Is there anything need to know about TDI 90 ?

t42

A2OC Donor
Is there anything I need to know about buying a TDI 90 ?
They're addictive :)

As with buying any used car there's risk involved. Your own experience proves that even the normally bulletproof 1.4 petrol can have its issues. If properly maintained I wouldn't say that a TDi 90 will be unreliable, but sometimes it's better the devil you know...

Like @Merlin3046, @Away with the fairys and a few others on here I have a TDi 90 with MYP 6-speed box fitted. The DMF and clutch were fine at time of gearbox swap (~90k miles) but it seemed sensible to get them done at the same time. It ticked over 100k miles last month and, touch wood, no turbo or other major mechanical issues for me so far.
I have a 40 mile round trip commute on a mix of A and B roads and it keeps the journey fun. I even have the rear seats out most of the time to save a bit of weight. :D
 

cheechy

A2OC Donor
You shoul'd know that it is THE engine to have in an A2, it's Heaven on the Devil's fuel!
From low down till high up (for a diesel at least) in the rev's, it's always willing to pull and go forward, especially with a re-map.

An AMF is a nice engine, but no comparisson to an VNT turbo'd ATL........ It's like sisters, there's always one a little naughtier and provocative, and higher maintenance is included with it , but you know what you like.
I drive an AMF now....... and miss my (rip) ATL (although I'm getting used to have the sensible sister now......) ;)
Interestingly enough I had a t**t undertake me in a new Up GTI today on the way home. I was behind traffic doing 70 in a queue and he was right behind me so it really did boil my blood to say the least.

Nigel Mansell upon trying to leave me behind in his Up GTI dust he found a remapped TDI 90 getting closer not further away in his rear view mirror :D

I do find though in all seriousness that the A2 in whatever guise is seen as a old slow motor so its sometimes good to surprise (and *ahem* give the turbo a good clearing out)
 
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depronman

A2OC Donor
I have also had the 'the look' from so called sports cars that don't seem to leave a wee a2 TDI in their dust, and that is with a remapped AMF TDI75 with long 5th gear. The long 5th makes for quiet motorway cruising and insane top speeds if you are brave enough. I have had it past 110mph up the runway at Warton and it was still pulling strongly
 

Olerype

Member
One thing about DMF; I never let engine run below 2000rpm, and never full throttle below 2000rpm

 

Menno

A2OC Donor
One thing about DMF; I never let engine run below 2000rpm, and never full throttle below 2000rpm

And I agree, but........ It's funny:
An AMF doesn't have the low down power (like an ATL) and is doing it with a SMF, no fuss, just gets the job done, and the more powerfull low down ATL has the DMF, which is prone to wear if you use that low down power........ doesn't make sense does it?!

Also no ratling and judering with an AMF SMF, but if you put a SMF conversion on an ATL/gearbox it can sound like a Ducati 916 (according to reports that have tried it)...... WHY!? (can it never be easy and straightforward 🤬;))
 
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andrewparkeruk

A2OC Donor
One thing about DMF; I never let engine run below 2000rpm, and never full throttle below 2000rpm

I had read this about 2000rpm, but that would mean (in my bog standard TDI90/ATL) always driving at 30mph in 3rd gear, and waiting until somewhere above 40mph before changing up to 4th.

The linked briskoda page doesn't appear to mention specific rpm figures

Andrew
 

Olerype

Member
I think some revs is just good for a diesel; and the car uses the same amount of fuel whatever I do with it.
 
And I agree, but........ It's funny:
An AMF doesn't have the low down power (like an ATL) and is doing it with a SMF, no fuss, just gets the job done, and the more powerfull low down ATL has the DMF, which is prone to wear if you use that low down power........ doesn't make sense does it?!

Also no ratling and judering with an AMF SMF, but if you put a SMF conversion on an ATL/gearbox it can sound like a Ducati 916 (according to reports that have tried it)...... WHY!? (can it never be easy and straightforward 🤬;))
And that’s why you buy a Ducati 916 ... it’s all about the noise ....
 

andrewparkeruk

A2OC Donor
@Olerype I agree about the revs. I prefer to do that from time to time with a long, inclined, empty road ahead: foot to the floor in 3rd gear, revving into the red for several minutes. My car can't break our 70mph speed limit (dual carriageways) in 3rd gear so a simple, if noisy, opportunity for the car to be exercised.
Several years ago I fixed my "limp mode" issue with sticking vanes on the VVT by running premium diesel and driving like this when conditions permitted. This was following the advice of my VAG specialist service garage.

(I know this is "my story" but it is pertinent to owning a TDI90/ATL)

Andrew
 
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dj_efk

A2OC Donor
Bumping an old thread....

Who can give me specific advice on how to adapt my driving style to extend the life of both the TDI 90's "Weak point" components - The turbo and DMF?

For the DMF, the above advice I feel is too vague, surely lightly pottering at low revs in lower gears at little throttle won't do the engine harm, as long as you change down (i.e. revs above 2000 rpm) if you want brisk acceleration? Otherwise I'm about to make a potentially serious mistake in buying my PTW six speed gearbox for mine as 30mph in 3rd is 1700 rpm!! Merlin has a new DMF and clutch so would like these components to last another 125k like the originals did, at least.

For the VVT, this hasn't been touched from new - and I know the history of the car so no reason to think it's been neglected, but is there a mileage point at which it should be reconditioned as a precaution? I don't want it grenading and inserting chunks of metal into my engine! I plan to use Millers diesel additive which should keep the innards of the turbo pretty clean I think.
 
Hi @dj_efk

The advise on the DMF might be a little vague, I've not read the specific article, however it is a fact that the DMF's lifespan will be reduced if the vehicle is labouring, or indeed if there's too much torque being applied through it.
You mention pottering about in low gears surely not doing engine harm, well there's an old addage, "right gear for the right speed".
You might also be getting confused/mixed up about DMF and engine......I don't expect the engine itself is in question in the article, just the Dual Mass Flywheel.
Think of it like trying to drive your car with the engine RPM at just below the idling speed, and how it would feel - shuddering and clearly feeling wrong - well that's what it's like to under-drive a DMF.
Maybe 2k RPM is incorrect and too high a figure for an A2 TDi 90, I don't know, but you just need to be aware that labouring any vehicle has a similar consequence as would red-lining for a similar amount of time.

As for the turbo, well.....many factors to consider there....how it's been driven ALL of it's life, weather conditions, high/low altitude, mountainous conditions, long life service done "on-time", oil quality, etc, etc.....
One of the key points is the oil.....it cools and lubricates the parts that spin at ridiculos RPM's in the turbo, so the best quality lubricant, at the correct level always, and changed regularly according to all the cars usage is vital.
Oil should really be examined for it's remaining properties, rather than on a time-line or mileage basis if you want long life from the component.
The weather conditions play a massive part in this too, as does the type of journey the vehicle does, as condensation build-up (water particles) in the oil will not only degrade the turbo, but also internal engine components.

I'd say, buy the gearbox, enjoy the car and treat it well.
If you want to potter about locally - invest in a push bike, and keep the A2 for when you want to smile when commuting.

Cheers
Jeff
 
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