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Vanagon Bell Housing
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Yota-toy
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 9:34 am    Post subject: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

Hello Community,
I am in search of an SA South African bell housing to mate my 2.0 Audi 5 cylinder diesel to my Syncro.
I was told that a 091 301 071F might be an alternative to the SA but neither of these beast seem to exist.
Can anyone help?
Thank you All:)
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

I can't help you with locating the bellhousing, but it also takes a unique input shaft. So you'll need to shop for both. There was a company called Eurospec that used to carry them. I may have gotten a replacement input shaft from German Transaxle.
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

Hey Yota-Toy:

A very talented Samba member named Herman installed the Audi IDI 5-cyl diesel into his Syncro some years ago. He also converted the IDI engine to direct injection. See this thread and also look at his blog:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=621285&highlight=

Herman probably has the answer to your question.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 4:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

I do have one here from a project I'm not likely to complete.

though one thing to note that the I5 Diesel has the injection pump pulley off the back of the cylinder head. make sure it'll fit back there by the firewall and syncro fuel tank..

as you know these were never 'common' and wasn't cheap to import from SA when I bought mine.

I can grab a pic(s) of mine (it's shiny and new still) if you're interested.
send me a PM

Dan in Syracuse, NY

Yota-toy wrote:
Hello Community,
I am in search of an SA South African bell housing to mate my 2.0 Audi 5 cylinder diesel to my Syncro.
I was told that a 091 301 071F might be an alternative to the SA but neither of these beast seem to exist.
Can anyone help?
Thank you All:)

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Yota-toy
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 4:18 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

Thank you for the responses, I did read Herman's blog (he got lucky that the eng. seller also had the BH), and yes, he his brilliant, lots of amazing custom work...however I have not been able to contact him through his blog.
I had my suspicions regarding the input shaft MarkWard, would you happen to have the part no. or sales slip? I'm sure I'm just terrible at teaching the internet but have yet to find Eurospec co.
I will try and search here for other bits of info like starter and flywheel use/mods prior to just dumping my questions here but will likely end here again once I lasso this beast:).
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 4:44 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

No part number for the input shaft, but I searched my email and found this correspondence.

Thank you for the picture Mark,

Yes, we do have this part you are looking for. We are asking $250.00 plus shipping.

Please call 1-800-892-4327 if you would like to place this order.

Thank you,

Kateka

German Transaxle of America. [email protected]

Here is a picture I took comparing the diesel input shaft to the SA one that was shot.

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


From my notes. Overall measurement is 12.75”
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Yota-toy
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 2:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

pm Sent






danfromsyr wrote:
I do have one here from a project I'm not likely to complete.

though one thing to note that the I5 Diesel has the injection pump pulley off the back of the cylinder head. make sure it'll fit back there by the firewall and syncro fuel tank..

as you know these were never 'common' and wasn't cheap to import from SA when I bought mine.

I can grab a pic(s) of mine (it's shiny and new still) if you're interested.
send me a PM

Dan in Syracuse, NY

Yota-toy wrote:
Hello Community,
I am in search of an SA South African bell housing to mate my 2.0 Audi 5 cylinder diesel to my Syncro.
I was told that a 091 301 071F might be an alternative to the SA but neither of these beast seem to exist.
Can anyone help?
Thank you All:)
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

pics taken, PM replied,
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Yota-toy
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 3:38 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

Am I looking for the 12.75 shaft? Do you remember how long ago you made this order?
Is there anything else I should do (short of a total rebuild/tougher case) when I have the bell housing off?
I've never disassembled a gearbox but if it's out and I should...well...Smile

-my g.box is a Syncro-



MarkWard wrote:
No part number for the input shaft, but I searched my email and found this correspondence.

Thank you for the picture Mark,

Yes, we do have this part you are looking for. We are asking $250.00 plus shipping.

Please call 1-800-892-4327 if you would like to place this order.

Thank you,

Kateka

German Transaxle of America. [email protected]

Here is a picture I took comparing the diesel input shaft to the SA one that was shot.

