JK130 | Custom TDI Diesel Parallel Hybrid Jeep Wrangler with composite camper build.

wADVr

Adventurer
A Hemi swap must feel great! All that power on tap!
My reasons for going TDI are less dramatic, I am looking for maximum range, fuel economy, light weight and simplicity.
I don't feel that I will miss the horsepower, and the extra torque at low speeds will be very welcome.
I will shave off about 150lbs going TDI.
Land rover sold Defenders with a similar engine to a small TDI, and though they might not slam me back in my seat with acceleration, I think they will give me what I am looking for overall.

Did you consider the crate engine 2.8 Cummins? It might have been a good balance between the hemi and a TDI?
I seriously considered that one, but I think I can have two rebuilt ready to go BHWs for about the same price... So I am happy where I ended up.
Yes it is great and do not regret it, however it is not the same power as a diesel. I did look at the 2.8 Cummins and if I was willing to invest the money I believe that is a great if not best option for repowering a JK (or any Jeep for that matter). But it came down to money and availability. When I did my swap the Cummins was not available readily and expensive (I did my complete Hemi swap for about the same as just a crate 2.8) apples to oranges or grapefruits but it got the job done. Enough about that though, I am a VW fan and owned a MK6 TDI Jetta for a while until VW made me an offer I could not refuse during the whole buy back deal. Great engine and excellent efficient power. I did consider swapping one of these but wasn’t interested in figuring everything out at the time and again concerned about power. I look forward to seeing how this works for you. From my Jetta days a stage 2 Malone tune and an exhaust yielded quite impressive numbers, like tq north of 400 if I remember correctly.

good luck with the project. Look forward to reading!
 

straypoet

Member
Partial update:
Factory welds cut, all inserts removed. Wow those sections that were sleeved inside the frame were not easy to remove.
I was careful not to damage the outer tubing.
Doesn’t look like much, but took half the weekend. The other half was spent taking measurements and doing mock-ups.

Oh, and organizing the workspace a bit.

I’m hoping to start putting the frame back together sometime tomorrow or Tuesday.

BB8FFE78-DF05-4FD9-93AD-CA1ADC1B1437.jpeg49E2F559-48AD-4CF1-BBF4-4018D2B234BF.jpeg
 

straypoet

Member
These guys have the proper frame sections but not sure if they have the length you need. https://jeepworksltd.com
Thank you for the link, I did send them an email last week, and I got a reply back, indicating that the sections are custom made, and that they wouldn't be ordering anymore for a while.
The timing just won't work for me, as I want to get moving on the project, but if anyone is going to do this in future, maybe contacting Jeepworks would work out if there is enough lead-time to have a custom section made.
As it is, I am comfortable making the center section myself.
 

Justincredible

Adventurer
Nate Pickle (@dirtlifestylenate on Instagram, or Dirt Lifestyle on youtube) runs a VW TDI swapped Jeep and is a big advocate for the swap.
Look him up , if you haven't already, he'll have some good info to help you along.
 

straypoet

Member
Nate Pickle (@dirtlifestylenate on Instagram, or Dirt Lifestyle on youtube) runs a VW TDI swapped Jeep and is a big advocate for the swap.
Look him up , if you haven't already, he'll have some good info to help you along.
I have seen some of his videos! Yes. :)
His video on the advantages of the PD TDIs was one of the main reasons I decided to do this conversion with a BHW instead of an OM648 ( my other choice)
I had initially dismissed the TDIs because I worried about the power demands on such a small engine. I no longer worry about that after doing months and months of research.
 

straypoet

Member
A8580AF9-C9F2-4746-9F1C-C2333AF90F7E.jpeg
Playing with some mockups.
I based the camper box on the size of 3 380w solar panels from Q Cells.
I am leaning towards these because they are only 73" long instead of the 78-79" long that most of the 72cell panels seem to be.
Leaving a protection gap of about 1" on both sides and the rear, I am at a box size of about 75"x 122"

Admittedly that is about 7" longer than I really want to be.

I am thinking that I would recess the spare tire like the Earthroamers do. That would allow me to keep the overall length as low as possible.

