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Subaru vs. Zetec (hopefully, a debate thread)
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dwdufour
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:29 pm    Post subject: Subaru vs. Zetec (hopefully, a debate thread) Reply with quote

[Moderator note, 10/9/2015: Yes, this is another engine conversion topic; no, it is not getting locked. If you don't wish to contribute useful information on the subject, do not post. Thank you.]


I know, I know. This topic has been exhausted.

I'm looking for a debate style approach to the engine conversion.

I want people to advocate for each side and against the other.

Sell me.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dwdufour wrote:
Subaru vs. Zetech (hopefully, a debate thread)

I would like to debate that one of those isn't a motor. Wink




Moderator Note: title thread fixed
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redeyeksc
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zetec...for all the reasons described on the Bostig site.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have heard that with Zetec you need a lot access to the top, while with Subaru you can do a lot from the bottom. That means that if you have a Westy with a bed on top of the engine, you might find Zetec inconvenient to work on.

Interested to read any comments on this.
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Last edited by Gnarlodious on Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:45 am; edited 2 times in total
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But--with the Zetec you have a mile of room on either side of the engine--piles of area to work with-

Nicer set up in my opinion, no wiring harness pains, no coolant feed issues.
Pretty much plug & play--won't take very much time to get the van rolling with the Zetec setup--

Plus there are more options to crank more horses outa the Zetec with plug & play updates--
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redeyeksc
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a Bostig you can practically stand inside the engine compartment beside the engine. The only thing you should have to do is change the oil. And yes you would do that with the deck lid off.

Not sure what else would require work from the bottom as opposed to the top.
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newfisher
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its a mute point unless someone chimes in who has experienced both.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own both, have installed both, maintained both, upgraded both....yawn.

The problem with this thread.....no 1.8T Rolling Eyes
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Signalocity
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
dwdufour wrote:
Subaru vs. Zetech (hopefully, a debate thread)

I would like to debate that one of those isn't a motor. Wink


Can we debate that both are not motors, but engines? ... well, one engine i guess lol. Wink

Honestly, every aspect of this debate has been covered somewhere or another. Even if you narrow it down to which Subaru you have in mind.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP:

If you want a debate style approach your carelessly worded post ain't gonna get it. A debate starts with a topic, e.g. The Bostig conversion is superior to a 2.5 Subaru, which then has one party arguing in the affirmative and one arguing to prove the negative. Instead, you just punted an imprecise question that borders on or is entirely trollish.

There are already dozens of threads on this topic in the FAQs and more in search and on the web. Have you taken time to read any of it? Is so, you surely must have more specific questions than begging for some one to "sell" you. How the hell can anyone sell you if you haven't qualified your needs and priorities?

To answer your question, the Subaru is the absolute best conversion for those who prefer it. Likewise, the Bostig for those who prefer it. Every bit of information needed to make this decision is already available to you. Which one do you prefer?
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dwdufour
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But really, if you have an opinion (preferably with experience), please, give me a shout.
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thatvwbusguy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starting a thread with "I know, I know. This topic has been exhausted" is bound to bring out some "use the search" replies. If you can't handle that type of reply, internet forums are not going to be a fun place for you...

There really is no debate to be had for Zetec vs. Subaru, since they are very different engine systems. From a standpoint of being very familiar with both engines, I can offer the following:

I have had a Zetec in my '85 Westfalia since late 2007. In this time, I have spent virtually zero time working on the engine aside from oil changes and replacing the spark plugs and wires. The install took me about 20 hours working alone.

I have been driving Subaru Foresters since 1998 and have had pretty good luck with them for the most part. I have had to replace the head gaskets on all 3 of them at around 80,000 miles, most recently on my 2006 Forester just last week. When doing the gaskets, replacing the water pump and timing belt is a good idea.

