SUBARU ENGINE SWAP- Last updated 30 March 1998


The Vanagon newsgroup has been most helpful in providing information on repairs and so as a 'thankyou' I have created this page for Subaru engine swaps.

I still have a VW engine in Pooh, however it is nice to see what can be done by substituting parts. If I could get Ford Escort parts to fit Pooh, I would have saved a fortune!

This article below is reproduced by kind permission of the editor of Volkswagen Australia VW Action No 1, published by
Express Publications Pty. Ltd., Silverwater, NSW, Australia.

Ray Hunnam scanned and posted the original images which are large. I have reduced them in file-size to speed download.

DOWN IN THE picturesque city of Adelaide there is a skunk works that is continually knocking
out hybrid hot rods of all shapes and sizes. From Golf VR6s to Mazda RX-2s with ear piercing triple rotor rotary engines this
particular tuning shop isn't known for turning its back on the unusual.

The skunk works operates by the name of Fueltronics (that's fuel, not fool) and its main man is a diminutive chap called Martin
Donnon. Small in statue but big on action Marty and his team spend hours at the oscilloscope, the dyno' or the fabrication bench to achieve the end result: gobs of power in a package that is not only street legal in the tough regime of South Australia but so well balanced that you wonder why the factory didn't do it in the first place.

So one day a punter strolls in and introduces himself as lshtah Hussein and he has a problem with his air cooled 1982 Kombi. Basically, she no go. He explains that he is quite fond of his Volksy but would like something with a little more mumbo and perhaps some new technology. Could they help? Is the Pope a Catholic?

The first thing Donnon did was ring John Sherman in Queensland (07-5537 7770) for one of his adapter kits. John handles a
plethora of kits and flywheels for all sorts of odd ball swaps and this one is right up his alley. Prices range from $400.
In this particular instance lshtah opted for a 2.2 litre Subaru engine.

This four valve per cylinder opposed four banger pumps out about 100kW and has loads of torque, exactly what's needed in a work horse likely to be loaded to the gunwales with bodies or luggage or both. Thanks to the Sherman adapter plate the engine bolts right up to the Volksy gearbox.

Fueltronics made up a crossmember with a relocated mounting block to match the Sub' donk and once that was done it
was simply a case of putting it in and taking it out and putting it back in a few times to ensure everything was

Marty reports there is loads of room given that the Subaru engine isn't much bigger than the original. Cooling was
taken care of via a small custom radiator up under the guts that cops air from the high side vents via a specially
adapted VL Commodore air box.

A mandrel bent 50mm exhaust system was also fabricated and the standard Liberty wire loom was stripped
down and interfaced (don't you love computer speak) to the Kombi electrical loom. A Liberty computer has been
fitted out with a Fueltronics chip of course.

lshtah's Kombi looks pretty stock on the outside. Auscar wheels. a car bra the size of a bed wetting sheet, Bilstein
dampers and factory paint. The ultimate Q-ship. Improved performance figures are impressive:

0-100km/h used to be 15 seconds. that has now been reduced to 9.5 seconds.

At the time of writing Marty said no one has had the gonads to wring the box out on the open road but The
Needle Disappearing Off The Dial should be expected.