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5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission
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dlb154
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Joined: December 27, 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Reno, NV
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:52 pm    Post subject: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Circumstance this past winter lead me down the research path to rebuild/replace my stock manual transmission with 100k on it; 89 Full Camper w/ 2003 2.5L Subaru engine already installed (adapter plate - Vanaru Kit). It appears my original transmission suffered the known 3/4 slider hub failure and I seriously doubt the added horse power of my 2.5L Subaru tore up the transmission since I never abuse the added power to push the Vanagon past it's comfort zone.

Anyhow, I just wanted to mention that the install of David Clymer's 5-speed Bus linkage kit made the Subarugears install possible and easy.

My concern was how this would alter my current engine install location. After removing the stock transmission, I measured from the center of the transmission mount on both stock trans and Subarugears transmissions with Clymer's trans mount installed. I went with the TY758 Subaru 5-speed pre-modified by Subi-Works (state side SubaruGears, formerly Subi-Stuff). The dimensional difference from stock face of bell housing to center of transmission mount was roughly the same as the measurement on the Subaru Gears trans face of bell housing to center of transmission mount that came in the 5-Speed Bus Kit.

This meant I needed to move my Subaru 2.5L forward to the transmission the thickness of the adapter plate I removed in the process of the install.

The only challenge this created for my situation was the need to fabricate a new throttle cable guide mount which I did using a small piece of galvanized scrap metal from my neighbor.

The brake line that crosses at the Vanagon frame in front of the transmission needed to be bent out of the way slightly but I was able to do so carefully by hand.

You do need to drill through the frame for the linkage to align properly with the transmission connection. Using a brand new hole saw (bi-metal Harbor Frieght, 2-1/8") and following Dave's instruction for location of hole made this a very easy step. I then filed the edges to remove any burrs.

The rest of the install was very straight forward. Dave was always there to answer questions and offer advice. I took my time and everything went smoothly. We just returned from a trip to the coast for a family camp trip and I am very please with both the Subaru Gears transmission and Dave's 5-speed Bus linkage kit.

We live in Reno and had to do I-80 Donner Pass both directions. Other than the holiday traffic, having this upgrade made for a far less stressful trip than past trips with the stock 4-speed transmission and higher rpms. Can't say for sure what our mpg difference is since I need to fix my odometer. Better fuel efficiency wasn't my first concern. Having a matched transmission to my engine along with a modern transmission (also has LSD) for longevity was my goal.

Build quality of Dave's kit is top notch - powder coated finish, nice leather MOMO shift lever knob.

I can post pictures if anyone is curious to see anything specific. Just ask.
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Rear Linkage Rod
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Transmission Mount to stock transmission mount (with Powerflex bushing)
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Continued...
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Linkage through frame - 2-1/8" hole drilled
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Clutch Slave Cylinder
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Fab'd Throttle Cable mount - Clutch line hose clears the mount - see picture above.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I'll crawl back under there to get a picture of the other side of the frame passage hole that was drilled for the linkage to show how the brake line was bent out of the way.

Dave
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luceronator
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

That looks pretty nice. Coincidentally I am coming to the conclusion today that my transaxle needs to get rebuild due to a 3-4 slider problem, and I also have a 2.5l Suby engine installed (Kennedy engineering kit used), on an '86 Weekender.

I've been thinking about going the route you did, and weighing it against an upgraded-rebuild transaxle with maybe a taller 4th and a Peloquin thrown in for good measure.

Did you weigh any other options before you went this direction?
Can you tell me about how much $$ this all cost you in the end?
Also, I'm familiar with Subaru Gears and the Subi Stuff companies, but I hadn't heard of the 5 Speed Bus Kit, is that a separate brand?

Thanks! Your Van looks awesome!
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Hi Luceronator,

Yes I weighed other options. My concern was longevity with any path I went... I didn't want to repeat this exercise in a few years. Adding all the typical upgrades to the stock transaxle whiling doing a rebuild adds up. In the end you still have a transmission that isn't a 5 speed and is 3 decades old technology designed for low horse power. For a little more money now, I get what I want with a newer style transmission designed for the output of the Subaru 2.5L...

My total cost was around $6200-$6500 which included:
- Built TY758 (upcharge for this model) Subaru Gears transmission ready to go
- Preinstalled Subaru LSD
- New Axles (Empi)
- New Subaru OEM flywheel
- New Subaru OEM clutch
- Used Subaru Starter
- The 5-Speed Bus Kit from Dave Clymer
- No cost on labor since I did the install myself

Subaru Gears does reference the linkage kit by 5 Speed Bus (David Clymer) here ( http://www.subarugears.com/Parts/Vanagon.html ) at the bottom of the page but I contacted him through the Samba.

Dave
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

That's some nice stuff dlb!

