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I have a 1.7L 914 Type IV engine, and plan to build it as a 2563 with EFI and DTM cooling.  Here is the question.  Buy one from Raby complete for $30,000, or build it myself for $21,000 including all the machining and dynamic balancing.  It is going in a steel 356 and will be joined with a 901 transaxle.  I have built only one Type IV engine, and have Raby's DVD.

And if you wanna give me a hard time about putting a VW engine in a Porsche, go ahead.  I have already put front disc brakes on it and care not a whit about keeping it original.  It's my car.

And what experience do y'all have with any specific VW engine machine shops in Southern California?

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I built a big type IV engine a few years back that I was running in a 1977 Puma GTE. It is a journey not for the faint of heart or for shallow pockets. You are smart to keep the engine size to under 2.6L. Once the cylinder/piston size gets too big as mine was you deal with having to add additional head studs or other means which I went with to get the heads to seal properly to the cylinders and don't skimp on the heads. it is worthwhile and imperative to buy the best heads you can afford, and the best is considered the LE200 HAM heads which can have a build time of 3-4 months. The end result of your journey can be very rewarding in the power and torque the engine will give you. My engine finished out to be a real screamer that was a real hoot in the light Puma. You may consider going with the Raby build if you want the best and can afford it. PM me if you want more info. on the best places to get Type IV parts and services if you choose to build the motor yourself. check my posts out on this site. Search this on the search bar above. I couldn't get it to make a link since the ad was closed when the car sold.   

1977 Puma GTE/ 2.8L type 4 for sale


Re: Monster 2786 Type 4 build

Last edited by Jimmy V.

About 13 years ago Jake Raby built my Type IV engine and installed it into my Replica Porsche Speedster.  I cannot say enough about the experience from start to Finish and the car was simply fantastic.  I added 4-wheel disc brakes, an Espar gas heater and some other additions to make it a great interstate traveler.  Jake traded my Chinese Webers for a pair of  by Art Thaen remanufactured pair of Italian Delortos which were tweaked only once in the 13 years I owned the car.  He swapped for almost even, as I remember because he wanted to see what his dyno showed for each carb setup.  He also installed 4 different sets of exhaust brands to choose the best performance set up. My wife and I enjoyed 14 trips to the Carlisle, PA club meet from Hot Springs, AR at 2,500 miles per round trip, plus an epic road trip to Morro Bay , CA for the West coast Speedster/Spyder meet.  The car ran 75-80+ for hours on end, never ran oil temps of over 185, and never needed what Jake calls "unscheduled maintenance" which is his term for a mid-trip repair. The main thing that made the car was the Jake Raby engine.  Completely trouble free and reliable.  I don't remember the cost of the engine  but it was the best money I ever spent!  A few "Best of show" trophies were some ego boost too.

Last year I gave my Speedster to my son, Russ  in Wilson, NC last year.  Russ owns one of the last air cooled 911s and does all the maintenance himself.  He is a master mechanic but runs part of the computer operation at Duke University Hospital in Durham, NC . In early May I'll fly over to Russ' home and we will again travel together to the  Carlisle, PA Speedster owners club  to see great friends of many years.  I will be 85 then,and still a big fan of Jake Raby's work, which is nothing short of perfection.  What I paid for and what I received was anvil-like  reliability and great performance.  Funny that I don't remember what I paid Jake  ---I guess it's like that old saying about satisfaction remaining long after the price is forgotten.

Would I have the same story to tell here if I had built my engine myself?  Will you have the same story if you built your Type IV yourself?  Good luck.


You are one of the smartest guys I know, Jack -- and I miss your frequent contributions to this site. I well remember when you were considering a Raby T4, and all that Jake did to make sure you got what you were after. I think you may have gotten a little extra love because of your brotherhood in the USMC, but that too was earned trough your good character and integrity.

You've been an asset and a friend of this site for many, many years @Jack Crosby. Give my love to Alice and tell your son we'd welcome his participation here.

I suspect that installing a 901 trans in a 356 won't be a picnic either.  Not heard of many doing that --- but the 60+ year old 356 transaxle surely wouldn't handle new power.  Look forward to following your build.

I have 2 914 T4 - a 1.8L and a 2L.  I plan to just reseal and run near stock except for carbs.  Even in flat pancake configuration they will fit in a Speedster.

@WOLFGANG posted:

I suspect that installing a 901 trans in a 356 won't be a picnic either.  Not heard of many doing that --- but the 60+ year old 356 transaxle surely wouldn't handle new power.  Look forward to following your build.

