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VWŁamper
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:19 pm    Post subject: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Hi everyone. I am a newbie. I am restoring my first VW Bay. It is a 1977 RHD Westfalia. I bought it on E-bay and it looked great and in many ways it is (in terms of upper body panels, roof and gutters). Reality is different. It was rotten from six inches down. Not to be despaired I restored the whole chassis and body panels. I was caught in a cycle of take one part off and find the next part more rotten. Which then led to renew everything and I now have a van which is rot free. The van goes off to the bodyshop next week for a sand blast, intensive prep and paint job.

In the meantime, I am speccing the engine, gearbox, suspension and brakes. Having stripped down the existing components of the beam, axle, suspension and brakes, I have found that they are all pretty much knackered. So I have ordered a front and rear upgrade from Red9design. I'm happy with that! The problem I have is with the engine! I have bought a CJ coded 2.0 engine as my van came with an earlier 1.7 engine. I can either go with restoring the CJ 2.0 engine or change to a Subaru conversion which gives me more power but the water cooling is tricky. I want something that can transport my family of 2 adults and 3 children safely and without breakdown. I can get a Subaru engine easily and a conversion from RJES but is this going to provide the necessary power or shall I upgrade the 2.0 litre engine?

Sorry for a bit of a brain dump but this is where I am at. I can't help but wonder whether a Subaru engine is more powerful than a properly upgraded 2.0 litre aircooled engine with some modifications. Your advice is greatly appreciated.


Last edited by VWŁamper on Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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67ctbug
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Restoration Reply with quote

Welcome to thesamba! Post some pictures!
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alman72
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Restoration Reply with quote

sounds like you are not afraid to open your wallet. Look up skills. he does AMAZING suby conversions, and I think he has an opening now
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Restoration Reply with quote

Skills is in Connecticut USA. Where are you?
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When a suggestion is offered, I am not telling you what to, or what not to do. It is wishing you the best, & is based on my experiences as a mechanic, automotive machinist, & from racing in the era your bus came to life.
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VWŁamper
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

I'm in the UK. "Skills" might be a little too far way! However, if he has a solution, I'm happy to ship it.
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Read this and do some thinking.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=561788
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pantone149
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:50 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

A stock 1700 (you can extrapolate for a 2000) generates about 86 f/lbs torque. A stock Subaru generates about 162. To me, that's close to double the power. Another good t hing about the Subaru is that the torque curve is fairly flat. At 2000 RPM about 140 ft/lbs...give or take.
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alaskadan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:29 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Suby. A 2.2 will stomp a stock 2.0. Do it your self . A 2.5 suby even better. The first one i did had an auto trans with a 2.2 and drove nicely. Currently about to finish another with a stick and a 2.5.. I havent experienced the how the s tock trans gearing and a suby engine drive yet. From what ive read here though i told the vans owners to prepare for finding a 6 rib trans we can re gear. I send the harness out and get a big custom radiator made for the belly. You can do it.
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Bleyseng
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:43 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Yeah you can SUbi it but why not get a vanagon. A aircooled bay westy is nice especially with a Camper Special putting out 100hp 130ftlbs of torque. It's a classic so keep it aircooled
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alaskadan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Suby. A 2.2 will stomp a stock 2.0. Do it your self . A 2.5 suby even better. The first one i did had an auto trans with a 2.2 and drove nicely. Currently about to finish another with a stick and a 2.5.. I havent experienced the how the s tock trans gearing and a suby engine drive yet. From what ive read here though i told the vans owners to prepare for finding a 6 rib trans we can re gear. I send the harness out and get a big custom radiator made for the belly. You can do it.
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Keith
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:43 pm    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Bleyseng wrote:
Yeah you can SUbi it but why not get a vanagon. A aircooled bay westy is nice especially with a Camper Special putting out 100hp 130ftlbs of torque. It's a classic so keep it aircooled


This comment grinds my gears when it gets made.

We have these buses because we wanted buses, an engine to me does not make the vehicle, so the lack of the original engine doesn't detract from the fact that you are STILL driving that particular vehicle. I make that statement, because that's the next comment to get made, "It isn't a VW (or a bus, bug or whatever) anymore because it doesn't have the original air cooled motor". How is that different than hotrodding the air cooled motor? Just because I wear jeans every day and then I suddenly switch to slacks doesn't mean I am a different person, I just have different pants.

Not everyone likes the look of a Vanagon, the Vanagon guys are jumping ship and putting subaru's in their vanagons, a good thought out swap doesn't ruin the vehicle it is going in and is easily reversible, type IV motors are basically crap anymore due to the junk parts that are only available for them and even the most die hard guys are realizing it now after spending thousands of dollars to keep that motor alive and have what, 76hp or so? I was one of those guys, twice.....not again.

