Although this 1971 Volkswagen Beetle is still powered by a flat-four, the engine’s displacement and output has increased. Instead of the factory German designed motor this little Beetle is now powered by a rebuilt Subaru 2.0 EJ20G imported from Japan. The engine produces 205 horsepower on 9 psi of boost from a rebuilt TD04 turbocharger and Microsquirt controller. That’s about 6x more power than the original engine. A built Beetle KCR transmission with custom gears and a Kennedy Engineered Products Stage 2 clutch finds it way behind the engine thanks to a Kennedy Engineered Products adapter plate. Thanks to the increase in power the Beetle reaches 0-60 mph in about five seconds and averages 30-35 MPG.
- 2.0 L EJ20G from Japan
- making about 250 hp on 9 psi of boost
- New MLS head gaskets, heads resurfaced and valve job cleaned up
- New metal crank case ventilation plate (to replace the plastic cover that is prone to cracks)
- New brown rear main seal
- New cam seals
- New front crank seal
- Turbo (TD04) was rebuilt and balanced with new bushings and seals and new gaskets
- Injectors were cleaned and tested
- New coil pack, new plugs, new wires
- Reassembled, passed leak down test with less than 2% leak down in all cylinders, passed compression test
- Oil pressure is 70PSI cold 50PSI hot with 5w40 Rotella synthetic
- New Gates timing belt, water pump, new idlers and tensioner
- New 36-2-2-2 STI trigger wheel
- Oil pan and pickup were shortened 1.5” for improved ground clearance
- The package tray area has been flipped over and made removable for easy access to the throttle body and turbo area. Just undo about 10 bolts and the package tray comes out and you have access.
- The turbo and intercooler are mounted in the factory positions with fans mounted on the intercooler controlled by the intake air temp sensor. The turbo retains the water cooling system and factory exhaust on the hot side. A turbo blanket and heat wrap keep everything cool. A custom made down pipe and resonator muffler exit in the stock beetle location.
- Custom built beetle KCR transmission – super street plus with highway flyer overdrive and super beetle input and first gear. All the tricks and custom bits they do to keep the transmissions together. It handles the power flawlessly.
- New Kennedy Stage 2 clutch,
- New Kennedy adapter plate
- New throw out bearing,
- New Flywheel
- New high torque starter
- The engine and transmission are mounted 2 inches further forward using a custom built solid mount that ties in the engine mounts and trans mount and improves weight distribution.
- The shift rod has a new bushing installed and was shortened with a performance transmission coupler
- A welded in transmission mid mount take the place of the issue prone front trans mount.
- Engine is controlled by a microsquirt controller, with complete custom tune
- Innovate Wideband integrated with the microsquirt to control the air fuel mixture
- GM 3 bar MAP sensor
- GM MAT sensor
- Operates the stock idle control valve for smooth cold starts
- Uses stock subaru alternator – puts out 14 V – no crappy beetle external voltage regulator
- All parameters can be read and tune can be changed using tuner studio free software
- New aluminum radiator mounted up front in the spare tire well
- Spare tire retained on top of the gas tank
- Twin fans controlled by the microsquirt
- Custom air scoop to feed fresh air
- Gates green stripe rubber hose feeds coolant from rear to front
- There are fill caps at the rear (highest point) and front for easy air burping when filling the coolant system.
- EFI fuel pump – controlled by the microsquirt – primes on key on like a modern EFI car
- All new hard lines, 5/16″ feed and return
- EFI fuel filter
- Uses stock beetle tank with custom EFI sump
- New fender welting
- New door seals in box still
- New full glass rubber kit – new in box
- New turn signal lenses installed
- New mirrors installed
- New running boards installed
- New chrome headlight beauty rings
- All Door latches, trunk latch, boot latch etc… work great.
- New carpet set still new in box not installed.
- Rear valence has been made removable and has NOT been hacked up to fit the engine
- A thick coating of brush on sound deadening was applied to the entire floor pan and rear bulkhead.
