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  View original topic: FAS Gen V 2.0 NA vs 2.0T--opinions? Page: 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Red Beard Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:49 pm

I have been researching conversion options for quite some time, and am committed to spending the $$$ on a DIY turn key conversion kit from FAS. This will go into a 1990 AT hightop van that can at times be heavily loaded for long trips with the family, in the west---long mountain passes, etc. I don't drive fast, but I don't like doing 45 in an 80, which is what has happened a lot in the past. My goal for the conversion is increased reliability first, and a power increase second.

I was initially set on doing the naturally aspirated option, which according to FAS produces about 135hp and 135ft lbs torque at 3000rpm with their tuning, and trying it out to see how it felt, with the option of adding the turbo to it later (they sell a DIY kit for the turbo add-on.)

However, looking at costs, it turns out that the upfront cost for the turbo kit is $16k, vs $13k for the NA options (expensive I know, but brand new crate motor, totally dialed system, really great support for the install and after.) If I were to add the system later, the cost would be closer to $5500 for the parts kit, plus significant additional labor on my part.

The tuned turbo produces 165hp and 200ft lbs.

I think I would probably be OK with the NA option in terms of performance, but I am wondering what opinions you guys might offer on that am I likely to be disappointed with my ability to keep up with traffic with that amount of power?

Secondly, as far as the turbo is concerned, do you think I would be significantly impacting reliability by going this route? Put another way, am I signicantly more likely to end up stranded with my family due to a turbo related failure?

I know that a lot of this is subjective and based on one's values, knowledge, situation, but I appreciate opinions nonetheless.

Zeitgeist 13 Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:04 pm

As much as I love love love FAS's stuff, have you considered going with a 1.8t kit, which is a factory turbo setup? It seems like SAH kits are somewhere near the figures you quoted

jmillsj Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:15 pm

I am also very interested in knowing more from people who have gone this route. I have an I-4 that was installed in 2003 and Iíd like a little more power. I am impressed with FAS and think it would be simple enough to have installed in Denver. Iím not sure I want to go the 1.8T route, because I will not do the conversion myself.

Iím mainly interested in a little more power, and donít think a turbo would help my personal situation much.

Red Beard Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:17 pm

Zeitgeist 13 wrote: As much as I love love love FAS's stuff, have you considered going with a 1.8t kit, which is a factory turbo setup? It seems like SAH kits are somewhere near the figures you quoted

I looked at the 1.8t kit, but I decided for the FAS option bc I wanted a new engine, the simplest DIY install (the kit comes on a crate, ready to mate to transmission, brand new plug and play wiring, etc.,) didn't want to have to source my own parts, would prefer not to raise the deck lid, and (no dis on SAH) was really impressed with John at FAS communication---I expect really great support from him.

Red Beard Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:18 pm

jmillsj wrote: I am also very interested in knowing more from people who have gone this route. I have an I-4 that was installed in 2003 and Iíd like a little more power. I am impressed with FAS and think it would be simple enough to have installed in Denver. Iím not sure I want to go the 1.8T route, because I will not do the conversion myself.

Iím mainly interested in a little more power, and donít think a turbo would help my personal situation much.

What motor do you have now, out of curiosity?

jmillsj Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:31 pm

I have a 1.8 from an 86 Golf. I had a local guy do this for me in 2003. It uses diesel parts (oil pan, carrier, etc.) and looks a lot like a Tiico kit. Motor has been reliable, but 35 uphill in the mountains is a little too slow anymore.

dobryan Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:17 pm

If you want power in the mountains go for the turbo. The NA version of any engine will lose signifant power at higher altitudes.

Zeitgeist 13 Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:44 pm

I would definitely opt for a turbo engine since the automatics already sap X% of power right off the top. A turbo also would allow you to install a taller R&P so as to keep the RPMs down on the open road. Both the FAS gasser turbo and TDI engines produce peak torque down in the RPM range where its most useful in these vans.

Multiman mv Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:05 pm

I would go with the turbo option if it were me. I just had FAS install a tdi and love the power increase. Night and day to stock. You won't be disappointed with FAS and there commitment to their program and the support that they provide during and post conversion. These guys really stand behind their products and have put a lot of heart and soul into the gen v program. It's a surreal experience passing another car on the highway in your Vanagon for the first time, up hill! A FAS conversion is no doubt, faster, more powerful, more reliable and safer especially when considering the speeds that other vehicles travel on our highways these days. Sometimes the speed and responsiveness is needed when merging onto highways, climbing hills etc. Go for the turbo.

davevickery Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:12 pm

Another vote for the turbo. 135hp/torque isn't quite enough when you add a lot of weight or go with bigger tires. I had a 1.8T with 150hp/torque and I thought it was fine until I chipped it to 200. That honestly felt perfect.

Vanagon Nut Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:48 pm

jmillsj wrote: I have a 1.8 from an 86 Golf. I had a local guy do this for me in 2003. It uses diesel parts (oil pan, carrier, etc.) and looks a lot like a Tiico kit. Motor has been reliable, but 35 uphill in the mountains is a little too slow anymore.


Id suggest that if possible, test drive an auto vanagon with the fas 2.0 NA or possibly a suby 2.2 swap. No not the same specs but similar and would likely provide a better chance of seeing how 135 hp does with an automatic.

Hard to recreate real life conditions with one test drive but this may help your decision.

