2L 8v conversion guide

Discussion in '8-valve' started by JamesB, May 13, 2006.

  1. JamesB Forum Member

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    MK2 2 Litre 8V Conversion

    After my conversion, thought I would write a quick guide on the basics of the conversion and try to put together all my ramblings in one place!

    Thanks goes to Rahul (a previous forum user) for some engine code information.

    For those of you with MK2 8V GTIs after a couple of years ownership (or less), chances are you want that little bit more power. You cant justify spending the money on a 1.8T or a VR6 conversion but you just want a little extra grunt! The 2 litre 8V conversion is for you!

    A setup with a fast road cam, big valve gas flowed head, panel filter and performance exhaust you can see 145 BHP and 145 LbFt easy. The high torque value gives a lovely drive point to point.

    Which block to use?

    Firstly youll need to source a 2 litre block. There are a variety of possibilities for various different VAG family cars.

    2E Probably the most common, found in the early (pre 95) MK3 Golf GTI 8Vs. Also found in Passats from the same era.
    AGG Found in late (post 95) MK3 Golf GTI 8Vs.

    The difference between these two engines is that the AGG has a crank position sensor on the front of the block (this is just left disconnected in the conversion) and a slightly different dizzy to the 2E. Both these blocks are known as tall blocks as they are 20mm or so taller than the standard 1.8 litre block you will be replacing. The extra height gives the longer stroke hence larger capacity!

    3A Found in Audi 80s. If you can find one, this is the ideal block to use. Its the same height as the 1.8 litre engine. Its known as a bubble block because of its slightly rounded shape. I believe this engine has a larger bore coupled with a different crank to give the extra capacity.

    Other engines you can use are the ABA, AWG and AWF. Full details of what cars these come from can be found here

    These engines are fairly solid so you shouldnt have too many worries about getting one second hand. If you can find one which has documented oil changes youll be well away. I used an AGG block which had done 90k. Doesnt use a drop of oil!

    Dont pay any more than 200 for one of these blocks unless its a low miler or you know about its history. There are plenty around so dont be done.

    Which head to use?

    The beauty of this conversion is its simplicity. Essentially you are only changing the bottom end. Use your existing MK2 head. The MK3 head doesnt flow as well so dont go putting the complete engine from a MK3 in you wont see any power increase!

    Whilst the head is off, its well worth getting it reconditioned, new valve stem oil seals etc etc but if money allows it is definitely worth getting it ported and polished. With the 2 litre bock, comes a requirement for more air it needs to breathe more. Sticking a standard MK2 head on will restrict this air flow and you will probably only see a 5 BHP increase (good increase in torque however still) In order to get good BHP gains, you will need to increase the amount of air going into the engine.

    Ideally this requires at least a gas flowed head but to see the sunny side of 140BHP you will need a big valve head. I had mine done and had the exhaust valves taken from 33mm to 35mm. The inlet valves remained the same at 40mm. This does however come with increased cost.

    At TSR prices a standard ported and polished reconditioned head stands at 410. The big valve head though comes in at 710. If youre really keen on sticking with 8V grunt then its definitely worth the money. You would be able to do a 2 litre 16V conversion for similar money though if your 8V already runs K-Jet.

    Which camshaft to use?

    There are various ones around thatd be suitable. It all depends on what you want from the engine. If you want something thatd be used daily with a fairly smooth idle and midrange power go for something mild like a Newman 268 or similar. If youre up for a lumpy idle but more top end power then a Schrick 276. Good results have been achieved from the TSR203 cam Ive been told. These camshafts retail for around 150-200ish.

    Which distributor to use?

    This seems to be quite a controversial point, many conflicting views so Im just going to go on what I found.

    I used the AGG block where in the MK3, the ignition timing is controlled by the ECU based on 1 pulse per revolution from the dizzy. The MK2 is more traditional in that each of the 4 sparks comes from the dizzy. The early 2E block uses this method too. This means that if using the AGG block, you will need to get a dizzy from a 2E. Im not sure about any other block but assume the 3A from the Audi would be similar to the 2E and be fine with its original dizzy.

    There is also some other method that I know of whereby you can buy an adapter gear from TSR to adapt your existing MK2 dizzy to work with the 2L blocks. Not sure on this though.

    Other ancillaries

    As you will be taking the engine out and stripping the ancillaries, its worth replacing the consumable parts. New cambelt, tensioner, etc and anything else that may need replacing. Its loads easier to work on an engine when its out of the car!

    Regarding the head gasket, use the one to match the block you used. Well worth getting one of the new style metal ones that are now available. Get a head gasket kit to match the MK2 head but dont use the head gasket itself. Thisll include new inlet/exhaust/rocker cover gaskets. Remember also to get new head bolts they are stretch bolts so cant be used twice!

    If youre looking for 150+ BHP then you will need to invest in a 4 branch manifold. Plenty of opinions on the forum of which ones are the best. TSR now do one specifically for this conversion if using the taller block. Not cheap though at around 300 IIRC.

    Onto the conversion

    Whip your old 1.8 litre engine out of the MK2. If you dont have an engine crane, remember that the front of the MK2 comes off so the engine can be slid out through the front and the car rolled into the desired position.

    Once out, strip off all the ancillaries over to the new block not before giving it a good clean up! Once its out it might be worth having the gearbox reconditioned, its a right pain the in **** getting the gearbox out again once the engine is in! Similarly, with the engine out there maybe other things you want to recondition/replace. Steering rack, subframe bushes etc.

    The head you will find will go straight onto the new 2 litre block. Some people have said that there is a stud on the top of the bottom end they are usingjust cut it off!