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


From my notes. Overall measurement is 12.75”
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 4:30 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

Dan can probably tell you better. We had a van in the shop with an upright bellhousing and. 4 cyl TDI that needed a clutch. We found the input shaft damaged beyond use. Having stock input shafts on hand is where I realized this one was longer by quite a bit. Searching the internet we got lucky. It was at least a couple years ago.

I recall seeing an external brace that connected the bellhousing to the case to support the heavier engine. A couple good threads on how to improve the syncro transaxle internals.
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snowsyncro
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:

I recall seeing an external brace that connected the bellhousing to the case to support the heavier engine.


Good point Mark.

On the subject of the brace...

(Not pretending to be the expert here, but I did a bunch of research when I was planning this conversion myself a long time ago now.)

That brace, often referred to as the "SA brace" was originally fitted to the South African T3s when they were fitted with the 5-cyl gasoline engine. Five cylinder engines, while they do have first-order balance, have a second-order imbalance, that is an end-to-end rocking moment. When coupled to the transaxle via the SA bellhousing, there was unfortunately a natural frequency that was within the range of the engine rocking vibration. The result was a very noisy and destructive vibration.

They did a lot of study (Derek Drew has referenced this in the past) and the "fix" was the SA brace. It is a steel brace that fits on top of the bellhousing and ties the engine, bellhousing, and transaxle together, stiffening the assembly and raising the first modal frequency out of the normal exciting RPM range. I have read somewhere that VW SA had intentions of using the 5-cylinder diesel, but aborted that plan due to this problem. That could be complete hearsay, I have no way of knowing.

Unfortunately, the Syncro fuel tank interferes with this SA brace, and it cannot be used in its gasoline engined form. Some (Jon_slider on his van Betty for the 5-cyl Audi Diesel, for example) have fabricated their own Syncro versions. If you want evidence of the problem dig out old threads of Mike Ghia with his van Limey. He tells stories about the noise and oil being pumped out of the bellhousing as gaps opened up in the mating flange seams while he was towing another vehicle back from Germany I think. I don't know where the oil was coming from, but I assume a leaking seal from either the engine or transaxle. I recall that his theory was the vibration was opening up the mating flange gap and pumping oil out of there. Mike eventually pulled that diesel engine, and I think advised anyone else to not use that engine in a Syncro. I think.

You have probably read his threads already, but in case you haven't search this forum. Forum name "SyncroGhia", van name "Limey".

Anyway, the point of this is to be aware that a five-cylinder TDI is not simply a longer four-cylinder TDI. There are problems using five-cylinder engines with that bellhousing that you need to be aware of, if you are not already.

I was going to do it myself. I also have the brand new SA bellhousing, and the brand new 5-cyl Audi diesel. For the input shaft, I paid 400 USD (which was a lot of CAD at the time) to have a forum member fabricate one as part of a special run, but he never delivered, so that is gone. Another lesson learned I guess.

I still might do that conversion some day, but with my eyes wide open. Others have done it and put lots of miles on their transaxles, but the 5-cylinder diesel has a bit of a reputation as a transmission killer. I can be mis-remembering this as well, but I am pretty sure that Daryl at AA Transaxle labelled it as such, and did not warranty rebuilds if they were going to be used with 5-cyl engines, gas or diesel.

I can't recall the specific details, but I think Alaric was able to use the stock input shaft by mixing and matching clutch pressure plate and disk to allow him to use the Audi flywheel and the Syncro input shaft. If I recall correctly, the stock Audi clutch splines don't match the VW splines.

To fit the Audi (AEL) diesel to the SA bellhousing, a spacer is required to provide clearance for the clutch housing. Most people made their own over here I think, but that is a VW SA part, and I think there are two different versions. Mike Ghia talks about that somewhere.

