I sell the leading kit for DIYers to install a newer engine in their 83-91 VW Vanagons. It makes them faster, more reliable, more fuel efficient, and easier and cheaper to maintain.
Aside from everything you can read on this site, there's plenty more out there... don't just take a vendors word, do some homework here's a great example:
If you set your budget between $7500-$8500 for the whole project, finished and driving, you'll be fine. Unlike the other options where multi-thousand dollar cost surprise overruns are possible if you're unlucky, such overruns were designed out of the Bostig equation. There is no lower install or operating risk conversion option available.
No. The wearable parts are sourced according to instructions in the manual. This is because using these methods, it is faster, easier, and cheaper to source those parts directly without having me have to handle them and mark them up. In addition this was done since they are the parts you will maintain the conversion with down the road, and will know how to get them again!
See the "Engine call sheet" contained in the factory manual. The manual is in the docs area of the support section of the main site menu.
Yes. I have more musicians and academics as customers than car guys. The system is designed for novices, and is so simple and easy you will succeed. NOBODY has failed that has started a Bostig conversion, this is unique among the conversion options for DIYers. We've had shop classes, 10 year old kids, mobility impaired 76 year olds, and even a legally blind person (can't drive it, but did the install) complete the install successfully. It's actually very safe to say that if you cannot complete a Bostig, you really should not own a Vanagon. Common hand tools are the only requirement. The entire install process can be viewed by downloading the manual for free from the support section.
While it's possible and people have done both, I don't recommend it. It's the same amount of work as the conversion itself, and without all the help/docs. You need the watercooled trans for both, and other parts as well... it's just extra hassle that is best avoided unless you simply can't part with the van. But you'll need to find outside help for that portion of the install, as I don't support it.
I am moving production to a single group per year. RG7 was that group. RG8 for 2017 will start opening for deposits in the fall. There will a very limited number of reserve kits (extras that I build from RG7) available after May, but they cost $700 more than buying a kit through the group system. email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in trying to get one of them.