BEW TDI Diesel Swap RHD TJ Wrangler Build (Picture Heavy)

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RustyAutoholicGuy

RustyAutoholicGuy

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That first successful test drive is a great feeling, eh? After you sort out the trans, do you have any major plans for the perpetual project or just tinker with the fine details and maintenance? Looking back, would you do it all over again?

Completely missed this. So yeah I have two more projects kind of planned, I want to build my 1947 CJ-2a and honestly I want to build a LHD TJ though I'll be doing something different with that build as well.

I would do several things differently again but I'll need to think about over this weekend and I'll update you on that later this weekend.

With that said time for an update on my TJ!

I decided to replace the Ford 6r80 6-speed automatic in my TDI powered TJ Wrangler with another one to see if replacing it that would fix a few problems I had with the transmission, specifically the transmission not shifting automatically.

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I've been fighting the Ford 6r80 in my swap for a while now. I made several mistakes with this transmission when I original purchased it. First I didn't ask any questions about the transmission when I got it. All I know is it was a 2012 Ford 6r80 automatic out of a F150 with a 5.0l V8. I don't know the mileage or anything else about the transmission.

Secondly I've been using a torque converter that was designed for a different diesel engine. When I was running the Kubota V2403 I had ordered a custom torque converter for that diesel engine, specifically I went to a higher stall and a smaller diameter torque converter to help with the torque the Kubota was producing at idle.

Lastly I didn't do enough research when I first got my Kubota running with the 6r80 transmission. I was getting an OSS error on the Gen1 Quick6 controller which stands for Output Speed Sensor. For whatever reason I thought that sensor was on the transfer case in a 4x4 model of the Ford 6r80, it's not. It's an internal sensor to the transmission.

I've upgraded my Quick6 to a Gen2 controller while I was getting the BEW TDI pulled and install in my TJ Wrangler. Since getting my TJ running again, the Quick6 has never been able to register my speed since I've gotten my TJ running. It uses the Output Speed Sensor to do that, and after reading all the documentation for the controller, and the Quick6 depends on that data to determine when it needs to shift the transmission as well.

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So I ended up getting another Ford 6r80 out of a junk yard that had 78K miles on it and it came with the stock torque converter as well for the 5.0l V8 Ford Engine. My hope was running that stock torque converter would work better than the custom converter I had made, which was way too loose for my BEW TDI. Meaning I was having to rev the TDI really high to get the transmission to move.

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After 3 days of wrenching on everything, and fixing a wiring issue that I caused on my Quick6 to control my Ford 6r80, I took my TDI powered TJ out for another test drive. For the first time since switching to the Ford 6r80, I had the 6r80 shift to another gear automatically without me having to do it manually with my Lokar shifter.

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I have several things I need to address, the transmission tune is way off, I need to replace all the boost clamps as I'm fighting several boost leaks and at some point I'll need to install some gauges as well. With that said, for the first time since I started this build back in 2018, I feel like I can say that I'm finally nearing the end.

Here is the video if you want to watch it:

Thanks
Grant
 
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RustyAutoholicGuy

RustyAutoholicGuy

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That is great that you have a shifting auto now. I know it's got to be a great feeling.

It really is, with the engine working good and transmission finally shifting, I feel like I'm finally to the point of fine tuning and just getting the small things buttoned on up my build. I'm so looking forward to the major parts of this build being done so I can start actually going on trips and trails after going on 4 years of work!
 
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RustyAutoholicGuy

RustyAutoholicGuy

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Hey TJers,

With my transmission now working I now needed to address the boost leaks that I've had on my BEW TDI powered TJ Wrangler to see what my Jeep could do. I knew these VW diesel engines were powerful and could rev but I didn't quite realize just how effortlessly it would be able to propel my TJ down the road.

After the first video of my TJ driving down the road, I had several people comment on how it sounded like I had boost leaks which I did. I had installed clamps that were too big on all of my boost piping. I was able to bottom out the clamp before it was as tight as it needed to be.

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I ordered another set of clamps one size smaller and went about redoing all of my intercooler piping. I did try using a different pipe that I thought might fit easier on my lower intercooler inlet but that ended up not working. In the end I re-ranged how I was hooking up the lower boost pipe which went from my turbo to my intercooler which worked out great.

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The test drive really surprised me. Until now, I've just been barely able to get on the throttle otherwise I would blow one of the boost pipes off, usually the pipe connected to the turbo. With the correct size clamps this was no longer an issue.

I don't know what I expected but this BEW TDI engine just pulls and pulls hard. I don't even have the best tune and turbo on my setup. I've had this TJ running now with 3 different engine/transmission combos and I can say without a doubt this is the fastest setup that has ever been in my TJ. The combination of the torque and RPM range of the TDI mixed with all the gears on the Ford 6r80 has made it so my TJ zips right along. Is this the fastest TJ in the world, heck no but it's the fastest one I've ever driven personally.