RonC
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Yota-toy
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

RonC,
Great info. I had not read about the vibration killing transmissions. Mostly it came across as annoying to driver and passenger so I played it off as 'not a diesel enthusiast' but I will take your info and process as needed as I did make a deal on an SABH so it is game on and sorry you got the shaft by not getting the shaft:/
It seems strange though that this vibration may plague the Vanagon transaxle as the few I5 diesel cars I've had the pleasure of dismantling do not have the large brace block on the BH'z and seem to run very smooth even with the transplanted DZ in my Audi 5000 w/gasser trans.
This ofc, could be the flywheel used or even the fact that the engine is now at 50º not 15º (not positive if 15 is the Audi 5k angle). Either or, I will power through any doubts as this has been a dream for some time and as I explained to the BH seller, I travelled over 9k in two yrs just to acquire the engines so I can't/won't stop now.
Maybe there is a reason these bells are prized mantle pieces, lol.
As earlier stated, thank you all who contributed their info and experiences. I hope lessons learned can be just that, lessons learned!!!
Happy Vaniging:)




edit(ing) auto correct:/


Last edited by Yota-toy on Fri May 07, 2021 6:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

I'm not sure a NA 2.0l 5cyl diesel (67hp) will generate the same destructive torque and harmonics as a 2.5l 5cyl TDI (140hp) which are often tweaked by their TDI owners with larger injectors and modified pumps.. IMO a power sickness kills transmissions. the same individuals who put a monster motor into a vehicle will (at times) drive it like it has a monster motor.. afterall why else go through all the trouble and expenses.
Edit: oh and with monster sized tires. which (again IMO) puts ALOT of unneeded strain on the weaker Syncro gears and bearings.. tires and torque trying to fight with a delicate transaxle stuck in the middle.
I keep the image of a bear on a bike in my mind when looking at tire size and engine size vs the transaxle how long will the crank bearings or chain really last

example is Limey towing a van with his TDI powered monster.
*not saying I haven't done that myself, but my powerplant was a ~90hp I4gas. which I flogged for a thousand miles in 3rd gear @4500rpms. and that trans eventually failed. not unsure if it was age or abuse or both.

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

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AndyBees
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

I also have a SA Bell Housing .........nice and shiny too!
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Last edited by AndyBees on Fri May 07, 2021 6:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

Well said. Power is cool and fun but never cheap, either in inception or practice. A well refined (tho-a bit goofy) adventure rider Ed March states that the money saved in not buying a massive cliche' adventure bike can be used to ride further and with much less fatigue with something a bit simpler...a honda C90 and make no mistake, plenty of fun can be had when your rental bike weighs less than 150kilos loaded and cost $117 US for 2 weeks. I rode with Ed in Loas, he is a genuine dude just out to have fun and maintains low power and hi power machines and if you get the chance to make a tour with him, the chaos is well worth the investment https://c90adventures.co.uk/product-category/t-shirts/
My I5 is stock at 87hp/127lb/ft. Maybe at some point it'll reach 100hp but my modest needs will hopefully curb any such catastrophic failures.
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

RonC,
Great info. I had not read about the vibration killing transmissions. Mostly it came across as annoying to driver and passenger so I played it off as 'not a diesel enthusiast' but I will take your info and process as needed as I did make a deal on an SABH so it is game on and sorry your got the shaft by not getting the shaft:/
It seems strange though that this vibration may plaque the Vanagon transaxle as the few I5 diesel cars I've had the pleasure of dismantling do not have the large brace block on the BH'z and seem to run very smooth even with the transplanted DZ in my Audi 5000 w/gasser trans.
This ofc, could be the flywheel used or even the fact that the engine is now at 50º not 15º (not positive if 15 is the Audi 5k angle). Either or, I will power through any doubts as this has been a dream for some time and as I explained to the BH seller, I travelled over 9k in two yrs just to acquire the engines so I can't/won't stop now.
Maybe there is a reason these bells are prized mantle pieces, lol.
As earlier stated, thank you all who contributed their info and experiences. I hope lessons learned can be just that, lessons learned!!!
Happy Vaniging:)
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 12:09 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

Are you going down the wrong track?
I am about instaling a 2,5 5pot TDI AAT engine in my VW LT. it is a lot of work.
I also have a T3/Vanagon Syncro with the 1,9 TDI AAZ engine. I would newer ever consider instaling a 5 syl engine in my Syncro. The 1,9 AAZ is an almost direct replacement for the 1,6 70hp JX engine. If you have a 1,6TD it is almost bolt on. You will save yourself a lot of time and money if you go for a 1,9TD or TDI. A 70hp JX engine, with a Intercooler also delivers 90hp if you adjust it right, but the 1,9 is a better engine and can deliver 90hp or 110 with an Intercooler. I am planing to get around 90-95 hp out of the AAZ when the Intercooler is instaled.
Also changing and adjusting the 2 cam belts on a 5 syl engine is a PITA
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 5:28 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

