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Old 10-03-2010, 07:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Saturn TDI

Been working on this for a couple of years...it started out as a '95 SL2 parts car that my son dragged home. It became an R&D test mule when I swapped a '97 Jetta TDI drivetrain into it, and it turned out to be so much fun that it's now my daily driver. My all-time best fuel mileage to date is 57.4 mpg, but I think I can do even better. I still need to dial in the injector pump timing, and I want to experiment with the aerodynamics (an SL1 bumper and flush-mount the headlights for starters), but it's a blast to drive with 200 lbs of torque in a 2400 lb vehicle! Being my first post, it won't let me include the link, but if you check out tdiclub.com or do a search engine for Saturn TDI, you'll be able to view it.

I also get some funny looks from people when I pull up to the diesel pumps :-)

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Old 10-03-2010, 08:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Craig -

Welcome to EM! Fantastic work. I've posted about your TDI a few times :

http://ecomodder.com/forum/150333-post41.html
http://ecomodder.com/forum/179218-post16.html

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Old 10-03-2010, 08:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Craig -

Here is the TDI thread :

Saturn TDI Conversion - TDIClub Forums

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Old 10-03-2010, 08:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks! I'm amazed at how popular this project is, and how it has made its way into all these forums.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Craig!

I am hoping that you can help me. I bought a European diesel engine out of a 1998 Opel Vectra. Some photo are here: https://picasaweb.google.com/bradjensen68/Diesel#

According to Wikipedia, the Vectra is related to the Saturn L-class. I am hoping to find a car that would match the engine and not require as much fabrication (time, costs) as you needed for the TDI.

Thoughts? Ideas? Tips? I can take more pictures if that would be helpful. Really any advice that you can provide would be appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi!

Wow, that's a pretty good score! I knew GM made an Ecotec diesel that wasn't offered here AFAIK, but that's the first one I've seen.

I'm taking an educated guess here, but my thought is that you could easily swap that into just about any GM vehicle that came with an Ecotec drivetrain to begin with. I take it that you got the transaxle to go with the diesel? Diesel gearboxes are geared differently from the standard gasoline ones. The basic mechanical swap "might" be plug 'n play, although you may have to make or modify some pieces to get it to come together, plus a few unknown challenges with integrating the diesel electronics into the vehicle.

I'd start with looking under the hood of some Ecotec-powered cars and study the mounting points for the drivetrain and compare them to your diesel, take some measurements, and study the nuances of each drivetrain to give you an idea of what obstacles you may run into (exhaust, intake airbox, coolant plumbing, linkages, wiring) as you sort things out. When I started the Saturn TDI project, I did a lot of online research and poked around under the hood of a few non-TDI Jetta's (TDI cars are a little hard to find around here) for measurements and orientation of the real estate I had to work with before I took the plunge on a drivetrain. As you can tell, it was a lot of work, but I'm glad I did it!

Take care, and best of luck with your project!

Craig
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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No, unfortunately just the engines themselves. They are from a research lab not vehicles - so no other parts.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Craig, You've made the vehicle that GM could have but didn't, excellent!

No wonder our government had to bail them and their unions out.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jetta TDI swap ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig View Post
Been working on this for a couple of years...it started out as a '95 SL2 parts car that my son dragged home. It became an R&D test mule when I swapped a '97 Jetta TDI drivetrain into it, and it turned out to be so much fun that it's now my daily driver. My all-time best fuel mileage to date is 57.4 mpg, but I think I can do even better. I still need to dial in the injector pump timing, and I want to experiment with the aerodynamics (an SL1 bumper and flush-mount the headlights for starters), but it's a blast to drive with 200 lbs of torque in a 2400 lb vehicle! Being my first post, it won't let me include the link, but if you check out tdiclub.com or do a search engine for Saturn TDI, you'll be able to view it.

I also get some funny looks from people when I pull up to the diesel pumps :-)
I suppose you used a 1.9 TDI for the swap (you didn´t mention).

Question: how did you cope with the electronic control of the engine?
Did you install and connect all sensors and did you install the proper computer?

Or, what?

I love this engine and would like to learn.

Tks.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbeaver View Post
Question: how did you cope with the electronic control of the engine?
Did you install and connect all sensors and did you install the proper computer?
The least troublesome way to do swaps like these is to transplant all engine related accessories, control gear and instruments along with the lump.
If you follow a wire and it doesn't go to something straightforward that you can easily duplicate, swap it over.
On cars with anti-theft gear built in, you might need to swap even the ignition key lock and keys.

Re-routing / lengthening / shortening some wires is far easier than sorting out and fabricating the right signals to go to the right places on your own.

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