A Subaru turbo engine in a Vanagon is a beautiful thing. The 2.0T from an early WRX makes 227 HP at 6,000 RPM. The 2.5T engines from the early Foresters produce 210 HP at 5,600 RPM. Our preferred engine today is a custom built 2.5L that puts out 240HP at 5,600 RPM. One of the benefits of the 2.5L turbos is that there's very little turbo lag. They pull smooth and strong from 1,500 RPM on up.

If you're considering putting one of our Subaru turbos for your Vanagon, you should strongly consider upgrading certain parts of your Van that could be problematic when matched with a 200+ HP engine. We do not recommend an automatic transmission. Manual transmissions work well but a trans cooler is recommended. You should also consider upgrading your brakes and possibly suspension, especially if you have a heavier Syncro or Westfalia.


If you have any questions about a Subaru conversion, don’t hesitate to contact our conversion expert, Brian, at 253-473-2474 or by using our conversion contact form.

Available Engines


  • Built to order 2.5L turbo with new OEM short block, 240HP -$8975

* While our in-stock engines can vary from day to day, we can supply an engine that meets your needs within 1-3 weeks if we don't have what you're looking for.

Turbo Before & After


The cost to install a 2.0L or a 2.5L turbo into a Vanagon 2WD or Syncro is $14,975 plus the cost of the motor.

  1. Stainless steel header
  2. Air to water intercooler
  3. SmallCar aluminum oil pan for stock ground clearance and extra oil capacity
  4. Powder coated engine mount with heavy duty stainless muffler supports and clamps
  5. SmallCar designed bellhousing for manual Vanagons and Syncro, adaptor kit for automatics
  6. Dipstick located behind license plate door
  7. New engine matched clutch, pressure plate and release bearing for manual Vans
  8. For automatics, external transmission cooler included
  9. New radiator
  10. Modified Subaru ECU harness with the computer mounted under the rear seat
  11. Power steering (when the Van is so equipped)
  12. All engine cooling system parts and modifications
  13. New rubber engine mounts
  14. Intake and air filter system
  15. Engine fluids

  1. Flywheel for M/T Vanagons. Flexplate for automatics.
  2. P/S Pump
  3. Alternator
  4. AC Compressor
  5. All Vent Hoses
  6. Engine Harness
  7. Starter for M/T Vanagons
  8. Engine to ECU wiring harness
  9. ECU engine management computer
  10. Power supply relay
  11. Fuel Pump Relay
  12. Throttle control relay
  13. Oxygen sensor/air flow relay
  14. Oxygen sensors (2)
  15. Air Intake
  16. Mass Air Meter (MAF)
  17. Air Cleaner Box
  18. Accelerator pedal (accelerator position sensor)
Optional Upgrades


  1. Air Conditioned cars: reconnect and charge - $595
    Note: This cost is based on a Van with properly functioning A/C.
  2. Dash A/C now available!
  3. Cruise control (if already equipped and operating) - $230
  4. Syncro skid plate modification - $204
  5. ScanGauge driving computer installed $250
  6. 7,000 RPM tachometer face w/recalibration $185
  7. White gauge face set with 7,000 rpm tachometer - $277
  8. Wheel and tire upgrades
  9. 11" vented front brakes
  10. 10.4" rear disc brakes
  11. Auxillary battery system
  12. OME or Bilstein HD shocks
  13. HD springs
  14. Transmission repairs or 4th gear changes
  15. Limited slip differential for manuals, automatics & Syncros
  16. NEW! Taller R&P for automatic Vanagons! Quieter running & better mileage
  17. Propane heaters, or ask about our new Multi-fuel heater for camping
  18. Keyless remote & power door locks


After thousands of miles of driving, the mileage is averaging around 18 MPG, slightly better than the naturally aspirated 3.3L, but not as good as a naturally aspirated 2.5L.

An emissions test after a 500 mile break in period shows very low emissions:

  1. Idle CO: 0.01% HC: 25PPM
  2. Cruise CO: 0.02% HC: 50PPM


Before arrival of your Vanagon we generally get a deposit of approximately the engine cost to acquire and prepare the Subaru engine. Upon delivery of your Vanagon for the installation work, a 50% deposit is required with the balance due upon completion of the work. There is a $15.00 per day storage fee after 5 days unless prior arrangements are made.


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.