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Bostig professionally installed, still cheaper than Subaru?
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figborg
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:33 am    Post subject: Bostig professionally installed, still cheaper than Subaru? Reply with quote

Hello everyone,
I'm new to The Samba and a recently became a Vanagon owner -- 86 (according to vin) Westfalia campmobile, manual transmission, Silver Flash color, gray interior (introduced in late 86 models?)
The interior and body of the van are in near mint condition but the engine is got to go. I want reliability and more power in order to do various cross-country trips and eventually take my van to Spain when I move back (a few years down the road).
I understand that one of the great benefits of the Bostig conversion kit is the do-it-yourself design and the support that the Bostig people provide. Unfortunately, due to constant travel across the Atlantic and the lack of a space to do the work (among other things), I cannot do the install myself and need to hire a mechanic. I'm also doing a ton of other work (brakes, calipers, cylinders, hoses, air filter, defrost blower, fuel lines, A/C belt, etc.) and want to get it done all at once.
My question is -- is a professionally installed Bostig kit still cheaper than a professionally installed Subaru kit? My research seems to indicate so (I've read plenty of threads in this forum), but I'm new at this...
I love Subarus. I own a 07 Impreza Outback Sport but the Bostig seemed like a great option.
Also, I live in the Providence/Boston area and if anyone is willing to PM me regarding good VW mechanics within a 100-200 mile radius, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks!

Here are some pics of the van Very Happy
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Last edited by figborg on Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:40 am; edited 2 times in total
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I priced these options out earlier this year the professionally installed Bostig option was slightly cheaper, about $14K v $15K for a Subaru (2.5). Both prices could climb from there but the Subie shop suggested their's could climb faster into the $15-$20K range. These shops were in Seattle and they both have a lot of experience doing this work.

I'd recommend chatting with the shop owners in your area who may do the work, discuss engine options, timing and price ranges and select a shop/engine option based on what you learn. Price is only one factor and the difference between engine options made it relatively small on a percentage basis. FWIW, YMMV, etc.
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Bostig professionally installed, still cheaper than Suba Reply with quote

There are many variables such as exactly which subaru engine, engine/parts availability in your area, etc. Need to compare apples to apples too -- an SVX vs. a Zetec are different animals for example. If you are partisan to german with german then it's done -- Zetec (or a diesel).

I'd say a professional shop doing the work, a 2.2L or a Zetec, cost would probably be close but the Zetec a little cheaper. Splitting hairs though. Where you are in the NE -- maybe closer to Bostig can be an advantage too.

In PNW -- 2.2L still has a following (non-interference engine) but 2.5L's have won the popularity contest. 165 hp to get a loaded westy more efficiently over mtn ranges and for safer passing when necessary.

As an aside, I'd recommend not taking your westy to Spain in a few years. I think you'd be better off financially and functionally finding something over there that is equal to or better and is supported. So throw that in the equation regarding how much you want to spend now.
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JudoJeff
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once the Bostig is installed, if the zetec engine fails, you just move everything over to a different engine. They should be available in Spain, it's a world class engine, etc.

Cost for a Bostig kit with the extras is $8,000, I document all of my costs on this website. My best friend did a Subi 2.2, his costs were much higher, not the exact amount, but close to $14,000.

I'm doing an '87 over that I just picked up, and my costs are in line with what I quoted above. I live near Springfield if you want to come see a finished unit and one under construction.
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JudoJeff wrote:
Cost for a Bostig kit with the extras is $8,000, I document all of my costs on this website. My best friend did a Subi 2.2, his costs were much higher, not the exact amount, but close to $14,000


I think the OP is asking about professional install comparisons, not do it yourself as you imply. And out here do it yourself 2.2L is much, much less.
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oldskewlsk8ter
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JudoJeff wrote:
Cost for a Bostig kit with the extras is $8,000, I document all of my costs on this website. My best friend did a Subi 2.2, his costs were much higher, not the exact amount, but close to $14,000.


I did a subi 2.2, replaced the tank, and installed stainless coolant lines all at the same time, and mine came in right under $5000...that's including the cost of the engine!
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JudoJeff
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impressive costs for a DIY Subi install, I'd have gone with that.

I don't pretend to know what a Subi costs, I've read here quotes of 16k from a shop, all of which are on the West Coast. OP wants to know costs here in Boston, who does the installs on the East coast? Can you quote a cost?
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With all of the vans being reconverted from the Subaru 2.5 to another conversion, like the 1.8T, you can pick up complete and very well done and tested Subaru 2.5 packages for about 1/4 the cost of building it from scratch, DIY or not.

I know because I now own my first 2.5 conversion. Wink
Couldn't pass on such a deal.

