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3.25:1 R&P for Vanagon automatic.
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Dogberry
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: 3.25:1 R&P for Vanagon automatic. Reply with quote

***EDITED TO REFLECT CONSENSUS OF 3.25:1***

I LOVE my '91 Westy automatic. I also want a new TDI or a 2.5 liter Wasserboxer, or a Bostic or Tiico or Auto Haus 1.8 liter turbo or Subie doobie flat 6 diesel (yeah!), whatever. My 4.09:1 R&P is not compatible.

First of all I would think that someone has already explored this (German Transaxle, Small Car Performance, GoWesty, whomever). But I say it's up to us to start a grass roots effort.

As you automatic owners know the 3.73 ratio R&P is NLA. It was not a night and day difference to begin with. A better ratio for higher power options is needed.

I have developed a "white paper" (below) and am soliciting comments or flames with regard to it. I know I'm setting myself up but please understand I'm not a gear-head. Given that, I want YOUR opinions and even help with fleshing it out.

My intention is to gather some facts and approach a gear manufacturer (such as http://www.richmondgear.com/01aboutus.html ) with a proposal to R&D a ring and pinion for the auto transmission.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: I need the following information:

I cannot find production numbers from automatic transmission Vanagon. Does anyone know how many were imported? It sure seems to me there are a lot of them out there. Anyone?

Would you buy a new R&P if it were available? What would you pay?

Is my wished for ratio (3.25:1) even close to being appropriate? What would you suggest if you were the Guru?

What other questions do I need to ask that Iíve not even thought of? Iím trying to just punch this out and get it going (or NOTÖ heck if itís hare-brained I need to know that too, but be nice about it, ok?)

The following is my baby white paper (Yeah, I cut and pasted from other sources...):

Sirs,

Re: Volkswagen Vanagon Automatic Transmission - Model 010.

The Vanagon has developed a very strong following in the last 10 years, due to their remarkable usage of space, their high build quality, and the fact they were the 'last of the line'. The 198? thru 1991 Vanagon is quickly approaching the same cult status enjoyed by the earlier models, and are held in distinctly high regard by their owners, and resale prices have recently increased dramatically, good examples of 20 year old Westfalia campers are selling for $12,000 to $115,000. Owners continue to maintain these vehicles well, spending much time and care as well as money to ensure they will last for another 20 years.
( http://gowesty.com/vehicles_for_sale.php ).

One major attraction to Vanagon owners is the wide availability of engine conversions. I have included links below to just a few of the companies providing DIY and turn-key conversion packages ranging from 125 to 200+ horsepower.

A very popular option on many of these vehicles was an automatic hydraulic 3-speed unit, the same 090/010 unit as used in Audis of the era. The automatic features a 1.1 ratio top gear. The Ring & Pinion ratio is 4.09:1 and is not interchangeable with the manual differential.

Unfortunately, the available increased horsepower engine conversions do not work well with the 4.09.1. A ratio of 3.25:1 would allow many users to take better advantage of available conversions.

List of conversion providers:
http://greaseworks.org/tdivanagon
http://www.bostig.com/products/zetec/Engine_Specs.php
http://www.stephansautohaus.com/VWVANAGONDIVISION/VWVanagonConversionEngines/tabid/61/Default.aspx
http://www.smallcar.com/index.php?act=viewDoc&docId=1
http://www.vanaru.com/
http://www.tiico.com/Vanagon%20Conversion.htm
http://gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=4041&category_id=82&category_parent_id=
http://theautobahnsociety.com/Engine_2L.htm
http://www.vwmaxiwesty.com/process.html

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91 Westy, Bostig, Auto to manual conversion.


Last edited by Dogberry on Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:40 am; edited 15 times in total
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allsierra123
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know of a lot of diesel conversion guys that would be interested, Myself included.
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iltis74
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't Oettinger once make a 3.06 for an in-house project? Seems like I just read that somewhere. Perhaps you could talk to them and see what they have to say. I do know that if such was available I would not have just bought a manual parts car for the swap over to an svx, for which I may still sink a minor fortune into a R&P. It's past due.
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you that the need is there for a tall final drive for higher powered conversions. Smallcar looked into this about three years ago and came to an apparent dead end.

It is true that Oettinger did have a custom final drive made for the WBX 6 Vanagons and yes it was 3.06:1. I think 3.06 and 3.08:1 are too tall. The WBX 6 Vanagon with 165 hp and 191 lb/ft of torque could barely get from 0-60 in less than 12 seconds because of the tall gearing. It had wonderful highway acceleration and had a top speed of nearly 120 mph, but I think the ideal ratio would be something a little shorter.

