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VW v6, vw 4, or subaru EJ22 swap for vanagon?
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Easiest Vanagon Engine Swap?
1999 VR6
8%
 8%  [ 2 ]
1996 EJ22
84%
 84%  [ 21 ]
2000 VW 4cyl.
8%
 8%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 25

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Maleko50
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: VW v6, vw 4, or subaru EJ22 swap for vanagon? Reply with quote

I own a 96 Subaru Impreza (2.2/EJ22), a 2000 VW Jetta 4cyl., and a 1999 VW Passat V6. All have over 100 thousand miles but are good running engines. I have an 82 Aircooled Vanagon and can't decide which engine to install. I prefer not to do any major modifications to my vanagon(besides for radiator install). Just want a more reliable engine and I little more power for those hills. Which engine would be the simplest/cheapest install to do my self? Any advise would be appreciated. Would like to finally get the project going.



Further, I've noticed that some people need adapter plates and some don't for there swaps. How would I find out/or do any of these engines fit without any pricey adapters needed?
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WVVWFERG
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:31 pm    Post subject: engine choice Reply with quote

I have had a 4-cylinder in-line VW conversion (TiiCo, from South Africa) in a Westy and currently have a 2.2 subaru in a DOKA. The in-line VW is easier to install and utilizes primarily Vanagon diesel installation pieces. The 2.2 uses an adapter plate and requires quite a few Subaru parts (motor, wiring harness that must be modified, sensors, ecu, etc; plus specialised conversion pieces from a vendor like smallcar or KEP). Both are much superior to a stock wbx vw motor; but of the two, I prefer the Subaru. For ease of installation and a much superior to stock Vanagon motor, the ones sold and built by tencent life are highly recommended. He has an ad in the classified section.
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thummmper
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

your first equipment choices make or break the project.
some requirements take priority over others. your need to keep it in the family should not be an important motivator. although your familiarity with the 4 and 6 cyl cars is useful, that isnt the whole story when defining candidates.
a good rule I learned on the far end of my conversion is:
make your effort worth it. a lack of power and low 091 gearing broke my back with disappointment. you will have to upgear your old gearbox with at least 1500.00 worth of: strengthened 3/4th gear clusters, [$350.00 ea]possibly a ring and pinion [$950.00] not to mention bearings for an old gear box.
You will hang it from the back and the v6 is tall. it violates the deck by 2 or 3", so you will need a box-up.
the 4 cyl is the least intrusive installation. It fits under the deck, but theres a problem. It's not a torque motor. a turbo wont make it one either. and turbos are expensive. so you need to do your homework after you learn what you want.
the wbx is torqueyer than the 2.2 below 2500 rpm. my old engine walks away from me in my buddies 88 around town, where low gears are king.
my 2.2 has 170k miles on it [tired]. but it still surprises me.
I like its dependability and smoothness, but it doesnt go like a 2.5 or larger.
make it worth your efforts.
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: VW v6, vw 4, or subaru EJ22 swap for vanagon? Reply with quote

Maleko50 wrote:
I own a 96 Subaru Impreza (2.2/EJ22), a 2000 VW Jetta 4cyl., and a 1999 VW Passat V6. All have over 100 thousand miles but are good running engines. I have an 82 Aircooled Vanagon and can't decide which engine to install. I prefer not to do any major modifications to my vanagon(besides for radiator install). Just want a more reliable engine and I little more power for those hills. Which engine would be the simplest/cheapest install to do my self? Any advise would be appreciated. Would like to finally get the project going.



Further, I've noticed that some people need adapter plates and some don't for there swaps. How would I find out/or do any of these engines fit without any pricey adapters needed?


The Subaru 2.2 would be the easiest and also the best supported conversion. It does require expensive conversion parts, though. However, the engines are practically free at the local Pull-a-Part yard.

The Passat V6 is definitely the road less traveled in this country. In fact I can't think of anyone who has done one of these. (It is an Audi 90 degree V6, and not a VR6) It won't clear the engine lid, and it also has an oil sump design that places the lowest point right near the back of the van where it can get fractured by backing into a low curb.

The VW inline 4 is an easy enough conversion. However, the 2000 Jetta engine uses the later internal water pump block and can't be mounted at 50 degrees using diesel components. 50 degrees is the only way this engine clears the lid. It would have to be mounted at 15 degrees (upright) and would stick out the top. If you source an ABA 2.0 from a Mk3 VW, then this one can be mounted using diesel components at 50 degrees. It can be a good conversion, but is 115hp and 122 lb/ft of torque enough?

As far as adaptor plates go, anything but a Type 4 motor, a wasserboxer, or a Porsche air cooled engine will require a different bellhousing. The VW tranny has a removable bellhousing, so there are two methods of adapting other engines. All of the engines you've mentioned have conversion bellhousings available, either aftermarket or oem in some cases. You can also buy adaptor plate and flywheel kits from Kennedy Engineered Products for all of these applications.

For the best balance of power, packaging, and simplicity of installation, I would recommend the Subaru. I'd go with a later 2.5 Phase II, though since the 2.2s are getting very old and finding a decent one is tough.


If you have any more questions, feel free. I enjoy discussing hypothetical engine conversions.

David
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:06 pm    Post subject: Hobson's Choice Reply with quote

This thread seems like it's a set up
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Maleko50
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input everyone. It seems that most people are leading me toward the Suby. From the research I've done, most people have to do alot of modifications for the V6. So I'm scratching that.
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Maleko50
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Hobson's Choice Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
This thread seems like it's a set up


LOL.....what do you mean? Someone out to get us or am I missing something? lol
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meaning, I think there are far better options.
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Hobson's Choice Reply with quote

Maleko50 wrote:
Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
This thread seems like it's a set up


LOL.....what do you mean? Someone out to get us or am I missing something? lol


If you do a search you'll see that Zeitgeist is our resident anti-Subaru conversion activist. I think he was implying that your post was a set-up so that I could recommend the Subaru conversion.