Like this:
8F51D7F0-F5D2-49C1-8325-A9E569B90A6F.jpeg

I still plan to do some 3d mockups, and play with the axle placement. Just thought I would share one of the mockups that I did today.
I should note that the width might be a bit more. I would like to go with 35x10.5 (edit: 12.50) tires, and depending on the backspacing, I think the tread width is around 76"
I plan to match the box width to the outside edge of the tire tread.

download.jpg
The Defender pictured above should be close to the correct proportions that I trying to attain.
 
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ChasingOurTrunks

Well-known member
View attachment 645683
Playing with some mockups.
I based the camper box on the size of 3 380w solar panels from Q Cells.
I am leaning towards these because they are only 73" long instead of the 78-79" long that most of the 72cell panels seem to be.
Leaving a protection gap of about 1" on both sides and the rear, I am at a box size of about 75"x 122"

Admittedly that is about 7" longer than I really want to be.

I am thinking that I would recess the spare tire like the Earthroamers do. That would allow me to keep the overall length as low as possible.

Like this:
View attachment 645684

I still plan to do some 3d mockups, and play with the axle placement. Just thought I would share one of the mockups that I did today.
I should note that the width might be a bit more. I would like to go with 35x10.5 tires, and depending on the backspacing, I think the tread width is around 76"
I plan to match the box width to the outside edge of the tire tread.

View attachment 645686
The Defender pictured above should be close to the correct proportions that I trying to attain.
This is one of the coolest projects I've seen in a while. I think you are spot on with that engine choice, though that Cummins crate motor is a heck of a tool. For a while, people were having success with some brand new Isuzu tractor motors that were cheap as chips for a while but I don't think that's still the case.

On this project, I do have an observation and a question:

1) I wonder about the recessed spare tire and it's impact on OAL, and the design decision from Earthroamer's perspective. Do you think it was recessed in order to reduce OAL, or do you think they effectively "expanded" the camper shell around the spare to increase interior space? In other words, for your application if you have a maximum OAL in mind (i.e. what will fit in a 20' container) perhaps building so that the spare tire is the terminus of that OAL, and then whether it's hanging off the back OR you recess it will largely depend on what you need the interior space to be like, as opposed to recessing it to reduce your OAL in general. Either way, fantastic idea.

2) When the time comes, can you speak a bit to any hoops you might need to jump through for insurance, registration, etc. given the level of modification? One of my main hesitations on extensive modification of a base platform (apart from skill, time, and minor details like that! :D) is fitting within the regulations and keeping all my things like insurance coverage intact; I know there's a way to do it (AEV did a run of J8s for instance, you just had to find someone who could be the "manufacturer of record" because they are so different from the JKs that they were essentially a different vehicle) I just don't know what's necessary for a given project. I think for a home-built camper it's probably a lot easier than a commercial product, but most of the information I have seen on the web is speculation about what regulators and insurance companies might do, not information on someone who has lived through the experience. If you could share a bit about this when you cross this bridge, I'm sure lots of folks would find it helpful!

Again, fantastic project -- super cool and can't wait to see it come to fruition.
 

straypoet

Member
This is one of the coolest projects I've seen in a while. I think you are spot on with that engine choice, though that Cummins crate motor is a heck of a tool. For a while, people were having success with some brand new Isuzu tractor motors that were cheap as chips for a while but I don't think that's still the case.

On this project, I do have an observation and a question:

1) I wonder about the recessed spare tire and it's impact on OAL, and the design decision from Earthroamer's perspective. Do you think it was recessed in order to reduce OAL, or do you think they effectively "expanded" the camper shell around the spare to increase interior space? In other words, for your application if you have a maximum OAL in mind (i.e. what will fit in a 20' container) perhaps building so that the spare tire is the terminus of that OAL, and then whether it's hanging off the back OR you recess it will largely depend on what you need the interior space to be like, as opposed to recessing it to reduce your OAL in general. Either way, fantastic idea.

