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Mid-engined SVX/Vanagon?
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dkveuro
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Mid-engined SVX/Vanagon? Reply with quote

Anyone know if this has been attempted ?

I have a 1995 SVX car complete....all the windows where broken out in a parking lot !

I would like to install the complete 2 wheel drive transmission and engine with the engine froward of the transmission so the engine would be coming into the 'cargo' area.

I see this as a better way to 'gear' the Vanagon and weight distribution would be better. Plus no need for an Adapter Kit. Saving $500.00.

I don't care about having to cut the rear bulk head and reinforce the floor/frame, I would rather do this than the usual way. I can build a 'Dog House' for the part of the engine sticking forward.

I am the only user and it's a Rat Rod type of truck anyway.
1986 2.1 ltr Sunroof Vanagon. Already have Passat 15"rims with spacers and looking for 16's . Would be used as my Shop Van mostly.

We did this with a 1968 Bus many years ago using a Rover V8 engine/automatic with a 4 inch long drive shaft.

How about it?

.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say go for it! Why not? I remember seeing a pic of a v8 where someone did that.

http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/405027.jpg
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Crankey
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

never seen it done either but if you don't mind the cut and fab work, why not ?
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dkveuro
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
I say go for it! Why not? I remember seeing a pic of a v8 where someone did that.

http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/405027.jpg



This is how we did the Rover engine. A little loud though.

Roger, my welder did this with a 350ci in a 1960 ish Austin J2 Panel.
It had no throttle cable rigged up for the driver, just a piece of string to the carb to pull from the drivers seat. So..I volunteered to sit in back and be 'engineer'.

Roger drove out into traffic....I was able to make his eyeballs bulge by not closing the throttle for roundabouts ! Twisted Evil

Anyway...the SVX should fit under the lower edge of the bed/seat just fine and hide away with just a little 'dog' house'.

I had a 'project' before that was to mid-engine a Twin Turbo'd 455ci Olds with a 425 Toronado trans' in a '61 Splitty Crew. ....but after driving it around with a 1.9ltr WBX engine decided that the only thing between me and oblivion was 1/16th sheet steel stamping.

I sold it for $1,800.00 to some guys from Albuquerque. Anyone seen it since ?

Vanagon much safer machine and darn sight better brakes.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Mid-engined SVX/Vanagon? Reply with quote

dkveuro wrote:
Anyone know if this has been attempted ?

I have a 1995 SVX car complete....
.

Isn't the SVX auto transmission fundamentally flawed?

I bought mine with the transmission toasted. From what I've read the auto-cooler is undersized and the transmissions tends to run hot.. this contribrutes to internal wear problems and results in major failure.

Now add the weight and wind resistance of the Vanagon and you increase the loads thru that transmission even more?

eek.


I know that Smallcar has put a 5speed manual kit together to run in the SVX..

And if you were to do the mid-enigne idea.. maybe thats the way to go?



In the case of using the original SVX tansmission.. I'd be very interesetd to see how it works out. especially if you can pull it off before next Autumn when I will be proceeding with my swap.

Currently, the intepretation de jour of the emissions law in CA requires that a "matching transmission" be used in an SVX swap into the Vanagon..
Your mid-engined swap would fit that requirement.

Interesting idea.
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levi
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Mid-engined SVX/Vanagon? Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:
dkveuro wrote:
Anyone know if this has been attempted ?

I have a 1995 SVX car complete....
.

Isn't the SVX auto transmission fundamentally flawed?



YES! A look around craigslist will give up lots of svx for sale with toasted tranny's. Sometimes saving 500 can cost a lot.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"weight distribution would be better"

not from what I hear - I saw an article just recently that the stock Vanagon had 50/50 wt. distribution.

Now, the polar moment of inertia will be reduced, but I doubt that you will best too many sports car on the track.
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vanaguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to have all that "trunk" space available.
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jacob.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think personally I'd rather just have the rear engine, and from what I've read, the vanagon has pretty awesome weight distribution. I wouldn't like to have no storage/seating room in the back either.
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I am square
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=879173

Here's one that was done in Phx.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Mid-engined SVX/Vanagon? Reply with quote

"Currently, the intepretation de jour of the emissions law in CA requires that a "matching transmission" be used in an SVX swap into the Vanagon..
Your mid-engined swap would fit that requirement. "
By this they mean an engine from a manual goes to a manual, auto to auto, 4x4 to 4x4.
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dkveuro
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Primarily it would free up space for the proposed brand new twin turbo's ( ex 1994 Mitsubishi 3000 ) mounted in the old engine bay ...not unlike the 914 but without the trunk floor..

