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Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

etalono61 wrote:
im just wondering if a manual from a 1.9 will mount up to a 2.1 engine? donor is 85 want to put in my 87


Yes, it will. Any transmission from 83.5-91 is physically interchangeable.

D
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etalono61
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent thanks!!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject: earlier tranny Reply with quote

I have a late model auto Vanagon. Is there any reason i cant use everything from a pre 84' manual van?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: earlier tranny Reply with quote

bmxvolks wrote:
I have a late model auto Vanagon. Is there any reason i cant use everything from a pre 84' manual van?


If you read 2 posts above your the answer is there...although it depends on what a "pre '84" is...
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Red Vanagon "Ron Burgundy": 1991 Vanagon Multivan (Weekender) 2.1L Auto - Driver/Camper
Brown Vanagon "Bob": 1985 Vanagon 9 Pass rust bucket. 1.9L Auto - Donor
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bmxvolks
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah. Its from an 81' so aircooled, different from above. I found the answer on vwvortex thanks to David Clymer.
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Dogberry
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see old posts resurrected. I used this same information when I converted my 91 auto to a four speed and it was invaluable (thanks David). As this thread continues, I wanted to add (as stated elsewhere on TheSamba) the dash does NOT need to come out. The cast bracket used on the auto for the brake pedal is exactly the same one used in the manual set-up. The clutch pedal pin and spring can be installed from underneath. Yes it's a bit of a contortion but easy. Certainly easier that removing the dash. But, if you are inclined to go the removal route don't waste the effort without servicing the heater.
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bmxvolks
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogberry wrote:
Good to see old posts resurrected. I used this same information when I converted my 91 auto to a four speed and it was invaluable (thanks David). As this thread continues, I wanted to add (as stated elsewhere on TheSamba) the dash does NOT need to come out. The cast bracket used on the auto for the brake pedal is exactly the same one used in the manual set-up. The clutch pedal pin and spring can be installed from underneath. Yes it's a bit of a contortion but easy. Certainly easier that removing the dash. But, if you are inclined to go the removal route don't waste the effort without servicing the heater.


Thanks for info. Will help me alot.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The manual transmissions from the air-cooled vans have a different shift linkage setup.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

Thread resurrection, I had a random thought running through my head about this conversion. I have all the parts I need, but got to wondering if the pedal cluster mount is actually a different part between the auto and manual vans. My ETKA does not specify a difference in the main part of the pedal cluster. It appears that the pedal pin needs to be swapped from the manual pedal cluster to the automatic and I can see the clutch master cylinder bracket hanging down below the body's crossbrace. I don't see the bracket in ETKA as a separate part.

I don't have a problem swapping the entire assembly, but am not at the point yet, just thinking ahead. Thanks for any insight.

edit: here is what I am looking at.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Dogberry
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

Parts 1 and 4 are exactly the same part on an automatic or manual. It's perfectly ready to accept the clutch pedal parts without removing the dash or the bracket. There is just enough rood to slide the pin out from underneath the steering column. PM me if you need more info.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

David thanks for the reply. On the syncro, I can see the mounting tab for the clutch master protruding below the chassis cross brace. I believe it's the bottom tab with the 2 holes shown above in part 4.

The automatic has nothing there. I felt around and can't even feel mounting holes for a slave bracket. I'm not to concerned since I have the parts I need. I'm just curious. I am doing the syncro conversion in steps and the clutch pedal is an upcoming step. It would be nice not to pull 2 dashes if I can avoid it. Thanks. Mark
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

That was actually Dogberry that replied just above. But, yes, as he said, you can add a clutch pedal to an automatic pedal assembly by removing the large e-clip at the end of the pedal pivot shaft. You just push back the pivot shaft for the pedals, and then a spacer bushing drops out. You then install a clutch pedal in place of the spacer and push the pivot shaft back into place. It does require some patience to accomplish this since there is little space and you're working blind for most of it. But it is a lot easier than removing the dash and changing the complete cluster like I used to do.

Every automatic pedal bracket I've seen has the two holes for the clutch master cylinder to bolt to. They're part of the main bracket. There isn't a secondary bracket that connects to the pedal assembly or anything like that. It could be that there was a production run of pedal assemblies that came with no holes drilled, but I can't imagine that since the whole idea was to use common parts for both transmission types.

Glad to hear you are moving forward with that Syncro conversion.

