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Another Karmann Gipsy 1.9 TDi Conversion


Grenville Strickland



By my own admission, I know nothing about diesel engines, however the Volkswagen Karmann Gipsy we purchased in October 2008 came with a diesel 1.6 JX TD engine as standard and so I had to start to learn a little bit, if only to keep it maintained.

Of course there is not much wrong with the original Volkswagen engine and it'll chugg along all day. With a full VW service history and just 79,000 miles on it - we certainly didn't expect any problems for quite some while. However over a few months of ownership we discovered that the speed dropped dramatically when we encountered any sort of incline and I found myself slip-streaming lorries to maintain any reasonable speed going up hill! Any stretch of road with a long drawn-out incline would see us down to 30 or 40 miles per hour with the engine revving quite high and the temperature rising at an alarming rate of knots.

We knew that a couple of Gipsy owners had gone to the trouble of upgrading their engine to a VW 1.9 TDi. Upon hearing of the extra power and torque these engine produced and the ease at which they powered the Gipsy along - especially uphill, a 1Z engine was immediately put onto our "wish-list".

One day I casually mentioned this to our son-in-law and with a few weeks he rang us to say he had bought us a present. When we found out it was a 1Z engine, we were bowled over. However, along with the joy of finally having a TDi engine for our Gipsy, there was some concern. Besides being a Diesel 'amateur', it meant sourcing many parts which would have normally been with the donor car and for myself to take on the conversion with some unusual modifications.

This TDi conversion most certainly would not have been possible without the very valuable help, assistance and advice from a number of people. My thanks Adam Kelly for getting the 1Z engine in the first instance. Also to Simon Isaacs and Steve Prior for their extra pair of hands and muscles in helping drop the old engine, fitting the new engine and fitting the gearbox. Busbuddy for the Toledo gearbox. John Walker for being patient in allowing me to examine his TDi engine for reference purposes.

A huge thanks goes to Tudor Morgan and Mario Burley - both without whom this conversion would never have been successful.

Lastly to my wife who had to endure many days and evenings of being a 1Z widow and put up with all the grease and dirt that comes with doing this upgrade.

Gren Strickland



Note – all parts for this conversion is

available from HA-Projekt

Lengenbachweg 8 - 75328 Schömberg

Tel: 0 70 84 - 6192 - Fax: 0 70 84 - 5280



These are the parts I collected before starting:

Description VW Part Number Other Company / Part Number
01. Golf MK3 Intercooler -- Bought from eBay
02. Silicone Hoses for Intercooler + Aluminium Joiners -- AutoPerformance Parts
03. 2-Ply Silicone Ducting for Air Filter -- AutoPerformance Parts
04. Air Volume Meter 074 906 461 --
05. Camshaft Oil Seal 068 103 085E --
06. Clutch Kit for TDi 028 141 035B Cafco : LUK623108900
07. Crank Shaft Flange Gasket (Small) 026 104 161B --
08. Crank Shaft Flange Gasket (Large) 026 103 181B --
09. Crank Shaft Oil Seal (Small) 068 103 085E --
10. Crank Shaft Oil Seal (Large) 068 103 171F --
11. Crank Shaft Pulley Centre Bolt 905 771 01 --
12. Oil Filter (Mann's Part No. W1130/1) -- Euro Car Parts
13. Flywheel Bolts N 902 061 03 --
14. Oil Pump (Febi Belstein) -- Cafco: 08551
15. Power Steering Drive Belt (Gates AVX 10x730) 028 145 271K --
16. Sump Bolt (Oil Drain) N 029 701 4 --
17. Sump Bolt Washer (Oil Drain) N 013 849 2 --
18. Sump Gasket 044 103 609D CAFCO / GSF
19. Timing Belt & Tensioner (Gates) 048 109 119G / 051 109 243 ATOS
20. Water Pump / Alternator Drive Belt (Gates) 028 903 137B Cafco : 6PK1043
21. Solenoid Valve (N75 Boost Pressure Valve) 034 906 283F --
22. Gasket for Crank Case Breather Pipe +N 904 663 01 --
23. Air Temperature Sensor 028 906 081 --
24. Water Pump 037 121 005C Cafco: MPA1010
25. Water Pump Ribbed Pulley 028 121 031 E --
26. Engine Oil (FUCHS SAE 10W/40 High Performance SemiSynthetic) -- GSF
27. Gearbox Housing Gasket 091 301 131 --
28. Thermostat Housing O'Rings 038 121 119B --
29. Rear Water Outlet O'Ring Seal 037 121 687 --
30. Gearbox Oil -- GSF
31. Coolant -- GSF
32. Power Steering Fluid -- GSF
33. HA 0502 Special Engine Mounting 90 Ps -- HA Projekt
34. HA 0511 Set of engine Lazer Cut Back Plates -- HA Projekt
35. HA 0512 Collar for Manifold Air Temp Sensor -- HA Projekt
36. HA 0513 Oil return Pipe kit for turbo -- HA Projekt
37. HA 0514 Crank Case Breather Pipe 028 103 491M HA Projekt
38. HA ????  Gearbox Input Shaft -- HA Projekt
39. Oil Cooler Kit -- HA Projekt
40. T3 exhaust to TDI Turbo Outlet Adaptor -- HA Projekt


