ToManyProjects New Reader
11/13/22 1:35 p.m.

I've messed with A/C VW stuff for a while, but I'm thinking about using Subaru power for the next VW based build...

Much of the 'technical stuff' can be found with relative ease through a search engine, but I'm interested in personal experiences with different motors, transmissions etc. I'd also like to hear your tips and tricks.

This would be going into a VW based kit car in case that matters.

JThw8 UltimaDork
11/13/22 4:27 p.m.

Ive done it, sorta.  When I built the Wartburg it had a VW back half with a subaru engine.  On the advice of one of my subaru friends we used a 2.2 from an early 90s legacy.  Robust little motor, not a huge powerhouse but plenty fast enough especially if you are putting it in a kit.   Overall the swap is not too complex, just figuring out where to fit things and how you want to run cooling.   Wiring can be a mess but if you order your adapter from Kennedy they will send a full size wire diagram which you can lay your harness on and it tells you what and where you can cut.   The only other gotcha I recall was mis plumbing the return fuel line based on some bad information found on the internet.  I dont recall the exact details, its been 13 years

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/13/22 8:44 p.m.

The primary thing you need to know is that you need to start a build thread, this sounds really cool.


The 2.2s are all anvils. The 1.8 EJs are slower anvils.  The 1.8 EAs are too slow to hurt themselves, they were the last of the VWalike 3 main engines. Some of them were even overhead valve. (A factory turbo 1.8 EA was rated at the same power as a 1.8 EJ.  The last of the pushrod EAs made 67hp, the OHC non turbo were something like 80)

I personally prefer the 2.2 over the 2.5, it feels peppier because the powerband feels wider.  The 2.5 makes more of everything but they feel dead over 5000, numbers notwithstanding.  I am not sure if a 2.5 is easier to come by than a 2.2.  They have not made the 2.2 for about twenty years but demand for good used 2.5s is really high.


I think you can still get EJ20 nonturbo engines fairly cheap from the JDM importers, for what that is worth.

cfvwtuner Reader
11/14/22 9:15 a.m.

I was doing some research in putting a subaru into my German Look 73 Super.

Adapters to the VW trans is the easy part.  The issues I saw were needing a shortened oil pan and pickup.  The pan is way deeper than the VW case.  You lose alot of ground clearance.

Same for the headers.  They need to be shortened too.

Radiator mounting is the next issue.  Most people dont seem to have good luck with rear mounted radiators, at least that was the case when I was looking.

Then it's just engine management and fuel pump adaptation to the bug tank

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