I have a 1994 Intermeccanica project. 1963 VW chassis. Car has been in storage since 2001 in Monterey, CA.  It has a bad #4 cylinder and needs a refresh. I have seen other cars with motors from 1600 to 2276. What is the forums opinion of a good motor size for this car that retains the heater. 

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How much can you afford?- it's a slippery slope.  Go really big and you are re-using just the tin and some of the bolts.  If other parts are still good then 87-88 mm P&C (1641/1679 cc) for under $300 (parts) or a 1914 cc (commonly called a 1915)  would be $600 (base) but requires complete disassembly and machining of heads/case to 94 mm cylinders.  Other combinations take a new crank followed by P&C, cam, heads, and carb (plus larger diameter heat exchangers).

The best bang for the buck is the 1915cc, it's the biggest cc engine you can do w/o turning your attention to heat issues that require add'l cooling and add'l money.  Balance the crank , rods and flywheel as an assembled unit, full flow the dual relief case, 120 camshaft, Good piston - cylinder set, remote oil filter, decent heads , dual carbs ( dual German Solex's with chokes are the best for this size engine and finish it off with a decent exhaust system.

To retain stock heater boxes on a 1600 based engine you have to stay with the stock (35x32 mm) valve sizes. Stock heads are only capable of 85 or so hp so a 1915 cc engine that's set up to rev to 5,000 rpm (Engle W100 cam, 34 Ict dual carburetors, 1 3/8" exhaust, 8¼- 8½:1 compression) would be about the limit. You could build it larger but the engine will run out of breath (and not really rev any higher) at a correspondingly lower rpm. I have never built an engine combination like this to try it, but my experience tells me this is about the limit with stock heater boxes.

That said, this engine in almost any Speedster would make a fun, zippy around town car (especially with a 4.37 or 4.12 ring & pinion equipped transaxle). I'm going to pose this question to a friend who is much more knowledgeable than me- more later.  Al

PS- I'm assuming by heater you're talking about the stock heater boxes- please correct me if I'm wrong...

It starts with a philosophy of use (POU). What type of driver are you? How do you envision driving the car? Do you want to row fast and spin the motor to 6-7K? Do you want a street motor that you row from 2nd to 4th all day in the city? Or something in between? I have both a 1600 and a 2276. Not an apples to apples comparison because the 1600 is in a 912 and the 2276 is in the Vintage Speedster. I prefer to drive a slow car fast and the 912 fits that POU perfectly - it is a momentum car and time seems to stand still when ever I drive it. And that is a good thing.

The Vintage with the 2276 however, is quite the opposite. The 2276 is a lazy mans car that has momentum in any gear. Though it falls on it's face after 5K, I have a large area under the curve and it pulls through the gears pretty QUICK. The ride can be over just like that. The 2276 is surprisingly fast says my buddy with the Tesla 3. But sometimes I wish I had a 1600 in it. Good luck with the project!

I have two off-road desert cars with tube chassis, high performance, stroked, ported, high compression 2276's that are max'd out. I am aware of the cost to build these motors and what they can produce throwing $$$$ at them.  

But, this is a different car for me, one that I am at the moment unfamiliar with, this is a shortened 1963 vw pan with a tube chassis that is welded into the rear area. I have  a spare 2276/ 8.5/1 compression motor but I been told that is to much motor for these cars or I would swap it in and change out the all of the brakes to disc. Front is on order now.

I am looking for the right size motor for this type of car, want to retain the heater but still want drivability and performance. I have had the following motor sizes suggested to me 1776, 1835, 1904 and 1915 suggested. Since it needs to run on pump gas I believe that I need to be around 7:50/1 compression using a  Engle 100 cam.

Car currently has dual baby Weber's 34's , not a big fan so far. My other carss have dual weber 44's and dual Delorto's which I believe are 45's. Unsure of the size of the motor currently as I have not pulled it yet. 

I am looking for good street performance and drivability. Thoughts?

You'll find every different size of motor in these cars. The majority being 1915 or below due to a variety of reason. Then there's the rest of us for which nothing other than HP will suffice. Starting at 150 hp 2210's on up to I think a 2376 that someone on here is running. There may be larger but I can't think of what size it would be. And lastly there is the crowd that went water cooled Subaru and will probably never look back. As ZFNHSN stated, decide how you want to drive it and build it from there. You can drive a fast car slow and you can drive a slow car fast but I think you'll reach your limits much faster and might grow bored if spirited driving is what you seek. Top down, star gazing, bird watching, wine tasting, sunny days and cool nights with the rest of the world passing you by is okay then there's no need to go big.

