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The Official VR6 Engine Swap by bmwguru
Started on: 12-16-2007 01:38 PM
Replies: 727 (103407 views)
Last post by: bmwguru on 08-02-2015 04:21 AM
bmwguru
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The flanges are bolted in by one bolt in the center. The passenger side flange comes off to remove the transmission from the engine. They will not be there on the custom axles. I was told by the driveshaft shop that the heavy duty axles that can handle serious hp need to have inboard joints similiar to the Fiero. The options for the axles are for up to 500hp I can run VW inners and GM outer CV joints on a custom axle using the stock 100mm flange. If I am planning on making more power I need to remove the flanges and have GM style inner joints and outer joints with a custom wheel hub that can handle a bigger axle. The price I got was $700 for the standard custom axles or $1600 for the heavy duty set.........so, if anyone needs Jetta parts there is still plenty of car left...lol.
Dave

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Report this Post02-14-2008 08:18 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dsnoverSend a Private Message to dsnoverEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by bmwguru:

If I am planning on making more power I need to remove the flanges and have GM style inner joints and outer joints with a custom wheel hub that can handle a bigger axle. The price I got was $700 for the standard custom axles or $1600 for the heavy duty set.........so, if anyone needs Jetta parts there is still plenty of car left...lol.
Dave


This seems odd to me. Porsche has been using the flange mountings forever, and I don't recall hearing much about problems, even with the über tweaked turbo's. Of course, the flanges on a Porsche could be a lot more beefy than a VW, but still, I'd think the failure point would be something other than the flange. Perhaps the flanges and axles from a 911 or 951 (or pick a Porsche) could be made to work?

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bmwguru
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quote
Originally posted by dsnover:


This seems odd to me. Porsche has been using the flange mountings forever, and I don't recall hearing much about problems, even with the über tweaked turbo's. Of course, the flanges on a Porsche could be a lot more beefy than a VW, but still, I'd think the failure point would be something other than the flange. Perhaps the flanges and axles from a 911 or 951 (or pick a Porsche) could be made to work?


I'm just relaying what the driveshaft shop told me. VW uses 100mm flanges...Porsche might be bigger. Maybe it is the inner joint...it is pretty small. I knew the axles were going to be an issue before I started this swap, but I just planned on getting custom ones made to make it easier.
Dave

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quote
Originally posted by bmwguru:


I'm just relaying what the driveshaft shop told me. VW uses 100mm flanges...Porsche might be bigger. Maybe it is the inner joint...it is pretty small. I knew the axles were going to be an issue before I started this swap, but I just planned on getting custom ones made to make it easier.
Dave


No problem. I'm particularly interested in this swap, not so much for the VR6, but for the transmission/axles, so that a TDI swap becomes do-able. I've got a 2000 Jetta TDI, now with about 225k miles. The car isn't fast, but it isn't a slouch either. A set of PP520's, a different turbo, etc, and in a Fiero, and the care would probably get 55+ MPG, and still be faster than a stock 2.8 Fiero.

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Report this Post02-14-2008 12:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for megafreakindethSend a Private Message to megafreakindethEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

for anyone wondering what the diff is between the new r32 and the old one(or any previous vr6) its quite a bit, aside from the change from 15deg crank angle to 10deg the new one uses direct injection(injectors in combustion chamber) and tons of other stuff that would make swapping it into a standard gas car hard.

as for the flanges, they dont really fail but the inner cv joints fail under power/drag racing, also the syncros get damaged and dont exactly break but can make for challenging gear engagement. the lsd should take care of that because itll distribute the load over both axles, hopefully.

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bmwguru
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I'll be regearing the transmission as needed after I do the turbo. There are tons of race gearsets/ streetgears/ final drive ratios/ etc for the 02J transmission.
Dave

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Report this Post02-14-2008 03:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KurtAKXSend a Private Message to KurtAKXEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by bmwguru:


I'm just relaying what the driveshaft shop told me. VW uses 100mm flanges...Porsche might be bigger. Maybe it is the inner joint...it is pretty small. I knew the axles were going to be an issue before I started this swap, but I just planned on getting custom ones made to make it easier.
Dave


Have you looked at Toronado/Riv longitudinal axles or S10 front inners? These are flange mount style yet have a tripot plunge style joint like the Fiero, and I believe they are the correct spline to slide the outer and fiero shaft right into them. It might be relatively simple to get adapter plates made to go from a 100mm flange to whatever the flange of the S10 is.