David
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Colorado Yeti
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

Praise be to God. I am on a personal mission to banish all automatic transmissions from my existence....although my wife has other thoughts.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:09 am    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

David, I was on my iPhone when I replied and it has very tiny print for my old man eyes. Oops Dogberry thank you for your insight. I'll post up photos of what I find. I sure don't see the aluminum ear hanging down that the clutch slave attaches to like I see on the syncro.

Having driven both our 82 camper with manual steering and a manual transmission and this 90 camper with power steering and an automatic, my preference for in town driving and being stuck in a traffic jam around Atlanta would be the 90. Plus done up correctly, it seems the automatics are better suited for upgrades in power and torque for the long run.

It won't matter for this donor, because it is well on its way to being a syncro. No turning back now.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

Despite ETKA and the info on this thread, I pulled the pedal support from the donor syncro. It is cast aluminum, looks identical to ETKA.

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


I then went out to the automatic and sure enough with a mirror and a flashlight, the pedal support bracket is made out of stamped sheet metal and does not have the provision for a clutch master cylinder as pictured above.

I am not at that point of installing the clutch pedal assembly in the automatic, but wanted to get the pedal support out of the syncro while it was in the shop. So, I will be having to swap this bracket in to the automatic camper to support the clutch pedal and master cylinder. I will post a picture when I have the automatic pedal support out. The automatic vanagon was built 11/89. I checked later and earlier years and nothing shows up as a pedal support bracket for any automatic vanagons.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

Update, I pulled the pedal cluster from the 90 vanagon automatic and the pedal clusters are not the same even though there is only one part number.

Side by side.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


If you are converting from automatic to manual, you may need the pedal cluster from the manual shift vanagon. The automatic cluster does not have a mounting ear for the clutch slave cylinder.

Edit: The brake pedals are bent differently between the automatic and manual vanagons.

I have successfully moved the entire pedal cluster assembly from the syncro donor into the 90 auto camper. Dashboards needed to come out of both vans.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

There is something going on here that is fogging up an otherwise concise thread about auto to manual conversions. I know empirically that the pedal bracket and pedals are exactly the same in late model automatic and manual 2WD vanagons. You mentioned your manual doner is a Syncro? I know nothing about that so must defer to your experience. The point being is that 2WD auto to 2WD manual is exactly as David and others on this thread have outlined. BUT if using a Syncro doner it's a different ballgame. So future visitors to this thread understand, use a 2WD doner or be prepared for a more extensive retrofit. Not that it can't (obviously!) be done Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:03 am    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

Dogberry, in the last picture I posted, the pedal cluster in the foreground is from a 90 2wd automatic. It is stamped sheetmetal and does not have a provision for the clutch master cylinder to mount. Nothing cloudy about it.

The pedal cluster in the back ground is cast aluminum and has the provision for the clutch master cylinder to mount.

I did not mean to cloud up a concise how to thread, but actually did my due diligence by searching the FAQ and asking about my 90 Automatic pedal cluster because it did not have a provision for the clutch master cylinder.

ETK does show only one part number for all vanagons, manual 2wd, automatic 2wd and syncros. It is only the factory manual that shows a picture that I posted above with a single pedal stamped sheet metal pedal bracket. Something changed in some of the later model vanagon 2wd automatics.

My guess would be after the run away automatic Audis, that VW changed the late model vanagon automatic pedal cluster to move the brake pedal away from the gas pedal some.

So, I may have clouded this thread with my question and findings, but if at some point somebody else is doing a conversion in either direction, it is worth noting. Thanks for understanding. Mark
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

Wow, I thought the stamped pedal assemblies were only used on the early vans. I guess you could just weld a bracket on there for the clutch master.

I think when I convert my van from manual to auto, I'll just cut the clutch pedal off with a grinder and thus avoid the bother of pulling that assembly--which is a major PITA with the dash in situ.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Full write-up on converting Vanagon from auto to manual Reply with quote

Well that's why I asked if I was understanding you properly. No problems here at all other than there are caveats to the process. Your bracket is obviously different. Because you were mentioning syncro it confused me which is sometimes easy to do. My personal experience and the several conversions I have consulted on indicate the cast bracket is the norm. I wonder where that stamped bracket came from? Is it perhaps from an early Vanagon retrofitted into a 90 2WD? Anyway, glad you've worked it out. I guess the lesson here for me is if someone is considering this then determining which bracket you have is part of the process. Personally I'm glad to have have this new information.

PS: My 91 Vanagon is right towards end of the Vanagon production run and it has the cast cluster bracket, same as the 85 manual donor I salvaged from.
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