View Full Version : The time has come

21-10-2005, 07:17 PM
Hello all.

A couple years ago I scored a '81 caddy from the west coast and had relatives trailer it back to Wisconsin on their vacation. It started and ran enough to get onto a car dolly and do some yard/lot manuevering. When I got it, I found out why it was so cheap. The coolant system was getting pressurized. I'm sure you can all guess what's happening next - SNAFU's and headaches. Well, I had to mothball the truck due to lack of cash and life got in the way.

Originally, I'm a Honda guy. But, I have always admired and respected VW's. A buddy of mine was a big VW nut (2.0L passat motor into Golf swap for instance) and he sold me on VW's. I'm handy with a wrench, I'm just not very familiar with VW specs and compatabilities. I worked on diesel locomotives, and have done some honda swaps, so I'm not a complete novice.

So, about my caddy: I'm not goofing with the stock diesel motor (too much work to recover for too little return), and the wiring needs to be ripped out and redone from scratch anyway. The previous owner manually wired almost everything and bypassed the fusebox - don't ask me about the logic behind it.

That being said, I'm at a crossroads to decide if I'm going for a swap/conversion or stay stock but go new. I would like to stay with diesel, and have read a bit about my options. What I need is some practical input about NA/TD/TDI/1.6L/1.9L options and how much fabrication/customization is needed, if any. I'm looking for "drop in" fit and improved functionality as a daily driver, and cost is a secondary factor. I figure, since re-wiring has to happen, maybe I should go with a TDI instead of just a stock replacement. Am I on the right track? Or, should I stick with NA? It would seem that the 1.6TD has been the favored choice, but have read about a lack of TD's in the States - is the turbo diesel route a dead end?

Thanks everyone, and again, hi!


So after more scouring and searching, I think I found a thread from a previous owner of the truck. It would seem he ran out of steam and sent it down the road.

Further, I found Mr.Dave's series of posts about his TDI swap. Thank you Mr.Dave for the indepth accounts of the problems you encountered. Your time to post everything shows a dedication to the community.

As much as I would love to undertake an epic project with such cool results, I don't have my dream shop and time or cash to dedicate yet. I guess I'm sticking to a new stock, 1.9L or 1.6 TD. Nearly all of my internet time is from work - my time to "mine the internet" is limited. If anyone has done the same swap or has a "journal" (like Mr.Dave's TDI project diary) they could point me to, it would be greatly appreciated.