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bmwguru
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I had a few hours today to make the front transmission mount. I made a few jigs to recreate the mounts for a later install if I choose to do another one. The hardest part was to ensure the engine sat just right in the bay. Too far to the passenger side and the intake would hit. Too far to the driver's side and the transmission would hit. It fits just right with little mods except for the custom mounts and axles thus far. Towards the end of the swap, I'll list the performance add ons I did to the engine and transmission (and Fiero in general). A lot of money could have been saved, but I knew what I wanted before even pulling out the engine. Obviously, this swap could have been done without the torsen type limited slip differential, Fidanza flywheel, clutch kit, port and polish...etc.
After getting this far, I could probably do this swap again without having to buy an entire car...although, I've already made back my investment and there is plenty of car left. So far, the only parts I used from the donor were: engine with accessories (but all were replaced with new), transmission (redone with LSD), wiring harnesses (one is inexpensive new from VW, but the other is worth buying the car for...it is over $1000), gas pedal with wiring. I think that is everything....my mind is exhausted.
Dave

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bmwguru
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quote
Originally posted by KurtAKX:


Have you looked at Toronado/Riv longitudinal axles or S10 front inners? These are flange mount style yet have a tripot plunge style joint like the Fiero, and I believe they are the correct spline to slide the outer and fiero shaft right into them. It might be relatively simple to get adapter plates made to go from a 100mm flange to whatever the flange of the S10 is.


as for the axles, the lengths are not anywhere close to stock. I set the engine in to suit my needs not for the axles. I'm also going to be building a second VR6 that will be built to handle around 30lbs of boost. I want the engine to break before my axles...and I don't want the engine to break.
Dave

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(continued from the "fed up...." thread)


Is it done yet?

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bmwguru
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Here is an update of where I stand with this swap. I ran into a problem today. When I pulled the mock-up transmission off the engine, I found a hairline crack in the lower timing cover. So, I have to order one from VW, hopefully I'll have it in a few days.
So, the timing covers have been removed and we are kind of stuck until I get another cover.


I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but I have decided to mount the engine to the cradle and not the space frame. When it was mounted to the space frame, I had too much movement out of the engine using the VW mounts. It can be done easily, but I am looking for rubber left on the road and little slop in the drivetrain. So, I finally have mounts made to use the stock transmission mounting points and made a mount for the engine. The cradle needed a slight mod done to it which took about 15 minutes. There was a little trimming needed near the rear mount to give adequate clearance for the VW transmission. Also, the stock engine mount bracket had to be removed to clear the oil pan. I am mounting the engine to the cradle's frame rail slightly forward of the control arm. No cutting or grinding is needed anywhere else for this swap. Here is a pic of the trimming needed near the rear transmission mount.


Otherwise, the engine is ready to go in the car for the final time. It has only been in and out maybe ten times for proper fitting, and reorganizing myself to mount it differently. Once I have the timing cover and reassemble the engine it should be iinstalled within a few hours.
Here is a pic of me fabricating one of the jigs for the mounts. Basically, I could do the next VR6 swap in a lot less time now that I have the formula. All the mounts are made by hand out of 3/16" steel. Welded and reinforced. That was time consuming to cut the steel, notch it, weld it and make it look pretty. If I still had access to a CNC machine, it would have been better IMO, but I am finally happy with the current results.

[This message has been edited by bmwguru (edited 03-04-2008).]

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bmwguru
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Allrighty,
We got the timing cover and reassembled the engine. The transmission is bolted on and the engine is ready for install. In the pics you can see the engine mounted to the cradle. I ran a little behind today and didn't get to put it in. Hopefully, I'll have some free time tomorrow or Friday.
Once the engine is in, it will be on to the wiring and drive axles.
Dave


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Report this Post02-20-2008 10:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroJimmySend a Private Message to FieroJimmyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Just a thought, but you may want to throw some spindles on there, and measure for your axles before you get it in the car.

Unless you're planning on just sending the whole car out for them.

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bmwguru
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I was going to measure the axles out of the car, but the struts camber angle would need to be precise. The VW inner joints don't have as much movement as the GM. The difference is a few inches.
Anyway, here is where we leave off for the week. The engine is in and mounted. The upper intake manifold is off so that the wiring can be done. Normally on the VR6 the intake comes off for everything. I had to make it accessible for repairs without tilting the cradle. So, it looks like that won't be an issue. Everything has more than enough space and it looks like there is more room to work on the engine than in the Jetta.
Here are the pics.

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Report this Post02-21-2008 04:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for darkhorizonSend a Private Message to darkhorizonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I can measure axles within a 1/2 inch with the suspension out of the car, the amount that it can be off is very small, and its quite obvious about where the suspension sits.

