KA-T vs VW TDI swap for daily driver build?

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IrreverentCrawfish
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2022 12:49 pm

KA-T vs VW TDI swap for daily driver build?

Post by IrreverentCrawfish »

I have a 1997 D21 4x4 King Cab that I'm building as the ultimate daily driver that can cruise nicely on the freeway but also make it through moderately rough terrain or snow and ice in the winter. I am probably going to be pulling the motor fairly soon to do a timing chain and clutch replacement at the very least, but I keep thinking to myself that I'd like to do some engine upgrades while I have it out and either rebuild and turbo the stock KA24E or find a used VW TDI motor that I can rebuild and swap in. Either option would provide me enough mid-range torque that I could swap the 5th gearset inside the 5MT for taller gears to bring down my RPMs on the highway without sacrificing torque in the lower gears. Since my build is intended to be a daily driver, reliability and fuel mileage are more important than top end performance. Which plan would y'all recommend? I know the diesel will almost certainly get better MPG, but if the KA-T can get close enough mileage, the extra cost of diesel fuel makes it even in the end.
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