, I realize that the flywheel is 200mm and the old bus flywheel is 210mm. I'll have to get a clutch for a 68-71 bus - so my existing clutch that has less than 5k miles on it can't be reused. Maybe I can find someone that wants to buy it after I pull it.

Last, I dealt with some radiator issues. I bought a Jetta radiator from a nice cat in Southern Oregon. I bench-tested the fan with a car battery and it runs nice a quiet. I, then, took many measurements of both the radiator and the underside of the bus where I plan to position the radiator. I took these measurements to the freeware "Google Sketchup" to work through a mounting design. There are 3 mount points on the radiator, and I plan to reuse all of them. More importantly, the radiator, with the fan housing, is around 7 inches high. The body cavity on the bus is 5 inches deep. Even if I wanted the fan housing pressed against the floor, I would have a protruding radiator. I had suspected this would happen. I am still considering how deep to set the radiator, but my current thinking is to have the radiator mounts a-fix just above the bottom of the rails. This would leave most of the fan housing within the cavity and the radiator hanging below the bus, so a housing will be necessary. I had suspected that as well, and had planned to construct something out of sheetmetal to both protect the radiator as well as route air through it.

I'll try to remember to post a screen-shot of the sketchup. I don't know how well it can be used for genuine design, but it did tell me alot about how well the rad will fit without having to lie down under the bus and holding it.
that's it for now. More next time--

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