How did he know? Smile JK

David
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm certainly no fan of the Fujis, but the other two are non-starters simply 'cause they don't fit as easily as several other VAG engine options that would better suit the bill. Of course, the other option would be no conversion at all, but that's a verboten topic here.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forget the Passat engine.

The two to consider are the I4 and Suby.

Both the I4 and Suby will require lots of parts including engine adaptors.

"YOUR" I4 will need LOTS of changing of stock (hard to find off shore) parts. If you want I4 find a dying A3 ABA engine and 1.8 hydraulic head and all the diesel bolt ons and a Digifant I FI setup from a early 90's A2. This is a good set up but needs LOTS of parts from lots of places. I can see this conversion in my head. Finding documentation for this one is not so easy.

The Suby is a well documented and almost bolt in operation. You can source all parts from multiple vendors. This is one you can do and only kill a car worth $1000 or so.

Sell the other 2 VWs for cash to do the Suby job.

All these conversions require lots of research and thought and finding of the parts.
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Vango Conversions
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever swap you decide to do, it's going to be a pain to do it in an 82. As mentioned earlier, your transmission isn't right and you don't have the radiator and all the associated plumbing.

Unless you have an EXTREME emotional attachment to your van, it would make much more sense to buy an 84+ water cooled van with a blown motor to start with.

On an aircooled van, I almost think the better way to go would be to have a properly built higher displacement/power air cooled motor installed. You could even go with a low pressure turbo for it. I just don't think it's worth converting an air cooled van.
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VisPacem
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I would NOT bother with an air cooled van for conversion. You are putting your fingers into the proverbial gears that will eat your hand, arm, all the way to your chest pocket and assault your wallet.

Sell the a/c van and get a water cooled with a dead motor and the punch line/short answer...

EJ2.5
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vango Conversions wrote:
Whatever swap you decide to do, it's going to be a pain to do it in an 82. As mentioned earlier, your transmission isn't right and you don't have the radiator and all the associated plumbing.



The early air cooled transmission works fine for a Subaru conversion. If anything it suits the Subaru engine better since it has a taller (4.57:1) final drive ratio. Its positioning does mount the engine 2" closer to the firewall, but KEP makes a slim air intake duct that eliminates that problem. I agree that there are drawbacks to using an air cooled van for a Subaru conversion, but the transmission isn't one of them.

David
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Volksaholic
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I'm certainly no fan of the Fujis, but the other two are non-starters simply 'cause they don't fit as easily as several other VAG engine options that would better suit the bill. Of course, the other option would be no conversion at all, but that's a verboten topic here.

I think you missed the point that he's asking of the three cars he's got, which engine would be the best. And you're right... keeping the original air cooled engine is always an option, but I can understand why he may want a little more modern power plant.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, I got the point. I merely suggested that there were better options, including no option at all. The fact that it's an AC should seal the deal.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to consider how much all the adapter parts and everything else will cost and compare that to the cost of a Camper Special. You will get the extra torque you want for the hills and have no modifications and keep the simplicity of the aircooled motor.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

reluctantartist wrote:
You might want to consider how much all the adapter parts and everything else will cost and compare that to the cost of a Camper Special. You will get the extra torque you want for the hills and have no modifications and keep the simplicity of the aircooled motor.

There is a kit to build up the type4 engine. The type4 can see upwards of 200hp and be as dependable or more so then the stock set-up. The vendor for type4 hi-po option advertises on the Samba.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're intent on keeping your AC Vanagon....

Since you're looking for only a "little more power on hills", I agree. A WBX may be fine. Maybe get lucky and find a used well maintained WBX built by a reputable builder?

If you shop smart and do most or all the work, air to water cooled can be a cost effective and worthwhile upgrade. My POV on costs was to "ignore" the $ of the water cooled swap bits (pipes, rad). I say "ignore" as IMO, once one digs into a swap on a stock WBX Vanagon, they might find some or all of the cooling system need to be addressed; long pipes are tattered and thin, the rad is old and clogged etc.. Bear in mind that I suffer from a "while I'm in there" attitude. But, I have zero regrets going with a new rad, heater core etc. The cooling system is bomber.

I don't have exact figures, but my entire swap, including water cooled parts, was under or near the cost of a Camper Special engine (new). (my cost of $3600 Cnd rings a bell) BUT ..... i did all the work save for two welds at exhaust pipes to manifold flange.

Neil.
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dredward
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: VW v6, vw 4, or subaru EJ22 swap for vanagon? Reply with quote

Maleko50 wrote:
I own a 96 Subaru Impreza (2.2/EJ22), a 2000 VW Jetta 4cyl., and a 1999 VW Passat V6. All have over 100 thousand miles but are good running engines. I have an 82 Aircooled Vanagon and can't decide which engine to install. I prefer not to do any major modifications to my vanagon(besides for radiator install). Just want a more reliable engine and I little more power for those hills. Which engine would be the simplest/cheapest install to do my self? Any advise would be appreciated. Would like to finally get the project going.



Further, I've noticed that some people need adapter plates and some don't for there swaps. How would I find out/or do any of these engines fit without any pricey adapters needed?

Another thing to note is the aba water cooler inline 4 can be super charged. BBM and neuspeed sell supercharger kits for these motors that will net 40% plus torque and hp. When i was commited to doing a swap my first choices where either a g60 transplant or a super charged aba. Give you have an aba this migh not be a bad choice for you...
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