The aircooled Vanagon was made from 1980 to mid 1983. At this point Volkswagen shifted from using the fuel injected aircooled 2.0 L boxer motor to the fuel injected 1.9L Wasserboxer motor.
Both of these motors were notorious for low power and poor longevity. Luckily there is another answer - The Suburu horizontally opposed motor, otherwise known as the Subaru boxer. The most common Subaru motors range in size from 2.0L to 3.3L and all can be adapted to work in the Vanagons and Westfalias that we've come to know and love.
In this guide we demonstrate how we converted a 1982 VW Westfalia from the aircooled 2.0L motor to the venerable Subaru EJ22 2.2L motor. The following articles detail the major steps involved in the conversion process, along with tips and tricks that we've learned along the way. With great pictorials and easy to follow photo galleries this guide is the most complete and thorough explanation of the engine swap to date.
The Aircooled Vanagon article list is as follows:
Part 1 - Subaru Pre-purchase Inspection
Part 2A - Removing the Subaru Donor Engine
Part 2B - Removing the Subaru Wiring Harness
Part 3 - Create SubaruVanagon Wire Harness
Part 4 - Aircooled Vanagon Motor Pull
Part 5 - Subaru EJ22 Engine Prep
Part 6 - Aircooled Vanagon Chassis Prep
Part 7A - Installation of Subaru EJ22
Part 7B - Installation of Subaru EJ22
Part 8 - Rear Heater Install
Part 9 - Front Heater Install
Part 10 - Final Elements of Conversion