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Why RAT?

There are many engine companies out there, so why choose us?? What sets us apart???


The ONE thing that separates the AIRCOOLED VW/ Porsche from every other car on the road is the uniqueness of its engine! The cold hard truth is that your vehicle is only as "good" as its engine. If your engine is substandard, the rest of the car also is!

In this text I will go over a few of the things that have set us apart from the rest. These things range from being very simple to very detailed and ultimately, what has formed us into an establishment without a single competitor! In the end I will go through a question and answer session to help familiarize you with the things that have created this ability for us, and what keeps the edge of our sword razor sharp. You’ll see why anyone who intends on being even faintly considered our competitor should be ready for 18 hour work days from the start.

The Typical RAT customer:

The customers that choose our services for complete engines all have one thing in common; they are willing to spend their money wisely and want someone to work with that will not only build their engine but also offer them sound advice on the rest of their project. These customers generally appreciate the effort that I have put into my engine program and ultimately the engine I will create for their vehicle.

Our customers, more times than not are not "do it yourselfers" with their vehicle. Most of our customers are professionals in their own field and are wise enough to leave the building of their dream car to specialists in their own field of the automotive industry.

In short, most customers choose our services because they don’t want risks of spending money with no return, or they have already been burned by someone with a shiny ad. Our perfect potential customer has an open mind, thinks outside the box and isn’t one to beat around the bush- Just like me. 

First off:

You can and should read our “About us” pages on this site and pay close attention to them, I have spent a lot of time making these pages so my customers know me like a friend, know our history and our backgrounds. You deserve to know as much about us as possible so do searches on your favorite search engine and you’ll get tons of feedback, and 98% of it will be positive. This positive feedback from search engines and online forums should speak volumes about our success rate with our endeavors, especially when you type in the names of other establishments in our industry that try to “Just get by”. Try these searches on, and yahoo and the others. Also don’t forget the online forums listed on our links pages where searches can be performed to see literally thousands of posts about us and our products and once again their success rates from full Street, to full race. Keep in mind as you peruse these forums and web pages that attaining this level of success, especially on the internet is not easy and is indicative of dedication and honesty more than anything else.   Just type "Jake Raby" into Google and that should answer most of your questions.

We do nothing else:

More and more these days the aircooled industry is being overcome with guys who work part time in their backyard after a normal work day at a better paying job. This is not us! We are all full time aircooled specialists that barely have enough time for sleep, let alone another job! We are not open to the general public without an appointment. We provide 100% complete, turnkey aircooled engines ranging from Vintage to dual purpose street, to full race. I believe that specialists are good at one thing and that we should all stick with that one thing when we are lucky enough to find it- we found ours at a very early age. Consider us as being the “Cardiologist” of the VW and Porsche of yesteryear, as we work on the heart of these cars and do so with a level of passion and dedication that almost seems unbelievable! What makes the VW and Porsche unique is the aircooled engine, what makes us unique is what we do to unlock these engines and their capabilities of added performance, cooler running, broader power bands all without losing reliability or longevity.

We are not mass producers - No engines on the shelf!

Since the very day I returned from my tour in the US Marines, I have been unable to keep an engine on the shelf. After my first year of being back in the VW world full time I realized how blessed I was and just how much I never wanted an engine on the shelf, it wasn’t part of my plan. Engines that are “Off the shelf” are as generic as a Burger from a fast food joint that is warmed up in a microwave and served warm for 3.99. When you buy generic, you are not getting what you want, but merely getting what someone has scraped up from pieces that were probably available cheaper to maximize profit. If you have the opportunity to buy an engine off the shelf, wonder why its there and if the builder’s talents are desired enough for him to have a backlog. When you are good at what you do, work finds you and cheap prices are not needed to sell what you have; in fact today we find ourselves with hefty backlogs with virtually zero advertisement.

Since our engines are all configured and built for a known application the customer benefits tremendously. The downfall to this is that each engine has a bare minimum of 80 hours of accumulative labor put into its existence from configuration to dyno and even proper crating, this creates a wait of up to 12 months at our peak of our busy season, with a general wait time of 6-8 months. The backlog for our engines is not normally an issue with our customers as they have a long term project, or they are willing to wait for our efforts. This sometimes helps with large projects that are more expensive as the customer has more time to save funds and prepare their car for our awesome engine.

