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engine swap


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27 replies to this topic

#1 chad barker

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:35 PM

has anybody have any ideas on removing a 87 gl wagon engine that is barely running,shaking horrificly an blowing all colors of smoke mostly white. i worked for a guy and he owed me 100 dollars and i took the car knowing it needed work. the car is in superb shape inside and out. i found a motor on craigslist that is suposed to be from an 84 model that has timing chains an adjustable valves versus the engine in my car with dual belts. the new engine i purchased even has the 4 speed trans which i dont want to use, i want the 5 speed dual hi lo that is in the car. so now u know most of my story i had the new engine checked out before purchase and the leakdown test was good. i have been told this motor will be a sucess swap and others have said no it will not. im not shure of the year or model of my new engine other than what i was told. i bought a set of factory books for my 87. please heeelp with acurate ideas very sincerly- chad

#2 el_freddo

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 11:56 PM

Mate, your 87 engine is an EA82, the one you're looking at is an EA81.

The EA81 is a great little engine that is much more robust than an EA82. The EA81 doesn't have timing chains, it has timing gears. To put it bluntly, the EA81 is a VW rip off that's water cooled and made in Japan.

It will work - but things like the PS pump and AC compressor will need to be nutted out as I've not done this conversion.

You might want to look into putting the intake manifold from the EA82 on the EA81 so that the wiring is plug and play and that the engine should still meet any emissions requirements that are needed for your model of subi.

So long as you keep the oil in it, coolant topped up this little engine is easy to maintain and will service you for a long time. There are some good power upgrades that are similar to that of the EA82 - such as the Weber carb.

The flywheel will need to be machined down to fit the EA82 clutch - I just read about it and it's 0.8xx inches - GD knows it! This allows you to keep the EA81 flywheel and thus the timing marks on the flywheel that match the timing reference point on the EA81 engine part of the bellhousing. If you use an EA82 flywheel I don't think you will have any timing marks to line up when it comes to the timing of the engine.

This is probably the only hardest part of this conversion ;)

Cheers

Bennie

#3 el_freddo

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 12:11 AM

Found it again:

You will need a clutch consisting of the EA81 225mm flywheel resurfaced to .815" step, And a complete EA82 5MT clutch kit.




From this thread

Cheers

Bennie

#4 chad barker

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:16 AM

thank you so much mr. bennie for the reply with awesome helpful info. im very reluctant to even pursue this project not sure if it would work and all the little glitches to go thru. te size of the block and motor mounts the same? the 4 speed trans the way to go vs. the 5? im an avid air cooled vw guy i have 5 so this is a big technology jump ahead for me. im not looking for mass power, just the best economy and longevity. obviously this will be almost 2 vw engines worth of power! so should i use the factory vaccum assy as it is huge complex and intimidating to look at or a weber eliminate most of it? p.s. what season is it there down under now? and your weather? here in marsing 50 miles southwest of boise idaho it is mid summer 95ish all week thanks again mate hope to chat soon hope imnot a burden...

#5 grossgary

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:03 PM

not sure if this is how you should do it, but the old generation forum might give you more exposure to this swap.

the EA81 is a great engine in terms of longevity and ease of maintenance.

engine fits in rather easily, but let folks more familiar with it speak, this swap (or the other way around) has been done before.

#6 chad barker

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 07:14 PM

well thanks for the heads up grossgary? cool name! lol i am even thinking about selling the soobie, nice book set and put the engine in my 74 super beetle. probably be waaay more work than worth it.any more tidbits of info like the motormount situation with the swap? i guess i need a push in the rite direction to start this kind of project and i have no shop no garage barley a makeshift carport on the edge of the desert. thanks again

#7 el_freddo

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:20 AM

G'day Chad.

It's winter down here at the moment. I'm working and living in the snow at Mt Hotham - although it's starting to suck as we've not had any proper snow in 3 weeks after an awesome start to the season! It's currently 3 degrees C which is considered shorts and T shirt weather if the wind would drop.

