Turbo for a VW Beetle

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Apparantly it is possible to fit a turbo engine into a beetle, but which engine is the best? are the porsche engines the easiest to put in?

posted by  BugProject

If I walked up to you and said this to you, would you know exactly what I am talking about?

Now maybe you put the project information in the "Introduction" section but it would also be helpful here so we knew exactly what you were doing.

posted by  theman352001

ive just bought a vw beetle and want to do up the car i have plans for the rest of the car but the main problem i have at the moment is that i want to put a turbo engine in the car and dnt know which engine would be the best. i have been told that porsche engines are the easiest to put in but dont know how true this is.

posted by  BugProject

An older Porsche engine (from 60's and 70's) would be the easiest since the Beetle and Porsche back then were close to the same. My dad had a friend who awhile back put a Porsche engine into a Beetle (wrecked the Porsche), apparently it was fast (the car) and easy (the swap).

posted by  car_crazy89

They make a VW turbo Beetle....just get an engine out of one of those.

posted by  SlipKnoT

If you're talking an older air cooled Beetle, then you ned to talk to Bernie Bergmann Enterprises, as they make a LOT of different turbo engine combinations for those cars, as well as turbo kits.

But to be honest, you don't need a turbo engine to go fast. Just build up a 2110 or 2180cc N/A bug motor. Relatively cheap and capable of propelling a Bug to 11-13 second quarter mile times, depending on buildup. Even a 13 second street Bug feels like a rocketship.

If you do that, don't forget to upgrade the trans, as well. Companies like TransForm have warrantied high performance transaxles for failry low prices, and you'll need the SuperDiff option to keep from blowing up the transaxle with a big Bug engine.

The nice thing about a bug engine is you don't need to create a cooling system and route hoses up to a front radiator. It's just a bolt in thing.

I'd stay away from using an early Porsche engine. The 356 stuff is almost identical to a Bug, but it costs vastly more and has less potential. The 911 stuff is pricey and heavy, even the early 2 liter engines, in comparison to a bug engine, and it sticks farther back (which isn't what you want in a Bug). The only "Porsche" engine really to consider in a bug swap is the VW Porsche Type 4, as found in the 914 and 912E (and the VW 411/412 and later Type II Busses). It'll bolt in, but you need to change the cooling tin to fit. They start out larger, however, with a 2 liter avaialble. You can start with a 1.8 or 2 liter Type 4 and build up to 2.7 liters in streetable form (and over 3 liters in race form). It's more expensive than a Type 1 Bug engine, but it's the way to go to get 10 second N/A street Bug times.


Go pick up a copy of Hot VWs magazine and start perusing the advertisers. You'll find more info and cool ideas than you ever thought possible.

posted by  ChrisV

Is there another kind? Or did you just mean compared to the new beetles?

posted by  windsonian

bugs are fun to work on i suppose, especially because the old ones engines are so damn easy to swap. what year beattle is it? cause there are alot of turbos for both gens. but they dont do much good, i'd stick with NA

posted by  collareddrifter

Slipknot had mentioned teh turbocharged New Beetles, and that's a transverse engine, FWD car which makes the swap very hard, so I wanted to be clear that we were discussing the old ones, not the New Beetles.

posted by  ChrisV

Chris, what kind of engine were you using in the Beetles you had?

posted by  SlipKnoT

The car in question is a 1970 beetle.

posted by  BugProject

NOW we get some information.....

posted by  theman352001

Air cooled bug motors. most were not much more than stock, but I had a couple 1776s, an 1835, and a 2180. (those numbers designate cc's, BTW)

posted by  ChrisV

"But to be honest, you don't need a turbo engine to go fast. Just build up a 2110 or 2180cc N/A bug motor. Relatively cheap and capable of propelling a Bug to 11-13 second quarter mile times, depending on buildup. Even a 13 second street Bug feels like a rocketship."

So how do you build up a 2110 or 2180cc bug motor?

posted by  Paulbrkr

Simple answer, start with a 1500 or 1600cc air cooled Bug engine (stock or aftermarket), get the case machined to fit the larger cylinders (remember, on the air cooled VW engines, the cylinders are not an integral part of the engine block and can be swapped out for larger ones), and fit them. Utilize a new, longer stroke crank. Use the later dual port heads, machined out to fit the new cylinders and pistons. Add a good cam, and either dual carbs or fuel injection. Lastly, a quality exhaust is needed.

There's a bit more to it than that if you get into the details. ;) but that's the concept.

Pick up a copy of Hot VWs magazine and check out the ads for engine builders, and watch for engine build articles. http://www.hotvws.com

http://www.gex.com/images/engines/protected/2tkred.jpg

posted by  ChrisV

You see, that's the part I'm worried about, the "there's a bit more to it if you get into the details"! Do you know of capable people in South Africa? and as far as I know, the HotVW's isn't sold here, but I'll do and look for it!

O and is there a reason why you can't use the 1300cc Bug engine? Cause that's what I got at the moment.

posted by  Paulbrkr

therer are only a few cases that can be machined to the desiered size the rest are junk, (case clearence for the crank, and cut the case for the pistons and sleaves) i suggest you to go to http://www.reliablevdub.com/ talk to Troy, he can awnser any and all quetions about classic vw motors, he rebuilds them has been doing it for over 30 years, that being said were in Dallas TX dont know how mutch help othere than advice can be given but you never know, and he could tell you exactly what you need to do with the buget you have and hp goal, some of the best vw bug drag racers of the US tend to hang out on his site for mon. night chat so some one ther can awnser any quetion you may have, i dont know if he will ship that far lol, but he may , or he may know some one your way, you never know
you could also go to the samba, but most of the people there are jerkes in the forum, but a good place for buying parts
1300cc, is not realy good for any thing not many places can line bore it for a rebuild, (plus it is a single port, you need a dule,) at least not here in the US, i have a 1970 may be the difrenc of the contry but i thought thay were 1600cc, is that the motor that came in it

that being said he is curently building me my seconed motor for my bug, 1600cc now going to 1835cc, had the money, remember befor you up the motor get steering, brakes, done first, make it safe at least front disc convertion, then due trans, big motor is no good if it kills your trans, Carl on the same site is building me a trans too, hopfuly it will all be done end of this month, good luck with your car, hope this helps you

posted by  70bajavw

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