2) When the time comes, can you speak a bit to any hoops you might need to jump through for insurance, registration, etc. given the level of modification? One of my main hesitations on extensive modification of a base platform (apart from skill, time, and minor details like that! :D) is fitting within the regulations and keeping all my things like insurance coverage intact; I know there's a way to do it (AEV did a run of J8s for instance, you just had to find someone who could be the "manufacturer of record" because they are so different from the JKs that they were essentially a different vehicle) I just don't know what's necessary for a given project. I think for a home-built camper it's probably a lot easier than a commercial product, but most of the information I have seen on the web is speculation about what regulators and insurance companies might do, not information on someone who has lived through the experience. If you could share a bit about this when you cross this bridge, I'm sure lots of folks would find it helpful!

Again, fantastic project -- super cool and can't wait to see it come to fruition.
Thank you for the kind words. :)
I did seriously consider the Cummins 2.8 Yes really awesome engine! though comparing the end result, I think my engine will be lighter, and have roughly equal torque when I am finished. We will see...
Though the modular design would allow me to change to that engine if I decided that was the better choice.

For the recessed spare tire idea: The original plan was to keep the camper box length around 110", and to center it on the rear axle. if I were to be able to do this; (and I still might be able to, if I were to find the right solar combination, and/or move the panel array further forward) I would have the spare mounted on the back like most Jeeps. No problems with it back there, it is practical and simple.

If I have to lengthen the box to contain the solar that I want (and solar is high on my list of priorities), I would recess the spare.
I think you are right in thinking that the Earth roamers sort of 'expanded to swallow the spare'.
Anyone who has had to turn around in the middle of a road in the woods knows there is never enough room. lol

I do want this to fit in a container, but I am no where near the length that would limit me. (20' container') So I just have to keep height and width in mind, but I am pretty safe on those fronts.

The second part of your question is a longer answer, and I am not completely sure of all the details on some of it; but I have the advantage of living in Florida, and so the rules of vehicle modifications down here are much shorter than other states. I would likely not do things the same way if I was in CA for instance. In Florida I can modify my GVWR, I can easily get a 'modified vehicle' title (though I don't plan to do this) Florida has a very short list of prohibited vehicle body modifications, and no state level engine modification restrictions.
I will also state that generally I just prefer to fly under the radar.
I probably will keep this vehicle registered in Florida for the rest of my life, and here there are (currently) no inspections of any kind.
(You should see the stuff I see on the roads every day)

As far as insurance; I have to do more research, but I am not likely to be able to recoup my expenses if the vehicle were totaled. I would have to go the route of getting a custom vehicle title, and then insure as a custom vehicle and state the value, but given the cost of this, I am likely to simply realize that I would be on the hook for my own repairs if I were involved in an accident. (as the insured amount would be small in comparison to the value of my build.
I do plan to make the camper shell detachable (though not easily) from the OEM cab. If I were hit hard on the front quarter for instance; enough to bend the frame; or otherwise total the vehicle, I could (with a lot of work) stretch another JK and re-attach the camper, or maybe even shorten a JT. (I sure hope I never have to do that)

One concern that I do have, but something that I will have to cross the bridge when I come to it: is how I will fare in getting a carnet for the vehicle when I go to take it on an international trip. I will have to see.
Things tend to be possible one way or another. Rarely in life do we come to something that is not solvable by enough money, or time, or phone calls.......

Years ago, ( a long time ago) I built a school bus conversion. (this was long before the skoolie forums), and I learned how to do it by just doing it, and this will be much the same I think.
I will get where I am going one way or the other.
:)
 
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Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
I love this project, and can't wait to see it develop!

I based the camper box on the size of 3 380w solar panels from Q Cells.
I am leaning towards these because they are only 73" long instead of the 78-79" long that most of the 72cell panels seem to be.
Leaving a protection gap of about 1" on both sides and the rear, I am at a box size of about 75"x 122"

Admittedly that is about 7" longer than I really want to be.
May I ask why you've decided you need 1140W of solar? That is an IMMENSE amount, and I struggle to believe you'll find anything that can really use that much.
I have 200W on the Jeep I drove around Africa, and it's always been plenty.
In fact the vehicle I'm designing right now will have less.

... Remember, you're only on a Wrangler frame with Wrangler axles, Wrangler brakes and a not enormous engine.
There's no way you would want to install 200aH of batteries (or something else crazy like that) - you'll just be hauling too much weight.

