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Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:44 pm    Post subject: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

Well, that tapping/knocking noise I've been chasing in my VW reman 2.0 air-cooled is looking more and more like a worn cam gear. That will require a full tear down to fix and it doesn't make much sense to invest that much money in a motor that is underpowered. So......

An air-cooled Westy and an SVX walk into a bar....

I'm sure you know what happens next! Very Happy

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This build may take a while to gather steam but I'll get there! Found a '94 SVX with 98k miles for $1050 here in PA. Bought it, hopped on the highway set the cruise control at 70 mph, the climate control at 72 and made the 3 hour drive home no sweat! The body and interior scream "bucket" but the driveline is butter!
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dobryan Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Popcorn Very Happy
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Sir Sam
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool.
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jimeg
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
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Here: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=578490
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:18 pm    Post subject: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 Subaru motor Reply with quote

Started pulling the SVX motor today. It ran like a top on the drive home. The check engine light works and is not lit. The only thing I detected was a slight lifter tap and that disappeared with an oil and filter change with a quart of marvel mystery oil added. Got the radiator out and all hoses and wiring disconnected. Working on the exhaust now. Tomorrow is another day!

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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done my share of SVX harvesting.
Take your time with the bulkhead harness.
I got to the point of cutting the firewall out, instead of trying to fish everything through the holes.

Save the motor mounts and unbolt them, they are very hard to come by.
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oldhuldy67
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lurking and looking on with great anticipitation...
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Currently:1980 Westy Westfalia Poptop (a total stock-look rebuild with all my favorite camping mods)
1967 stock Sunroof Beetle
Formerly:
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1973 Squareback (sold on a lark)
1973 Super Beetle (crashed..walked away without a scratch)
1972 Standard Beetle (lost in a relationship..)
1966 Beetle (the Black Beauty, my Dad's)
1964 Beetle (the Beige Bug, my beginning beater, also my Dad's) Thanks, Dad.
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ScottShelley
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did an Aircooled to EJ 22 conversion and it turned out great. You will definitely be doing some cutting on the Firewall as the SVX is super tight even in a water cooled. the Aircooled trani sits a little further forward.
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BitterBeerFace
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, AC trans is more forward, be prepared to do minor cutting unless you can reverse the intake so it's toward the rear.

If you like the look of your Van's front, don't cut the lower radiator grill (yet). I've got a 2.2 in mine and as long as I'm moving, the fan never needs to come on. (only been in 90 degree air temps max so far...)

It will kick in when sitting still, but has no problem bringing the temp back down.

You'll need those threaded clips to run bolts into for your radiator support brackets and will most likely need to weld in/fab up an upper radiator bracket.
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips all!

Last weekend allowed me to get the motor pulled from the SVX.

If you are doing this for the first time be aware that there is a small access hole on the top of the engine case beneath the throttle body which allows access to the 4 12mm flex plate bolts.
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Some say taking the alternator out and using a long extension to remove these bolts is the way to go. I was able to get three of the four bolts out without difficulty. The fourth ran me through every trick in the book until I resorted to the Dremel tool and ground the head off. Here is a shot of the svx tranny with the motor out so you can see the flex plate bolt arrangement and the one I had to grind off
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Here is the motor out on the stand. An early victory! Very Happy
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I only had one casualty and that was stripped threads on an O2 sensor. A shame since the motor ran perfectly in the SVX. Now that I look at this picture again I notice the threads on the other sensor aren't too great either. I'll replace them both when I get near the finish line of this project.
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Scott
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

Things I think I've decided on for this project:

1. I'll use a bell housing rather than an adapter plate. I'm hoping this will allow me to use the Subaru starter
2. I'll move the air-cooled tranny backward so it sits where a water-cooled tranny would be. Maybe less cutting of the vanagon firewall will be necessary this way.

The SVX motor mounts look good. Definitely saving them. The car only had 98k miles but I wonder if the mounts had been replaced...

This weekend I'll see about getting the harness out of the SVX.

Scott
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levi
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

Macwesty wrote:


The body and interior scream "bucket" but the driveline is butter!



The transmission on the svx is the weak point, so if that one is good you should have no problem selling it to another svx owner in need.
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

Got the most of the components and wiring out of the engine compartment of the SVX today. Removed the driver's side fender to make getting the harness out easier. The fender came off in about 10 minutes!

