1989 TriStar Syncro Project



Once the vehicle's fuel and wiring systems have been prepped you can now install the TDI engine. 

Physically installing the engine.

Step 1 1h00m
  • Attach the TDI engine to an engine hoist and slide it into the transmission.
Step 2 0h15m
  • Install the M12 nuts on the bottom studs of the adapter plate.
  • Shorten the original bolts for the top two mounting holes and install.
Step 3 1h00m
  • Install cross member and ensure that the motor mounts are tight.  This step involves drilling new holes for the cross member to mount to the frame of the van.
Step 4 0h15m
  • Double Check that all mounting bolts are tight and that the transmission bolts and nuts are tight
  • Remove Engine Hoist

Total time for preparing the fuel system.

Installing the power steering system:

Step 1 0h30m
  • Remove the original low pressure line with the banjo fitting that went from the reservoir to the pump.
  • Install a new line from the reservoir to the pump.
  • Bend the banjo fitting that is on the existing Vanagon high-pressure line so that it will fit at the new mounting angle.
  • Top up the system with fresh power steering fluid.

Installing the electrical harness

Step 1 0h15m
  • Install the pre modified electrical harness in engine compartment.
Step 2 0h30m
  • Secure engine ECU behind passenger tail light.
Step 3 1h00m
  • Attach electrical connections to the engine, alternator and original Vanagon wires.
Step 4 1h00m
  • Attach electrical connections to the preinstalled cabling for pedals, additional gauges etc.
Step 5 0h15m
  • Double check connections and reconnect the battery
Step 6 0h15m
  • Check for system functioning / errors with VAG-COM 

Total time for installing electrical system

Installing the exhaust system

$45  AAZ / AHU Stainless steel exhaust flange
$35 Dynomax 2.5" mandrel bent U pipe
$50 Nice "turbo muffler"
$25 Brackets
$15 Fancy exhaust tip
$75 Labour at professional exhaust shop.
$245 Total exhaust cost

Installing the coolant pipes

Step 1 0h30m install bracket for Jetta III coolant tank and mount tank. 
Step 2 1h00m install coolant hoses
Step 3 0h30m fill coolant system with 50% phosphate free antifreeze and 50% water.
2h00m Total time for cooling system.

Installing the intake system

Step 1 4h00m Mount intercooler by driver side tail light, build aluminium intake system between turbo - intercooler - intake manifold.  Incorporate pressure line to ECU and sensor for ECU.
Step 2 2h00m Install 8" fan for intercooler and install wiring harness for fan
Step 3 1h00m build ABS plastic pipe air filter box 
7h00m Total time for installing intake system.


2004 David Marshall