Yeah, the rear suspension has to be changed, preferably to a SWB 911/912 IRS.  I don't know enough about it yet to be scared.  I have read about it and seen photos, but I still don't know much about what they are talking about.  Oh well, being ignorant has never stopped me before.

@Jack Crosby, good to hear from you, Ol' Ironpants.  I am delighted to hear you are planning a trip to Carlisle this spring.  As things are currently shaping up, it looks like I will be overscheduled with a grandson's graduation in Arizona then, so I may miss the Family Gathering in PA this year.  exact schedules not yet worked out, so we will see ...  I, and many others here,  was the beneficiary of your experience with Raby, as you posted plenty during that acquisition.  Your unsolicited testimonial here pretty much tells it like it is.  Raby was then and, as far as I know, still is a premiere engine builder and can do it better than anybody.  Bottom line might be the old adage: you get what you pay for.

Hello, @Jack Crosby - Good to see you posting!

And @howdo asked: "Was it not possible to use Type IV heat exchangers?"

Sure you can, but they're a bit hard to find and then they cost an arm and a leg.  Plus, you'll want to match the exhaust pipe diameter to your head ports if they have been opened up a little and finding larger diameter heater box pipes will be very hard to do.  Then, you'll need the heat modulator valves and connecting piping and all that Jazz. All that is $$$

For roughly the same amount of money ($2,500 or maybe even a little less) you could install an Espar or Webasto gas heater and get 4X the amount of heat with better heat modulation and a way more than decent defroster.

I think Jack's Espar is mounted in the Frunk, but I can't remember exactly where.  I have an early Espar (a BN2) mounted up front in the nose of my Speedster.  The modern ones are roughly the size of a school lunchbox.  A 2000 BTU unit will give you way more heat than you'll ever need in a small cabin.  Here is my BN2, but the new heaters are rectangular shaped and somewhat smaller than install


Images (1)
  • final install
Last edited by Gordon Nichols

@howdo 914 heat exchanges won't work - they are real long and point the wrong way.  VW T2 '72+ Bus heat exchangers will work.  412 heat exchangers will also work - but they are pre-heaters since that model has a BA4 (6?) gas heater standard.  I suspect the 412 would heat a Speedster.  If you go to DTM upright cooling then you lose thermostat and heater box heat.

Rich D/PeppeSpeed had that twin plug Raby T4 engine in "his" Beck.  That was a beautiful engine!

Last edited by WOLFGANG

I agree with Wolfgang - If you go heater boxes, then the best ones are for a Porsche 912 and expensive.  The BA4 heater (4KW) will certainly heat a Speedster.   In fact, they are overkill in a Speedster, not to mention that they are physically big.  Espar heaters are said to operate more efficiently at higher altitudes than Webasto, so where do you live?  What you want is a 2KW equivalent and this is just that:

That's what Jack Crosby uses, and the equivalent to Danny P's Webasto version.  Jack and I have discovered the same thing:  Get our heaters up more than 40% of full and the amount of heat produced will drive you out.  
These little beauties really crank out the heat!

And please stay away from the Asian and Eastern European (read that Russian) knock-off versions - They are often really junk.  North American, Polish, Romanian, Danish are all OK.  European heaters are called Bunk heaters.  American heaters are called Cab heaters (and both are used in tractor trailer tractors.)

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I've got an Eberspacher heater like the one Gordin linked. It's nice enough. It pumps out a ton of heat.

The question you've got to ask yourself is "am I really going to do this?"

In 2006 or so (the year I got my car on the road), I took it up to Galena, IL to watch my son's HS football team get absolutely smoked in the opening round of the 2A state playoffs. Galena is a couple of hours away and is a tourist destination for the midwest. However, it was November... and I drove up in a spitting snow with the wind roughly 15 mph gusting to 30.

I know you're used to Porsche people, and we're a bunch of mutts -- but I've got an Intermeccanica Speedster with roll-up windows that seal nicely, and a top that fits without buffeting. I sit very low in my car, and I can see out the side glass. Every possible thing that could be working for me was working for me. I had world class heat for sure, but it was a miserable, miserable experience.

You've got to ask yourself some good hard questions. "Am I really going to drive this thing when it's 10 deg and spitting snow?" "Is it worth cutting up the car to do it?" "Do I want to spend $2500 for heat?"

