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omgwtfbyobbq 01-19-2007 05:12 PM


Originally Posted by ELF (Post 38170)
We don't have smog checks here in MN any more. Thats because our air is sooooo clean, Ahhhhh,
Seems like a lot of work but good luck with the project. I used to own a rabbit diesel but could never get the mpg that my festiva got. In town the rabbit beat the festiva but on the highway my festiva used to get 53-56 mpg. never got over 50 with the rabbit.

It's not too bad, considering the cost of VW diesels. I'm guessing it took me ~10 hours to get the gasser engine out, and maybe 10 more to get the diesel and all the fixins in. Even at a $10 an hour rate, I'm still not gonna find a rust free diesel with a nice interior that runs for $700, so I figure it's worthwhile financially. And personally, the most I've done before this have been oil changes, so it's a great intro into mechanical work. I'll also have a title for a four door diesel rabbit after this is done, so if I'm inclined, I can drop whatever engine I want into it, and as long as I'm not a jackass, never have to worry about smog. :D

Regarding your rabbit diesel, mine got pretty bad highway too, it was practically the same as the city, and after browsing the vwdieselparts forums, I found out that there's a mechanical advance mechanism in the fuel pump, and as the fuel pump ages, the timing at higher rpm starts retarding. The supposed solution is to increase the viscosity of the fuel, via something like parrowax/similar. A few have reported significant mileage gains with this, so I'm hoping I can see the same. :thumbup:

omgwtfbyobbq 01-19-2007 05:59 PM

Well, the $75 gasser with 100k and free towing was a lucky Craiglist find, and there were three or four people behind me that wanted to see it. I think I overpaid for the rusty diesel, $430 was too much with the driver's seat hanging out the floorboards, but I really wanted a sub $500 diesel, it ran... and paid itself off including a new battery/starter, so I really can't complain. Plus, when I'm done I'll have about a ton of scrap (~$50), as well as a crapload of parts, working electric fuel pump, alternator, mani/dp, injectors, glass, etc.. So if I play my cards right, I may be able to get the total cost down to ~$300. Maybe... :D

GasSavers_nathan 01-21-2007 05:50 PM

are you going with a turbo diesel?
my brother is into vw diesels, hes probably had 20+ in the last few years.
he'll pick them up cheap and part them out, or swap parts around to make a complete car and sell it. im considering getting one from him, the chevette just insnt cutting it mpg wise. anyway good luck with your swap. pretty nice lookin car you got.

lovemysan 01-21-2007 06:37 PM

I want to swap a 50hp vw diesel into my saturn. But not before I wear this engine out.

omgwtfbyobbq 01-21-2007 06:53 PM

I wish I had a TD, the prices on those are outrageous. Something I found out that's surprising, the Smart CDi has a 40hp engine in a 1600lb car, which is about the same power to weight ratio of the 50hp engine in a 2000lb Rabbit. I mean, these cars will never get out of their own way, but it really shows that people don't need power for drivability, they need torque at low rpm. :thumbup:

GasSavers_Ryland 01-21-2007 07:40 PM

I assume you have studied up, and realize things like that you should swap out fuel lines, and fuel tank out of the diesel parts car as well, as the diesel doesn't have an electric fuel pump, and the fuel lines run differnt places.
if you can find a turbo, I would say get it, the horse power is greater, and the EPA mileage is about the same.

omgwtfbyobbq 01-21-2007 08:01 PM

I studied up so much I realized I don't have to do most of that... ;) Seriously, I'm 95% sure the tanks are the same, the filler necks different (but can be bent to be the same ;)), and the lines exit on the other side of the bay, but could've been run back around with polyethylene line, or cut and flared where the diesel lines normally end. The electric fuel pump and accumulator were deleted. And a turbo does nothing powerwise w/o more fuel, so in order to run one I'd need a injection pump with an LDA. In terms of fuel economy, I've heard running really lean with a turbo/NA pump can show nice gains, as well as clean up the oil, but I figure I'll try that route another day.

GasSavers_Ryland 01-21-2007 08:16 PM

the fuel tanks are nothing alike.
the gas fuel tank has more evapritive emition stuff, it has the electric fuel pump, I thought with the fuel lines coming out of the fuel tank opening.
the diesel tank has a water seperator (clean every 6 months), less evaporitive emition stuff, no electric fuel pump, and the fuel comes right off the bottom of the tank, where it should have a water seperator... unless it's to early for that... then it would just have the water seperator in the fuel filter.

omgwtfbyobbq 01-21-2007 09:08 PM

The diesel and gas have the same expansion tank up in the front passenger wheel well, according to the Bentley anyhoo. The in/out nipples on the fuel tank are in the exact same places, and iirc the fuel filter collects the water, and has a little plug on the bottom to drain it. I want to say that both the gasser and diesel have water separators as well, but don't quote me on it. In any event, this sums up the swap pretty good. Course, i have both cars sitting 20ft from me, so I could check the water separator, but it's cold... :eek: ;)

Lug_Nut 04-11-2007 08:09 AM


Originally Posted by Sludgy (Post 38154)
A lot of people at Gassavers talk about engine swaps, but if I were to drive into a Massachusetts State Inspection Station with a registered gasser with a diesel motor swapped in, I'd never get the safety/emissions sticker!

How do you get the diesel emission-certified?

I waited until my conversion was completed before registering it as a diesel.
There were no questions asked. I had been expecting a big hassle that never happened. I'd suggest cancelling the gasser registration and then applying for a new one as a diesel rather than trying to change a valid current gas registration to diesel.
The inspection process is based on the fuel type listed on the vehicle registration. Trying to pass the gasser dynamometer test (required if the vehicle is still registered as gasoline) with a diesel is futile. The CO2 level out of the diesel at less than full load is too low and will cause a failure as being "invalid".

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