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Zetec vs. Subaru?--one more conversion question
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Subaru or Zetec?
I'd go for a Bostig/Zetec.
33%
 33%  [ 23 ]
I'd go for a Subaru.
50%
 50%  [ 34 ]
Neither; I'd stick with the 2.1.
4%
 4%  [ 3 ]
Neither; I'd go with a diesel.
11%
 11%  [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 68

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One more islander...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: Zetec vs. Subaru?--one more conversion question Reply with quote

Okay, I think in a couple of years' time, there's a conversion in our Westy's future--its 2.1 had a rebuild about 600 miles ago--so far, so good. We bought it after the rebuild.

But--down the road, perhaps a newer, more efficient engine.

What are the relative merits of the Zetec and the various-sized Subarus? I suspect we'll stay with gasoline. Cost is somewhat important, but probably wouldn't be the deciding factor. Reliability is probably #1, and repairability in Latin America would be high as well. Performance? We're not speedsters.

I know there are lots of you with very strong opinions on both of these!

Thanks in advance for your input...

----

Kathy

88 Westy


Last edited by One more islander... on Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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jmranger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your current poll options seem biased Laughing

JMR
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One more islander...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Your current poll options seem biased.

JMR"

Corrected, I believe Very Happy

---

Kathy
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jmranger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink

Re your question, since I change my mind about once a week, I'll refrain from voting.

JMR
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One more islander...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmranger wrote:


Re your question, since I change my mind about once a week, I'll refrain from voting.

JMR


What are the factors that swing you one way or the other, JMR?

---

Kathy
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Williamtaylor33
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NAECT!!! Rolling Eyes

Having lived in Mexico with a Bostig powered westy I can say parts availability is great south of the border. I cant speak for Subaru.
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The two engine conversions are difficult to compare because nobody offers a complete Subaru conversion "system" - at least not one as comprehensive and well-developed as what the guys at Bostig have come up with. Just comparing engines, I prefer the Subaru EJ25 to the Zetec because it has more hp and torque and its flat 4 layout really fits the Vanagon configuration well. However, the importance of a well-developed conversion system, with a crew that stands behind it should not be underestimated. I would say for the most trouble free and simple conversion, and for an owner who isn't that into mechanical things, the Bostig conversion deserves a good look. They are both good conversions, though.

David
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jmranger
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more islander... wrote:
jmranger wrote:


Re your question, since I change my mind about once a week, I'll refrain from voting.

JMR


What are the factors that swing you one way or the other, JMR?



Uh oh... Didn't want to answer directly, but since you ask...

I'm definitely not speaking as an expert here.

All four options are good, have lots of happy users - and some unhappy too. Although highly debatable, I believe that:
- The original 2.1 (or a Tencent replacement) is the easiest to get serviced
- Subaru is the best physical fit, and the most reliable engine
- TDI is the way to go for fuel efficiency
- Zetec is the perfect option for rookie mechanics that want to learn

I want all of the above... Confused I swing depending on which I want most.

I believe for many, the best option depends more on your skill level and in which conversion you have an expert nearby than on the technical merits of the engine itself.

JMR

Edit: in your specific case, since you state that your conversion is a few years ahead, sit back, stick on the samba and watch the show. More options are coming. Just think about Ben/Vanaru and the support for CAN Subaru engine on one side, and the Turbo Zetec on the other.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: 2 years from now, who knows, but today, 2.5 Reply with quote

http://vanaru.com/
"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!"
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VisPacem
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Zetec vs. Subaru?--one more conversion question Reply with quote

One more islander... wrote:
Okay, I think in a couple of years' time, there's a conversion in our Westy's future--its 2.1 had a rebuild about 600 miles ago--so far, so good. We bought it after the rebuild.

But--down the road, perhaps a newer, more efficient engine.

What are the relative merits of the Zetec and the various-sized Subarus? I suspect we'll stay with gasoline. Cost is somewhat important, but probably wouldn't be the deciding factor. Reliability is probably #1, and repairability in Latin America would be high as well. Performance? We're not speedsters.

I know there are lots of you with very strong opinions on both of these!

Thanks in advance for your input...

----

Kathy

88 Westy


My choice obviously is Subaru. I have the 2.2 I wish for a 2.5. I got the van already converted.
To travel to foreign and exotic lands I would say the Zetec is a clear advantage.
I am biased as I have no plans to travel to said marvelous lands. I had my share of war zones when I was younger,
To me the Zetec / Ford is a step down in performance compared to the 2.5 Sub. The Sub with it's flat four design has another advantage if that matters to you. My experience is that 99% of smog/emission techs and at least one DMV that I know would have no idea you don't have the WBX PoS in the van. The Ford will immediately ring all the bells of a blind drunken grease monkey.
Plus I refuse to fool with the modified sumps. I have the original on mine and I even use an oil filter longer than the Subaru recommended filter for better filtration and never had any problems.

It is however a great motor and the price is unbeatable.
If your goal is to roam the pampas and the barrios, Zetec I would say is the way to go because I would believe that Ford has a world presence in fact don't they call the Fusion/Zetec/ the World engine?

