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ShawnW

My new project, Air Cooled Vanagon to Subaru EJ22 Conversion

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Not a terrific day for progress but some all the same. The wiring seems to be a problem as the machine doesnt fire or pump up the fuel pump.

 

Did however get the cooling system pipes thru the air duct today, after trying off and on for the past few days. Damn its a pita to put pipe thru that gap. :)

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Engine is from CCR.

 

Don't worry CCR doesn't normally paint the valve covers on EJ series motors. That repulsive Red color is of my doing. It added 12.5 Horsepower too. VROOM!

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Hi Shawn, can you elaborate on your air cooled Vanagon conversion? Everything looks straighforward except the cooling system scares me.

 

Was it hard to install a W/C vanagon rad into the air cooled vanagon? What about the VW electric rad fan? Did you use it?

 

Did you install a w/c heater up front? How about under the rear seat?

 

If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?

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Found and pulled front and rear heater cores from an 89 water cooled Vanagon today. Part of the fun of doing an air cooled conversion. Ill probably put the rear core in first and do the front later but might just go for it right away. Who knows.

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Hi Shawn, can you elaborate on your air cooled Vanagon conversion? Everything looks straighforward except the cooling system scares me.

 

Was it hard to install a W/C vanagon rad into the air cooled vanagon? What about the VW electric rad fan? Did you use it?

 

Did you install a w/c heater up front? How about under the rear seat?

 

If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?

 

The Air cooled vanagon has the same amt of room as the water cooled one for the VW radiator and fan, just no upper mount. The lower radiator mount holes are there but they aren't threaded or anything. Ill install the lower brackets and then fab up something to hold the radiator in at the top.

 

Im thinking Ill pull the dash on the van and put the front heater core in as well as the rear one. Heat is always a good thing.

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Update: Trying a 2nd wiring harness as the first one seems to have a problem in it somewhere. Thats always a chance you take when you get the harness out of a junkyard. The harness for attempt 2 is a parts car I drove back so at least I know I am starting out with something fairly decent. It did however have a dead cyl so hopefully that won't burn me. In the next few weeks I will be installing the cooling system conversion.

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Started adding the heaters this week. The rear heater core is very easy. The front is a total PITA as you have to take the whole dash out obviously but its way harder to deal with than a Subaru dash.

I got sick and that slowed progress but I hope to trudge forward again tomorrow.

 

Once the heaters are in i can position the main cooling lines and put all the t fittings in for the dual heat. This thing outta cook your rear. :)

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Cool.

 

My dad has an 86 syncro vanagan and has been contemplating the same swap. I have been trying to coax him into it, but i dont know....

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The front heater box is out and the new one is positioned ready to be bolted in tomorrow. This van fortunately had the fresh air fan setup in it or I would have had some wiring to do and possibly a problem mounting the water heat box. So far I have only had small PITA problems that add up fast but no major snags other than feeling pretty crummy.

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Cool.

 

My dad has an 86 syncro vanagan and has been contemplating the same swap. I have been trying to coax him into it, but i dont know....

 

Syncros are pretty awesome vans, next time it needs head gaskets go for a Subaru engine conversion.

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Started soldering the 1.5" pipes for the cooling system. Time consuming but looking good so far. Somewhere I have to figure out where to decrease the pipe size as the VW radiator is 1/4" smaller inlet and outlet than Subaru's cooling system. Another setback is the parts car I was aware of is now scrap metal.

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He has had the trans rebuilt on it, and now it has been in the body shop for 2 years getting completely restored. I found him an ej22 complete with ecu and harness (13000 mi only too) for $230 but he pussed out.

 

I am going to show him this thread and maybe that will coax him a little more.

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Hello Shawn, and everyone else!

 

I have been planning a Subaru Vanagon conversion for over a year now, and the time has come to move forward. I was looking for other documented conversions today, and found USMB, awesome forum here!

 

I look forward to reading and seeing more about your conversion.

 

I will be putting an EJ22 in my 1989 Vanagon Carat.

 

Feel free to visit my website at www.krautwagen.com - mostly covers my work on my 1973 VW Bug, but there will soon be an addition to my Vanagon pages which will cronicle my conversion process over the next 3 months.

 

Right now I'm just looking for a good used engine, and related Subaru parts. Colorado is full of Subaru's so there is a lot to choose from. I will order my Kennedy parts, Smallcar.com parts, and all the other stuff in early April.

 

God speed everyone!

 

Andy

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Wow youre really close to where I live too. I would be happy to give you a tour of my van sometime so you can see the parts, and the troubles I had which most of which you won't run into cuz your van is already water cooled. (Youre smarter than I am for starting out with a water one!)

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Today I installed front headlights that are H4 conversions. A local VW specialty shop was the source, box says EMI on it. They look better and should be brighter, the last time I drove the van in the dark I couldn't see squat with the Wagners that somebody put in.

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Just in case anyone is interested,there is a conversion plate setup for vw to subaru on e bay right now still at small money.I dont know how to post the reference details but I came on it searching under Subaru engine.

Jude

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Working on putting Mercedes wheels on it now. They are 15" and the same bolt pattern but a different bolt diameter so gotta get past that. Solution in the works, will post success note later.

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Today we got a wiring harness to work and the engine fired up for the 1st time since I rebuilt it. I brought the harness home for cleanup and tomorrow a double check of my cleanup and then pretty it up. Then finish "plumbing and heating", create the end for the accel cable, and wire the VW 2 speed fan. Might actually drive it soon!!!!! Getting all excited now. :)

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hey shawn, theres actually a guy at my mechanics shop who is currently putting the legacy turbo motor in his vanagon, looks kind interesting, definatley a lot of cut and weld involved, but its getting there, slowly but surely...... just thought you might want to know

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