Builds Another Prado in Montana

Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
Crossmember modifications underway; the new HZJ79 transmission mount sits about 2" farther back than the original one, and has 2 M12 studs on it rather than 4 M10 threaded holes. I used some 3/16 wall 2x4 steel left over from a tiny house build to extend the crossmember back in the middle.
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Cutting into the crossmember definitely required another brave pill.
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Tacked in place:
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Gave it a bit of a preheat before the final weld:
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Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
Final welds done:
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After having the transmission fall off the jack while I tried to install it, my brother helped out and we got it in for a test fit:
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However, now that it's in I can see several places where parts of the transfer case either contact the crossmember or are too close, so I'm thinking about building a whole new crossmember. Next step is to get the engine bay finished up so the engine can go back in, that way I can support the rear of the transmission and remove the crossmember without having to take everything out.
 

HandForged

Built Not Bought!
SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Messages
647
Location
Montana
Final welds done:View attachment 2190939

After having the transmission fall off the jack while I tried to install it, my brother helped out and we got it in for a test fit:
View attachment 2190940

View attachment 2190941

However, now that it's in I can see several places where parts of the transfer case either contact the crossmember or are too close, so I'm thinking about building a whole new crossmember. Next step is to get the engine bay finished up so the engine can go back in, that way I can support the rear of the transmission and remove the crossmember without having to take everything out.
would it have been better to use a piece of angle with gussets than a piece of tube for the crossmember extension? That way you could remove whatever you didn't need there? Building one to fit would be the best option but you'll likely loose some ground clearance it looks like. Although a length of channel that has the ends cut so that they would bolt up tight and flat might be a good choice. Tubing with flat brackets on the ends would also be slick and the best way to save as much space as you can without giving up too much ground clearance.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
would it have been better to use a piece of angle with gussets than a piece of tube for the crossmember extension? That way you could remove whatever you didn't need there? Building one to fit would be the best option but you'll likely loose some ground clearance it looks like. Although a length of channel that has the ends cut so that they would bolt up tight and flat might be a good choice. Tubing with flat brackets on the ends would also be slick and the best way to save as much space as you can without giving up too much ground clearance.
That's the plan. I don't think that ground clearance loss will be much of an issue, the stock crossmember is just under 2" thick, so I think some heavy wall 2" tubing with plates centered on the ends should be just about right.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
Part of the preparation for dropping the engine in for the last time (fingers crossed) is to patch up the panhard rod mount where I hacked it open to push the radiator back. I dug around in the scrap bucket and found a piece of heavy 2x3" angle from a commercial fire door that should work nicely.
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A little bit of clean up and it should be ready to weld in.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
School and work have been filling up my schedule again, but I finally got some time to get that panhard rod mount gusseted this evening. Definitely tight quarters welding in there, I even had to brake out the stick welder to access one of the seams. A little ugly, but it should hold up fine.
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I slopped a coat of primer on:
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And then a coat of paint:
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Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
I got my manifold back from the machine shop a while ago, so I decided to clean up some of the weld seams inside with a carbide burr.
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Another thing I've been needing to tackle before the engine goes back in is the oil return line for the turbo. Since I moved the turbo up and clocked the turbo the factory line is both too short and at the wrong angle, so I picked up a small piece of 1/2" tubing and made a new flange.
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This is approximately where it will go when finished. The clearance to the manifold is not as close as it looks in the photos, but I'm thinking that some heat shielding can't hurt.
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Now I just need to attach the little flange to one end and a -AN fitting to the other. School schedule permitting the plan is to have the engine back in by the end of the week.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
It feels great to have some visual progress again! Over the weekend I was able to finish up the oil return line for the turbo:
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One of many test fits:
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A quick coat of paint and its ready to go on:
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I also welded in the pyrometer port on the exhaust manifold and gave the whole thing a few coats of 2000* paint.
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It's a little ugly but so long as it holds together I don't really care.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
The main event of the weekend, though:
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The engine is back in! :bounce: Lots of space in there:
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After I finished struggling to get everything lined up and bolted together I just started throwing parts back in. I got the intercooler, radiator, starter and some intake piping back in. The pile of parts in the cargo area is finally starting to shrink.
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Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
Since school shut down at the beginning of the week I’ve had more time to work on the Prado. After I got the engine back in I found that the 4wd actuator on the transfer case did contact the transmission crossmember, so I decided to build a whole new one. A quick trip to the scrap bin at the local steel yard yielded the necessary materials and I could get to work. The end plates are 1/4” and the tubing is 3x1.5 120 wall.
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Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
I wanted the crossmember to be completely sealed when finished so it wouldn’t rust inside, so I drilled 1 3/4” through holes where the trans mount studs go and sleeved them with schedule 40 pipe.
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Time for a test fit before welding everything up:
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I drilled mounting holes in another piece of 1/4” plate, fitted it in place and tacked it. Lots of welding and grinding later:
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Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
The crossmember is getting a couple of coats of POR-15 and then paint:
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Between coats I put some rust converter on my shortened rear driveshaft:
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And removed the AC compressor and all the unneeded AC lines from the engine bay. I’ll be using the VW compressor, which mounts on the LH side of the engine very near to where the lines come through the firewall, so the new lines will be much simpler and less cluttered than stock.
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Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
The past week I've been picking away at various items on a long to-do list to finish up the swap. I got the transmission crossmember and rear driveshaft installed:
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I started looking at the battery tray and realized it was pretty crusty, so I took it out and found some corrosion on the inner fender underneath.
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It wasn't going to get any easier to get at, so I wire brushed everything and gave it a couple of coats of rust converter and then paint. Next up was the fan shroud. I don't have access to a pan brake so it was a long process of scoring the metal with a die grinder, bending it by hand and then tacking it together. It's a little rough, but will get mostly covered up by paint and hoses in the long run.
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I also worked on making and routing the new high pressure power steering hose.
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Still a messy engine bay, but getting closer:
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Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
I also spent quite a bit of time trying to put together the cooling system. I decided to ditch the VW expansion bubble and go with an inline radiator cap and the Toyota expansion tank, since the bubble was not as high in the system as I would have liked. A few parts are still in the mail but I went ahead and made most of the coolant lines, putting the tubing bender to good use again:
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The sensor is for the Auber double din gauge I'm running for pyrometer and water temp. I will use the alarm relay output function to control the radiator fan.

