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Tiico conversion better than the Zetec and Subie????
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weatherbill
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:55 am    Post subject: Tiico conversion better than the Zetec and Subie???? Reply with quote

I have been anylizing this for sometime now.

I think I lean towards the Tiico conversion over all others.

For one, with the subie conversion, it is hard to find a low milage engine and the wiring harness is a tough install. I really like the subie, but these factors bring it down on the list.

The Zetec is very attractive becasue the ford focus motor and parts are cheap and very available, but was on the zetec site and heard of people only getting 18 mpg, compared to the Tiico 22-24 mpg.
the zetec install is about $1000-$1500 more considering labor and the turnkey. i like that the turnkey is much more complete on the zetec, but the mpg is less once done.

The Tiico conversion takes about 20 shop hours to complete, but that is priced into my analysis. With the 22-24 mpg you can get with a tiico over a zetec (18 mpg), I am leaning towards the Tiico conversion.
I can probably save some money as well, if I take out the engine myself and seperate the few parts needed to go back on, then tow to the pro shop for the complete install.
If I do that, I can probably save $2000-$2500 over the bostig zetec conversion.
I don't want to mess with the subie conversion becasue finding an engine with low miles is hard and costs more mulla, but the subie seems to be the smoothest engine for the vanagon, so weighing all these pros and cons, I am leaning towards the Tiico conversion.
Any insights are appreciated or if I am not seeing any blind spots I may have, those considerations are welcomed as well.
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Captain Pike
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get Diesel doner parts and build your own.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I drove a Tiico, power was very nice, smooth engine but a bit rough on idle. i just met Brady from Bostig last week and saw my first ZTEC, they did some real nice improvement to the conversion. Engine sound nice, lot's of room around the engine.

As much as i'm surprised to see only 18mpg on the ZTEC, i also think 22-24 is a bit high for the Tiico,m y friend tell me it's more in around 20.

With the 2.5L i got an amazing 24 wile in Mexico (slow driving), but in the real world, i get around 19-22.

I'm just happy to see a few nice convertions out there, i'm also happy to see that some are still working hard on stock engine( Tenc, B.Bob, GoWesty...)

good luck with your decision.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill W wrote:
Get Diesel doner parts and build your own.


I'm with Bill on that one. Escpecially when compared to how I did it. (the hard way! Wink

And I would suggest using the ABA block with 1.8 head (digifant) or stock 1.8 8V. (RV code??)

Whichever platform you choose, make sure it is well "documented". i.e. The Jetta ABA 2.0 w/Motronic I installed in my Westy at 15* is *likely* a less common swap than the ABA/1.8 head or stock 1.8. at 50* a la Tiico. From what I've seen, the 15* ABA is not as well "documented". I could be wrong on that though.

I'm not knocking the 15* setup or the stock 2.0 ABA. The OBD1 ABA engine might have oil squirters, and it's possible the crank is stronger than later model ABA engines. Plus OBD1 is simpler than OBD2. And I"ll be curious to see what kind of fuel mileage I get with Motronic as compared to Digifant. Though I suspect it won't be that much better. I will say though, that having OBD really helps to trouble shoot things.

Just my .02 based upon my first conversion.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm getting in the 22-24mpg range consistently in my Tiico. They get a lot of people talking trash about them, but it seems like most of the nay sayers have never driven Tiico van.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go electric conversion, enter the 21st cent. Charge off solar, no CO2, no gas stations.

You could argue which conversion is better until your blue in the face. They all have their merits and their problems. A whole lot depends on how big the pile of money you have to throw at a conversion and what your time is worth.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:54 am    Post subject: Re: Tiico conversion better than the Zetec and Subie???? Reply with quote

weatherbill wrote:


For one, with the subie conversion, it is hard to find a low milage engine and the wiring harness is a tough install. I really like the subie, but these factors bring it down on the list..


Easy solution for the above is to buy a cheap, high mileage, Suby doner car and then a JDM engine and use the longblock. For the harness,....have it done by one of the pros...$500-$600...no muss, no fuss.

Mileage reports are hard to make a decision on.....I hear ranges from 19-24mpg with many 2WD Subaru conversions....but IMHO mileage depends on so many factors....what you drive, how you drive, how fast you drive, WHERE you drive, ....etc. etc. ......truly YMMV.

You didn't say what van you have and where you do most of your driving. A Syncro Westy at 5000-8000' will get vastly different mileage than a GL passenger van in Iowa.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

> any blind spots I may have

you have considered lowest cost and highest gas mileage, but have eliminated the subaru engines due to a mistaken assumption about only being available with high engine mileage

you dont mention horsepower or torque of the engines you are considering

What if you could have the Most horsepower, and the Most torque, and the Best gas mileage, and the Lowest cost? Well, I think you would agree, that would be an almost perfect world.

I think that might be possible with a subie 2.5, could be wrong though..

ask yourself what engine the majority of people would go with today.. a tiico or a 2.5 subaru, and btw, you can get a turnkey subaru from vanaru.com

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weatherbill
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 2.5 subie is defintely up there. I do liek the power of that engine!

