Hello...'79 Bay Watercooled 5 speed only a bit different

Discussion in 'Modified Shizzle' started by Frisco, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Hi folks. First post... long story

    I'm at the start of a project to restore my 79 bay window bus. I've owned it probably 10 years now but with other projects and that it has just sat in storage waiting it's turn.


    There is a fair amount of bodywork to be done first but I'm in Ireland and it's an Irish bus which means it has seen little to no salt over the years. Now there are still plenty of holes but not to the extent some of you guys have seen especially given that I doubt she has seen a whole lot of love in her time before me.

    My aim is to make a holiday van out of it. Not a camper, more of a sitting room type thing where we can load into it head off to a campsite setup a drive in tent and use it as the kitchen. I have a 2 year old son and I want him to be telling stories about the years spent holidaying in it to his children.

    Now the big choice I've made is to go water cooled. I want a reliable 120-150bhp and 5 gears. I know I could get decent power out of a type 4 2.0 air cooled and fit a long geared 6 rib but none of those things are either plentiful or cheap over here in fact you end up paying far too much for completely untested stuff then more on a rebuild.

    I'm not going subaru.

    Choices are fairly limited when it comes to 5 speed. You've got the subarugears reverse pinion conversion which I can't help but think is overpriced. Yeah I know how much engineering goes into it but I still think they ask too much.

    Then there's the upside down Passat/A4 box. I'm not a fan. You have drive shaft angle issues, clearance issues and I wonder about gearbox oiling.

    Renault UN1? Way too much money.

    Then I find this epic thread.

    Now as epic at that build is it strikes me as too much work overall but the outcome is perfect and it got me thinking.
    I have 1999 honda CRV sitting there that I was going to sell and it has one of these in it


    An alloy block B20 non vtec 2.0 with 126bhp and the important part it rotates counter clocklwise. So mate that with an audi FWD gearbox and you get 5 forward gears and 1 reverse with the engine out the back.
    I picked up an Audi 90 5 speed box for the right price and an interface plate and flywheel will be made to mate the two together.

    Bodywork on the bus will start in the next month or so and I'll update as I go.
    Any comments welcome
    Flakey, Popsy, Merlin Cat and 8 others like this.
  2. Looks a great project - I'm sure a lot will be watching this thread with interest
  3. rickyrooo1

    rickyrooo1 Hanging round like a bad smell

    welcome, keep us updated sounds interesting.
  4. Hi, welcome from another paddy a few more and we'll be able to get our own "Techenders" going. looks like an interesting project.
    Merlin Cat likes this.
  5. Moons

    Moons Moderator

    What's the torque curve on that engine?

    I've seem a splitty with what is a Vauxhall VX220 lump in it, though it's an American version of that engine, that had a 5 speed box I think.

    Sounds like a great idea btw!!
    dazzaxjr likes this.
  6. We've run 2 CRV's as daily drivers. Still running one now until it sells.
    Great, reliable engines. Last one had 170,000 on it & the car still went for good money.
    B20B is better than B20Z, as the valve seats on these later lumps are a little soft & Honda recommend regular tappet adjustments so you can keep your eye on things on higher mileage engines.
    Cam belt change an absolute necessity as they are interference engines. It's quite straight forward but you'll need a special tool to hold the crank (or fab one) and a bloody great breaker/air gun as the nut is FT!
    We get up t0 33mpg BUT I drive it like the old bloke I am.
    Spirited driving would see a return in the mid 20's so bear that in mind if you are after economy. I seem to remember they don't generally respond to LPG conversions very well, so that may need some research if you're thinking about that in the future.
    However, that said it starts on the button and both cars have been Honda reliable. Interesting project...:thumbsup:
    vanorak and Surfari like this.
  7. Welcome to the forum fella!

    Keep us posted on your project, it should be an interesting conversion..good luck with it :thumbsup:
  8. whilst i've got no desire for a swap on my own bus, i'm intrigued by this approach so will be very interested to see how this pans out.
  9. Thanks for the welcome everyone.

    They put out 130ish lb ft which isn't ground breaking but for a honda is fairly decent. I'm not looking for anything blisteringly quick, I want something that will cruise at a decent speed on the motorway all day without me having to beat it to death.

    Same goes with the MPG really. If I get 25-30 out of it I'm happy.
  10. Moons

    Moons Moderator

    I think that's what I'm getting at as I assumed the vtec engines were quite revvy...fair play to you for the bolt experimentation...anything that negates the need for 6 rib boxes is a good thing to turn the prices back to reality!
  11. Quick question how you going to do the gear change as it will be backwards :thinking:
  12. The vtec engines are quite revvy with not a lot of torque low down. Not really what you want in a bus. The B20 isn't vtec, they needed torque for the 4wd CRV so they added the 200cc and lowered the revs.

    Gear selector direction isn't too big a problem. The standard setup has the gear stick fulcrum above the shaft. If the fulcrum is moved to below the shaft the action will be the other way round (the right way round)
    Easy to say although probably harder to do. Still though the theory is sound;)
    womball and rob.e like this.
  13. Terrordales

    Terrordales Nightshift Admin

    Hello & Welcome from The Colonial Contingent :hattip:
  14. Welcome aboard:thumbsup: looks an interesting project.
  15. I didn't know those engines ran counter clockwise. Useful to know.
  16. One Gearbox


    One scrap engine to use as a template. I don't want the strip the CRV if it's not going to work


    First hurdle is starter position. The engine would normally have it on the gearbox side and the gearbox would have it on the engine side so at the moment there is no mounting position for it. There is space where the exhaust would normally go under the sump though.
    this lot is going off to the engineers for a bit of thinking. We shall see what happens
    MorkC68 likes this.
  17. Cut a chunk of gearbox off a bay bellhousing (or another scrap gearbox that does have starter mounting) and get it welded into the audi bellhousing.


    Frisco likes this.
  18. Not a bad idea at all.
    I'll see if it fits in the adapter plate and go from there.
  19. Could someone move thins thread into the Restorations section please.
  20. Flakey

    Flakey Sponsor

    Welcome, good luck

Share This Page