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1991 Vanagon TDI transmission help
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mtsipe
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:03 pm    Post subject: 1991 Vanagon TDI transmission help Reply with quote

-I have recently made a 1.9 TDI conversion on my 1991 VW Vanagon. My motor runs great in lower gears but in 4th @60mph it is pushing 3500rpm.

-I would like to know if anyone has done a similar engine swap and whether you regeared the transmission or found a transmission that would accommodate the gearing issue.

-1999-2004 VW Volkswagen TDI Diesel 1.9L 5-Speed Engine 89K Miles P 5th Digit ALH is the motor we had swapped($3k). Along with a Vanagain Conversion Kit($3k). Plus Wiring harness work($3K) and a ton of labor($$).

-I would like to mention that I upgraded to 16 wheels to accommodate my upgraded braking and suspension package. Also, I am not a mechanic.


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hans j
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: 1991 Vanagon TDI transmission help Reply with quote

I'm running a 1.18 3rd and 0.73 4th and 215/75-15 BFG KO's. 65mph is around 3000 rpm and its great. I did drive my stock transmission though for 5000 miles before I got it regeared.
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1986 Canadian Syncro Westy TDI - 1989 Syncro Single Cab - 2001 Audi S4 - 1981 VW Caddy ABA - 1980 VW Caddy EV - 1973 VW T-181
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: 1991 Vanagon TDI transmission help Reply with quote

I had a transmission built with a new taller 4.14 ring and pinion along with a .77 4th gear. This effectively improved all of the gear ratios. I see about 3000 rpm at 70 mph in 4th. This was an expensive upgrade, but worth it since the majority of miles are spent at highway speeds. Initially I was geared too tall and did have to upgrade the nozzles slightly.

The poor mans option is to install a transmission from an early air cooled vanagon with a taller 4th gear, but it is bit of a task to retrofit the earlier transmission and some might argue the later 091/1 is a better overall transmission.

I ran an early air cooled stock transmission with some 16 inch tires and I am thinking I was seeing 3000 rpm around 62 mph. Sounds like you have a nice van.
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1982 Vanagon Camper with ALH TDI conversion.
1990 Vanagon Camper Syncro conversion. Offers?
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: 1991 Vanagon TDI transmission help Reply with quote

Hey, an actual Volkswagen thread!

I'm in the middle of an ALH install in my '89 tintop, though my total out of pocket costs are significantly less than the OP stated. I think I'm still well below $3k ...until I buy new springs and tires. I'm installing an aircooled DK code trans with 4.57 R&P with 28" or taller 16" tires in order to get the rpms down.
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Dave R
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:54 pm    Post subject: Re: 1991 Vanagon TDI transmission help Reply with quote

Same engine, in a Syncro.

Regeared: 4.57 R&P, 1.09 3rd, 0.70 4th.

Tires are 195/75 R16 (~27.5" OD)

70mph is about 2,800 rpm
60mph is about 2,400 rpm

It seems pretty happy in that zone.

Mountain passes occasionally require a drop into 3rd and a short bit at 3,500 rpm if I want to hold 55 mph.
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Gnarlodious Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: 1991 Vanagon TDI transmission help Reply with quote

I have AAZ with 5-speed but 4.57 R&P (stock is 5.43). The gear ratios are same as the DX (4ᵀᴴ:1.02,5th:.77) and tires are stock. Much more comfortable cruising, 67 at 3,000RPM. I still have the option of larger tires too, which I will probably jump into when these tires are worn out. Takeoff from a flat standstill is a little trickier in 2ᴺᴰ gear. I have learned to just idle the clutch up slowly and take off easy-like. That way I can avoid 1ˢᵀ gear unless I am on a slope or need to punch it.

One more thing about regearing, try to stick with stock VW gears. Some of the aftermarket gears are coarsely cut and can be noisy at freeway speeds. The stock ratio spacing is real nice, if you just update your R&P you retain that spacing but they all get bumped upward. I like that.
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hans j
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:03 pm    Post subject: Re: 1991 Vanagon TDI transmission help Reply with quote

True since it's not a syncro, it would only cost half as much to do a r&p! I was planning on doing that an my next 2wd tdi install.
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1986 Canadian Syncro Westy TDI - 1989 Syncro Single Cab - 2001 Audi S4 - 1981 VW Caddy ABA - 1980 VW Caddy EV - 1973 VW T-181
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