Engine Specific Info and Questions > TDI - VE Pump TDI Engines

Mk1 ALH swap worthwhile?


I have a 81 caddy that I put an AAZ engine into with a performance diesel pump. After driving it for 2 years... it's become a maintenance nightmare. Blown head-gasket, leaks oil like a sieve, won't stay properly timed etc. I'm tired of working on it, and frankly I don't feel like I am doing a good job.

I have come to a point where I am strongly considering either 1: Selling it or 2: Paying a reputable mechanic to do a ALH or BEW swap and hope that it becomes less needy afterwards.

What can I expect as a realistic outcome paying a mechanic to do a ALH/BEW swap? I really only want to do routine changing of fluids, belts, and filters.

I am aware that a lot of details will affect the outcome but I'm just trying to get an idea right now. Basically I just want a daily driver. I think probably the easiest thing to do is buy a donor car and bring the caddy and the donor in. S&P kit with an immobilizer delete so I can use the original gauges and EGR delete to keep things clean(er).

I think you should just sell it to someone else.  If you are not doing it right with the AAZ you probably won't do it right with another power plant either. 

Buy a new Ford Maverick and enjoy that.

A Mk3 TDI will bolt right in and with a proper mTDI injection pump give better performance and similar fuel economy to an ALH along with being more reliable than the stock electronic engine management.  Considering you already have an AAZ in there, that is certainly the route I would take.  A weekend would get the swap done and the end result would be a more reliable vehicle than an ALH or BEW with the electronic engine management.  The cost of the AHU/1Z mTDI install would also be a small fraction of the cost of an ALH or BEW install. 


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