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  #1  
Old September 20th, 2005, 10:24 PM
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Jesse McCoy
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Should I actually be considering this?

So I have the D and a Jetta as a commuter. I drive approx. 150 miles a day and need some reliability (the Jetta's got 92K on it and the D 114K). I did the math on the commute and bottom line, whatever I drive it costs me some bucks. My fiance` (32 days left...) looks at me last week and says, "why don't you sell the Jetta and put that money into dropping a diesel in your truck and get a Badger and just drive it? We'll save on insurance and upkeep, because we're fixing whatever breaks anyway, and the gas mileage will be about the same anyway (28-30 vs. 32-35)."

Well I called ECR (wanted to price a full frame swap) and poked around to see what I could do a diesel swap for and I think that'll use all the money I could get for the Jetta, if not more. So now what I'm thinking is, should I sell them both and put all that money towards another Defender that already has the diesel and much lower miles? I figure reliability has to increase (however little) with the lower mileage vehicle and the small crap that's breaking now on my truck won't happen for a few more years on the new(er) one.

It's a pipe dream right now, but it's not totally out of the question. Just wondered if anyone had an opinion?

Follow-up Post:

Oh, and to follow up, I can make diesel in my backyard, and I've got some friends opening biodiesel facilities locally so I can get cheaper fuel.
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  #2  
Old September 20th, 2005, 10:33 PM
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Sure, why not? The Jetta will start giving you massive headaches very soon anyway. But, not to be a downer, the milage estimates thrown around here on the 300 are high. Realistically, you are looking at 20-22 mpg if you drive over 65.
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  #3  
Old September 20th, 2005, 10:34 PM
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Matt Wunderle
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Uh, let me think about that for like 3 seconds. Yes do the conversion. I am thinking about selling my Chevy ZR2 to finance a diesel conversion myself.


Matt...
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  #4  
Old September 20th, 2005, 10:47 PM
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Hans Haase
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I have a buddy at work, he spent more money repairing his Passat than he made in car payments. Compared to modern VW's, repairing a Defender is chump change. When things like secondary water pumps start to go.......

A few of us were talking in the other forum a few weeks back about the possibilities of dropping in a Jeep Liberty powertrain which would give good results. Unfortunately, the engines are still hard to come by in the US.... though the European versions have a 6-speed manual available :-)

There are also some 2.8 TGV diesels (International's) on E-bay right now for $5,200 each..... though shipping is a killer at $1K and it's 2 months till delivery.

-Hans
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  #5  
Old September 20th, 2005, 11:01 PM
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I contacted ECR for a rough idea on chassis swap ($7500) and 300TDI ($26000 - included engine, gearbox, exhaust, wiring, front springs, radiator, intercooler, PS lines, air intake, etc), which is way beyond my means right now, plust they said I had a 20 month wait.

I have seen diesel D90s list for $60K, which seems steep, but today I stumbled across this one http://home.earthlink.net/~adimarc/ for $40K.

Pretty much everyone I have spoken to says be prepared to be without your truck for several months. I just cant bring myself to do it for both the $ and loving to drive it.
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  #6  
Old September 21st, 2005, 12:02 AM
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Mike Johnstone
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I would buy the truck with the conversion already done, as long as it was a good job. Way less hassle and no downtime.
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  #7  
Old September 21st, 2005, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattarm
I contacted ECR for a rough idea on chassis swap ($7500) and 300TDI ($26000 - included engine, gearbox, exhaust, wiring, front springs, radiator, intercooler, PS lines, air intake, etc), which is way beyond my means right now, plust they said I had a 20 month wait.

I have seen diesel D90s list for $60K, which seems steep, but today I stumbled across this one http://home.earthlink.net/~adimarc/ for $40K.

Pretty much everyone I have spoken to says be prepared to be without your truck for several months. I just cant bring myself to do it for both the $ and loving to drive it.
WOW! That seems really steep. If you can handle doing some of it yourself, you will be surprised how easy it all is. I think George has full frive train for $7500. Put it in yourself - About 2 weekends. And you can afford it. Damn, I just can't believe the price tag on that. Just stunned.

edit: Hey Matt,

Buy a 300, drive the truck over to my house and I will do the conversion with you in 3 days. Then you can drive back. Problem solved buddy.
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  #8  
Old September 21st, 2005, 01:48 AM
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David Shechter
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those 2.8 on ebay are straight from the factory, they need a bunch of modifications in order to fit in a 90. I would suggest spending the money and get it from Motor & Diesel in the UK. You'll end up spending the difference on making your own kit and a month or so putting it together. The 10k price tag on the engine and kit seems steep, but the headache and time saved is worth it. If David B. is willing to help you do it for free, I would seriously take him up on his offer. You just have to try and find a 300Tdi. George had new ones a few months back for 11K.
David is right about the mileage, you'll probably only get 20mpg +/-, still much better than the V8. If you have access to free BioDiesel or can make it at home, you can consider those savings in your new engine cost. That will make a huge difference.
Plus, a diesel off road, kicks ass!
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  #9  
Old September 21st, 2005, 02:47 AM
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m j
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Jesse,

If I had a jetta to finance a diesel conversion on my D90.... I probably wouldn't be getting rid of her! But seriously... Even with the shine stilled in your backyard... Do you think you'd save that much????

Acutally, my biggest question.... Can't ya pull something together to do the frame/engine swap yourself? ECR is just WAY to expensive.

If you can feasibly go diesel.... GO diesel my man!!!
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  #10  
Old September 21st, 2005, 07:33 AM
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Michael Noe
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Jesse:
I'm in Free Union and would be interested in talking with you about BD production and what you know about local BD facilities and such. I just started sourcing the parts for a small BD processor. I can't believe I haven't seen you around town, I guess the D90 doesn't get out much during the week.

