I have changed my old 1.6 Diesel to a 1.9 from 1999 in my 1983 VW T3 bus. The engine code is AEF and it can be found in VW Polo, Skoda, Seat and Audi. When I started this conversion I was suprised how little information it really was about doing this swap. So I made a video collecting this information and what parts needed and problems that I had to solve. So hopefully this will help others that is thinking about doing this conversion. Good luck!
Just some random pics from last month on the T3 Highroof or as my son calls it “The Monster bus” 🙂
The T3 bus is now ready for summer vacation. Engine conversion and transmission is all finished now. Took an hour testdriving it on some dirtroads, all good. We are going to drive up north to Norrfällsviken in the high coast of Sweden. Nordic VW TYPE 2 club is having a bus meeting there.
#bussfest2019 #nt2k #vwt3overland
Yesterday I finished and installed the complete exhaust system. You could use the original 1.6 CS exhaust system if you take the 1.6 header, that’s the easy way. I choose the hard way, using the 1.9 AEF header. Why? Because the exhaustheader ports and outlet are bigger than the 1.6 CS. Which means a little more HP. The problem is that the AEF header have a different angle than the CS one, so need to build a new exhaust system from scratch. The AEF header and enginemount need some grinding to fit/clear.
The original exhaust was 48mm, the new I built is 51mm and the silencer is from a Turbo Diesel, for better flow. Original system was one welded pipe, which I didn’t want to have on a car that should drive on crappy roads and trails. If going offroad and hit a stone not only the pipe would take a pounding but also the head on the engine! I used a flex joint, which now makes the system to flex at least 3-40mm, so hitting a stone or something hard now and the system will just bounce or slide over and the head will be more safe. Also removing some extra vibrations to the car itself.
Stuff is getting done, slow but steady at the moment, with two small kids there is not much time left! I have lifted the rear on the 30mm with spacers and I will lift the front 30mm too, but later on. Engine is ready to go in and transmission is getting built with Superdiff and locker while I write this. A custom beefy exhaust is made too, with a turbo diesel muffler for better flow.
I have a Thule awning with safari room for the bus, but it’s not possible to install it with ordinary brackets in the droprail (highroof slidingdoor) and I don’t want to drill it in the roof directly. So I want a roof rack that the awning can be bolted too instead.
But it’s not possible to buy a “bolt-on” complete Expedition roof rack to a VW T3 Highroof bus so I need to make one myself. I had a old roofrack laying that I could use/modify. I have been extended it 100cm and widened 40cm (total 290cm long and 130cm wide). 1000w LED light bar 133cm long, two 100w LED flood spotlights on each side, portable solar panel 120w (can be removed from rack easy and plugs into a 10m extended cable so it can be moved with the sun for maximum power). CB radio antennas, digital TV antenn/scanner and ladder is being fixed too.
Just need to make legs and brackets then it will be painted in satin black. Then Ready for safari and zombie apocalypse 🤘
Have got much done on the VAG 1,9 AEF diesel engine the last days. Dieselpump cleaned up and wiring is fixed. Only 3 sensors are used now. There is alot of wiring and electric sensors that is not needed in a van. (removing immobilizer for example). I moved the dipstick hole to the other side of engine, as it is tilted 45degrees in the bus also are on the wrong side. So drilling a new hole in the engine block was needed. And the old was tapped and sealed up with a 12mm bolt. The tube from the AEF was used and modified/bracket.
The intake manifold don’t fit in the tight bus engine compartment so the old one from the 1,6 CS are going to be used, it has a better angel/shape that fits inside the bus compartment. But it’s a little smaller in diam so I made a port matching (as close as possible) for better flow. The exhaust manifold, I probably going to use the AEF, its bigger in diam than 1,6 so will improve the performance. The downside is I must make a custom exhaust and blank off the EGR valve. Hopefully worth it in the end!
New water pump and thermostat is installed. New timing belt and tensioner etc. Changed flywheel to the 1,6 CS, new needlebearing (don’t forget!) new throw out bearing, new clutch kit. I used new bolts from FEBI to the flywheel, standard size. I took the backing plate from the 1,6 as it will fit the bus transmission better. Also needed to remove two upper studs from engine bolt holes, bolts straight thru will be used instead.
