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Reply to "New exhaust to cure a hot-running engine"

Kevin - Bay Area posted:

Thanks everyone for weighing in. 

Pardon my next question, as it may come off as a bit naive. But is the stock 1915cc engine really that much quicker than a 1600cc engine?

Does the 1600cc engine tend to run cooler?

Just weighing my options here. If I understand correctly, adding an oil cooler may solve my issue. Or it may be the first part in a series of items I’ll need to purchase in order to get the operating temps down when in traffic.  (Which I guess is all part of the madness)

Which gets me back to my question above (in terms of the difference in speed between the 1600 versus the 1915). For my purposes, what I have so far has been great in terms of quickness (or lack there of). I enjoy cruising around in the car, whether is be the back mountain roads by my house, cruising at 70-75mph on the highways, or driving 55mph on the backroads of wine country. 


@Anthony As Sacto Mitch pointed out, I should just plan a day’s visit to you before I start purchasing parts. 

A: Your stock VS 1915 is stronger than a stock VW 1600 and probably about as strong as a "Super 90" Porsche 1600 from back in the day. 

More is more.

That said, the engine in your car does not drive like the Super 90. That engine made 89 horsepower at 5500 RPM and 89 ft-lbs torque at 4400. 

Your 1915 makes about 75 horses at about 4500 but probably close to 100 ft-lbs of torque at 3500. It feels stronger at lower RPMs—because it is; that's what those extra CCs give you. But it runs out of breath at higher RPMs because, as Stan noted, it's not really "built" except for the bigger cylinders and dual carbs.

A good 4-into-1 header (like a sidewinder) will help the engine, but only if the tubes are sized right. In your case you want 1.5 inch primaries. The good news is they'll be "right" for this engine even if you later build it up. They're also right for a small stroker of 2 or 2.1 liters.

The power these mills make is quite variable.

It is possible (though not advisable, at least in a street car) to wring 200 horsepower from a 1915. 

Pat Downs offers engine kits of the same displacement with an advertised 125 horsepower at 5500 RPM. That's about what the 1915 I'm putting in my Spyder is supposed to make. Carey Hines at Beck/Special Edition has been using these as his "standard" engine for well over a decade. 

Double the power of a stock 1600 VW engine. 

The 1600 will run cooler than a 1915, all things being equal.

But a lot of 1915s, and even larger engines, run as cool as a stock 1600. It's all in how they're put together--right components, proper assembly, careful attention to detail. 

Last edited by edsnova