All engines installed in Volkswagen Type 2 buses from 1968 to 1979 were stamped with a serial number that contains a leading two-letter engine code. The code enables identifying the type of engine and serial id, as well as confirming if an engine was stock or a replacement one.
T2 buses from 1968 to 1979 were powered essentially by two types of engines, named after the vehicle type they were first introduced with: the Type 1 and Type 4 engines. Volkswagen vehicle types or platforms of the era were: Type 1 (Beetle), Type 14 (Karmann Ghia), Type 2 (Bus), Type 3 (1500/1600) and Type 4 (411/412).
While the engine designations follow the vehicle type ID, there were no Type 2 or Type 3 engines as such. Those vehicles did not feature new engine designs when introduced and used the already available Type 1 and Type 4 engines.
Within each class of engine there were variations such as displacement, fuel induction system and automatic vs. manual transmission, to name a few.
Type 1 engine (a.k.a. upright): the original engine that was introduced with the VW Beetle, and thus inherited its type designation. Up to 50 bhp and 1.6l displacement. Fuel delivery was either via single or double carburetors.
Type 4 engine (a.k.a. flat): first introduced with the Type 4 model and also inheriting its name, this bigger (and flatter) engine was provided more power and higher displacements with up to 70 bhp in 1.7, 1.8 and 2.0 litre configurations. Fuel delivery was either via single or double carburetors, and starting with model year '75 in selected markets via Bosch's L-Jetronic fuel injection. Also used in the Porsche 914, the Porsche 912E and the first generation of (aircooled) Vanagons.
This table can be used as a quick reference for bus engines. For more details and compatible engines in other vehicles, see the full tables below.
|1.6||B, C, AD, AF, AS||44, 46, 47, 50||Type 1|
|1.7||CA, CB, CD, CE||62, 66||Type 4|
|1.8||AP, AW, ED||68||Type 4||AP, AW carbureted; ED fuel-injected (USA)|
|2.0||CJ, GD, GE||70||Type 4||CJ carbureted (mainly Europe); GD, GE fuel-injected (mainly USA)|
|B0||35||47||1.6||08.67||07.70||Single carburetor||Type 1||Non-USA, USA/CDN|
|B5||35||47||1.6||08.67||07.70||Single carburetor||Type 1||USA/CDN||M-code 1571 for the Americas|
|C||32||44||1.6||08.67||07.70||Single carburetor||Type 1||Non-USA||Also known as C0|
|AE||37||50||1.6||08.70||10.72||Single carburetor||Type 1||USA/CDN||M-code 2402, 60 HP SAE gross|
|AD||37||50||1.6||08.70||07.73||Single carburetor||Type 1||Non-USA|
|AF||34||46||1.6||08.70||07.79||Single carburetor||Type 1||Non-USA||M-code 2402|
|AB||32||44||1.3||01.71||07.73||Single carburetor||Type 1||Non-USA (Italy)||M-code 2523|
|CA||49||66||1.7||08.71||07.73||Dual carburetor||Type 4||Non-USA|
|CB||49||66||1.7||08.71||12.73||Dual carburetor||Type 4||USA/CDN|
|CD||46||62||1.7||08.72||12.73||Dual carburetor||Type 4||USA/CDN||Automatic|
|CE||46||62||1.7||08.72||07.73||Dual carburetor||Type 4||Non-USA||Automatic|
|AP||50||68||1.8||08.73||07.75||Dual carburetor||Type 4||Non-USA|
|AR||32||44||1.3||08.73||07.75||Single carburetor||Type 1||Non-USA (Italy)||M-code 2523|
|AS||37||50||1.6||08.73||07.79||Single carburetor||Type 1||Non-USA|
|AW||50||68||1.8||11.73||07.74||Dual carburetor||Type 4||USA/CDN|
|ED||51||70||1.8||03.74||07.75||FI L-Jetronic||Type 4||USA/CDN, California||First bus fuel-injected engine on model year 74 for California. Model year 75 makes it standard for the rest of USA|
|GD||51||70||2.0||08.75||06.77||FI L-Jetronic||Type 4||(USA/CDN), AUS, S|
|CJ||51||70||2.0||08.75||07.79||Dual carburetor||Type 4||Non-USA||The Type 4 engine is first introduced in Europe on model year '76, see TM-7|
|GE||51||70||2.0||08.76||07.79||FI L-Jetronic||Type 4||USA/CDN, AUS, S||M-code 2514. Introduced hydraulic lifters for all model years and air/fuel ratio closed-loop control for '79 California models5. Model year 79 had square exhaust ports6.|
Other VW and Porsche models featured the same Type 1 and Type 4 engines as buses, with some differences in the crankcase (e.g. location of oil dipstick) and fuel delivery (e.g. D-Jetronic vs. L-Jetronic). In some cases, these engines can either be adapted or used as a drop-in replacement in a bus.