My "dream" project is to get a project 109PU and transplant a Merc diesel or a Cummins so I can run BD.

-Mike
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  #11  
Old September 21st, 2005, 09:13 AM
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David Marchand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattarm
I contacted ECR for a rough idea on chassis swap ($7500) and 300TDI ($26000 - included engine, gearbox, exhaust, wiring, front springs, radiator, intercooler, PS lines, air intake, etc), which is way beyond my means right now, plust they said I had a 20 month wait.

I have seen diesel D90s list for $60K, which seems steep, but today I stumbled across this one http://home.earthlink.net/~adimarc/ for $40K.

Pretty much everyone I have spoken to says be prepared to be without your truck for several months. I just cant bring myself to do it for both the $ and loving to drive it.

ECR isn't the only game in town. BW Overland did my work and they were cheaper and easier to work with. You can also inquire with Pendy on this board. He's handy with these projects too.

What you're looking to do is no small job, but it's not rocket science either. Just labor intensive/time consuming.

Sheki makes a great point. pony up and buy the kit from M&D Engineering. They are largely complete (sans wiring and exhaust), come with manuals, and they will give you phone support throughout the install. Having all of the parts in one place makes a big difference over calling and sourcing all of the little bits. It's your time...
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  #12  
Old September 21st, 2005, 11:08 AM
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Jesse McCoy
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See, all this time in swapping my existing to diesel leaves me without transportation for a while, which just isn't feasible. That's why I was toying with selling then buying one already with a diesel. It's nice to know I won't be getting the 28 out of the engine though, really makes the math get sticky.

My boss has a line on that new 2.8L, but aren't there transfer case issues with that? I think that was discussed in the other thread. I know I want to swap eventually, but with a wedding, house, etc. this may not be the time. I was just trying to run with the, "Go ahead baby," from the fiance`. The real question is would I like my 2nd Defender as much as I love my 1st or should I never get rid of it, even for another Defender? Maybe CvC could chime in on that...


And Mike, I'm guessing I never have run into you because I commute to Harrisonburg everyday, but I get the Defender out in Charlottesville on the weekends and in the evening (Not lately because of a clutch cylinder...it'll be fine). Let me know one night and I'll meet you for a beer and talk biodiesel.
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  #13  
Old September 21st, 2005, 12:36 PM
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David Marchand
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No matter how you do the math, you'll find a hard time ever netting out. Period.

You do it for the love.
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  #14  
Old September 21st, 2005, 08:33 PM
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Hey Jesse you might want to talk to Trevor G. about doing the swap. He's a lot closer that ECR and would probably be cheaper.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarchand
No matter how you do the math, you'll find a hard time ever netting out. Period.

You do it for the love.

Amen, brother. You also do it for the panties. The diesel makes them hit the windshield at a 2to1 ratio over gas. But your getting married, so just sell both and buy a minivan.
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  #16  
Old September 21st, 2005, 10:59 PM
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Jesse McCoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckon37s
Amen, brother. You also do it for the panties. The diesel makes them hit the windshield at a 2to1 ratio over gas. But your getting married, so just sell both and buy a minivan.
I know I know, but she doesn't mind it that much already.

The thing about buying a minivan, we just got a D2, so it's enough like a minivan already. She REALLY wants a 97 SW though - she's the reason I actually bought mine, I knew I had to marry her.

I figure I'll end up just dreaming about this till I can put away the cash to do it right and find the time to do it myself, or hit the lottery. I don't want to half ass it, and I really do love #2623.
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  #17  
Old September 22nd, 2005, 11:22 AM
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I too am very interested in converting my 97 D90 to diesel (2.8 Powerstroke). I checked with ECR, and at first they would not even try and give me a quote. They mentioned how parts pricing fluctuates etc etc. I inquired about a galv chassis and the diesel, along with some other minor work. For a 2.8 and the chassis, the price was roughly $40K. Add re-paint, SS bolt kit, exhaust work, and the figure went to $75K.
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  #18  
Old September 22nd, 2005, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmod
I too am very interested in converting my 97 D90 to diesel (2.8 Powerstroke). I checked with ECR, and at first they would not even try and give me a quote. They mentioned how parts pricing fluctuates etc etc. I inquired about a galv chassis and the diesel, along with some other minor work. For a 2.8 and the chassis, the price was roughly $40K. Add re-paint, SS bolt kit, exhaust work, and the figure went to $75K.
I can't understand why people think ECR is the only game in town (no offense meant). They build nice stuff. But they aren't the only ones.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 02:48 PM
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Jeff Sturgis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmod
...For a 2.8 and the chassis, the price was roughly $40K. Add re-paint, SS bolt kit, exhaust work, and the figure went to $75K.
$35K incremental expense for paint, some bolts, and an exhaust. Just staggering given that you could buy another D-90 for that price.

I do not understand ECR math even though I respect the quality of their execution. If I ever get to the point of doing a new galvenized frame and 300TDi or 2.8 conversion, I cannot help but wonder that it could be done at the same quality level as ECR for $40,000.

Is there anyone on the west coast that approached ECR or does similar work without requiring multiple second mortgages?
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  #20  
Old September 22nd, 2005, 03:00 PM
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Jesse McCoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarchand
I can't understand why people think ECR is the only game in town (no offense meant). They build nice stuff. But they aren't the only ones.
Dave,
I'm happy you brought this up. I guess the only reason I figured ECR was the place is because they're the only website that came up when I googled months ago (actually, when I was shopping I'd hit there too), but I didn't even know BWO did conversions.
I'll definately pick Jesse's mind when/if I see him at MAR about it. All my dealings with them have been great.
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