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"Can I put a VR6 in a 1988 Jetta?"

vdubmanvdubman Member Posts: 1
edited May 2014 in Volkswagen
I just got a 1988 Jetta for free that is in mint condition complete with the BBS wheels. I bought a 1998 VR6 complete with auto trans.,complete wiring and computer, and struts and axels. I am a do it yourselfer and really could use some help on knowing if this can be done, and what else I will need to complete the car.


  • defn1eardefn1ear Member Posts: 5


    Oh , Hell yes you can !!
    They live for it.
    Be ready to release some wallet $ filler $!!
    They fit these in golfs, rabbits etc.
    But Are you doing this for speed or just to have one running car?
    You didn't mention any specs, mileage of the motor, what u have and dont have,
    Line of credit :) etc.
    Keep in mind this is a lot of work , a super big detailed job and can be ultra-costly as well if you dont do some basics. This also could take a diy'er months.
    I would try to sack the auto trans with a manual, and inspect every inch of the VR6. Whats the sense of upgrading a motor for speed and keep the heavy slow auto? (my opinion only)
    Before even considering a swap You should be checking out the internals of the vr6 first, be ready to spend a few bucks !!! The head, pistons, crank, gaskets etc. I mean for piece of mind it should be top to bottom reviewed.
    And while you have it apart port, polish & clean everything. Visit this site to get an idea of what u are getting into. Financially & the workload ahead. And make sure you log & photograph everything to post on VW Vortex so others can benefit. ;)


    A Friend in South Florida,


    Ps Like I said you didn't mention all specs, whats really wrong with the 98 but can it be salvaged?
    Leave the motor in it, build it up 1st and down the line drop a 1.8 L turbo 20 valve engine in the 88!
    A tad lighter than the vr6.
    Then you have 2 fast-[non-permissible content removed] VWS! MK2 + MK3 !
    Unless its a complete wreck (98) than I would transplant.

    Dont forget to have fun!
  • defn1eardefn1ear Member Posts: 5

    You'll need this for sure,
    My favorite auto parts seller, They are thorough, Have good prices and they are uniquely efficient. There in NY so I get my stuff rather quickly. They respond to tech questions ultra fast too.


    Have Fun,

  • wisdom695wisdom695 Member Posts: 1
    will the motor mounts and everything match. because i baought a 97 that was wrecked and the motor seems to be fine. i want to do a motor swap out of the wrecked one into my 95 jetta gl 2.0. does anyone know if it will work??????
  • jdmcivicjdmcivic Member Posts: 3
    It's a hard, long, complicated, expensive job.

    What needs to be done?

    Well, to get the motor to work, you need to convert to 5 lug hubs in the front. You'll probably want to do itto the rear too, although it isn't necessary. Now is a good time to ditch the rear drum brakes in favor of discs.

    The VR6 is heavier, so you'll need a stronger suspension setup.

    The VR6 runs a hydraulic clutch, the 2.0 is cable. Switch that. The VR6 uses cable shifter, whereas the 2.0 is mechanical (and pretty brilliant).

    Stock guages won't worl with the new ECU.

    There is a long list of thing that need to change to make it work.

    the good news is, if you can find a head from the new 2.0T FSI, you can put it on the bulletproof ABA and have yourself a monster. Beef up your differential before you blow it apart though.
  • reflex_tuningreflex_tuning Member Posts: 1
    What needs to be done?

    Well, to get the motor to work, you need to convert to 5 lug hubs in the front. You'll probably want to do itto the rear too, although it isn't necessary. Now is a good time to ditch the rear drum brakes in favor of discs.


    this is wrong. Stop telling people they need to swap to 5 lug. There is nothing wrong with drum brakes either, stopping wise compared to the small stock rear disc brakes are virtually the same
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Anytime you upgrade power, you will also want to upgrade your suspension and brakes as well. It just makes sense to do that. I'm not sure you need to go as far as swapping hubs, but I'd go with at least upgraded pads perhaps Hawk HP+ in the front and I'd look at some upgraded springs, struts and swaybars as well.

  • devon39devon39 Member Posts: 1
    Why would the manufacturer put 5 lugs on the vr6 if it didn't need it ..For one, the manufacturer is all for cutting manufacturing cost, and it would have been cost effective to just use 4 lugs..But It Isn't Safe! Paisan is totally right..The 2.0 suspension can not carry the weight of the vr6, it would be loose..and roll like crazy..I would upgrade to disc brakes...the faster you go the bigger your brake, otherwise you gonna run into trouble..I don't know anyone that would do a vr6 swap and NOT change the breaking system with it...Why would you keep drum brakes when you could have disc...even if money didn't permit, i would suggest you don't do the swap. until you can do it right .. As far as disc to drum..there are disadvantages and advantages..most of the stopping force is done at the front. About 70% of the work is done using the front brakes...so using stock rotors from a 2.0 for a vr6 swap wouldn't be smart..plus if you are ever going to upgrade the motor, performance wise, you will definitely need to upgrade braking suspension etc. as paisan suggested...peace out have a nice day
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