I just think it would be good to have the gearing option .

The VW transmissions are OK but not without problems and as was mentioned, the SVX transmission dies due to heat, not from any poor mechanical design.

Using an already matched engine/transmission combination along with electronic control over both is appealing. After all, Subaru has already done most of my work.

I have already thought about a larger than usual ATF cooler front mounted. Any ATF temperatures over 180 F seriously affect durability.

Besides...it hasn't been done yet it seems with an SVX.

I'm also going to get Recirc' air with the heater core. I am about had it with the cold air blasting in before the coolant warms.

I intend to lock the floating shutters closed and cut a hole in both sides of the heater core to allow cabin air to Recirc' and re-heat and get that knee numbing draft stopped.

Plus it will also allow the a/c to cool it down come summer without the hot bleed air warming it up.

Hmmmm....seems I have quiet a lot to do ! Thanx for the opinions folks, keep them coming even if they seem negative.

HID's are currently on the list too.

FYI: The stock gearing for the SVX would enable it to reach 195 MPH at 6700RPM in 4th gear ! ( With SVX wheel/tyre sizes.)

Looks like I need to find a drag parachute kit!

* 4-speed automatic transmission.
* Microcomputer controller (TCU).
* Wet Multiplate.
* Lock-up torque converter.
* 2350-2750 RPM stall speed.

* 1st 2.785.
* 2nd 1.545.
* 3rd 1.000.
* 4th 0.694.
* Reverse 2.272.
* Final 3.545.0
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Last edited by dkveuro on Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:32 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Rubber Tramp
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Mid-engined SVX/Vanagon? Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:

Isn't the SVX auto transmission fundamentally flawed?


My SVX trans was also toasted when I got it and the car only had a little over 100k miles. I've read a lot that they tend to not last longer than 100k without a rebuild or mod.

lots of good info here:
www.subaru-svx.net/forum
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wcdennis
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A recent thread mentioned this new development:
http://members.iinet.net.au/~ttriebler/index.htm

You can now order a custom ring and pinion to reverse the rotation of the 5 speed Subaru transmission. Still a bit expensive, but would entail a lot less cutting and fabricating than a mid engine install.
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dkveuro
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wcdennis wrote:
A recent thread mentioned this new development:
http://members.iinet.net.au/~ttriebler/index.htm

You can now order a custom ring and pinion to reverse the rotation of the 5 speed Subaru transmission. Still a bit expensive, but would entail a lot less cutting and fabricating than a mid engine install.


Holy fire man!!! Surprised $1550.00 ! to the door and plus to have it installed.

After all...I paid $100.00 for the SVX and $650.00 for the Sunroof Vanagon AND they both run ! Very Happy

I think I'll stick with the cutting and welding...you can buy an awful lot of Moly Tubing and TIG welding wire for that kind of cash.
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levi
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope you'll be posting your progress on here then, with pics.
Sounds interesting.
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Christopher Schimke Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I missed it, but I think that the biggest hurdle in doing a mid-engine conversion would be the inner rear suspension pick-up points. I haven't actually measured the distance between the two, but they appear to be too close together to allow the engine to fit. They are certainly too far rearward to allow the engine to sit behind them. For that matter, it appears as though the entire your suspension crossmember is too far back to allow even a four cylinder Subaru engine to fit.

The fix for this might be to use the entire front section of the SVX frame including the SVX suspension. However, the pitfall of doing that is that you will have to re engineer the braking system, and possibly the springs and shocks, to ensure proper balance.

No matter how you go about it, it's going to be a whole boat load of work, which I am all for as long as you realize it up front.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dkveuro wrote:
After all...I paid $100.00 for the SVX and $650.00 for the Sunroof Vanagon AND they both run ! Very Happy


that's just the initiation fee. the monthly dues will kill you. welcome to the club.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Rear engine vs mid-engine Reply with quote

jacob. wrote:
I think personally I'd rather just have the rear engine, and from what I've read, the vanagon has pretty awesome weight distribution. I wouldn't like to have no storage/seating room in the back either.


I agree.

Also, in my opinion, with any engine transplant, the tranny gearing needs to be upgraded to higher ratios in 3rd and 4th. An engine cranking 3500 rpms to maintain 65 mph is being wasted.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how about putting an electric motor there & adding the battery pack & fuel cell amidships
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