Subaru/Vanagon 4 Cyl. DIY Conversion Kit for 2.5L Motors

Product code: 005125
(33 reviews) Write a Review
The Van Cafe Subaru-Vanagon conversion kit is a proven solution for converting your Vanagon to powerful and reliable Subaru power. We were one of the first to bring do-it-yourself kits to the market a… Read more below

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$1,499.95 - $2,199.95
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The Van Cafe Subaru-Vanagon conversion kit is a proven solution for converting your Vanagon to powerful and reliable Subaru power. We were one of the first to bring do-it-yourself kits to the market and, with over 600 conversions on the road, we've honed our parts and processes to offer a streamlined conversion experience. Van Cafe manufactures the majority of our conversion parts at our state-of-the-art facility here in Fort Collins, CO where parts are jig-welded for a perfect fit every time.

 We’ve configured our conversion kit to be modular and adaptable: you can order the base kit to get you started or go full monty and get everything you’ll need to pilot your Van to your next adventure.   We make it easy to order each system by offering you a comprehensive, systems-based approach.  Need an engine cooling solution?  Check out our complete cooling system.  Don’t want to cobble together an exhaust?  We offer a complete exhaust finishing kit.

You can find all recommended conversion-related parts by clicking the “Finish your project” tab above.

In addition to the best parts on the market, Van Cafe is proud of our long tradition of complete customer support. At any point in the conversion process, from contemplating your initial purchase to the post-conversion set-up, feel free to contact us with specific questions. Our reviews speak for themselves!

A power plant conversion presents the perfect opportunity to upgrade other essential components. For instance, when you have the Subaru motor out, why not take a little extra time to renew the timing belt and water pump? With the engine out of your Vanagon, why not tackle those CV joint boots or drop the fuel tank to add Van Cafe stainless steel coolant pipes? How about a fuel tank reseal kit? 

The base Van Cafe Conversion Kit includes the following components:

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU PURCHASE A COMPLETE COOLING SYSTEM KIT (OPTIONAL ABOVE) YOU'LL BE CHARGED A $250 CORE CHARGE THAT IS FULLY REFUNDABLE UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR SUBARU DONOR ENGINE'S COOLANT MANIFOLD.  MORE DETAILS HERE: COOLING SYSTEM CORE CHARGE

Installation Notes:

+  This kit directly supports the 2.5L EJ25 motors that were produced from 1996-2010.

+  Although 1996-2000 DOHC EJ25 motors have been used with success, we recommend 2000-2004 SOHC motors for their simplicity and ease of maintenance.

+  Aircooled Vanagons will require the customer to source the necessary cooling system components. Please let us know if you are converting an aircooled Vanagon.

+  Vanagons using a diesel transmission will need to source the correct 091-002 bell-housing as our kit will not work with the diesel specific bell-housing.

Please note: Conversion kits are built-to-order and can take 3-4 weeks before ready to ship complete.

Click here for instructions on how to remove your Subaru Harness


Sending in a wiring harness for conversion? Click here to download our harness info form

  • Description

    The Van Cafe Subaru-Vanagon conversion kit is a proven solution for converting your Vanagon to powerful and reliable Subaru power. We were one of the first to bring do-it-yourself kits to the market and, with over 600 conversions on the road, we've honed our parts and processes to offer a streamlined conversion experience. Van Cafe manufactures the majority of our conversion parts at our state-of-the-art facility here in Fort Collins, CO where parts are jig-welded for a perfect fit every time.

     We’ve configured our conversion kit to be modular and adaptable: you can order the base kit to get you started or go full monty and get everything you’ll need to pilot your Van to your next adventure.   We make it easy to order each system by offering you a comprehensive, systems-based approach.  Need an engine cooling solution?  Check out our complete cooling system.  Don’t want to cobble together an exhaust?  We offer a complete exhaust finishing kit.

    You can find all recommended conversion-related parts by clicking the “Finish your project” tab above.

    In addition to the best parts on the market, Van Cafe is proud of our long tradition of complete customer support. At any point in the conversion process, from contemplating your initial purchase to the post-conversion set-up, feel free to contact us with specific questions. Our reviews speak for themselves!

