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Converting 1977 VW Campmobile to Carburetor

I’ve got a 1977 VW Campmobile that hasn’t run in over 6 years due to malicious acts against my Volkswagen from some local kids. I’m finally in a position to overhaul the engine and would like to get rid of it’s (now broken) fuel injection system in favor of a carburetor. I’ve been told by many people that replacing the current fuel system with a carburetor would greatly increase my usability of the vehicle as well as help me keep my sanity. I’ve done some research and even talked to a sales rep at Weber about both the WK297 and WK412, but am still unsure as to which carburetor I should get. Has anyone else here converted their 2000cc type 4 pancake engine to a carburetor and if so, which is the best? I live in Florida currently, but plan on relocating to Wyoming in a few years. I’m looking for a carburetor that has minimal hesitation and can better handle the cold weather of Wyoming. I am sure that I will be converting the engine over the next 2 weeks while I rip it down and overhaul it, but I just don’t know which carburetor will work best for me and my bus. Any suggestions or input will be greatly appreciated (even on the process)!

You will probably be better served by asking this sort of question at a VW bus forum. Try http://www.lovemybus.com/forum/index.php

I agree with MG, you probably could count on the fingers of one finger the folks here who have replaced the fuel injection system on a Campmobile with a Weber.

Me, I’d repair the fuel injection, especially because you’re going to a cold weather state. Running correctly, factory fuel injection is often better than carbs, no choke required, etc. But a web site like MG’s, or thesamba, or vwvortex would have folks with LOTS of experience to give you opinions.

The reason VW went to fuel injection is to improve running, mpg, and pollution requirements that were part of that era of auto history. The FI system isn’t too bad, but can be problematic in old age. Putting carb’s on these buses was very common. They could improve performance and run fine, but they are “dirty” as far as pollution standards are concerned.

So, before you do anything - what are the smog requirements for this '77 bus in Florida and Wyoming? If this bus is so old that there won’t be any emissions testing as a requirement to register the bus then move forward with a carb set up. If there is going to be emissions testing I don’t believe it will pass with a carb. These motors were very dirty motors as far as emissions and a carb doesn’t do anything to help reduce emissions.

The vapor controls are so poor on these things you can smell them after they pass by. Before you spend money and time on this thing, do some research to determine emissions testing status of this vehicle.

If you do go for a carb you will get decent performance, but poor mpg. With ethanol gas you will get 15 mpg or less in city and 20 at best on the highway. The ethanol isn’t kind to all the rubber in the many fuel lines that VW seemed to find necessary for this bus. Good performance for this bus is about 0 to 60 in about 25 seconds. I have a fondness for these old buses, but they are very unsafe, very ungreen (likely you’ll be one of the biggest polluters on the road), and very slow. As a daily driver not much going for an old bus, short of nostalgia.

I vote for a subaru flat 4 swap, mileage and performance will be dramatically improved.

Find out if the van will be smog “exempt” due to age.
If it does need to get smogged, it will quite possibly fail the visual inspection.
The reason will be that you’ve “tampered” with it, unless you can convince somebody to “just pass it”

I’d be inclined to put in an improved fuel injection system rather than a carb. If one is available that is. I guess the first place I’d look is that VW magazine called “VW World” or something like that. They have advertisers that sell this kind of stuff, for re-invigorating older VW’s. I expect there is an electronic fuel injection retrofit available if you search around, if so, that’s the way to go I think. I think you are right to junk-out your CIS FI system. But don’t go backward, go forward.

I drove my Aunt’s VW bus (1978 model in 1979) It was the only vehicle I’ve ever driven that actually scared me. If you’re going to be driving this thing that far, and since you’re doing serious work on it, look into suspension upgrades.

@DrRocket - aw, c’mon, what’s not to like? Minimal hp? Extreme sensitivity to side winds? Your legs being the front crumple zone? Gotta love it!

Visit www.thesamba.com.
Those guys are experts at aircooled VWs