Type 25 Starter Motor / Radiator Pipe Clearance
The radiator pipes on a Type 25 are generally in the right location For Subaru conversions, especially if a reversed coolant outlet manifold is fitted to the engine. However, there are three variations on the layout of the pipes, some of which can create clearance problems with the starter motor. In all cases a direct drive starter will be better, but is not necessarily essential.
The three variations in VW T25 radiator pipes, and the effects they have on Subaru starter clearance are as follows are:
1. Two short pipes, which stop just in front of the axle.
Used on Syncro’s, and maybe others. These clear all types of Subaru starters, and provide plenty of room for the pipe work, regardless of which type of starter is used. This is the best of the three pipe arrangements for use with Type 25 Subaru conversions. It will be very slightly neater if a direct drive starter is used.
2. One long and one short pipe.
The radiator return pipe (LH when viewed from behind) stops above the axle, while the feed pipe(RH when viewed from behind) comes right to the engine bay bulkhead. When fitted with a reversed coolant outlet manifold, these clear all Subaru starters.
Note that the long pipe is the radiator feed, and may need shortening to get a hose between it and the reversed manifold. The gap between the reversed coolant manifold and the radiator feed pipe should be at least 100 mm, so there is enough rubber hose between to flex as the engine moves on it’s rubber mounts. A direct drive starter will provide more room.
3. Two long pipes, both of which come right to the engine bay bulkhead.
There is insufficient space for a gear drive starter. A direct drive starter will fit, but the radiator feed pipe will still need shortening if a reversed coolant outlet manifold is used. If the return pipe is shortened too, then enough room for a gear drive starter can be made to fit. See the short pipes above.
The gap between the reversed coolant manifold and the radiator pipe should be at least 100 mm, so there is enough rubber hose between to flex as the engine moves on it’s rubber mounts. A direct drive starter will provide more room.
NOTE 1: A gear drive starter fouls on the radiator feed pipe, as shown here.
NOTE 2: The reversed coolant outlet manifold in the photo is connected to the LH pipe, which is usually the return. If you plumb your conversion like this, remember to swap the two radiator hoses over at the front. Note too, that there is an insufficient length of rubber hose between the reversed manifold and the VW pipe to allow for engine movement. Leave at least a 100 mm gap to bridge with rubber hose to avoid over stressing the pipe work.