If the answer to any of these questions is "no", then I'd skip the entire thing. It's possible to heat a patio in the midwest, but it's a miserable experience leaving you asking why it is better than just going inside. So it is with an old car in the cold. It's possible, sure -- but I better be going over a mountain pass on my way to CA1, or the juice is just not worth the squeeze.

Buy a 12v heated blanket for your wife, get a nice heated vest for yourself, and never look back.

@Stan Galat posted:

I know you're used to Porsche people, and we're a bunch of mutts, ...

That is funny.  The only other person I know who owns a Porsche is my wife's ex-husband, and I only see him at family events.  I own the metal coupe because someone here suggested that a metal coupe is about the same price as a replica, and a lot easier to find.

And talk about funny.  It never occurred to me that the heat exchangers from a 914 would be backward.  We live in Yucaipa, CA at an altitude of 2,618 ft above sea level.  It snows a couple days each year, and melts within a day or so.  Summers are 100 degrees.  I wonder how Raby is gonna feel when I say I want an AC compressor.

You are definitely talking some serious fabrication skill to replace all the rear suspension with a 911/912 in a 356. And throw in a 901.

But, very cool project. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

I'd put an Eberspacher or Webasto in the front for heat/defrost and call it a day. I got mine from the Czech Republic for $700 in 2016-2017. IMHO, it's more than worth it in a coupe instead of heater boxes. Heater boxes will be difficult to jibe with your performance leanings on a type4.

Just make sure you don't build in a heat loop in the ductwork. Use fresh air intake to the heater inlet. In your coupe, you may have to crack a window to let some of the hot air out. 8000 btu is plenty in a small space.

Heated seats, a cap* and gloves get me down into the mid 40s in the Spyder. I could go cooler than that but the summer tires are not for such. I think that's the right rig for @howdo.

I was also going to build the engine for my Spyder out of a kit of CB Performance parts, then @chines1 put a lightly-used Raby Type 1 up for sale here and I quickly recalculated. No regrets.


*A proper cap, made of leather, lined with sheepskin, including ear flaps

@550 Phil posted:

I'm always late to the party.  Pat Downs is building me a 2.65 L T4 for way less than $30k.  Maybe I'm missing something.  Does Pat Downs only build T1s?  Is he incapable of building an awesome T4?  If I'm wrong please let me know.  I don't think so.  What am I missing here?

If you like cars enough that you own more than one, (not including the wife's), then you probably got a few things missing.  I own four vehicles right now and I know that is evidence that I have a few things missing.  I have built many Type Is and only one Type IV, but I don't remember there being that much difference.

Why Jake Raby?  Strictly reputation and I don't know the reputation of other builders.  Also, I planned building the engine myself, and while looking at engine kits, I ran into Raby's name and reputation.  I just looked up Pat Downs and his shop is only 4 hours from me which means I could more easily drop off the case and pick up the engine.  Jake Raby's shop is in Georgia, but I think he built his rep on Type IVs.

If y'all were going to have a type IV built for your present car, would you have it built by Pat Downs, Jake Raby, or ... ?

Pat has been building engines for a long time so while there may be some tricks that he has developed for type I engines I am sure those apply to type IV’s or he is sure to have researched the engine. I had a 2110cc from him it was bulletproof!

JR I think does type IV and also does P 6 IMS bearing issues and prevention kits.  I think he plays in the Ptax league. . Jimmy may be right. ….what do I know….

Last edited by IaM-Ray

I believe that Pat only builds Type 1s.

He has built Type IV's. And while he has built probably 10K Type I engines, he understands air-cooled engines like no one else. Pat knows how to make power in an air-cooled engine. Almost all of the stuff sold by CBP in the past years was all developed by Pat. All of the head porting, pistons, Panchitos, Maganspark, and etc were all developed by Pat. When we have lunch or dinner together engines are what he talks about. He is so excited for the future of the hobby and he is developing a lot of improved stuff.

Last edited by Robert M

The Porsche crowd knows Jake due to the IMS repair he and Charles Navarro developed. Why Jake got all the fame (and not Charles), is something I don’t understand — but regardless, that’s how it shook out. That makes a Raby motor worth a lot at resale time.

That’s not to say his engines aren’t special, they very much are, but there’s a premium on the product. Some guys think it’s worth it, some guys chafe at the idea of paying for the Raby brand. It’s important to know who you are.

Pat is more than capable of building anything a guy could want. He’s a genius.

