Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

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Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Happyco » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:23 pm

Hello everyone. I'm in the middle of a Split bus restoration. Bus has no engine. I'm going to use this bus as an everyday driving vehicle, to drive across country. Thus driving long distances, from Cape, Limpopo to Natal on a daily basis.
I need some advice and someone who can install the correct engine and components to make this happen.
I need an engine that can comfortably do 120/130kmh, thus a normal beetle 1600 wont work(or will it?).

This is what has been suggested to me:
1600cc converted to 1835cc single cab. with long ratio gearbox.
Cost R45 000 for engine + R18 700 Long ratio gearbox + re-wire to 12volt R8700. Total - R72 400
BUT, apparently this will closely give me 110-120km hr.
Is this worth it?

Also, all brakes should be converted to disc. Steering should be comfortable to drive with. Should I replace the entire suspension?

Another suggestions was a Subaru engine?

I'm sure this has been discussed multiple time on this forum, but I could not find any info concerning this particular situation.

I would appreciate any advice/help or references to have this job done.


Thank you.



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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Terry Phillips » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:13 pm

My opinion is the splitty is not what you need I think you might be asking a bit much from that splitty,once you done all the mods its not going to be a splitty anymore.But its your vehicle and you can do to it what you want.
I wish you well and hope you get a vehicle you want and will serve your needs.
My 2cents worth. :hangloose:

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by retrovan » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:52 pm

Be easier to drop the body over a IX35 chassis, as the Splitty is not a comfortable, or fast, or safe, or economical, or silent, or.......

The best you could do is take a 1835, with welded counterbalance crank, with long ration gearbox, with big back wheels and fit a Bay front beam with coil overs. Replace the back suspension with a Bay IRS

Or as I said, dump the body on a SUV chassis.

Have a chat to Pierre at Bugger transmissions /Vdubtech, their banner is on top of this forum page

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Happyco » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:49 pm

Terry Phillips wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:13 pm
My opinion is the splitty is not what you need I think you might be asking a bit much from that splitty,once you done all the mods its not going to be a splitty anymore.But its your vehicle and you can do to it what you want.
I wish you well and hope you get a vehicle you want and will serve your needs.
My 2cents worth. :hangloose:
Thanks for the feedback. I do however believe anything is possible and the Split buses get modified quite a lot and still hold value as a classic.
Comfortable ride vs unconformable...hmmm

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Happyco » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:16 pm

retrovan wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:52 pm
Be easier to drop the body over a IX35 chassis, as the Splitty is not a comfortable, or fast, or safe, or economical, or silent, or.......

The best you could do is take a 1835, with welded counterbalance crank, with long ration gearbox, with big back wheels and fit a Bay front beam with coil overs. Replace the back suspension with a Bay IRS

Or as I said, dump the body on a SUV chassis.

Have a chat to Pierre at Bugger transmissions /Vdubtech, their banner is on top of this forum page

Herman
Hello Herman. Thanks for the feedback. I have spoken to Pierre and Johan at vdubtech, thanks. They do brilliant work!
Unfortunately when it comes to Splitties, prices at certain establishments who specialize in these lovely vehicles triple the prices. I'm not trying to step on any toes here, but I've learned that when it comes to these buses, they see $$$$$ when you start talking restoration and upgrades. All fair, that's their business and they have to make a living. I do understand labor and parts cost a lot, but lets look at the following example. Beetle engine reconditioned cost between R4000 - R8000. Why would the same engine cost 40K + when installed into a Splitty? This is obviously another conversation for another day, so lets leave it there.

What I'm looking for now, is someone who has the knowledge and expertise to help me complete this bus.
Who can I talk to for advice and who can actually do this job from start to finish.
There must be other people except for the known institutions who can make this mod happen.
And don't get me wrong. I have no issues to pay whatever it takes, but it needs to make sense and adhere to my specs.

I have looked at replacing the suspension for Baywindow, what engine would you recommend then?
Also I like the SUV suggestion. Who would be able to take on a job like this?

Once again, thanks for the feedback.

