Chris Sutton's
Speedster Project
Chriskate : Home : Separation : Shortening : Front Beam : Pan Powdercoating : Brakes : Transmission : Engine : Photos
April 2003

(Adjusting gears) The doner VW I got from Bug Aid included a transmission. I was pretty sure I wanted to powdercoat the case which meant taking the whole thing apart. It was probably a good thing to do because I wanted to make sure everything was working correctly and the best way for me to do that was of course take it apart. I also helped me understand how it all worked.

I was one of those kids growing up who took apart everything, so taking apart the transmission sounded like fun. Actually this was not my first transmission, I had previously with my jeep rebuilt the T-90 transmission it started with and also a bigger T-18 truck transmission which I used to upgrade the wimpy T-90.

If you are going to do this on your own I recommend having the blue Bently VW book. You do have that by now right?

I took everything apart that I need in order to get the case cleaned up and powdercoated. This did not include taking apart the two main gear stacks. They did not bind at all so I figured the bearing were OK, and the syncros looked fairly good. But, the 3rd/4th (I think) shift lever shift lever braket thing was broken on one end. It was a brass thing. I was able to find a steel replacement on CIP.com.

Once I got everything separated from the case I had my brother steam clean the whole thing and then took it down to Sean to powdercoat. Once I got it back it was just a matter of putting it back together again. Oh, but in order to do that you need this special VW tool so you can adjust the shift levers correctly. Well you can't just buy these things any more and if you can they seem like they are priced more than a brand new transmission. What most people end up doing is taking an old case and cutting it up to do the same thing the VW tool did. This is what I ended up doing and found one of these "tools" at Bug Aid, which I purchased for a nominal fee ($25 I think).

Now, some might say that I cut some corners on the transmission and should have gotten the whole thing rebuilt, but the thing I was not to sure about was my whole engine, tire, power, acceleration setup. By this point I was pretty much sure about my engine, a 2056 TIV, and pretty sure I knew my tire size, but what I could not get was a good answer about what kind of transmission setup I should get. So I figured I would just stick with the stock '69 transmission with 4:10 R&P, and once I got the speedster on the road and drove it around a while I would determine if the 4:10 was good enough or of I needed to go with 3:88, or do something different with custom gears. Or maybe go with a 5 speed transmission. Who knows. At this point with the brakes install and the transmission installed in the pan the project was really starting to look good.

What was missing was an engine.