TDI Swap!

Jan of 2019, I was contacted by a rally racing team in my hometown, Otalan near Ludhiana. These guys had been using old mechanical pump Mahindra engines in their builds. They were bothered by how heavy these engines were, produced very little power and had a peak RPM of 2800.

I suggested they use an ALH TDi engine from Skoda Octavia. It met all their requirements as it’s significantly lighter(150kgs! lighter), has a higher RPM limit(5000) and can be tuned/upgraded to produce more than 200HP.

This is the “bench” setup to test if everything was in working condition. The team then proceeded to make custom engine mounts and a gearbox adapter plate for the engine to attach it to a AWD transmission. Meanwhile I started to work on the wiring, making the bare minimum required harness. Within a week we had the engine fitted in the car. Unfortunately there was an issue with the VP37 pump and it just couldn’t match the requested Start of injection. It had a worn out SOI solenoid. It was cheaper/faster to just replace the entire pump rather than diagnose and fix the older one.

Longitudinally mounted, this setup made changing the timing belt a 5 minute job 😛

We repurposed the Anti-shudder shutdown valve as an emergency shutdown valve in case the engine entered a runaway condition. Also, the top mounted intercooler has a high speed/high flow fan just below it as the conditions in which this car would run wouldn’t have enough ram-air flow to cool down the intake temperatures. Here’s a picture of the car in all it’s glory:

The car takes part in extreme offroad conditions and has a winch too to help it out of tricky situations:



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