VW diesel marine conversions

Discussion in 'DIY Marinizing' started by moTthediesel, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. AShley5031
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Location: Brazil

    AShley5031 Junior Member

    Access to VW Engine

    Here is a photo of the access

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  2. AShley5031
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Location: Brazil

    AShley5031 Junior Member

    Juliana main cabin

    This one just for fun

    Attached Files:

  3. baeckmo
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Sweden

    baeckmo Hydrodynamics

    Afraid that your observations regarding rpm increase and smoking exhaust indicate more serious trouble. The hot spot around the no 4 injector is a sign of bad spray pattern, or as CDK says, defect needle valve. It causes overheating of the pre-combustion chamber.

    The racing tendency indicates that there is a non-regulated fuel supply. The crankcase ventilation is connected to the inlet manifold, and with the increased blow-by of a worn (and possibly seized due to injector misfunctioning) cylinder there is enough lube oil mist carried into the #3 and #4 cylinders, to increase rpm. If you are lucky, it is unburned fuel from dripping injector that collects and ultimately ignites, but the result is often that the lube oil is washed off, causing a seizure anyway...., so either way, luck is not on your route here.

    Since there has been no improvement from a new head and all the other paraphernalia you have changed, I'm sorry that you must face it: that engine has to come out of the boat for a thorough overhaul!
  4. AShley5031
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    AShley5031 Junior Member

    VW Diesel

    Thanks Baekmo, I coming to that conclusion too. There is a guy here who modifies this engine to run on a 2 litre block using the 1.6 head, and a steel gasket.....appears to have had very good results. This 1.6 diesel was notorious for overheating in the Kombi. with lots of fires ensuing. This mode seems to have no problems, So maybe I will do it too. Has enyone tried this in the US?
  5. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    I felt pulling the engine and looking at everything was the answer too.
    That's why I had the query for photos to see what's involved in removing or remodeling your deck to make that an easier process.

    Out of curiosity, I'd like to know how large or heavy your vessel is, and how fast the little Diesel can make it cruise (at cruise throttle) and how much fuel it uses when your cruising.

    The reason I ask is from back in the 80's when I test drove a VW Diesel. I felt like I had to open the door and help scoot it up the hills with my foot.
    My 85 Rabbit (gas) would go pretty good at 25 Mpg.

    I just wonder what your Diesel fuel mileage in a boat might be.
  6. jonr
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Great Lakes

    jonr Senior Member

    I wouldn't pull the engine until you tried moving the injector to a different cylinder.
  7. AShley5031
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Location: Brazil

    AShley5031 Junior Member

    VW Retipar marinized diesel

    Hi Thudpucker,

    My sailboar weighs 8 tons and the engine will drive it through the water at a reasonable 7 knots. It is also reasonably economic on fuel, though I have ben able to ascertain this on a long haul yet because of all these problems.

    I am thinking of pulling the engine, it will have to come out in pieces, and maybe trying a whole new engine, or the 2 litre VW block conversion which someone is doing in Rio, using the same head with a steel gasket.

    Anew Yanmar diesel of the same power is a wopping 15,000 US$ here in Brazil....too much to spend!
  8. AShley5031
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Location: Brazil

    AShley5031 Junior Member

    VW Retipar 1.6 diesel


    What are the heat shields you show in the photo made of? The ones I have here are hard steel and the local mechanics are telling me that they never replace them, and would be dificult to deform with a ball bearing and a vise-grip, as has been suggested. The shields in the photo look like they are made of some type of alloy. Anyway I spent all day lloking for new ones here in Rio with no luck.


  9. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    Is there somewhere that tests and overhaul diesel injectors nearby? Perhaps a refurbished set of injectors is all you need. That would be an easy check compared to overhauling the engine.

    I would not be so quick to overhual the engine just yet. You never ran it for very long, and diesel fuel does have some lubricating qualities so it would not wash out the cylinder walls as much as gasoline. At least not as fast. I once drove a rebuilt volvo gasoline engine for about 200 miles with two spark plug wires in the wrong cylinder so it was only running on 2 cylinders (I was wondering why it seemed so underpowered). That would have washed all the lube off the walls of the cylinders if anything did, but once the wires were correctrf, and it was running on all 4 cylinders, power was restored, it did not burn oil or loose any compression. Unless the VW is is so fragile it could not hold up to what must be only an hour or so of running with too much diesel fuel in one cylinder, I doubt it is damaged enough to matter. I do not know for sure of course, but I would not resign your self to overhauling it just yet. If it is that fragile of an engine (which I doubt), it is not a good candidate for being in a sail boat in IMO.

    I do not recall replacing any heat shield/metal gaskets on any of my Deisels, but none of mine were VW. I have always reused these kind of devices without issues (even when I knew it was supposed to be replaced).

    Give it a try (refurbished injectors), you really have nothing to loose now anyway. Anything short of an overhaul, that solves the problem, will save you a lot of time and money.

    Good luck.

  10. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    The ones in the picture are probably gold, the VW heat shields are dull gray and made of steel.
    When you buy new injectors from Bosch, the discs are included and so is an instruction sheet telling you never to install used ones and not to install them upside down.
    Any VW dealer should have these parts in stock; the are mass produced so are very cheap. Reshaping them with a mallet and an old ball bearing is a possibility only if you know what you're doing and have an unused one for comparison.

    I admit it is difficult to distinguish new and used ones, you need a micrometer to see the difference. A used cylinder head gasket looks very much like a new one, but the difference is that a new one seals and a used one leaks.
    When installing an injector with a new disc, the torque builds up gradually during the final turn: that is the stage where the disc is compressed.

    Converting a 1.6 to a 1.9 (I don't know if there is a 2.0) must be an expensive operation because they use different injection pumps. From the 1.6 engine you can only use the head and exhaust manifold. The only valid reason to do it would be the need for more torque or hp.
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