From what think I remember, Jake Raby is done with camper specials, even he has touted the pitfalls of the type IV motors in this day and age several times with a lack of good rebuildable engines, good head cores and quality parts, simple parts like engine bearings.

I'm not saying you should blindly go hacking up your car (especially valuable ones), but build the car for you while you own it and drive it, not for the next person down the road.

There's nothing wrong with a clean, thought out swap.

I'm in the middle of my swap in my '78 Champagne Edition Westy.


Check out Skillz and his swaps, he knows his stuff and does excellent work.
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MorkC68
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:48 am    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Welcome from another UK newbie!

I see you joined us on thelatebay too, have you got any pics of your bus, sounds like you've done a good job!

Those 2.0 type 4 motors are very sprightly when set up right with decent carbs etc, both our buses have type 4's, one is a 1915 & the other a stock 2.0 with FI, they run very well!

I can see the appeal to go Subaru, I must admit to being tempted myself on our westy, when we get to that stage!
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:47 am    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Bleyseng wrote:
Yeah you can SUbi it but why not get a vanagon. A aircooled bay westy is nice especially with a Camper Special putting out 100hp 130ftlbs of torque. It's a classic so keep it aircooled


I tend to agree, I have seen a lot of engine and tranny swaps that failed to produce very drivable vehicles, for the average Joe it is normally better not to stray too far from stock.
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Ride_On
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:46 am    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Hi and welcome!

We have a mirror of your bus - a 77 Westy. It's been in the family since 2000 and has seen much of North America with its stock, original engine. We've got a great mechanic here, but with 2 young kids and the limitations of our vacation allotments, we're doing a Subaru 2.5 with a SubaruGears 5sp in the spring. Did someone say Skillz? Smile Very much looking forward to next summer!! We love our bus and look forward to at least another decade with it!

Having said that, I've been very impressed with the 2L (fuel injected). It's been pretty reliable even by modern standards, but we have seen the side of the road for both simple and more complex issues, some of which I could easily have fixed with more experience. One of the shortcomings is that our mechanic here is great, but limited in terms of availability... Which can be a bit limiting. He charges very reasonable rates, so don't take this the wrong way, but maintenance is expensive and sometimes parts availability has led to long states at the garage. All very normal stuff that we're looking to minimise. We could try the Pertronix route, etc, but figure that the swap is for us.

Good luck with your bus!
PS - assume you're aware of Fellows Speed Shop? Connecticut is on the right side of the States if you are going to ship though...
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:53 am    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote


Link


wow, thanks for the kind words guys.

don't do a 2.2L....it's stupid. do a 2.5 with obd2 and enjoy life. at the minimum, you'll want to re-gear your 4 speed, as even a 091 has shitty gearing for the Subaru engine. or do a subigears 5 speed, but the 4 speed is fine for most. they do not like to be revved to the moon like the air cooled engines do.

I assume you're in the UK and it would be cost prohibitive to ship your bus to me, but I will assist in any way I can should you choose to come to the dark side Cool

the one thing I do with my conversions is make them EASILY reversible...no hacking of the bus. it took a LOT of time to lay these out to make it so you can go back to stock with little drama....

fuck the "buy a Vanagon" crowd....even vw "converted" air cooled vanagons to water....and better yet, the bays in other markets got water cooling as well.

you are at a point where you realize the T4 platform is too costly to use/maintain for REAL travel. 10K for a engine that may puke it's guts in 80K miles (if you're lucky) or 15-18K for a TURN KEY conversion, with REAL fuel injection, real heat, the option of a/c and 500.00 engines all over the place....only you can decide....
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plane_ben
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Welcome to the site. I'm usually on the split bus forums, but I troll the bay thread because I just completed a Subaru conversion on my '58 DD panel. There is more info on conversions in these threads.

My take on the whole conversion is, do it! Unless your a completely into original(then you'd likely stick to the 1.7), you can't go wrong with a Subaru. Almost double the power, reliability, at half the cost. I'm into my conversion at $2500.00, and that's with a trans rebuild for better/stronger gears. I did go the mystery motor route on a 2.5 from a '02 Forrester in the junk yard for $250ish pulled myself. Had to replace head gaskets at around $90.00. I went with a simple Micro Squirt ECU from Mega Squirt with an 8' harness. Mounted under the rear seat, it gives plenty of wire for a custom fit harness. I belly mounted my radiator, and so far it runs around 175-180 degrees on the freeway at 65mph. Granted we are in the cooler part of the year here in the desert, but I don't anticipate more than 190 in the summer.