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bmwguru
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I was originally going to measure the axles out of the car, but there really is no hinderance measuring them in the car. I want to make sure to get the full travel of the axle as well. In the car is the way to go for that. There is a lot more room than expected in the engine bay....just enough for a turbo...
Anyway the axles and wiring, as well as the fly by wire throttle configuration are the next step.
Dave

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Report this Post02-22-2008 01:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for darkhorizonSend a Private Message to darkhorizonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I made sure I measured with the axle seated in the trans, and had the outer removed, and I went from there.

What are you going to do about the outers? I have seen people in the past just use the donar car's knuckle and wheel bearings, its not all that hard of a swap if you do a coil over setup.

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bmwguru
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The easiest way to do the axles is to have the driveshaft shop make a set. I was going to use the VW knuckle, but then I'd have to make another set of coil overs with the VW strut. The problem with that is the VW axles are not the correct lengths. It is just easier to measure and make a phone call and wait for the little brown truck to show up.
Dave

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Report this Post02-22-2008 06:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ErikClick Here to Email ErikSend a Private Message to ErikEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by bmwguru:

The easiest way to do the axles is to have the driveshaft shop make a set. I was going to use the VW knuckle, but then I'd have to make another set of coil overs with the VW strut. The problem with that is the VW axles are not the correct lengths. It is just easier to measure and make a phone call and wait for the little brown truck to show up.
Dave
we like little brown trucks with big parts

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Report this Post02-23-2008 03:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RavantSend a Private Message to RavantEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Now to ask a question.

What are the chances of any of the new DSG's fitting this engine in a swap of this nature?

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bmwguru
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quote
Originally posted by Ravant:

Now to ask a question.

What are the chances of any of the new DSG's fitting this engine in a swap of this nature?


it ll depends on how far someone would want to take it. Personally, I have a few more VW swaps up my sleeve. The DSG hasn't really crossed my mind. Yes it is a faster shifting tranny, but I like the old school stick better. I'm just not a fan of the paddle shift stuff....too girly for me. When I build a car, the first priority is making it fun to drive. Everything else comes second.
But, I'm sure that it can be done. When you transplant the drivetrain from a whole car, it is a lot eaier than trying to make the electronics work independantly from each other. Having a car with a CAN line is a lot better to work with when something fails.
Dave

------------------

1987 GT (my toy-see above), 1987 GT (wife's toy), 1986 SE soon to be VR6, certified master technician/shop owner
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Report this Post02-23-2008 09:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Richjk21Send a Private Message to Richjk21Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Too girly for me ........ said the guy with the gay orange car


Right Joey


All kidding aside... this is a pretty impressive swap.


Rich

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bmwguru
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LMAO....
remind me to up the life insurance on my wife and personally thank her for making my five year project known as the gay orange Fiero.
It's all good, though.
Dave

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Report this Post02-23-2008 09:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Richjk21Send a Private Message to Richjk21Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Let me know once you get the insurance squared away ... I know a guy

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quote
Originally posted by Richjk21:

Too girly for me ........ said the guy with the gay orange car


Right Joey


All kidding aside... this is a pretty impressive swap.


Rich


I'm so glad I that his 5 years of hard work is paying off..... And he thought it might have been known for the engine with the Webers Hahaha.

The VR6 swap is going smoothly, so far..... I would love to be able to drive my car soon.... gotta finish wiring and stuff maybe it'll be done by the time I get back from Louisiana trip in the end of March.

Joey

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quote
Originally posted by Richjk21:

Let me know once you get the insurance squared away ... I know a guy



Excuuuuusssse meeeeee!!! LOL

I'll be doing the brakes on Dave's car soon.... Gee, I hope they'll work ok
Joey

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Report this Post02-23-2008 10:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RavantSend a Private Message to RavantEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The more I look at this swap, the more enticing it becomes. It seems to be quite a bit of an easier time than the folks with the LNF and LSJ are having. Definitely unique, and definitely something to keep an eye on. I like the idea of a quick-shifting DSG, especially if I plan for a turbo, but don't like paddle-shifting up at the steering wheel. It's gotta be a tap-shift unit down at the gear selector, IMO. Shouldn't be too hard to fabricate, for a future idea. I've still not started any work towards an engine swap on my Fiero yet. Still up in the air around a V8, possibly the VR6 (now that it looks possible), or one of the Ecotec motors. Did you catch how much the VR6 and the stick shift weighed before installing it? That'd be a nice tidbit of info to leave available for people who may look to do a similar swap.

Also - how are you taking care of the shift pattern? Every time I see a transverse FWD system moved to our cars, the H-pattern seems reversed. Either I'm not looking hard enough, or it's a perplexing problem not enough people are taking care of. What's your method?

