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patrick80
2012-04-30, 18:27 PM
I have an opportunity to pickup a '96 Passat Diesel wagon with the 5-speed trans. It was originally a V6 gas GLX, but was converted to a factory '96 VW Diesel engine a few years back. White with tan leather interior. The factory Diesel wagons had the small wheels and brakes. This car has the larger brakes, wheels, as well as more beeps and squeaks, so to speak. Owner claims 42 mpg highway.

Picture is of a '99 and not the specific car in question. Anyone have any experiences with the '90s VW Diesels in general, and Passats specifically?:)

http://passat3b.vw-style.net/passat_bilder/VW_Wagon_1999.jpg (http://passat3b.vw-style.net/passat_bilder/VW_Wagon_1999.jpg)

occupant
2012-05-02, 10:56 AM
If I remember right, those wagons can get a lot better than that, and if you use a venting technique to fill the tank and its reserve tank ALL THE WAY you can get 1400 miles from one tank of fuel. Officially they have an 18.5 gallon tank. Sedans can squeeze in another 2 gallons. Wagons however can squeeze 6.5 more gallons. 25 gallons and 50+ MPG makes for crazy highway range. Quoted from a TDIclub forum post:

1400 miles on a tank? Impossible? Not with a Passat wagon.

If you look at the trip odometer reading, it doesn't look very impressive...but the MFA trip computer reading on the left tells the whole story.

http://pics.tdiclub.com/members/chrisbell/1400mi.jpg

1407 miles (2265 km.)
24.19 gal. (91.57 l.)
58.2 MPG

I took a 1000 mile business trip and thought I would try to better my previous records for mileage and cruise distance (49.5 MPG, 1206 miles). I upped tire pressure to 44 PSI, chose a route that I thought would be the flattest (turns out it wasn't the best choice), and slowed down a bit. The results, according to my MFA, were so encouraging that it made a perfect excuse to take another 300 mile trip (thinking that would be as far as the car could go...wrong!).

Since I had a useable 1/2 gallon left at the end, I think that once I install my Upsolute chip and larger diameter tires, and choose a flatter route, I should be able to go 1500 miles (though I'm in no hurry to do this any time soon).

The Passat wagons can't compete with the 5-speed A4s (nor some of the Passat sedans on the Forum) in terms of real world MPG, but their big tanks have certain advantages. I think I have really earned my "Fahrfrumpumpen" sticker!

1996 and 1997 models are the ones to look for and if you want that trip computer, find a GLX V6 and swap out the left panel on the cluster. It'll say UNLEADED FUEL ONLY but that's the price you pay to have the trip computer (MFA).

As always, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY but even 42MPG x 25gal is still over 1000 miles. On one tank.

alhutch
2012-05-02, 18:11 PM
If you are serious about VW diesels, point your browser to www.tdiclub.com.

Assuming the previous owner did a period correct swap, you are looking at either a "1Z" or "AHU" TDI motor in a B4 chassis. Very cool wagon. Good luck.

patrick80
2012-05-03, 00:10 AM
I checked the book value on the gas and Diesel wagons, and the high end is just $3K, yet I see these with asking prices from $7500 all the way to $16K. This is a nice car, and the guy wants $9K for it. He has a very detailed list of the build, with the Diesel engine in a gas car. What worries me is if the car gets totalled in a wreck, tornado, hailstorm, etc, and the insurance offers a paltry $2,500 for it. Trust me, a wagon that gets 40 - 50 mpg is extremely tempting.

wagonman76
2012-05-03, 02:04 AM
Yeah nice car with that kind of MPG and range, goes for a lot these days. Plus the swap gives you the best of both worlds.

Jim 68cuda
2012-05-03, 10:50 AM
Well I have a 2002 Passatt wagon. Its gas not diesel. It gets close to the same mileage as my 318 V8 68 Barracuda. Not overly impressive for a VW but pretty good for a Barracuda. Its had lots of issues, so I wouldn't reccomend a VW to anyone.
One more thing to consider. Will it pass emissions? Depending on where you live, there may be emissions inspections. I believe the requirements to pass will be based on the type of engine the car came with from the factory. Will a diesel engine pass the emission requirements of car that may be in their system as being gas powered?

alhutch
2012-05-03, 14:16 PM
I checked the book value on the gas and Diesel wagons, and the high end is just $3K, yet I see these with asking prices from $7500 all the way to $16K. This is a nice car, and the guy wants $9K for it. He has a very detailed list of the build, with the Diesel engine in a gas car. What worries me is if the car gets totalled in a wreck, tornado, hailstorm, etc, and the insurance offers a paltry $2,500 for it. Trust me, a wagon that gets 40 - 50 mpg is extremely tempting.

Pat - I understand your concern, but B4V TDI Passats really aren't "book" cars, especially if they're really nice. A GLX conversion, if done correctly, is even better. Mostly unknown to the world, but well loved in the TDI community.

Despite the ultra low production numbers, you should be able to show comps of other B4V TDIs should it come to that. Think eBay and TDI Club classifieds.

Krash Kadillak
2012-05-03, 14:21 PM
Don't know much about them, but it's probably the kind of vehicle that you'd want to own long-term to minimize your cost of ownership.

patrick80
2012-05-05, 23:57 PM
Emissions are not an issue in Oklahoma, so the gas-to-diesel conversion here is something I do not have to worry about.

I've been over on that tdi web site,and it is quite informative. The Diesel wagons do have a cult following, and as you guys mentioned, the "book" value doesn't seem to apply to them. There are a couple of specialists that restore these to pristine condition and sell them in the upper $teens$. They do beautiful work, from all appearances. And the car I'm looking at was converted by a VW tdi guy that is held in pretty high esteem by the folks on that forum.

The owner wants to swap for my Travelall, as he wants a Diesel that will pull his fairly large boat. Believe me, 50 mpg AND the ability to haul stuff securely is high on my desire list. And I am in the process of building a 1971 Dodge D200 Camper Special with a Cummins 6BT and automatic, so my hauling abilities will remain with me...just in a single cab truck over a Travelall!

I'm going to see what happens.