The Westsync Nissan SD diesel engine conversion kit for Vanagons will help owners to overcome the usual nagging issues common to stock 1.9L and 2.1L Wasserboxers at half the cost of other conversion kits currently available. The kit includes detailed installation instructions and the mainstay of parts required to adapt the Nissan SD series engines.
The following SD series Nissan engines are currently applicable for this conversion kit:
This is a 2.2L (2164 cc) straight 4 diesel engine. It produces around 61 hp @ 4000 rpm & 102ft-lbs torque @1800rpm (ftp://asavage.dyndns.org/Nissan/SD22/SD22_brochure_page1.pdf). It has three main bearings and is the four cylinder brother to the SD33 six (common to early 80’s International Scouts and various marine applications, minus two rear cylinders).
This is a 2.3L (2289 cc) straight 4 diesel engine with an inline injection pump. It produces 73 SAE hp @ 4300rpm [verification needed] and features a five main bearing crankshaft.
Compared below to the stock Vanagon engine and several of the better diesel engine conversion candidates available, the (2488cc) 2.5L straight 4 diesel engine favourably serves a other diesel engine options for Vanagon owners, with 70 Hp @ 4000rpm, 115ft-lbs@2000rpm (With turbo: ~85hp@4000rpm).
1.9L Turbo Diesel engine
Donor vehicle: 1995 Passat – engine code AAZ
Recipient vehicle: Vanagon GL – automatic 2.0L Gasoline engine
Donor vehicle: 1989 Audi 80 – engine code 3A
Recipient vehicle: Vanagon Weekender – 4 speed
28 to 30 mpg Power
22 to 24 mpg
1.9L TDI Engine
Donor vehicle: 2002 Jetta – engine code ALH
Recipient vehicle: Westfalia Camper – 4 speed
1.9L TDI Engine
Donor vehicle: 1998 Jetta – engine code AHU
Recipient vehicle: Carat – Syncro
30 to 32 mpg Power
30 to 32 mpg
Stock 1.9L Vanagon is 82hp and 105ft.lb
Stock 2.1L Vanagon is 95hp and 117ft.lb
The following list shows land vehicles with compatible engines for this kit known to us to date:
Nissan Cedric – SD22 (2.2L) 1965-1971
Nissan 720 pick up – SD22 (2.2L) 1979 – 1983
SD23 (2.3L) 1983 – 1986
SD25 (2.5 L) 1983 – 1985
Nissan Cabstar F22/H40 – SD25 (2.5 L) 1982 on
Nissan Navara D21 – SD23 (2.5 L) 1987
– SD25 (2.5 L) 1986 – 1988
Nissan Urvan E23 – SD22 (2.2 L) 1980 – 1983
– SD23 (2.3 L) 1984 – 1986
Mitsubishi S4E (H02) forklift – SD25 (2.5L) 1985-1993?
Combined with your procurement of an SD diesel engine, this kit exhibits several features; some good, some bad:
1. Lower installation cost – Through the re-use of many of the better existing components that are already in your Vanagon. This kit utilizes the stock engine mount cross bar, coolant system, clutch disk and fuel tank.
2. Reliability through simplicity – The only wiring necessary to operate this engine include the starter, alternator, fuel pump and glow plug circuitry. A manual control cable may be employed in lieu of the fuel control servo. This certainly puts an end to the stupid “bucking syndrome” or other quirky Digijet/Digifont FI behavior that comes with an inherently flawed harness at altitude or in inclement weather. The SD series engines run for a very long time.
3. Torque at lower RPM – similar horsepower and torque as the stock wasserboxer, but at a lower RPM (~1000 rpm less) where you need it. Any Syncro owner well understands the stock engine’s limitations crawling over obstacles, especially at higher temperatures or if pulling a utility trailer or boat.
4. Turbo – This engine can be installed with a turbo and intercooler for added horsepower.
5. Alternative fuels ¬– The Nissan SD series diesels can be converted to use biodiesel or burn veggie oil. (see links page for sources and discussion)
6. Engine compartment space ¬– Since this conversion leaves standing room on the left side of the engine compartment (~2 ft3), an extra fuel tank, RV batteries or general storage area can be added. Additionally, there is no need to elevate the engine compartment lid or modify any interior structure.
7. Smooth Operation – Engines are very well balanced when operating correctly, resulting in quiet, low vibration operation.
1. Engine availability – In particular, the U.S. originally imported the least of these engines per capita, with Canada a close second. American policies favoured gasoline powered equipment more than countries like Australia and Asia. SD22, SD23 and SD25 diesel engines in various years of Nissan 720 and D21 pickups, and Cabstar cab-overs are unfortunately rare equipment in the U.S. Those lucky owners of these vehicles know how long the engines last and are not so willing to part with them. There are alternative engine sources that will work, however; Australia and New Zealand have more engines available than North America, with almost every second Ute being a diesel. Worldwide, marine and industrial equipment use the SD25, or comparable FD25 engine. Westsync seeks out engines for use with this conversion, so it is not a bad idea to check with us first to see if we have any currently, or know of any for sale at the moment.
2. Parts Availability – Mechanical parts can be difficult to find, although service items are still readily available. See the links page for various new and used components found to date. Heads can be especially difficult to find, but exist once in a while in Aussie wreckers and new ones can be obtained (http://www.apiengines.com.au)
3. Ground Clearance – There is a 2” reduction in ground clearance. Thankfully, the lower RPM torque range will assist with taller tires and lift kits. Not using all the engine mount components in the kit, and bending up new fuel injector lines can regain the clearance lost at the cost of worn CV joints and universal joints (Syncro models).
4. Trimming – A small amount of structure must be removed from the aft wall of the engine compartment if engines with in-line fuel pumps are employed. This varies depending on engine type and its original application.
5. Fuel Economy – This poor man’s conversion comes at a price. Since SD series engines have been known to obtain between 23-32 mpg depending on model and use, they cannot compete with the modern VW TDI’s. Amortization of installing our lower cost kits offers the only compensation.