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  View original topic: Who has driven BOTH a Bostig van AND a 2.5 Subaru van? Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Petervw Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:30 pm

thewump wrote: Check out this video.. this guy must be in my hood. Want to shake his hand.. This is the first drive but he has about 15 minutes of Zetec conversion footage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-ch7CnzmPI

Awesome

K when watching that video...looking at the speedo at about 67mph, the rpm is at 3700-3800 ..seems high to me and yet there are people who recommend that a higher geared 4th is not needed..definitely more insights into the conversions are needed inspite of all the reading I have done

mtnwater Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:31 pm

Troy - what exactly are you looking for in a conversion? If you are most concerned about power/torque (seat of the pants?) than the subaru 2.5 is going to "feel faster".

But as others have well discussed, the power/torque/feel is only one piece of the puzzle. How important is noise/sound? While some say the subaru is fantastically quiet, that was not my experience at all. The zetec is much quieter than my EJ22 ever was. Smoother by a long shot.

Are you going to do the work yourself or have a shop do it? I never even considered doing a subaru myself - tons of variability in parts, wiring, coolant routing, intake routing, etc. Plenty of folks do it, and the subaruvanagon list and other resources can be super helpful, but when the time came I paid a shop to do it.

On the other hand, I installed the zetec myself and would strongly recommend anyone considering the bostig conversion to do it themselves. It's simple and if you don't know much about your van, you'll learn a ton.

Good luck with your decision!

mtnwater Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:37 pm

Petervw wrote: when watching that video...looking at the speedo at about 67mph, the rpm is at 3700-3800 ..seems high to me and yet there are people who recommend that a higher geared 4th is not needed..definitely more insights into the conversions are needed inspite of all the reading I have done

How fast the motor is turning at a given speed is independent of what motor is under the hatch. I suspect Pat has a stock transmission and stock sized tires. His wbx turned at the same RMP at 67 mph, and if he were to install a chevy V8 it would do the same.

Sodo Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:43 pm

I suspect you could convert 2 zetecs for the price of one 2.5L Subaru. And by that comparison you could be twice as satisfied.

Here's my experience:
Snoqualmie Pass, a pass of mild 3022 ft elevation.

Good running 2.1L WBX: 45mph in 4th; or 50MPH in 3rd

Good running 2.2L Subaru: 62MPH in 4th; or 65MPH in 3rd (137 HP - a little more than a Zetec)

Strange running 2.5L Subaru: 62MPH in 4th; or 80mph in 3rd
Strange throttle response but it makes me smile. (173 HP)

Apologizing to the topic,,,,, I have not driven a Zetec.

Petervw Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:57 pm

mtnwater wrote: Petervw wrote: when watching that video...looking at the speedo at about 67mph, the rpm is at 3700-3800 ..seems high to me and yet there are people who recommend that a higher geared 4th is not needed..definitely more insights into the conversions are needed inspite of all the reading I have done

How fast the motor is turning at a given speed is independent of what motor is under the hatch. I suspect Pat has a stock transmission and stock sized tires. His wbx turned at the same RMP at 67 mph, and if he were to install a chevy V8 it would do the same. your correct..I just went to the "syncro tire and wheel calculator" and they came out with the same numbers for WBX..and I forgot that I have much larger tires on my van

TroySmith80 Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:02 pm

I appreciate everyones feedback, but for the sake of the thread I'd really like to try to restrict comments to a fairly concise topic.

Please refrain from debating all the pros and cons of all the conversion options. For this thread I'd really like to keep it to the feedback from observation and experiences Of those who have driven both a Subaru and the bostig.

I don't mean to be rude, but please share other thoughts in one of the many other conversion threads. Thanks!

TroySmith80 Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:24 pm

To answer a previous question: Here is what i want, in the order i want it

1. Reliability, peace of mind, no 'funny-stuff'
2. Power
3. Ease of installation / Support

I think the bostig probably has more of #1 and undoubtedly has an advantage at #3, but i don't know if the Subaru has enough more of #2 to overcome the advantages of the bostig.