If the 3 solar panels make it all about 7" long than you want, then forget about having 3 and just make it the length it should be.
even 2 X 380W is a MEGA amount of solar.

-Dan
 

straypoet

Member
... Remember, you're only on a Wrangler frame with Wrangler axles, Wrangler brakes and a not enormous engine.

-Dan
That is the biggest limitation of this platform. I agree there.

The GVWR of the defender is what 1800lbs more? I would love to have that extra weight cushion, but I think I can make up for it in other ways.

Dropping the steel body behind the front seats and going mostly composite and aluminum should be net 0 or close.
Losing the 3.8 and going with a lighter engine will save about 150lbs (estimate)
switching to coil-overs and terra flex control arms will save a little bit. (mostly due to the springs being lighter, and the coilover towers being lighter than the original spring perches and shock mounts (estimate)
the frame extension will add some weight, not sure how much yet.
I am going with light weight seats, and an aluminum dash, that will save a bit.(the factory AC and heater was very large and heavy, I will replace with a much smaller and simpler heat-only unit.
The factory exhaust system in the wrangler weighs like 40 lbs, mine will be about 3' long and very simple. Probably less than 10lbs.
The factory skid-plates are very heavy, and though I will add more protection for the transmission and transfer-case, I will not have to protect the fuel tanks in the same way because they are going to be higher and further back. (directly under the camper) This will save some weight. (I will still have a protection plate, but it won't need to be made to drag over rocks)
Using light weight materials wherever appropriate and not lowering reliability or safety.

No lead-acid battery!

Removing factory AC and going with a lighter weight 12v Ac system, doesn't save weight by itself, but at-least isn't two separate systems.

of course I will be adding weight in lots of ways, but I keep weight forefront in my mind. I know how badly an overweight Jeep handles, and I don't want that.

May I ask why you've decided you need 1140W of solar? That is an IMMENSE amount, and I struggle to believe you'll find anything that can really use that much.

-Dan
First, my build will be quite power hungry for the following reasons:
Removing factory engine driven Power Steering pump, going with a Volvo EPAS system, which will save a little bit of weight.
Removing engine driven AC and going with battery(solar) power AC.

I am thinking the Indel Sleeping cube (made for trucks) draws about 400watts when running. though there are less efficient options for less money, like a very small mini-split. The Everlanders conversion uses a battery/solar powered AC system, and they recently had to upgrade their battery storage because a 5kwhr bank wasn't enough.
I would have an induction stove, inside the conversion.
Even though LEDS are efficient, I like a lot of light, and would want plenty of internal and external lighting.
TWO refrigerators. (I will still use the small center-console fridge in addition to a 50-60litre or so dual zone fridge.
Ect, ect.

I also like the idea of having enough solar to keep the vehicle temperature controlled during the day. Keeping the inside cool even in the Florida summer heat. That would use most of the solar on a slightly overcast day, and might not be able to keep up on a moderately cloudy day.

In short, you are absolutely right, I don't need all that solar, I think I could get by with one panel if I dropped the AC and was careful; but think about where we are right now.....
10 years ago solar cells were 12% efficient, and high power small size EV motors were not common. I see a future where I would be able to make this into a light hybrid, and if you have the battery capacity (increasingly cheaper all the time) why not slowly trickle-charge with the excess solar. (yes I realize that it would take weeks to recharge a 30-40kwhr system with only 1.1kw of solar.
In time a full EV conversion would make more and more sense.
If we ever get rectenna solar panels (possibly vaporware) or solid-state super capacitors (maybe a pipe-dream) I will be ready to integrate them.

I understand it is only a matter of perspective, but 1.1kw is much less solar than I would like to have.

I may have to make compromises due to weight or space, but at some point in the next 25-30 years that I fully intend to own this vehicle; it will be totally electric. Do you think that in 20 years there will be many internal combustion vehicles on the road? I want to at least move in that direction.