All sensor need to be taken from the old engine (good since I bought all these new awhile ago) like oil pressure, water temp, glow plug sensor etc. Waterflange in alu with sensor was taken from the 1,6 also. All waterlines and hoses to oil cooler etc was removed. Next up is changing oilpan to bus cast alu 1,6 CS. The oilfiller tube has to be removed and plugged, the servopump will be in the way. Will use the cap in the camcover instead. New alternator and servopump, waterpump pulley, idlerwheel and new fan belt is going to be installed next time. Also some new resistors and relays need to be added to the glow plug sensor and relay for coldstart etc.
Transmission have also been removed from the bus now, getting it ready for overhaul and difflock, new seals and shifter bushings. More about that soon…
Another really good page for AEF conversion is Colins write-up on Brick-Yard forum, here is the link: http://www.brick-yard.co.uk/forum/1-6cs-to-aef-engine-swap_topic52595.html
The old 1,6 CS diesel was a bit to slow in hills/highways (to the point it get dangerous in traffic). So it needed to go. I don’t going to race Lemans with the bus, I just want a more modern, stronger, cheap to drive (diesel) and most important RELIABLE engine that always work. First I was looking at a AAZ 1,6/9 Turbo engine but with a turbo it’s just another thing that can brake and these engines always runs much hotter. So I decided to go with a VAG 1,9 AEF engine, found in VW Polo, Golf, Audi and Skoda Felicia.
THE NEW ENGINE
I managed to find a really lowmilage 1,9 AEF diesel engine from a Skoda Felicia, year 2000. But it is not just to bolt this engine in the bus and drive, a lot of stuff need to be changed and parts from the 1,6 CS need to be re-used and modified. But its probably the easiest conversion you can choose, if your thinking of using a non standard engine in your VW T3 diesel bus.
While the engine is out I will also take out the transmission. And make a check up, change shifter couplings, linkage bushings and gaskets. Upgrade driveshafts to stronger, Porsche. Upgrade the differential with a difflock from Weddle Ind. In a standard “open” differential, torque is divided equally between the wheels. If one wheel slips and spins, only a fraction of the torque is utilized. The difflock eliminates this problem. Power will always be delivered to the wheel with the most traction to keep you moving instead of getting stuck, up to 100%. Then it we can do some serious off-roading 🙂
More to come soon! #vwt3overland
The interior is almost finished now, just some small details left to do. Here is how it looks so far… it so nice with heater on the winter, it was -9 celsius and inside was set to 26+celsius 🙂
The wiring was a mess (for all equipment) so a new control panel with automatic fuses was installed togheter with new wiring. The 230v wiring (camping power) was also updated with automatic ground fuse and two new sockets with combined USB outlets.
The old interior lightbar was only 230v, but it was a great design so you can flip/turn the light angle. So I took it apart and converted it to 12v with LEDs. An extra LED light with two touch dim/settings was mounted up in the front of the sealing/roof also.
Under the rock n roll sofa I made space for 200amp of batteries (dual 100amp). These I connected to the car/start battery thru a relay, so the car alternator will charge all battery’s. These batteries are connected thru Bluetooth to my cellphone so I can see how much power is left and how much is charging. The solar panel (portable 120w) have a quick connection to these battery’s. Also the 5kw diesel heater is installed under the sofa. It takes air from outside and diesel from the main tank, and the exhaust is routed thru a silencer and out. It runs on diesel and 12v so it can be used anywhere for a very longtime, no need for 230v power. It has a digital display, and a thermostat so it will keep the inside toasty warm on winter. It can be started thru GSM net with my phone. I routed the heater outlets to the main floor and one to the back/bed. It works great and produce a lot of warm dry heat!
The walls, doors and roof was already insulated with 50mm cellplastic, thats very good! But I had some extra aluminium/bubblefoile rolls that I put inside some of the doors and walls for some extra insulation and vapor barier.
Have been working on the camping interior lately. The old interior was crappy and looked like shit, it had some structure wall weave/papper that hade been rolled with paint 10 times, the touch and feel was like a 40 grit sandpaper so it needed to go. But it was a good design/plan layout on the cabinets and storage. So I decided to keep the base of it and make a new outside finish on it in light grey oak vinyl.
