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93 Explorer TDI Swap

They slimmed it way down over the years, the power junction box kept getting closer and closer to the firewall hahaha
Copper used to be cheap back in the 80s

Can bus has about 1/5 the wiring good show

All you will really need from under the hood will be all the lights, ac controls, hvac wiring and maybe some Evap stuff otherwise you will be building all new for the alternator charging and starter as well.
I start be stripping the power junction box down to the fuses and relays you plan to retain
Everything else Adios!!

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I’ll follow your methodology of stripping the harness! Makes sense to me.

Cool part about the motor I bought is all of the VW side of the harness was built by the last owner. I don’t have much harness to build (aside from auxiliary stuff), it’s more just clean up and integrate the two!

Got the factory harness stripped down and cleaned up of everything I don’t need anymore. Really is amazing how many wires are in this thing. I did splice my auxiliary headlight relay harness into the factory harness. I had added the relay harness from LMC a few years ago and have been happy with. Figured it could be cleaner spliced with the factory harness.



All of the coiled wires are things that need to be spliced either into the VW harness or connected to the Can2Dash box. The short wires in the middle of the table still need to be un-pinned from the bulkhead connector.

Just waiting on some harness wrap to show up so I can finish this up.

Leftover rat nest:

Looked over everything I need for the gauge cluster while I was doing this. Almost all of the gauges and lights will still work either in their existing form or with signals from the VW computer and Can2Dash. The only thing that won’t work is the oil pressure gauge. The VW computer does get a reading from a sensor on the block but has no output for oil pressure. If it reads low pressure it throws the check engine light. I can live with one non functioning gauge.

The low oil light does lose its functionality but the plan is to repurpose it for use as the glow plug/wait to start light.

Can bus emulator for the tach signal
Very cool! We need more can bus support from the aftermarket

I would have kept the headlight harness separate from drivetrain. Ford only did that for a few short years thank goodness!

Can’t wait to see tdi! Would love to do this to a bronco ii

Can bus emulator for the tach signal
Very cool! We need more can bus support from the aftermarket
Yep for tach and in this case check engine and glow plug lights! Makes it so simple and helps with the factory look I try to stick with.

I agree! More can bus support would bring about a bunch of cool motor swaps in these old vehicles

Explorer side of the harness is all wrapped up. Partially installed the harness tonight. The engine bay is already much cleaner!


Still need to order stuff so I can finish the install of this harness, clean up the VW side, connect the two, and build the auxiliary harness I have planned.

Now is a good time to wash the engine bay if you can’t put it outside and power wash I have done many of these by hand with a rag and bucket/ spray bottle

These days I have a sink in my garage w hot water and I have a small electric winch mounted to the wall so I can literally push the project outside. I use a small gas power washer hooked up to the hot side of the sink kind of a red neck “Hotsy” then the electric winch can pull the truck back in for me

Good call! I was staring at it last night thinking about how dirty it was. Just doesn’t seem right putting all this clean stuff in such a dirty engine bay. Looks like it’ll be the spray bottle, bucket and rag method for me tomorrow.

I like the sound of your setup! Will be a nice addition when I get around to building a shop!

I Built my bronco originally borrowing friends driveways, working in my apartment complex parking lots, at my dads house, etc.
I bought my first house it had a garage just large enough to fit bronco and explorer not much else, I was so proud!
Married kid needed larger house, next shop with house attached had a oversize 3 car with bumpout for tools..awesome! BATHROOM UPSTAIRS that sucked but still awesome to have such large garage.
When we moved to Idaho and looked for shops with attached living quarters we found this place! 3 bay oversize, super tall ceilings, extra deep (RV) with 5 WINDOWS!!!! and a BATHROOM!!!! across hallway from my house! I'm super Spoiled now
I crushed/built/flipped/repaired alot of trucks to work my way up to this!!

Very nice! A big shop is the goal. Already have the floor plan in my head! Garage right now is an extra deep and wide two car. I guess two and a half car is a good way to put it. Dad offered up his shop (where I used to do all of my work) for the swap but I like being able to go out to the garage whenever I want to. Now if the old V6 could disappear I’d have a bit more space right now:laugh:

Put a bag over it and stick it on a tire outside
But always keep everything until the conversion is complete and I mean everything… saves so many headaches

Hopefully about a month away from seeing the adapter kit! So while we wait I’ve been building the accessory harness. Ended up with 6 total circuits. Two are already taken: one for the cowel lights and one for the grille lights. The grille lights are still run through a factory fog light switch.

Needed a panel to hold the other five switches. Figured the ash tray area could be repurposed. An hour on Solidworks and 36 hours on the printer we have a switch panel!

The pictures with the dash panel are the first prototype. Needed a few adjustments. Pictures with the switches on the table is the final product.

Put together a relay/fuse box and a second fuse panel. The relay box has the relays and fuses for the main circuit loads. All six circuit outputs are pre-terminated so adding new accessory is pretty much plug and play. The fuse panel supplies each switch with power.

This is the harness that runs from the firewall bulkhead connector to the switch panel.

Firewall bulkhead connector. I cut up the factory grommet and bolted the bulkhead connector to it. Works well!

Everything in place. The accessory relay box is just set in place for the time being. Need to fab a bracket to hold it straight.

Now that is what I am talking about!! Well done

Tim, That switch panel is cool. I need one of those for my 94. Couldn't talk you into making me one? I'll buy one from you.


Tim, That switch panel is cool. I need one of those for my 94. Couldn't talk you into making me one? I'll buy one from you.

I’d be happy to print one for you or anyone that would want one! I think you’re local-ish to me too?

You may already be aware, but the BRM and the BEW TDIs are prone to camshaft and lifter failure if the wrong oil is used. Make sure the oil meets 505.01 spec.

Yep I know! Been around enough VWs I know their quirks. Thanks for the reminder!

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Hey, cigarette smoking is making a comeback! ! Or as the lead-in to my vehicle thread "3 ashtrays, 2 doors, 1 cupholder, 0 airbags. . ." Awesome work so far, super clean wiring, and great spot for the switches - - having experimented with the door switch panel, under dash facia, etc., something like what you made is the way to go . . .

Only (super minor) issue - - green rig with green dash lights - - why not green switch lights ? ? ?

Looks great.