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 December 28, 2016

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!

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