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    Thread: Good ideas for Old VW beetle engine swaps?

    1. 01-18-2006 11:45 PM #1
      After looking at the VW ratrod pics, I realized a good suggestion for an engine for our beetle
      Right now we have a old corvair motor, as well as a porshe 914 engine waiting.
      However, i think im going to buy another beetle and do a nice build, similar to something like

      Right now im looking for fairly simple bolt ups. Something that will be much more reliable (non carbed would be amazing), same decent gas mileage (over 25), and a lot more power. Any suggestions for newer engines?
      MR2 Turbo / Baja Beetle

    2. Member GDJ's Avatar
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      01-18-2006 11:47 PM #2
      Some kind of turbo Subaru motor would be rad. Would definatley be a lot of fabrication and wiring though. Engine swaps are not for the faint of heart or the faint of butt.

    3. Member LelloBeetle's Avatar
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      01-18-2006 11:57 PM #3
      How about a Jake Raby engine? Pricey but I've heard pretty good things about them.
      There is no further education to be gained by the second kick of a mule

    4. Member Huckvw's Avatar
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      01-19-2006 12:15 AM #4
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    5. Member WD-40's Avatar
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      01-19-2006 12:34 AM #5
      Quote, originally posted by jeremy80l »
      Something that will be much more reliable (non carbed would be amazing), same decent gas mileage (over 25), and a lot more power.

      If you want reliability, the carbs are definitely the king. Lots of VW folks are making BIG power with carb'd cars! [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      If you want to do a swap though, you have a LOT of options- especially if you aren't opposed to hacking up the body. (which I gather is A-OK by you). The Mazda rotary engine puts out a tremendous amount of power for it's size, the only downfall is that it makes a lot of heat and needs a decent size radiator. To give you an idea of its size, it will fit in an early 60's engine bay with no cutting and the decklid on, with room to spare.
      Your Corvair engine would be a good choice, but it will stick out the back quite a bit. They were popular with the Baja guys, but not with the street crowd for that very reason.
      What's the displacement of your Porsche? 1.7L? 1.8L? 2.0L? That could be a good engine, but you would need to convert the cooling system to an upright style. There are several different kits out there to do that. Some are absolute crap, and some are very nice, so do your homework.
      As mentioned earlier, the old Subaru flat-4 is a very popular swap, especially with the Bus crowd. They've proven themselves to be VERY reliable, make more power stock, and can be turbocharged with good success. They're a bit more modern than the VW engine, but not quite new enough to have all the complications of the newer engines.
      The last "big" swap is the 4-cyl Ford Pinto engine.. I believe it was a 2.3L... Several companies make adapters for these, and back in the day there were even companies that sold this adapter exclusively! There's a HUGE aftermarket for these engines, and they too have a proven track record.

      Good luck, and don't forget that the brakes and transmission will need some attention if you upgrade the engine. [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      - David

    6. Geriatric Member ATL_Av8r's Avatar
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      01-19-2006 12:37 AM #6
      Uhhhh....this is a no-brainer. A 12A Mazda rotary. Adapters aplenty out there. Anything with pistons is just crap
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    7. Member Goat's Avatar
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      01-19-2006 01:18 AM #7
      VW Type 4 engine - that way you don't have to place a radiator in a car that was never ment to have one. Type 4 engines are capable of making power very smoothly (for a VW engine), and making lots of it. They seem to be reliable and have less of a thirst than the Type 1 and 2 engines since you don't have to work them as much to get going.
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      01-19-2006 02:04 AM #8
      R32 or 24v VR6 stay euro

    9. 01-19-2006 01:16 PM #9
      Any links to any of the ideas?
      When I mean swaps, im thinking of engines that will mount up to the tranny, with a bracket setup if needed
      MR2 Turbo / Baja Beetle

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      01-19-2006 01:57 PM #10
      Well obviously an LS1 would be the best choice. Im kidding of course. There's a few cars where that engine probably shouldnt be attempted to be placed into.
      What about those 2000cc ish aircooled engines. I know nothing about aircooled VW's so I dont know that exact displacement. I know a lot of my VW buddies are always saying they want to throw that engine in there and go race try to kick some butt on the drag strip or whatever.
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      01-19-2006 02:06 PM #11
      Tom, you're going to get it for that suggestion.
      What do you want to swap for? There are guys making insane power with built type 1's, they are cheap too. Don't fear the carbs, they are your friend. If you really want to swap, I would go type 4, subie, or wankel. Why would you want to complicate the car with a water cooled motor though? Go here and talk to these guys:
      http://www.cal-look.net
      http://www.thesamba.com

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      01-19-2006 02:12 PM #12
      the pinto swap is not the "latest," it has been around for years. there is a HUGE aftermarket for the 2.3 as it is a popular circle track motor.
      the subaru ej is a great option, 140hp ej22e hauls ass, something like an ej20g would be silly. an easy 250hp at the crank for around $1000. I would go with either the ej22e because you can pick up a decent one for $100-$500 complete, or the ej20g because they are also relatively cheap for the power they can make. they have some excellent heads, AWIC stock, some have closed deck blocks, and they are readily available though often take more work to get going(over 10 yrs old JDM imports).
      gas mileage would be in the 30's with a ej22e, and from 10-30ish with an ej20g depending on a lot of things.
      a great option also is a type 4 for the ease of install and the reliabilty and torque. no radiator to mess with.


