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Superior Vanagon Conversions and Upgrades

A 2015 Vanagon? Let us build one for you!


The Vanagon is perhaps the most versatile of vehicles. It can be everything from a moving Van to a motor home and to some even a sports car. VW upgraded the engine several times after starting with the 2.0L 70hp air cooled engine the first 1980 model, eventually ending up with 2.1L and 95 horsepower in the 1986-1991's. From the beginning, the water cooled four was plagued with head gasket problems and VW dealers had their hands full with warranty repairs. They never seemed to be able to cure the corrosion issues on the Wasserboxer's heads and many long term Vanagon owners necessarily look upon this $2000-$3000 repair as a regular maintenance item. More....

Conversion parts

Superbly engineered parts to convert your Vanagon to a smooth, powerful Subaru powerplant. Our kits are a matched and proven set of parts that takes the worry out of building a Subaru powered Vanagon. No scouring the internet, fabricating parts, and worrying about whether muffler A will fit with bracket B. You will be rewarded with a finished conversion that looks and drives better than the original in every way. We are the only source for the parts necessary to use engines as new as 2011 !

Why you should buy our parts

  1. We install, service and personally use what we sell. After building over 300 Subaru powered Vanagons, we have learned a lot about how to make them run well. From cooling systems to wiring harnesses, we have designed our products to get your Vanagon conversion up and running quickly and keep it performing well for years. Our parts allow you to install a Subaru engine and lose nothing of the original Vanagon's utility and great design. This includes having great ground clearance without the exhaust and other components hanging down below the engine, the ability to refit the Syncro skid plate, and built in support for the muffler.
  2. Our cooling system has been refined to perform better than anything else available. Simple, easy to bleed, and a heater system that works at least as well as the original.
  3. It can be difficult to find all the right parts to make your Subaru powered Vanagon come to life. When you purchase our parts, we help your project come together quickly and successfully. For those who choose to buy a complete package from us, expect prompt, accurate replies to your questions. No one else offers anything close in design, performance and support.

Let us build your dream Syncro!

Carat Syncro by SmallCar

Do you have a desire for a Syncro Multivan? Or how about a Syncro Carat? Maybe you just happen to own a 1985 Camper with 61K on the odometer and you want better traction in all weathers. We can convert your two wheel drive Vanagon into a Syncro and at the same time install a Subaru engine to give you the ultimate in power, traction, economy and reliability!


About carbon footprint

Research has concluded that it takes the equivalent of more than a year's worth of fuel to build a new vehicle. Scientists determined this by doing a lifecycle analysis; a detailed study of the raw materials used to build the vehicle, where the materials came from and the energy it took to collect them. Carbon used in manufacturing is important, since manufacturing is 10-15% of the car's lifecycle carbon footprint. This is referred to as the vehicle's embedded energy. If the car you have is reasonably efficient, then getting rid of it and buying a new eco-friendly car may actually negate a lot of the benefit of having a car that gets better mileage and is cleaner. A Vanagon conversion may be the perfect answer.

VW, Porsche, Audi, and Subaru.

Though we specialize in all things Vanagon, Westfalia, and Syncro, we also have decades of experience with the maintenance and repair of all models of VW, Porsche, Audi, and Subaru. No matter how new or old, we can fix it with the quality and efficiency you've come to expect from Small Car.

Smallcar Customer Conversions - MAP

Smallcar Customer Conversions