Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

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Mike Long
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Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#31 Post by Mike Long » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:19 pm

No need to keep me a secret Ken! I have a VW motor in my car for the second time! At less than a quarter of the cost of a 356 motor I am on the road again.

Yes my motor did let go (exploded) at 65 mph. It was not a pretty sight or sound. I was glad that it was not the numbers matching 356 motor!

Yes of course it takes value away from the car. But when you start with a car that was getting ready to go to the crusher some 20 years ago, who cares. I have no problem with horse power or keeping up with other 356’s.

Matt, If you want to discuss the application let me know! I would be happy to give you templates for the custom sheet metal needed to enclose the air gaps between the VW sheet metal and the 356 engine bay.
Mike Long
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Al Zim
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High power engines eith low power transmissons

#32 Post by Al Zim » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:47 pm

With the event of the Carrerra 2 in the 356 the transmission became marginal. In order for the C2 engine to transmit power to the wheels reliable a steel intermediate shaft was installed. My guess is that under high horsepower, the shafts in the transmission were seperating and causing the gears to engauge only on the ends. Later as Porsche use the 901 transmission in their long distance records in france, the installed 2 5th gears in each transmission, that way when one gear wore out the other was available. They had pretty well chewed up a transmission after about 80 hours of record attempts.
If you are going to dump 150 to 200 horsepower into a 741transmission that is nearly 50 years, expect to have problems big time. The factory knew the limitations of their design and did not exceed them. Now it is alot later and everything worn out with a limited supply of parts, Just some thoughts al zim
 

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Re: High power engines eith low power transmissons

#33 Post by Glenn Ring » Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:14 pm

Al Zim wrote:With the event of the Carrerra 2 in the 356 the transmission became marginal. In order for the C2 engine to transmit power to the wheels reliable a steel intermediate shaft was installed. My guess is that under high horsepower, the shafts in the transmission were seperating and causing the gears to engauge only on the ends. Later as Porsche use the 901 transmission in their long distance records in france, the installed 2 5th gears in each transmission, that way when one gear wore out the other was available. They had pretty well chewed up a transmission after about 80 hours of record attempts.
If you are going to dump 150 to 200 horsepower into a 741transmission that is nearly 50 years, expect to have problems big time. The factory knew the limitations of their design and did not exceed them. Now it is alot later and everything worn out with a limited supply of parts, Just some thoughts al zim
The VW transmission also has it's limitations and 200hp is well beyond it unless you drive like a old lady. That's why I have a beefed up transaxle with a Berg 5 conversion and a ZF LSD.

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And don't forget upgrading the brakes and suspension.



I drive like I stole it. ;)
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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#34 Post by Conrad Carter » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:49 am

I have original engine squirreled away and 150hp 914 in it's place (installed by PO) and LOVE it. If you drive your 356 on a regular basis, try it.
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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#35 Post by Kevin Wills » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:36 pm

Add a few options and an Aircooled Technology engine with 140hp is over $30,000, according to their website. More than twice the cost of a Willhoit 2.2 kit that makes more power and looks/fits like original. Even with the purchase of other 356 components necessary to build a complete engine, I would think you would still be well ahead. I would need more convincing.

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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#36 Post by Harold Singh » Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:37 pm

Kevin Wills wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:36 pm
Add a few options and an Aircooled Technology engine with 140hp is over $30,000, according to their website. More than twice the cost of a Willhoit 2.2 kit that makes more power and looks/fits like original. Even with the purchase of other 356 components necessary to build a complete engine, I would think you would still be well ahead. I would need more convincing.
I think the thread may be out of date Kevin. Conrad bumped a necro-thread from back in 08. Long before the WR 2.2 was around.
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Glen Getchell
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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#37 Post by Glen Getchell » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:14 pm

I don't know if I could put the a VW motor in a 356, but I understand where Matt is coming from. My C coupe with a Big Bore (even with Zenith''s) is a wonderfully driving car, but of course it is not a rocket ship. But at the same time I would not call it slow. And I would be hard pressed to drive a car any faster in the mountains.

With that said, I just don't understand the type 4 options. There are many experts that have chimed in on the type 4, and I won't contradict them. But I don't get it. The type 4 is larger and heavier, and still a VW. I blew two (2.0) of them up in two different Westfailia Campers just maintaining highway speed. In the Van they had a 60K life expectancy. They are nothing great in my opinion, and their parts are still expensive.

You can buy a crate VW / SCAT, (or other supplier Type 1) upwards of two liters and two hundred horse power for $3-5K. It is much closer to a 356 engine in design and looks. There is no fit issues, and there is no additional weight added behind the axle. If you "really" want to do this, I'd go find your local Buggy shop for a HiPo type 1.