We have no "Clock" in our facility.

Come visit us and you'll see that the above statement is absolutely true!! We refuse to rush to make deadlines, and we refuse to cut corners to save time. We do not have expedite fees to speed up the process, as it cannot be sped up- it takes time, period. Read our pages on ordering if you wish to see our processes that I have perfected for a flawless, well communicated purchase of one of our engines, built by us especially for you.  I believe that it is impossible to rush success, but entirely possible to rush failure! Haste makes waste~

We are not a huge corporation

 I have chosen to keep my business small and our volume lower and increase our quality. Our customers are NOT numbers to us, they have names and are our friends after the invoices are paid and they are motoring along with our names signed on their engine. Everything we do here is in small scale, we take our time and do things right. I deal with my customer’s one on one from the initial email to filling out their shipping documents and only have an assistant (Dean Jones) to assist me with the admin side of the company. This ensures that you won’t become forgotten about as every engine we build is serialized, and all records (including internal engine blueprints and specifications) are logged in our extensive database for future reference. Customers from 5 years ago call me up and are amazed that I remember their engine and their name. 

We have no standard engines:

The fact that we are willing to refuse to do mass production work to do custom work is special in it’s self, and non standard
prices come with that. We build what YOU need, based on previous engine jobs and our own experiences with the engines. If you are interested in an engine, look over ALL OUR PLOTS and our performance ratings that we have devised for our most popular and most effective engines and choose a few that “turn you on”, these pages took me days to write.… Then send us a submission form from our contact pages and the process begins, then Dean will set you up to talk directly to me so I can make an accurate quote and take notes for my proposal to you should you desire one of my engines. Don’t think that during this conversation that I’ll be pressuring you, or selling you on what we do. In fact, I refuse to sell a customer an engine the first time we talk!! Sleep on it, think about it for a week and get on our wait list then we’ll take a binder from you. My way of doing things is not the most profitable for me but it is the easiest, and the best for all involved. This method is by far the best for you and has built my reputation of customer service and loyalty to a level that is unparalleled- period.

Attention to detail:

As you look through this site, please take notice the attention to detail that I have tried to instill in its composition. This site represents me, and what I have had a lifelong dream of since the young age of about 10 years old, when I was caught drawing plans for my “dream shop” instead of doing my Math assignments in grade school. As a U.S. Marine I learned about attention to detail in uniform inspections where one overlooked string, or a smudged boot would make the difference between “pass or fail”, or sometimes one inaccurately torqued nut could cost a friend his life. What you see in this site, is also instilled into everything that passes through our doors, whether that’s a part, cooling system, transaxle, complete engine or a full power train combination. This alone, sets my establishment apart from any of the rest, as attention to detail, and judgment gained through experience is ultimately the key in unlocking almost every mechanical door that one may ever need to access.  

We are enthusiasts too:

That’s right, way before we were professionals we were toying with old VWs and Porsches for years. Matter of fact I initially started this business without even knowing it when I had my first paying customer for an engine rebuild at age 13! Being an enthusiast and running a business related to your hobby is a dream come true! This type of job is never boring to show up at day after day and we don’t lose our drive to complacency, even after some days that keep me here for 18 straight hours. I keep our work so very interesting through new advancements that it’s literally impossible to ever lose your desire. When employees here lose their desire, they lose their job because they no longer belong here. The same goes for me, because the day I’m not enthusiastic about being here, I’ll go back to working on aircraft and close my doors. Since we are enthusiast we share the same desire that our customers do and can relate to projects with our experiences and our own desires for our personal cars. When you call the others in our line of work, ask them if they drove a VW or Porsche aircooled vehicle to work today, if they say "NO"; start wondering just how dedicated they are, or if they “just work there”……. Look at our personal cars under the about us pages on this site and notice that all of them are test beds for our products and engines. We put ourselves and families in these vehicles and drive for thousands of miles. These are not race cars, and most of our engines are not race engines! 

