When our 1981 Westfalia’s old air cooled engine finally gave up the ghost we considered getting a replacement unit, but I had been reading a few articles about the Subaru conversion and the benefits gained. We essentially wanted to use our van to make frequent 600 mile round trips to Cornwall and also for excursions into the continent in the summer months. The extra power and better fuel consumption offered seemed to make a lot of sense.

This led me to make enquiries with Andy at the highly recommended TSR Engine Conversions and after speaking at length with him about the conversion my mind was made up this was the right way to go. When I went to pick up our new 2.0 16v Subaru powered bus I was so impressed by the quality of the conversion. It totally looks like that engine is just meant to be in that engine bay. As our van is lowered and originally air cooled we also needed a lowered sump and a radiator plumbed in up front, all of which again looks completely factory and meant to be. The guys at TSR have a wealth of experience and clearly know what they are doing.

The conversion has completely changed the driving experience with our van. No more do I get that sinking feeling whenever I see a hill looming up on the road ahead, it just takes everything in its stride. It happily sits at 70 mph on the motorways with a bit more in reserve. We also had a heater unit fitted by TSR at the same time as the engine conversion and can now experience the unfamiliar sensation of actual heat in the van during the winter months.

Recently we completed a 1300 mile tour of Scotland and the van never missed a beat. This is a level of reliability I am unaccustomed to with campervan ownership and plans are afoot to do similar miles in France next year. Without a doubt the conversion was money very well spent.

Andy Ross

My name is Ivan and in April 2008 Andy fitted a 2.2 Subaru unit in to my T25 high top camper to replace the poor worn out 1900 vw engine which was in there before. and while Andy had it, he fitted new brake discs and some lowered springs giving it a drop height of 40mm.

My van also runs on LPG which was what it was on before the new engine was fitted, so this had to be reconnected; Andy is not qualified to do gas so a trip and a weekend away was organised by me and a visit to Steve Shore of Gas Sure was sorted to reconnect things.

It's now been 4 years since the engine was fitted and bar the odd little thing going wrong as they do from time to time it has run well and has improved the fuel economy of the van and the speed. It purrs like a cat on tick over an when you rev it it makes a lovely sound from the exhaust although once some more spare cash comes along a stainless steel unit will be sourced for longevity.

The engine has done over 50,000 miles since I've had it and has given good testimony to these hard working but simple engines. So contact Andy and order one today, you and your van won't regret it.

Ivan Bullen.

While I was with some friends in Italy last year, we went to the Oemmedi Meccanica workshop in Montiafisconi, where we saw Fiat 500 cars fitted with Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini engines (see Youtube if you type in Oemmedi Lamborghini)

A friend of mine told me that the Subaru boxer engine would fit in my camper...

After my camper broke down on the way to the Lake District in September last year, I sent it up to you for some preliminary work before it's refit in March. I have now run the engine in and have at last sorted out the gear change problem that has plagued me since I picked it up. I have been so impressed with the standard of the work, the materials, the finish and the level of customer service. The engine is astonishing - it is so willing and able to propel the van forwards at amazing speeds. I love the look on other drivers' faces as they see a 42 year old type 2 closing on them and then passing them! The gearbox is superb - for the first time, I've been able to hear the radio and cd player when driving at more that 40 because the engine revs are now much lower. The brakes are among the best I have ever experienced. I still now question the performance of my own car brakes when I get back into it from driving the camper. The quality of the finish underneath the camper is fantastic. the underside has been painted prior to fitting the rads and the oil cooler, it looks brand new. All of the work has been carried out with care and obvious pride in the workmanship.

If there's a downside at all, it's in the heater performance. I can only get the hint of heat coming in to the cab - which won't do when the weather gets colder - but I still have the summer to sort it out.

The camper is now more than capable of keeping up in modern traffic and is destined to take part in a European road trip to Italy in June - I can't wait!

I am so impressed with the work and commitment that Andy and Kevin have shown to my camper. The finished job has exceeded even my wildest dreams. I am very happy for you to use any of these comments on your website and hope to see Hobson on your case studies page one day soon.

Glenn Lucas. B. Ed (Hons) NPQH

What a transformation! I can now cruise at normal motorway speed, with no fear of being rear ended on a steep hill by a lorry wanting to go 5 mph faster than i was. It has knocked 2 hours off a journey to Cornwall or the Lake District from sunny Norfolk, it hasn't missed a beat, no points to reset, no overheating, no oil leaks, no issues full stop! And it's more economical on fuel, I have just done a 2700 mile round trip to the Outer Hebrides over a month, and it performed excellently, everything I expected really.

The fit is of a good quality and coupled to a modified gearbox means nice cruising. Couple of things though are the oil cooler fan that runs constantly, but it does give it a nice sound that makes people in the know realise it is different to standard, now I am used to it it doesn't bother me. The other is when on a long journey because of no wheel sensors the ecu can have a headache which causes it to cut out, but by lifting off the throttle and reapplying it all comes to back to life, if you move the throttle regularly it is fine so little bursts, or throttle lift offs every 30 miles or so overcomes this, if your van is like mine they have quirks anyway you just get used to them.

I would highly recommend this conversion to anyone and wish I had done it years ago. In addition it may be a good time to get new wheel bearings and cv joints as the extra oommpphh exposed the weakness of the rather worn ones that were in mine for the last 15+ years, as I said at the start it transforms the van and brings it into the 21st century, cheers to Andy and the crew at TSR.


If you're like me and love old campers but not a fan of 55mph everywhere then scooby power is definitely the way to go! And TSR Racing are the place to go for the kit!

I have my 1979 bay window camper and bought a 1999 subaru legacy 2.0 non turbo manual after talking to Andy about the easiest and best one to go for and yeah my girlfriend Becky probably hates me from spending all my weekends and a few rainy winter nights outside working on it but its defiantly worth it having properly driven it!

Don't get confused thinking its a really hard conversion that will need months of fabricating as Andy sorts most of it out in his kit i managed to build mine outside my house with basic tools and decent drill and drill bits but at the same time don't expect it to be a easy bolt in kit my conversion took me 8 full days and a few hours here and there after work and if you do get stuck Andy is always able to help, will definitely recommend everyone does it!

Alex Blunt