Pat Downs has built many Type 4 engines. Greg Leach used Fat Performance for all of his Type 4s until they shut down. Pat walked away from CB Performance at about the same time Fat shut down. So Pat has made all of Greg’s Type 4 engines since that time. That’s quite a few engines. And I think everyone on this site would agree that he is the top Type 1 engine builder in the country. And for $10k less I think I’d give Pat a call.

Last edited by 550 Phil

Jake got famous from his type1 work and certainly more so from his type4 exploits.

He was already noteworthy before the whole IMS thing.

My type1 was $6k(2002 or so) when everyone else was still around $4k or so. In my case, the premium was worth it. That motor is certainly more than bulletproof AND loads of power to boot.

I wouldn't trade it, it is a jewel. Even with all my modifications and changes I've made. I can build a motor, but he understands and experiments and KNOWS what combos will work.

I think you guys are mistaking what I'm saying. For sure Jake was famous with the VW air-cooled crowd long before he started doing water-cooled Porsche work, which is a bit like being the best looking girl in Goofy Ridge (an actual place, BTW).

Nobody really cared about us until very recently. I'm not sure they do now.

Jake was all over here and TheSamba posting 25 times a night right up until he hit the bigtime with the IMS repair, at which point he toggled away pretty quickly. When was the last time he posted here? It's been years.

I read every page of that DTM thread, and have bought 4 of them over the years. I've never seen another on any T1, but I'm (still) a fanboy. FWIW, Jake was using LN nickies (and posting at length about it) long before the DTM.

Last edited by Stan Galat

15 years ago (in 2008), I was neck deep in this conundrum. I had a great car, with a "150 hp" 2110 that probably made about 135 at the crank.

Business was good, I was on the very front end of being middle-aged and T1s were reasonably inexpensive. Of course, so were LS crate engines, which made a $7500 2332 seem really silly, and that's about what a turn-key engine from Pat cost at the time.

Jake was all over the forums plugging hard for his T4 program. I'd ridden in a car with one of his first near-200 hp T4 engines (Paul Harford, for those with a very long memory), and it was a revelation. Torque for days. Power everywhere. Not peaky and itchy, it pulled like... well, like an LS crate engine. I called. We talked. I got a price. It was well over twice as much as CBP T1.

I wasn't married to any builder at that point, so I called Greg at FAT Performance. Greg did not have kind things to say about Jake's pricing. He told me he could build a world-beater 3L T4 for somewhere around $12K. It sounded good, but I had one more call to make.

I talked to Dean Polopolus about a Polo 911/4. For those of you not familiar, the engine is based on a 3.2L 911, with 2 cylinders lopped off. If I'm not mistaken, in 2008 a crankcase, a crankshaft, 2 cams, and a oil pump drive was $35K. Dean was playing with Alois Ruf and the Emorys -- he wasn't super-interested in a midwest guy with a clown car. He actually told me I was wasting his time, as I recall. I probably was.

I (of course) ended up with a T1. Being me, I bought it not from Pat, but from a guy who promised a lot more and delivered significantly less. I needed proof of 200 hp and got it, on a dyno with the world-famous OCCF (Orange County Correction Factor). I paid more than I would have with Pat, and got significantly less. It was not the first time I was overpromised and underdelivered, but it also wasn't the last. In hindsight, I probably would have been happiest with the FAT T4, but I had no idea the world was about to explode as it pertained to all things Porsche and $12K seemed like a lot for a pushrod lawn-mower engine. For reference, a FAT T4 (a 2.8L or something) sold for $18K on BaT 5 years ago. It'd be more today, probably a lot more.

... but by that time I was fully and deeply committed to the T1, for all its warts and foibles. I've got spares for my spares over here, and am piping and wiring for the 2234, which will be an EFI/dry-sump T1 with beehives. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat -- but the advantage to a T4 is the wide bore spacing which allows bigger pistons (It's hard to build real displacement without a big bore).

A 4" bore T1 is possible with enough special stuff, but that's a story for another day.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@howdo posted:

"world-famous OCCF (Orange County Correction Factor)."

What is the OC correction factor?

In the VW performance world pretty well everyone else has thought that the southern California engine builders have been exaggerating their dyno power claims for any given displacement/combination- to gain customers and look like they are the best.  It's been going on since the '70's, with the East Coast people being the main force (maybe loudest voice is a better way of putting it?) behind the speculation.

Last edited by ALB

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