1700, 1800 and 2-litre engines in a Bay



1700, 1800 and 2-litre engines in a Bay
1700, 1800 and 2-litre
engines in a Bay
‹ The picture illustrates
the go-faster practice of
fitting a 1600 twin-port
engine to a Splitty.
From August 1971, the engine originally designed
to power Volkswagen’s largest saloon, the VW 411
or Type 4, became an option for most markets and
the standard unit in the USA. To accommodate this
larger unit the engine bay increased in both width
and length and the once-bolted-in rear panel was
now welded in place, making engine removal more
difficult. Known as the pancake or suitcase engine
due to the cooling fan being fitted to the rear of
the crankshaft, this is a much stronger unit and a
very desirable replacement for the ubiquitous
Type 1 or Beetle-based 1,600cc engine or even a
1,300cc unit if the vehicle originated from Italy.
It is usual to find twin carburettors on the
Type 4 style engines, but in March 1974 a fuelinjection system was introduced to meet ever
more stringent exhaust emission laws in California.
In August 1974, this was rolled out over the entire
North American continent, although Europe
doggedly stuck to using twin carburettors to the
end of Bay-window production.
The original 1,700cc engine produced 66bhp.
However, there are infinite varieties of these
units produced for different market requirements
throughout the world that are impossible to list in
this volume. Generally those produced specifically
for the Type 2 have a lower compression ratio
and are less powerful than the units produced for
the VW 411, 412 and the VW-Porsche 914-4. The
various options are further complicated by certain
models being equipped with an electronic fuel
injection system. The Type 2 Bay-window model
built for the USA market received the 66bhp, twincarburettor engine when first introduced in August
1971. This increased to 68bhp when the engine
capacity was enlarged to 1,800cc in November
1973. The fuel-injected 1,800cc unit produced
70bhp as did all versions of the 2-litre engine, albeit,
with a considerable increase in torque from the
larger unit. Some of the engines sourced from a
VW 411LE or 412LE are also fitted with electronic
fuel injection.
Fitting these stronger engines to a Bay originally
supplied with the Type 1-based 1600 unit is a fairly
straightforward procedure, providing all ancillaries
and tin-ware belonging to the Type 4-style unit
are present. The rear engine mounting bar, engine
mounts and brackets for the larger engine, plus the
exhaust system and heat exchangers, should also
be used as they are of a completely different design
to the 1600 items. The twin-carburettor setup will
also require the air cleaner and associated pipe-work
to replace those made for the 1,600cc engine. The
accelerator cable is located in a slightly different
position on vehicles originally fitted with Type 4
engines, but this is easily modified when fitting this unit
to a Transporter previously fitted with the 1,600cc
unit. The throttle cable may need to be changed
depending on the year of the recipient vehicle.
Post 1975 a larger diameter clutch and a
different starter motor will also be required. Prior
to August 1971, the tin-ware of the 1,600cc engine
was surrounded by a double flat seal, after which
a continuous foam seal was used necessitating the
use of flat-edged tin-ware. Fitting the Type 4 engine
to these earlier models necessitates using a plastic
or glass-fibre fan housing that utilises the fan and
alternator from a Porsche 911 and is available from
custom parts suppliers. The result is a considerably
smaller engine unit making it possible to fit it into
a Split-screen or early Bay Transporter. It is still
essential when using this conversion to seal the
engine bay to prevent hot air, exhaust fumes and
heat being drawn into the cooling fan. The gearbox
input shaft will also need to be replaced, using the
shaft from a bus fitted with a Type 4 engine.
The generator fitted to early 1600 engines uses
an external voltage regulator mounted on the righthand bulkhead forward of the engine. When fitting
a Type 4 unit, this will need to be replaced by an
external voltage regulator suited to the alternator
and also mounted on the bulkhead. If fitting to a later
Bay supplied originally with a 1,600cc engine and
using an alternator with an integral regulator, a wiring
loom will be needed to connect to the bulkhead
mounted regulator. Type 4-style engines also require
an electric motor and pipe assembly connected
to the heat exchanges to provide warm air to the
vehicle interior.
Considerably more power can be achieved if
larger capacity pistons and barrels are used, along
with a long throw stroker crankshaft and cylinder
heads fitted with bigger valves. Power benefits
can also be achieved by using a high-lift camshaft
in conjunction with the above modifications.
€ Although this may have
been the original engine, a
late 1600 Bay will readily
accept the beefier Type
4-style power unit.