As for your question about the engine mounting. It will bolt straight in. You can leave the original intake and carb of the EA81, I only said about the intake swap to get the larger carb and pretty much the same performance that the EA82 had from factory. The EA82 had a bigger carbie from factory that won't bolt on the EA intake unless you do some modifications.

The conversion is considered very easy. As I've said you'd just need to have the flywheel machined, do a tiny bit of wiring and it should all fire up without an issue.

As for dropping it in the VW it will be a bit more work and will need an adaptor plate and flywheel. Why not drop an even better powerplant in there such as an EJ22?? That would have your bug going off its tits!

Cheers

Bennie

#8 chad barker

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:00 PM

so i guess the other thing thats bothering me is changing the intake from the 82 and using it on the new good 81 engine-im guessing it bolts on with new gaskets and what of ALL THOSE BLACK THINGIES called vacuum hoses- does some go by-by or do they hopefully plug into the 81? holy beschissen! thanks to all fer das ideas...

#9 el_freddo

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 12:20 PM

so i guess the other thing thats bothering me is changing the intake from the 82 and using it on the new good 81 engine-im guessing it bolts on with new gaskets and what of ALL THOSE BLACK THINGIES called vacuum hoses- does some go by-by or do they hopefully plug into the 81? holy beschissen! thanks to all fer das ideas...


Like I've said previously - you can leave the EA81 intake as it is and just wire the carb's solenoids to your current wiring to make it all work. Just bring the emissions gear that came with the EA81 over with it or nut out the EA82 system and connect it to the EA81...

It really is a simple conversion that would be worth doing if it is cheaper for you than to get and fix another EA82.

Cheers

Bennie

#10 chad barker

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 01:34 PM

my only other option is to find a set of good used heads and gasket set ibelieve this is the problem because the engine ran very well fr a teen girl and all of a sudden it acted like it does now so it was given to the farmer that i got it from he took it to a small shop that said it was head issues since then they quoted me 700ish to change out a head so i found the used 81 and trans for 300.00 and thought i would swap motors- am i making a mistake with tons of uneeded work because i dont have money for heads that price! unless someone has trading in mind that would work...

#11 chad barker

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:38 PM

so to anyone thats willing to help answer a couple bracket questions... on the ea82 {looking at the front of the car/engine} the ac comp is between the alt,on right and pwr steering pump, on left in front of carb and the dist is far right back corner. on the ea81 motor the dist is on the front left corner and the threaded holes for ac and alt brackets are not there as well as one of the three bolt holes for the pwr steering bracket are not cast into the block or housing.am i correct for the proper subie lingo so far? im sorry this is the first time i have ever worked around,on in or anythang on these cars. is there ac on ea81's? is the bracketery reversed? please help as i dont want to continue until i found out. i did remove the complete intake of the 82 and all wires and hoses are marked for i.d. thanlks

#12 el_freddo

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:08 PM

so to anyone thats willing to help answer a couple bracket questions... on the ea82 {looking at the front of the car/engine} the ac comp is between the alt,on right and pwr steering pump, on left in front of carb and the dist is far right back corner. on the ea81 motor the dist is on the front left corner and the threaded holes for ac and alt brackets are not there as well as one of the three bolt holes for the pwr steering bracket are not cast into the block or housing.am i correct for the proper subie lingo so far? im sorry this is the first time i have ever worked around,on in or anythang on these cars. is there ac on ea81's? is the bracketery reversed? please help as i dont want to continue until i found out. i did remove the complete intake of the 82 and all wires and hoses are marked for i.d. thanlks


Chad, as already posted in another thread:

Posted Image

I think you'll have trouble keeping the EA82 auxiliaries in the same place - best to retro fit the EA81 gear to the EA82 as in hook up the power steering pump from the EA81 to the factory EA82 PS rack and the same for the AC - it's pretty basic but you might need some hoses made up unless you can bolt your current AC compressor in the bracket of the EA81's old unit. You might have to move the battery to the other side of the engine bay, not hard to do, just a little annoying.

With some imagination anything can be achieved - deep pockets help sometimes as well ;)

As already said the fly wheel will need to be machined, search for specific measurement on this. Other than that the rest of the initial engine install will be plug and play!

