Part 10 - Final Elements of conversion

The project has finally come to this - the last Part. We'll show a few last items to polish off the creation of the SubaruVanagon, then we'll go for a test drive! Enjoy!

Overview and Approximate Time Needed:


Process Description

~ Time (hours)


Belt guards



Alternator Light Fix









* Approximate Total Time =


*When you factor in rest and prep time, a mechanically inclined person should reserve a couple of hours to complete this process.  For someone new to working on cars, this may take a little longer.

Tools you may need:

1.       Metric socket and wrench sets, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 17mm

2.       Angle grinder or hacksaw and metal file

3.       Soldering iron and wire connectors

Step 1: Belt Guards

A few safety elements and finishing touches to wrap up the install of our Subaru motor. Belt guards look pretty cool in my opinion - they finish things off a little.

Step 2: Alternator Light Fix

The alternator charge indicator light is super helpful. I had one conversion that I didn't take the time to get this done and woke up to a dead batter... in the middle of nowhere, not good! The belt had loosened and the alternator hadn't been charging the battery. I had unplugged the blue wire from the relay under the drivers seat so the blaring red ALT light would go away and I could forget about that part of the conversion - learn from me and don't do this! Follow along as we put pictures to a great diagram provided by

Step 3: Test - The Subaru EJ22 purrs like a kitten... or roars like a tiger when fed

Now we'll see the performance gain from going from a Waterboxer to a Subaru. Take a look at the videos below for a real world 0-60 test. These tests were performed near Durango, Colorado at an elevation of 7000ft above sea level. Lets have some fun!

Waterboxer 1.9 Vs. SubaruVanagon 2.2



We hope you enjoy your new animal. We would love to hear if you've followed along with these articles and if they've helped in any way. We would also love constructive criticism as we're trying to help other van owners really get good information on a basic Subaru swap. Please email to leave some feedback, we'd love it!