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Required VW vintage for Soobie swap
Posted 09 May 2006 - 09:26 PM
Posted 10 May 2006 - 08:48 PM
Posted 21 May 2006 - 06:23 PM
Posted 22 May 2006 - 10:39 PM
I too have heard of people doing the swap into older air cooled models, but of course the wasserboxer vanagons are much easier because a coolant system is already in place. Even among the water cooled models, '86 or newer is supposed to be easiest to deal with. As a rule of thumb, I've read that you should stay away from models with round headlights and look for the square ones because they went to square headlights in '86. Keep in mind that I have NO experience with actually doing the swap, but I have been researching it a lot because I'm definitely thinking about it...
I will kindof agree on the years thing but....
The headlights are cooler in the round because you can get H4 conversions from EMPI that make the rounds way brighter than the 86 and up. $17 each and worth every penny.
The 85 and up starter is more able to handle the 2.2's requirements but thats a 100 dollar item...go to an auto salvage and buy a newer starter.
The relocation of the ECU to under the rear seat starts in 85. Thats a much better place for the Subaru one too. All the same you can put the ECU there in an 84 (I did).
Otherwise the only other downside is age to me but at the same time as part of the conversion you should replace all of the cooling system, rebuild the engine or have it done, and consider rebuilding the transmission if you can afford it.
To me its just...buy the nicest van you can afford but CONDITION of the van is way more important than age. I started with an 84 for $1000, rod went out in the VW engine but van chassis had 22400 miles on it when I started which was really worth it to me..the interior looks that mileage.
If you want a Syncro of course that is an 86 and newer thing automatically.
Posted 12 June 2006 - 12:31 AM
Posted 15 June 2006 - 10:05 PM
The worst thing about an 85 is the suspension. The front springs are taller than the rears. I am in the process of swapping out the springs with some after market types. Also, VW introduced rear sway bars in later models (not sure when). The newer vans definitely handle better. I think if I was going to do a swap again I would hold out for a newer 'square headlight' van.
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