Quality Subaru Conversions for Vanagon




We went through some repairs and updates on the van and are ready to prep the van for conversion. The engine and transmission are removed so we are left with an empty engine bay so we will get started cleaning up. Here is before and after, that color cleans up nice! Nearly everything is removed, pretty much just the wiring for the tail lights and some power steering plumbing remain.


Here we install an adjustable fuel regulator behind the firewall and at the same time do the only modification to the engine bay for the conversion, bending back one flap of metal. The regulator is a top quality unit used in racing applications, held in with a stainless steel bracket and hardware, here we are tightening down a quick disconnect port which allows fuel pressure measurement in the future. All fuel hose in the engine bay is replaced with the correct German fuel injection hose and stainless steel clamps for maximum safety.


We get started setting up the cooling system. This VANARU designed bracket is made entirely from stainless steel and will forever look this good! The bracket holds up the coolant tank and also carries return coolant from the radiator back to the engine. Shown here are three of only five coolant hoses used in the conversion, and all of them easily available from local auto parts stores.



Next we install the VANARU air filter housing into the left tail light cavity. This sets up what is essentially a cold air intake, blocking off most of the cavity. As a result, the intake air for the engine is pulled down the D-pillar from the outer vents up high in the rear of the van, instead of hot dusty air from around the engine. This design uses an OEM paper air filter, easily obtainable from any auto parts source.

This shot shows how the air filter is changed out quickly and simply by removing two nuts to liberate the retaining plate. This is a prime example of the clean looks, quality materials, and solid engineering that makes the difference with a VANARU conversion.


Before that fuel tank goes back in, we have one more part that's easier to install with it removed. For the conversion several signal wires need to be brought from the engine computer to the front of the van - speed signal, accelerator, cruise control, OBD. Shielded cable is used with waterproof OEM connectors, carried in a black sheath just like VW used.

The cable is laid in starting from the rear, following the main wire harness in the van.

In one section the existing wire harness bundles were cleaned off and the VANARU supplied body cable laid together with it. Which one is OEM original and which is VANARU?


The answer is the one in the center! This is an example of VANARU parts created with materials just like the OEM (original equipment manufacturer), making much of the conversion's look and feel hard to tell apart from original.

Check back again for us to finish up the body and we'll look at the engine we've been working on!