i have an 86 vw cabriolet and i am looking into doing an engine swap. my question is what is the latest vw model that i can engine swap with?
Your Cabriolet has the CIS-E engine management system. That limits you to engines prior to OBD-I. I would recommend a late-80s GTI engine. With good cam, header/exhaust and cold-air-intake, 130 hp is not unreasonable. Any newer engines would require upgrading the ECU and injection system as well....very expensive. If money were no object, you could squeeze a VR6 in there...all depends on how much you wanna spend.
If you are willing to do a lot of electrical integration you cad do pretty much anything. But a late 1980s 16 valve engine (from a scirocco) is a great upgrade. It does mean upgrading the CIS Fuel injection to CISe.
By the way CIS and CISe are not management systems. They are fuel injection systems only.
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