The best way to judge this for real is to drive an 84-88 Audi 5000 Turbo and then compare it to a standard non-turbo Audi 5000 from the same time period. The turbo cars had a 3.08:1 final drive hooked to the exact same transmission ratios as the Vanagon. In comparison the normally aspirated 5000S had a shorter 3.25:1 final drive. I've driven both and have always thought 3.25:1 would be the perfect final drive ratio for an uprated Vanagon. Since the Type 44 Audi cars used tires only slightly shorter than a Vanagon (185/70/14, 205/60/15), you could get a pretty good idea of cruising rpms with both of these setups by test driving examples of these cars.

I applaud your thinking. A taller automatic final drive is one of the missing pieces in the Vanagon upgrade catalog. The other thing needed is a US built version of the 4.14:1 manual transmission final drive ratio available in europe for TDI conversions. This costs 700 euros, but would make all the difference in the world for 2.5 Subaru conversions, TDI conversions, and Zetec conversions.

David
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Dogberry
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Thanks David Reply with quote

Excellent real world knowledge. NOT being a gear head I pulled the 3.08 ratio OMB... .

3.25 it is.

Thanks again
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gears
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think anyone's looked hard enough at the possibility of a cut & splice. Find something close with the same hypoid and same ring gear bolt pattern (or redrill the cast diff), and splice the new pinion head onto a dead VW pinion's shaft.
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magician
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: R&P for Auto Reply with quote

I would like to do a TDI conversion next year and have also been concerned about running out of RPM on the highway. Something in 3.25 range would be a pretty good match (for a TDI, may also want a lower stall coverter too).

I am interested if part quality is top notch.

(May be interested in 2 sets ... considering doing a second van)
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'00 Jetta TDI (sold)| 91 Cabrio (sold) | 81 Rabbit diesel (sold)| 87 T3 GL (sold) | 91 T3 Carat 4sp (sold)
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allsierra123
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I know for a fact there are interchangeable gears to be had. A guy in germany has something that is swappable and the green car company in seattle just re geared an auto conversion. So it may be such a thing as just finding out what they did.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be worried about smoking the transmission if you changed the gear ratio too much. These things weigh in much heavier and have more air resistance than other VW products. The low ratio is going to keep the forces on the automatic section lower.

VW used a longer ratio on the 411/412 than on other comparable products, they were known for smoking the transmissions and having very poor get up and go.
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Dogberry
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
I would be worried about smoking the transmission if you changed the gear ratio too much. These things weigh in much heavier and have more air resistance than other VW products. The low ratio is going to keep the forces on the automatic section lower.

VW used a longer ratio on the 411/412 than on other comparable products, they were known for smoking the transmissions and having very poor get up and go.


I've heard it claimed that the Audi and Golf/Jetta internals are even stronger than the Vanagon (as well as providing higher shift points) but point taken for sure. David C's post supports your claim of no get up. The 3.25 seems like a viable option.
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Dogberry
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

allsierra123 wrote:
Well I know for a fact there are interchangeable gears to be had. A guy in germany has something that is swappable and the green car company in seattle just re geared an auto conversion. So it may be such a thing as just finding out what they did.


Recent post to TheSamba:

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:26 pm Post subject: NJ Automatic Transmission
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello,
I am importing from Germany a 3.71 RP Automatic NJ transmission. It has a taller RP gear than our standard automatic which has a 4.1 RP ratio. This transmission was only available in Europe because they were built for the 114HP Tri-star (van truck Vanagon). I have one in my 2.2L Subaru powered GL Vanagon and it is great for me due the added horsepower. If you place this transmission in a 2.0L VW waterboxer I would suspect a slight decrease in acceleration off the line, a decrease in RPM's by 500 on the freeway and an increase in gas mileage. I gained about 4 to 7 miles per gallon. I was getting 14MPG and now I am up to 18 to 21 MPG.


The 3.71 was available... one or two turn up from time to time in used condition. I'm sure the poster above is an honest fellow but a 500 RPM decrease is just not going to happen. 300 maybe. (in combo with bigger tires).
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gears
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Optimistic fellow at best ... 4-7 mpg improvement?
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a914622
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea!!!!
Iv done a suby convert. and was looking at the same issues with the gearing. I even looked at adding a "jack" gear to the end of the subaru tranny to make the ring/pin run backwards(same as flipping the ring/pin) to run in the vanagon.
There is a 7-29 R/P for the manual box, but 1200.00 plus shipping from euro (if you can convince them to ship over the pond) makes it out of most price ranges.