Last, I am honored to see your reply. I have watched your journeys over the years, and your work is quite inspiring. Can't wait to see where you go next. :)
 
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ChasingOurTrunks

Well-known member
Thank you for the kind words. :)
I did seriously consider the Cummins 2.8 Yes really awesome engine! though comparing the end result, I think my engine will be lighter, and have roughly equal torque when I am finished. We will see...
Though the modular design would allow me to change to that engine if I decided that was the better choice.

For the recessed spare tire idea: The original plan was to keep the camper box length around 110", and to center it on the rear axle. if I were to be able to do this; (and I still might be able to, if I were to find the right solar combination, and/or move the panel array further forward) I would have the spare mounted on the back like most Jeeps. No problems with it back there, it is practical and simple.

If I have to lengthen the box to contain the solar that I want (and solar is high on my list of priorities), I would recess the spare.
I think you are right in thinking that the Earth roamers sort of 'expanded to swallow the spare'.
Anyone who has had to turn around in the middle of a road in the woods knows there is never enough room. lol

I do want this to fit in a container, but I am no where near the length that would limit me. (20' container') So I just have to keep height and width in mind, but I am pretty safe on those fronts.
That makes total sense. One of the reasons I love the Wrangler platform is how useful it is at a moderate size. It's an imminently usable vehicle anywhere in the world; there's an amusing (but true) example from one of the Grand Tour episodes with Hammond in a full-size truck having all sorts of issues with narrow streets (Granted, his was lifted and ridiculous, but it's width was a huge issue in some spots). I don't know the measurements off the top of my head but an inch or two can make a difference in built up areas, and the wrangler works well in those environments. Its of course unquestionably good outside those environments too so overall a great platform.

I think your choice of the TDI is fantastic for the reasons you stated. For a lot less cash, too, as you've identified. The level of thought you've put into all aspects of this project is pretty impressive to see.

The second part of your question is a longer answer, and I am not completely sure of all the details on some of it; but I have the advantage of living in Florida, and so the rules of vehicle modifications down here are much shorter than other states. I would likely not do things the same way if I was in CA for instance. In Florida I can modify my GVWR, I can easily get a 'modified vehicle' title (though I don't plan to do this) Florida has a very short list of prohibited vehicle body modifications, and no state level engine modification restrictions.
I will also state that generally I just prefer to fly under the radar.
I probably will keep this vehicle registered in Florida for the rest of my life, and here there are (currently) no inspections of any kind.
(You should see the stuff I see on the roads every day)

As far as insurance; I have to do more research, but I am not likely to be able to recoup my expenses if the vehicle were totaled. I would have to go the route of getting a custom vehicle title, and then insure as a custom vehicle and state the value, but given the cost of this, I am likely to simply realize that I would be on the hook for my own repairs if I were involved in an accident. (as the insured amount would be small in comparison to the value of my build.
I do plan to make the camper shell detachable (though not easily) from the OEM cab. If I were hit hard on the front quarter for instance; enough to bend the frame; or otherwise total the vehicle, I could (with a lot of work) stretch another JK and re-attach the camper, or maybe even shorten a JT. (I sure hope I never have to do that)

One concern that I do have, but something that I will have to cross the bridge when I come to it: is how I will fare in getting a carnet for the vehicle when I go to take it on an international trip. I will have to see.
Things tend to be possible one way or another. Rarely in life do we come to something that is not solvable by enough money, or time, or phone calls.......

Years ago, ( a long time ago) I built a school but conversion. (this was long before the skoolie forums), and I learned how to do it by just doing it, and this will be much the same I think.
I will get where I am going one way or the other.
:)
That's fantastic bit of information - I didn't realize Florida allowed GVWR upgrades. I'm a Canadian so I don't have that option at the moment but I've been engaged in quite a few chats with folks who have rigs similar to my current one (a mid-size truck) and want to do a deck and canopy like we see in Australia. And, I don't blame them for wanting that as I do too -- a canopy on the back of a Ute is a great "live around" solution for those platforms, and a deck allows for a pretty roomy camper installation if one should want. But, fitting a Canopy or even a deck and a 4-wheel camper-type installation puts a lot of trucks at the upper limit of (or over) GVWR. That ties into the insurance question because a lot of folks are worried about what might happen if a vehicle, modified to be over the "allowed" GVWR, gets in an accident from a liability perspective. Being able to formally upgrade that GVWR does give peace of mind on that front, even if the fear around this issue is largely online hand-wringing. Like you, I see a lot of cars driving around that make me raise an eyebrow as to their road-worthiness so I don't think this is as big a problem in the "real world" as it's made out to be, but no one wants to be the first one to lose everything in a lawsuit because their Overlanding rig was 20% over GVM. Of note on this score though is the increased presence of social media in the Overlanding community, which can blur the line between recreational pursuits and commercial interests. Once something enters the commercial sphere, my understanding is that there's a different set of rules and standards so being "by the book" is a good hedge in general against that risk. But, I'm still learning so anyone reading this treat it like the ramblings of a random stranger on the internet. Cuz, you know, it is!

