Four in the Van – Back on the Road in Colombia

Our first visitor and good friend, Elizabeth, was Chimera’s saving grace. Within only a few days of her arrival in Bogotá we were back on the road and headed off on more adventures. We drove straight to the charming town of Villa de Leyva, where we enjoyed some leisurely hikes and an amazing market. Then we hit up the Zona Cafetera, the gorgeous coffee region, where we indulged in the locally grown, freshly roasted beans, showered in waterfalls and swam in hot springs, hiked through a fantasy land of wax palms, and made explosions.

Valle de Cocora

Valle de Cocora

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Engine Conversion

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.

Unloading the Subaru engineUnloading the Subaru engine Continue reading