    A power plant conversion presents the perfect opportunity to upgrade other essential components. For instance, when you have the Subaru motor out, why not take a little extra time to renew the timing belt and water pump? With the engine out of your Vanagon, why not tackle those CV joint boots or drop the fuel tank to add Van Cafe stainless steel coolant pipes? How about a fuel tank reseal kit? 

    The base Van Cafe Conversion Kit includes the following components:

    PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU PURCHASE A COMPLETE COOLING SYSTEM KIT (OPTIONAL ABOVE) YOU'LL BE CHARGED A $250 CORE CHARGE THAT IS FULLY REFUNDABLE UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR SUBARU DONOR ENGINE'S COOLANT MANIFOLD.  MORE DETAILS HERE: COOLING SYSTEM CORE CHARGE

  • Installation Notes:

    +  This kit directly supports the 2.5L EJ25 motors that were produced from 1996-2010.

    +  Although 1996-2000 DOHC EJ25 motors have been used with success, we recommend 2000-2004 SOHC motors for their simplicity and ease of maintenance.

    +  Aircooled Vanagons will require the customer to source the necessary cooling system components. Please let us know if you are converting an aircooled Vanagon.

    +  Vanagons using a diesel transmission will need to source the correct 091-002 bell-housing as our kit will not work with the diesel specific bell-housing.

    Please note: Conversion kits are built-to-order and can take 3-4 weeks before ready to ship complete.

    Click here for instructions on how to remove your Subaru Harness


    Sending in a wiring harness for conversion? Click here to download our harness info form

  • 33 Reviews
    Have you bought this product? Write a Review
    • 5
      6 months in! Loving it!

      Really loving my conversion! I opted to use a 2005 Impreza/Forester 2.5NA engine and have been very happy with the kit. Instructions covered my engine well and everything bolted up perfectly. Had a few questions during and after the conversion and VC was super responsive and helpful. A couple of improvements: - Need a little more information about DBW setup, and the best way to route the DBW cables to the front of the van. The documentation about hooking up the ECU to the van was great, but a little more info about this would have been super effective. - I had previously installed the SS kit for my vanagon, so it would be nice to have some tips on adapting those to the subaru engine. I ended up using the reversed coolant manifold and some hoses off the old engine and it mated up fine. - I think I can use the upper mounting holes with my 2.5l, and will be adjusting the engine to those next, but the instructions said i needed to use the lower mount holes.

      Montana Apr 14th 2022
    • 5
      If I can do it, you can do it!

      I'm sure, like many of you, I deliberated over a new engine for years. I evaluated many different options including giving up the van for something else...gasp! However, the option of abandoning Westy life got dismissed early on. Fortunately, I live in Fort Collins, home of Rocky Mountain Westy (RMW) / VanCafe and got to drive a conversion they had in the shop. If you haven't driven a conversion, don't! You'll be sold ;-) So, all I had to do was figure out whether I wanted to pay them for all the work, do all of it myself or some sort of hybrid version. After further deliberation and a "fatherly" talk from Mike (one of the owners) I decided to pull and install the engine kit myself. I scoured Craigslist for the proper Subaru engine. The RMW guys helped confirm the one I was looking at was a good candidate. Let me preface this next part in that I'm no mechanic. My mechanical skills were relegated to what I learned in the previous 7 years of fixing broken things on the van and watching YouTube. That said, I was able to pull the engine out of the Subaru in December of 2018. I took it to the RMW guys and they sent the short-block back to Subaru. When it came back, they machined the heads and gave me the long-block back. I bought the conversion kit and hauled the many parts out of the VanCafe office in early 2019 in my van. I backed the van into my driveway onto ramps in Feb of 2019 and began the process. The manual is awesome. The support of RMW and VanCafe was awesome. I was looking forward to buying a bunch of new tools for this project, but it turns out you don't really need a lot. I gotta admit that there were really no problems. The documentation was good. I had to learn a few things on YouTube but nothing I couldn't figure out. I really don't think I had to pester the RMW or VanCafe guys a whole lot. When I did, they were great. In the end, I had to buy the kit, pay for the harness work (way worth it!) and buy some new parts that a 30+ year old van needs anyway. I don't have a shop nor a garage to work in. A good portion of it was done outside, with lights on cold, Colorado evenings. I'm not saying this as a "woo is me", but just to point out, it's entirely doable in your driveway. Fortunately, I don't have an HOA in my 'hood! It took me 400 hours working nights, weekends and free time. I finished it 7 months later in August 2019. Yes, I had a day job...two in fact. The 400 hours was a lot of wrench turning, but that also includes my reading and learning and figuring things out on YouTube. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute (mostly) of it. There are some frustrations, but with great frustrations come great achievements and accomplishments. The price of tuition of this job was well worth it. I can say that now, 3 years after completed, it has seen several Colorado winters, several 1,100 mile road trips, 10s of Colorado's mountain passes. That thing is amazing. Plenty of power, great gas mileage and quiet. Man is that thing quiet. Runs like a champ. I can't emphasize enough how worth it this package is if you are even remotely considering a conversion. It takes some patience and time or you can pay someone to do it. If you're halfway smart (which would already be twice as smart as me), disciplined in your organization of your work (mixing parts up and not labeling everything could be a problem), you can do this. The feeling of that thing starting up and driving away that first time is worth it. You'll be more than satisfied with the kit, the support, the end product and yourself. No, I'm not sponsored by these guys. I didn't get extra cookies. Turns out that whether you buy a $65 part or a $6500 part you only get one cookie. So, I do have one complaint I guess. If you buy that kit, you should get 2 cookies.