Anyway, I don't want to talk about #1 or #3 in this thread, only #2.

ftp2leta Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:57 pm

TroySmith80 wrote: I appreciate everyones feedback, but for the sake of the thread I'd really like to try to restrict comments to a fairly concise topic.

Please refrain from debating all the pros and cons of all the conversion options. For this thread I'd really like to keep it to the feedback from observation and experiences Of those who have driven both a Subaru and the bostig.

I don't mean to be rude, but please share other thoughts in one of the many other conversion threads. Thanks!

I have driven and converted van (35) with all type of Subaru engine, i lately acquired a 98 Subi car, an Impreza with a blown engine as a winter car, replace/rebuilt the whole car (that is another story), I installed a 2.2L, stock for a wile and it's now modified. One of my helper as a Ford Focus with a ZTEC engine, i use the car every now and then.

Power (when stock with the Subi) was similar but the 2.2L as more torque (in the car). The ZTEC is a smooth engine, nice power curve.
The 2.2L is more.... rough, more aggressive. It's a phase 3 with 145 hp. It now as an easy 180hp, very easy to modified when you know your stuff.

Ok, i know nothing about US made car/engine (even if the ZTEC is not US made), so i ask around my shop about this great engine ( i think it's great), around me most shop are working on American made car.... everyone, and I said every single one of them just told me that they hate to work on that engine???? I said why???

Many answer but one stuck me, you can't even find timing mark on cam pulley? I will know more tomorrow, they have to pull one out (blown rod), we will open it and see if it's true. Note: the car had a major oil leak and starved to death, nothing to do with reliability, the oil leak came from the car/engine hitting something.

You all know that i have a great respect for Jim and Brady work. I'm just curious as a mechanic. I still think that their kit is the way to go for DIY.

To Troy, if you don't now me I do Subi conversion, and I drive one, i now have 36k miles one mine, since one year it was modified twice, it now as about 215hp, no turbo. The cost of such modification is immense and not worth the 3000$ (cost price) invested. I get get a WRX engine for half that price.

But! I have a problem with turbo, it's one more major RISKY component in a van that is already a risky van. I drive my van hard and far, i don't want to worry about a Turbo.

In the back of my house i have a shed, in that shed it's a small shop, it's where i go to relax and.... work one some personal engine project (what i life i have?), in that shed there is 2 engines, one is a highly modified STI engine, over 440 HP, the other one is a mild modified 2006 WRX engine with about 275hp.

So, what about my post.... nothing special, just a little story about engine :-)

Let's say that i can tell you that so far after 2.5 years of doing Subi engine conversion, they can be very powerful and that can be done pretty safely, but it as a extremely high cost $$$.

I deal with those guys:
http://www.outfrontmotorsports.com/homepage.htm


Now, is a Subaru more reliable than other engine manufacturer?
Yes and no! Not the best for sure but far from being the worse.

I'm doing an 09 as we speak, even if this engine had only 500mile i stripped this one apart just out of curiosity... yes, thay still did some small mod the the head and pistons, at some point they will get it after now 10 years, they will get as reliable as the 2.2.

The conclusion: If you bring your van to my shop i will charge you anything between 10-12k$ to get 178hp. If you buy a Bostig kit you should spend about 5500-6000$ and get a pretty nice engine conversion IF!!!! you can do it yourself!!!!!!!! If not that is another story.
So if i was a fair week end mechanic i would chose a Bostig kit for sure, i would buy me 1 spare engine at a few 100$ and be safe for many many many years to come.

Bla bla bla.

Ben

Jon_slider Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:54 am

> 1. Reliability, peace of mind, no 'funny-stuff'

Subaru is very reliable.

2. Power

Subaru 2.5 165hp and ftlbs, Bostig 130. Subaru has 27% MORE power than Bostig

3. Ease of installation / Support

Did you know about the Drop In Subaru 2.5 kit from Vanaru?:

http://vanaru.com/
VANARU
Turn-key Engine Conversions!

The most popular and easiest to install engine conversion, available in turn-key bolt-in format.