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Tony Z » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:46 pm

Happyco wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:16 pm
lets look at the following example. Beetle engine reconditioned cost between R4000 - R8000. Why would the same engine cost 40K + when installed into a Splitty? This is obviously another conversation for another day, so lets leave it there.
I am not plugging vdubtech as I build my own engines... anyway, to look at your example.
R8000 for a rebuilt beetle engine is getting you a whole lot of used parts of questionably quality. I wouldnt even consider putting an 8k engine into any of my vehicles. A stock 1600 engine rebuild should start at R14k if you want good parts of known quality. Heck, a piston kit new is approaching 4k.
I just sold a used engine which I put together with all new parts making it 1700cc for R36000 without installation costs - note - this engine was not even new, it was used.
You mention the 1835 - you have to realise that this isnt a cheap ass stock beetle rebuild, it is something totally different. The piston kit alone costs the same as your crappy mentioned beetle engine, thats without installation. I've got a 1776cc forged piston kit for sale, this is R7500 in the box. Thats the price of your rebuilt beetle engine - TOTALLY different ballgame.

In my humble opinion, if you are on a budget, then you need to consider a properly built 1600 with a few little mods done to it. If you supply a good used sub assembly, you are talking about 20k for the build. This includes a bigger cam, head work, counterweighting the crank and all the tricks needed to make an engine like that work properly. You will still be lacking in installation costs, carburettors, exhaust, clutch, and any pretty detailed or dressup parts.

And then comes the speed you are looking for. Give up on that idea. 120-130 in a spliity wont happen. You are talking about cruising all day long (even with the long ratio box) in the 6000rpm region. No engine will last at that speed. Slow down, stick to 100-110 or get a different car. A baywindow with 2L gearbox is what you want if you specifically want a bus. And then you either need a stock 2L engine or a fully built up 1600 which has been taken up to 2L (and you thought the 1835 was expensive???? You know nothing my young padawan learner).

Sorry if I sound irate - but people trying to cheap out and bitch about the price of people doing proper and good work just upset me. You cannot have a custom engine of good quality and expect to pay pennies.

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by retrovan » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:45 pm

Happyco wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:16 pm
.......

What I'm looking for now, is someone who has the knowledge and expertise ......., but it needs to make sense and adhere to my specs.

I have looked at replacing the suspension for Baywindow, what engine would you recommend then?
Also I like the SUV suggestion. ......

OK, If you want to do something like this on a budget, then you need to learn how to do it your self.

You can not have someone spend hours of his time on labour and expertise, and not pay him handsomely
Thats called Communism......

If you look at my Splitty thread, you will see a pattern appearing.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=25464

Yes I am making my Fleetline Panel Van more derivable, but keeping it with in aircooled reality.

The back end I am leaving as is, but rebuilt, just fitting my big tyres to get speed.

The front I have fitted a Late Bay beam with disk brakes,

The engine, not sure yet, as maybe my good old 2lt Type 4 goes in, or i will have a 1835 Counterbalanced Engine built.

But as these guys say, thats not cheap, last one cost me 20K and that was like 4 years ago.

But its not hard, many have been here on the forum, with only a Pen in hand, but after a year or so, have build up their own car, and very proud of it.

Lot easier to pay some one, but that has no satisfaction at all, respect is from the guys that see you have tried and succeeded.

Best of luck with your venture, read up a few threads here and maybe it will help you to make up your mind.

Herman
1952 Split Beetle 1835cc (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback 2Lt.type4( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van 2Lt type 4(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc (Aqua Blue/White)
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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by sean » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:08 pm

Man, you seriously need to just drive kombi's for a few days and i'm sure you will wish you never even got hold of your bus.......

There are many guys that have dream't the same, but I can assure you it actually worsens the situation when they are completed, its cost 10x what it should have, it wont live up to your expectations and it will still be a unreliable old piece of shit.

Trying to make a split window drive like a Mercedes is impossible!!!! You can put the body onto some modern chassis, but what about the actual body you are sitting in? Do you realise how small and cramped a front cab of a split is? Doesnt matter if you install fancy seats, your legs are still going to hit the dash and the sun is going to be burning your legs and the wind is going to be blowing in through the badly designed doors and windows.

You will find its actually only the standard original kombis that are crossing the country. Those that have spent the big money and made it go faster inevitably don't travel far with it because the fear of breaking something and having to spend an absolute fortune again fixing it, isnt appealing.

PS, it may sound like I hate kombis, I don't. I do travel a lot with mine, but I accept them for how they are, I don't try and make them something they are not.

