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    Thread: Ford Zetec Vanagon conversion

    1. Member westy66's Avatar
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      03-21-2008 05:26 PM #1
      in addition to the BlueMotion Passat that showed up at out GTG last night, another one of our dudes is doing the R&D for a Zetec conversion for a water cooled Vanagon. the picture doesnt do it much justice, but it was clean. full Ford ECU with OBD port for tuning. custom exhaust and motor mount/cage beneath. i didnt drive it as i already had a couple beers

      ill drive it next week and report


    2. Member poorman's Avatar
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      03-21-2008 09:32 PM #2
      looks nice ... i am sure more is in the budget to make such a conversion more worthy (turbo?)

    3. 03-21-2008 11:11 PM #3
      I'd like to convert mine, either to Subie or zetek. It's a bit pricey and so long as my engine holds up there's no pressing need. The company that does the zetek conversion is http://www.bostig.com/products/zetec/

      They are located pretty close to me, like to see one in person.


    4. Geriatric Member EK20's Avatar
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      03-21-2008 11:27 PM #4
      This is giving me so may naughty ideas for the Vanagon I drove when I first got my license. She's still sitting at my mom's, missing second gear.
      "Do you know the terror of he who falls asleep?
      To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins."
      ~Friedrich Nietzsche

    5. 03-21-2008 11:32 PM #5
      I have a Zetec in a Focus. I can think of a number of engines I would rather swap into something like a Vanagon.

    6. Banned FBMphil's Avatar
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      03-21-2008 11:36 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by Download_Complete »
      I have a Zetec in a Focus. I can think of a number of engines I would rather swap into something like a Vanagon.

      No sh*t. I like to call it The Hoover.

      OT but how's the timing belt/water pump change in these things? I'm a bit over due (91k) and I need to get on it...


    7. 03-21-2008 11:50 PM #7
      how much does a water cooled vanagon weigh?

    8. 03-21-2008 11:50 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by EK20 »
      This is giving me so may naughty ideas for the Vanagon I drove when I first got my license. She's still sitting at my mom's, missing second gear.

      Been there done that. There is a company in your state that I bought a transaxle from, upgraded syncros, nice job. It shifts way better than it ever did.

      http://www.aatransaxle.com/


    9. 03-22-2008 12:02 AM #9
      Quote, originally posted by Download_Complete »
      I have a Zetec in a Focus. I can think of a number of engines I would rather swap into something like a Vanagon.

      Bear in mind the point of this swap is not to make it a performance machine...it's to make it a reliable daily driver with reasonable drivability. People have swapped VW inline-4s into these and have been happy despite being a heavy vehicle for an inline-4 mostly because just getting a durable engine in there is reason enough alone to do the swap.


    10. 03-22-2008 12:04 AM #10
      Also fits under the engine cover without modification.

    11. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 12:08 AM #11
      nice, those Zetec motors make plenty of power too

    12. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 12:08 AM #12
      Quote, originally posted by Sonicstereo »
      I'd like to convert mine, either to Subie or zetek. It's a bit pricey and so long as my engine holds up there's no pressing need. The company that does the zetek conversion is http://www.bostig.com/products/zetec/

      They are located pretty close to me, like to see one in person.

      Bostiq, eh?
      they did the headwork on my GTI


    13. Member eunos94's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 12:09 AM #13
      My dream Vanagon (Vdubaru) will be an 85> Subaru Diesel powered camper.

      Come on Subaru and bring that biotch to market. Can't wait for the first totaled subie to a boneyard.

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    14. Member Merc-MarkO's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 12:48 AM #14
      Quote, originally posted by Chapel »
      nice, those Zetec motors make plenty of power too

      Say what ?

      Where is Kyron ??? http://www.bringkyronhome.org/
      Support our troops, bless the fallen.

      Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
      Yes, there is a high chance that the tractor trailer was the one going 160MPH, not the Porsche GT2 RS.

    15. 03-22-2008 01:20 AM #15
      Quote, originally posted by eunos94 »
      My dream Vanagon (Vdubaru) will be an 85> Subaru Diesel powered camper.

      Come on Subaru and bring that biotch to market. Can't wait for the first totaled subie to a boneyard.

