My motor crapped out on my 1986 Westy and I'm looking to do a conversion as cheap and easy as possible and I'm pushed for time. TDI's are too expensive and I found some engines close to Houston, Tx in my price range. As for now I have found:
1996 VR6 with 5spd with less than 90,000miles
2000 A6 with 5 spd less than 37,000 miles
1997 A4 with 5 spd less than 80,000 miles
Considering power and gas mileage and simplicity does anyone know what would work best. As for wiring and other engine mounts to get installed that info will be needed too!
Your much more likely to get a better response from the forums over at http://thesamba.com. But engine swaps on Vanagons are rarely cheap. A couple alternatives do exist. The Audi/VW engines you suggested have been put into Vanagons however lack a structured swap. If your looking into more power you could always try http://bostig.com who do Ford Focus 2.0L swaps that are very straightforward. You could also try http://gowesty.com for their "better waterboxers". Basically bored and stroked waterboxers producing more power, plus these are direct swaps for the stock motors. And of course Subaru conversions, there are a lot of shops that do these and sell kits but they do require some work to install including cutting and possibly welding. There is a lot of info on the samba so definitely check it out over there.
I did mine myself. It cost less then a gowesty motor(also makes waaay more power). I'd never put a suby in my car unless it was a sti engine. Avoid the bostig, i just thiunk it is under powered still. If you are patient a good deal can be had on a complete swap(1.8t). There go to stefans auto Hause for info and specs on the 1.8t.....
was there a DIY that you used that you could please send me? thanks
This thread is a couple of years old. You'll need to be more specific as to what you want to swap. At any rate, unfortunately, there is no web page or guide that will tell you everything you need to know for a Vanagon engine swap. You either need to buy a fully-engineered swap such as a Bostig Zetec, or get comfortable with fabricating and figuring a lot out on your own.
There are some web pages devoted to swaps (mostly Subaru), but with sometimes vast differences in donor engines and often minor differences in recipient Vanagons, there's no one-size-fits-all.
Not trying to be a downer, and there's a lot of information out there, but given how engine swaps are, you need to start researching on your own. There's lots of people out there who can answer specific questions about particular items, but nobody that can give you a complete end-to-end explanation.