Bolts directly onto your existing vanagon transmission and uses your existing VW engine carrier bar! The best-engineered and best-fit engine solution for your vanagon. Connect four coolant hoses, snap together four electrical connectors, fill with fluids, add fuel and it runs!
2.5 liter, 165 hp
Run-tested conversion package priced at $7600!

GeeZ12 Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:05 am

ftp2leta wrote:

[quoteMany answer but one stuck me, you can't even find timing mark on cam pulley?[/quote]

No wonder they can't find the cam timing mark since there is no timing mark on the cam. If you download the video from Bostig, they walk you through the cam timing.

http://www.bostig.com/support/bostig-v20-support-p...ming-check

westyventures Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:22 am

ftp2leta wrote: It's a phase 3 with 145 hp. It now as an easy 180hp, very easy to modified when you know your stuff.

To Troy, if you don't now me I do Subi conversion, and I drive one, i now have 36k miles on mine, since one year it was modified twice, it now as about 215hp, no turbo.

one is a highly modified STI engine, over 440 HP, the other one is a mild modified 2006 WRX engine with about 275hp.

Ben

Ben, I hate to bring this up, but I must whenever such unsubstantiated horsepower claims are thrown out into the internet: WHERE are the dyno tests? I mean, I could claim that my TDI makes 180 hp and 300 ft/lbs., but I won't because I don't have proof. Just sayin'.... :wink:

BillM Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:15 pm

I have driven both including Brady turbo powered Zetec. The subie had more power than the NA Zetec. I am personally going to install a Zetec in my van for the simplicity and parts availability. Plus I really like the ability to tune the engine via laptop obd port. They are both slick set ups. The ONLY real issue I have been presented that has not been solved with a subaru install is if you have an automatic and factory cruise control. The subie was surging when at a stop. This was an install done my Hans and was told that he had no solution to this issue yet. This was last summer and perhaps Ben or Hans have resolved it now.
If you want pure no turbo power go subie. If you want ease of installation and awesome support go with the Zetec. If you have the extra cash Go Zetec with a turbo. I was also happy that I was able to purchase a brand new Zetec motor for 1300.00. There may be some still available and they come complete with injectors,wiring,most brackets,block heater,ect...
Jim and Brady are very honest about there conversions and I would give them a call. Tell them what you want for power,ease of parts,tuning ect...
and they will give you the real information you want. Believe it or not they are more interested in helping you make an informed decision than make a sale. They were willing to help me with my tiico I had that was running really lean at WOT. They even put it on a dyno before the engine decided to explode one day on a high speed run back from Vermont. Jim could email you the dyno results of that run if your curious for some morbid reason.

GeeZ12 Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:40 pm

You guys need to compare apples with apples - You keep shoving this Subaru 2.5 around but neglect to say anything about it being an interference engine with head gasket issues. If you lose a timing belt on this one you will have other damage to deal with.

For the same class you should be comparing the Subaru 2.2 and Zetec 2.0 - These engines are both non-interference engines that like low octane fuel. The advantages the zetec has over the subaru is that right now you can get a brand new engine for $1300 or one from a salvage yard with less than 50K miles for $300-$500. You can't do that with a Subaru. The zetec will usually last 150-200K miles so when the engine gets tired you just replace the engine with a cheap salvage yard engine. You won't even have to lay a wrench on the engine to overhaul since the engines are abundant and cheap.

The Bostig conversion is a complete conversion with the exception of a grocery list they have fill from RockAuto. Do I sound biased - I guess I do since I am in the 9th install group for my conversion.

I am really sorry this thread has been so badly hijacked. I can't answer the original post...yet. Opinions are like noses...everyone has one....and they all smell.

levi Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:46 pm

If you smelled that original post, you'd know it's the original poster who said that he's not interested in the 2.2..He only wants to compare the zetec and the 2.5

GeeZ12 Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:02 pm

I know levi - but the original poster made only reference to the driving experience for the zetec and subaru 2.5 and requested input from all who had 'personal experience driving both of the conversions'. That is how I smell it. Any other contribution could be considered a hijack.

