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Installing a Limited Slip Differential in a 2wd Automatic
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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:18 pm    Post subject: Installing a Limited Slip Differential in a 2wd Automatic Reply with quote

I'm new to Vanagons but busy building one that will be the Ultimate Canadian Adventure Vehicle for our family. We have always planned to drive to all three oceans bordering our country, plus we ski and will spend lots of time using the van in winter.

I've never needed a 4wd but the idea of a real 2wd is very intriguing. I'm thinking of installing the GoWesty limited slip differential for my automatic but I've never worked on a tranny before. I'll be putting in a Subaru engine in the next few months and thought that this would also be a good time to put in the LSD.

Has anyone had experience installing at differential? Would I need to remove the tranny to do it or could it be done with the engine out? Any guidance or advice would be great. I looked it up in the Bentley but I couldn't tell if the tranny had to be out of the vehicle, or how seriously hard it could be to do it right. Would it be best to pull out the tranny and have shop do the install?

Thanks,

Mark
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kourt
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The part of the van that takes the LSD is the differential, not the transmission. Together, they are the transaxle. Transmission plus differential = transaxle.

You will have to remove the whole transaxle to do this work.

VW differential work is slightly more demanding of the mechanic than the transission--you must be prepared to take accurate measures and restore components to certain tolerances. Recall that a great deal of force is being transmitted through these components. If you have never done work on differentials, installing your own LSD is perhaps not the place to start.

The Bentley manual takes great pains to explain differential work but if you are new to this, think twice about it.

I would suggest finding a repair shop that specializes in transmissions or differentials, or in VWs, and ask them about the Vanagon transaxle, to gauge their familiarity. The LSD upgrade is sufficiently expensive to merit a third party mechanic.

If you need to save money on this, remove the transaxle yourself and deliver it to the shop, thus saving the remove/install expense (which will be at least three hours total, at an average of $85 per hour these days).
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ordered the limited slip differential for automatics from GoWesty and found a local transmission shop to put it in. The estimate is $200-400 since I will be removing the tranny myself. Thanks for the feedback, it was very helpful.

Already I'm hating the one-wheel drive. I get stuck in my back lane with a thin layer of snow and ice. My Jetta does much better than the van.
I'll post a follow-up when I get it running in the spring.
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indytriple
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to seeing how this goes. I'll be in your situation in the next year or so.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

might I also suggest some nokian snow tires and adding some weight..
will help that 1wd along a bit better too.
BlueNorthWesty wrote:
I ordered the limited slip differential for automatics from GoWesty and found a local transmission shop to put it in. The estimate is $200-400 since I will be removing the tranny myself. Thanks for the feedback, it was very helpful.

Already I'm hating the one-wheel drive. I get stuck in my back lane with a thin layer of snow and ice. My Jetta does much better than the van.
I'll post a follow-up when I get it running in the spring.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to installing the LS differential, at a minimum, have the shop replace the back to back seals and the governor lip seal and cover O ring. If the goal is to move your family around, I would also have them refresh the automatic section. Do it all once and have peace of mind.
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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading the Bentley and realizing that a transmission shop would be the best route to go, and then getting a reasonable guesstimate from a local shop I took the tranny out, separated the final drive from the gear box and dropped it off last week for the differential install. I got it back from the shop today. They did a nice job which included the seals, bearings and races. The final price was less than the mid-range of what was estimated so I'm happy. I'm glad I didn't attempt it myself.

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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, and appreciate the followup. If you ever wander through N. Idaho I'd love to take a look at (cough, drive) your van as I may be doing this with our NW adventure rig as well.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this point before you mate them, I would look at how to measure and shim in the Bentley manual. If it was correct prior, it should be fine. Better to know it is correct though.
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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
Nice, and appreciate the followup. If you ever wander through N. Idaho I'd love to take a look at (cough, drive) your van as I may be doing this with our NW adventure rig as well.


North Idaho isn't too far from Calgary, so who knows? If I make it down that way I'd be happy to let you drive my van. Maybe you'll be in Calgary for the Stampede, in that case let me know.

Cheers,

Mark
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's compromise and meet in Banff!!! Smile Smile
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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
Let's compromise and meet in Banff!!! Smile Smile


Done! One more motivation to get the van done for summer. Seriously if you end up in Banff I'll be there!
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We get there almost every summer - will advise. My wife and I have agreed for 20 years on many things, but the highway connecting Banff and Jasper was the subject of considerable discussion. It ended with us agreeing that the highway is the most beautiful drive in the world, and both of us have traveled extensively. When we first drove it one fine summer day, every curve in the road I started saying "Oh look honey - another glacier capped perfect mountain peak with several perfect streams running down it into a series of perfect ponds in perfect meadows." I did not know it when I started, but I ended up saying that about 15 times. Though we joked about it, we both agree that it was the joking that alerted us to the astounding beauty we were entering, and I slowed about 10mph and we just gaped the entire distance. Fantastic.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My son and I will be in Glacier NP and Banff/Jasper this summer on our way from MD to Alaska to CA and back. I'll post our trip details as they are more known. Love to meet some folks along the way. Very Happy
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BlueNorthWesty
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
...the highway connecting Banff and Jasper was the subject of considerable discussion. It ended with us agreeing that the highway is the most beautiful drive in the world, and both of us have traveled extensively.


I agree. I'm fortunate to live nearby.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: Installing a Limited Slip Differential in a 2wd Automatic Reply with quote

I was considering the details of a TBD install and was wondering about the extent of the adjustment required. Am I correct that assuming the pinion depth was correct before removal of the stock diff, only backlash adjustment is needed? It would still obviously be wise to paint the teeth to see the pattern and double-check.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Installing a Limited Slip Differential in a 2wd Automatic Reply with quote

?Waldo? wrote:
I was considering the details of a TBD install and was wondering about the extent of the adjustment required. Am I correct that assuming the pinion depth was correct before removal of the stock diff, only backlash adjustment is needed? It would still obviously be wise to paint the teeth to see the pattern and double-check.


You are correct. Measure the backlash, prior to removing the ring gear carrier. Mark the adjusting rings as well. Because the dimensions of the TBD carrier may not be exact, you will want to check the carrier bearing preload whether you reuse your bearings and races or new ones.

Assemble the TBD into the case without the ring gear. Run your side supports in to the marks you made prior to backing them off. New and used bearings will have slightly different turning torques. Basically, you don't want it loose or so snug it is difficult to turn by hand. Ideally the side rings will be back to where you started, but if not, once you have the turning torque set, remark your rings differently than before and back them off. Slip the TBD out, install the ring gear, place back in the case, run your side rings to the new marks. Its a good idea to keep track of the turns you are making always.

Once you have the side rings back to where the bearing preload is correct, recheck the backlash. You want it back where it was prior to disassembly. If the backlash is correct, you are done. If the back lash is worng, move the side rings equal amounts to move the ring gear off the pinion to increase the back lash, or move the ring gear towards the pinion tightens backlash.

Turning the rings equal amounts, one in and one out maintains the bearing preload you set earlier while changing the backlash. It makes more sense once you have done it a few times.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:04 am    Post subject: Re: Installing a Limited Slip Differential in a 2wd Automatic Reply with quote

Right, bearing preload also. Makes sense. Thanks.
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