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I'd like to give a shout out to the Subaru engineers who put electrical connectors in the harness just inside the bulkhead. Once I realized they were there it was click, click, click and the harness on the driver's side was out!

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Still two bundles of wiring to pull through the firewall. I'm going to pull all wiring and all the climate control components. Maybe it's a pipe dream but I'm obsessed with the idea of transplanting the SVX's automatic climate control into the van.

I've started ordering the coolant system parts my air-cooled van lacks and I'm getting excited!

Scott
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Forthwithtx
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

levi wrote:
Macwesty wrote:


The body and interior scream "bucket" but the driveline is butter!



The transmission on the svx is the weak point, so if that one is good you should have no problem selling it to another svx owner in need.


Yup. Exactly what I was thinking. Too bad you're 5 or 6 States away. I might grab yours as a spare for mine with 170k on it.
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GreggK
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

Hi Macwesty,
Im looking at the SVX as an option for my next conversion. Where are you getting your conversion parts from. Im only aware of Smallcar. Thanks GreggK
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

GreggK wrote:
Hi Macwesty,
Im looking at the SVX as an option for my next conversion. Where are you getting your conversion parts from. Im only aware of Smallcar. Thanks GreggK


I haven't purchased much yet. Looking at Smallcar and Rocky Mountain Westy predominantly.

Scott
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

After reading a lot about the SVX/EG33 conversion I decided to go with RJES (Richard Jones, www.rjes.com) for the major pieces. Endorsements of RJES by those that have performed these conversions multiple times are what convinced me.

Since this van is air-cooled the VW 4spd transmission is shorter than the later units and RJES makes the bracket I'll need to move the tranny backward. If I purchase all the pieces necessary to locate the EG33 and tranny in the van from a single vendor the foundation of this project should be solid. Here is what I bought:

Bell housing "pull clutch" type
Clutch shaft "pull clutch" type
T3 2wd engine mount
Extended front mount for DK gearbox

Parts and shipping from the UK worked out to about $1125. The quality of these parts looks excellent.

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I spoke with Richard briefly by phone and then we switched to email. He was very easy to work with and provided much useful info and advice. Even though the parts were coming from England I had them in about 5 business days. Since then I've purchased a used vanagon radiator from eBay. I'm planning to order the early 1.25" coolant pipes from Bus Depot so I don't have to enlarge the holes in the underbody of the van. These come split into two pieces so you don't have to remove the gas tank. I've already done a full re-seal on my tank so I'd like to avoid an R&R of that if possible. We'll see!

Other items on the to be purchased list:
Subaru pull type clutch
Subaru flywheel
VW clutch disk
Small Car wiring modification kit
Small Car coolant pipe kit (engine compartment)
Bus Depot 1.25" coolant pipes (from engine to radiator)
SVX Accelerator cable
Vehicle speed sensor
Coolant hoses
Coolant expansion tank
SVX engine seals
SVX belts, hoses, etc for engine refresh before install. (No rebuild here. Motor ran great. I'm going to drive it!)
Exhaust
This list is not exhaustive but covers the major conversion strategy points.

Im planning to install as much of the cooling system and complete wiring harness and EG33 refresh tasks before disabling the van. I still use it weekly and want to minimize the time it is off the road.

Scott
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

Well, the SVX swap is underway! Been working on the engine wiring harness while the weather was cold but the weather here in PA has turned for the better and the starter in the westy started acting up. No sense in replacing that starter so out comes the old lump!

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Scott
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

Transmission is out and in the process of being cleaned. Just finished ordering tranny seals and clutch parts!

For this phase of the project I am just re-sealing the tranny and using a 228mm VW clutch disc (part#025141031K) with a '02-'05 Subaru WRX Exedy OE clutch kit (part# KSB03). That is a pull-type clutch. I had purchased the RJES bell housing for the pull-type clutch based on RJES's recommendation.

I realize the extra torque of the SVX will drastically reduce the longevity of the 091 VW tranny but it will be driven gently initially and likely receive an upgraded tranny in phase 2.

Tranny input shaft seal, bell housing gasket and 228mm clutch disc : $102
Exedy KSB03 clutch kit: $192

Scott
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Macwesty
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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 6:01 am    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled to SVX EG33 conversion Reply with quote

I've been making progress on the conversion but haven't been posting. I have more respect for those that have fully documented their builds. It really does require an extra dose of dedication.