Though with a well installed and well tested Subaru I do not see why you should have problems and need parts or repairs. But if you do ... well you may regret not going the Ford way To tell you about Subaru reliabilty. I bought it. Next morning drove it to Niagara Falls and from there to California, with one stop in Denver to replace a vacuum hose ($10.00).
The total cost of the van at purchase was US$5000. Counting the improvements and modifications and aesthetics I have approximately less than US$10000 in the van total.
I get 19 to 23 MPG on the highway depending how fast I drive it.
One thing you might really study hard if you go Subaru is WHICH 2.2 or 2.5 you will use. There are lots of stories going around the early 2/2 drink oil faster than I can drink Cognac (this is true mine does)
Some 2.5 lose head gaskets
What I really would like is a 2.5 with my OBDI 2.2 heads

Dreaming on Embarassed

I travel light.


Good luck and have fun
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Toaster
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over 46,000Ks on a 2.5 Subaru in our 87 Westy. With very few minor problems. SC install, and Ben in Montreal did timing belt and head gaskets. Very please with preformance and reliablity. Yukon twice, mexico and across Canada.
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One more islander...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, all of you, for your analysis! As you say, no big hurry.

jmranger wrote:
In your specific case, since you state that your conversion is a few years ahead, sit back, stick on the Samba and watch the show. More options are coming. Just think about Ben/Vanaru and the support for CAN Subaru engine on one side, and the Turbo Zetec on the other. JMR


Somewhat along the same lines, here's an intriguing article from today's online Toronto Globe and Mail about popularity of small diesels in Europe vs. in North America. (Of course, the Canadian market is driven by the much larger U.S. one.)

A few recent threads have talked about the possibility of a small diesel from Subaru being available in North America "someday soon"--maybe that'll happen, or another manufacturer's, which could change all kinds of decisions....

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-car...le1700065/

(As an aside, is the Ford Fiesta, made in Mexico, that they talk about in this article a vehicle with a Zetec engine? Does this mean that in Europe there's a diesel equivalent of the Zetec in this ECOnetic?)

------

Kathy

88 Westy
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Bostig Zetec in mine and am extremely happy with it. I have only had one problem since the conversion, and that was due to a loose wire that I did not tie up properly. I called Bostig and they were able to walk me thru diagnosing the problem and were as happy as I was to find it was an easy fix. My van is my daily driver and I put 50 to 80 miles a day on it, plus a few trips of 3-600 miles in a day. In my opinion, either the Zetec or the Suby can be great conversions, but you need to consider your use and your skills. I agree that the Zetec would be supported anywhere in the world, but more importantly to me is that it is easily supported anywhere in the USA. I see a lot more Fords on the road than Subaraus.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a couple of years??? Things may change big time! So why do you ask now??? I don't get it.

In a couple of year CAN-Bus will be old, yep. Do you know what CAN-BUS is? It was a nightmare, and it's still is, the next thing will be worse.

Bostig may not be able to do conversion for many reason, same for Subi.

Technology is scary ad it will get worse with time.

Life is a risk.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the whole intent of these conversions is reliability. if you are that worried about reliability in a foreign country, then get a crate motor, new, break it in and enjoy 300,000 miles. you should be more worried about the rest of the van, like the trans. expect timing belt replacement, etc.
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One more islander...
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thummmper wrote:
the whole intent of these conversions is reliability. if you are that worried about reliability in a foreign country, then get a crate motor, new, break it in and enjoy 300,000 miles. you should be more worried about the rest of the van, like the trans. expect timing belt replacement, etc.


I'm mainly thinking about Latin America--and it would typically be for about 3-4 months at a time, leaving from a base in Southern California (near San Diego).

I'm assuming the transmission, etc. for the water-cooled Vanagons is pretty similar to other Volkswagens that lots of Lat. Am. mechanics are familiar with, so not that worried about other types of maintenance while we're on the road further south (please correct me if I'm wrong). I'd assume a Volkswagen mechanic could work on the other systems.

Similarly, we'd make sure any "predictable" maintenance for a possible substitute engine was done state-side before we headed south--but there are always surprises! Presumably that would cover things like timing belts.

I guess with regard to that particular element of the decision about whether to replace/if so, which replacement--the question is, how available are modern-Ford and modern-Subaru mechanics south of the border? I'd suspect more Ford mechanics. I know I've seen lots of Nissans in Mexico, but I don't think a lot of Subarus.

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Kathy

88 Westy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see very few subarus in Mexico. Lots of fords though.
But remember the vanagon was never sold in Mexico. So if parts availability is a priority then the vanagon is the wrong vehicle to begin with. But you would be more likely to find a part for a zetec. Remember many US cars find their way across the border and stick there. Because people can keep a car in the "border zone" without paying to mexicanize the car. That's why you see so many cars with u.s. plates in the border towns. I seen them with expired tags from the 80's. So you can find all kinds of neat stuff in the "yonke's" in the border areas.
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