View original topic: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Page: Previous  1, 2, 3
Macwesty Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:53 am

Thanks mackaymanx, I'll look into getting some p-clamps for that coolant pipe and the engine mount bracket pic you posted is pretty much just what I was thinking of. Since my conversion is using the Smallcar engine mount bracket the original VW engine cradle is all the way at the back of the framerail directly underneath the bumper bracket holes.


Macwesty Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:50 pm

Got the exhaust fabbed up today. I found a small 2.25" catalytic converter with an inlet angled at 45. This worked really well. Here is the cat with the flange tacked in place.

A mandrel-bent 90 elbow cut to size did the trick to connect the cat to the muffler.

Here is cat with the 90 elbow welded in place and installed. I'm going to use an exhaust clamp to fasten the muffler to the elbow initially to make sure I've got some ability to change the position of the muffler if needed. I am concerned about the clearance between the exhaust elbow and the shock absorber but this is at full suspension droop and the picture makes is look closer than it is. I will make a heat shield if necessary.

I'm going to use a leftover section of the 90 elbow as my tail pipe.

I also got the front coolant pipes fastened to the body with a bracket I made and hooked up the front coolant hoses.

Tomorrow I'll tackle gaining some clearance for the intake at the front of the engine compartment.


Macwesty Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:54 am

I wasn't able to find any information proving that the stock SVX airbox could or could not be used with just some sheet metal clearance work at the front of the engine compartment of an air-cooled van but I can now do so. Modifying the stock SVX airbox is necessary. Rocky Mountain Westy used to make a nice, narrow, aluminum unit but that is no longer the case. Without much to lose I decided to see if I could modify the airbox via plastic welding. I found a plastic welding video at youtube

The video mentions the Mini-weld model 5 airless plastic welding kit. I ended up with the model 6 off of eBay for about $90. It is basically a soldering iron with a temperature control unit for various types of plastics.

After sizing up the necessary cuts with the airbox in the van I cut the top off of the airbox.

Then I created a cardboard template and cut the necessary piece out of a 12" x 12" sheet of ABS plastic I ordered online.

Tack welded the piece in 4 spots to keep it where I wanted it while I began welding.

My skill at plastic welding improved dramatically as I worked. I did just a few minutes of welding on the two pieces I cut off the top of the airbox but I'm too impatient to practice for long. Here is the final side weld I did before I touched it up at all.

Here is the finished product. I used the "R2" black plastic welding rod in the kit. The "ABS" rod in the kit was white although you can order black. I found the white rod gave a milky appearance to the finished weld even if it was worked in. I really have no worries that this modification is not air-tight or strong. If I have any problems I can take care of them easily with the plastic welder.


Macwesty Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:14 pm

As I think often happens when a conversion gets close to roadworthy the pace picks up and the documentation slacks off.

My van is on the road!

Initially, I had some trouble with the clutch slave rod length. The RJES bell housing is made to work with the long rod and my slave had the short one. This meant that the clutch slave was able to fully extend to the stop which causes it to act like a check valve and prevent fluid from leaving the slave. This causes the clutch pedal to become locked in the upward position. Adjusting the arm on the throwout shaft by one tooth took care of the problem. Richard at RJES was great helping me figure that out via email over the weekend!

Another minor problem is that the Smallcar exhaust header flange on the passenger side is not true and allowing an exhaust leak at the front. I had to return the first header I bought because it would not fit on the motor. To Smallcar's credit they replaced it. This one is not really satisfactory either but I have a welder so will add some material and file it down so I get a good seal. I appreciate that Smallcar makes these parts but still, you don't expect to have to modify something you pay over $500 for.

I decided to use the Subaru SVX instrument cluster and whipped up some brackets and got it mounted on the dash. I'll use the plastic welder to make up a shroud out of ABS once I get all the elements of the cluster operational. Right now I have illumination, turn signals, oil, charging and check engine light, tachometer and temperature gauge. I made up the coolant level sensor harness this morning and will either connect it to an unused light in the SVX cluster or perhaps mount a red warning lamp/buzzer below the cluster. Need to pull Speed Sensor 2 out of the SVX tranny and get that mounted to make the speedo work.

This motor has really transformed the van. Previously, I would have to use full throttle in second gear with the Type IV 68hp motor all the time. Now I'm floating up the same hills in third gear at significantly faster speeds without even trying.

Next project is to install the SVX climate control. I currently have no heat since the air-cooled heating system has been dismantled and the current heater box in the dash has no heater core. I gathered up all the pieces from the SVX climate control system today. This looks doable to me but the main challenge will likely be space behind/under the dash. I'll start a separate thread for that!


bosco53 Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:23 pm

Wow!! You're getting WAY into this! Awesome!! Can't wait to see more progress! Congrats on getting it on the road! That's the best feeling!

FrankenSubySyncro Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:02 am

Do you have any more pics or information about using the svx instrument cluster. I am doing the svx conversion and have the instrument cluster. I would like to use it in my conversion. Thanks.

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