I'm on my third 1982 diesel westy and still looking for the "ideal" engine conversion. Initially I liked the idea of installing the 1.9 L turbo AAZ, but now leaning toward the 2.0 L ABA (Jetta/Golf) gasoline engine. My goal is to double the horspower from the 48-hp of my present 1.6 L NA diesel with a reliable replacement engine.
At Samba I read that the 1993-94 ABA 2.0 L with a Rabbit 8-valve, 1.8 L head, and CIS fuel system is an excellent combination for my van. No reason was given for the different head though and wonder if it has to do with vertical clearance?
I was very close to buying the Bostig Zetec conversion kit and installing it. I like the 2.0 Ford Zetec (Ford Focus) engine and vertical installation, but the lack of adequate ground clearance (8-inches) is offputting. Pity, because I even went so far as to buy a Ford focus for the engine.
I've excluded the popular Subaru conversion for personal reasons, albeit irrational.
I would appreciate suggestions, especially something about the Rabbit head rationale.