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Thread: Volkswagen Powered Build - R30 VR6

  1. #1

    Default Volkswagen Powered Build - R30 VR6

    My previous chapter can be found here:

    The Honda drivetrain has been an interesting development process. The engine itself, has been mostly reliable. But, I want something with a better exhaust note.

    Enter the Volkswagen VR6. Having already done one custom drivetrain swap into the Noble, I feel like this process will be much easier.
    There's a UK-based Noble with a VR6 and DSG gearbox swapped in, but isn't working -- yet.
    Since my Honda drivetrain is working, I am not super eager to tear it all apart just yet. So, this will be likely a 6-12month process.

    New Setup List:
    2004 Touareg VR6 3.2 short block (acquired) with a 2001 Jetta GLI 2.8 crank (acquired)
    Reuse the 3.2 connecting rods
    JE 84.5, 11.5:1 Pistons
    ARP headstuds
    ARP rod bolts
    Supertech Valves
    Supertech Valve Springs
    Supertech Retainers
    Supertech Seats
    Supertech Keepers
    Custom intake manifold
    Custom turbo manifold
    GTX35R Gen 2 1.06 AR Turbo
    Quaife Sequential Gearbox for the Kseries adapted to the VR6 (hardest part of the engine build)

    Bare minimum, make the same ~600whp I'm making with the K24.
    Upper limit, 800whp if the turbo can make it.
    8500rpm rev limit

    I could go with the DSG like the UK based Noble is doing, but then I would lose out on having a clutch and manual, which makes the Noble rather unique... a rather exotic/supercar with a manual. So, I'm going to try to adapt the sequential I have from the Kseries to the VR6. It should be able to handle the torque.

    I'll update as I progress. My winter project is to disassemble the VR6, replace everything, and put it back together, ready for some anger next year.
    Last edited by Driven; 03-07-2023 at 09:53 AM.

  2. #2


    I didn’t realize that the narrow 6 was used in so many models. I had to Google the short blocks and man, this is an attractive idea. Did you already know the ins and outs of these engines (like which crank to go for), or are you having to figure out more than usual as you go through this one?

    Hope you’re able to nail down the transmission and shafts.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by ConSynX View Post
    I didnít realize that the narrow 6 was used in so many models. I had to Google the short blocks and man, this is an attractive idea. Did you already know the ins and outs of these engines (like which crank to go for), or are you having to figure out more than usual as you go through this one?

    Hope youíre able to nail down the transmission and shafts.
    I've been basically researching it as I go along. Checking, re-checking, and verifying. Painful, but I'm learning new stuff, which can be fun.

    This will be for US only, to simplify.
    Basically, there are two generations of VR6s... 12v and 24v.
    The 12v was only 2.8L with a bore of 81mm and a stroke of 90.3mm
    The 24v was 2.8L, 3.2L, and 3.6L ... with bores x stroke of 81mm x 90.3mm, 84mm x 95.9, and 89mm x 96.4mm.

    The 2.8-3.2L blocks are nearly identical to one another, while the 3.6L changes it up slightly.
    The 3.6L is a 10.6' vee while the rest were 15'.

    So, with that basic info out of the way... a R30 is basically a 84mm x 90.3mm engine, which is what I'll be building.
    I snagged a 2004 Touareg engine, which has the forged crank and rods, is a 3.2L, and is basically the same as a GTI R32 motor, with some differences in mounts, oil pan, and oil pump.
    The crank, I found from a '03 Jetta. If you're doing what I'm doing, you basically want any 2.8L crank, doesn't matter if it's a 12v or 24v. You then swap out the 12v crank trigger wheel (3-4 bolts) and attach a 24v trigger wheel.

    Drop it in, bolt up your rods, get some custom pistons, and boom... R30 with something like a 8.5CR.

    I torn down the engine, that way I can get it cleaned up, inspected, and have a fresh starting point to rebuild on. Additionally, I wanted to have a bare block so I can start working on the gearbox and flywheel adapter.
    I found a Honda bellhousing / clutch cover at the local junkyard that I am using to verify everything will work. Also grabbed the input shaft, the honda flywheel and clutch. That way, I can keep my Kswap running while I mess about with building the adapters.

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    Here's a test fit with a cheap adapter I found online. This adapter is for a Honda jseries to Honda kseries trans. I picked it up cause it at least got me the bolt pattern down for the Kseries, and I could redrill for the VR6 as needed. Eventually, I'll have an adapter made.

    The goal is to make sure I position the Kseries gearbox exactly (or within 20mm) of where it lives now, that way I can reuse my driveaxles.
    Weirdly enough, the VR6, crank bolt to back of the block is 482mm. K24A2 is 508mm from crank to the back of the block.

    With my current design, the flywheel adapter is 37mm thick, which puts the gearbox adapter at least 37mm thick, and thus makes my engine combo at around 519mm, or 10mm more than the Kseries.

    Easy enough though, as I have about 50mm to work with on the right side of the engine bay to move the engine, to make sure the gearbox is still set in the same spot. I may need to make some custom accessory mounts though, as the accessories might hit the upper control arm mount.

    Otherwise, the engine I sourced is pretty dirty. A decent amount of sludge exists in the head. I don't think the previous owner took very good care of their Touareg.

    Anyways, parts collection is still happening, albeit slowly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    West Creek Nj
    Rep Power


    I try to jump on the site to see what you have going on with this build. Great write up!

    To give you an idea my ecoboost build engine has these measurements. I did go to dry sump to lower the engine though. I was close on the passenger upper. control arm mount alsoName:  15732113_10207909070863937_5021068181903726434_o.jpg
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  5. #5


    If anyone had any concerns, yes, the VR6 will fit in the chassis without any modification to the rails.

    The VR6 I am using requires a 43mm adapter to fit the Kseries trans. Even with that, the drivetrain fits neatly between the rails.
    The VR6 gearboxes (either DSG or 02M/manual) are shorter than the Kseries trans, but slightly wider -- so they will definitely fit.

    The next step for me is to get the flywheel adapter I had 3d printed to be CNCed, then finish up the gearbox to engine block adapter.
    Once that's done, I can work on making a spacer for the intermediate shaft for the axles and the biggest hurdle will be complete -- having the engine and gearbox talk to each other.

    Parts I have so far:
    - Haltech Elite 2500 ecu
    - R32 short oil pan, baffled
    - steel crack pipe (coolant crossover tube)
    - Oil relocation kit
    - Main bearing kit
    - Thrust bearings
    - ARP Main bolts

    I want to get the bottom end completed over the winter, but I still need pistons.

  6. #6


    Opted to go a different route with this.

    I'm ditching the idea with using the Kseries transaxle for this and keeping everything VW. Will be sourcing a 6spd manual box for the build. This will simplify the transmission adapter piece, but will make the axles a bit more interesting. This is assuming I can get custom axles built for Rx8 outers to VW inners.

    All bottom end components have been ordered. Will send the block out next week to be cleaned, bored out .5mm and have the crank inspected/journals polished.

    For those curious, early estimates for budget is around $15k.

  7. #7


    Thank you for the updates, this is very interesting.

    Will continue to follow as updates come in.

  8. #8


    Internal bits are coming together.
    Attachment 12990

    Pistons and valvetrain acquired.
    Still looking at which cams to go with (possibly Techtonics Tuning 264s).

    Sending the block to get cleaned, decked, bored/honed this week. Will also have them inspect the crank and polish as needed.
    Next week, will do the head.

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