Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Original gearbox but Engine swapped for a Golf 3 1.9. Is this causing a lack of power? 1988 VW Vanagon

asked by on

Hi,

I recently bought a vanagon as I need a van to help me move house in a few months from now. I will be moving across Europe and it was cost effective to buy a fan, fix it and drive across with my family rather than paying a company and buying plane tickets.

I have the van. It has issues. It is very sluggish. The engine has been replaced down the line and had a 1.9TD from a golf mk3. The turbo is currently blocked and I will be trying to fix that also.

Could the lack of power also be a result of a compatability issue coming from the original gearbox and swapped engine?

That's my main question but there are a few more things going on.

Also, the other issues are: -The Speedometer cable is missing, -Passenger seatbelt doesn't exist. -Today the engine wouldn't turn over (so maybe a start-motor issue. The battery seems ok) -also the 2nd gear pops out at low revs and sometimes doesn't want to go in.

Would you suggest replacing the gearbox? I

Steve
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello - once the turbocharger system is repaired, and the swapped engine is producing the power it is capable of, I would expect you will be pleasantly surprised at how well the Vanagon performs - as long as the swapped engine is solid. Lack of turbocharger boost will have a major power loss effect - so correct that first. Regarding the transmission issue - repairing the 2nd gear issue will require disassembly of the gearbox, or replacement of the gearbox to repair. Costs for those options will direct which alternative is the better one. Good luck with this project!

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Original gearbox but Engine swapped for a Golf 3 1.9. Is this causing a lack of power? 1988 VW Vanagon

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Engine was just replaced in my car but the check engine light is on. Is this something that has to be reset by driving the car?

The Check Engine Light is on if the light was not reset after work was done, or it came on again due to encountering another problem. If you just had the engine replaced, then have the system scanned to see...

Q: Car smokes and loses power

The most common problem is a blown turbo. The shaft bearing and seal may have failed, causing oil to leak into the engine, and come out of the tailpipe as smoke. The turbo bearing may be bad, causing the loss...

Q: Just had my cam belt changed, now the Check Engine Light is on and it gets very sluggish in second gear

From the description you have provided, your vehicle having a timing belt service performed, turning into a head gasket problem, now running sluggish, all appears to be questionable. The Check Engine Light coming on again leads me to believe the...

Related articles

What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.