      Subaru had diesels in North America?

      I can only dream of a boxer diesel:

      http://www.boxerdiesel.com

      I really don't know why Subaru didn't bring the diesels to Canada? The diesels made up 50% of VW's Canadian sales...


      Modified by hotweiss at 11:29 PM 3-21-2008


    16. Member Horror Business's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 01:57 AM #16
      Quote, originally posted by Sonicstereo »
      I'd like to convert mine, either to Subie or zetek. It's a bit pricey and so long as my engine holds up there's no pressing need. The company that does the zetek conversion is http://www.bostig.com/products/zetec/

      They are located pretty close to me, like to see one in person.

      I don't know where you live, but my mechanic in my city does some very nice subie conversions. He is responsible for a lot of quicker Vanagons running around socal these days.


    17. Member 251's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 07:39 AM #17
      Quote, originally posted by ModelCitizen »
      how much does a water cooled vanagon weigh?

      Vanagons weigh about 3400 to 4100 lbs depending on the model (passanger/westy/2WD/Syncro/etc). This looks like a nice conversion to me, I just wonder if it transmits a lot of vibration into the cabin. I really liked my Subaru EJ22 converted '83.5 Vanagon.


    18. 03-22-2008 12:32 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by Horror Business »

      I don't know where you live, but my mechanic in my city does some very nice subie conversions. He is responsible for a lot of quicker Vanagons running around socal these days.

      I'm in Mass. Hopefully I can get another couple of summers before I upgrade.


    19. Member two.twoliter's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 12:38 PM #19
      So what's the advantage of the zetec conversion over the ej22? Other than maybe cost, I can't really think of any. I feel like the ej22 probably makes its torque at lower rpms and the boxer engine note is more fitting for a vanagon. That said, I would gladly drive a zetec westy over a wasserboxer one.
      Previous: 87 325e, 90 Accord Coupe, 99 Neon ACR, 91 CRX Si, 93 S-10, 00 Protege ES

    20. Member VWturbonium's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 03:39 PM #20
      Interesting and clean swap.

      Though I think if it were my money I would want something with more usable torque like a Nissan KA24 or even a Ford 2.3 duratec, which is very similar to the zetec.


      Or if your feeling really frisky, a Cummins 4BT diesel .


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      03-22-2008 04:12 PM #21
      How much shorter is a Zetec vs. an old-sk00l 1.6L Diesel inline-4? In factory stock form, a Diesel Vanagon has its inline-4 sitting angled over on its side so it can fit under the stock engine cover.

      In other news, since I've got access to an '86 Vanagon in really decent shape I'm real curious if anyone's attempted an LSx swap yet.


    22. Member Mabe's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 04:58 PM #22
      I am guessing that the main attraction to the zetec is that they are cheep, easy to find and reliable. Sure there are better engines around but if your driving a vanagon I dont think blistering performance is high on your list.

      Being a purist, I dont like putting a ford or subie engine in a VW. I'd have to put in a 2.0


      Modified by Mabe at 5:00 PM 3-22-2008

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    23. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 05:10 PM #23
      Quote, originally posted by Merc-MarkO »
      Say what ?

      they do, they're great little motors.


    24. 03-22-2008 07:14 PM #24
      Quote, originally posted by Chapel »

      they do, they're great little motors.

      Uhh, they're OKAY. Thats it. Its not particularly smooth, good sounding, fuel efficient, or powerful.


    25. Member Merc-MarkO's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 07:18 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by Chapel »

      they do, they're great little motors.

      I really have to disagree here. I've about 600 miles of seat time in 2 different Zetec equipped Focus. They're not that good of an engine at all.

      Where is Kyron ??? http://www.bringkyronhome.org/
      Support our troops, bless the fallen.

      Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
      Yes, there is a high chance that the tractor trailer was the one going 160MPH, not the Porsche GT2 RS.

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      03-22-2008 07:57 PM #26
      Quote, originally posted by Merc-MarkO »

      I really have to disagree here. I've about 600 miles of seat time in 2 different Zetec equipped Focus. They're not that good of an engine at all.

