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Old 01-12-2011, 08:20 PM   #1
Cassovel
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Default Best Subaru power for my swap

Hi everyone, i just want to start off by saying that i do not own a Subaru(i would love to but im not willing to get rid of my superbeetle for it). I own a 1972 VW Superbeetle(the much older brother of the contemporary boxer). But here is the deal i want to do an engine swap for a subaru power plant and i am looking for some advice on the best engine for my application. Ive looked up the different engines 2.5/2.0 na/turbo j-spec/usa-spec etc.. what i am looking for is something strong, reliable, and not crazy heavy. I have kids that will ride with me occasionally so im not to big on 400whp lol but i would like to have between 200-300 to the crank atleast so that when i do want to play i can. ive seen plenty of conversions before included a 300whp sti engine swapped into a vw bug so i know its doable but im just looking for something that would suit me and my car. the reason im looking at weight is for handling. I don't want to make the rear of the car so much heavier that the radiator that im installing in the front won't be able to compensate. the reason i chose the subaru and not a heavily modded aircooled 1600 is because once you get to a certain point with a 1600 you are spending more money to get less power and less reliablity than if you just invested in a subaru to begin with. plus its the same/similar layout engine. I have probably left some details out so forgive me, just ask for whatever info you may need. Also my car weighs around 1900 lbs as it sits even with the bright pink carseat in the back. Also the stock 1600 engine weighs around 200 lbs
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
kickniteasy
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I'd look into what engines will fit and how hard the swap will be as far as mounting, trans, etc
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
portlyparatroop
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I'm building a VW based kit car with a N/A (naturally aspirated) EJ22EA that I got from a running donor car with a purchase price of $150.
You can go with crazy power (JDM's or STI's etc but then you're spending a few grand on *other* upgrades just to hold that power (091 bus box, disc brakes, etc
I figure on just keeping it simple for now... ANY EJ series will put out about twice the power of an air-cooled motor, save your $$$ for all the *other* upgrades you're going to have to do!
(water cooling, electrics, brakes, transmission, etc

Good luck! and KEEP RESEARCHING (feel free to see my posts on here) make sure you're familiar with conversion perversions, RJES, VKWD, and a SLEW of other sites that have documented those that have gone before us!
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
Cassovel
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Ive looked into the actual modifications to make it fit and just about any subaru engine will fit with trimming and what not. Since the mounts for the stock 1600 are on the tranny i will have to custom make some engine mounts regardless. As far as trans go i will need a built one since the stock trans is made for a 50-70 hp engine. I have found one that will handle 300-400 horsepower and is based on the stock vw 4-speed. Also a company called kennedy makes custom adapters for mounting whatever engine onto a vw transmission.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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+1 on Kenedy Adapters, that's the one that I'm using!
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:55 PM   #6
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BTW, a SOHC earlier (example early 90's Legacy motor) EJ would be the better choice...
While not as exotic, robust, or capable of BIG power it WILL be easier to fit
(I measured it vs. a VW motor and it's actually NARROWER other than the timing covers and only weighs 62lbs. more!)
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:00 PM   #7
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No advice on this, just encouragement. Had a 72 super beetle myself when I lived in Hawaii, come to think of it I had a 67 mustang too, Hawaii was good for cheap classics in the mid nineties anyway. Some day I would like to do a similar swap into a 914, but that's day is a way off.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:03 PM   #8
Cassovel
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Thanks portlyparatroop. One of my biggest questions is that if i decide to go with something like a n/a 2.5 is it possible to rebuild that engine over time(buying and installing stuff here and there) to bring it to STI specs? or is the N/A so different from the turbo that a complete swap would be more feasible. I was just thinking of going with a N/A engine and slowly over time upgrading it. so basically which one would give me the most bang for my buck so to speak.

Thanks again
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:06 PM   #9
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thanks etothen. I am actually in hawaii and bought the super in may of 2010. do you remember anything specific about yours lol i may have the same one.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:12 PM   #10
etothen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassovel View Post
Thanks portlyparatroop. One of my biggest questions is that if i decide to go with something like a n/a 2.5 is it possible to rebuild that engine over time(buying and installing stuff here and there) to bring it to STI specs? or is the N/A so different from the turbo that a complete swap would be more feasible. I was just thinking of going with a N/A engine and slowly over time upgrading it. so basically which one would give me the most bang for my buck so to speak.

Thanks again
You do not want to go that route if you want to get more power than the stock n/a numbers. The n/a engines are notoriously difficult and expensive to upgrade and never get close to wrx/sti numbers. If you want 300-400 at the crank this is easily achieved with a wrx motor . You will have to find a place for the intercooler, thinking those top vent/scoop trunk lids they made for the beetle might work, they would keep the piping short if you can fit it in there.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:17 PM   #11
Cassovel
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thanks for the heads up.. so how do the j-spec ej's differ from the us-spec engines?
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:29 PM   #12
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basically you're going to be constrained by your BUDGET!!!
if $$$ was no option, I'd be all over an STI motor and the bus trans to hold it... figure quite a few thousand though!
For less than half the price a decently prepped type I trans with an N/A motor would still embarass the P*SS out of your friends air-cooled dub though
All comes down to "you gotta pay to play"
Feel free to hit me up via PM, I've been lurking on TOO many websites for too long and am already mid-build on mine... always looking to help someone else in the same boat out!
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:57 AM   #13
Brando5185
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Is that you Charlie?
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:34 AM   #14
portlyparatroop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brando5185 View Post
Is that you Charlie?
I'm not a Charlie... who were you referring to?
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:29 PM   #15
SubyJR
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Have you tried asking on TheSamba as well. I'd love to have a Subaru powered Super Beetle as a daily driver. Nothing wild - just a great vintage fun car with a modern engine. I had a 73 Super at one time. Now I have an 86 Vanagon which is very popular for a Subaru engine swap!
John
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:05 AM   #16
dave98840
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Check out the "Conversion Perversions" forum at shoptalkforums.com
Lots of similar projects covering subies into a VW.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:08 AM   #17
Brando5185
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Cassovel. I think he is a guy i was stationed with in Alaska.
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