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I also added a port for the MAP sensor in the intake pipe:
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Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
Next up was some wiring, I had to unwrap the harness at the larger of the ECU plugs to find the wires for the tachometer and CEL. Luckily the people who made the harness labeled most of the wires, so with the help of a wiring diagram it wasn't hard to find the tach output. No luck on the CEL though, so I probably won't worry about it.
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New gasket for the vacuum pump:
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Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
Time to play catch up! I've been chipping away at a long list of to-do's for the Prado but haven't been good about posting here. First on the list is the cooling system. I finished up the fan shroud and gave it and some of the coolant pipes a couple of coats of paint:
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Then there were a couple more pipes to make to connect to the bottom outlet on the radiator:
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I've gotten fond of gas welding on this thin piping, its very controllable and doesn't make any lumps of weld filler on the inside of the pipe.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
With the coolant pipes and fan installed the cooling system is pretty much finished; I just need to get a radiator cap and wire in the fan relay.
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Next up was getting the turbo mounted up. My brother helped put heat wrap on the exhaust manifold and I installed it with new gaskets and copper nuts. I also shortened the oil return pipe and made up a braided stainless hose to connect it to the block.
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From the factory the Passat this turbo came off of didn't have a gasket between the turbo and manifold, but since my homemade turbo flange is definitely not as smooth as a VW manifold I cut a gasket out of some exhaust gasket material and bolted the turbo on.
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Not much room for a downpipe!
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Kris

But my friends call me Kris
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
564
Location
Lowden, IA (Quad Cities)
 
 
I completely forgot about your build. Thanks for making me want to TDI again. I was already tempted by the TDI setup for sale.

That's good you added the braided hose, it probably would have cracked otherwise.

You could be like the cool kids on the internets and pie cut some super sharp elbow. Or buy a donut and cut what you need


Seriously though, super jealous.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
773
Location
Whitefish, MT
Thanks for the compliments! I like the look of that donut, I've never seen those before. Current plan with the downpipe is to use the factory VW one. It has a super tight 90 coming right out of the flange, I just need to grind the weld out of the inside so I can rotate the pipe in the flange, right now it points straight up like a tractor stack ;) Looks like this, but in better shape:
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