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Silverghost500 Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:21 am

Why don't we ever see Honda or Toyota engine conversions for Vanagons? Seems like the ability to custom fabricate these days and a seemingly great supply of engines new and used there'd be some work toward this.

D Clymer Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:29 am

There are a few here and there. I think it just comes down to the fact that there are suitable VW/Audi engines out there, and in the case of the Subaru engine, it's a perfect physical fit. The only interest I would have in using a Honda engine for a conversion is that some are reverse rotation, so you could use a rotated fwd transmission with it. But it seems like the Honda engines that would be desirable for a conversion are standard rotation.

Sodo Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:28 am

A (modern and plentiful?) Honda engine that spins a Subaru transaxle in its OEM direction seems “interesting”.

But still, no granny=no deal for me. (Un-apologetic Syncro)

Some Honda engines are TOUGH. The 2005 Accord engine for sure - barely needs any oil ( Teenager-tested and approved! )

Wildthings Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:29 am

Contact Kennedy Adapters and/or Advanced Adapters and see what they have adapters for.

Zeitgeist 13 Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:45 pm

Sheesh, don't we have enough things to argue over, so why introduce those clunkers into the mix?

jimf909 Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:23 pm

D Clymer wrote: ...in the case of the Subaru engine, it's a perfect physical fit.

I never understand this suggestion. It seems the subie still requires a shortened oil pan to fit well and the fact that it fills up nearly every square inch of the engine bay just means that it fits. Outside of the wbx, it seems (nearly?) every conversion requires mods to the engine or van to make it fit.

I'll bet Jim Akiba at Bostig would have some insight on the Toyota/Honda/Nissan possibilities. I don't think he landed on using a Ford Zetec by chance.

[email protected] Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:33 pm

Matt Steedle runs a honda V6 in his automatic vanagon


few vids of his ride





i think it comes down to what is 'common' and what's been around for ever. i mean, like it or not the subaru is the beetle of 90's and the platform hasn't changed all that much in almost 30 years. parts are cheap an plentiful

D Clymer Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:57 pm

jimf909 wrote: D Clymer wrote: ...in the case of the Subaru engine, it's a perfect physical fit.

I never understand this suggestion. It seems the subie still requires a shortened oil pan to fit well and the fact that it fills up nearly every square inch of the engine bay just means that it fits. Outside of the wbx, it seems (nearly?) every conversion requires mods to the engine or van to make it fit.

I'll bet Jim Akiba at Bostig would have some insight on the Toyota/Honda/Nissan possibilities. I don't think he landed on using a Ford Zetec by chance.

It's the crankshaft to top of the engine dimensions I'm talking about. The crankshaft centerline dictates how high above a reasonable transmission mounting height an engine will reach. The Subaru engine, since it is horizontally opposed fits nicely between the engine lid and a stock transmission positioning. An inline four with upright mounting either has to have a significantly raised engine compartment lid, or the entire engine and transmission have to be lowered to make it low enough to fit under (or almost under) the lid.

jimf909 Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:05 pm

^^^Check. I get it when looking at it that way.

Zeitgeist 13 Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:16 pm

I don't understand why more folks don't just lower the drivetrain, rather than moving up into the cabin. Mine still has nearly 10" of ground clearance.

Sodo Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:43 pm

Zeitgeist 13 wrote: I don't understand why more folks don't just lower the drivetrain, rather than moving up into the cabin. Mine still has nearly 10" of ground clearance.

Lowering the drivertain can decrease CV angle, allowing you to raise the van a little to get the ground clearance back. Steyr-Puch did this on the Syncro.

Zeitgeist 13 Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:10 pm

Which is why my TDI is set to Syncro height, and fore/aft location. The axles are nearly perfectly inline with the outer hubs. I'm producing massive amounts of torque, so I don't want weird angles to compound CV joint binding issues.

Jake de Villiers Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:21 am

jimf909 wrote: D Clymer wrote: ...in the case of the Subaru engine, it's a perfect physical fit.
I never understand this suggestion. It seems the subie still requires a shortened oil pan to fit well and the fact that it fills up nearly every square inch of the engine bay just means that it fits. Outside of the wbx, it seems (nearly?) every conversion requires mods to the engine or van to make it fit.
Au contraire! The Subaru engine is externally noticeably smaller than the WBX and leaves tons of room in the engine bay.