TroySmith80 Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:42 pm

The point is that i don't want to talk about whether it is easier to install, or is an interference engine, or gets worse gas mileage, or costs more.

All i want to talk about is how it feels when you're driving it. And for that to be very helpful at all, it's ideal if the person responding has first-hand experience with both engines i'm considering. Otherwise it's too hard to compare one person's experience to another. But it is possible to compare the same person's experience with 2 different motors.

insyncro Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:27 pm

If it is power you seek, you are looking at the wrong engines.
I prefer the SVX conversion over all available for a Syncro.
The WRX turbo charged 4 cylinder would be my pick for a 2wd van.
The 1.8T is a tie with the WRX and works in a Syncro too.
Followed closely by the Bostig version 2 with the turbo.

All of these listed will leave you smiling when you push the gas pedal.
Kiss you gas mileage goodbye if you have a lead foot and besure to rebuild the transmission at install of these powerplants.
Depending upon where you live a gearing change may be necessary as well.

All listed above are no where near the cost of the 2.5 or version 2 Bostig without the turbo.

I will also add that if this would be topping out your budget, than all that power and no braking upgrades is foolish.
Front big brakes at a minimum for safety sake.

If you have specific questions please pmail me.
I will answer from my experiences.

dylan

a914622 Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:31 pm

Ok so iv driven both.

The Ztec was one for sale in west seattle years back. Good power , Not lots of bottom touk so 2000 rpms felt like there was a waterbox back there. But on the freeway the ztec didnt have an problems running 3500-4000. The install in the kit form should be a no brain er..

My suby 2.5 has enough tork to pull from 1200 to 6000. I made almost all the parts for the swap and took the better part of 6 months. But in kit form I think they to are no brainers. I think it all in the size of your wallet.

If you looking for some one to tell you this one is better than that one, well You have seen what happens. Form me The suby was almost the same size as VW. BUT with all the upgrades I would have expected VW to do had they continued to make the flat 4. Now when Subaru comes out with there direct injection that should bring a new flavor to the mix..


jcl

BillM Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:37 pm

Dylan
I know you know your vanagon inside and out. You most likely know this already but I talked to Jim about transmission gearing for a 2wd manual.
I have transmission that Daryl built for me with a taller 4th and I have one with just the stock gearing. Jim said that after actual R and D they found the stock gearing is the best for the Zetec N/A or Turbo.
I also agree with you the wrx would be an awesome engine for a 2wd but one just can't beat the price of the Zetec at 1,300 for a brand new engine.
I see the cost of the install kit to be about what it cost me to install a subie engine a few years back. I went all out with the reverse coolant and shortened pan ect...

As for what the orig poster wanted. I found the 2.5 a bit more peppy than a n/a Zetec. I liked the smoothness of the zetec better.

insyncro Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:44 pm

BillM,
I am in NY and run stock gearing in all my converted vans.
I don't mind reving them out.
Some who deal with large grades need to regear so they don't have to shift as often.
I can make small adjustments in revs by using different wheel and tire packages.

Sticking with this thread, I will add that both the Bostig van and the Subie 2.5 were running 15" rims with 215/75/15 BFG Mud Terrain tires, Syncro.org springs and Old Man Emu shocks.
Both pulled nicely uphill in third.
The biggest difference was around town, I preferred the Bostig.
I have not run a 2.5 Sub with the new Small Car bellhousing and heavier flywheel, that may make for a better start off.

Yes, price is the major factor for many.
I have the luxury of my own personal workspace and all the tools needed to mod any car.

I bonded with the Vanagon Syncro many moons ago and fund all my conversions by parting vans and recycling parts.
I have been up close and personal with every inch of our beloved vans.
There was a time when Vanagons were not as popular and were not fetching the prices they do now.
I am happy to have started earily and will be focussed on building vans instead of parting.
Been there, done that.

To anyone out there thinking about converting a Vanagon, I highly recommend getting a parts van as well.
Worked for me.

dylan



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