Everyone's tired of transmission worries after re-engining. But many of the problems could be attributed to the hundreds of crap rebuilds that have been shoveled out to the Vanagon community over the years. And the general aging (of the re-used parts) of the rebuild specimens. And ..... Etc Etc Etc.

Many worries evaporate with a trans that is matched to the engine you have. Must be a genuine relief when you head out on a trip!

How's your 1st gear and reverse ratios? Are they higher (faster) than the original? For example driving up onto rocks & leveling it for campsites etc. Too 'fast' can be a problem for those who go where Westies like to go. But you can always jack it level.
_________________


EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Sodo - I don't know the gear ratios off hand as compared to stock but they don't feel much different than stock in my opinion.

Yes it is a relief to not have a concern about the transmission's ability to get us where we are headed! Nice to have less RPMs (added noise) as well.

I had the hi-torque starter w/ adapter on my stock transmission and was please that the stock Subaru starter performs as well... probably a lot cheaper to replace as when it dies too.
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jamin307
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

dlb154 wrote:
This meant I needed to move my Subaru 2.5L forward to the transmission the thickness of the adapter plate I removed in the process of the install.


Can you elaborate on how you accomplished this? I'm putting this on the wish list for late 2017 early 2018 for similar reasons (longevity, gas milage, less noise, etc) as I am running a Subaru 2.5l.

Were you able to install the Subaru transmission without dropping the engine even with the need to fit the shift linkage through the cross member? I do not have a garage and was forced to complete my conversion (and transmission install after rebuild with taller gears, etc) outside and the thought of having to repeat some of those heavier steps is a little discouraging.

Great job! Looks very clean - thanks for sharing.

Cheers.
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

My process may be different than yours, depending on the engine support you're using. Mine retains the stock mustache bar - Vanaru setup. This mounting of the engine makes it very easy to remove/install the transmission. It allows for a pivot point at the motor mounts to mustache bar so the engine/trans section can be lowered. If you need info on how I supported the engine, just ask and I can post pictures of my make-shift beam support and ratchet strap system.

I removed the stock trans while leaving the Subaru 2.5 installed, pulled off the clutch, flywheel, and adapter plate. Then installed the stock Subaru flywheel and clutch. Next I installed the transmission to the already installed Subaru 2.5. The transmission mount from the 5-Speed Bus kit should be in place on the Subaru Gears trans before you mate the transmission and engine.

Next I jacked up the nose of the transmission to just below the frame where the stock portion of the mount bolts to the frame. Leaving the transmission on a floor jack I was able to then support the engine with a motorcycle/ATV lift. Do this as close the engine/transmission connection point but mostly under the engine (heavier end). Raise the motorcycle lift but be mindful not to get the transmission mount hung up. I removed my floor jack from below the transmission.

Then unbolted the mustache bar, slightly lowered the engine and transmission down so the mustache bar was about 1/8" off the frame. I then moved back to the transmission nose and pulled everything forward to align the trans mount to the frame and bolt holes. Be careful that the brake line doesn't get pinched between the transmission mount and the frame...

Attached the transmission mount to the frame, return to the back, jack back up so the mustache bar is in contact with the frame, adjust side to side if needed and drill your new bold holes through the flange on the frame.
Last you install all 4 mustache bar bolts and you're done.

Be sure to remove the attachment bolts for the heat shield to under body before you move the engine forward to allow the transmission to mount to the frame.

Glad to provide more written details if any of this is too vague to follow without pictures. Guess I should have taken a few pictures along the way... Sorry I didn't.
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Assumed it was understood but need to add: have the vehicle up on ramps (all 4 tires) for plenty of room to work.

Here is the motorcycle/atv lift I used: https://www.harborfreight.com/1500-lb-capacity-atvmotorcycle-lift-60536.html

You can pick it up on sale for $69.99 I believe.

These ramps work well if you first jack up the wheels and place them under the tires - couldn't get them to stay put while trying to drive up on them.

https://www.harborfreight.com/magnum-16000-auto-ramp-set-with-built-in-safety-chock-67722.html

Did this all easily in my driveway. Removal of the stock trans, stock axles, and install of Suby trans, new axles, and the 5-Speed Bus linkage/shift kit took about 2-1/2 days at a relaxed pace. Could get it done faster if you're all setup and don't put any extra time into cleaning or fabricating parts (throttle cable guide took me 1/2 a day to mockup, refine, create and then redo because it was too short... Mad )
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Additional photos...

Front of mount w/ Powerflex bushing
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Below mount showing modified brake line - transmission side of frame looking up
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Side/rear view of access hole through frame
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Shift lever and knob
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Shift knob
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:43 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

What a clean installation, Dave. Nice work! I'm really glad to hear that our parts worked out well for your conversion.

Thanks for taking the time to document and share details of your installation.

