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Transmission Conversion
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Mark Hurner
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Joined: February 15, 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject: Transmission Conversion Reply with quote

I'm in need of a new Vanagon, but quite a number of them available have automatic transmissions. All mine have been manual, and I'd like to keep it that way. Any thoughts? Can I convert auto to stick without too much fussing'? Anybody wanna offer their thoughts on the auto transmission?

THANKS!!!!
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MidwestDrifter
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The FAQ sticky, and the search are your friends on this one.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=283352

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3782910

From my reading, the Auto used in vanagons is rather robust and simple. Rebuilt units with core exchange are around $1800 last I checked. Mileage will decline some with the auto.
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feedback also indicates people who have automatics who were skeptical end up loving them (i'm one of those people). It's a very strong transmission with a good reputation. I'd be more concerned about the condition of the van itself than whether it was a stick or auto.
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BenT Syncro
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Transmission Conversion Reply with quote

Mark Hurner wrote:
I'm in need of a new Vanagon, but quite a number of them available have automatic transmissions. All mine have been manual, and I'd like to keep it that way. Any thoughts? Can I convert auto to stick without too much fussing'? Anybody wanna offer their thoughts on the auto transmission?

THANKS!!!!


That's going to depend on how handy you are or how thick your wallet. I've done the conversion going the other way.

Offhand, you need trans, pedals, shiftrod, hydraulic lines, master/slave cylinder, axles (auto axles are different lengths), shifter, minor wiring backup light switch (auto has it at shifter/manuals at trans), bypass neutral safety switch, flywheel, clutch parts... that's what I can think of at the moment.

Much easier and cheaper if you have a parts van next to your project.
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Mark Hurner
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a '90 with amanual tranny that I think my insurance co. is going to want to "total" due to an unfortunate encounter recently.
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Red Beard
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Auto rocks. Total cruise mobile.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you were closer, we could do a direct swap, as I want to convert from manual to auto
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've owned several vanagons, all manuals (one syncro) up until recently when I had a chance to bring a late model (90GL) auto bus back from the dead. It's now my daily driver bus and I must say.... I LOVE it for driving around town and using as a car, rather than driving for joy.

They really built a heck of a good car with the automatic vanagon! It's zippy and quick off the line, shifts perfectly every time, and just works!
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rubbachicken
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the last one i did took about 2 days

if you have all the stuff, fly me up there, and i'll do it.

pm me if you might be interested and we can talk.
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kirsplat
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shift governor mod will wake up the wbx and allow it to shift at a more appropriate rpm (4500+), then they are pretty sweet to drive.

I tend to shift them manually if the governors haven't been tinkered with.
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jkidd152
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I am the only one is Samba-land who owns an automatic and doesn't love it. Don't get me wrong, I love love love my van. And everything everyone says is true about the ease of cruising around, and being quick off the line. Suby helps that, too Cool But I have two hands and two feet and my right hand and left foot are bored! What can I say, I like to shift manually. My problem has been trying to decide if going to all the trouble to convert, then should it be just a four-speed, four-speed with peloquin and locker, or go all the way with syncro for that granny gear? My wallet will probably dictate that it has to be option number 1. Mad

Casey, PM sent. Let's do it!

-John
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

just put 4 different sized & rated tires on the van, you'll get to use both hands plenty then. Laughing
jkidd152 wrote:
I guess I am the only one is Samba-land who owns an automatic and doesn't love it. Don't get me wrong, I love love love my van. And everything everyone says is true about the ease of cruising around, and being quick off the line. Suby helps that, too Cool But I have two hands and two feet and my right hand and left foot are bored! What can I say, I like to shift manually. My problem has been trying to decide if going to all the trouble to convert, then should it be just a four-speed, four-speed with peloquin and locker, or go all the way with syncro for that granny gear? My wallet will probably dictate that it has to be option number 1. Mad

Casey, PM sent. Let's do it!

-John
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