Research and development:

These are two big words these days in our industry. These words coupled with overall TESTING of products is becoming more and more scarce as more and more companies just make something look good on paper, toss it into a shiny ad and throw it on the market. These people are what kill our industry and their methods create guinea pigs out of their customers. We see this more and more as the big companies toss out junk on the market at slashed prices in hopes to make the customer think that their “new and improved” product is the best thing since sliced bread. This is one reason that I decided years ago to research and understand the Type IV engine as the price gougers had not “preyed upon” it yet and I still had a chance to figure it out before they did (not to mention the fact that the reliability was tremendously better than a hopped up Type I). Well they still have not and as a result the type IV has not been plagued with the junk parts near as bad as the type I. If you tour our research and development pages you will see plainly that we do our own testing, our own development and we have the intestinal fortitude to share these results with the world for free, here on the net even though it constantly causes questions to fill our inbox. We test a lot of products sold by other companies that would or could find their way into our engines, and we do this on the dyno and in our personal cars. We are absolutely 100% without a doubt the leaders in type IV engine development and the parts that go along with this. The R&D that we do is very expensive, very time consuming and is not taken lightly here. All testing is done and noted many different ways and I look to many other individuals to gain my baselines for the test work. These people vary from back yard weekend warriors to full blown “rocket scientists” (literally). Our R&D is headed up by me and financed out of my own pocket, it is not cheap, and is many times not successful. Make sure to read our R&D pages extensively and understand that our R&D is not limited to what you see here, this is just recent and accurate data. We are currently employing ideas found in other modern performance engines successfully to the aircooled engines we build. I choose to refer to this as “Building tomorrows engines, today”. Look for much more R&D in the future as I expand my budget and time allocation for it more and more as each year comes. 

It’s all about function:

The testing, and development has taken our engines to a new level of “aircooled precision performance” as we continue to bust myths that have slowed our industry and develop ideas that will keep the aircooled engine alive in the 21st century. Knowing what works and what doesn’t allows us to set our customers up with known and proven combinations of tolerances and components that work with no guesswork. My shop isn’t about shiny ads, and things that look faster than they really are. We believe that VWs were made by the people for the people and above all practicality and simplicity with fit and function precede anything else. I still believe that engines are made to propel cars first and foremost and they must be able to do so with a high level of reliability with minimal unscheduled maintenance, for thousands of miles. Large amounts of attention to detail will create positive impacts on aesthetics and cosmetics! If you want something that will impress your friends that like shiny stuff, you probably need another engine builder. If you want something that is done right, tested, proven and ready to rip the seat tracks out of your floor pans with bone breaking, reliable power then you are where you belong. Shiny things are just like a “Dumb Blonde”, they are worthless except for staring at, and lack performance in most other aspects. Our best customer is one who drives his car to the show, and loves our work enough to trust it… (Don’t let me catch one of my engines in your car, while it’s sitting on a trailer, it should be towing a trailer not sitting on one!!!)

We build for efficiency:

People ask all the time, “How much power do your engines make?” and that question just blows me away! With an engine, any engine efficiency is the key! The higher the efficiency of the engine the more power it will make with less energy being exerted. This results in more power, cooler running, better tuning and all these lead to added reliability and longevity!
My way of configuration, coupled with electronic calculation software and plain old trial and error makes for a super efficient engine. Some people believe that the key to longevity is very little compression ratio, we do NOT! I have found that killing an engine's CR creates an inefficient, poor running, hard to tune, hot running pig that is worthless. Building each engine specifically for each customer allows me to put that engine in its happiest settings, for the given elevation, atmospheric conditions and application and tweak it into what the customer really needs, which is not all the time what actually he starts out wanting! My strong point is designing efficiently configured engines, and this has always given our sword the sharpest edge in the industry. This is how our 2270cc Type IV engines makes MORE power than a 2600cc counterpart with many more modifications, and does so smoother, cooler and longer. We have proven this time after time in street applications! Build for efficiency, and everything else will follow!



