After thoroughly looking over this meticulously detailed 2,005cc VW engine from CB Performance, the burning question isn’t whether it deserves to go into a $100,000 restoration of a classic ’66 Type 2 van. The obvious issue is whether that iconic 21-window design deserves this sweet air-cooled 4-banger?
Engine builder Pat Downs started with a magnesium block and clearanced it for a 78-mm-stroke forged 4340 crank fitted with 5.5-inch rods. Bore is 90.5 mm and compression is 8.8:1. Lubrication is via a blueprinted 30mm oil pump.
“It’s our full-flowing oiling where we run an external filter,” says Downs.
The 043 VW cylinder head castings from Mexico are equipped with 40 mm intake valves and 35.5 mm exhaust valves. Stock ratio rocker arms dance to a 2250 Eagle Racing Cam that is CB’s custom grind with 258 degrees duration at .050-inch and .475-inch lift at the valve.
“The reason I use those heads is that they cool better than the 044s,” says Downs. “The VW bus has its own cooling issues.”
Topping off the engine is CB’s new Gen IV EFI system with 40 mm throttle bodies and 25-pound fuel injectors.
“It’s a fully sequential EFI with cam sync, idle-air control and crank-trigger ignition,” explains Downs.
One of the unique features of the Gen IV system is that it will handle up to four O2 sensors. Downs will tune the engine on the dyno using four sensors, then revert back to a single Lambda sensor when bolting on the A1 exhaust system.
“The injectors don’t always flow the same,” says Downs. “So I trim the injectors in the software to get each cylinder running the same air-fuel ratio. You don’t want to leave all four in the engine. If one fails, it throws everything off. In the single setup if the sensor fails, then the system goes into limp-home mode.
Helping dress up the VW engine are CB billet valve covers and pulleys, ceramic-coated exhaust, polished or satin hardware and “Hammer Tone” powdercoating on the fan shroud.
The engine pulled 140 horsepower at 5,200 rpm with peak torque of 147 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm.
“140 for this engine size is pretty good, especially knowing what its usage will be,” sums up Downs. “I could get a lot more power if we raised the compression and put a bigger cam. But this was purpose-built for exactly what this customer needed. In an early VW bus, you have to know they’re so limited in the amount of air that gets to the motor. You have to be very careful what you put in them.”