Type 2 VW Bus Conversion


In addition to Subaru conversions on Vanagons, we also do Subaru conversions on Type 2 VW Buses. We offer these conversions with the 4-cylinder Subaru engines, 2.2L and 2.5L. These engines range from 135 to 173 HP. More importantly, the reliability and sense of comfort the engine will provide you with is invaluable. We most often recommend late-model (2006-2012) Subaru 2.5L engines. Here are a few reasons why we love these engines:

  1. The 170 HP 2.5L is the preferred engine for most owners.
  2. Great torque throughout the RPM range.
  3. More torque at lower RPMs, so the power's down where you use it.
  4. Fits beautifully in the engine compartment (see below).
  5. Increases MPG while increasing power.
  6. Very reliable.
  7. Best all-around value.
Type 2 Subaru Engine


As you can see above, a 2.5L Subaru engine fits perfectly into the engine bay and even has some room to spare. We go to great lengths to ensure that our engines not only fit and run well, but look like they're meant to be there. This involves clever bits of engineering that means we actually adapt the engine to the Bus rather than adapting the Bus to the engine. No cutting is needed on the 1972 and later Bus, some engine compartment enlargement for the 1971 and older.

Type 2 Engine Conversion Type 2 Engine Conversion


The cost to convert a 1972-1979 Type 2 is $13,975 plus the engine cost. Engines generally run $3,000-6,500. You can visit our main 2.2L & 2.5L page for a list of engines currently available with pricing.

Transmission modifications may be required depending on the year and transmission type.

  1. Conversion Parts & Labor.
  2. Stainless Steel Header.
  3. Stainless Steel Exhaust.
  4. Radiator and fans.
  5. Small Car Aluminum Oil Pan.
  6. New Engine Matched Clutch, Pressure Plate & Release Bearing.
  7. Aluminum Bellhousing (for manuals).
  8. Powder Coated Engine Mount.
  9. New Rubber Engine Mounts.
  10. Heavy-Duty Stainless Muffler Supports & Clamps.
  11. Flexible Tubular Dipstick.
  12. Modified Subaru ECU Harness.
  13. Intake & Air Filter System.
  14. Engine Fluids.


Our partnership with Vintage Air has allowed us to build a system compatible with the VW Buses, and can even include climate control options. Check out our Dash Air Page for the features of this system. Please call for information on purchasing parts or installation prices at Small Car! (253)-473-2474


  1. Transmission rebuild & gearing changes
  2. Limited slip differential
  3. Auxiliary battery with outlets & USB
  4. Gauges: lots of options
  5. Air conditioning with or without climate control
  6. Wheels and tires
  7. Front disc brake upgrade
  8. Comfortable seats with armrests


Once you decide the Subaru engine you would like to use, we ask for an initial deposit to cover the cost of the engine. Upon arrival of your van, a 50% deposit is required with the balance due upon completion of work. The whole job generally takes about a month depending on options.


For all new parts, we have a one year warranty. Used engines have a one year warranty on internal parts and 90 days on externals. Extended warranties may available on some parts manufactured by us. If the vehicle cannot be returned to us for warranty service, repairs at another location should be authorized with us before the repairs are completed. Diagnosis is covered only when performed in our shop.

Check out the Orange Bus project for some photos and descriptions of our work and a great example of what our Type 2 conversion means for your vehicle.


Type 2 Conversion

The Red Bus

The Orange Bus

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