1968 Commer Wanderer - Saab 2.3 turbo


New Member

Bought in 2018, I quite quickly realised it's a little too slow for me to fully enjoy taking it on camping holidays so decided to engine swap it.

The aim was to end up with a capable cruiser that could sit at 65+ all day, uphill, in to a head wind, passed lorries etc etc without the engine sounding like a dentist drill

It's currently powered by a 1997 Saab 2.3 turbo, B234 engine.
Transmission is an ECU controlled Vauxhall Omega AR35 4 speed with lock up torque converter
Rover P5b rear axle with 3.54 diff ratio and VW T5 rear shock absorbers
Custom everything in between to make it work!

As it is I'm currently carrying out some rust repairs which has included a whole new floor aft of the rear wheel arches. This has included a combination of Martin Malta's brilliant repair panels and shert steel of my own

I've got a small issue where the autobox ECU isn't communicating with the engine ECU and the transmission isn't changing gear. I'm confident I've found a solution and hope to be driving with all functioning gears within the next few weeks.

These pair have the same engine I don't plan on tuning the Commer to the level the Scimitar is at but I'm aiming for 200-250hp with the Commer

I've got a front disc brake solution in mind using 280mm discs.


I've had to cut in to the rear of the van approx 150mm as the engine is longer but it's such an insignificant amount it doesn't affect rear space. Height wise the engine is taller but due to the 1725 having a downdraft carb the engine cover is overall lower than standard. This means I can get rid of the irritating lump the Wanderer bench seat has in the centre of the back rest that ruins the bed.IMG_20200626_215650_831.jpgIMG_20200826_132602.jpgIMG_20200827_181238.jpg

Hopefully the pictures worked. I'll update as I go along. If you'd like to see more I'm on Instagram under LivingMyBoostLife.


Retro Andy

Well back on the site and buying parts. Got a say, bloody marvellous mods on your van. Get in the outside lane of the motorway a sap and start flashing cars out the way :)


New Member
Still at a bit of a cross roads with the transmission control, stock transmission controller will not select gears for me so I'm contemplating going standalone for it.

But I've driven it a bit with the gears selectable manually and it bloody flies