I would like to swap out the engine on a Volkswagen Westfalia for a Subaru engine, for the obvious reasons. I know it can be done, I'm just not sure if it matters what year and what exact engine you can put in one. If anyone could help me out or point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.
If I were to do this swap which I WOULD NOT
I would find as low a mileage 1993 or 1994 Subaru Legacy in manual trans if possible even if you had to buy a running non wrecked car. This model and engine was the most reliable of all Subarus built. I would then order the wiring kit out there that will help you create your own harness and comes with schematics of which sensors and features you can delete. You can of course figure this out on your own but I worked with a couple of them and even for me I figure they would save me enough time make them worht while.
I would then have the heads rebuilt with the new style valves and do a complete reseal tbelt water pump etc.
I have dealt with a few kitted Subaru conversions and people do the stupidest of things. Devote $5000 worth of misc parts to make a conversion work when its done devote hundreds of hours of labor and start with a $400 donor car. When starting with a $2000 donor car would have left them with the right donor. Not to mention they could have sold off $1500 worth of tranny body and misc parts to make it a $500 donor when it was done. So i would buy a prestine granny car and use it for the donor. And then cut cost down by thinking smart and not cheap.
Theres a company called small car in Seattle that does a lot of conversions. Look them up
If i were to do this swap I would buy a Nice wrecked WRX or STI I would make this thing unique and radical because my time is worth more than the preverbial I want to revive some old beater VW van. I want my efforts to be WOW what the FFJKKDLL is that. However I dont think Id do it to a VW maybe some little sport converttable in my case its a 1962 Buick special it will not be one of those why did you do that. But more how did you ever do that.
When your all done you would be able to buy two of them that have already been converted to Subaru powerplant and are drivable. Theres a lot of them out there so think hard core about this before you do it. Some are worth it others are not. This is not some weekend project. It will require some hard core mechanical fabricating electrical skills and a ton of parts and labor
I nice Astro van pulling a camp trailer makes a great weekend getaway vehicle and they come in 4WD to boot have AC cruise control and good brakes. LOL
Recently converted Intermeccanica Speedster from VW to Subaru. Purchased 2.5L SOHC motor from Outfront Motorsports in southern California. Vintage Spyders (also southern California) installed the motor.
Outfront imports low-mileage Subaru motors from Japan, adds aftermarket engine management system, wiring harness and adapter plate that bolts to VW transmission.
Plumbing an air-cooled vehicle for a water-cooled motor takes some planning - finding places for radiator, heater, hoses, and if your Westfalia has carburetors, additional items - electric fuel pump, ECU, etc.
I had the work done, it took a lot longer than estimated, but I'm happy with the results - 50% more hp and torque, no more clogged idle jets, overall a more reliable, convenient and fun-to-drive daily driver.