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Date:         Tue, 18 Nov 2003 09:45:39 -0800
Reply-To:     Pensioner <al_knoll@PACBELL.NET>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Pensioner <al_knoll@PACBELL.NET>
Subject:      Re: horsepower increase
Comments: cc: Dan Fleming <>, HNR <>
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Pooze, the WBX is dead. It started out dead. Very bad design. Underpowered. Factory parts becoming as rare as froghair. Engine Management system from the dark ages. Poor torque curve. Not amenable to modif*ckation, no matter what lily, or lucas or bawston bob, or ken whatever says. Dead. Dealers will barely consider working on them. The knowledge pool is drying up. If it wasn't for craftsman support like H&R, Camelback, Fred's, Tassi's, the vanagon would be nigh on to unmaintainable by the commonfolk.

For the aficionados who run only genuine cherman parts and expensive dealer antifreeze, the WBX is the holy grail of keeping the dead horse twitching.

For others who don't do 5 times a day butts up to their 12 year old van, upgrades that ensure longevity, maintainability, parts availability, a modern OBD engine management that adapts to the heuristics of the driving environment, are the answer. The esteemed Mr. Chase found a fork in the road and took it, unfortunately it seems it was missing a tine or two.

Look at the application, a 4800lb truck (unloaded) with the aerodynamics of a cinderblock, underpowered and underbraked. All that can be fixed with a knowledgeable choice of upgrades. The WBX offers at best 110lbs-ft of torque from 2000RPM to 4000 rpm with a 115 peak. A Subaru 2.2l trumps that with 125lbs-ft from 2000RPM to 5500RPM and 23mpg. A Subaru 2.5l trumps that with 140bs-ft from 2000RPM to 6000RPM. The 3.3l, well lets just say it is more than sufficient. All are modern motors with sophisiticated engine management systems. Adding 15" wheels and larger brakes will improve the stopping power immensely.

Now upgrade the van to 5400lbs ready to ski, fish, photograph, sleep, cook, and so on with 4WD and a locking drive system and the pitiful excuse for a motor that came stock is simply not suitable.

Some folks bow down to the 1600cc air cooled flat four, they also use lead pencils. You can burn nitro in your lawnmower but it's still a lawnmower.

While it still has some life in it, trade that lead pencil to a true believer and cash in on a better design.

Pensioner (89 syncro westy with 3.3l SVX power, the requisite brakes, wheels, suspension)

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