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Happyco » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:05 pm

Tony Z wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:46 pm
Happyco wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:16 pm
lets look at the following example. Beetle engine reconditioned cost between R4000 - R8000. Why would the same engine cost 40K + when installed into a Splitty? This is obviously another conversation for another day, so lets leave it there.
I am not plugging vdubtech as I build my own engines... anyway, to look at your example.

And then comes the speed you are looking for. Give up on that idea. 120-130 in a spliity wont happen. You are talking about cruising all day long (even with the long ratio box) in the 6000rpm region. No engine will last at that speed. Slow down, stick to 100-110 or get a different car. A baywindow with 2L gearbox is what you want if you specifically want a bus. And then you either need a stock 2L engine or a fully built up 1600 which has been taken up to 2L (and you thought the 1835 was expensive???? You know nothing my young padawan learner).

Sorry if I sound irate - but people trying to cheap out and bitch about the price of people doing proper and good work just upset me. You cannot have a custom engine of good quality and expect to pay pennies.
Hi Tony Z. Wow, that's just amazing info and advice. Clearly my knowledge concerning this type of thing is cautiously limited. I am willing to learn and I think you gave me my answer.

I think I explained myself wrong starting this thread.
That's my fault for not being clear. Let me explain:
I'm not working on a budget.
I needed to know if the quote for the 1835 cc and long ratio box I received isn't over priced. That should have probably been explained to me better by the person giving me the quote.
I also wanted to know if this mod is worth the time and money, compared to other options.
And
I wanted some contacts and references of guys that can take on a job like this.

Hope that clears it up.
Your Star Wars references made my day!

Would you be interested and can I contact you when the time comes?

Once again thanks for all the info.

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Happyco » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:21 pm

retrovan wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:45 pm
Happyco wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:16 pm
.......

What I'm looking for now, is someone who has the knowledge and expertise ......., but it needs to make sense and adhere to my specs.

I have looked at replacing the suspension for Baywindow, what engine would you recommend then?
Also I like the SUV suggestion. ......

OK, If you want to do something like this on a budget, then you need to learn how to do it your self.

You can not have someone spend hours of his time on labour and expertise, and not pay him handsomely
Thats called Communism......

If you look at my Splitty thread, you will see a pattern appearing.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=25464

Yes I am making my Fleetline Panel Van more derivable, but keeping it with in aircooled reality.

The back end I am leaving as is, but rebuilt, just fitting my big tyres to get speed.

The front I have fitted a Late Bay beam with disk brakes,

The engine, not sure yet, as maybe my good old 2lt Type 4 goes in, or i will have a 1835 Counterbalanced Engine built.

But as these guys say, thats not cheap, last one cost me 20K and that was like 4 years ago.

But its not hard, many have been here on the forum, with only a Pen in hand, but after a year or so, have build up their own car, and very proud of it.

Lot easier to pay some one, but that has no satisfaction at all, respect is from the guys that see you have tried and succeeded.

Best of luck with your venture, read up a few threads here and maybe it will help you to make up your mind.

Herman
Thanks for the feedback. I am willing to learn and always take on any challenge.
As I mentioned to Tony Z, I am not on a budget.
I might have explained myself wrong.
I have two Splitties I need to restore and this is why I needed some help and advice.
I just wanted to suck some knowledge from the experts, since I'm very new at this.
I also wanted to make sure, that I'm not being taken for a ride(a little pun intended).
I have already gotten most of my answers today only from this thread and I truly appreciate the help and feedback concerning this mod.
Thank you Herman!

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Happyco » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:30 pm

sean wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:08 pm
Man, you seriously need to just drive kombi's for a few days and i'm sure you will wish you never even got hold of your bus.......

There are many guys that have dream't the same, but I can assure you it actually worsens the situation when they are completed, its cost 10x what it should have, it wont live up to your expectations and it will still be a unreliable old piece of shit.

Trying to make a split window drive like a Mercedes is impossible!!!! You can put the body onto some modern chassis, but what about the actual body you are sitting in? Do you realise how small and cramped a front cab of a split is? Doesnt matter if you install fancy seats, your legs are still going to hit the dash and the sun is going to be burning your legs and the wind is going to be blowing in through the badly designed doors and windows.

You will find its actually only the standard original kombis that are crossing the country. Those that have spent the big money and made it go faster inevitably don't travel far with it because the fear of breaking something and having to spend an absolute fortune again fixing it, isnt appealing.