Anyway, any info I may be able to help with, I'm happy to share and encourage.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:



fuck the "buy a Vanagon" crowd....even vw "converted" air cooled vanagons to water....and better yet, the bays in other markets got water cooling as well.

you are at a point where you realize the T4 platform is too costly to use/maintain for REAL travel. 10K for a engine that may puke it's guts in 80K miles (if you're lucky) or 15-18K for a TURN KEY conversion, with REAL fuel injection, real heat, the option of a/c and 500.00 engines all over the place....only you can decide....


With a water cooled Vanagon you get a radiator, two heaters, and all the wiring for the cooling fan and such, same for with a watered cooled bay from Brazil. Not so with an aircooled bus so all this is that much more work that must be done, and you still get a vehicle that can be unsafe to drive at modern highway speeds if the wind is blowing even moderately, while the Vanagon is quite stable in comparison.

As for the cost of maintaining a Type 4, when my high mileage 25 year old rebuild went I grabbed a never before opened 1800 and spent $500 to freshen it up a bit. It now has 20K miles since the freshening and I suspect it will run for quite a while longer if I want it too.
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alaskadan
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

There are alot of buses out there. Purists need not worry you guys will be able to find what you need for a stock van for a long time to come. I dont consider converting to water cooled " hot rodding " just taking a great platform and modernizing it a little. Just look at all the posts from an aircooled driver prior to a long road trip asking what spare parts to bring along. The suggested list gets pretty long. I dont recall reading any posts from someone removing a well done conversion to go back to aircooled.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

alaskadan wrote:
Just look at all the posts from an aircooled driver prior to a long road trip asking what spare parts to bring along. The suggested list gets pretty long. I dont recall reading any posts from someone removing a well done conversion to go back to aircooled.



Although parts availability for our air-cooled VWs is getting more dire for any on-the-road emergencies, if you prepare well, the air-cooled VW engine is still a loyal and reliable companion with a real advantage in being amenable to roadside fixes.

Long Road Trip (22,750 miles) Type 4 bus 2014:
engine parts replacement cost $0.00

Long Road Trip (22,755 miles) Type 1 bus 2015:
set of generator brushes $3.55

Long Road Trip (22,548 miles) Type 4 bus 2016:
engine parts replacement cost $0.00
(did scarf a spark plug connector off Ronin10)

My most expensive engine event occurred in 2002 in Winnie Texas with a Type 4 engine that got me home at zero on-the-road cost.
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Bleyseng
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: VW Bay Restoration Reply with quote

Keith wrote:
Bleyseng wrote:
Yeah you can SUbi it but why not get a vanagon. A aircooled bay westy is nice especially with a Camper Special putting out 100hp 130ftlbs of torque. It's a classic so keep it aircooled


This comment grinds my gears when it gets made.

We have these buses because we wanted buses, an engine to me does not make the vehicle, so the lack of the original engine doesn't detract from the fact that you are STILL driving that particular vehicle. I make that statement, because that's the next comment to get made, "It isn't a VW (or a bus, bug or whatever) anymore because it doesn't have the original air cooled motor". How is that different than hotrodding the air cooled motor? Just because I wear jeans every day and then I suddenly switch to slacks doesn't mean I am a different person, I just have different pants.

Not everyone likes the look of a Vanagon, the Vanagon guys are jumping ship and putting subaru's in their vanagons, a good thought out swap doesn't ruin the vehicle it is going in and is easily reversible, type IV motors are basically crap anymore due to the junk parts that are only available for them and even the most die hard guys are realizing it now after spending thousands of dollars to keep that motor alive and have what, 76hp or so? I was one of those guys, twice.....not again.

From what think I remember, Jake Raby is done with camper specials, even he has touted the pitfalls of the type IV motors in this day and age several times with a lack of good rebuildable engines, good head cores and quality parts, simple parts like engine bearings.

I'm not saying you should blindly go hacking up your car (especially valuable ones), but build the car for you while you own it and drive it, not for the next person down the road.

There's nothing wrong with a clean, thought out swap.

I'm in the middle of my swap in my '78 Champagne Edition Westy.


Check out Skillz and his swaps, he knows his stuff and does excellent work.


$5000 gets you a complete Camper Special Kit engine ready to assemble...100HP/130ftlbs of torque with as many new parts as possible. Atleast a 100,000 miles of wear and uses Ljet FI.
If you built two already something was wrong as I am at 30,000 miles of trouble free driving.
Besides this guy lives in the UK not in the middle of the US so unless he goes to the mainland of Europe how far can he go?
Go for it if you want to butcher your Baywindow Westy unless you do it Skills way and not cut into the bus. As I said they are now Collector cars especially in Europe and cutting into a bus worth $30k isn't worth it.
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76 Porsche 914 2.1L L20c, 120hp Djet
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