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T3 Subaru Engine

Discussion in 'T3 & T4 Tech Help Clinic' started by Patroni, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Patroni

    Patroni New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Hello to all, I'm new here and would love some advice. thanks for your time.

    My recently purchased T3 Camper needs an engine overhaul of sorts. It only has 3 cylinders firing and has leaking pistons I think.

    My big big question is if I should pursue getting the VW engine fixed or go down the Subaru engine avenue?
    I have access to a cheap engine from a 2003 Subaru liberty which is due for a 200,000km service.



    Please feel free to yell and scream at me if that is what I need, I greatly appreciate any advice you may be able to give me.

    Thanks
     
  2. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,843
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Welcome to the Kombi Club Patroni, and welcome to the KC T3 Brotherhood!:)

    Engine decisions are a personal choice.

    I personally run stock VW2.1's in my T3's, but many others here have gone the Suby route, and will be of more help.

    Enjoy the ride! ;)
     
  3. hairyman

    hairyman Active Member

    Messages:
    411
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    It depends how much you want to spend I guess.

    If it runs, but is down a cylinder that should be fairly easy to fix. It might take a trip to mechanic and a few parts but is easy compared to an engine swap. When all the other aspects of an engine swap are include, like having to get it engineered, tested and insured for the road keeping the VW engine is surely less hassle.
     
  4. Patroni

    Patroni New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Hey Guys, thanks for the input!
     
  5. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,181
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    G'day and welcome

    If going Suby, you will need to chat to an engineer

    If it is "just" say a stuffed head and the studs are good - I would stay VW

    If the studs are corroded and there is bottom end trouble requiring a FULL rebuild - yep time to think options

    Whatever you do, a full water hose replacement is essential
     
  6. peter915

    peter915 Guest

    What are your state regulations like, I see you're in SA.
    If your state is accommadating to an engine swap and you like using a spanner I'd do the Subaru swap, but beware that the added engine performance upgrade will put added strain on the Gearbox . If the van is a long term keeper then the GBox is worth reconditioning.
    Peter
     
  7. Syncro27

    Syncro27 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,651
    Location:
    Terrigal, NSW Central Coast
    Subaru EJ25's are a great fit in a T3 especially with the various conversion kits available from the USA.

    I did mine partially myself (ie I installed the engine and gearbox and plugged in the plumbing, wiring and accelerator, power steering etc etc) but I didn't do the wiring harness change or the reverse coolant manifold installation, or the shortened pan or the engine mount to the motor or the timing belt change etc etc and it still cost around $10k.

    However, a fully re-coed 2.1 will get close to that figure now.
     
  8. peter915

    peter915 Guest

    And the EJ doesn't have a distributor or push-rods either.

    A more modern motor which is easier to work on as well.
    And most likely more efficient than the "let's get the old air cooled type 4 engine and stick water jackets on it" motor, yah vol mien captain!
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  9. beerboy

    beerboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Sydney
    I always saw the advantage of the subaru conversion that if the engine did go pop then it would be easy and cheap to replace
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  10. teethree

    teethree Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Perth
    Hi Patroni and welcome. I've just had a Subi conversion done on my Syncro and so far so good. The conversion was done using Small Car components which give a near factory looking result.
    Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  11. mackaymanx

    mackaymanx Active Member

    Messages:
    388
    Location:
    Mackay
    If you only knew the power of the Dark Side
     
  12. peter915

    peter915 Guest

    And just as Darth Vader said in episode 215, - "those who ride with the EJ will command the black path, leaving all those with the WBX in their wake".
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  13. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,843
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Lucky I only run healthy WBX's then........I may not be able to afford the speeding fines with a Suby! :eek:
     
    David H likes this.
  14. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,371
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Type 1:)
     
    13bvw and AC-T3 like this.
  15. Patroni

    Patroni New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Thanks everyone for the input.
    I have been without my van for over a week, and I already really miss her.

    at this stage I'm going to invest in the stock engine.
    I'm in Adelaide and my initial feeling is that mechanics don't like working on the T3's. Do other people have a similar experience?
     
  16. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,181
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Yep - you need to find a T3 friendly mechanic

    Someone here will advise
     
  17. Patroni

    Patroni New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Adelaide
    The first place I phone (who online has good reviews) explained they are busy enough on air-cooled Kombi vans to refuse to work on T3's.
    The second place took on the work but they didn't seem too enthused.

    Love to hear thoughts from other SA people :)
     
  18. sunburntwilly

    sunburntwilly Member

    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I overheated the motor on my t3. 2 cracked heads a cracked cylinder sleave and corroded block. Could not find anyone here in Melbourne who would fix it and give a warranty. I was told the min $3000 but to expect around $5-6k and no warranty. I did the suby swap ($10k) and very happy i did.
    Cheers bob
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  19. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,843
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    I have a brilliant long term VW mechanic, who works on Audis too, and an excellent relationship with him and his family.

    He is not a Subaru mechanic, and I don't want to lose him, so my choice of a Suby conversion is not on the cards.

    When the household SAAB get's replaced, it will be either a VW or Audi, solely for this reason. ;)
     
    Patroni likes this.
  20. Gerry and Robyn

    Gerry and Robyn Active Member

    Messages:
    615
    Location:
    Ocean Grove Vic. Australia
    Hi Joseph, you could try V and T Motors, ph 8382 8111.
    They were working on T3's back in 2010.
    Gerry.
     
    Patroni likes this.

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