Personally, I think you should make sure your 356 is tuned and running as it should. I move between a 356C, C2 Corvette, SS El Camino, BMW 330CI ZHP, 356SC Race Car, a Scion TC, and a Alpine Renault A110. And honestly, the only one that I ever think is "slow" is the Scion (and I'm sure technically its faster than some of the others). My point is that these are not modern cars. They deliver power in different ways. We drive our 356 10hrs at a stretch at 70-80 mph with no issues. I can beat traffic off the light unless some one else is trying to make a point.

As I said, I understand your thoughts, especially when I pay thousands of dollars to replace a broken parts in my race 356 engine when I could buy a higher horse power VW engine for the same amount as the cost of the parts. But at the same time, the car should not feel that slow. If its running perfect and does feel that slow, then maybe you are just not a classic car guy kind of guy. After all a 356 with a big bore kit is about as speedy as some of the quicker cars from the 80's. And even the C2 Vette is no rocket ship by today's standards.

Glen 64Cx2

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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#38 Post by Kevin Wills » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:56 pm

If a $3k type I with 200 reliable HP was available, I would have built one for my 73 beetle with 1995 dollars. If you have the magic equation, let me know. I'll gladly write the check and detune it to 150HP so my 741 lives longer than a couple of days....

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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#39 Post by Harold Singh » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:21 pm

Kevin Wills wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:56 pm
If a $3k type I with 200 reliable HP was available, I would have built one for my 73 beetle with 1995 dollars. If you have the magic equation, let me know. I'll gladly write the check and detune it to 150HP so my 741 lives longer than a couple of days....
I’m with you on that one!
Harold
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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#40 Post by Martin Benade » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:02 pm

With careful shopping I think a 100 hp type 1 engine might be a possibility for $3000, which wouldn’t be so bad. 36 hp wasn’t so bad in my first 356.

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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#41 Post by ray nelson » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:42 pm

Didn't Harry Pellow have something in one of his books about putting a VW engine in a 356 or was it the other way around? Back when he wrote his books there weren't that many engine options. Certainly no Polo engines. :)
Ray

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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#42 Post by Geoff Fleming » Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:57 pm

I'm with Glen on this...if all you want is a very high powered car then perhaps you really aren't a classic car person.
The 356 developed, over 17 years, into an adequately powered sports car, with the push-rod engine finally developing 107HP. This was more than enough to maintain high road speeds and remain reliable. The 356 was not designed to out-do the modern cars of today but was more than equal to the task when they were current. Simply putting together more and more powerful engines for our cars , while interesting and do-able, does not make the cars more enjoyable.
I am not against spirited driving but you are dealing with quite old cars and shouldn't forget this. While the 356 is unique among classics, in that it can be driven reliably at modern highway speeds, how much more do you really need?( I am not talking about folks who compete on the track.) Porsche could certainly have built the engines with more horsepower but they didn't. Perhaps reliability and excellent performance with what they did produce was more important.
Just my own input, as someone who used 356s as daily, ( and I mean 365 days per year, in the northeast...and no garage.), drivers for many years.

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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#43 Post by jay darlington » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:06 am

Kevin Wills wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:36 pm
Add a few options and an Aircooled Technology engine with 140hp is over $30,000, according to their website. More than twice the cost of a Willhoit 2.2 kit that makes more power and looks/fits like original. Even with the purchase of other 356 components necessary to build a complete engine, I would think you would still be well ahead. I would need more convincing.
if someone is paying 30k for a 140hp vw then that person is getting raped. I have a friend that will build a 140 hp vw new from top to bottom with a turbo or carbs dyno tuned and ready to install for under 12k
Jay D.
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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#44 Post by Ron LaDow » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:09 am

Put what ever you want back there and then open the lid and take a look.
It'll cost you 'way more than a 616 rebuild to avoid being embarrassed.
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Re: Anyone running a VW motor in their 356

#45 Post by Ashley James » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:32 am

Mine is a 356C with a counterbalanced crank, 912 camshaft and a 1720 kit and it goes extremely well, drives nicely too, but if it has a fault, it is that it is undergeared and noisy. At 70-80mph, it’s tiring on a long run, but wonderful to drive across country on bendy country roads and this is its real strength. When we rebuilt it, we lined the interior with Dynamat and the engine space with the Stoddard kit and I have a standard muffler, so mine isn’t noisier than any other.

If all this extra power is being used with the standard top gear ratio, I think it’s wasted.

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