It takes about a day and a half to install.
Figure $85-$100 an hour for a pro to install.
Do the math, that is pennies on the dollar vs new kits.
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wcdennis
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will get plenty of opinions here (mainly based on what each respondent personally drives) I would seek out some conversions in your area and get a first-hand feel for how they compare.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't work on Japanese or American cars, but if someone brought me a van and wanted a quote for installation of either of these off-brand "kits", I'd have to say that the one that arrived with full step-by-step documentation, every nut and bolt required and easy product support from a single source would be vastly cheaper than the alternative.
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figborg
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips, everyone! I'm still in the beginning phase, reading hundreds of threads but I need to get out there and talk to people in the area, see converted vans, etc.
I'm considering a Subaru 2.5 or the Bostig but hadn't thought of buying a used kit, good point. I don't even know where to start though. I may check the Vanagon-Subaru forums.
Has anyone worked with Greg's Repair Shop in Natick? Feel free to PM me, I don't want to cause trouble. Smile
I appreciate the tips on the other shops. I'm considering all at this point.
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beteljuze
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but you said you just bought your Van and you're spending a lot of money having things done to it, including the engine. I have to ask-why didn't you just buy a Van that had a conversion done to it already?
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figborg
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beteljuze wrote:
I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, but you said you just bought your Van and you're spending a lot of money having things done to it, including the engine. I have to ask-why didn't you just buy a Van that had a conversion done to it already?


I wanted an 86-91 full camper Vanagon that I could see and test before buying. There were not many in my area, even less with a converted engine and a good body/interior. As you know, in the Northeast Vanagons become rust buckets unless they are garaged or meticulously maintained. A few were rebuilt WBX engines and I don't want that (no offense), I prefer the 2.5 or Bostig. Converted vans for sale were very expensive also, I prefer to do mine from scratch.
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=662374


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photogdave
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the motor pooched? Leaking oild and coolant all over the place? Smoke billowing? Bucking and sputtering?
If not, why not drive it for a while as-is? You might get used to it and decide you don't need a conversion.
Thousands of Vanagons are driving along just fine with stock motors! Cool
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm at eleven years and counting with my stock engine, even though I bought the van with the full intention of doing an engine swap
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, unless your engine is internally bad....as in needs machining to work again. I'd run with what you got. I just finished a conversion. A diy, it was time consuming and expensive. I love my new engine, however it has me now wondering what others are like.

Stick with what you have unless its dire. Your sanity and wallet will thank you.

I'm now thinking that engine conversions should be after the trans has been gone through. Hint x2
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figborg
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The engine is leaking oil and transmission fluid. My Subaru mechanic (who is great with my Impreza) wrote in a piece of paper a litany of things that need to be done, preferably by a VW specialist. He charged me nothing. I'm going to take it to Greg's Repair Service in Boston for his opinion.
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JudoJeff
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you contact Bostig directly, they would know of any shops doing their conversion.

Can't help with the Suburu.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

insyncro wrote:
With all of the vans being reconverted from the Subaru 2.5 to another conversion, like the 1.8T, you can pick up complete and very well done and tested Subaru 2.5 packages for about 1/4 the cost of building it from scratch, DIY or not.

I know because I now own my first 2.5 conversion. Wink
Couldn't pass on such a deal.

It takes about a day and a half to install.
Figure $85-$100 an hour for a pro to install.
Do the math, that is pennies on the dollar vs new kits.


Thanks for all the PMs.
This was not an advertisement to sell the conversion or services.
The 2.5 is going into a Syncro and will be used for traveling.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the wonderful World of Vanagon!

Dylan, user insyncro, used to do customer Bostig installs but I think he,s moved out of that realm into rehabbing Vans and selling them?????

I would contact him, he's just along the Hudson in NY State.

He may be able to help you with price ranges and a reliable shop recommendation.

If he is selling completed Vans now, he may have the unit you seek too.
You Haven't fallen in love with yours yet so there's no emotional attachment formed.
To jump to another unit would be painless at this point.

I am a "stock" guy, overall I run classic VW's as they came from Germany.
I am not into major modifications and boosts in power.

I just completed a major trip with a bone stock 2.1 Automatic.
While there were times a few ponies more would have been appreciated, overall I had a very pleasant ride BELOW the posted legal speed limit.

I was never rudely run off the highway (actually got many waves and thumbs up from fellow travelers) and allowed people to pass me at every safe opportunity.
It was actually quite relaxing to drive in a non aggressive manner not always trying to be (or able to be) pack leader in a line of traffic.

I sat back, relaxed and watched the frenzied World go by as the little WBXer hummed along at 3500- 4000 rpm.

Dave
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