PS, it may sound like I hate kombis, I don't. I do travel a lot with mine, but I accept them for how they are, I don't try and make them something they are not.
Ha ha, thanks Sean.
I'm aware of the discomforting luxury a Splitty provides.
I just want to try make it as comfortable as possible.
I truly love these cars. That's why there's two in the works.
Your post is not discouraging, I love classics and will hopefully enjoy mine for what it's worth.

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Tony Z » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:07 am

OK, taking into account your replies, I would say that the Vdubtech price is fair.
They are the guys I use for my gearboxes if/when I need one. Pierre and I have known each other for years and his work is good.
The 1835 engine wouldnt be my first choice, but if that is fully assembled, installed and running, then I do say its a fair price.
I build a combo that works well in a beetle, but I put it together specifically for the 1600 baywindow bus and it is a true gem in that bus. Depending on your budget, I build it to either 1600, 1700 or 1750cc. The 1600 engine is the only one that is affordable and makes financial sense.
Obviously the sky is the limit depending on your budget. Fully custom engines to new spec using new parts and modified to the application can easily reach 80grand with todays exchange rates. But then we are talking about a new engine.
Being that you are in Pretoria, you'll want someone reasonably local who knows his stuff. Guys who think they know can often hurt the engine or leave you disappointed.

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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by Happyco » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:30 am

Tony Z wrote:
Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:07 am
OK, taking into account your replies, I would say that the Vdubtech price is fair.
They are the guys I use for my gearboxes if/when I need one. Pierre and I have known each other for years and his work is good.
The 1835 engine wouldnt be my first choice, but if that is fully assembled, installed and running, then I do say its a fair price.
I build a combo that works well in a beetle, but I put it together specifically for the 1600 baywindow bus and it is a true gem in that bus. Depending on your budget, I build it to either 1600, 1700 or 1750cc. The 1600 engine is the only one that is affordable and makes financial sense.
Obviously the sky is the limit depending on your budget. Fully custom engines to new spec using new parts and modified to the application can easily reach 80grand with todays exchange rates. But then we are talking about a new engine.
Being that you are in Pretoria, you'll want someone reasonably local who knows his stuff. Guys who think they know can often hurt the engine or leave you disappointed.
What would you rather suggest. Just to clarify, the quote isn't from vdubtech.
I am going to use this bus as an everyday driver and promotion on the side.


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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by freddiebooysen » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:02 am

Happyco

I am using a guy in Pretoria Rietfontein that you are welcome to contact for a quote as well. He used to be on the forum long time ago and you can search for his posts (Bratjie). He is busy working on a standard 1800 baywindow engine for me and so far all good. He is actually doing quite a bit for me suspension brakes etc. have sent you a pm with his details as an alternative to investigate.


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Re: Looking for Engine specialist for Splitty

Post by retrovan » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:25 am

Now you going into a whole new realm, if its a business, related issue, then you have a lot of questions that need to be asked to get to the right solution.

The purist are going to castrate me for this post, but what the ... :shock:

This is not going to be a museum piece, or a trailer queen.

This is going to be a working billboard, which will require certain standards,

It will have to make financial sense, and bring in a return.

Cost should not play much of a part in this as it is mostly deductible.

Now you need to know if the bus will be used mainly in town, or mainly on the open road, as this will determine if it should have pull-away or top speed.

Being a company representative it will have to look good, and not piss off the customers on the road.

But being a Concerned Aircooled historian, you do not want to comprise the bus, so work around the fact that the bus can be returned back to its Trailer-queen status with out much work, so all modifications are bolt on and off.

My feeling has always been, that if you like old cars, you either have them in a museum, so others can OOH and AAAh about them, or you drive them as thats what they where made for.
If you going to have them behind a glass wall with a "Do not touch" sign on them, then you may as well have a photo gallery

I would recommend you go SEE Pierre and tell him what you want, and what your budget is, and he will suit the resto to you budget, he has done a number of jobs for me with different levels of expectations, and he has got it spot on on all of them.

Good luck, hope you have your own opinion now to do whats best for you.

Herman
1952 Split Beetle 1835cc (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback 2Lt.type4( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van 2Lt type 4(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc (Aqua Blue/White)
2019 MeFusco Beetle Truck

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