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VR6 in an automatic Vanagon
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:36 pm    Post subject: VR6 in an automatic Vanagon Reply with quote

I came across a couple of VR6's that I can get very reasonably, both have flywheels and not flex plates. I also have a nice Vanagon I picked up with an automatic tranny. Don't know much about making this swap. What do I need for a flex plate? Will the WBXer plate fit on the VR6, or will the VR6 plate fit to a Vanagon torque converter?

Any other info on doing this swap? Doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there. Most posts and sites just say its a good swap, but lack detail.

Thanks, WT
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James 93SLC
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: VR6 in an automatic Vanagon Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
I came across a couple of VR6's that I can get very reasonably, both have flywheels and not flex plates. I also have a nice Vanagon I picked up with an automatic tranny. Don't know much about making this swap. What do I need for a flex plate? Will the WBXer plate fit on the VR6, or will the VR6 plate fit to a Vanagon torque converter?

Any other info on doing this swap? Doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there. Most posts and sites just say its a good swap, but lack detail.

Thanks, WT


I believe the Kennedy VR6 adapter comes with the needed flexplate, as I don't believe either the VR or WBX one will work.

I too am exploring this option more since the price on the Bostig setup has climbed past $6K.

Not too many write-ups due to there being lots of fabrication work. There are a few decent threads with pics, and Berg I think answered a few of my questions. Really I think you are best to have the VR donor car in hand so that you can get all the harness that you need.

Edit: Found the email I got from Kennedy
Quote:
You have to have the flex plate that comes in our kit, the Vanagon flex will not work. Cost of kit is $480 (Automatic adapter kits come with: Adapter Plate, flex-plate and bolts.)

We have a 3 to 4 week lead time before parts are ready to ship.


KENNEDY ENGINEERED PRODUCTS, INC. 661-272-1147
38830 17th St. E Fax: 661-272-1575
Palmdale, CA 93550
www.kennedyeng.com

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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, the VR6 is not ideal for a swap into a Vanagon.
I recently had a Syncro VR6 come to me for work.
I actually turned it down as the entire conversion was very sloppy and it showed in how it ran. Nothing I could do, but reconvert for this particular van.


I think there is a reason you don't see more of them around.


dylan
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James 93SLC
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that a sloppy install can make any conversion work poorly. I also think this one hasn't been looked at much because of the need for a raised engine cover. Campers don't like that because of the bed issue.

Suby's are popular because they fit.
Inline 4 cylinders are popular because it was done with the diesel and parts are there already.
Anything else...V6 or V8 requires a bit more engineering and $$$, and that keeps most people away.

If I do go the VR6 route, it will be fully documented and done right.
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Corwyn Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: VR6 Reply with quote

Just one question . . . . . . . why?
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James 93SLC
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: VR6 Reply with quote

Corwyn wrote:
Just one question . . . . . . . why?



Why a VR6? Is that what you're questioning?
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Beetsport Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James 93SLC wrote:
I agree that a sloppy install can make any conversion work poorly. I also think this one hasn't been looked at much because of the need for a raised engine cover. Campers don't like that because of the bed issue.

Suby's are popular because they fit.
Inline 4 cylinders are popular because it was done with the diesel and parts are there already.
Anything else...V6 or V8 requires a bit more engineering and $$$, and that keeps most people away.

If I do go the VR6 route, it will be fully documented and done right.


You will also need to cut some of the area of the deck towards the rear seat for clearance reasons. It's been done plenty..

Check into the 1.8T too. Same (or more) power than the VR6 with just programming the ECU. Fuel mileage better too..

Very Happy
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Tristar Eric
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few things you need to ask yourself...

Are you willing to spin that VR6 at 4000 rpm while cruising at 70mph?

Are you willing to cut the firewall and top deck to fit it?

I would recommend an engine that likes to spin at 4000 to 5000 rpm's happily to an owner of an automatic. (Subaru).

Did you say a Bostig kit costs $6000? is that installed?
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dredward
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beetsport wrote:
James 93SLC wrote:
I agree that a sloppy install can make any conversion work poorly. I also think this one hasn't been looked at much because of the need for a raised engine cover. Campers don't like that because of the bed issue.

Suby's are popular because they fit.
Inline 4 cylinders are popular because it was done with the diesel and parts are there already.
Anything else...V6 or V8 requires a bit more engineering and $$$, and that keeps most people away.

If I do go the VR6 route, it will be fully documented and done right.


You will also need to cut some of the area of the deck towards the rear seat for clearance reasons. It's been done plenty..

Check into the 1.8T too. Same (or more) power than the VR6 with just programming the ECU. Fuel mileage better too..

Very Happy

I and everyone who's done this swap is 100% happy!!!!! Cool
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dredward wrote:
I and everyone who's done this swap is 100% happy!!!!! Cool


Which swap did you do? The VR6 or the 1.8T?
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He is a 1.8T pilot.
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tristar Eric wrote:
A few things you need to ask yourself...

Are you willing to spin that VR6 at 4000 rpm while cruising at 70mph?

Are you willing to cut the firewall and top deck to fit it?

I would recommend an engine that likes to spin at 4000 to 5000 rpm's happily to an owner of an automatic. (Subaru).

Did you say a Bostig kit costs $6000? is that installed?


The Bostig kit is just a few dollars north of $5K

Plus shipping, plus automatic specific parts, plus extras like the heat shield, etc.

Then add in the the cost of the used engine (or crate engine like I have) and the off-the-shelf parts you need from RockAuto, and yeah, you're looking north of $6K total.

Still okay for me, to have a fairly plug and play conversion without hassles of a DIY Subi conversion. Nothing against the Subi, I would love one, I just think the skill level to do one may be a stretch for me, whereas I feel the Bostig is not.

I know for sure the VR6 would be, to get us back on track here. I do see the desire for one though, I had a Passat with the VR6, and that was a GREAT engine. Just don't think it's a good match for the automatic without getting into re-gearing.
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James 93SLC
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tristar Eric wrote:
A few things you need to ask yourself...

Are you willing to spin that VR6 at 4000 rpm while cruising at 70mph?

Did you say a Bostig kit costs $6000? is that installed?


My Corrado likes that 3500-4000 band just fine Laughing

The cutting is a little bit of an issue for me, but I really wouldn't see myself wanting/needing to return the van to bone stock looks. I've seen a few pics of VR's in a van that didn't need cut that far back. I would look into running a spacer on the trans mount, much like the Bostig, to shift it rearward a bit.

As someone posted already, the Bostig kit by the time you order the incidentals and a engine, the price gets up there.

1.8T is an option, but then you have a host of other problems to solve. Does it get canted over? Does in need a modified oil pan? Then you have intercooler routing issues, and I'm sure the wiring is a bit more involved (i.e. DBW or immobilizer). Also the 1.8T have their own maintenance issues. Turbos aren't cheap Razz

Back to the VR and why I like it. I'm VERY familiar with it. It's has very nice low end torque. Is very bullet proof. It sounds fantastic Laughing I could go on.
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Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/slc.corrado
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