      Gregory Redder Feb 6th 2022
    • 5
      Excellent kit! Very happy customer.

      Very complete and excellent quality. I'm not a 5-stars kind of reviewer, there is always something that can be improved. I'll give this kit a 4.75. The very few problems I encountered were easily remedied. If I was confused about how to perform an operation the manual quickly guided me. If still confused about a particular Alex and the team were there to quickly help me sort it. I was actually surprised how quick and easy the actual mounting of the engine was. When ready, follow the manual and the engine will be sitting pretty in 2-3 hrs. The manual could use some updating and a few better images but these are minor comments.

      Rob Alumbaugh Apr 5th 2021
    • 4
      Subaru/Vanagon 4 cyl. Conversion DIY Kit

      Everything thing went well except. Screws for water duct too long. Had to purchase local. One muffler clamp was defective. When completely closed it measured 2 3/16" for a 2 inch pipe! Instructions are ok but I would highly suggest bom for each step, list of require tools for each step and better graphics instead of photos for each step or page . I worked for vw manufacturing for 10 years and we used a pdm. This also included torque like yours. Also worked as a quality manager manufacturing engineer for 30 years . Yours is a good start but you need someone who has more experience writing technical instructions. Yours required a certain level of intuition to use. Packaging and labeling perfect.

      daryl Lang Mar 21st 2021
    • 5
      RMW Conversion Kit

      After years of nursing my WBXer, and gradually tiring of its lack of power (and reliability), I finally pulled the trigger on conversion. I knew that I needed to be involved in the process so that I could service it going forward. My research, and reading, always led me back to RMW, and with the project complete, I can say without reservation that I would do it again. Alex Nunke was a patient, and always helpful resource at RMW, and repeatedly clarified issues for me. Highly recommend this group!

      David Feb 16th 2021
    • 5
      amazing conversion kit

      I've never done anything like this before, talked to a couple of people that have previously used RMW conversion Kits, and gave me the confidence to start mine. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. I had couple of questions in regards to 06+ EJ253 motor, Alex and the team were quick at finding the answers for me. Overall highly recommend this kit.

      mo mohsen Jun 23rd 2020
    • 5
      Subaru/Vanagon 4 cyl. Conversion DIY Kit

      Fred Vauthier Mar 16th 2020
    • 5
      Great Company- Great kit.

      I purchased and installed the Subaru Conversion kit into my 84 Adventurewagen. Amazing customer support and a great product. I took my time with the install as I have never done anything this involved with my van. I had a few questions during the install that were quickly answered by the crew a RMW. The directions with the kit are excellent. I did the conversion in my gravel driveway- a lift and garage would have been nice- but the gravel driveway worked just fine. I have about 2000 trouble free miles on the conversion-- seriously the best upgrade ever. I want to thank the entire crew- great stuff.

      Emmet Leahy Dec 8th 2019
    • 5
      Subaru Vanagon 4 cylinder kit

      The manual is written well with clear pictures that make this conversion very comprehensible.

      Matthew Glynnyoung Nov 6th 2019
    • 5
      Subaru/Vanagon 4 cyl. Conversion DIY Kit

      Eric Garner Aug 25th 2019

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