For purity/ease of install/other reason, it seems many speedsters have some flavor of VW air-cooled motor out back but I'm also seeing a trend? for some varieties  of Subie boxers.

Anyone have/had both can do a pros and cons for me?  Would seem the more modern engine might run cleaner, less maintenance but is certainly more complicated.




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Search here - EdNova did a transplant to his MGTD replica, PeterV converted his Speedster years ago, and David S did a junkyard swap on his past car.  There are web pages covering the Subaru engine into VW buses and bugs too.  I think the cost is a near wash (if you can do work yourself).  Let's face it - a dependible 180 hp VW engine is now easily $10k.  Quality air cooled parts are becoming rare! It does tend to get crazy though - more HP mean stronger transaxel reqd and better brakes.  You do need engine/trans adapter, all the water cooling pieces, custom exhaust and costly wiring harness mods.  On a good install there aren't really any visible signs that it is now water cooled - other than no oil drips marking its territory!

Thanks all.  Once upon a time we had a 69VW Bug and the engine was easy enough to work on but had some bad habits like blowing a plug out on a long highway drive and like mentioned, left some droppings most places..  It wasn't stock so that was likely 'our fault' for trying to get some more umph out of the engine.. 

A Subaru installation is more involved initially but once up and running it's more trouble free, the more modern platform being water cooled with the newer engine management technology. 

And yes, the VW type 1 is more true to form, but you really have to like tinkering almost as much as driving to be a successful aircooled owner.

I could go on but that's the short of it. Al

i 100% concur with the comment of ALB....i was a semi-expert on VW's in my youth...and NOT because i wanted to be....and i'll leave it at that as not to upset the aircooled subie is turn key and mostly wrench free...which leaves more time for cruising

jncspyder posted:

i 100% concur with the comment of ALB....i was a semi-expert on VW's in my youth...and NOT because i wanted to be....and i'll leave it at that as not to upset the aircooled subie is turn key and mostly wrench free...which leaves more time for cruising

I'm about as 'aircooled purist' (and grouchy old luddite) as they come, concerning these cars and (along with fellow purist and luddite Stan, as well as a few others) recognize that for a lot of guys, going Subaru makes sense. Otherwise in a few years no one will be interested in these things. I hate to admit it, but us aircooled guys are a dying breed.

All above comments bring out the flavour of the hobby.  Tinkering is a must with either platform I would say, because most mechanics are not familiar with the vehicle not to say that they can't work on them but you have to help them at first with what is what. 

BTW, Hey @ALB  AL, I just did my first rear brake dick, replacement on my subie.

I have to say the guys here were great encouragement and I was happy to be able to do it, all by myself, I think there is a song by that line   I will be out and about this weekend. 

I love VW Type 1 and Type 4 engines and have owned and hot rod'ed  many versions over the last 35 years. I bought my Speedster with a nice 2276 type 1 engine and the driving experience left me desiring. I am older now and am tired of clogged jets and the tinkering and the oil drippings. It was a hard decision to have my car converted to Suby power since it put my Speedster out of commission for over 9 months, delayed gratification hasn't been one of my strong suits. Special Edition did the work and it was the absolute right choice for me. The car feels and drives like a completely different car.  The finished product exceeded my expectations which is rare in my experience. I drive the car daily when sunny and love every minute of it.  I have a car that is dependable and a joy to drive.  The Subaru conversion done well is a viable choice for these fun little cars,  although it really all comes down to what you want.  I have a thread covering the build process you can search if you want additional info. Search "Fiberfab Subaru Conversion"speedster conversion 90



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Michael McKelvey posted:

@DannyP  I was going to comment but resisted.  First cutting tits off then dick replacement.  Of course, it was a rear dick.  I would want to replace it with a front dick although having both front and rear dicks opens up interesting possibilities.

And I shared a room with you!?

As cool as adding Weber carbs to a Subaru engine may look it would be going backwards 60 years in attained technological advancement. The 2007 suby EJ253 engine and matching ECU is a wonderful setup. This 16 valve flat 4 engine has the AVLS variable cam lift technology and the smooth torque and power it puts out is amazing. The also idles up to warm the engine and idles down on it's own to an even 700rpm idle. The engine will run for 200,000 plus miles if the oil is changed regularly. I love older engines and what they are but would cringe to see someone remove the ECU and fuel injection thus negating the 2nd valve opening on each cylinder making the engine now run either rich or lean depending on the throttle position and also losing at least 20% of the horsepower and drivability of the engine.  It reminds me of all the fuel injected beetles and Porsche 914's that had the fuel injection systems removed and replaced with carbs when the owner or mechanic couldn't figure out how to work on them. Those engines ran better and stronger with the properly functioning Fuel injection in every case except for when the engines were heavily modified past the limit of the stock fuel injection. I know the Carlos was only musing but it made me think of what I just posted.

I love my Subi conversion. The work Special Edition did made the car seem like a completely different ride. They use a EJ253 SOHC engine from a 2007 Impreza. It has the variable cam lift. The Stock ECU is used and the drive by wire throttle. They buy a new short block from Subaru and have the heads from the donor car rebuilt. The intake, valve covers and other bits get powder coated to your color choice. The engine is rated at 173HP as it comes in the Impreza. As setup in my Speedster it has the catalytic converter removed, an A1 built header and a performance muffler along with a free flow air filter. I would estimate a 15-17 hp increase making the engine to be in the 190HP range. The transaxle is a Rancho Pro-comp Subi built using one of their Rhino cases using all special gearing suited to the Subi power curve. It is a very nice match. The first gear is taller and it uses a 3.88 RP. I turn approx. 3100 RPM @70MPH.  The car cruises at 80-90 with ease and is a pleasure on side roads and expressway.  Can you tell how much I love my car? Bottom line, I was under impressed with my Speedster as it came with a VW engine. Best Decision I ever made (regarding cars) having it converted to the Subi engine. I never have to worry about over heating it hasn't been an issue 195 coolant temps max. on the hottest days.  I hope this helps and answers your question. Cheers!

speedster conversion 145 center exit exhaustspeedster conversion 97 Rancho Pro-Suby Transaxlespeedster conversion 90


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Ah yes, interesting Jimmy.  Have you monitored the temp in heavy heat and coming off the highway after an hour to drive to see if you have any changes under heavy load. 

I know the turbo cars run a bit hot at times, mine has some fluctuations but not severe.

Awsome car Jimmy V. i saw the video nice details .

Did you use the stock radiator in the front with stock cooling fans?

I have experiance with it for years with a subaru ea 71 twin carb ( SRX ) engine in my speedster.  Never had overheating problems. I Used 28 mm coolant pipes under the car. The current project is a superwide speedster with a subaru EG 33 in the back.

Special Edition uses a custom built aluminum radiator that they have made for them and a cooling fan. It actually overcools on days under 60degree and I block half of the radiator off to get any heat from the heater core. The radiator is mounted in the front of the car. Special Edition has years of experience doing Subaru conversions and have worked out all the bugs. I have had zero issues with it in my first summer of driving with about 3500 miles on the car to date. I go on interstate trips often cruising at 80-90mph with ease. This car is very well sorted and a blast to drive. I drive it to work daily smiling the entire trip.

Speedster Conversion 145Speedster Conversion 17Speedster Conversion 164 coolant flow 2Speedster Conversion 32


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