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With that boost leaks solved, I now am finding other issues, specifically now the cooling system. I need to give a shout out to David Shoemaker, he sent me all the parts I needed so I can get the cooling system sorted. I did clean out my TJ and do some other small odds and ends such as re-installing the headlight, re-installing my half doors and I now have most of the dashboard put back together.

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I still need to tune and do the learning setup the transmission with the Quick6 controller, but I really can't do that until I get my cooling system dialed in. So back to waiting on parts like normal!

Here is the video if you want to watch it:

Let me know what you think!
Thanks
Grant
 
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RustyAutoholicGuy

RustyAutoholicGuy

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Hey TJers,

With parts finally coming in, I added an expansion tank and re-routed some of my coolant hoses on my TDI powered TJ Wrangler to fix the issues I had with the system not wanting to pressurize correctly.

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I need to give a shoutout to David Shoemaker, again, for helping me figure the cooling system. David was able to send me the parts he used to on his cooling loop which allowed me to get similar parts for mine. What I have learned from David and others that have done TDI swaps, is that the Volkswagen TDI engine pressurizes the coolant loop to a higher PSI than the factory TJ Wrangler did.

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To adjust for this I did the following things to fix the coolant system. I removed a Y adapter and had one cooling line now going to the expansion tank. I used a "T" adapter to connect the steam port on the back of the cylinder head and the overflow port on my factory radiator to connect to another port on my expansion tank. I then put a 0 psi radiator cap on my radiator so the overflow port would have flow to my expansion tank and I put a 21-25 psi radiator cap on my expansion tank.

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The tank itself is mounted directly above my battery where my factory ECU for my 4.0l engine was originally mounted. Honestly with how tight my engine bay is becoming it was the only place where it fit. With all that figured out I went for a test drive, and can happily report that I have a cooling system that appears to hold water now without leaking!

After my first test drive, I went to give my daughter a ride in my TJ and kind of comically ran out of diesel fuel at the end of my driveway. As she and I went to get more fuel I realized I hadn't put diesel fuel in my TJ since June 2020. I did check the fuel coming out of the fuel filter and the diesel fuel is good.

However after putting 4 gallons of fuel in the tank, I couldn't get the starter to spin the engine. I also had difficulty spinning the engine by hand with a breaker bar. I did finally get the starter to work and the engine did run but something wasn't happy so I limped my TJ back to my shop.

What I found was my starter was damaged, which I've known for a while so I replaced it with a spare one I had bought last year. Also while doing all of this I decided to just check everything on the swap and found quite a few small odds and ends that I hadn't taken care of. A good example of this is was an open port in my intake pipe that was causing a massive boost leak.

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With all those issues tank care of, I took it out for another much longer test drive and figured out the following. First off, my Quick6 TCU that controls my Ford 6r80 doesn't start it's learning process until the transmission hits 160° Fahrenheit. It seemed like very suddenly that the 1 → 2 shift got MUCH better. The other thing I discovered now that I could drive the Wrangler longer is my power steering is still getting too hot so I'll be installing a power steering cooler on the system next time along with gauges.

I feel like I'm almost to the point where I can go get my Wrangler inspected and have it running on the road again.

Here is the video if you want to watch it:

Thanks
Grant
 
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RustyAutoholicGuy

RustyAutoholicGuy

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Hey TJ,

After weeks of saying I need gauges, I finally collected all the parts and pieces to install my OneGauge Digital Gauges into my diesel swapped TJ Wrangler. The gauges look fantastic, and having all the information about when my driveline is doing is great. Though I did find out I need to update the cooling on my transmission.

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I purchased the OneGauge Digital Gauge setup about 18 months ago when I still thought I was going to be running the Kubota V2403 in my diesel swap TJ Wrangler. I bring this up because I've had no issues with getting updates and support from the OneGauge team since I bought their setup. Every-time I've had a question or asked them to update a dashboard to meet my needs they have been very quick to respond and give me an accurate timeframe for when everything will be ready.

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Their setup uses an LCD screen, there are multiple types to choose from, and a central hub setup. The hub is where you install all the sensors that will be displayed on the OneGauge LCD screen. It's also where you supply power and key switched power to the system as well.

I switched from my Intellitronix Digital Gauges, which I actually really liked, to the OneGauge setup because I wanted more information where I could easily see it vs having Digital Gauges installed everywhere on my TJ Wrangler. Also being able to customize the dashboards and having different dashboards for different scenarios is really awesome.

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Also adding and removing gauges is really easy as well. You just message OneGauge with the gauge you are looking to add, they supply a part number for the sending unit you will need to run, and then they will send an updated firmware for that sending unit and display.

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Installation was very straightforward. The most difficult part was figuring out how to mount the LCD screen where my original cluster went. I ended up cutting my mounting solution I had gotten from Autometer for my Intellitronix gauges to mount the LCD for the OneGauge setup.

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I'm very impressed with the refresh rate that the OneGauge and also it's ability to adjust different settings in the menu system. You can also setup thresholds that make it very easy to quickly look down at the screen to see if any of the gauges are out of an acceptable operating ranges.

