TiiCo Updates



This will be the last TiiCo update. My van has been sitting in my driveway for over a year because of issues with getting the TiiCo registered for street use in California. I do not want to go into a rant session here, so if you have questions about the issues I've had, feel free to use the feedback button above to shoot me an e-mail. 

The TiiCo registry will remain up, but I will be referring folks who want to join the TiiCo list to join the one on YahooGroups...

For those of you who might be wondering, I'm not getting rid of my bus. Instead, I'm doing another motor swap. Check my Tech Info area to see what I'm doing now...


As you can see, it's been quite a while since my last update. I apologize for that, but things have been very hectic for me the last few months. I do have a few things to add today though. I have just over 9,000 miles on the motor by now and have gotten a major issue solved. 

My TiiCo motor has been running consistently warm/hot since I installed it (212 F as read from the coolant temp sensor by VAG-COM). I had one of the long plastic pipes split and cause a leak. While the van was in the shop (my mechanic was able to get VW to warranty the pipe because he had replaced it just over a year earlier) I had him check the thermostat. He said that it was slightly corroded, so I had him replace it. He installed a new thermostat and my van is now running much cooler on average. 

The fan never came on on its own before. I had to turn it on via a manual override switch. Even then, it didn't bring the temps down any. Now, temp still climbs a bit when I get in stop & go traffic, but the fan comes on and I can see the temp needle going down! The temp still climbs to about 210 F before the fan kicks on, so I'm going to install a lower temp fan switch. Thankfully, the Golf/Jetta fan switches are interchangeable with our V'gon switches, so I can get some rather low temp switches (Thanks to the VW speed demons).

I  also installed a set of H&R springs to replace the aging stock units. I don't suggest these springs if you do any off-road driving because they are a bit on the stiff side and they drop the van by about an inch and a half (The starting height of my van was slightly lower as well because it is a '90 and therefore had the lower Wolfsburg springs from the factory).

And, I installed the South African heavy duty trailer hitch. The install only took 3 hours or so and a write up with pictures will be on this site soon.


4000 miles on the clock now and I'm generally satisfied with the new motor. I still have that vibration buzz between 3600 and 4300 RPM, but I'm hoping that some more exhaust work will take care of that. My mileage is a bit low compared to other convertees and I'm getting a couple mixture fault codes in the ECU, but with the help of my VAG-COM software, that should be taken care of pretty soon.

On a trip to San Diego a few weeks ago, I had the van up to 90mph, but didn't want to go past that. Not because of the motor (it was only at about 4700 RPM), but because of the suspension. The bus was getting a little squirrelly due to the springs that are just about dead. Call me crazy, but once I get the suspension sorted out, I'm going for triple digits.

On a slightly saner note, I installed senders and gauges for oil temp and oil pressure last week. I used VDO and was able to use their "standard" aftermarket senders. Here's the big bonus... if you look at the oil filter mount on the TiiCo motor, there is the place where the oil dummy light switch is screwed in. There are also two other allen head screws on that mount plate. Unscrew them and you can screw the VDO senders right into them. The temp sender is longer and goes in the hole closer to the firewall, and the pressure sender goes in the other hole. My senders had tapered threads, so they wouldn't screw in all the way, but the pitch is correct for the holes. Very nice!


I've now got about 400 miles on the TiiCo engine, but due to the break-in routine I'm following, I will not go over 3k RPM. The motor easily has the same perceived performance as the original 2.1 liter motor. After I get past the break-in period (at 500 miles I will do an oil change and then be able to rev the motor to 4k RPM, which is as high as I dared take the WBX. At 1000 miles I will do another oil change, then be able to take advantage of the extra 1k+ RPM the new motor has to offer), I'll really be able to see the advantages of the new motor. With my automatic transmission, I was limited to about 70 mph on the highway with the WBX because I didn't want to rev the motor past 4k RPM for extended periods of time. With the new motor I should have no worries about keeping it at 4500 or 5000 RPM for long trips (remember, the ECU limits the TiiCo motor to 6300 RPM ).