Cheers on the build, when I was a kid my dad bought a bunch of vanagons, one a syncro.
Some good things, some bad. He successfully battled VW on two engines (goop in the cap nuts). But quite a few road trips were had that the VW did something catastrophic, I can see why you'd want a different plant.
From the passenger's perspective however, these things are a bit of a death trap. Examples. Roof mounted AC channel fell off and smacked the brother in the head while traveling down a flat relatively smooth highway.
Rearward facing seats decided to dislodge randomly. Battery burnt in its tray.
Rear heater vent duct on middle person's feet causing extreme discomfort while others are comfortable warm.
VOMITING DUE TO WIND BUFFETTING. Might just be me, but I have been car sick in more VW Vans than any other vehicle by atleast a 10 or 15 to 1 ratio. No issues before we got the van, nor since we got rid of it. But I have had trips with 11 vomits. I never experienced this while driving however, so my lesson is, no Passangers are to be allowed to ride in the back on windy days unless dosed w/ dramamine.