Air cooled to water cooled


rm6keith

New member
Where would you mount the radiator, or radiators in a pre 1979 Westfalia. I have been viewing threads and web searched for days on this. It must look good when the conversion is completed. I do not want it on the roof or bumper when completed.
Cheers,
Keith
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
The A/C condensors (basically radiators) were mounted flat in between the frame rails. You'd need electric fans and probably scoops or fairings. You'll probably need more than one.

You didn't say what conversion you were attempting but are you sure it's worthwhile? The '79 had a great, nearly bullet-proof OE engine. I hope you're not butchering a car just because you got a deal on a cheap engine somewhere.
 

T'sunamibus

New member
Hi all,
I'm aquiring an '82 Westy with a bad 2.0L engine, air cooled. I would appreciate any pro's/con's on possibly going water cooled.
Thanks
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
VW went water-cooled in the Vanagons to address mostly EPA considerations and some fuel and efficiency matters. The added a very complex system for what many consider marginal gains in performance & mileage. The mileage difference between my '79 w/ 2.0 AFC FI engine, and my '90 w/ 2.1 Digifant FI engine is 19.25 vs 19.57 mpg.

My personal opinion is that it is not worth the trouble. You will have to do body work to add the cooling system front grill and one hell of a lot of plumbing. You will have to do major rewiring as the Digijet (1.9) or Digifant (2.1) fuel injection engines are not interchangable with your 2.0 air-cooled AFC. The AFC was a good FI system, just not as technically advanced as the others. There is a considerably higher maintenance requirement for the water-cooled. It will be an expensive conversion.

I'd suggest a rebuild or reman as close to original as possible. The airj-cooled engine of that era was as bulletproof as any VW made.
 

T'sunamibus

New member
Thanks Capt. My interest in converting to water cooled was mainly to convert to a subaru or other higher horse power engine.Sounds like a direction I do not want to go.
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
There are a number of ways to get a slight boost on rebuilding an air-cooled 2.0 OE engine that won't require extensive FI upgrades and make the engine less reliable. Boston Bob's rebuilt 2.0's feature some modifcations. His reputation appears to be good from member's comments. However, be very careful -- there are a number of shysters out there that have been cited in the PARTS forum. Although GoWesty doesn't advertise any engines for the air-cooled Vanagons, they may be willing to guide you to the engine man they use.
 

Charlie1942

New member
Vanagon engine conversion

I have recently completed an engine conversion in my 80 Vanagon converting to a 95 2.0L Jetta engine. It was a lot of fun and I am rewarded with significantly more power.........of course I also have a nice heater. I am happy to share my experience with any interested.
 

feastbeast

New member
If you've got a minute I would love to get some advice on a possible project I'm looking into on a 77 Westy conversion. Thanks in advance.
 

feastbeast

New member
Did you ever get any feedback on your Westy conversion? I have a 77 Westy and I'm looking to put a new engine in it and would love a newer watercooled engine in it. Thanks.
 
A

Ariplebib

Guest
Mine is going into a ford- but I would think you need a little vacc for your heater and air cond. control doors- and possibly for brakes if you have vacc boost.
Supposidly my ZF-6 trans has a power take off that an air compressor or whatever can be run off of- havnt thought to look for it under there yet- not sure how big it is-
Can you use an air pollution pump or do you need more pressure ?
T

By the way, I found used 2010 Lexus Gx 460 and thanks Vinchain https://vinchain.io/blog vin lookup service, I realized that this vehicle is with front end damage. Hope someone finds them useful, they are better than other free car check websites in my opinion.
 

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