And then around July, it died in a blaze of head gasket glory.
It ran well for a few hundred miles then started overheating again. The thermostat was replaced, but no improvement.
Sniffer test confirms the worst
Difficult to know when this happened. It may be pinking due to my incompetent timing, it may be the k-seal has been hiding it a while and it's been lurking behind all the other engine faults. Compression was good on all cylinders, but one of the spark plugs was rusty.
At this point I was moving 150 miles and starting a new job, so I swore at it, wanged it in the lockup and walked away.
After a few months consideration I decided to pull the EX lump and replace it. Various thoughts on this, but the two main ones:
1. If the spark plug was rusty, the bore may also be. Not going to know without pulling the head, but this may turn into a full engine rebuild (which I may do anyway to keep it as a spare).
2. Even rebuilt the stock 1.8 carb makes 90hp on a good day. It does sound lovely, but has caused me so many headaches so far.
Considered potential engines. Lots of people have put 16v KRs in running on carbs and a fair few 1.8Ts. I'd always hoped to do a G60 conversion and make the car VW should have, but those engines now cost more than the rest of G682. I decided I wanted to be able to use this as a proper daily. After discussion with my mechanic friend, we agreed upon a TDI conversion, aiming for an older VW mechanical fuel injection lump like a 1.9 1z or 1.6 SB.
Started idly browsing potential engine donors on eBay and Gumtree and saving money (as T4 owners also like this engine for conversions), when someone on another forum offered a nearly free early Sharan.
Some internet wrangling, time, a paymentand a recovery happened, and this was delivered:
Pretty doggy and an MOT failure. It failed on the exhaust and rear fog light, which would have been easy fixes, but the advisories were also for suspension and brake lines so the owner wanted shot. It's cosmetically awful, but otherwise relatively well cared for.
It came with all it's service history, including a legal dispute. Sometime in 2006 VW did a cambelt, tensioner and major service. Not long after it dropped a valve and the engine was written off. There followed a period where disagreements were had over whether it represented poor quality work.
Practical upshot; it had a new engine 50,000 miles ago, and it's an AFN; the last pre-pd diesel VW made in these models with the best tune, bigger injectors, a VNT turbo and stronger rod bearings. Good organ donor.
And that's where we are now. My understanding is that it should be relatively easy, however we've yet to look at the differences between this and a 1z from a mk3 Golf. Current potential issues:
1. Will off the shelf engine conversion mounts fit, or does it need special ones fabricating?
2. Will the AFN fuel pump run without the ECU. If yes, like an old 1.6 SB, I think it's just plug and play with the loom. If no, we either swap the pump or splice the loom.
3. Connecting the fuel piping from the old petrol tank to the new diesel block mounted pump.
4. Throttle system - we think it's fly by wire so we may have to retain the ECU anyway.
5. As an early pre-pd lump we hope it will bolt to the original 020 4T box without much fuss.
6. Dash clocks... cross that bridge when I come to it.
And I imagine a host of others. Advice welcomed!