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1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux
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Franklinstein
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

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"...there's way too much information to decode the Matrix. You get used to it, though. Your brain does the translating. I don't even see the code. All I see is Baywindow, Barndoor, Vanagon."

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In mid 2007 the old lady and I bought a 1979 Riviera Bus from a Samba member in New Hampshire. The engine swap was done some time before then and was a bit rough looking. There was very little body rust and the price was right. It ran well with a few quirks, and has been in use for many fun trips since then.

I have been dreading the eventual need to replace the clutch. Who knows what one might find from the swap.

A transmission fluid leak from the bellhousing got my attention last summer. Here I am 10 years later cringing.....

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1979 Riviera Poptop - 1.8L VW 93' Fox watercooled

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Sloride
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

Hey that motor looks familiar Wink. Check out my swap.

In my opinion one of the easiest swaps to do and keeps it in the family. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate a suby but the simplicity of the inline 4 along with the durabilty makes it an easy win in my books.

I assume that bracket over by the starter hole in transmission allows you to bring the throttle cable from the driver's side ove to the passengers?
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1972 Westfalia - 1.8 VW in-line h2o conversion
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Link to the engine swap:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=565304&highlight=
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

Thats cool! There are also quite a range of Rabbit-esque engines with various levels of power....and lots of parts and modification options.

The fox motor was a longitudinal engine with the trans behind it. Interesting. Ray
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Franklinstein
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 6:16 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

Sloride wrote:
Thanks for the compliments. I remember looking at pictures of your conversion while I was doing mine.


Yeah, I have been eyeballing the pictures in your thread also recently. I am hoping to get the adapter plate delivered by this Friday. I went with the 228 mm clutch.

I was going to ask you about your clearance between the cylinder head and the fuel tank compartment cover just over the adapter plate. Like how much room is there in your setup? I see that you chose to block off the coolant flange for the heater core there. The PO guy who did the conversion on mine chose to just delete the rear transmission carrier and cut the frame to allow passage for the coolant hose (cringe, and WTF!). So now I am in need to do a little welding.

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Yeah that bracket over the starter opening is a stationary mount for the throttle cable. Since I will be needing to put a starter there a new solution will be needed.
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

You may choose to clean up the cutting of the transmission hangar mount, but think long and hard before going to lots of work to restore it.

The Mexican watercooled Baywindow Bus does NOT use this mount. Several people who have done inline 4 conversions and used that mount, report lots of vibrations and those who have deleted that mount, report significantly reducing the vibrations.
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Dave Cook

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I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

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Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

One other thing, regarding the heater setup.

As has been done, you can delete that heater outlet on the head, and source your heat water elsewhere.

However, if you leave that heater outlet in place, you could control the heat output with a water valve and the original heater cable. It'll work similarly to the valve on a Rabbit-era car. If you use the alternate heat water source, you can't cut off the flow. With that setup, I can choose to have the heater fans on with no heat output.
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Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
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Sloride
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

You have next to no room between the head and firewall. That is why I moved the sensor and blocked off the outlet.

I just realized you are not using the KEP plate. Is that a Mexican bellhousing? How was the motor mated to the transmission?
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1972 Westfalia - 1.8 VW in-line h2o conversion
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Link to the engine swap:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=565304&highlight=
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

I used the bottom stud that holds the starter on to hold the bracket I have for the throttle cable. You could probably do the same.
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1972 Westfalia - 1.8 VW in-line h2o conversion
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Link to the engine swap:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=565304&highlight=
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:16 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

Sloride wrote:
You have next to no room between the head and firewall. That is why I moved the sensor and blocked off the outlet.

I just realized you are not using the KEP plate. Is that a Mexican bellhousing? How was the motor mated to the transmission?


My impression is that the motor pictured was installed and running in this bus for some time and was only pulled to address the oil leak. From comments, the OP aims to clean things up.

There appears to be a home made adaptor in use, from a big flat chunk of steel. That is a standard Bay Window bellhousing; the easiest way to distinguish from the Mexican Watercooled is the mounting ears for the two bolts over the bellhousing on an aircooled installation. It is also quite a bit deeper but that would be less identifiable unless looking at two side by side.

So OP's water outlet must have fit in that spot because of the transmission mount having been removed. His engine may hang a little low which may keep the outlet in the area of the removed transmission mount.
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Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
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tristessa
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

raygreenwood wrote:
Thats cool! There are also quite a range of Rabbit-esque engines with various levels of power.

The 1.8t could fit pretty well, though you'd probably have to move the engine/transmission rearwards so the head will clear the gas tank.
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Twisted Evil
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Franklinstein
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:07 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

Yep, the adapter plate was plate steel, a back layer and 2 semi-circular cut outs in the front only held by the transmission mounting bolts. I guess the flywheel to be from the original Fox.

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The plate was fastened to the engine with the 4 "shortened" bolts pictured (one notably using a busted pilot bearing as a spacer). The transmission mounting studs and starter bolt run through those semi-circular cut outs into threading tapped into the adapter plate. Not pictured are the 2 lower bellhousing mounting studs. They remain with the transmission since I did not remove the nuts. Those 2 studs over time had gotten loose from their 1/4" deep threads in the adapter plate. One can see some circular scoring on the lower cut out from the flywheel. Shifting had become difficult as the bellhousing was no longer tightly held to the engine. Just to note in the original post pictures the loosened lower mounting studs were not done by me.