[This message has been edited by Ravant (edited 02-23-2008).]

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bmwguru
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The googled weight of the VR6, trans, wiring, accessories such as alternator etc is 575lbs.
The shift pattern of the 02J trans is reverse is up and to the left. Just like the Fiero four speed with one extra gear for fifth.
The biggest downside to this swap is the price. The APF engine goes for an average of over $2000 for one with 60k.I got lucky with the price of the whole car. Plus all the mods are about 4x the price of a 3800. So, to get 600whp, I'll need to invest about $12,000 into the drivetrain.....or keep parting out the Jetta as I go and then get another Jetta or GTI to part.....and so on.
Dave

[This message has been edited by bmwguru (edited 02-23-2008).]

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Report this Post02-23-2008 10:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RavantSend a Private Message to RavantEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for the info.

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Report this Post02-23-2008 10:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FieroJimmySend a Private Message to FieroJimmyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by bmwguru:

The googled weight of the VR6, trans, wiring, accessories such as alternator etc is 575lbs.
The shift pattern of the 02J trans is reverse is up and to the left. Just like the Fiero four speed with one extra gear for fifth.
The biggest downside to this swap is the price. The APF engine goes for an average of over $2000 for one with 60k.I got lucky with the price of the whole car. Plus all the mods are about 4x the price of a 3800. So, to get 600whp, I'll need to invest about $12,000 into the drivetrain.....or keep parting out the Jetta as I go and then get another Jetta or GTI to part.....and so on.
Dave



The shift pattern problem he's talking about comes from the shifter cables approaching the trans from the "wrong" side of the engine. In the Jetta, the cables come from the rear of the mounted driveline, but in the Fiero, the cables come from the front. The result is the shift pattern is inverted (In this case, reverse would be where it is in the 5-speed Fiero, but 1st would be where 4th is.)

From looking at the pictures you've posted, I can't tell just how the cables are oriented on the trans, but it could be an issue to deal with.

Either you could get custom cables long enough to wrap around the engine bay and approach the driveline like it did in the Jetta, or it may be possible to re-work the linkage on the trans to allow the shift forks to move in the right direction.

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Report this Post02-24-2008 02:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by FieroJimmy:


The shift pattern problem he's talking about comes from the shifter cables approaching the trans from the "wrong" side of the engine. In the Jetta, the cables come from the rear of the mounted driveline, but in the Fiero, the cables come from the front. The result is the shift pattern is inverted (In this case, reverse would be where it is in the 5-speed Fiero, but 1st would be where 4th is.)

From looking at the pictures you've posted, I can't tell just how the cables are oriented on the trans, but it could be an issue to deal with.

Either you could get custom cables long enough to wrap around the engine bay and approach the driveline like it did in the Jetta, or it may be possible to re-work the linkage on the trans to allow the shift forks to move in the right direction.


Great posts. Thanks Dave. Love the pictures. That engine really looks happy in there.

I was wondering the same thing FieroJimmy was, myself.
Most swap threads I've studied, people tend to redesign the linkage somehow and add metal brackets to fix that issue. (either on the shifter side, or the tranny side)
My question: - I'm still learning - Wouldn't it be cheaper/easier/faster to just get longer cables that have enough slack to go around, so that they face from the right side?
Aren't these shifter cables just the exact equivalent as the shifter cables on mountainbikes (meaning a metal wire, inside a flexible sleve)? - Just thicker wires? (just making sure they don't kink anywhere as a precaution)

[This message has been edited by Austrian Import (edited 02-24-2008).]

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bmwguru
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Report this Post02-24-2008 09:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for bmwguruClick Here to visit bmwguru's HomePageClick Here to Email bmwguruSend a Private Message to bmwguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The trans cable issue has already been worked out. I'll post details when I get to that part of the swap....with pictures

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Austrian Import
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Report this Post02-24-2008 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Austrian ImportClick Here to Email Austrian ImportSend a Private Message to Austrian ImportEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by bmwguru:

The trans cable issue has already been worked out. I'll post details when I get to that part of the swap....with pictures


Thanks. There is no such thing as too many pictures
We loooove pictures

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Richjk21
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Report this Post03-01-2008 11:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Richjk21Send a Private Message to Richjk21Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Bump - any progress ?

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bmwguru
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I've been busy with customer's cars all week long....I'm leaving the house in an hour to go to work on the VR6 for about six hours today...I should have some decent progress by tonight.
...and yes, Max....I'll post some pics....lol.
Dave

[This message has been edited by bmwguru (edited 03-01-2008).]