I still haven't gotten the speedometer fully calibrated yet because during all my testing I started having issues with Ford 6r80 transmission. Because I have gauges now I decided to take my Wrangler out farther than I've taken in the last 3½ years and ran into a problem of heat soak with the transmission. So I've ordered a new transmission cooler that I'll trying to install when it gets here somewhere in my front grill.

Here is the video if you want to watch it:

Let me know what you think!
Grant
 
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RustyAutoholicGuy

RustyAutoholicGuy

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Hey TJers,

At the end of my last video I had to limp my TDI swapped TJ Wrangler back home because I didn't have enough cooling capacity on my Ford 6r80 automatic. I ordered a 6r80 cooler for a Ford Mustang and installed it onto my RHD TJ Wrangler. Unfortunately while testing the cooler, I might have hurt/killed my engine. Good times.

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When the new cooler came in I knew it was going to be a challenge to get this installed in between my AC condensor and my radiator. Not only did I have to space out the radiator even more than I had it already, I was also had to cut several of the brackets off the new transmission cooler as well.


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During this installing I finally found where all my transmission leaks were coming from as well. I've had a misting of transmission fluid on the underside of my TJ that I haven't been able to figure it out. When I went to rearrange my transmission cooler lines, I was able to pull off every hose without having to remove the spring clamps. So I have replaced all the spring clamps on my Wrangler with hose clamps.

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After getting everything all buttoned back up, I did a test fire in my shop, nothing was leaking, everything sounded good but it was after midnight so I decided to wait until the next day to test everything.

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Unfortunately I decided to do some quick testing without filming. I took my TJ out and was just cruising up and down my street trying to get everything up to temperature while being close to my house so I could add coolant/transmission fluid as needed once things got warm. I was actually having problems getting the transmission warm so I decided to go about 1.5 miles done my street to get more heat into everything.

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As I was going around a blind turn, I know my coolant was at around 160° and after the turn I looked down and my coolant temperature went from 200° to 210° to 220° VERY quickly and the engine shut off. I pulled off the road, called my wife and I got my Wrangler back to the house with my wife's help.

I haven't started tearing into everything yet, but at this moment I can not spin the motor with a starter or a socket wrench on the crankshaft bolt. I haven't tried forcing it either yet, still trying to figure out what I should do next. I know where another BEW TDI engine is that I might go pick up this coming week. I'm going to take apart the front my engine this weekend on the off chance that the water pump seized which is what caused both my coolant temperature to skyrocket and my engine to be currently locked up. I guess we'll see.

Here is the video if you want to watch it:

Thanks
Grant
 
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RustyAutoholicGuy

RustyAutoholicGuy

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Hey TJers,

I figured out what happened with my BEW TDI engine. Turns out the engine was not locked up. It was a combination of several things that lead me to believe I had an internal issue with my BEW TDI diesel engine.

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It took me disassembling the entire front end of my TJ Wrangler to figure out that a wire crimp had failed going from my battery to the starter. The crimp on this starter power wire was important for two reasons. One, it supplies power to the starter motor from the battery when the solenoid is engaged from key switch start power. Secondly, and more importantly, I piggy back off of that main power terminal on the starter to supply hot power to my TDI ECU.

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That crimp failing is what both caused the engine to turn off, and the main reason I thought the engine was locked up as well. I had tried turning the engine over several times, however for years I had been told by several mentors that if you think an engine has been damaged, do not try to spin the rotating assembly by force, you could actually make things worse. Between the engine suddenly cutting off, being able to hear what I thought was the starter failing to spin the motor, and this diesel engine having a ton of compression what I tried to rotate it but not wanting to force it spin, I thought I had damaged my engine, when in fact nothing there was nothing physically wrong with my TDI the entire time.

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Since I had taken apart the entire front end of my TJ Wrangler to inspect the engine, I went ahead and pulled the valve cover again, checked everything in the head, and also pulled the oil pan and did an oil change at the same time. I'm glad I pulled the oil pan as I found a good number of the bolts holding the oil pan to the engine were loose and the pan was also leaking quite a bit of oil as well. After cleaning all the mating surfaces on both the pan and the block, I applied "The Right Stuff" to the surface of the oil pan and reinstalled it on the block.

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From I went about re-installing everything I had taken off along with pouring in some new Shell T6 full synthetic oil and installing a new oil filter as well. After getting everything put back together, I was able to hear it run again which was music to my ears. The following morning I re-installed the winch and headlights before work. I was hoping to do some road testings yesterday afternoon and evening. Unfortunately a massive rain/thunderstorm proceeded to hit my area and I only got to take my TJ on a quick test drive right before dark last night during a small break in the weather.

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Everything felt good and sounded good during the test drive, though I ran into an issue with my new gauges rebooting while I was driving. Aside from that small hiccup, everything worked great, though I did discover that even with a soft 1 - 2 shift, this little TDI engine has more than enough torque to break both rear tires loose on wet pavement, though I'm certainly not complaining!

Here is the video if you want to watch it:

Thanks
Grant
 
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