- Custom nicely made seat brackets to fit aftermarket alcantara seats – sliders and tilt control
- Stock rear seat
- Shoulder harness seat belts up front
- Kenwood CD player
- All gauges work, Tach, temperature, fuel, charge light, oil pressure
- New rear drums and shoes and small parts, new wheel cylinders, properly adjusted
- New Ghia style front discs with two piston calipers, new pans, new braided hoses, new wheel bearings, new seals etc…
- New master cylinder
- Stock beam with 2.5′ front drop spindles – regreased front beam
- replaced all steering joints
- Serviced steering box
- New upper and lower ball joints
- Front end alignment
- New KYB performance shocks
- New steering dampener
- New inner and outer wheel bearings
- New rear seals
- New spacers
- New hub nuts – properly torqued to 300 ftlbs
- New Life time warrantied heavy duty CV shafts
- Kafer ¾” support bar ties the struts and frame together
Source: eBay via DailyTurismo
I wonder how is to drive a Beetle with around 5 times more power and those narrow rear tires…
Wish I could test it and report back!
Are they really narrow? The front rims look like they might be wider than stock, but the rear ones might have a different offset.
There was a V8-powered Beetle (!) running around in the late 1960s/early 1970s built by a guy named Paul Stage … it looked extremely stock also, even to the tires/wheels. He managed to pull off quite an optical illusion with those, I wonder if we’re seeing the same sort of thing here.
That’s so awesome I’m trying to build mine also in 71 super beetle with 04 ej20 swap
Sounds like a great project.
Does anyone knows where or how can I contact the owner of this Bugaru? I know it was for sale and I may but it.. Thanks.
I recommend contacting the seller through eBay listing in the “source” link at the bottom of the article.
I try but only send me to eBay and I click and click on the relisted item and nothing.. It was in CG but not anymore.
Click on “see original listing”. Then in the far right box where it says “Seller information” click “ask seller a question”. It should take you to a contact form. You might have to logged in on ebay to see the form.
I am just putting a EJ22 SOHC in a 79 beetle. My only question is about your cooling system
Hey I built that car… new owner has repainted it and put wider wheels on it.
Congrats on the swap. Was it as fun as I hope it is?
It was a lot of fun. Surprised a lot of people on the street. Seemed like both VW and subaru people liked it also. The narrow tires were not much of an issue, the beetle chassis gives amazing traction at the rear tires.
I bet. Might Car Mods built one and it did really well at the drag strip.
Hello Ryan-I would like to do a similar swap as you with the VW. I am curious about how the engine was moved forward. Thank you for your help, I would live to chat.
Hey Ryan! I am looking at a similar swap with a JDM EJ20X in my my ’71 Super and had some questions about the setup of the microsquirt! Is it really just a plug and play ECU? How much setup is required by it? Where can you have it tuned?
This is my first swap so I’m trying to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible by planning ahead. Any info you can provide would be great! If anyone has any links to articles about how to set it up that would be appreciated!
that rust tho. the ultimate sleeper!! i like it
WHERE YOU LOCATED OR POINT OF CONTACT.
I’m in Atlanta. Engine and trans were moved forward by flipping the trans mount and some creative modifications to the trans and shift linkage. All in all, not too big of a deal, but it takes a little fab work. The microsquirt is not plug and play, it requires building a tune, building a wiring harness, and a bit of a learning curve, but there is a huge support network out there.
How much does something like this cost to do?
Interested in a subaru/VW conversion
It looks like you are gathering radiator air from under the car. How do you dump the hot air?
I have and interest in similar. Unfortunately, I’m a bit handicapped and can no longer wrench and build. I’m looking for a professional to do the swap. Any suggestions
Hi Tom. I don’t know where you live but there are two companies in the UK that perform the conversion.
These companies make swap kits and therefor might know someone in your area that performs the conversion.
Is there a shop I can go to do this ? I have a 72 super beetle and always wanted to swap thr engine for a EJ205. Ive been searching for a few weeks now. Any recommendations will help. Thank you
Subiswaps makes swaps kits. They might know of an installer in your area.
Alright, Im going to check them out! I appreciate.
Hey Guys. Any chance to have not only the Subaru engine but an automatic transmission?