I wish the cost of that turnkey was lower though....$7800 is a bit steep for me. The guys at tiico emailed me a $4900 quote.

If cost was not an issue, I would go for the 2.5 subie,but since cost is an issue for me, I am leaning to the tiico.

i had a tiico vanagon and was happy with the power I was getting, but if I want to pull a trailer or something, I tihnk I would defintely need the extra hp of the 2.5, so I have some contemplations to deal with.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well there was a MPG thred a few days ago and the couple subarus did not make a good showing.
I dont know why they have such a good rap over the stock WBX.
the gas milage is not that great and they also leak coolant then they are older (I heart from my lokal repair guy) as most watercooled flat's.

Yes of course they have more HP and torque as the 2.1l MV.
I heard that the MV with DJ pistons and ignition timing is a great option.
about 107 DIN-HP (MV has 95) runing on super and better gas milage too.

Just a thought, I would go with a TD or VW/Audi I4/5, I like to keep it one Brand.

Michael
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Engine conversion Reply with quote

I have a 2.2 subie and I had a Ticco. Both engines are in syncros and both were driven the same. The Ticco gets better mileage (22 23) subi about (14 1Cool Also both engines were professionally installed. Cost of installation was about the same, although there is a time difference Ticco installed 2005--Subie instaled 2007. Overall I think the Subie is better for Syncro. but I was very happy with my Ticco!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all debatable... there are so many variables and different criteria. I went Subie for the hp, parts availability, and because I already have two Subies in the driveway and one has the same 2.5 engine I'm bolting up. The latter criteria means not only is the learning curve for me to do my own maintenance leveraged, but the shop I use for both the Subies and Vanagons is comfortable with both. They've done a Subie conversion so they're not unfamiliar with the marriage.

WRT mileage... I was concerned about that too, although many folks freshen up 120k+ mile 2.2s and are very happy with the results and seem to get many reliable miles out of the conversion. I opted for a 70k mile 2.5... pricier but my wife said go for it due to the increased power and lower miles.

I've heard bad things about getting parts for the Tiico, but that could be one or two folks with a grudge. I didn't research to see how what the benefits and disadvantages of the Tiico would be. I did enough reading that I had already decided on a Subaru engine if I were to convert. For me the decision was between a newly built WBX from TenCentLife, or bite the bullet and stuff a Subie in there. If I were worried solely about low miles or quickness of the installation, the 10 WBX would have been the choice for me.

I think it's cool, though, that so many folks are considering and performing these conversions and keeping the vans on the road. Sometime in the future the "classic Vanagon" crowd is going to be cursing all of us who went the non-WBX route, but today it gives us the option of keeping these things going but making them more drivable that stock (I know, this is subjective).
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: I4 mpg Reply with quote

What mileage does an ABA 2.0 with the 1.8 head and common rail Digifant (or Digijet?) from an early 90's A1/A2 get? Auto or stick mileage?

Using diesel parts and these common big engine parts and very few aftermarket items you should be able to do this almost all VW conversion easy enough.

This still leaves you with a big iron lump in the back. I am promised a test ride in such a conversion in the next month.

Flip side is the Suby for me. Got one again. Now I need to really make up my mind (Since I just can not justify the ALH diesel....sigh....)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I've stated all this before, but...well...

As far as mileage, c'mon give me something to think about, I get 19-21 in most conditions on the highway with my 2.1wbx

As far as "driveability" I drive mine almost everyday for about 8-9 mos of the year and that includes many 6-7 hour trips which I consider "short" and at least one 3-5000 mi trip every year since I bought my van 9 yrs ago. I have never had any malfunction i couldn't fix easily while on the road, and truthfully this has only happened twice while on a trip.

So, I should spend many, many thousands to put in an engine that will have components and a wiring harness that I may not be able to troubleshoot, it may or may not get better mileage depending on how I drive with the extra power.

I replaced my 1.9 with a fresh 2.1 replaced all the gaskets, put in a new water pump,replaced many hoses and it total it cost under 1,000.00

So if I had the budget for the suby from what i've read here I would have another 5-6000.00!!! to spend.
I could have a pretty fine van for that extra cash...no offense but I just don't get it. Todd
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tschroeder0 wrote:
I know I've stated all this before, but...well...

As far as mileage, c'mon give me something to think about, I get 19-21 in most conditions on the highway with my 2.1wbx


I agree... I don't think any gasoline solution is really going to vary that much on the average. Everyone will get the occasional high mpg trip, but face it, we're driving big steel boxes and I believe that is the biggest factor in our mileage. It's always going to take a certain amount of energy to push these things through the atmosphere, fighting gravity all the way, and no engine solution will change that much. What I like about the Subie engine is that it's more modern and apears to be more efficient. If you can get 30 or 40 or 70 more horsepower without taking a significant MPG hit, that seems like a good thing to me.

Quote:
As far as "driveability" I drive mine almost everyday for about 8-9 mos of the year and that includes many 6-7 hour trips which I consider "short" and at least one 3-5000 mi trip every year since I bought my van 9 yrs ago.

That's exactly why I stated that "drivable" is a subjective term: some folks are happy with a 2 liter water cooled, some folks want a V8.