Neil.

vwfreek61 Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:54 pm

Another thing to consider is NA can run on regular gas. A turbo will need premium.

jimf909 Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:34 pm

My Zetec has 130 hp and 135 ftlb of torque. Itís a remarkably nice improvement pushing a NAHT. But I want more power. It cruises up Snoqualmie pass but the pedal is mostly floored. Coming out of the Columbia River Gorge on I-90 westbound it begins to lag. $3K is not a lot of money considering what youíll have in you van after this conversion is done and youíll be able to think about other stuff.

FWIW, YMMV.

ThankYouJerry Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:41 pm

Another vote for the turbo for all the reasons already mentioned above. For a turbo mated to an auto trans you'll want a 3.27 or 3.08 R&P from Salim at Country Homes Campers (plus a Peloquin if you think you may need it and can swing it).

FWIW...I feel the same way about Stephan at SAH as you do about John at FAS. Both great guys. As for the 1" deck lid raise in the 1.8T conversion... 100% non-issue. You'll never miss the 1" and there's a simple fix for the bed cushion. I wholeheartedly agree with DaveVickery that 200 hp seems just absolutely perfect. Standard SAH 1.8T = 180hp. With SS exhaust = 200hp. Chipped = 220+hp.

Good for you finally about to pull the trigger! No matter what you decide it will be vastly more reliable than the WBX. And when/if something does go amiss OBDII is sweet!

mellowslow Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:05 am

Red Beard wrote: This will go into a 1990 AT hightop van that can at times be heavily loaded for long trips with the family, in the west---long mountain passes, etc. I don't drive fast, but I don't like doing 45 in an 80, which is what has happened a lot in the past. My goal for the conversion is increased reliability first, and a power increase second.

Yes, get the turbo up front. More economical, easier for you and easier to have everything pre set up and programmed for turbo.

My Weekender spec Westy pop top is happily powered by the (FAS kitted) Normally Aspirated 2.0 AEG code. My bus is never forced to the slow lane or pimp handed by a Honda Fit or the like. (But I want a turbo :twisted: )

Indeed, a heavier bus loaded for adventure would benefit from the added turbo power.

I don't think you'll miss the $3000 once you start spending time behind the steering wheel. Not to mention your labor and any associated downtime with the bus in the future.

Reliability differences between the NA and turbo are negligable.

My ECU is programmed for 91 or higher octane (I think all FAS tunes are) so no difference there.

The FAS turn key kit was not available back in 2013 when I was converting my bus. If I had a chance to do it again, I would follow the path that you are considering and get the complete turbo kit up front. Done.

Turn the key and start the adventure in high style.

jmillsj Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:20 pm

I just spoke with Chris at FAS about his turn key motors and think Iím going the turbo route. What I like about the FAS packages is that the installation is simplified and everything you need comes in the crate. If I run into trouble, I can simply have it towed to my mechanic and have him finish the job for me.

The 1.8T is very appealing, but getting a new motor in a package thatís ready to go is hard to beat. If I lived in California, I might end up at Stephanís, but feel very good about what FAS does. Otherwise, I donít have the time, skills or patience to source parts and do the conversion. This looks even easier than Bostig.

Thanks for posting the original question Red Beard. I might actually get this done before summer. I bought my van in 1995 and had a good run with WBXers until I went I-4 in 2003. I spoke with GoWesty about the new 2.7 WBX and their engine management system, but Iím just not sure I want to go back now.

Iím going to have some parts available later this year once itís done, so people in Colorado looking for Diesel engine carriers and others goodies may be in luck. Would like to get rid of that 1.8 Golf motor, too.

davevickery Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:23 pm

Worth a phone call. His installed prices were pretty reasonable and he now has a link on his website for a 49 state conversion kit for the 1.8T. He is also online here ocassionally and is one of the gurus of 1.8T conversions.

http://www.flinteuropean.com/

Red Beard Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:59 pm

Thanks everyone for the input, much appreciated.

Spent a little more time talking with John at FAS. One selling point of this kit was the factory electronic cruise control built-in at no extra charge, I learned that it doesnít work for the automatic. Instead, they include a rostra mechanical cruise kit that is programmed and set up to plug into their ECU. So, not quite as slick but should work fine and not be too much more trouble to set up.

http://www.thecruisecontrolstore.com/250-1223-rost...al-cruise/

Anyway, I went ahead and made the deposit, and expecting to get a big crate with everything in it in two to three weeks, with the plan to install it during some time off in February. Super excited and a little nervous, this will be the biggest mechanical endeavor Iíve ever taken on. I will be highly motivated to get the van back into service for the spring and summer.

Since I havenít found it documented elsewhere, I plan on doing a conversion thread here, and Iíll try my best to remember to take pictures along the way.

ledogboy Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:18 pm

Woohoo! Congrats on the purchase! I look forward to seeing the thread. I am all sorted out with a 1.8t, but I do love seeing stuff from FAS- it looks gorgeous and the simplicity vs. Stephan's kit looks positively dreamy. Hopefully that holds true for you. Good luck!

Vanagon Nut Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:19 pm

Red Beard wrote:

Anyway, I went ahead and made the deposit, and expecting to get a big crate with everything in it in two to three weeks, with the plan to install it during some time off in February. Super excited and a little nervous, this will be the biggest mechanical endeavor Iíve ever taken on. I will be highly motivated to get the van back into service for the spring and summer.

Since I havenít found it documented elsewhere, I plan on doing a conversion thread here, and Iíll try my best to remember to take pictures along the way.

So you're going for the 2.0T ? Looking forward to that thread. Thanks.

Neil.



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