How involved, how difficult, approximate cost?
If the Westy is a Wasserboxer (water cooled) then it should be pretty straight-forward and a lot of people have already done it.
Do a Google search on "subaru westfalia conversion" and you should get enough hits to answer your questions. Or click on the highlight to take you there.
Yes Gordon is right many have done it. You can do the engine and tranny to a full subie Manual 5 or even 6 speed with a cable shifter.
In the Vanagon model easier than the older Bay models.
Once you get the more power especially with a turbo you will need more brakes etc.
SmallCar https://smallcar.com is your first step .
SubieWorks is the California Subarugears reseller.
Count on $5K for the tranny Plus the engine and the work to swap it in. It is not cheap but then you won't do it again and you won't be peddling up hills a la Flintstone.
KEP adaptor plate, flywheel etc. @ like $600.
Cross member motor mounts (not strictly necessary but a good idea) @ $200.
Clutch need an upgrade so figure $300.
If you save the ECU & all the snap-on electronic junk from the donor subie you can rewire that to work or pay $600 (ish) to Tom Shiels to get that done. I recommend him. Otherwise you'll be dealing with Outfront Motorsports and their standalone ECU, which a lot of folks like.
Exhaust niblits figure $200.
Various sundries & assorted nonsense: $500.
So $2,400 plus the actual engine.*
It's quite easy to spend double this but you're a working pro so I'm quoting parts here.
*If you pull an engine from another car instead of getting a rebuilt engine do yourself a favor and replace the head gaskets, timing belt, oil separator plate and (if applicable) idle air control valve at the outset. Several hundred more dollars and a bit of labor but yeah, do that.
A '79 should be stock with T4 2L AC engine. They were produced from 1972-1979. The '72 was a 1700 cc engine with dual solex carbs. I had a '72 that was fun (except in string winds). The transmission (hopefully it's a 4 speed and not the automatic) is very strong compared to the T1 transaxle.
Good site for info and pricing of parts needed - https://www.busaru.com/
The above also includes links to the handy service manuals and ECM pinouts.
Here's the entire DIY process for a Vanagan-
he fainted. We decided to fix his stock motor. It needs a head, piston kit
and maybe crank and bearings. He’s a mechanic, so I told him to take
it apart, and call me. I don’t want him to do it here, we all know how
long it will be in my shop. He’s one of my best friends, so I don’t want
it to ruin our friendship. On the happier note, almost finished with the
rust job on the Citroen.
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