VW Mulitvan with Subaru Swap - Hard Core Racing

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VW Mulitvan with Subaru Swap

1986 VW T3 van (also called vanagon, bulli) - our first project and the reason why HCR was made. There was a desire to install a more powerful engine so that the van would be able to integrate into nowadays traffic flow.

While searching for engine options that would be suitable for this project, the choice led to Subaru four-cylinder boxer engine. During the project, we faced the commonly accepted opinion of the car society that this engine is a bad choice because of its technical problems. Investigating this topic further we understood that there are two main problems – engine main bearings excessively wearing-off and head gaskets unable to bear the increased load.

Trying to find out how to avoid these certain problems we came to the conclusion that in the nearest area there is no solution to prevent these problems. That’s why we attempted to do it by ourselves with the equipment we had.

As it happens with this kind of car project, things fast got out of control and now the car’s power is 6.5 times higher than the stock.


The problem of the main bearings wearing-off was resolved by line boring the crankshaft tunnel thus correcting it, this way ensuring very precise oil film thickness. The problem with head gaskets was solved by strengthening the wall of the cylinder (making block closed deck). This solution is applied in approximately 50 engines for street and competition cars.

This van’s rebuild was certified and it is fully legal for traffic use. It has traveled Europe and Scandinavia, been in the Hockenheimring F1 race track, driven steep serpentines in the Norwegian fjords, participated in a drag race competition, and surprised many powerful car owners in everyday traffic.

It is more than ready to go on its next adventure with its powerful and reliable Subaru boxer engine!

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Company “HCR” has signed an agreement with Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) on Incubation support within the framework of the ERDF Project No. “Regional Business. Incubators and Creative Industries Incubator”.
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