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The T3 came with various engine types as you can see in this overview from VW Bus Land :

Some people like to convert their engines to more powerfull ones. A common upgrade e.g. for the 1600 TD JX engine is an "ugrade" to the 1900 TD AAZ from a Golf. The problem is, this is hardly an upgrade. The JX was at the time a revolutionary engine. Whereas other diesel engines were low revving engines, the JX was a high revving engine. When putting in an AAZ you gain 5 hp and some Nm's (anyone's got the dyno chart for this engine to share here ?) , the car's topspeed drops with 10 km/h and the engine runs warmer all of the time.

Here's the chart from the JX engine, the 1600 turbodiesel with 70 HP :

A very good upgrade if you have a 1600 TD is adding an intercooler, like Oettinger did at the time.This not only gives more torque and hp's, it also makes the engine run cooler. Add to this a fresh 1600 TD engine block and a fresch turbo and it will feel you are sitting on a little rocket.

If you would e.g. consider a 1.9TDI conversion, giving you 90 hp and more, you have to consider you will need to put in a stronger clutch, make the 3rd and 4th gar stronger and longer and add oil cooling plates in the gearbox or you will ruin the gearbox. The longer gears you need to install because the TDI is also a low reffing engine. Like with a AAZ consversion this would otherwise result in a topspeed that's 10 km lower than before with an engine that will run a lot hotter.

Petrol engines

Most common petrol engines were the 1900 carburettor DG engine and the 2100 injection DH engine. The nice thing about boxer engines is that they give a lot of torque also at lower revs. That's why an upgrade to e.g. a golf gti is not always the best idea, these engines need to rev quite a bit higher. Here's the charts of the DG and DJ :

The sexiest VW engine was without any doubt the Oettinger 3.2 WBX 6 with 165 hp

. This engine i fitted in my orange doka when the 2.1 DJ broke :


If you want a higher topspeed you can swap the engine for a subaru boxer engine. The interesting thing about these engines is not only that they are boxers, but also that they rev higher. The thing is that you can put a 500 HP engine in a car, if it doesn't rev higher it will only result in a faster accelleration time, but your topspeed will remain the same !

If you put in e.g. a Subaru SVX, a 3.3 si cilinder boxer engine with 240 hp once fitted, you can rev it till 7000 rpm. If your top speed first was like 130 km/h, with an SVX you will be able to drive close to 200 km/h with the same gearbox ! 

Here's a conversion to SVX on a 1600 TD 16inch doka from Monaco, performed by Jean Louis Brion :