Sorry to leave you hanging. I did some research and typed a really long reply and just noticed it got lost. This is getting real frustrating.
To try to recreate my reply, I'm sorry I wasn't aware of the letter designations that show your car model was indeed available with a diesel engine. At least that means all the parts you would need are available. Still, you will be in for a lot of surprises and unexpected expenses. I watched my neighbor try to have a diesel engine stuffed into his truck in the mid 1980s and it ended in a disaster. He got a demand from the shop to pay $5,000.00 for the labor to that point before they would continue with the job. He had supplied the engine that he already paid for. There were so many surprises, and after almost two years, the truck ended up in the salvage yard. He was out over $15,000.00. That's a real lot of money today, but those dollars were over 25 years ago.
I tried to compare some of the brake and suspension parts between the two car models. There are some brake pads for certain applications that are the same but the calipers are different. I can't see what the differences are but it suggests the engineers found the need to make changes with the different engines. The same is true of the front coil springs. All of them will interchange because they're the same length and fit in the same pockets, but there are different part numbers just for your model depending on whether it has a manual or automatic transmission. There's not much weight difference there but it's enough that the springs have a different spring rate to match the weight difference. Diesel engines weigh a lot more than gas engines so the springs are going to have to be stronger.
There's so many variables when choosing the correct brake pads but some part numbers are listed for both car models. The concern is not the additional stopping power needed for a heavier car. That is simply a factor of pushing harder or lighter on the brake pedal. The concern is the center of gravity and the weight transfer to the front during stopping. That is primarily an issue with the pressure-differential valve in the brake hydraulic system. His job is to limit rear wheel brake fluid pressure to prevent rear-wheel lockup during moderate to hard braking when most of the car's weight shifts to the front wheels. That valve typically is different depending on whether or not the car has air conditioning, it's a two-door or four-door, and things like that. Often there can be more than a dozen different part numbers available to match the weight distribution of the car.
You know the Engine Computer will be different because there won't be any spark plugs for him to fire. The instrument cluster is a computer that talks to the Body Computer that talks to the Engine Computer. It's anyone's guess which computers will work with the new Engine Computer and which ones will have to be replaced. My fear is there will be different terminal placement in the connectors meaning you'd need different wiring harnesses to mate with those computers, then what else has to be changed to mate with the rest of the plugs on those harnesses. I'm afraid of hearing you ran into a mess that couldn't be straightened out or more likely, will cost you way more in labor and parts than if you just bought the car you wanted. I DO know of a few newer cars where changing engine sizes is pretty easy but those all pertain to going from a gas engine to another gas engine of the same weight. That was easy to do on a lot of older cars too, but you're talking about some major changes that the engineers designed in to their products to give proper braking and handling. If you still want to pursue this I would look for someone who has already done it and find out what the results were and if they would do it again. If you can find that, more power to you and I wish you good luck. I don't want you to be the first person to try this when others have determined it is not feasible.
Thursday, July 25th, 2013 AT 8:43 PM