Cheers

Bennie

#13 chad barker

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 09:49 AM

so i am smack in the middle of a mess of problems but am sorting them out one at a time and am going to make notes of my work, problems and fixes then hopefully post them to help any one else interested in this swap as it seems very popular to do. i met a kid at a local used car junkyard where you pay a doller for atmittence and you take your tools in with and pull your own part. i got a correct wheel with a tyre that has 80% tread, ALL the pulley brackets with air cond. compressor, alternator,belts pwr steering pump, raid hoses and air cond hoses with all the hardware included with a bunch of extras and a subie grille emblem to modify and hang on my mirror-all for 64 dollrs. its great place. bue am having big problems with the swapping of the intake manifolds and rerouting the vaccum lines and knowing what to bandon an wat to keep, but am making progress, and i discovered a freind in the vintage vw club that is a machinist who is going to mill on the flywheel for me_ now sorry to be dork but i did not understnd the lingo used to nut out or whtever that means but heres my deal i have both flywheels bolted on both engines(81 going to use and the old kaputt 82) which one do i want to use and work on and which one to not just to clarify- that way i know the one to have him get going on very sorry you have to repeate but uber danke...

#14 el_freddo

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 10:28 PM

Flywheel - you need to use the EA81 unit as it has the correct timing marks on it for the EA81's timing. Have you got the amount it needs to be machined? I'm pretty sure you only do it on the outer bit, not the recessed, but I could be wrong in that so best to check with someone first. If you've got the clutch disc and pressure plate you should be able to work out with surface it is that needs to be machined by holding the CD and CPP on the EA81 flywheel - or do it on a bench and let gravity hold them for you ;)

"might need to nut it out" is probably aussie slang for working it out/thinking about what needs to be done etc. Hope this answers it for you.

So which engine did you get all the brackets and hardware for, I presume the EA81. Did you get the crank pulley too as you'll need this to run all the extras.

Cheers

Bennie

#15 chad barker

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 09:24 AM

thanks for the reply and answering some questions. yes i got parts off of the ea81 and no i did not get the crank pulley as my engine already hs this and the small pulley to the right of it. am in the middle of modifing the intake now, much more than i expected but going ok, im going to have to leave the little "hard vaccum" line set that wraps under the intake off as neither will work well enuf to suit. i will use more rubber line to finish. on the top of the ea82 a/c pump, there is a bracket with a device that looks like a reader or sensor that covers the top of the belt and front of ac clutch. this will not be able to mount in any way i cn find with both bracket systems so what is it and what does it do? also a very nice man from california called me yesterday and thank you so much for the call sir, and he shined a new light that possible use of the 82 flywheel should go right on the 81 engine. as my motors look, both have complete clutch and flywheels as per factory, so i have all parts in place, just havent taken nothing apart yet. but i am ocumenting all tht i do so i can post with photosfor the trickier stuff to subie nubies like me.i spoke to another guy yesterday, mr. morgan and he told me of a very important step was to alter the vaccum line that goes into the car to control dash items and to NOT use this but tee into another line he described nearby because it can harm valves, i did not understand this fully but he is local and he would be ok showing me so i will try to get this info, otherwise post it if u khow it! p.s. bennie, wht is the smallest pullet for at the bottom of the ac assy? mine does not have nor appears to need it. as always, uber danke fer das help. xoxoxo

#16 chad barker

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:41 PM

so kind people of this thread and beyond; WHY do i have to mill on my 81 flywheel and where does it hit or rub? i cant use a stock 81 flywheel and clutch in the 5 speed stock hi/lo tranny that was behind the 82 engine? or can i use the 82 clutch with 81 flywheel. i guess im dumber than i thot or i need a kinderskol book with the story, and bennie if your still out there, i appreciate your help immensly mate, just so much fog...

#17 el_freddo

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 09:40 AM

so kind people of this thread and beyond; WHY do i have to mill on my 81 flywheel and where does it hit or rub? i cant use a stock 81 flywheel and clutch in the 5 speed stock hi/lo tranny that was behind the 82 engine? or can i use the 82 clutch with 81 flywheel. i guess im dumber than i thot or i need a kinderskol book with the story, and bennie if your still out there, i appreciate your help immensly mate, just so much fog...