      My dad has a ztec Focus, and for a 2.0L it always seemed rather lacking in low end compared to my old 1.8 8V MKII Golf. On top of that I get about the same millage in my 2.3L Mazda 3 (heavier car with more powerful engine and shorter gearing plus it's got much lower emissions) as my dad does in the focus. Don't get me wrong, for the $9,xxx brand new my dad payed for the Focus it's been a great and trouble free car, but the motor isn't anything to write home about imo.


      Although it is better then the VW 2.0 8v so maybe that is the appeal.


    27. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 08:03 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by Merc-MarkO »

      I really have to disagree here. I've about 600 miles of seat time in 2 different Zetec equipped Focus. They're not that good of an engine at all.

      how many miles do you have in a 2.1L Wasserboxer?

      sometimes it's all about comparison. They're great motors for swaps. They fit practically everything. We're doing a Zetec/Duratec 20 swap into an old Willys Jeep


    28. Member eunos94's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 08:12 PM #28
      Quote, originally posted by Merc-MarkO »

      I really have to disagree here. I've about 600 miles of seat time in 2 different Zetec equipped Focus. They're not that good of an engine at all.

      I have about 87,000 miles (combined) seat time with the lil Zetec and I have to say it's a fun and rev happy little motor. Much smoother than the Volkswagen 8V with a very nice and linear power band. It's such a vast improvement over the waterboxer that it isn't even fair to try and compare the two. Honestly the waterboxer is just junk.

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    29. Moderator rs4-380's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 08:19 PM #29
      to me, this doesn't really have any advantage of the ej22/25 swaps, although I do know bostig is working on a supercharged version.
      Dave

    30. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 08:28 PM #30
      yeah, it is weird. the EJ22 swap seems more effective

    31. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 08:32 PM #31
      Quote, originally posted by rs4-380 »
      to me, this doesn't really have any advantage of the ej22/25 swaps, although I do know bostig is working on a supercharged version.

      Are those Subaru engine models ones that fall under the headgasket issues?

      The main thing I can think of is availability. I would bet any local bone yard would have at least few low mileage Zetecs sitting around.

      As far as fuel economy goes- it seems that manual versus auto makes a big difference. Ford's past auto trannies seem to be rather inefficient.


      Modified by BRealistic at 8:34 PM 3/22/2008

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    32. Geriatric Member EK20's Avatar
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      03-23-2008 02:28 AM #32
      Quote, originally posted by eunos94 »
      It's such a vast improvement over the waterboxer that it isn't even fair to try and compare the two. Honestly the waterboxer is just junk.

      Understatement of the decade.

      "Do you know the terror of he who falls asleep?
      To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins."
      ~Friedrich Nietzsche

    33. 03-23-2008 02:41 AM #33
      I guess I am not familiar with the intricacies of Vanagons and their wasserboxer engines.

      I suppose if the standard engine is really that horrible that a Zetec feels so much better, then I guess thats the appeal.

      Personally, I just don't see the appeal of Vanagons....


    34. Geriatric Member EK20's Avatar
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      03-23-2008 02:53 AM #34
      Quote, originally posted by Download_Complete »
      Personally, I just don't see the appeal of Vanagons....

      Just have to drive them to know.

      "Do you know the terror of he who falls asleep?
      To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins."
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    35. Member eunos94's Avatar
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      03-23-2008 05:59 AM #35
      Quote, originally posted by Download_Complete »

      Personally, I just don't see the appeal of Vanagons....

      It's an odd little vehicle it really is I will grant you that. It is shorter than your average Honda Accord yet somehow feels cavernous inside. It has all the handling prowess of a city bus (and driving position too) yet remains fun to drive.

      The sit up and beg driving position, the feeling of freedom that comes with owning such a versatile vehicle, the bread box looks, the way it trundles down the road. It all sort of slows you down and forces you to regain your perspective. It's a neat experience and one I recommend highly to anyone in need of a bit of... introspective and de-stressing.

      I still want to buy another Vanagon (this time a diesel) and take a good solid year off to do a bit of soul searching and exploring. That right there is the appeal of a Vanagon to me. I'm sure other owners will have other things they dig about them but those are my personal reasons for loving the things.

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