I have finally gotten my Samurai straightened out and going well enough, been daily driving it for months as well as wheeling. Still some bugs but quite happy overall. Problem is the 1.6 16v is no longer serviceable for daily use.
I have 3 choices that I can see
1. Rebuild the 16v, which was ok on flat land but had a rough time going up hills or fighting headwinds. My commute home involves 2 fairly nasty hills so leaning towards choices 2 or 3
2. Replace entirely with the VW turbo diesel 1.6TD or 1.9TD (not TDI). I hear in stock trim they are pretty short winded at highway speeds but also hear when turned up a little they are very streetable. The 1.6 was barely adequate
in this area, barely
3. VW 1.8T or 2.0T. I know they are a little softer low end but with my gearing it should be doable off road and I know HP would be tunable and adequate for highway use as well as rocks.
I thought about a Datsun and Rotary but ruled out for various reasons. If I'm going to the expense of switching out engines I would really like to gain a turbo. I'm biased towards diesel but I need to hear from someone who is successfully using one on the pavement and what needed to be done to make it able to maintain highway speeds.
Availability of VW diesel engines has me considering a gas VW simply because I may be able to actually find one.
I would love to hear from ANYONE rolling on the pavement with a VW mill of any kind. My searches got me so much scrambled crap that I'm hoping folks here have some first hand experience.
I have read up on the VW install and ACME kit needed, cool with that, keeping the Samurai trans/drive train.
PS--- I will be selling off the 16v engine (needs gone over), thorley header, ECU, wiring, all adapters/mounts and brand new exhaust with magnaflow cat and muffler