All cabinet doors was made new in 12mm Medium Density Fibreboard and painted in medium gloss grey with paintgun. Countertop was made new in black colored MDF with semi-gloss clear coat, now with space for a portable kitchen / stove. Above the stove space I made a 12v kitchenfan with outlet, the fan is moving 3,8 squaremeters of air per minute so now you can make bacon with closed doors without smoke/smelling anything 😉
All the old gas equipment was removed, and the old fridge was replaced with a modern 12v Waeco 48L fridge with freezer. A new black sink and a new Reimo water tap was mounted. And all new waterlines, pump and 20L freshwatertank. Before the water ran straight out on the ground, now it goes into a 10L tank first, with a valve so the water can be emptyed. This is good of you are using water when you are on a parkinglot, ferry or on a big camping with neighbors.
Part 2 is coming on Tuesday…
Another generation to the collection, at the moment I now have T1, T2 and T3 buses. This one is going to be the offroad bus and for autumn/winter camping/expeditions 🙂
It’s a 1983 Transporter with 1,6 Diesel and 4-speed transmission. It has a ugly camping interior already fitted that will get a refresh/restoration. A Webasto/Planar diesel heater with thermostat will be installed to the interior in future, so you can stay warm on the winter. New 12v fridge will be installed and the gas stove will be replaced with a new small portable gas bottle one.
The goal is to have it pass the MoT / Safety Inspection before the winter comes. The engine starts but is not running very well. It has a new cam, timingbelt, waterpump at the moment. Going to align the timing belt better because it squeaks at lower RPM right now. Also the diesel pump is needing adjustment with special VW TOOL 2066.
Some meaty offroad tires (Malatesta Kobra) have been fitted on stock VW 14″ steel wheels, that was sandblasted and painted. Looks badass now! The diesel tank have been drained on old diesel and a new fuel filter fitted. Also added some anti-bacteria and injectioncleaner to new diesel. New oil (15w-40 mineral) and filter in the engine too. New air cleaner filter added. Injection pump adjusted with micrometer (vw2066) up to 00,95, before was only 00,81. Engine now runs much smoother but need to align the timingbelt before any real test drive can be done. More too come soon…
Wheels have been fitted, needed 5mm spacers all around and longer wheelstuds (56mm) in the rear and new bolts. Wheels are 17″ inch with 225/45 tires, offset 35. Need to make a custom centercap for the speedometer tho. Lots of new parts have been installed from Just Kampers, like new taillights, fuelfiller neck, footsteps, roof ventilation, mirrors, windowfelt trim in front doors etc. Waiting on tailgate seal and new clips for the freshly painted front grills. Bumpers have been blasted and are now getting welded, straightned up and removing big dents before paint in Deep Black. Next big step is taking it to the glass shop and get all windows installed with new rubber seals! Then its ready for the road…
A great documentary about the Volkswagen buses, hit the play button!
After alot of bodywork and sanding it was time for topcoat paint in VW Marsala Red H3D. Looks nice in red! Also got new Deepblack paint on the sun grey faded trim and parts like the front grills, handles, air intakes, wipers etc. I think all the black parts will match the black wheels perfect when its all together. The wheels from Germany will arrive this week and the other new VW parts from Just Kampers will be here tomorrow!
All the places that have been sanded and sandblasted down to the bare metal have been painted with yellow 2k epoxy rust primer for protection. After this, all the small dents, scratches and imperfections in surface/metal after sandblasting etc have been filled up and sanded smooth and all the seams have been sealed up with new seamsealer. Then it was covered in yellow epoxyprimer again. When it was all dryed it just needed a light sanding before 3 coats of grey surfaceprimer was added. Now it has to dry a couple of days before it can be sanded down again, but this time more carefully and must be perfect! When this is done its ready for topcoat paint in VW Marsala Red H3H3.
Bumpers and some smaller parts is at the sandblasters at this moment and more new parts from Just Kampers in UK is on its way right now. Time to choose some cool wheels also, stay tuned for more pics and updates!