Part 1 - Assembling the parts required.


Click on the thumbnails for a bigger image


The Engine


We received a call from the son-in-law to say he had bought us a present - a 1.9 1Z TDi engine.

The engine came out of a Seat Toledo with 91,000 miles on the clock. I picked up the engine from Andover in the Vectra. It took 3 of us to lift it into the boot of the car (and 3 to lift it back out again). Here we see the engine still in the Vectra where it remained for 3 days until help was available!


14 July 2009

1. The donor 1z engine after collecting it from Andover.

14 July 2009

2. View of the back of the 1Z engine


14 July 2009

3. A nice Oily sump

14 July 2009

4. The alternator and AirCon pump (the latter to be scrapped)

14 July 2009

5. View of the Injection Pump and Alternator


14 July 2009

6. It looking pretty dirty. Plenty of cleaning ahead.

14 July 2009

7. Turbo and air intake pipes

14 July 2009

8. Timing Cover



 14 July 2009

9. Injection pump

14 July 2009

10. Last look before it's on the workbench in the garage.



Wiring Loom


As I didn't have a donor car from which I could get the loom, I had to source the wiring loom from a car with a 1Z engine in it.

Luckily, I managed to find an old advert on the Internet selling exactly that and the loom was still for sale. These items were taken from a 1996 VW Passat. We travelled up to Dudley in the West Midlands to pick it up.



25 July 2009

11. What I managed to purchase. Wiring loom, ECU, Immobiliser, Chipped keys and pedal assembly.

25 July 2009

12. The ECU, keys and Immobiliser. The instrument cluster will not be used.


25 July 2009

13. The Potentiometer is the only item we want, The rest of the pedal assembly can be scrapped.

25 July 2009

14. The all important fly-by-wire Potentiometer

25 July 2009

15. And of course the complete wiring loom itself.


Other bits


We now have the basics - Engine and wiring loom - I now had to get some specialised tools and parts.


19 August 2009

16. Timing belt and tools. Yes, there are two belt tensioners in the picture (they sent 2 of them). One should have been the crank locking tool.

19 August 2009

17. A package arrives from Germany full of goodies. 


19 August 2009

18. A lot more bits. Oil cooler, engine mount, engine plates, crank breather, exhaust adaptor, oil return pipe, air temp adapter, gearbox input shaft..

19 August 2009

19. Top left - exhaust adaptor, top oil cooler pipes, top right, oil take-off, centre crank breather, bottom left - engine plates.

19 August 2009

20. Oil cooler take-off


19 August 2009

21. Top - gearbox input shaft and roller bearing, Middle - Air Temp adapter.

19 August 2009

22. Oil cooler, gearbox input shaft air temp adapter and oil cooler pipes.

19 August 2009

23. Slowly coming together. new Clutch, oil pump, oil filter, drive belts, water pump, crank oil seals etc. We are near to starting.

Onto Cleaning the engine and fitting

of the parts.....Next Page-->


23rd September 2009

24. Golf MK3 intercooler bought from eBay.




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