      Modified by WOT at 7:15 PM 1-19-2006

    13. 01-19-2006 02:13 PM #13
      Whats wrong with a stroked type 1 motor. If you really want to drop some money and get a ton of power just build you a big motor. Hell you can buy motors from scat that put out way more power than you could really ever handle in most bugs, especially if you plan to rod it out and knock it down to near 1200 pounds. Engine swaps in bugs are more for show than performance. The amount of time and money required to swap a different motor in is usually not worth it compared to just building a strong motor.
      Still waiting on a friend of ours to finish the type3 fastback we sold him some 5-6 years ago that will eventually get a 2l stroker with a turbo

    14. Member tehAndy's Avatar
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      01-19-2006 02:26 PM #14
      Would the old Super 90 Porsche 356 motor be relatively easy to adapt to a VW?

    15. Member XenoLlama's Avatar
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      01-19-2006 03:34 PM #15
      Small Block Chevy.
      Or a miata.

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      01-19-2006 03:49 PM #16
      In keeping with the hotrod spirit of what you want to achieve, what about a 4-cyl Offy? That would be sweet. Unreliable, but hey.

    17. 01-19-2006 08:07 PM #17
      anyone have any good links or forums of these swaps already completed?
      MR2 Turbo / Baja Beetle

    18. 01-19-2006 08:34 PM #18
      Stay AWAY from watercooled or buy a new bug thats the point of and old beetle to have an air cooled engine and a porsche 914 engine is a Type 4 volkswagen engine you can build up a type one engine and run low 11's in it buy a turnkey 2332 and get a built tranny but please keep it aircooled. A volkswagen motor can be built to outrun a porsche motor so why not. also makes one hell of a sleeper if you get quiet exhuast. Also shy away from 71 and above super beetles if your using a vw engine if not Have at them.

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      01-19-2006 09:30 PM #19
      Shoptalkforums.com. and see Conversion Perversions. You'll spend weeks going through the info in the various forums, especially Speed and Drag Racing & Forced induction. If you go, you better be commited to building a fast aircooled, 'cause there's no going back once you get your first taste of what can be done.

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      01-19-2006 10:08 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by TheBusDriver »
      Stay AWAY from watercooled or buy a new bug thats the point of and old beetle to have an air cooled engine and a porsche 914 engine is a Type 4 volkswagen engine you can build up a type one engine and run low 11's in it buy a turnkey 2332 and get a built tranny but please keep it aircooled. A volkswagen motor can be built to outrun a porsche motor so why not. also makes one hell of a sleeper if you get quiet exhuast. Also shy away from 71 and above super beetles if your using a vw engine if not Have at them.

      This man knows what he's talking about. I had a built 1835 in my '74 Super Beetle with a Gene Berg tranny and I could outrun damned near anything to around 70mph. I had dreams of building a 2332 myself with a full-circle counterweighted crank but sold the car before I could pour more money into it.
      Don't do a swap. More headache than they're worth considering what a built air-cooled powerplant is capable of.
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      01-19-2006 10:19 PM #21
      Are there ane 12A (CARBED) Mazda roatry engine swap kits available? That is an easy 100 hp stock very very compact engine. With some easy mods, you could have 150hp in a very compact engine.
      “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

    22. Member LelloBeetle's Avatar
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      01-19-2006 11:48 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by snowball II »
      Shoptalkforums.com. and see Conversion Perversions. You'll spend weeks going through the info in the various forums, especially Speed and Drag Racing & Forced induction. If you go, you better be commited to building a fast aircooled, 'cause there's no going back once you get your first taste of what can be done.

      And check out the AIRCOOLED TECHNOLOGY forum and you can find out information on Jake Raby engines. He's really into the Type IV applications for Type I's - Bolt right in without cutting.
      Here are some of Raby's sites for you:
      Type IV Store
      Raby's Aircooled Technology
      Massive Type IV
      They're all related.
      There is no further education to be gained by the second kick of a mule

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      Modified by vanaman at 12:13 AM 1-20-2006

    24. 01-20-2006 01:47 PM #24
      what are the differences from the type 1,2,3,4 vw engines? (years correct?)
      Also dollar for dollar, which is going to be better, a vw engine or porshe engine, (including sound, power, etc). I know they both have a great aftermarket and both fit right up
      As far as being a sleeper? No, it would be a daily driver that i would like to look pretty good. Im done with sleepers for awhile. Nice wheels, suspension, tint, and paint would have to be done on the vw


      Modified by jeremy80l at 1:49 PM 1-20-2006
      MR2 Turbo / Baja Beetle

    25. 01-20-2006 02:04 PM #25
      The type refers to the car it was originally installed in - type 1 = bug, type 2 = bus, etc. etc...
      If you are looking at getting new, the as41 case is a universal case, which means it fits 1,2,3 just the same. Type 4 is a different animal - but one that generally bolts up and fits like stock.
      VW or Porsche? Depends on the model - the Type 4 case is very similar to a 914 block. Many of the Super 90's from the 356/912 are somewhat similar to the Type 1/2 block based motors - but not everything is an easy swap from case to case.

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