    Replace the inlet and exhaust manifolds and build up the new block, part by part. Once all done, youll all ready to whack it back into your newly cleaned engine bay!

    If you are using the tall block from the MK3, AGG or 2E, you will find that your exhaust manifold wont fit too nicely to the downpipe. I had a 15mm spacer plate made up so to lower the downpipe and avoid it fouling the bulkhead.

    I think this applies to most 2L engines but they have a crank case breather. This needs to be plumbed into the rocker cover breather pipe otherwise your car will not idle.

    How hard is the conversion?

    If you are handy with a spanner and well motivated then you will have no problems doing the conversion. With a bit of common sense, you will have no trouble. I managed it mostly all myself with the exception of a couple of things which needed two people.

    Is it worth it?

    If you want serious power then this isnt the one, look to 2litre 16v or VR6 or 20vt. If you have a keen interest in cars and their mechanics, handy with a spanner and but not the money for a 200+ BHP beast then this is definitely for you. If you have not done something like this before then ultimately you will learn a huge amount.

    With its 268 degree camshaft the peak power is at just 3500 rpm which makes for a very drivable car. Similar power to a 1.8 16v but much more torque low down.

    Pictures from my conversion!

    Engine being removed - slight overkill maybe!

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    Old cylinder head

    [​IMG]

    New cylinder head

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    New head built up from front

    [​IMG]

    New head built up from back

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    New head built up showing camshaft

    [​IMG]

    New AGG block - notice the crank case breather

    [​IMG]

    Old engine being stripped down

    [​IMG]

    Old engine bare

    [​IMG]

    New engine built up from front

    [​IMG]

    New engine built up from back

    [​IMG]

    New engine back in car!

    [​IMG]

    Picture showing breather pipe from crank case breather to rocker cover breather.

    [​IMG]

    Car back on road after good clean - looking standard as ever ;)

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, James
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  2. GarethMK2VR6

    GarethMK2VR6 Forum Member

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    Its also worth mentioning that if you suffer any problem with your starter motor struggling to turn your engine over then a 1.9tdi deisel starter does the trick.
     
  3. tinytim139

    tinytim139 Forum Member

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    that engine hoist is awsome:lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  4. mk28vICED Forum Member

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    but not ideal...
     
  5. DUBDAN New Member

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    Nice 1 mate, a very helpfull guide! thanks for going to the trouble, should have mine built in no time!
     
  6. danny T New Member

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    could you give me a guide on how to use the whole mk3 engine into an 8v mk2,not after power at the mo,hence no head work.
     
  7. Mat-R Forum Member

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    I'm not been picky but I believe that the Tdi starter will not fit unless you've got the cable change box. You probably mean the TD (basically use any starter motor from a diesel with the rod change box)
    One of mine starts great with the 1600d starter :)
     
  8. gorilly Forum Member

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    ok so ive just received my AGG block today

    im going to order up some parts
    my shopping list is as follows

    new cambelt + tensioner (do i buy one for AGG or existing?)
    sump gasket
    AGG head gasket
    2E Dizzy... not sure how much they are should i scrappy or new?


    soon will be refurb head with 35mm exh valves
    268deg cam
     
  9. dandubgti New Member

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    Is it best to blank the crank case breather off or to plumb it in to the breather pipe above?

    Will it make a difference either way?

    Cheers

    Dan
     
  10. UKJr87 Forum Member

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    good question, does anyone have an answer for this?!
     
  11. i.a.n.b Forum Junkie

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  12. UKJr87 Forum Member

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    engine code items to buy for 2E block ok?

    hey guys, ive just gotten hold of my fully refurb'd 2E bottom end and i will soon be fitting my gas flowed PB head to it!

    now i need to buy all the gaskets,head bolts, belts etc, but im confused as to which engine code to buy for the different items as different people say different things....now i was thinking of using:

    2E head bolts
    2E cam & auxilliary belts
    ABF head gasket
    PB inlet & exhaust manifold

    if anyone can confirm if this would work ok that would be great. and if the items on my list will work, but you think i should use a different engine code items, if you could explain why that would be great!!

    cheers
     
  13. mitlom

    mitlom Forum Member

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    Looks correct to me
     
  14. gazw Forum Member

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    Hi, can this conversion be applied to the G60 aswell?
     
  15. drunkenalan Paid Member Paid Member

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    not easily
     
  16. nealey Forum Junkie

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    There was a guide to this in golf+ quite a while ago, iirc you need to use a block from a diesel van and do a slight bit of modding to it, i will see if i can find the mag in question
     
  17. gazw Forum Member

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    That would be a great help mate, really want some more out of the G!!
     
  18. UKJr87 Forum Member

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    im looking to get a tubular exhaust manifold for my 2E bottom end / PB headed engine which im putting in my mk2 soon. i contacted g-werkes who said they dont have a suitable mani which will accommodate for the 16mm height increase of the 2E engine.

    i was wondering if anyone could recommend a decent tubular mani that will fit fine with this setup?
     
  19. drunkenalan Paid Member Paid Member

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    TBH most manifolds will fit some will bang on the bulk head depending on the front mount.
     
  20. UKJr87 Forum Member

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    hey guys. i need to buy the right belts/tensioners for my 2E block, PB headed engine (2l 8v mk3 block & 1.8 mk2 gti head), ive been looking on GSF (link below), & im going to get the cam belt and tensioner for the mk3 2l 8v engine as seen on that link, but im not 100% sure on what alt belt to get.... do i get one for a mk2 or mk3 engine? my mk2 has PAS and no air con...if anyone can help me out that would be great!

    https://secure.gsfcarparts.com/shop/results.asp
     

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