Engine swaps aren’t always easy, but if you’re lucky, maybe the motor fits with just some custom mounts, and the shifter lines up just right. Needless to say, nothing lines up when you’re putting a Volkswagen VR6 into the trunk of an Acura Integra. In this case, not only are the car and engine completely incompatible, but the Acura Integra was never rear-wheel-drive. That’s only the beginning when it comes to custom fabrication on this project, though.
That presents a few problems that need to be solved if you want to weld together a vehicle like this, but they’re problems that this car’s builder, Daniel Shimp, solved. His Integra “Type VR” is a mashup that, if you took a look Shimp’s Instagram, would make you say, “Oh, that’s just Daniel, doing another Honda-Volkswagen mashup!” Not only has Shimp put together this odd combination of German and Japanese parts, but he’s also swapped a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from a Volkswagen Jetta into a Honda Civic, repainting the car to look like one of the classic “Harlequin” Volkswagens. But let’s talk more about this Integra.
According to his post history and YouTube Channel, this build has been going on for something like seven months and has only progressed to a driveable state relatively recently. And yes, he plans to add a firewall. If the engine throws a rod right now, it’ll hopefully end up in the passenger’s seat instead of…the alternative.
It wasn’t all fun and games getting this engine to fit. A lot of parts had to be modified to work together, like axles and shift mechanisms that were never meant to connect. If you’re curious about what he put under the hood now that the engine is missing, you can see a fuel cell has been added, and a few other parts are being kept there like the battery, master cylinder, and the Acura’s original radiator, which is plumbed back to the Volkswagen engine using extra-long hoses.
Also modified is the car’s rear suspension. Besides the aforementioned axles—half of which are sourced from a Nissan Altima—the engine swap was made possible by a series of other Nissan parts, including wheel bearings and rear brake rotors. In fact, this car is a smattering of parts from several vehicles. It has the front five-lug hubs from a Honda CRV, the rear brake calipers from a MK4 Jetta donor car, and a wiring harness from the same VW which has been massaged where necessary to play nice with the Acura.
While these custom-made parts might not be up to manufacturers’ standards, they’re a good deal better than what you’d probably find on the SEMA show floor. Plus, if all anyone ever cared about was the quality of welds, most projects like this would never get anywhere close to done, and professional welders would have nothing to comment on. What a shame that would be.
So while this project may be an unlikely matchup, it’s an interesting one at the very least. Shimp says the car retains features like heat, windshield washers, and its sunroof, which seems to imply this car will be something of a daily driver. And that, dear reader, is pretty sweet.
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