As far as making a new ratio, there is way more involved!!! The location and ratio of the gear and pin is the hard spot. You cant just cut and past. If for instance you add one tooth to the ring/gear the pin/gear may need to be 1/4 inch larger inch dia. or moved back .25 of an inch. (example only) Thats why there are GOOD ratios and WEAK ratios

There is a load of thing to consider when cutting gears.

IT MAY BE EASER to swap in a 911 tranny OR have a case made so the Subaru tranny can be put together with th ring/pin gear swaped so the tranny could work in the vanagon .

Love the foward thinking!!!!!!! Very Happy

jcl
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allsierra123
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guy in germany does soemthing with the 911.
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 911 transmission is actually three different types throughout the years: the type 901, the 915, and the G50. Of these, the only one that is worth adapting to a Vanagon is the G50. It's a very refined and strong trans - and it has desirable close ratios similar to what you would find in a late 90s Audi A4. The only problem is that they are usually $3000 + unless you find a deal. The other thing that may not stand out to people at first about the 911 transmissions, is that the final drive ratio is very tall. These gearboxes were set up for a torquey 3.2 liter engine in a 2700 lb car so the final drive is 3.44:1. Compare that to 3.89:1 or 4.11:1 for an Audi A4 with almost the same 3.50 first gear and you can see it is tall. It works, but may not be to the liking of a Vanagon driver who often want a low first gear for workhorse stuff.

In europe the custom final drive (29:7 or 4.14:1) for the 4 speed has been available for quite a while. It is a custom gear set and not a copy of anything made by the factory. This kind of a gearset can definitely be made by a specialist over here. It just all comes down to whether there is enough potential volume to pay for the setup cost. I think the reason no one has done an automatic one for europe is because most of the tuned vans over there are manual trans vans.

It would be good to get an idea of how many people are interested in a tall automatic final drive to see if low production manufacturing of this is viable.

David

David
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a914622
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

D Clymer wrote:
The 911 transmission is actually three different types throughout the years: the type 901, the 915, and the G50.

In europe the custom final drive (29:7 or 4.14:1) for the 4 speed has been available for quite a while. It is a custom gear set and not a copy of anything made by the factory.
David



I was also thinking of the Triptronics and 6 speeds from the late model 911s.

29:7 also for the 5 speed vanagon boxes.(They are made for the 5 speed boxes and need to be cutoff for the 4 speed) I looked at getting one and having it copy ed hear in the seattle area. Lathe work and grinding after heat treat NOT A PROBLEM, but None of the gear shops would touch it..

Anyone have a pic of a A4 box??? That sound like an unexplored option..

jcl
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a914622 wrote:


I was also thinking of the Triptronics and 6 speeds from the late model 911s.

29:7 also for the 5 speed vanagon boxes.(They are made for the 5 speed boxes and need to be cutoff for the 4 speed) I looked at getting one and having it copy ed hear in the seattle area. Lathe work and grinding after heat treat NOT A PROBLEM, but None of the gear shops would touch it..

Anyone have a pic of a A4 box??? That sound like an unexplored option..

jcl


Yeah, I knew Winkler listed them only for the 5 speed 094, but Bernd Jaeger listed them for the 4 speed also. I figured they were probably cutting them down.

It's interesting to hear that nobody would make a replica of it. I would have thought with a model they would have been able to do it.

The tiptronic Audi boxes actually can be made to work in a Vanagon because they have a short driveshaft returning output from the tail section to the differential. On the Audis there are two gears involved. With rear engined Porsches using the same box there are three gears. However, the gear casings all have to be custom made, and then you still have to mount the transmsission, set up the shifter controls and electronics, and then get the engine computer to interface with the transmission control unit. I'd rather just put a tall final drive in the 3 speed automatic and call it good.

David
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allsierra123
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too. I would be more than happy with the 3 speed were it a tad taller.
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JeffRobenolt
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also buy one for an auto if someone would start making them.

It would pay for it's self in a few years with the gas savings.
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allsierra123
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But 500 rpm's lower that the german auto had to me isnt worth it. If it were able to drop by say closer to 1000 it would be worth having.
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