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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Want to build a Subaru powered VW bug

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4 replies to this topic

#1 jseabolt


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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:49 PM

Other than my '03 Subaru Baja, I don't know much about these engines.

A co-worker has a VW bug without an engine he is willing to sell me.

The question is, which engine would be an easy transplant?

My plan is to use a Weber 32 DFTA, mainly because I have several of these carbs laying about and know how to work on Webers because I have been into Fiats for years.

If the engine is/was fuel injected, I could easily fabricate an adapter to bolt the carb in place of the throttle body.

Second I'd rather use a distributor with a vacuum advance than a coil pack/computer that adjusts the timing. That maybe harder to do that the carb. Unless this is independant of the fuel injection computer and is just a matter of hooking it to power and ground.

One idea might be to use a Bosch distributor and mount it in place of the power steering pump and drive it off the crankshaft. If possible.

I don't know when Subaru started using coil packs. How far back do I have to go to find a Subaru engine that uses a distributor with a vacuum advance?

I know this sounds "old school" but that's the way I want to build it.

Also I've looked a photos of Bugs with Subaru engines but so far have found no photos of where these people are mounting the radiators.

Where are they putting them?

#2 nipper


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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:19 AM

Well the hardest part is mating the two, after that it is all down hill.

You loose what little trunk you have as that is usually where the radiator goes. Airflow is through the trunk lid after it had been punched, or by loosing the entire floor.



#3 Red92


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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:39 PM

A co-worker has a VW bug without an engine he is willing to sell me.

The question is, which engine would be an easy transplant?

What year is the Beetle? The later years had roomier engine compartments...

#4 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 28 April 2012 - 01:03 PM

The EA81 was the engine of choice for years in the bug community. They do have distributors with vac advance... they were factory carbed.

The EJ22 can be run with a distributor. They had them in Europe and they have a plate that can be removed from the passenger side head to run a distributor off the cam. People use Ford Escort distributors typically. Then you just have to build a manifold to suit a carb - the EJ FI manifolds are pretty tall though because they don't include the coolant cross-over as part of the manifold like the carb manifolds in Europe did. Which doesn't leave a lot of space on top for a carb to sit. Though you could do a side-draft carb probably.

For my money - the '95+ OBD-II fuel injection is the way to go. More power and better reliability. A harness from a '95 manual transmission Legacy is a perfect donor. They run really good and the ability to plug in a $30 bluetooth adaptor and data log your engine with a $5 smart phone app is totally worth the effort.


#5 WoodsWagon


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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:12 PM

If you're going through the work of putting in a cooling system and buying adapters, go to fuel injection. Heck, even VW made the switch back in 1968 and 44 years later my type3 was still running good. With the crappy ethanol gas that's sold these days, it's getting harder and harder to keep a carbed car reliable.

A 90-98 2.2l will fit best because the smaller SOHC heads tuck into the engine bay with a minimum of trimming.

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