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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.
      Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.

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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!

      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.

      - David


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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.

    20. Senior Member SchrickVR6's Avatar
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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.
      |˙˙ʇǝuɹǝʇuı ǝɥʇ uo ʇxǝʇ uʍop ǝpısdn ɯopuɐɹ pɐǝɹ noʎ :ǝɯıʇ ǝǝɹɟ ɥɔnɯ ooʇ ʎɐʍ ǝʌɐɥ noʎ ןןǝʇ oʇ ʍoɥ˙˙˙|http://hotlinktest.com/

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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.

      Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.

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      http://www.bader-racing.de/en/home/home_news.htm
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      steve


      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.


    26. Member WD-40's Avatar
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      01-20-2006 02:08 PM #26
      Quote, originally posted by jeremy80l »
      what are the differences from the type 1,2,3,4 vw engines? (years correct?)

      The only real difference between the "Type 1" and "Type 2" engines is that they used an extra rear mount in the rear for some of the busses.

      In practice, either will be just fine in your bug.

      The Type 3 engine was the "pancake" style- instead of having an upright belt-driven fan/alternator, it had a crankshaft driven fan and a belt-driven alternator. (or generator for earlier years). They're lower profile (for the Type 3's rear trunk), but are longer. Not directly a good choice for the Beetle, but you can swap the cooling system to the upright style.

      The Type 4 is the engine used in later Buses, and was the same engine used in the Porsche 914s. (I believe only the smaller of them were used in the VWs though, with the larger displacements being only in the Porsche). You would need to change the flywheel, but otherwise I believe these will bolt right up.


      Quote, originally posted by jeremy80l »

      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

      The dollar-for-dollar balance is HUGELY shifted in favor of the VW!! Jake's engines (mentioned earlier) have been getting noticed in the Porsche world, as he's making more power out of cheaper VW engines than the Porsche guys with their 6's.. and the T1 engines are WAY up there in HP as well.


      - David


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      01-20-2006 02:19 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by jeremy80l »
      what are the differences from the type 1,2,3,4 vw engines? (years correct?)

      Well there are really only Type 1 and Type 4 engines. The Type 1 was fitted to the Beetle, Ghia, early Bus, and Type 3s (with a few modifications). The Type 4 was fitted to the Type 4 (411/2) and Bus. The TIV has a stouter case, a few larger bearings, and stock for stock larger displacement and power. TIV zealots like Raby borrow some V8 terms and nickname it the "big block" or "rat motor".

      The truth is stock for stock the TIV is a bit more powerful, a bit stronger, and a bit heavier and larger. A lot of the zealots will tell you the T1 is junk and a time bomb. Generally speaking, it is less durable, but the majority of VW hotrodding efforts over the last 4 decades have been aimed at the T1 so it is more than possible to build incredible amounts of power and have it be reliable. It's also possible to do both these things at a price tag far lower than similar power levels out of a TIV.

      Quote »
      Also dollar for dollar, which is going to be better, a vw engine or porsche engine, (including sound, power, etc). I know they both have a great aftermarket and both fit right up

      Well the only true Porsche engine fitted to the 914/4 was the 2.0L, so really you're just dealing with a standard TIV if you go with the 914 engine. Personally, if I were hotrodding a TIV, I'd stay away from the Porsche heads on the 2.0L variant as they have issues with cracking, and are also rather spendy for the gains they'd get you over a ported 1.7/1.8L head.

      Power, I addressed above. You can get more power than you'll ever need out of both engines, with a small sacrifice in longevity by going with a T1. This is offset by the cheaper cost of entry to T1 power. Sound is going to be very similar, and mostly determined by what exhaust system you chose to fit. I'd disagree with earlier comments that carburetors are the path to reliability. EFI wouldn't be a hard addition. For a stock setup, most of the parts can be scaveneged off of a FI beetle. Replace the brain with MS and you can ditch all the expensive and troublesome FI bits, and have a simple reliable system. If more power is what you need, a set of cheap Kadrons could probably be converted to a nice ITB setup with a little fabrication time.


    28. 01-20-2006 02:30 PM #28
      Also, most of the VW beetles that I have axcess to would have rust, (taking a guess, but come on, its 50 years old!)

      How much more expensive would it cost to buy new'er parts from the back of a mag like VW trends?

      Can anyone give me a guess to the price of a cheaper rat-rad style beetle, then how much it may cost with a decent engine, newer parts, no rust, etc?

      Trying to give myself a guess as to how over my head im getting

      MR2 Turbo / Baja Beetle

    29. Member WD-40's Avatar
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      01-20-2006 04:52 PM #29
      So using a rusty base car in unknown condition, you want to know the estimated price for a full-custom car with radical body & suspension mods, and an aftermarket engine?

      Sorry, but that's a bit difficult. Do you have a little more direction?

      - David


    30. 01-20-2006 11:10 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by WD-40 »
      So using a rusty base car in unknown condition, you want to know the estimated price for a full-custom car with radical body & suspension mods, and an aftermarket engine?

      Sorry, but that's a bit difficult. Do you have a little more direction?

      - David

      I guess that sounded wrong
      How hard is it to get a new frame/floor pan/etc?

      What would the best way to get a rust free body be? I know its pretty much impossible to just find a regular beetle without rust

      MR2 Turbo / Baja Beetle

    31. Member WOT's Avatar
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      01-21-2006 12:30 AM #31
      I think there is something to be said for building an aircooled OR swapping.
      -what is a ej22e going to cost? $$1000 max for a core motor and rebuild
      hp? 150ish with a vw type exhaust
      -install on ej22e sure has a lot of things to work in, oil pan is very low, plum a radiator, wire it, etc. adapter adds some $
      -very reliable
      -why not do it. it is unique and cool

      -build a 150 horse injected type 1 is going to be a lot more than $1000
      -install? hah. 1 day
      -reliable? no
      -still very cool


    32. 01-21-2006 12:33 AM #32
      It's not impossible just improbable you wouldn't need to replace the frame just the pans heater channels spare tire holder and battery tray as these are the first to go they made beetles up till 79 in the usa you could get a late 70's for relitivly cheap with minor rust all a rat rod is basicly is unbolted front and rear fenders mount headlights differantly lower and paint flat black and read. Honestly I find them ugly and ussless exspecially without a Aircooled volkswagen engine thats what volkswagens where known for the reliablity of that engine also if you get a A.C.VW plan on regular maintence I.E. Valve adjustments oil changes and make sure the fuel lines are clamped and replace them yearly or risk burning it to the ground. Honestly just go out and buy a civic.

    33. 01-21-2006 12:35 AM #33
      Porsche 911 Twin Turbo sounds good.

      I saw one with a B16 engine...yup...mounted longitudinally in the back like an air conditioner lol


    34. 01-21-2006 12:42 AM #34
      Quote, originally posted by jeremy80l »
      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?


      I've heard about swapping the 115hp 8v 2.0L engine from the base mk3 golf/jetta. The engine is pretty "abundant" and you can probably get a "low mileage" one for $500-600 (or lower!). YOu will prolly want to get the CE2 fusebox from the late mk2 or mk3's and the ECU with it. And of course, you will need to run o2 sensor. If you have the money, port and polish the head, get a mild cam, and lysholme supercharger, and chip.

      Another option is to swap in a 16v 2.0L motor from a late model mk2 or earlier passat...do same as above.


    35. Member WOT's Avatar
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      01-21-2006 12:54 AM #35
      Quote, originally posted by TheBusDriver »
      Honestly just go out and buy a civic.
      if you have to ask...

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