I think you are on the right track with your thinking regarding insurance against damages - odds are pretty good that you'd be on the hook for repairs yourself. Have you got any info on basic liability for your rig yet?

Also - Dan has a great video on Carnets for travel, (You may have already seen it) -- it is especially useful to North Americans where it's both harder and less necessary to obtain a Carnet, and is well worth a watch. You may find you don't need it for international touring with this rig. Dan, I hope you don't mind me plugging your channel a bit -- it's one of the best resources I've found from someone who has "been there, done that" and I don't think I've come across a single thing you've produced or written that didn't make a ton of sense to me and my partner. It's helping us a ton with our own trip planning.

And finally, I really love the long-term vision you have for this project by considering other power plant types in the future. Whether you go that route or not is irrelevant to me, it's just refreshing to see folks planning more long term with this stuff and pushing the boundaries of what's typical. And I also fully agree with your attitude -- in my opinion, the most important part of any adventure -- that "where there's a will, there's a way". Great stuff all around, StrayPoet.
 

straypoet

Member
If the panels are making it longer than wanted how about making them stack. So that you can slide or lift them up when parked to maximize solar, but have them overlap when driving?
That is a good idea, I have played with this idea a few times.
The F550 build by 'Everlanders' ( They have a build thread here in the domestic-full-size forum) is made this way. They have a top layer of panels, and a lower layer that slide out when parked. ( I believe they use air rams to slide the panels out, and then just drop air pressure, and the springs pull the panels back under the top layer.

If I were to do this; I think that because my roof is going to be a sideways tilting roof, that I would have the mechanism built so that the panels slide out on the drivers side (because the mechanism wouldn't need to hold the weight against gravity when the roof is raised) and my roof-lifting mechanism wouldn't' be struggling against additional weight. (in-fact if I extended the panels before raising the roof, the lifting mechanism would have less work to do)

The reason I am not currently (this could be a later upgrade) planning to do this is mostly because of weight. (I already feel I am pushing the maximum amount of weight on top of my vehicle (weight at the very top is the worst place for it to be), as each full-size panel weighs around 40lbs.
If thin-film polycrystalline solar panels reach efficiency that is comparable to monocrystalline, then the weight problem goes away, and I would jump at that possibility!!!!!!

The roof construction that I have planned will leave me with the option to do this in future. (the top of the roof will simply be flat fiberglass, with mounting points for solar cells, and a steel or aluminum protection flange around the outside, so later modifications are intentionally left on the table.

Thank you for the suggestion. :)

Edit: After writing this, I realize you weren't advocating for me to add more panels beyond the 3 I am planning, but rather to take one of the 3 and use the slide-out method for that panel only. (Which only adds the small amount of weight for the mechanism, and allows me to keep the vehicle the size I wanted it to be)
Though obvious in retrospect; I missed that the first go-round. :)
 
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straypoet

Member
An update on the engine work.4FAFB448-4EFC-46DB-B72D-DFE2EB001E60.jpeg

While I have been working on building the frame-extension pieces, I have also been taking some time to work on the engine. Here you can see the engine on the test-stand, and some work putting the harness back together. I will get the engine started and running on the stand, and then start building the adaptor plate and crank-extension. Here you can see it mounted with the original flex-plate and original starter. (I don't plan to use the original starter in the build)

I have cracked open the ECU which is a Bosh EDC16U31 if anyone is interested.
Here you can see it right after opening it up.
I am dumping the EEPROM and then will remove the Immobilizer and re-upload.