Below is a pic of the missing rear transmission mount area. It does look like the the transmission might be on a slightly lower angle as suggested. You can't see the coolant flange but it was tight even with the cut up frame.

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With only the nose cone transmission mount and the left and right engine mounts I imagine that the tranny/engine "jump roped" it's way loose over time. Perhaps with added nuts on the adapter plate for threading, the lower bellhousing studs would have held better.

On the question of using a rear transmission carrier it seems prudent to use one here as intended for a 091 in a 79 bus. In this case it might have prevented loosening of the bellhousing. Not to say that the KEP adapter won't be capable of keeping the tranny/engine tightly mated enough to withstand not having the rear transmission carrier, but better to keep the carrier intact if only to ensure correct allignment of axles and shifter.

I will certainly be listening for vibrations as mentioned, and can always remove the trans carrier later if it becomes an issue. I already used ear plugs for road trips in the bus as it is.

See the hacked input shaft on the tranny on the right.

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.......just waiting for parts now.......
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1979 Riviera Poptop - 1.8L VW 93' Fox watercooled

Opinions are like A$$holes, everybody has one and yours all stink!!!


Last edited by Franklinstein on Wed May 03, 2017 8:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

That 3 bolt starter appears to be a 80s-early 90s Golf/Jetta automatic variety.

FWIW, the Fox/Dasher/Quantum/Audi 4000 flywheel was used in the 1982 diesel Vanagon.
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 8:02 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

Your engine/transmission combo is indeed sitting at least a couple inches lower than mine. My water flange is above that mount location, below the seam of the fuel tank. I had to cut away the fuel tank firewall for clearance, trim the water hose so the bend was as close to the head as possible, and I then put a piece of other hose over that to protect from chafing.
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Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
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Franklinstein
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

TDCTDI wrote:
That 3 bolt starter appears to be a 80s-early 90s Golf/Jetta automatic variety.


It is a Bosch remanufactured SR82X. Good eye!
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1979 Riviera Poptop - 1.8L VW 93' Fox watercooled

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Franklinstein
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

The Kennedy adapter kit comes with the adapter plate, a matching flywheel, mounting hardware for the both, and a pilot bearing. The hardware was 8.8 grade. A 228 m setup cost about $560 shipped. The directions are basic and general, applying to mounting the kit to the motor and prepping the tranny input shaft and advice on designing a cooling setup.

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The transmission input shaft in the 091 needs to be trimmed 7/16 inch. I pulled the bellhousing (new gasket from Bus Depot), then pulled and trimmed the input shaft, did a new seal, and starter bushing. I pulled the nosecone (new gasket and metal shifter ball from German Supply), did hockey stick seal, and bellows.

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I went stock for the 1979 bus and got a Sachs KF25101 clutch kit. The pressue plate and disc "Hecho en Mexico", release bearing from Germany. Pressure plate bolts were some 10.9 grade from the hardware store. Ended up with an extra pilot bearing since I got one with the KEP adapter kit.

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Installed!

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It is a beauty!

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Got a rebuilt starter installed.

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Still much to do but chugging along.
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

Hand turn your motor over a couple times.

There was a thread recently where the poster had used regular bolts to bolt up the pressure plate, and they interfered with somersetting in the bellhousing.

That would be super annoying to find out after the package is installed!
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Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
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1973 Wild Westerner
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

The VW Fox used a front snub mount to limit the amount of lift created by the engine torque, those engine mounts are only designed to bear the weight of the engine & isolate engine vibration. They will readily tear if pulled apart. You need to design a bracket to limit the amount of movement that the mount is subjected to. it can be as simple as a chain from the subframe to the mount bracket.
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

vwwestyman wrote:
Hand turn your motor over a couple times.

There was a thread recently where the poster had used regular bolts to bolt up the pressure plate, and they interfered with somersetting in the bellhousing.

That would be super annoying to find out after the package is installed!


You had me scared for a second..... but it turned smoothly!
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1979 Riviera Poptop - 1.8L VW 93' Fox watercooled

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:28 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

TDCTDI wrote:
The VW Fox used a front snub mount to limit the amount of lift created by the engine torque, those engine mounts are only designed to bear the weight of the engine & isolate engine vibration. They will readily tear if pulled apart. You need to design a bracket to limit the amount of movement that the mount is subjected to. it can be as simple as a chain from the subframe to the mount bracket.


You are correct there, the previous install had a torque mount and corresponding stop on the bus frame. I need to reposition the stop since the new install is set to 15 degrees engine to transmission. The previous install was more like 18 degrees. I will add it when things are closer to clamped down on the engine mounting.

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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: 1.8L VW Fox watercooled conversion - Riviera Redux Reply with quote

Nice. I would however suggest that you triangulate a bracket to the top of that tube, it's a bit long & would put a lot of stress on the sheet metal that you would be attaching it to.
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