Engine Conversions of VW Campers

Engine Conversions of VW Campers

Author
Discussion

andoverben

Original Poster:

428 posts

202 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
Mrs Andoverben is Preggers and I have developed this sudden urge to go and buy a VW Campervan and drive across Europe with Wife and Sprog. The Urge itself has shocked me however I have told family and friends they have permission to shoot me if I start looking at Caravans ( my wife said she would divorce me if I came home with a caravan anyway)

I don't however want to sit at 60 mph on the motorway and want a bit more grunt, so that got me thinking as to slotting a different engine in.

So Far my thinking has either been VAG TDI Engine to keep it in the family and have a bit of economy as well, or to keep the authentic sound a Subaru Flat 4 such as out of a Legacy. Obviously both of these are watercooled which requires some thought in cooling them.

Does anybody have Experience/Suggestions as to what engine options fit and what has been done before - My pockets won't strech to an 911

KingRichard

10,143 posts

194 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
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I've often thought of thumping around in one too cool

You want to have a look on the Volkzone forums (you have to sign up). I think I'm currently banned - they didn't like my posting style, fecking hippies!

There are loads of mad goons lobbing silly engines into buses, campers and the like thumbup

Or get one that's already been done smile

http://www.volkszone.co.uk/

Benni

3,132 posts

173 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
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The hottest VW Bus I ever saw (in the net, not live) :
http://www.race-taxi.ch/
HTH, but even if not, it´s very PistonHeaded...biggrin


H_Kan

4,942 posts

161 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
Not to piss on your fire or anything, but touring a young sprog round might get tiresome in a camper.

Although if you are going to do it, then why not go for a Porker engine. Can't be that expensive from a specialist broker or something.

Strawman

6,463 posts

169 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
andoverben said:
So Far my thinking has either been VAG TDI Engine to keep it in the family and have a bit of economy as well, or to keep the authentic sound a Subaru Flat 4 such as out of a Legacy. Obviously both of these are watercooled which requires some thought in cooling them.

Does anybody have Experience/Suggestions as to what engine options fit and what has been done before - My pockets won't strech to an 911
Both have been done, might be better looking for a pre-converted van if you can find one, or the later T25 westfalia.

v15ben

14,995 posts

203 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
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The Samba Bus that did the Gumball a few years back was fairly rapido! 911 3.2 engine and running gear IIRC.

sniff petrol

13,053 posts

174 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
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Hasn't Jamie Oliver got one with a 993 engine?

gradeAfailure

647 posts

163 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
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Saw a silver bay at Run to the Sun a few years back with a TVR 4.0 V8 shoehorned in! The guy said he'd had it over 120mph on a runway and that at that speed things got "interesting"! Had the radiator mounted horizontally underneath it iirc, with a duct protecting it and guiding air across it.. Air-ride too.. Mad as a barrel of frogs, obviously!

Simes205

3,878 posts

190 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
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For the frugal the torquee Citroen BX diesel engine 1.7 & 1.9 fit....so does the Suburu Flat 4 out of the Impreza!

garethj

621 posts

159 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
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sniff petrol said:
Hasn't Jamie Oliver got one with a 993 engine?
No, Jamie Oliver's bus has got a modified Porsche 914 engine, similar to the 1970s VW vans and early 70s VW 411 / 412 if your autoste memory goes back that far...

Whatever you do with the engine, you'll still have hopeless aerodynamics so while it might be capable of 90+mph, you'll need 3 lanes to do it. Trying to keep it in one (or even two) lanes does not make for a relaxing way of travelling long distances.

Get one with a Type 4 engine (cooling fan on the crank pulley, not up on the generator) and it'll pull 60mph up hills even when loaded up, much better.

If you want to go fast and be comfortable, that means not knackered, deaf and shaken to pieces, buy something newer. The design of vans has come on a lot in the last 30 years, they haven't just doubled the engine power and sat on their hands.

THX138

483 posts

155 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
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I like this a lot

The California



andoverben

Original Poster:

428 posts

202 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
Some great advice so far and am glad to hear the Scoob Flat 4 has been done.
Just to clarify I am not looking to do 120 or put a Porsche Engine in I want a 70's Style Bus that can sit at 80 - 90 and cruise happily

Chipchap

2,445 posts

159 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
Go for a watercooled petrol T4 and put in an Essex V6 Ford. All the bits are available from South Africa. I did mine in 1985 and with nice headers and a Weber 38/38 DGAs it made around 140 BHP and was really good performance wise.

The only thing to watch was too much torque for the weeny 3rd gear if you trundled around in 3rd a lot.


HTH

CC

VxDuncan

2,850 posts

196 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
Guy at work's done a scooby swap in a VW based 356kit - His website is http://www.ricola.co.uk/  (click my cars, speedster, engine swap, subaru) Pretty mean in the wet on skinny tyres...

What ever you do, if you buy a camper replace the fuel lines. I'm sure that on any weekend in august there's a camper on fire on one of the roads to cornwall, usually on the downhill after a long uphill section. Fuel lines perished and 40 years old. Big hill. Engine gets hot going uphill. Flames fanned on way down. Hey presto, burnt tie-die and lentils everywhere.

garethj

621 posts

159 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
andoverben said:
Just to clarify I am not looking to do 120 or put a Porsche Engine in I want a 70's Style Bus that can sit at 80 - 90 and cruise happily
And just to clarify, that's not possible with a 70s VWwink

The engine may be able to hold it at 80-90mph, you just need about 120bhp. The aerodynamics and handling will throw you all over the road, if it's windy you'll be all over the road at 65mph.

Touching 90mph for a few seconds while you're sawing away at the wheel and buttocks clenching the seat, is not the same as cruising at 90.

My old VW will do 100mph - well the engine and gearbox will. The limit of human endurance is about 75-80. Anything more than that is just for a few seconds of getting past traffic but (if it wasn't for the noise of the engine) you can hear my hair going grey at those speeds.

sniff petrol

13,053 posts

174 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
My old Transit is rock steady at it's top speed of 90mph. Weighs about 1700kgs empty though which may help with the stability.

Morningside

23,657 posts

191 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
andoverben said:
Some great advice so far and am glad to hear the Scoob Flat 4 has been done.
Just to clarify I am not looking to do 120 or put a Porsche Engine in I want a 70's Style Bus that can sit at 80 - 90 and cruise happily
I found this site a while back when I had a T25 and VERY seriously thought about it.
http://www.tsrdragracers.co.uk/33957.html

10 Pence Short

32,880 posts

179 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
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A friend of mine has put both a 1.8 and 2.2 non turbo Subaru into a splitty he imported from Carlifornia. He's just 'retired' from his day job to do these kind of conversions professionally (he's absolutely fantastic at them). If you want, email me through my profile and I could put you in touch- he'd be good for advice even if you didn't want to use him for the job.

PJR

2,616 posts

174 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
I like this.. Nothing too radical, but its tidy and right here on PH. VW T25 with a 5 pot audi lump.
http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...

P,

Chipchap

2,445 posts

159 months

Saturday 10th May 2008
quotequote all
5 cylinder Audi is now very popular in SA and is standard from the factory in nw vehicles[this shape is still going] the only issue is that these always run hot.


Cheers
CC