Engine Swap Notes for the 2.0 ABA Engine.

1. If you are installing the engine in a A1 or A2 Chassis you will find it easier to use the ABA shortblock rather than the complete engine.

2. When you buy the "short block" (basic engine w/o cylinder head) insist on getting the distributor. You will need the distributor drive gear (located on the bottom of the distributor). You will also will need to buy a TT distributor adaptor ring. This will allow the installation of your original distributor in the ABA block.

3. If you are installing the engine in an A2 chassis (‘85-’92) get the ABA exhaust manifold and downpipe. You need the A3 downpipe or a TT downpipe in order to accomodate the taller block.

Your original downpipe will interfere with the chassis. The A2 & A3 dual outlet manifold will not work on the A1 chassis cars.

4. If you are installing the engine in an A1 chassis (‘75-’84 Rabbit, ‘75-’88 Scirocco, ‘80-’84 Jetta, ‘80-’94 Cabriolet, and ‘80-’83 Rabbit Pickup) you may need a dual outlet manifold unless your car allready has one. They will be standard on the ‘75-’81 models. You will also need a TT downpipe made for the "tall block" engine. They are available in cat or non-cat configurations.

5. The ABA engine comes with a breather on the front of the block and the A1 and A2 cars are set up for a breather outlet in the valve cover. You will need a TT block off plate kit to solve the problem. The TT kit includes all you need to plug the holes for the breather and crankshaft position sensor. The CNC macnined plate is drilled & tapped for mounting the warm up regulator (used on the early A1 & A2 cars).

6. The headgasket you need to use when installing a 1.8 liter head on an ABA block is TT’s part number 198.137. Do not use the 1.8 or the 2.0 ABA headgasket.

7. The ABA engine has 10-1 compression ratio and a knock sensor ignition system should be used. If your car wasn’t originally equipped with a knock sensor you can retrofit one from a ‘85-’87 GTI or GLI that uses CIS injection. You can lower the compression by machining the dish in the piston crown to a larger size. If you drop the compression ratio to 9.2-1 you can run w/o a knock sensor.

Parts mentioned in this article...

Distributor adaptor ring
Dual downpipes
Exhaust manifolds
Block-off plates


Last updated: February 7, 2003