The shortened pan is a boon, not a necessity: the OEM pan doesn't hang down any firther than the stock Zetec pan. That's how I ID Bostig swaps out in the wild! :D

Wildthings Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:50 am

Jake de Villiers wrote: jimf909 wrote: D Clymer wrote: ...in the case of the Subaru engine, it's a perfect physical fit.
I never understand this suggestion. It seems the subie still requires a shortened oil pan to fit well and the fact that it fills up nearly every square inch of the engine bay just means that it fits. Outside of the wbx, it seems (nearly?) every conversion requires mods to the engine or van to make it fit.
Au contraire! The Subaru engine is externally noticeably smaller than the WBX and leaves tons of room in the engine bay.

The shortened pan is a boon, not a necessity: the OEM pan doesn't hang down any firther than the stock Zetec pan. That's how I ID Bostig swaps out in the wild! :D

The pan hangs down a long way on my Multivan I only have about 4" under the tight fitting skid plate I made for mine, and that is with the van not loaded. I am wondering how feasible it would be to try and raise the entire engine to gain an additional inch under the pan?

vanagonjr Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:31 am

Sodo wrote: A (modern and plentiful?) Honda engine that spins a Subaru transaxle in its OEM direction seems “interesting”. No Honda automobile engine introduced in the last 20 years spins counterclockwise, unfortunately.
[email protected] wrote: Matt Steedle runs a honda V6 in his automatic vanagon Having had an Odyssey, I can tell you that is a hell of an engine. I love my standards, but if I were getting tin-top as a 2nd bus, I'd be tempted by the Odyssey / Vanagon Automatic combination

D Clymer wrote: An inline four with upright mounting either has to have a significantly raised engine compartment lid, My van with an in-line four has a 2” raised lid, which I do not consider significant. Biggest disadvantage if is you are using a mattress on topper of this, it makes the opening the little cabinet door slightly difficult.
Others may disagree - that's fine, but most of them have no direct experience with a raised lid.

Jake de Villiers wrote: Au contraire! The Subaru engine is externally noticeably smaller than the WBX and leaves tons of room in the engine bay. Absolutely! They look like the belong there. Heck they look like a more natural fit in the Bay Window bus than the Type 1’s!

Zeitgeist 13 Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:34 am

I've forwarded your post to "the club". Expect censure...or worse.

Sodo Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:18 pm

jimf909 wrote: D Clymer wrote: ...in the case of the Subaru engine, it's a perfect physical fit.

I never understand this suggestion. It seems the subie still requires a shortened oil pan to fit well

Jim, doesn't Boxer for boxer have an inherent "fitting" synchronicity?

Perhaps Greg Blauchon has introduced a cognitive dissonance into the conversion engine thoughtscape by naming his company Boxeer then shifting over to I-4s.
Today's intellectual, expected to place branding above logic can get all out of whack trying to make sense of reality.

It seems reasonable that the EJ25's boxer oilpan must then be shortened similarly. The WBX has the cam&lifters below the crankshaft, whereas the Subaru has open space. Note that VW's short oilpan, at engine size 2.1L, required oil-cooling __in addition__ to their finned aluminum pan. Which suggests the 2.5L Subaru, with a short pan where the oil can never get far from it's pistons,,, might require additional oil cooling too. Short EJ25 oil life nods toward this.
When is someone gonna start monitoring EJ25 (and GW 2.5,2.7) oil pan temperatures?
Do I have to start this?

The V6, being so much smoother than a 4-cyl.... seems like it might increase the power-handling capacity of the Vanagon transaxle. I bet a 150 hp V6 would be a good conversion engine.

Zeitgeist 13 Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:44 pm

A while back I had a perfect running Audi AAH 2.8 174hp V6 and very seriously considered installing it instead of my TDI. But the fuel mileage reports from other offbrand six cyl Vanagons convinced me otherwise.

Sodo Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:32 pm

Zeitgeist 13 wrote: fuel mileage reports from other offbrand six cyl Vanagons convinced me otherwise.

Fuel mileage costs for a V6 might total up to less than TDi transaxle mileage costs.

Can a Dual Mass Flywheel be used if you spacered the bellhousing?

Zeitgeist 13 Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:30 pm

I have no clue about DMF. I'm converting my van from manual to auto. TDI FTW



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