Engine Swaps: GoWesty Waterboxer Upgrades Are Not "Engine Swaps"

We have built our industry-leading reputation on our waterboxer engine program. Our staff of mechanical engineers, expert machinists, and engine assemblers have been dedicated to furthering the development of the water-cooled flat four for over 20 years. Our goal is to build the world's most powerful, reliable, and efficient waterboxer engines that meet or exceed tail pipe emissions specifications.   If this is the type of power plant you want in your vehicle, you've come to the right place.

At GoWesty, we believe in the waterboxer. We get calls all the time asking if we do “engine swaps,” like the Subaru or in-line “Jetta” engine. We have carefully analyzed the different options available, and we've had the opportunity to look closely at several vehicles with various engine swaps. We came to the conclusion that we were going to invest our time and effort in developing the waterboxer design in the direction that VW undoubtedly would have gone had they continued to produce the waterboxer.

Our goal is simple: Improve power and efficiency while simultaneously improving reliability.

We don't design or build anything radical here, just high quality engines born from quality engineering and quality parts. Our 2300cc, 2450cc and 2700cc options produce more torque than the commonly swapped Subaru 2200cc EJ22 without creating a white elephant. No special adapter parts, cobbled together wiring, or funky low hanging exhaust and oil pans! As for naturally aspirated inline four-cylinders commonly used as engine swaps in the Vanagon, even the most worn-out, out of balance waterboxer is simply a smoother powerplant. How about turbocharged VW engines like the 2.0T from the Golf, or a TDI diesel? Well, they have some advantages in the power and economy departments, but they also have some fairly serious pitfalls of their own, namely high cost, vibration/noise, loss of ground clearance, and the propensity to destroy axles and transaxles. Ask around, you'll see.

Bottom line: Dollar for dollar, and foot-pound for foot-pound, the waterboxer just can’t be beat.

We offer three waterboxer options above the base 2200cc engine. Even our base rebuilt waterboxer is a stronger-than-stock engine, but with the following three higher output engine options you get all of the regular items included in our base rebuild list PLUS the modifications detailed below.

All of our engines will operate fine with the original, unmodified fuel injection system, however, the 2700cc version requires our GoWesty Fuel Injection Component Replacement Kit to replace the outdated Bosch system. This "plug 'n' play" upgrade further improves performance of all our engines already on the road, and has received an official California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order #D-786, and is smog-legal in all 50 states.

We have fine-tuned the camshaft profiles and compression ratios of all our engines. Our base 2200cc engine is safe to run on regular 87 octane, the 2300cc requires middle grade 89 octane, while the 2450cc and 2700cc engines require premium 91 octane. Please note: We recommend 91 octane fuel for all of our engines just as a matter of precaution. If for some reason your engine experiences a momentary over-heating episode, the extra octane may very well save your behind. Additionally, at current prices for gasoline per gallon, the price difference between regular fuel and premium has never been lower as a percentage.
• 8.8:1 compression, with 102 hp & 135 ft. lbs of torque when fitted with GW-EFI. 
• Engine cases (block), machined as needed
• Heli-coil installed in case to prevent drain plug oil leak
• New cylinder head studs as required
• Crankshaft machined as needed 
• Connecting rods rebuilt and precisely installed
 - Large end re-sized and custom fitted to each rod journal
 - Small end re-bushed and fitted to standard wrist pin bushing per factory specifications
 - Length matched to each other and set to factory length
 - Rod bolts replaced with OEM non-stretch bolts
 - Balanced to each other, and end to end, to factory spec or better
• Camshaft re-ground with profile for optional emissions and performance
- Cam gear backlash set to OEM standards 
- Guaranteed to pass tail pipe emissions specifications in all 50 states
- Grind selected for good idle and low-end torque
• New hydraulic lifters
• New tappet adjustment screw - as needed
• All new tappet adjustment screw lash caps 
• All new bearings: main, rod, and camshaft 
• New, high-volume oil pump, machined to clearance cover and accept o-ring, installed with bolts instead of nuts
• New proprietary GoWesty cast pistons
 - Cast exclusively for GoWesty by Silv-O-Lite Pistons, USA
 - State of the art "slipper skirt" design
 - Molybdenum disulfide ("moly") coated skirts
 - State of the art anti-friction/clearance control coating on skirts
• Precision bored and diamond-honed cylinders in GoWesty proprietary torque plate
• GoWesty DOES NOT use the original German cylinder heads (read about the full cylinder head story here.)
 - We use only AMC-brand (made in Spain) cylinder head castings
 - Much heavier-duty casting compared to the original German heads 
 - De-burred intake and exhaust ports, precision four-angle valve grind
 - OEM-quality intake and exhaust valves 
• New OEM quality GRAF brand water pump 
-installed with bolts instead of studs for easier replacement
• GoWesty Alternator Bracket Support Kit (read about it here)
• V-belt pulley, coolant x-tube, connection hose, and steel elbow installed 
• New correct oil pressure switch(es)
• Cleaned oil cooler installed (2.1 applications only)
• Reconditioned flywheel or flexplate installed and crankshaft endplay properly set
• Valve covers, intake manifolds and plenum soda-blasted, re-painted and installed (exchange)
• All hardware new or re-plated
• Distributor drive installed in correct position
• Correct spark plugs installed with anti-seize compound
• Crated and ready to ship
• This engine OK to run on 87 or higher octane fuel and will pass tail pipe emissions test
GoWesty 2300cc higher output engine:
*9.0:1 compression, with 114 hp (+27%) & 156 ft.lbs of torque (+33%)
• Everything detailed in the 2200, plus:
• Specially machined connecting rods & crankshaft with 79.5mm stroke
• Custom made in USA 96mm cast and coated Silv-O-Lite brand pistons
• This engine OK to run on 89 or higher octane fuel and will pass tail pipe emissions test*

GoWesty 2450cc higher output engine:
*9.4:1 compression, with 132 hp (+47%) & 177 ft.lbs of torque (+51%)
• Everything detailed in the 2200, plus:
• Counter-weighted crankshaft with 84.5mm stroke
• New forged connecting rod set with new ARP rod bolts
• Porsche piston-cooling oil jets ("squirters") installed 
• Custom made in USA 96mm forged and coated JE brand pistons (read about them here)
• Requires 91 or higher octane fuel and will pass tail pipe emissions test*

GoWesty 2700cc higher output engine:
*10:1 compression, with 162 hp (+80%) & 196 ft-lbs of torque  (+67%)
• Everything detailed in the 2200, plus:
• Brand new billet steel, fully counter-weighted crankshaft with 84.5mm stroke
• Engine block and heads specially modified to accept the larger stroke crankshaft and larger bore cylinders
• Porsche piston-cooling oil jets ("squirters") 
• Brand new, forged connecting rod set with new ARP bolts
• Custom made in USA 100.75mm forged and coated JE brand pistons 
• Custom made in USA 100.75mm steel cylinders
• Brand new made in USA intake and exhaust valves
• All new head studs
• CNC ported intake & exhaust ports to improve efficiency
• Brand new rocker arms
• Brand new OEM type oil cooler

**We strongly recommend 91 octane fuel for all of our engines as a matter of precaution.