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bmwguru
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Report this Post03-01-2008 07:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bmwguruClick Here to visit bmwguru's HomePageClick Here to Email bmwguruSend a Private Message to bmwguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

ok, I wanted to make a correction. I previously stated that the engine mounts were made from 1/8" steel....oops. It was supposed to say 3/16" steel. 1/8" is a little thin in my opinion.
As of now, the rear suspension has been reinstalled. The fuel system is 100% completed and the cooling system is about 50% done. I spent today going over a lot of the wiring harness details, plumbing the fuel lines and installing the upper intake manifold for the final time as well as the rear suspension install and I ordered some more performance goodies for the VR6.
The good news about this swap was when I discovered that if I use a clutch slave cylinder from a 1996 GTI 02A. The 02J slave has a push in type of hose whereas the 02a has the threaded hole with the same threads as the Fiero. The only issue is that the clutch line must be lengthened by about 7 inches to reach the VW slave....no biggie.
I'm hoping to have the cooling system completed with the OE red VW coolant by the end of the week.



[This message has been edited by bmwguru (edited 03-04-2008).]

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Saxman
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Report this Post03-06-2008 08:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SaxmanClick Here to visit Saxman's HomePageClick Here to Email SaxmanSend a Private Message to SaxmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Bump for the latest - and so I can keep track. This one fell off my tracker.

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bmwguru
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Report this Post03-07-2008 06:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for bmwguruClick Here to visit bmwguru's HomePageClick Here to Email bmwguruSend a Private Message to bmwguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I have been working on the swap this week, but I haven't had much time for posting about it. I've been a little excited about my other car getting finished.
Anyway, here are the goodies that I am doing this week....
First off, the clutch line had to be lengthed. That was pretty easy using Rodney Dickman's clutch line repair kit. It gave me the extra length needed to reach the VW clutch slave. Ironically, the VW clutch slave's thread size is the same as the Fiero. I may need to repace the VW clutch master, but we'll see if the Fiero master can work the proper ratio with the slave to operate the clutch.

Also, the VW has issues with breaking the PLASTIC shift selector arm. I have no clue why thy made them out of plastic, but I get cars towed in all the time that can only be shifted into third and fourth. The best is when they drive them in and it needs a clutch and the arm. Anyway, I update to the aluminum arm. Gruvenparts.com is the best place to find this part. Here is a pic of the aluminum arm and the factory plastic. The aluminum arm also has less throw, which is nice.

Aside from that, I've been working on the cooling system. I want a lot of the system to use metal piping rather than rubber hose. The problem with the VR6 is that the upper and lower radiator hoses come off the same thermostat housing on the driver's side of the car. So, I welded up some pipe from exhaust J-bends. Ground the welds smooth and then pressure tested them. Once done, I painted it and used insulated clamps from summit racing to secure the pipe against the firewall.

Those clamps are nice. I secured the fuel lines, clutch line and just about anything that is hanging loose with them. It really cleans up the engine bay.
The other issue I ran into is the expansion tank. I made a securing bracket and I am going to locate it under the driver's side engine vent. It has to be at the highest point because it is also part of the cooling system under pressure. It is a pressurized overflow tank.
Other than that, it is coming along. The axles should be in my hands by the end of next week. Hopefully by then the cooling system will be completed and then on to the shifter cables. I'm going to leave the wiring modifications and ECU programming to the end because there is really no parts needed to do that....just peace and quiet.
Dave

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I also forgot to mention that the factory throttle body does not fit with the stock Fiero trunk. So, I really wanted to run the fly by wire throttle, so thanks to German engineering, I turned the throttle body 90 degrees and bolted it up. No more clearance issues. the calibration is done during routine servicing called "Basic Settings". That is when the tech takes the VW laptop and sets the throttle valve and automatic transmission kickdown. I normally reset the throttle adaptation during routing services for all my customers.

[This message has been edited by bmwguru (edited 03-07-2008).]

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Report this Post03-17-2008 03:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for VonovClick Here to Email VonovSend a Private Message to VonovEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Having just purchased a 12V VR6 MkII Jetta, I now understand VERY well why you want to put one in a Fiero. These motors have the sexiest sound, very reminiscent of the old 911 Porsche, and pull strong all the way thru the the power band. I can only imagine what the 24V motor you're planning will be like. Yowzah, yowzah, yowzah!!!
You're gonna need to schedule a flight physical...

I see one other HUGE advantage to this setup---FINALLY!!! A V-configuration motor in a Fiero that is as easy to change the plugs on as a four-cylinder engine...

[This message has been edited by Vonov (edited 03-17-2008).]

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