No stress mate, I used to be the same a few years ago... Happy to help out.

You need to use the EA82 clutch pressure plate as this matches the throw out bearing and clutch fork setup.

The EA81 flywheel is the one to use - it has all of your timing marks on it for tuning the EA81 ;) It doesn't hit on anything AFAIK, rather the EA82 clutch pressure plate either can't clamp the clutch disc OR the EA82 clutch pressure plate can't be properly bolted to the EA81 flywheel without machining.

The other little tid bit you need to know is that the starter motor will need to be spaced out a couple of mm to make it work. Same as what happens with the typical 5 speed conversion.

It could be a good idea to do a search on the L series 5 speed conversion to find out exactly what you need to do for your clutch setup. GeneralDisorder will also be a good souce of info if you ask him nicely, I've noticed that he's very knowledgeable in my short time on this forum ;)

Cheers

Bennie

#18 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 06:19 PM

All you have to do is have the flywheel ground to a .815" step height. It will then accept the EA82 clutch kit.

GD

#19 chad barker

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 09:50 PM

thank you for the answer mr. gd. but would someone please help me. WHERE do i grind the flywheel? What is a step up? i dont know the part i need to grind on. where the clutch sits down in where the flywheel bolts on and contacts the engine sorry i dont sprechen zee flywheel, and i do thank you much...

#20 el_freddo

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 08:15 AM

All you have to do is have the flywheel ground to a .815" step height. It will then accept the EA82 clutch kit.

GD


thank you for the answer mr. gd. but would someone please help me. WHERE do i grind the flywheel? What is a step up? i dont know the part i need to grind on. where the clutch sits down in where the flywheel bolts on and contacts the engine sorry i dont sprechen zee flywheel, and i do thank you much...


Tell the machine shop what GD has said above and they'll do the rest - all you need according to GD is 0.815" height from the clutch plate face to the clutch pressure plate mounting surface.

Cheers

Bennie

#21 chad barker

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 06:35 PM

so i think my machinest and i have it. the two flywheels compared side by side are diffrent depths, the 82 unit being shallower than the 81, which needs the outer rim ground down to the .815 or nearly 2 mm to make it the same as the 82 unit. thanks for the discription so much as we were going to take it off of the area that touches the engine area(opposite end as the clutch touches) so... ya... mucho thanks mate!!! maybe now when i get that done, and new plugs and belts, it will install good, hook right up and RUN!!!

#22 el_freddo

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 04:06 AM

Good stuff!

How have you gone with the EA82 manifold on the EA81 block? I'm starting to think this might be a good way to go with my mother in law's brumby/BRAT. It's got a choke issue and is hard to start - I've got an EA82 manifold and matching carbie with the same sort of auto choke setup that I'm thinking could be the go now. It's also a slightly bigger carb over the EA81 - I found that out when I was trying to swap the carbs between the EA81 and EA82 :(

Cheers

Bennie

#23 chad barker

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 10:56 AM

well as you may have read on the other thread i did detail all of the problems exact as to what i had to do to overcome the fits. what i DONT know is i took numerous pics to post reguarding each item, like, before and after shots, using a small pointer at the correct area, so these may be helpful but i dont know how to post them. my flywheel is at the machinest now, and when i get it back in a couple of days i will get the clutch cleaned up and aligned and installed on the flywheel, then to engine torqued and installed. im sure there will be a few quirkes, but one at a time mate! let me know in detail how to post pics or email them direct....

#24 chad barker

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 11:02 AM

and i want to double double check check that milling the flywheel at nearly 2mm or .815 RIGHT UP TO THE RING GEAR where it is pressed on is removing some of it, where it already has a minute step, this is a concern but nobody has remarked about it so were going to go ahead with it; just seemed weird getting that close.

#25 chad barker

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 07:00 PM

will the water pump off of an ea82 bolt onto my ea81? i need the pressed on part to allow the fan to bolt on...




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