recon engine?

Hello, any advice gratefully recieved.

I think the van has decided its time to test me; one job after another.

I have a 1.6 campervan. The engine is leaded. The cylinder head has cracked, what do you think? I have heard that replacing this on the engine might uncover enough other problems to make a replaced recon engine more worthwhile. I will not have the time, energy and probably skill to do it myself so i will be getting someone esle to do this.

I have a rough idea that john forbes would be around 800 plus vat plus other parts (not a definate quote yet), are there other alternatives that can be recommended?.

thanks for now.

£945 for a Vega reconditioned 1600 twin port engine. It will be good for unleaded too. I reckon this would be the way to go, especially if John Forbes is quoting you £800 + VAT just for labour.


thanks for that, i was thinking of the vege…but the quote from forbes includes a recon engine, whereas the vege does not include fitting. I don’t want it cheap and bad (tho to be fair to forbes i have been pleased with any work he has done for me) but i do need to reduce costs!

thanks anyway

Also consider Laurie Pettit.
Google him for contact details.

Laurie is your best bet for a good price. On a different point, most engines are capable of taking unleaded if they are post 1968, although it will depend on whether someone has, fitted cheap quality replacement cylinder heads in the past. Cracked heads are common in campers as the engine has to work a lot harder and tends to get hotter as a result.

cheers for the advice, i am slowly selling my stuff on ebay to be able to afford this!

until next time!

I guess if the £800 quote includes a recon engine then that’s not bad at all. I thought this was just labour. Not sure if Vega are the best ‘off the shelf’ recon engines about, there is also Remtech too. Maybe a post on some of the other forums would answer this.

I have heard about Laurie Petite and it’s all been good. The advantage of getting someone to rebuild your existing engine rather than an exchange off the shelf recon engine, is that you can get it tailored to your needs.

Have you considered looking for a bigger engine, like a type 4? These engines are much more suited to campers, especially the 2litre. The 1600 is a bit under powered for a loaded up camper. This is probably why you have a cracked head in the first place.

I guess you are at a bit of a cross roads at the moment, you can either get your van back on the road quickly and go for a cheap off the shelf recon. Or if you had the time you could look for a type 4 engine to rebuild, or speak to Laurie Petite and see if he could build you an engine that is more suited to your needs.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.



one of the stands at the show will be mr laurie petitt he is willing to rebuild someones engine over the weekend so if someone is looking for an engine rebuild on a 1600cc aircooled engine contact to make arrangements you will have to pay for the rebuild but you will get to drive your knackered engine to biggar and drive away in a recon. Laurie will be displaying all his work so you will be able to see it all!! This has to be a first at a vw show so be the first and get in contact with Laurie 01890781664

just an update: thanks for the info:

I can’t stretch to anymore than an upgrade so it’s a 1600 recon. Also it seems that John Forbes uses Laurie so I thought that since he is using the person who gets some recommendations i’d just be lazy and stay in Edinburgh with John! rather than travelling to eyemouth. The Biggar show seemed tempting but I have a trip planned before that - maybe i don’t get old campervans…you shouldn’t PLAN anything!

It’s good to know about the options though, it helped me with the thinking process.


Let us know how you get on, final cost etc. Always useful to know these things in case it happens to you :o