Can't help you with the heater portion, because I don't run one in my 2276 in S. Cal. A 2276 is not too much motor for these cars IMHO. I'm running high lift narrow LSA Web86B cam, 1.25 ratio rockers and 9.5:1 compression, dual Weber 44s, LWFW and 4sp. I don't over heat or have any pinging on 91 octane. The engine came out of a sand-railer and I had a local VW outfit go through it before it went into the Speedster. The local builder BTW holds all if not most of the current 1/8, 1/4 mile aircooled VW records and so they know how to build a motor. I did swap out the Porsche OEM Fuchs with Porsche OEM Steel wheels and I'm happy that I have the extra HP because those steel wheels are HEAVY! I do mean what I said about a 1600 or even a 1915. A smaller, more peaky higher revving engine compared to my 2276 would change the character of the Speedster so much that it would fell like an entirely  different car - in a good way.

If I had to do it over again? Maybe a Suby :ducking out of the way:

Assuming my role as the village idiot and the object of cautionary tales, I’ve got some experience here (most of it bad). I’ve had just about every permutation of Type 1 engine from a bottom feeding 1776 to a 200 hp 2332 sitting in the back of the car. There are plenty of avenues to dork this up, and because I’m hardheaded, I’ve headed down most of them before turning around.

I’ve presently got a 2276 dry-sumped and twin-plugged (for extra complexity’s sake). It’s kinda’ cool in a “what’s he smoking?” sort of way— but for my money, a 2110 with good heads, a W120 with 40s, and a 1-1/2” 4 into 1 header is the Goldilocks-zone.

1-1/2” heater boxes are widely available and EMPI now has 1-5/8 boxes, so I wouldn’t let stock boxes limit me in any way. I’d get a remote oil cooler with a bypass thermostat and a fan switch. There’s room to get fancier if you want, but this is by far the most bang for the buck. 

That’s my opinion, and my wife tells me I assume that everybody  is entitled to it. 

The big limiter here, guys, is Neil wanting to keep the stock heater boxes. Talk of ANYTHING that makes more hp than the heater boxes can support is a waste of time, hence the combination I proposed above. Neil, if you're not crazy about the Ict's then substitute some 40 (or better yet, 36 mm if you can find them) Webers or Dellortos and away you go.

NeilM posted:

Any feed back on valve size and heads. The off-road car motors I have are big bore valve heads. Is this needed in the a speedster motor or standard heads in 1776 to 1915 will be okay?

No, big valve heads are not needed in a Speedster (although they do make the whole experience so much more fun! ). An engine with bigger valves (and the appropriate port work) does have the potential to make substantially more power, of course, but the the components in any size engine have to work together to produce the flow and rpm's for said engine to hit a target hp.

A 1776, 1835 or 1915 with the parts I suggested in my above post will be a blast to drive, having 50% or more power than a stock 1600. Most Speedsters weigh about the same as a stock Beetle so that increase in power will be noticed!  I remember 45 years ago building my first performance engine (1641 with most of the same components as I've suggested above) and the difference in my stock '67 Beetle (it had stock size radials) was astounding. And your Speedster would be an absolute hoot with a 2276 (handling and braking upgrades will be required to make it a safe car), but then if you want it to rev much past 4,000 rpm it won't have stock heater boxes, so you have choices to make... Al

Is your car swingaxle or irs? Do we get to see pics?

ALB posted:

The big limiter here, guys, is Neil wanting to keep the stock heater boxes. Talk of ANYTHING that makes more hp than the heater boxes can support is a waste of time, hence the combination I proposed above.

Stan Galat posted:

 1-1/2” heater boxes are widely available and EMPI now has 1-5/8 boxes, so I wouldn’t let stock boxes limit me in any way. 

 Heat isn't a limiter anymore. I wouldn't run stock boxes on anything more than a 1600, but that's just me.

NeilM posted:

I have a 1994 Intermeccanica project. 1963 VW chassis. Car has been in storage since 2001 in Monterey, CA.  It has a bad #4 cylinder and needs a refresh. I have seen other cars with motors from 1600 to 2276. What is the forums opinion of a good motor size for this car that retains the heater. 

Neil...just for starts please. How is your car registered ? IM stopped making VW chassis cars previous to 1994. 

I have a '63 VW pan. My 2276 doesn't seem to overwhelm the chassis.  I will follow up in six more months however

Again, no heater for me. Web 86b, 105 LSA, 42/37.5 valves on 040 heads. My deck height is not 'optimal' but I had 45cc heads to work with. I have no issues with low end response, overheating and driveabiliry  

I do think a smaller motor would be more in the spirit of what these cars were designed to run with the available technology back in the day. 

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