Speaking to you folks over "the pond" and was wondering about the VW
Lupo / Audi A2 3 cylinder 1.2 liter turbo diesel. I am looking at this
power plant for an aircraft. This engine is all alluminum and weighs in
at 100 kg. This power plant that I am looking for is in 2000 and up
models of the VW Lupo or Audi A2. I am looking for a complete engine
along with the controller.
It comes down to money. I am not against putting a rotax or other small
aviation engine in a Zenith 701. Many others have put automotive
engines in airplanes put have to gear the prop down. To get a small
automotive engine to put out the hp and torque you have to turn lots of
RPMs. The automotive light wieght diesels however have enough hp and
torque at the lower rpm. Also the engines sip fuel versus their gas
cousins. Even though the power plant would weigh more than an aviation
engine ie Rotax 912 you could easily put smaller fuel tanks or carry
half the fuel.
The reason I contacted this board was in hopes that somebody would know
of a good salvage yard (breaker), good rebuilder, or a parts dealer
that I could get a new in crate engine.
Diesel engines have gotten lighter, more powerful as well as goes
further on a liter of diesel. This in part to common rail fuel
injection as well as the ECU (electronic control unit).
Once again since we in the "States" dont'have these cars, VW Lupo or
Audi A2 or the 1.2 liter 3 cylinder turbo diesel power plants I am
turning to you all for assistance.
Are you sure that using an engine that isn't sold in the US is a good
idea? Getting parts and significant support may be a problem.
You may want to check reliability of the engine components, and what
the ECM controls. In some vehicles the ECM does both the engine and
the transmission (if it is an automatic), and that could be an
issue--you'd have to get a manual transmission engine/components.
Were this me, I'd want the entire car, so I can take all the little
bits and pieces (nothing like needing that unique valve that mounts on
hte firewall and costs a billion dollars...) as they are needed. Not
sure what your budget is but it may be possible to import one as
parts? (May be, but I"m not sure...)
Your project does sound interesting, however. <g>
Given that the 1.2 Lupo/A2 were 3L cars and fairly specialist I would pretty
much guarantee that the ECU controls more than the engine. IIRC, they had
fairly clever automatic gearboxes that allowed them to achieve good mpg
figures. Thinking further, I believe you can't run one of these engines
without the instrument cluster from the same car. So really to use it in an
aero application it would need a custom ECU
If the OP is intent on getting a small diesel then perhaps the 1.4 3
cylinder engine would be a better option as it is still economical but can
be chipped up to around 100bhp
Yep, that was what I was thinking... Because it is such an unusual
engine setup finding stuff for it may be next to impossible. Building
a custom ECM (ECU, or whatever you want to call it <g>) is quite
possible, but not trivial by any stretch of the imagination. Were I to
have a commercial customer come to me for something like that (I do a
lot of custom stuff of a similar nature) I'd probably tell them they
are looking at 6 months at least, and a six figure (US$) + price tag.
The real answer might be to see if the engine management system
(ECM/ECU) from another three cylinder diesel that is less integrated
might be grafted onto the engine of choice. Say, take the one used on
the 1.4 and stick it on the 1.2. That would require some (perhaps
minor) retuning of fuel delivery rates, but may work just fine
Diesel engines are actually easier to control than a gas engine--you
don't worry about ignition timing, only fuel delivery and timing. You
can even make it simpler by not worrying about fuel econonmy and just
shooting in fuel as needed without worry as to whether it is the best
amount or not. THis would result in some 'black smoke' from unburned
fuel that would result from over fueling (low RPMs, high throttle
settings for example) but that may be a minor problem.
Correct. The engine ECU is coded to the immobilizer in the cluster. It
can be disabled, I believe, but that's a specialist task. Really you'd
want to find a crashed car with the 1.2 TDI, take all the bits you need,
and get rid of the rest. There would be all sorts of stuff to sort out,
like fooling the ECU it has a clutch and brake switch to prevent
limp-home, for example.
But it's a cast iron block rather than alloy, so as someone said, it's
I'll bet a lot of the system is the same with different software, so
taking the system from a A2/Polo/Fabia 1.4TDi would be even harder.
It's a very interesting idea, but not sure it's the easiest route to
take. Here's a thought: how about the industrial engine range? They sold
the 1.9 TDI with the VE injector pump (and at one point you could get
some *very* useful literature on it), so maybe they do the 1.2?
I looked into the industrial engine route on the VW and the only one I
could find is the 1.9 which is too heavy.
Could you explain "the like fooling the ECU it has a clutch and brake
switch to prevent
limp-home, for example."
IIRC there's 2 brakelight switches, and a clutch switch. The clutch
switch could be ignored, probably, but with the brake switches you need
to make sure the ECU doesn't think there's a fault. I believe it
compares the 2 switches, and if one is different, throws a check engine
lamp. This may or may not reduce power- I can't remember. I do know that
a very common cause of the check light is a blown brake bulb....
You'd probably be best getting the pedals and wiring to be sure, as
there's the electronic throttle sensor to get as well.
I saw your post in uk.rec.cars.vw.watercooled too. I think you'll have
trouble sourcing one from a breakers. I didn't even know the A2 came
with the 1.2, and Lupo 3 litre cars with it are very rare: I have never
seen one. Plenty of the 1.4 iron-block, but that probably doesn't help.
One thought- apparently the toyota Yaris has an alloy-block diesel. That
might be easier to find. Seems to have had an appetite for head gaskets
as has the alloy-block version of the Peugot/Citroen TUD, it would seem
:-(, but it could be worth a look?
You could try asking at www.tdiclub.com in the forums.
Haven't you heard of "air brakes"?
No, what he is talking about is I need to consider "fooling" the ECU
that all is well with the brakes and clutch systems, even though they
don't have those systems installed.
Keep it coming.
The concept should work. Only the designcriteria for aircraftengines and
materials requirements may differ from car engines in general. Aircraft have
higher redundancy in general than cars. Sensors and avionics have a factor
4. Audi does not provide this in their motormanagement.
http://web.thielert.com/typo3/index.php?idS0&L=1 is one of the great
companies with dieselengines for aircraft. Maybe learn from them?
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