Best regards,

DC
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teleski
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

We just finished putting a 2.5 Subaru engine in an 84 Westy. We took the stock Vdub 4 speed out and replaced it with the five speed Subarugears and Dave Clymer's 5 Speed Bus kit. It was the first one done in this area but everything went well. I've put five hundred miles on it getting ready for an Aug Montana trip. Took a little getting use to around the mountains of Vermont, low end torque is not a high point of the Bubaru engine. The five speed shifter linkage is as nice as one can imagine. Had a question on one part, called Dave and it was cleared up and finished installing it. I feel if you are doing a conversion this is the only way to go. The quality is there, Dave is a phone call or email away and is more than happy to help, and it's worth the money spent.
Thanks Gary
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wyldryce
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Quick question for you guys with the newer installs in the last few months…can anyone please post a picture of where the transmission vent is located on these newer stateside built Subaru gears transmissions? When I did my install last year, prior to driving it all the way across America for a move, it was located near the top of the ring and pinon… A truly bad place, as it wanted to pressurize at highway speed/load especially while climbing, and blow gear oil out the whole 3000 miles across America. No Bueno. Shocked I eventually rigged up a high enough vent hose snaking way up the D pillar to the louvers to where it doesn't do it anymore, but there has to be a more elegant way.

Also, for those of you considering this install with the Kennedy engine mount bar, I was able to gain the necessary adjustment to make up for the thickness of the adapter plate, by reaming slots in the crossbar by the two locations where the engine mounts bolt up.

I will also add to Dave Clymers accolades. Truly a standup guy, he was super helpful during my install, and was nice enough to take time out of his busy schedule to meet me for core exchanges etc. He has a beautifully designed kit.

-Ross


Last edited by wyldryce on Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Wyldryce - Here is the current breather for the SubaruGrears trans... Or at least here is where mine is.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Not clear if this is a different location than yours but I've had no issues with this location.
Dave
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wyldryce
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Thanks DLB! That looks like it would work well for me. Mine is nowhere near the nose, but back up at the top above the ring/pinon. It sucks.
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

I wonder how easily it could be added to yours in this location while blocking off your current spot?
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:55 am    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Curious to see how well the Subaru Gears 5-Speed would do on our 2017 eclipse trip, I used one phone for a GPS speedometer and one phone using the OBD2 data from my Subaru 2.5 ECU. The results are pretty nice... Flat I-80 just past Lovelock, NV is where we took these pictures. The 5-speed and 15" tires (205/70 Nokian WRC) really help lowering the RPMs.

Not the best image quality with the dirty screens and the sun glare...
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[/img]

Edit info: Per the GPS speedometer app, we were at 3948' altitude.
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Picture at the linkage transition box that I found and should have posted along with my other install pics...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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dlb154
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Too bad the SubaruGears transmission is coming out for diagnostics. I need to ship back to Subi-Works.

It has developed whining that initially started only when taking my foot of the accelerator. Now it whines all the time but is louder when taking my foot of the accelerator. Anyone else have this experience?

Good thing I bought the transmission built. Hope Subaru Gears and Subi Works stand behind their work and make things right.
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xavior12
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: 5 Speed Bus Kit Install - SubaruGears transmission Reply with quote

Your install looks great and your documentation is great for others to reference.

Sorry to hear about your trans noises. I do have to say that I have the same trans setup as you and heard the same off noise in my trans right after I installed it also it was binding when shifting into third gear.
I ended up sending back the trans for warranty repair as advised by SubiWorks.
Apparently they said it was the Ring & Pinion gears and that they replaced them with the latest revised R&P set and fixed the third gear engagement,

Lol, and after re-installing the trans again but this time with a performance clutch disc and pressure plate because I felt the stock Subi clutch setup was too soft, the same noise is still there but now makes noise in neutral while rolling at most any speed it can be heard. My warranty has expired and I don't think I've even got 10K miles on it yet.

I do want to point out that in the videos on YT, on these trans being built/assembled, the builder never used a torque wrench to torque anything, just used rattle wrenches and his hands to feel the lash. Now with all the latest talk about proper trans building technique, I feel that my trans was built that way. Also I wanted to point out that the trans builder specializes in Rally Car Race transmissions.
Reason I say that is, you think you could hear any trans issues in a race car thats got no sound insulation as you smash through rocks and jumps? I had asked the builder if they run their transmissions on a load type of machine to check their work, they said yes but they can't load the trans on the stand. Maybe if they did they would have heard the issues?

So after all that, Ive checked the oil for contaminants, theres nothing and the noise hasn't gotten any worse.

I bought the "ready set go" trans thinking it would save me time with the conversion as they are professionals but after my experience I'd rather do the whole trans building/conversion myself.

Of course SubiWorks will stand behind their work, its under warranty?
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