At Small Car Performance we are extremely proud of our conversions! Unlike many of our competitors, we completely rebuild all our Subaru engines from the ground up. Every seal, bolt, and flange has been meticulously cleaned, inspected, and when necessary, replaced with more modern and reliable alternatives – almost like it came from the VW-Subaru factory!

We know we are not the cheapest option you have, but we believe there isn't a conversion on the market that compares with the fit and function of SCP's.  From our functional and efficient cooling system to the ground clearance saving cast aluminum oil pan, we’ve designed all our products and services to get your Subaru Vanagon conversion up and running quickly and performing more reliably than ever.

Want to know more about our conversions? Keep reading or check out our Conversion FAQ’s:
Perhaps you're interested in your local mechanic doing the conversion? Or maybe you're up for the tackling the challenge on your own?
Order one of our DIY Conversion Kits:
Want to schedule your Subaru conversion directly? Give us a call: 253-473-2474 or click the link below and we’ll be in touch.



In short, the Subaru engines we use in our conversions are impressive. They are state of the art engineering with five main bearings, four valves per cylinder, and two overhead cams. They feature an engine management computer capable of learning as you drive with input from crank and cam position sensors, knock sensors, oxygen sensors; as well as controlling the spark, fuel injectors, and timing. They have no distributor, cap, or rotor and the 2010-2012 motors don't even have plug wires!

The outstanding reliability of these engines is evident by their popularity in light aircraft. The 2.5L Subaru engine makes 165-175hp and is perhaps the perfect Vanagon engine. It has great torque throughout the RPM range. It easily keeps up with traffic, even in the heavier Westfalia and Syncro, and runs extremely well with both the manual and the automatic transmissions.

Fuel mileage has proven to be better than the stock WBXer engine - even with the additional power of the Subaru engine - and all run beautifully on regular gas. We can use almost all of the 2.5L motors up to the 2012 Subaru models. The 2010-2012 is a particularly torquey motor and is the perfect engine for the heavier Syncro and Camper Vans.

As a horizontally opposed four, the Subaru motor fits like it was meant to be there and all the original Vanagon options can remain functional; cruise control, air conditioning as well as the Syncro skid plate.



  1. All installation labor
  2. Stainless steel header (California conversions include a stainless steel header, muffler, and cat)
  3. Small Car 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. Small Car designed bellhousing for manual Vanagons and Syncro, adapter 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 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)


  1. Complete stainless-steel exhaust system
  2. In dash air conditioning 
  3. ScanGauge driving computer installed 
  4. High torque starter for automatic Vans (on our recommendation) 
  5. Cruise control (if already equipped and operating) 
  6. Syncro skid plate modification  
  7. Decoupler for Syncro 
  8. 7K RPM tachometer face w/recalibration 
  9. White gauge face set with 7K or 8K RPM tachometer 
  10. Wheel and tire upgrades 
  11. 11" vented front brakes 
  12. 10.4" rear disc brakes 
  13. Brake booster upgrade- Spectacular brakes!
  14. Old Man Emu (Syncro) or Bilstein (2wd) shocks
  15. HD springs designed for the best handling
  16. Manual transmission performance rebuild with gearing changes
  17. Limited slip differential for manuals, automatics & Syncros
  18. Turbo performance upgrade for automatic transmissions
  19. Taller R&P for automatic Vanagons; Quieter running & better mileage
  20. Bluetooth receiver, upgraded speakers and under seat sub-woofer
  21. LED headlights
  22. Propex heaters for camping
  23. Multi fuel camping heater with variable output and compact size
  24. Keyless remote & power door locks
  25. ARB Awnings and accessories
  26. Twin Peaks front and rear bumper set
  27. Truck Fridge replacement refrigerator for Westfalias
  28. Auxillary battery system 50-140AH 
  29. Dual bank battery charger
  30. 100W solar panel fixed or deployable
  31. Complete windows out paint job including resealing seams  + body & rust repair
  32. Paint protection film for the front and rocker panels





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The van is running great. I put it into 4th leaving Tacoma, and never geared down until the border. There is a hill on the main road of our island that the other Syncro Westy on island with a Waterboxer performance 2.5L can almost make in 4th. This van sails up the hill in 4th gear. I'm very pleased and barring the unforeseen I'll be back next fall or winter for the brake up-grade and the drive shaft with the de-coupler. I'll do my best to send more vans your way.Dave


I wanted to give you a progress report on my Vanagon to Subaru conversion that you did just before Christmas. First, as you know I have always kept close track of my '87 Vanagon's gas mileage. For the entire six months before your conversion I averaged 17.5 miles to the gallon with the 2.1 VW engine. I now have 100,000 miles on the 2.5 Subaru engine you put in and I am happy to report I am averaging over 20 miles to the gallon! And that is with 50-50 city/highway driving. I am sure I will do even better this summer when I take my cross country trip. The engine is running beautifully, and it is so quiet at idle that I sometimes have to look at the tach to make sure it is still running when I am at a stop light. The extra power is the added bonus that is hard to believe. I remember that I use to have to downshift to get up most of the hills in my neighborhood. Even in cruise control on the highway the engine would lug and I would have to downshift up the steeper grades. Now if I set it at 65 it stays there with no sign of slowing down. I guess the greatest statement I can make is that I have grown so accustomed to my new Vanaroo that I hardly notice that the change was done. Except for less noise, improved gas mileage, and the acceleration, one wouldn't notice at all. Thank you for being so helpful with the conversion. You were always there to answer questions and to make things right if I had any concerns. I will gladly answer any questions anyone might have about the conversion you did for me. I really think your onto something big, and I am proud to be the first 2.5L Vanaroo in Western Washington. Dave

Update: Dave stopped by to check out our new shop and let us know that his 2.5 now has 220,000 miles since the conversion and is still running strong with no signs of slowing down anytime soon!