|CU||51||70||2.0||05.79||12.82||Dual carburetor||Type 4||Non-USA, S||Air-cooled Vanagon6|
|CV||51||70||2.0||05.79||12.82||FI L-Jetronic||Type 4||USA/CDN||Air-cooled Vanagon6|
|V||51||68||1.7||08.68||07.69||FI D-Jetronic||Type 4||Non-USA||---|
|W||60||80||1.7||08.69||07.73||FI D-Jetronic||Type 4||Non-USA||Shared case with Porsche 914|
|Z||51||68||1.7||08.69||07.73||Dual carburetor||Type 4||Non-USA||---|
|AN||63||85||1.8||08.73||07.74||Dual carburetor||Type 4||Non-USA||Shared case with Porsche 914|
|AT||56||75||1.8||08.73||07.74||Dual carburetor||Type 4||Non-USA||---|
|EA||---||80||1.7||??||??||FI D-Jetronic||Type 4||USA||M-code 249, shared case with Porsche 914|
|EB||---||72||1.7||??||??||FI D-Jetronic||Type 4||USA/California||Shared case with Porsche 914|
|W||---||80||1.7||70||73||FI D-Jetronic||Type 4||---||Shared case with Type 4|
|EA||---||80||1.7||72||73||FI D-Jetronic||Type 4||---||Shared case with Type 4|
|EB||---||72||1.7||73||73||FI D-Jetronic||Type 4||USA-Cal||Shared case with Type 4|
|EC||---||76||1.8||74||76||FI L-Jetronic||Type 4||USA-Cal||---|
|AN||---||85||1.8||74||75||Dual carburetor||Type 4||Non-USA||Shared case with Type 4|
|* 406nnnn *||---||??||2.0||75||76||FI L-Jetronic||Type 4||USA||---|
Early bus engines are Type 1, single-carbureted
Late bus engines are Type 4 in the USA, Canada, Australia and Sweden; dual-carbureted or fuel-injected. In most of Europe and other countries, they are generally Type 4, dual-carbureted, with some Type 1 exceptions.
Late bus engines with carburetors have a fuel pump hole in the lower right case half, whereas fuel-injected ones do not. The hole can be blocked for a carb to fuel-injection conversion, but not the other way round.
The aircooled Vanagons also featured engines with codes CT, CS and CZ. These were neither Type 1 nor Type 4 engines and never used on T2 buses, thus they are not on the list. They were a newly developed inline motor, which shared some similarities to its predecessors (oil filter, similar cooling, etc).
Knowing the engine code is not strictly necessary. However, if known it can be quite helpful in a number of situations. For instance, here's what the engine code will tell you –
If you are buying a new motor:
If you are replacing or installing a new motor:
If you are a new bus owner:
Ultimately the engine code is simply another tool to know better a particular motor and help taking more informed decisions about maintenance, prospective work, installation and purchase.
The engine number takes the following form:
[R] CC SSS SSS [X] [V]
There is an exception to this scheme in the Porsche 912E engines: the engine number has no leading letters, it is instead a 7-digit number with an 8-pointed star pictogram on each side. The number always starts with 406 and the four subsequent digits are the sequential serial number of the 2099 Porsche 912E vehicles that were ever made. The earlier Porsche 914 engines followed the standard VW engine code scheme.
Another exception can be found on replacement engine cases as opposed to complete replacement engines, whereby the original engine number would have been milled away and only the "recycle" pictogram and the two-letter engine code were stamped. That is, the original serial number was lost.
Picture used with kind permission from original author, The Samba forum member hawaii65Eedge
Some aftermarket engine rebuilders replace the stock VW engine code with their own numbering scheme. An example is, reportedly, the Dutch engine remanufacturer VEGE, who replace the original code with a riveted plate and a custom code.
The engine code table has been collated from multiple sources. All codes previously scattered through multiple locations have been aggregated into the table for easy reference, regardless of the engine's export country.