Later on I will clean up some of the rest of the unnecessary modules, but for now I don't care if it runs in limp-mode. I just want it running on the stand for now.

I will later also have to eliminate the automatic transmission from the ECM, as it will be freaking out that it can't talk to the transmission.. and will be saying to me:
"where is the rest of the car man?"
10B1FFCD-C5B6-4E9A-BEE7-11FA21E9D0A7.jpeg

I plan to keep the ASV, but will be making a new intake manifold for it. I will make headers for the exhaust, and move the turbo a little further down, and back when I do.
In related news; I have ordered a CAN-bus development kit, so that I can spoof CAN-messages and tell the EPAS pump (Volvo pump) what pressure to run.
I am considering (just considering at this point) using two EPAS pumps, one to run the Power steering, and one to run Hydro boost breaks.....
As I will be installing new 1/4" brake lines, (larger than original) and also I plan to fit the 'big brake kit' for extra stopping power, I also need to upgrade the brake master Cyl.
That reminds me... and this is really going to make some people cringe..... I don't plan to have an ABS system at all. And this is by choice. (I certainly could make an ABS system run if I want to)
I am keeping the ABS pump around just in-case I change my mind......

Spent $50 ordering some Arduino stuff for CAN-bus

Back to the engine:
I actually have two identical copies of these BHW 2.0 8valve PD TDI engines. I decided on the BHW because it can run high Sulphur diesel, and doesn't need DEF, is relatively simple, and has the highest stock power levels of the older TDIs. The weaknesses of the engine are: Original BSM (Balance Shaft Module) which detonates, taking the engine with it. The BSM has been removed, and isn't needed.
Another weakness is that because of the pressures (and the weak stock oiling of these lobes) the cam lobes tend to wear out at around 140,000-ish miles. Both of these engines have the original cam, and they both show wear. both engines will get new cams. I am willing to replace these cams at the next 140,000 mile interval if needed. (though some of the newer cam bearings seem to have fixed the issues.)

My plans for the engines are as follows:
I have one engine removed from the donor car, and is the one I am assembling now, and will use as a bug-test platform. I will put it in the Jeep, I will use it for a few thousand miles and work out all the details. Once the jeep is on the road and in that shake-down phase I will pull the second engine from the other donor car (which I keep around now as an intact reference, so that if I am confused about "What plug went here?" I can go look at the original setup) , and then I will fully rebuild that second engine, including all new bearings, rings, hot tank the block , repainting the block, ect. ect, new cam, new new new.
Then I will pull the test-engine and put in the one that is all rebuilt, and then rebuild the first engine and leave it on the test-stand waiting for its turn.
Once the engine in the jeep is ready for a major service (like the timing belt, or a cam replacement) I will swap the engines, and then put the freshly serviced engine on the stand. That way I will even out the wear across both engines.

Pulling the engine will be simpler than pulling an engine on most vehicles, because I won't have most of the accessories in the way, I will have a single simple bulkhead connector for the engine harness, and I will minimize all other unnecessary 'stuff' that so often gets in the way. Without an engine driven AC system, or PS pump, all that stuff won't be in the way. You get the idea.

An idea that I am working towards is to rework (at a later date) my test stand, so that it is built onto a pallet crate. That way.... lets say I am on the other side of the world, and my engine fails... I can just call up a friend, and have them drop off my spare engine at a freight terminal and have it shipped to me. Certainly more feasible than trying to search for an unusual engine when I am broken down in Mongolia.
The rest of the systems will be standardized. Same wiring harness, same connectors at the firewall, same oil connections, turbo setup, ect. ect. That way I can easily do the repairs needed, and will have spares already ready.
Those are the plans anyway..... and you know what they say about plans....
 
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easily the most intense build i have seen to date....
and one that i will buy when your done lol
the solar is barely enough to Temp control in south florida....and that process has driven alot of my mania with my camping needs.
mini split system would be INTENSE and it will be the most effective
 
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