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Old 11-24-2013, 12:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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diesel swaps

Can this subforum offer me advice? Every once in a while i wonder about whether i can find a diesel engine that would swap into my Civic when, one day, the current gasser engine dies. I have lots of willingness to learn what's needed toperform a reasonable swap. I'd like to make and run biodiesel one day, in my Civic. Any engine must be newer than my civic (1998) and meet the other CA emissions standards I have to satisfy in this daily driver. I know there is a Euro diesel Civic, but CA won't let me run that engine. What relatively recent engines available in the USA would you suspect or know would swap into my car, with or without some custom mounts?

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Old 11-24-2013, 01:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There is no small on road domestic diesel engine I know of that will fit under the hood. An imported VW diesel engine and trans should fit and satisfy the insane mandates of the CARB Nazis.

Custom mounts and everything else will be a requirement unless you get that Honda diesel.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your best bet if you want to drive a diesel conversion is to move, if I were in CA I wouldn't even bother thinking about it.

Maybe install a G1 Honda insight lean burn 1ltr hybrid drivetrain and drive slower and do some aeromods and weight removal?

Though I have often wondered, how "picky" is CA if you can make the emissions conform?

You could just water mist in your tailpipe for the sniffer, no idea how you would get the OBDII working right though.

Ah well.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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With the mileage you are showing in your log, a diesel conversion would be exorbitantly expensive, especially IF you could ever get it smogged in California, for very little gain in cost per mile, considering the difference in price between diesel and regular gas, which is a 15% premium in Va.

To cover the difference in fuel cost you would have to be pushing 80 MPG in a diesel conversion, even if it was doable and free.

regards
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Seems like a VW is the only way to overcome the smog Nazis. Well, if you could get that 3-pot 1.4TDI and a smog referee to approve it, that would be even better, altough more expensive...
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with Old Mech; if you're already averaging over 60mpg per tank with the gasoline engine, I doubt you'll save anything switching to diesel... even if you could find free fuel. Best bet may be to buy a diesel engine with a car around it already.

Diesel swaps into gasoline cars are not unheard of in CA; there are folks on the TDI forum that put them into all kinds of interesting vehicles. It does typically require transplanting not only the engine, but also all the electronics (including the dash), unless you can reprogram the ECU to work without the dash. I don't know the details about registering them, but suspect the engine had to come from a CA compliant vehicle.

I do know that the normal smog test for a Diesel does not involve a sniffer; it is only an underhood visual check, a CEL check, and a "smoke test" (which is basically revving the engine and seeing if the exhaust is opaque).
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NachtRitter View Post
if you're already averaging over 60mpg per tank with the gasoline engine, I doubt you'll save anything switching to diesel...
Unless he's now targetting at 100MPG
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think you all mised something in my original post... the idea is to think about a swap for when, one day, this gasoline engine dies. If it needs really major work one day, then I'd have to replace or rebuild and while rebuilding mightbe cheaper, the cost gap would be narrower. Also, with the right diesel, I could burn biofuel, even fuel made at home, which increases the savings. But I see how expensive this could be, looking at your comments. Replace the entire dash? Ouch! I would expect to have to replace the ecu, but wow, the dashboard too. Geting more radical, now.

BTW, I'll check into the TDI forums from time to time and see what I can learn... thanks for that!
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 11-26-2013, 03:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ah... you are right, I did miss that important little detail.

Even so, the difference between a used VW TDI engine and a used Honda engine is fairly huge... the cost gap would not be narrowed by much! Used Honda engines are going for about $300 (in my area) whereas used TDI engines run around $1500. Heck, you could replace your dead Honda engine with another Honda engine and still have enough money left over to drive another year & a half before spending the same money it would take to just buy the VW TDI engine (without any fabbing of engine mounts &tc).
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you want a diesel vehicle, buy a diesel vehicle.

If you want a hobby project that will cost you more than you'll ever save, by all means convert your Civic to diesel!

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