Here is the transmission as it came out:
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I pulled the VW bell housing to install the RJES unit. Inside looks good. Didn't find much in the way of metal shavings on the magnetic drain plug. I guess these 091 trannies must hold up well with just 68hp pushing them around.
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Here is the transmission all cleaned up with the RJES bell housing and mounting bracket to move the shorter 091 box back 2 inches into the standard water-cooled position.
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Fitting the smallcar exhaust header, shortened cast aluminum oil pan and dipstick.
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I ordered up some flywheel bolts since the flex plates bolts of the SVX automatic are not long enough for a manual tranny flywheel.
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The flywheel itself came from a 2015 WRX. Purchased via eBay. Sorting out the parts needed for the flywheel and clutch assembly is, in my opinion, one of the trickier aspects of this conversion so I want to be sure to note the parts I use to assist others that undertake this conversion. I had better get that suby pilot bearing out of there before I forget or I will pay the price later!
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Clutch pressure plate and disk test fit. Looks like it will work!
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Turning to the front end of the engine I have removed the power steering and A/C pumps. I may refit them later as these systems are added to the Westy in later projects but this air-cooled van has neither conveniences now. As a result a shorter 5 rib serpentine belt of 29-30 inches in length is needed. An off the shelf NAPA belt does the trick
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Turning to the EGR system I intend to keep this operational though I ran into a snag with the EGR pipe itself which was hopelessly welded to the stock exhaust header. I cut the pipe near the header. Then I pinched the end and welded it shut and fabricated a bracket to support it. We'll see how it runs with this detached. Some say it is critical for the engine to run properly. We shall see.
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I've also ordered up various sizes of silicon vacuum hose as well as some of the stock subaru formed hoses for those spots that a formed hose is necessary or more desirable. The first pic is of the three pieces that go to the vacuum tank under the intake manifold. That little check valve cracks from heat and mine was no exception. Pics with part numbers!
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Next up was to get busy in the engine compartment. I'm using the Smallcar coolant pipe/hose kit which makes it unnecessary to reverse the coolant manifold on the top of the engine. As a result I've got a coolant pipe that runs across the back of the engine compartment and then turns 90 degrees and runs forward under the coolant bottle. Unfortunately, air-cooled vans have a housing that allows fresh air to be drawn from the passenger side air duct in the C-pillar for the cabin heating system. This interferes with the placement of the cooling pipe. Out comes the spot weld drill bit!
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Plenty of space now with the box removed. And yes, I did get a little careless with my chisel separating a spot weld in a tricky spot and pierced the out skin to the right of the license plate. Oh well, body and paint down the road anyway...
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Here is the coolant pipe installed. I did remove some of the bulkhead in front of the coolant pipe to provide adequate room for the coolant hoses. Looks like I'll be shortening the coolant pipes that run to the radiator too.
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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I started to take a look at installing the Smallcar accelerator cable (MT, 6mm) and that led me to the accelerator pedal assembly. I knew I had some issues here because the brake master cylinder had been leaking prior to my ownership of the van. I've not found rust anywhere else on the van as it spent most of its life out west until the mid-2000s. The combination of a leaking master cylinder and a probably leaking antenna grommet put a double whammy on the driver's side footwell. So I'll have some cutting and welding to do. Not sure if I'll tackle this prior to getting the engine installed and running at the moment.
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Cleaned and sprayed the stock engine carrier bar I picked up locally to use with the Smallcar adapter. I learned the hard way that the exhaust and engine mount solution need to sourced from the same vendor. The RJES engine carrier I ordered did not work with the Smallcar header.
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I'm flipping the airbox lid 180 degrees and moving the air-flow meter so that the stock air box can be mounted near the driver's side tail light. Here is a bracket I fabricated for that purpose. Credit for this goes to Christopher Shimke of T3. Here is a link to his SVX conversion build thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2...p;start=20

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New hole cut for the air-flow meter's new spot on the air box lid. I used a dremmel tool to remove the ridges on the back side of the cover so the metal air-horn would sit flush.
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And here is the air box semi-mounted in its new location.
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That about catches this thread up to where I am today. I'll try to post more regularly but I won't promise!
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