My first transplant was a 3.0 liter V6 into a toyota Pick Up. It was a total pita and the only after install nuisance I ran into was the oil filter block off plate would rub the fabricated eng. mount so it had to be retighted every few thousand miles so I kept a custom wrench on board.
I remember how proud I was to have completed this project, ousting the 95/106 4 banger for a $400 factory toyota rebuilt 150/180 v6 complete with an auto trans (which I wanted for rock crawling) and the first two comments I received were, 'why not a stick' and 'why waste time on a 3 point slow'?.....The truck stomped all over everybody unless they had thousand upon thousands of dollars in upgrades....I was even a little hated for that:). The eng. served me well but eventually beating the snot out of it left me with trans problems that actually turned out to be in the elec. harness.
Now the same style truck has an OM617 MerBenz 5 cyl. w/a 722 slushy that will eventually mate to a rebuilt Dana 18 T-case and the first comment was 'why waste all that work on an engine w/125hp?'
To each his own. If one chooses a massive headache or just a simple root for their own reasons I say good work mate...even if it's something that couldn't interest me. If the builder was passionate and put their all into it than it was worth it. And sometimes this passion to be different can open up even more avenues or rather, digging into the root problems and discovering 'the fix' that will make it a worthy endeavor.






Buss Marius wrote:
Are you going down the wrong track?
I am about instaling a 2,5 5pot TDI AAT engine in my VW LT. it is a lot of work.
I also have a T3/Vanagon Syncro with the 1,9 TDI AAZ engine. I would newer ever consider instaling a 5 syl engine in my Syncro. The 1,9 AAZ is an almost direct replacement for the 1,6 70hp JX engine. If you have a 1,6TD it is almost bolt on. You will save yourself a lot of time and money if you go for a 1,9TD or TDI. A 70hp JX engine, with a Intercooler also delivers 90hp if you adjust it right, but the 1,9 is a better engine and can deliver 90hp or 110 with an Intercooler. I am planing to get around 90-95 hp out of the AAZ when the Intercooler is instaled.
Also changing and adjusting the 2 cam belts on a 5 syl engine is a PITA
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 6:44 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

@danfromsyr

Yes, you are of course correct with all of that. Those forces add to the problem I am talking about, but don't affect it directly. It comes as a result of rotating mass, so it could actually be worse with a NA engine, depending on the mass of the crankshaft, pistons, and connecting rods. More powerful engines, as you said, can create more damaging conditions.

@Yota-toy

Not trying to discourage you at all. Cheering from the sidelines in fact. The Audi 5-cylinder turbo (AEL) is a 15 degree engine. With the Syncro engine bar it clears the engine lid. Due to its length and the spacer, it required a bit of sheet metal clearancing at the back.

About the comparison to cars...

Yup this a phenomenon specific to the combination of engine and transaxle mass, bellhousing stiffness and the front and rear mounting configuration of the T3. I have several T4 5-cylinder vans, including a diesel, and there is no problem there at all.

RonC
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Bell Housing Reply with quote

it's good to be as aware as possible to the potential problems and experiences to those who've pioneered before us..

didn't know it would be as much on rotating mass as the explosive impulses of the fuel and cylinder conditions.. I've equated the 'harmonics' to similar to a locomotive or say tug boat under heavy loads you know that deep down room-room-room-room you can feel & hear and the powers of a tweaked TDI with big tires.
we just don't have enough pioneers in the more mundane lower HP variation..

so if this project comes to fruition, it'd be interesting to hear back it's life and trials as a powerplant..

I know that the 2.5l Eurovan 5cyl we have in mom's (automatic) 86 westy can have a bit of hum at highway speeds.. but the 5cyl torque is quite nice in a heavy camper. which the automatic does a great job converting to propulsion.
our biggest challenge was fitting a muffler along with the lengthy engine.
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