1993 Volkswagen Eurovan Gas to TDI Conversion and MV to Weekender Conversion

I decided to have some fun with a 1993 Eurovan I found a while ago on TheSamba.com. It was a 1993 Eurovan 5 cylinder gas, 5 speed with 180,000 miles that had been rehabilitated in some significant ways - most suspension pieces renewed, a new paint job with minor bodywork to fix dings and scratches, and some engine reconditioning work. The wheels and tires had been upgraded to the 16 inch ones on newer Eurovans so it already looked pretty nice:


Since I lived in California and the van was in Florida I bought it sight unseen and hoped for the best. It was in o.k. shape to drive across the U.S., although it did break down three times on the way from Florida to California. ; < Nothing too bad and all very Eurovan expected - the ignition switch failed after about 100 miles while still in Florida so I quickly hot-wired a new aftermarket switch in place, the transmission linkage fell apart in Houston, so I had to zip-tie it together to make it home, and the serpentine belt broke in Albuquerque so I had to put on a new one late at night in a Walmart parking lot in spite of a belt-tensioner that really did not want to be bothered. But I made it back to California in four days and soon after began my little project.

My goal was to create, for a total of about $10,000, a working and reliable Eurovan TDI Weekender running on biodiesel made from recycled vegetable oil. That meant the 5 cylinder gas Eurovan MV that I bought needed to have a TDI engine transplant and a weekender pop-top installed for about $6500.

I have a little background with V.W.s, having successfully completed the
Friesen Fritter Fired Fossil Fuel Free Drive Across America. : > This was a chance to show what you can do with a TDI and a bit of creativity, and some used vegetable oil from a fritter booth at a fund-raising event for our church's international development agency. After that I frittered my time away converting about 15 more Jetta TDIs to run on veggie oil, selling them to colleagues and friends.

After playing around with converting TDI's to run on used veggie oil, I decided that it was probably a better idea to make quality bio-diesel then run used, filtered, heated vegetable oil through a very precise Bosch fuel injection pump. So I bought a friend's bio-diesel set up and learned how to make my own biodiesel. That story will be on another page.

This story is about a Eurovan conversion from a 2.4 liter 5 cylinder gas to a V.W. 1.9 liter IZ TDI engine, followed by the same van going from an MV to Weekender. Here is the what the project looks like right now.