First trip from Shed to front lawn

Not looking to flash on the outside, but 2.0 TDI rebuilt transmission, electrical still to be sorted looking forward to 2020
“The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.” One must imagine "The syncro owner” happy.

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Looking good. What’s the story behind the van?

Thanks for asking I will be brief if that OK as the IPad mini doesn’t lend itself to volumes.
I bought the van from a couple from Mulumbimby (2013) it had had a EJ25 DOHC conversion done by someone in Ballina. The we’re moving to NZ to sail around the world. I drove to Melbourne and had a head failure cooked the engine. Replace the EJ25 with a JDI regeared the transmission taller 3rd .77 and 4th 1.2 and had a great trip to Lawn Hill Boodjamulla Tenant Creek, Davenport Np, Alice, East McDonalds and returned via the Plenty and Donahue to Nth NSW. Had a failure of the knock sensor 60km north of Alice and issues with air into coolant pushing coolant in the overflow needing frequent stops and bleeding. Decided I would abandon the Subieand go to a TDI. I bought a kit from FASST in the US cost a fair bit landed(you can check the web site) Had a friend in Murwillumbah help with the install which was interrupted by the flood, fortunately was on a high hoists and the water just lapped the wheel arches although was bit rocking with oil drums bobbing around. On the way home I had a turbo failure, this is when my learning and personal development started, suffice to say, I stuffed the engine. Back the the workshop for a rebuild, not being very bright I forgot the tighten the oil feed on the turbo and repeated the destruction of the engine. By this point the van had lived in the back of the workshop for over a year and I was proficient at removing the engine ( under 2 hrs). Got the van home engine running like a charm preparing for another trip and heard a clunk into the oil pan when changing transmission oil. 1st /reverse assembly had shattered very fortunate really as I could have ruined the gearbox.
So here I am, ascending to new heights all going well.

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Wow Colin, sad story on the TDI install. I hope it proves more reliable now you have ascended new heights :grinning:. The 2.0 should be a fairly bullet proof engine (I think it’s a common choice in Europe). Sounds like you were lucky on the flooding.
Where did you get the TDI motor from?
Still sounds like you have done a lot of trips on the Subie motor, so it did the job for a while at least.
I guess the cost is high, but what would a good re-build of an original motor cost these days? (plus in your cast sourcing a motor and parts)

Looking forward to hearing how the TDI goes, I’d be interested to hear about fuel economy, and hope you get some more trips in 2020!


TDI was a BSW PD 1.9 at start 2007 Bettle in Australia. In the end easier to put 2.0 pistons from a Passat as 3rd oversize difficult to source. These came from UK Darkside Developments. Van going well trialing a transmission cooler at moment cuts in at 70C and off at 40C.

Sounds like a nice engine.
Glad it’s all going well, and the transmission cooler sounds nice.

This does sound great but as Richard has mentioned, a lot of difficult times in the process.

The only problems I have noted with the TDI’s diesels is they hang low or require a raised engine lid and they kill gearboxes with their inherent torque.

Would be a great syncro for touring with excellent mileage.

Looking at the web sight for the kit, looks like the copy they factory diesel install and lean the engine over, so have a custom sump, oil pick up (and a lot of other bits). Looks like a well thought out kit.
I’m guessing it does not loose any ground clearance of lift the engine lid.

Richard Haven’t measured the ground clearance as yet looking to change the springs and shocks. Will look at this when I get home in Sydney working. No engine lid change fits neatly at 50 degree

Very interesting :thinking: I admire your grit Colin. I have that engine in my TDI Golf! Great donk! My Syncro wants it but the wife says no! Your soaring at great heights thought the road is long and winding! I’m assuming your in Cooly Colin, any chance of a meetup on Dbah hill?

Roman That would be great, away from 23/1 to 9/2 following week would be good. I am at Duranbah NSW Colin

Great! Let’s meet up after that at Dbah cafe for a coffee with cars without Gerry Seinfeld :joy: Tom Hanks is welcome tho! PM Message me when your back.

Yes Monday 17/2 say 11 qld 437632778

Hi Colin getting back from NZ about that time will give you a call when I get back to organise it.