Refurbish antique diesel engines with modern parts

The Design Blog – An Intro

I’ve had this site up and running for a couple years. Not much happening here in that time. My work schedule has finally freed up enough that I can start devoting some time to working on some projects that I’ve wanted to do for a few years. I’ll use this Design Blog as a way to document the process along the way.

What am I working on? I have a few old diesel Toyota Land Cruisers. They are mechanically-injected IDI engines. Completely old-school technology but extremely reliable. My wife and I had a VW TDI for 12 years that we really enjoyed as well. It was interesting to go back and forth between an early 80s diesel and a modern computer controlled diesel engine. The various projects I’ll document here are a result of me wanting a few modern features in my old Cruisers. Things like a VNT turbo, smarter glow plug circuits, better gauges, fuel control when boosted, etc.

In a past life I was a computer engineer. I’ve been away from that work for a little over 15 years. These projects are a way for me to start tinkering and have some fun in the process. Designing real solutions and bringing products to market is part of the fun too. The ultimate goal is to create a group of products that will fill a (very small) market need. I’m sure I’m not the only guy in the world that would like the benefits of a VNT turbo on his old IDI mechanically-injected diesel engine.

With this in mind, my projects are not going to be the open source variety. There are plenty of them out there that do things well in their own way. But there aren’t any that do everything that I’d like them to do. So I’d rather start from scratch with my own circuit and code base than try to learn how someone else’s code and hardware functions. I don’t plan to share detailed schematics, Eagle files, Gerber files and other such things. But we’ll see. That may change over time.

But please do ask questions, or post comments or feedback. That’s part of the reason for having this design blog. All of my development work will be geared towards a Toyota 3B 4 cylinder diesel. This engine has an inline diesel injection pump. I do have a Toyota 2L with a rotary injection pump in my 1984 Hilux. That engine my become the test platform for another version of the projects I’ll be working on here.

My contact info is on the About page here. Feel free to email me if you want to get in touch.