Quote:
So, I should spend many, many thousands to put in an engine that will have components and a wiring harness that I may not be able to troubleshoot, it may or may not get better mileage depending on how I drive with the extra power.

If you have to ask, the answer is "No."

Quote:
I replaced my 1.9 with a fresh 2.1 replaced all the gaskets, put in a new water pump,replaced many hoses and it total it cost under 1,000.00

If I had found a low mileage 2.1 WBX for a few hundred dollars that I could have freshened up I would have gone that route too. Since it would cost about $3K to $5K for a "modern" WBXer, a thousand or two more for a Subie conversion puts me ahead as far as I'm concerned... YMMV.

The opinions on this are all over the map, and there is no one right answer for everybody and all situations. The original question was from someone considering conversion options, so we've established the he is dissatisfied with the stock engine. He has done his homework and Tiico is looking like the right solution for him... not my choice but certainly a proven solution that a lot of folks are happy with. He was asking whether he may have overlooked something regarding the Zetek or Subie conversions.

I like DogPilot's suggestion of going electric; if I thought that were practical for a heavy, non-aerodynamic, box that we're going to load down for long road trips I'd be all over it! I'm thinking an old Subie Legacy would be a good 'lectric commuter conversion candidate, but I've got to finish the Vanagon first!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember: Tiicos are all I4 conversions Arrow , Think not all I4 conversions are Tiico. The parts avaliblity is not a prob, lotsa VW I4s out there.
The nice thing about Diesel doner parts is a simple bolt up option then all you need to do is learn Dig'2 Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, the main reason I'mconsidering a conversion is becasue my waterboxer is weaker than th eaverage waterboxer.

I've owned and driven 3 other waterboxer vanagons and this is much weaker than all the others. I feel like I'm only getting 80 hp, so maybe my problem is something else.

The former owner said the owner before him had installed a boston bob rebuilt engine. I had both heads replaced when one of them started leaking, but it still runs the same.

It will go 65 mph at 4000 rpm, but it takes longer to get there than my previous waterboxers. I remember having an 87 vanagon gl and that thing had some get up n go. It was the 95 hp waterboxer, but this 1989 wolfsburg is so much slower in gettin up to speed than all my other si"ve owned.
Iv'e replaced fuel injectors, had pro tune ups done, etc.
I think something is inheritently wrong with the boston bob engine, though it's been running the same for 5 years now. It's fine mechanically, but it is wimpier than my other vangons I owned and I'v ereplaced so many parts on this thing that it's practically new, accept for the trannie and the engine, or else I would sell it and get me one that gives the correct get up n go, but i'de never get near my money I have into it back, so as you can see, my dilema I am dealing with.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill W wrote:
Remember: Tiicos are all I4 conversions Arrow , Think not all I4 conversions are Tiico. The parts avaliblity is not a prob, lotsa VW I4s out there.
The nice thing about Diesel doner parts is a simple bolt up option then all you need to do is learn Dig'2 Smile



exactly. i say keep it german and do a homebrew I4 conversion.... easier to troubleshoot, easier to work on, decent mpg, reliable power and cheap to replace.....I love mine Cool
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crez wrote:
Bill W wrote:
Remember: Tiicos are all I4 conversions Arrow , Think not all I4 conversions are Tiico. The parts avaliblity is not a prob, lotsa VW I4s out there.
The nice thing about Diesel doner parts is a simple bolt up option then all you need to do is learn Dig'2 Smile



exactly. i say keep it german and do a homebrew I4 conversion.... easier to troubleshoot, easier to work on, decent mpg, reliable power and cheap to replace.....I love mine Cool

The force is with us Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

weatherbill wrote:
The former owner said the owner before him had installed a boston bob rebuilt engine. I had both heads replaced when one of them started leaking, but it still runs the same.

Iv'e replaced fuel injectors, had pro tune ups done, etc.
I think something is inheritently wrong with the boston bob engine, though it's been running the same for 5 years now. It's fine mechanically, but it is wimpier than my other vangons I owned and I'v ereplaced so many parts on this thing that it's practically new, accept for the trannie and the engine, or else I would sell it and get me one that gives the correct get up n go, but i'de never get near my money I have into it back, so as you can see, my dilema I am dealing with.

Not that I know what I'm talking about, but have you checked the compression and done a leak down to make sure the engine is tight? It probably is, but ???

I'm also wondering what the compression ratio is. I don't know what a BB engine should be, but I wonder if either the rods, pistons, or heads used caused a lower compression ratio than stock. I don't really know how to check that with a built engine, but it's easy enough to calculate if you know the cylinder diameter, stroke, space left at the top of the cylinder at TDC (deck height?), and volume of the valve recess of the head (I don't know what you call it).

If it's lower than stock you could probably have the heads shaved to bring it up with a lot less hassle that swapping the engine. Maybe some of the real mechanics have some thoughts on this... I never know if I'm barking up the wrong tree. I'm sure you're frustrated with this engine... it sounds like you've put a lot of money and time into trying to get it right, but it seems like it's worth trying to figure out because it's probably an excellent engine.
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