If you want simplicity, a fully realized engine conversion system, 100% new engine wiring harness and great customer support, go with the Zetec conversion from Bostig. It is a solid engine that is well matched to the needs of most drivers who want to go where they want without worrying about the engine.

If you want a bit more power and torque, the Subaru 2.5 might be better suited for your needs. To the best of my knowledge there is no 100% complete kit for the Subaru 2.5L. I notice that Vanaru does offer a "turn key" kit, but the link on their website is broken, so I can't tell if it is a "every nut and bolt accounted for" kit like the kit from Bostig, or if you would still need to supply certain hardware or carry parts over from your stock engine

Any of the modern engine conversions are going to be more efficient and most likely more dependable than the WBX. All of them are fairly expensive and will require you to become your own mechanic for the most part, unless you can find an independent garage with an experienced mechanic who has good logic and troubleshooting skills.
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two different units in their design, problem areas, history and acceptance by the industry and customers.

I've had the Ford Focus in my Stable several times.....
I've had the Subaru in my Stable several times (though once was a 3cyl Justy) ....

The better tougher unit was the Ford Focus Zetec. Even after much abuse it kept going and going and going.

Subaru? Head gasket failure and an overall sense of fragility to me. (Says the man running a 2.1 WBX !! )

Why slip in a similar technology?

The Boxer has been manufacturered by numerous vehicle manufacturers since it's patent by Benz in 1897.
Most soon abandoned the design but there are a few notable success stories. Most were Air Cooled, the Boxer is Ideal for Air cooling with it's layout and exposed cylinders. Water cooled...... It gets complex and dicey.

VW Type I and following
Porsche
Subaru
Honda Motorcycles
BMW Motorcycles

People seem to love the Boxer or hate the Boxer. (Not to be confused with a flat engine)

Anyway, I found the Zetec to be almost indestructible and when it failed, a bit of Rube Goldberg repairs and off it went!

Price wise, if you are going cheap, Subaru is your answer.
You Have the coin for Bostig's kit and a good used motor? Zetec without a second thought.

The effects of increased Horse Power on the Vanagon's transaxle should also be factored in and has also been discussed here at length.
There are Many documented driveline failures of conversion units.

The Boxer is proven but aging technology, one wonders if Subaru is hanging onto it as a brand identification "quirk", not unlike what Mazda did/does with the Rotary engine????

How has the Subaru/Toyota joint Boxer engine fared in real World use?


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JudoJeff
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zetec Bostig conversion. Made for DIY mechanic, you almost never open the hatch except to show it off to someone.....
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dwdufour
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those were beautiful replies.

Really.

Thank you.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is getting ridiculous. My first post that was deleted was a link to a good 10 Subaru vs. Bostig threads...and here's a few more that are specifically Subaru vs. Zetec.

Instead of deleting the USEFUL posts, it might be advantageous to lock this thread and direct the OP to use one of the multitude of existing threads that are on the exact same subject as is the policy of the Samba.


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Sodo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Subaru EJ25. I can't tell you much about the Zetec except you will lose ground clearance, bigtime. If you use your van on pavement only, it's a non-issue.

Subaru has more power but that can be hard on your transmission. Subaru is quiet, you can't hear it running. I haven't seen quietness discussed on theSamba, maybe someone can help with a link to the posts about sound.

Zetec is simpler, and reliability and low cost replacement parts is a WORTHY goal. I bet you don't need replacements though. If your lump is low cost & high miles to start with then parts are more important.

I haven't had any problem with my 2007 Subaru but it has a big "hole" in the torque curve. I can't figure out why and it bugs me. I like the Subaru, what's done is done, but it was probably DOUBLE the cost. And any problem in the future will be double the cost too. I paid $14,000 for the Subaru install (by Smallcar) back in 2009 and there's no chance in h*** it has increased the value of my van by more than a very few thou$. ($3,000? $4,000?) Then I had to spend $1000 again for headers that would last.

