The VW Wasserboxer engine is notoriously underpowered for Vanagons. We knew we wanted more power and reliability, so an engine conversion was the first project. We decided on a 2.2L Subaru engine, as it is extremely reliable, offered an increase of roughly 145% horsepower, and happens to fit right in the VW engine compartment. We got lucky and found a cheap 1998 Subaru EJ22 engine that was in great shape. Tim did most of the conversion work himself, with some help from his dad. The necessary additional conversion parts include a custom flywheel, adaptor plate, and exhaust system, which Tim bought from Rocky Mountain Westy, conveniently located just up the road in Fort Collins. The following photos show some highlights from the 8-week conversion process.
Here’s a movie of the first time Tim tried to start the new engine: