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Old 03-05-2016, 10:38 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,464,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperhobbs View Post
Some have given up on the VW engine and put in a Subaru engine. Makes a lot of sense but I bet not cheap to do.
have friends that own a shop specializing in these conversions. Will sell a "kit" custom tailored to the individual vehicle and the series of Subie engine that is to be installed. Includes all the conversion stuff but without the donor Subie engine ... revised water manifold for ease of coolant hose installation, etc. Kits run about $6,000 - $10,500. Installation available at their shop. Donor Subie engines run $1,000-2,000 in "as removed" condition. One might consider what it costs to overhaul same before it's ready for service ... at least doing the head gaskets/timing belt kit, etc.

Typically, most of their "conversions" upgrade the van brakes and suspension for the increased HP.

Not uncommon to see these conversions roll out their door for the better part of $20,000.

That does not include any of the "upgrades" one might wish to do to the camper facilities & interior.

I've yet to discover the allure of such a vehicle, but a lot of folks apparently are voting with their wallets for them ... their shop is busy with conversions and manufacturing the kits. Keep in mind that the late model subie engines are computer controlled FI and ignition systems, so there's the wiring harness, fuel pump, and electronics that need to be modified in the conversion process. It is not a simple, straightforward "swap" to change over to the subie engine, but it is a doable project.

PS: makes my Roadtrek Class B look like a bargain. I've got a vehicle with far superior camping/boondocking accomodations, HP to get down the road, a real heater/A/C system, tankage, and a 1-ton chassis with brakes and suspension to match. With the trailer hitch, I can pull my two-horse BP trailer or my flatbed 24' utility trailer/car hauler. Paid $12,000 for it.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:09 PM
 
2,446 posts, read 2,077,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
have friends that own a shop specializing in these conversions. Will sell a "kit" custom tailored to the individual vehicle and the series of Subie engine that is to be installed. Includes all the conversion stuff but without the donor Subie engine ... revised water manifold for ease of coolant hose installation, etc. Kits run about $6,000 - $10,500. Installation available at their shop. Donor Subie engines run $1,000-2,000 in "as removed" condition. One might consider what it costs to overhaul same before it's ready for service ... at least doing the head gaskets/timing belt kit, etc.

Typically, most of their "conversions" upgrade the van brakes and suspension for the increased HP.

Not uncommon to see these conversions roll out their door for the better part of $20,000.

That does not include any of the "upgrades" one might wish to do to the camper facilities & interior.

I've yet to discover the allure of such a vehicle, but a lot of folks apparently are voting with their wallets for them ... their shop is busy with conversions and manufacturing the kits. Keep in mind that the late model subie engines are computer controlled FI and ignition systems, so there's the wiring harness, fuel pump, and electronics that need to be modified in the conversion process. It is not a simple, straightforward "swap" to change over to the subie engine, but it is a doable project.

PS: makes my Roadtrek Class B look like a bargain. I've got a vehicle with far superior camping/boondocking accomodations, HP to get down the road, a real heater/A/C system, tankage, and a 1-ton chassis with brakes and suspension to match. With the trailer hitch, I can pull my two-horse BP trailer or my flatbed 24' utility trailer/car hauler. Paid $12,000 for it.
Lot of nostalgia with vanagons. Of course there are more practical and more modern options. I do like the way vanagon couches are in the back and pull out to make a bed. Haven't found anything newer that does that.
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:28 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,464,602 times
Reputation: 14942
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasperhobbs View Post
Lot of nostalgia with vanagons. Of course there are more practical and more modern options. I do like the way vanagon couches are in the back and pull out to make a bed. Haven't found anything newer that does that.
you apparently haven't looked at too many Class B RV's ...

there's a bunch out there that have the couch in back that converts to a bed. Some are even motorized for the conversion ....
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:39 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,658 posts, read 40,029,981 times
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There was one Sprinter conversion from Gulfstream with a full sized rear bed crossways with bulged out panels replacing rear windows to give adequate bed length. GS-22 or similar number. They only made them a couple years, had huge storage under the elevated bed. They sold new for $55k, and you can find them used. Warning: Sprinter can be very expensive to keep repaired, some are good, some are not! Fuel system is complex and problematic and very costly to repair.

I much prefer a rear bed, (for midday and relief driver napping, rather than a dinette conversion), I also luv my motoraide HW heater and available outdoor shower (have indoor one too).

New Zealand is the land of camper conversions, lots of good ideas and many options with imported commercial vans from Japan. Quite a few diesel options, but the Ford Transit came to disappoint me, as they were the most often found broken down, or running poorly / belching the 1980s bellows of smoke, and really noisy in the campgrounds. Fair number of small awd japan manf diesel vans. Mazda had a pretty big showing for the most roomy diesel van. Very large VW diesel vans (similar to Sprinter). Ideally, a VW Transporter has lots of cubic space. Vanagons not so much (rear engine takes up space / interupts cargo capacity).

Many conversions with very compact accommodations, the truck and bus conversions usually had compact wood cookers / ovens. Bit too toasty for a van!. Lots of awning / tent enclosures. Most vans have custom made rear slide-outs for range / sink
In NZ you Must have. FSC certificate to utilize 'Freedom camping' options (free), (need to prove 3 days water and waste + toilet). Free camping on beautiful beaches on 80F january and Feb days is pretty nice. As is the 5am to 10pm 'winter' days,

If you are passionate about a westy / VW, Plenty of help for you on wetwestys or samba. While I find them very comfortable for driver positions, it is good cuz it may take you forever to reach your destination. (If ever...), I have a friend that does TDI syncho conversions, but too will run you $20k finished, and you may not be totally pleased with performance or reliability.

I suggest to keep it simple (existing conversion van), i sold a Pleasureway raised top Ford @ 84k for $3500. For a retired couple. Turn-key, ready to roll.

Roadtrek woul be my choice due to quality / resell / robust / available Dodge drivetrain.

GM minivans seem to be most robust, but you could tie a lot of time and money into a conversion. I have seen a few factory conversions of Astro / Safari, so you might search nationwide CL to find. I use Adhuntr for this task, then fly via SWA (free changes / free bags / tool boxes)

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 03-06-2016 at 02:05 AM..
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