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VW/Audi 2.5TDi V6 into a defender?


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I'm looking at building myself a nice "toy"...one of my possible engines apart from the TD5 is to go with an Audi/VW 2.5TDi V6 diesel.

Does anyone know if these will fit, and if it would be possible to use the audi auto/manual gearbox or if its possible to use the defender R380/ZF auto box?

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smo, personally I'd keep the Audi gearbox as it'll probebly be more up to the job than an R380 (which may be a little marginal). As for what'll fit; anythings possible if you try hard enough. I'm looking into Audi drivetrain at the moment for my next prodject as I want to mount the engine transversely. However, that's annother story....

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Definitely interested to see how this pans out :D

150 BHP and a V6 to boot, what a beautifull smooth beast to put in your defender!!!!

With the price down for second hand high mileage A6/A4's the opportunity for this conversion looks great.

I imagine you would need a complete donor car (2.5tdi quattro?) with all the bits you need as getting any missing bits from Audi may cost you a fortune (I have owned a few :P ).

Incidentaly with regard to drivetrain would you go for an adapter kit and plug into your defender box (probably the easiest option) or has anyone fitted a quattro drivetrain before?

It would be interesting to see how the torson diff works offroad.

I am sure Audi would sell you the complete system from a Q7!! :D:D

Best of luck, I would really like to see if it works (Homer Simpson voice) mmmmmmmm v6



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Indeed, its the V6 particually that appeals, much smoother than a straight 5 like my current TD5.

I would think keeping the gearbox (be it auto or manual) could be the best way, and mate that to the t-box (LT230) to keep the props and hi/lo range already in the setup.

As far as torsen diffs, the true-trac LSD is a torsen torque biasing diff and works very well, both on and off road.

The conversion is somthing i am considering, obviously cost and time to do it are bog factors, as are getting over fitting and mating defender to audi type problems.

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Aah gotcha - this is of course the downside to odd transplants.

My other option is TD5 with auto gearbox but the TD5 whilst being good (got one at the mo) is lumpy and relatively old....have to wait and see i guess when i sell my CSW :)

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I'd be keeping the Audi gearbox and mating it to a Milner remote transfer box. he does one to replace the LT230 too... or maybe a Rakeway transfer box, which seem to be a bit quieter.

As for the ECU's etc. Speak to Jay @ Simtek in Rochdale.


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you may find the ECU will not run the motor in a standalone mode - its going to want to talk to the gearbox ECU, the Alarm ECU and the Ashtray control module all hooked together, might be a enquiry worth making ?

Yep. Spot on. The audi will be running a bus network and without the right digital signals from other ECU's then you'll have problems. The imobiliser signal will be needed before you get anywhere. After that if it doesn't receive comunication from ABS, ETC, Stability control, etc etc and even things like Radio, door control, electric seat's and various other rubish will cause fault code's to appear which will cause many problem's. It is possible to get round this tho. There are firms that will build aftermarket ECU's to suit most applications like this that specialise mainly in management systems for motorsport or you could look into someone re-programing the audi ECU but that might be a bit of a task!

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A Td5 with a chip will get you as many hp and torque as the 2.5 Audi. Mine has a Van Aaken chip and i get more than 150hp and 36mkg. Add an intercooler, remove the EGR, slightly modify the exhaust and you'll get 190hp and 40mkg for a much lower price than the Audi.

- chris


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The DSG boxes are fappin lovely, i was driving a golf TDI (170bhp) with DSG box the other week when LR were fixing my car under warranty....gorgeous, not sure i really wanted to swap back!!!

Yeah, the only problem's the torque limit; 240lb/ft isn't very much......

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Does the Audi diesel run piezo electric injectors??

If so, AFAIK no aftermarket ECU company has sorted out an injector driver to run these yet.... you would run into the same problem if you tried to fit a Jaguar V6 or V8 Turbo Diesel.

The only option would be to run the car ECU and wiring harness and try and get it all to work - not fun.

A Td5 is still a good way to go... Smo I can still sort an engine out - and I can tune them now!!! ;)

Can do you a tune to what ever spec you need - mild to wild :D

Other good options would be the BMW 2.5 Diesel (same engine as the RR) - the early type is very easy to get running - just use the standard car ECU... very easy to tune too!!!

The later 3.0L is also a good engine, with the added benefit of a VNT... I've heard that people can get around the ECU issues... but you could also run this on an aftermarket ECU.

If you went petrol, you could fit the Jaguar 4.2L Supercharged ;)

Quite a cheap engine secondhand, and not that hard to get running on an aftermarket ECU (doing one at the moment :ph34r: ) Is a similar engine to that fitted to the RR supercharged (and the sport) - but there are 'a lot' (!!!) of differences.

You should get 20mpg on a run... or 3 or 4mpg giving it death!!!


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Yes, it won't be that cheap but its likely they will have an ECU that they just adapt to suit differant applications. I'll have this fun soon as I want to use a DSG gearbox in the next vehicle.....

Why would you buy a gearbox from the Dixons Stores Group? :huh:

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FWIW. A friend had the 2.5 in an A6. Cost a lot of money in repairs to the engine. Can't remember the exact details, but's it's one of those engines where say, an injector goes, it means replacing both cylinder head gaskets. Okay so maybe an exageration, but you get the idea. Whatever - it cost a fortune whenever it went wrong! After collecting his A6 from one expensive engine repair the Audi mans advice was to get shut while the going was good. His was at the magic 80k mileage which he was told was when things start to go terminally tits up with this engine. The 1.9 tdi on the other hand is good for 1,000,000 miles.

He ended up selling the car.

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The 1.9 tdi on the other hand is good for 1,000,000 miles.

its interesting you should say that. last pair of 1.9 tdi's we've had one 110bhp and one 130bhp (both in passats) have begun to need a fair bit of attention after 120k. both i think had new air mass sensors (not sure that's the corect term, infact i'm pretty sure its not) at about 90kand there and i think one had a new turbo, but i dont remember which. No.1 was disposed of recently with a persisting oil leak and no.2 met with a speed bump and got a cracked sump. it was also sold on. on to number 3 now.

other issues with them were not liking the cold and being very prone to stalling and also not liking being knocked about too much, j turns causing a very easy stall.

both of them were subject to about 35k a year, and led hard lives, acting pretty much as vans. however i dont think it would be a life any harder than that of a taxi and auction houses play host to plenty of octavia taxis which have clocked up 350k miles+.

unfortunately about 120-130k is when they are pensioned off to an easier life. perhaps that point is just a small hiccup in what should be a very long life.

i'd be interested to hear from folks who have ones at about 150k miles or over.

other than those hiccups, great engines, 38 mpg with foot to the floor and a lot more if driven with a touch more care.

one of auto express's top 10 engines ever in a mag a whle back.

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there always the v10 from a tourareg

w8 from the passat

as two options

re the Custom ECU, depends how audi leave them, if you buy say the whole car then a specialist can read the codes and add new ones in to the engine ECU to counter act the lack of response from the gearbox (assuming you went R380 route), this would allow you to put the enigne on its own ECU, this is easier of the ECU is unlocked (like having read only copy of a file you can only read it to make changes you copy it and save as somehtign different) we have done a few in the rally cars, but we leave them locked so if they need changing or 'tweaking' they have to come back not go to some scumbage with a transit van, laptop and 20,000 leads of chinese importers!

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