Do we build type 1 engines?
No, we do not create any engines based on the Type 1 platform. We create Type 4 based power plants that allow seamless integration into any previously Type 1 powered application.

Do we build partial engines, shortblocks or longblocks?
No, we only build 100% complete turnkey engines, designed to work as “well oiled machines” and to do so around the parameters that the customer needs. Longblocks and shortblocks can't be tested and therefore we do not work with them- at all.

Do we sell individual parts of our engines without a full kit or engine??
Yes, through my parts division located at . The Type 4 Store carries at retail, the majority of the non proprietary components used to complete our pedigreed engines. This includes cooling systems, engine kits and even our sealants.

Are our engines difficult to service later?
Absolutely not. Anyone that can service their stock engine can also service what we make the engine into. In many cases setting valves and etc is an easier task with our engines than it was stock. Each engine comes with specifications to assist with these settings as a standard. Our online forums and engine owner's lounges further support our customers after the engine is delivered and installed.

Are replacement parts hard to find?
Nope, most of them we keep in stock should you need something.

Do I have to have a core engine?
No, cores are not mandatory. We have dozens of cores in our stock pile. Core searches for engines are fun sometimes, but when hassle and shipping overcomes the cost we could supply you a core for its not cool. We require engines cores for 912E, Porsche 356, Porsche 911 and Pinzgauer engines.

How long does it take?
Our typical backlog is 8 months. Sometimes we run at 10 months backlog, and have been to a 12 month backlog before. We have enough "bins" to keep track of multiple engines in process at once, but only one of them is being assembled at a time. The others are in various preliminary machining and configuration services.

Do we do installations of our engines?
YES WE DO!! Our new addion of "The Mountain Power House" is where we install engines to our satisfaction and then chassis dyno them to perfection. See the installation pages here for more info on how we can not only develop your power train, but also install, tune and field test it to perfection.

Are we open to the public?

If you'd like to take a tour of our facility feel free to email us one week in advance to set up your visit. We do not work weekend or Holidays and we do race, so Fridays and Mondays are not good times for a visit.
Otherwise, I have worked very hard to make this site be everything that any customer of ours could ever need to understand what we are about. Our reputation is flawless and can be seen in many different places online as well as from our customer testimonials.

How do I get the engine shipped?
This is super easy and not difficult at all. All of our engines are shipped to their respective addresses, direct pick up is not a possibility as we have no local clients. Please see our pages on shipping to see about shipping us your engine, or getting your new one shipped to you!

Do we do machine work?
Yes, we can handle any machining that you can imagine, send us an email for more details. We do accept machine work on a case by case basis and reserve the right to critique components before accepting them for our procedures. Sometimes we are simply too busy to accept any outside work, so if we can't work with you please understand why.

Do we build only race type engines?
Absolutely not! Our biggest emphasis is on street engines made to last with high reliability and durability. We build most of our engines to be “dual purpose” meaning they are reliable and clam enough to drive daily, but powerful enough for a weekend at the track or drivers ed event if you have a Porsche. We do build some full race engines, primarily for our own Motorsports activities, but we just do them to put our R&D to work and for fun.

Do our engines have a warranty?
The engines are covered by a warranty only while they are under our control, in our dyno cell. When the engine leaves my hands I have no control over it, and how it is driven, or most of the time abused. We provide every engine with extensive dyno testing for free to prove its integrity and if a problem exists that would be a warranty repair, we find it before it leaves the shop and it is repaired with no questions asked for free. Engine builders that haven’t had a failure, have not built enough engines! Our dyno has proper instruments and we have the needed knowledge to spot issues before they happen. We support our products but do not depend upon a piece of paper to do so. Written warranty’s are worthless and are used as selling aids for those who lack a strong enough reputation to gain customers without one.

We are human and we are working with modified engines 100% of the time. Failures here are very rare, but do happen- anything mechanical can break at any time, despite our efforts or anyone else's. Here we can promise that if you put your trust in us that we will do our part to create the best engine that can be purchased for your vintage VW or Porsche automobile

Jake Raby
"Excellence in Research"