Bostig was just getting started in 2009. If I got another van I would seriously consider Bostig at this point (2015).
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sodo, I don't think there an is accurate statement in here????

Sodo wrote:
I have a Subaru EJ25. I can't tell you much about the Zetec except you will lose ground clearance, bigtime. If you use your van on pavement only, it's a non-issue.

Subaru has more power but that can be hard on your transmission. Subaru is quiet, you can't hear it running. I haven't seen quietness discussed on theSamba, maybe someone can help with a link to the posts about sound.

Zetec is simpler, and reliability and low cost replacement parts is a WORTHY goal. I bet you don't need replacements though. If your lump is low cost & high miles to start with then parts are more important.

I haven't had any problem with my 2007 Subaru but it has a big "hole" in the torque curve. I can't figure out why and it bugs me. I like the Subaru, what's done is done, but it was probably DOUBLE the cost. And any problem in the future will be double the cost too. I paid $14,000 for the Subaru install (by Smallcar) back in 2009 and there's no chance in h*** it has increased the value of my van by more than a very few thou$. ($3,000? $4,000?)

Bostig was just getting started in 2009. I would seriously consider Bostig at this point (2015)
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LemonCove
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either engine would be more powerful and reliable (hopefully) than the WBX. Coming from the WBX, what I was looking for was reliability/peace of mind, and confidence to take off on long trips.

Yep, I read all the threads at the time. For me it was more about the Bostig kit than which engine. So my reply is less about the engine per se, but I am a "Subaru guy" who went with the Bostig.

Like Jay, I've had a couple Subarus as daily drivers for close to 14 years. Great cars, I have 190K on my GT. I have a connection to a friend who runs an independent Subaru business who has 50+ donor cars; would have been easy to score a good engine/harness and have help if I went the Suby route. One thing that always bugged me with my Legacys was the relative poor mileage (25mpg at 75), and they both have always dripped oil.

Like Jeff, it came down to a very straightforward DIY Bostig kit,and the ubiquitous and relatively low cost Zetec engines and parts. I was able to find a clean engine with less than 5K miles on it. You can affordably buy new Ford parts (e.g A/C Compressor and Alternator).

I did my conversion with no help, but it took me closer to 40hrs . . . as a novice, I was especially careful and triple checked every step. Started 1st time. Anyone with reasonable mechanical aptitude can do this, and doing it yourself gives you the confidence to take on other automotive projects.

I'll say that the Zetec powered Westy has proven very reliable (I did have issues related to a faulty catalytic converter), much quieter, I enjoy the additional power, and I get 20-22 mpg at 70mph.

And compared to the Subies my Westy shares a driveway with? No drips.

My 2 cents . . . Jed
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

davevickery wrote:
Sodo, I don't think there an is accurate statement in here????

Sodo wrote:
I have a Subaru EJ25. I can't tell you much about the Zetec except you will lose ground clearance, bigtime. If you use your van on pavement only, it's a non-issue.

Subaru has more power but that can be hard on your transmission. Subaru is quiet, you can't hear it running. I haven't seen quietness discussed on theSamba, maybe someone can help with a link to the posts about sound.

Zetec is simpler, and reliability and low cost replacement parts is a WORTHY goal. I bet you don't need replacements though. If your lump is low cost & high miles to start with then parts are more important.

I haven't had any problem with my 2007 Subaru but it has a big "hole" in the torque curve. I can't figure out why and it bugs me. I like the Subaru, what's done is done, but it was probably DOUBLE the cost. And any problem in the future will be double the cost too. I paid $14,000 for the Subaru install (by Smallcar) back in 2009 and there's no chance in h*** it has increased the value of my van by more than a very few thou$. ($3,000? $4,000?)

Bostig was just getting started in 2009. I would seriously consider Bostig at this point (2015)


Wow. Interested to see how you clearing up the inaccuracies (all of them), perhaps I will benefit as well with the updated info…..or are you just goofing around?
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