Changing from A/T to M/T and vice-versa or A/T swaps.


giro

New member
Has anyone exchanged a manuel for an automatic. I have an 85 and the auto is going out, and so since I have to replace and would rather go with a manuel. If anyone has how hard is it. I've found a junked one and can get all the parts to include tranny, cheaper than a rebuild kit for my auto. Also I seem to be having trouble searching the archieves any suggestions.
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
This is one where you might want to make good friends with your dealer and go through the parts fiche to see what the differences are.

Obviously, it can be done -- the question is at what cost and can it all be done "backyard."

Among the things you'll have to investigate are installing the clutch pedal, master cylinder and related plumbing. Since the clutch feed off the brake system, there may be some conflicts. You will now need a flywheel and complete clutch assembly.

There will be a number of electrical considerations, such as changing from the nuetral safety/back-up light, and possibly FI system interaction. I would expect changes in the vacuum hook-ups.

A complete shift control lever & linkage will have to be installed. I can't vouch if the body panels housing it are compatibile -- the housings looks very different.

There is a different accelerator linkage system.

I would investigate the starter -- they are apparently different, though I've seen one post where the writer says the A/T starter can be adapted to an M/T starter.

Many of these systems and diagrams are described and pictured in the Bentley shop manual. I'd spend a lot of time checking the manual's diagrams compared to your vehicle.

We'll hope Cliff G. or one of the other posters can add to this with actual experience, but this ought to give you some starting points to check-out. Usually, a major transplant has many hidden costs beyond the difference in price of the two transmissions. Since the source vehicle is probably just as worn out as yours, many of the tranplanted parts may need overhaul or replacement.
 

giro

New member
Thanks; I had forgotten about the master cylinder"I was still thinking cable" and the starter. The rest I have given considration. I just got done rebuilding my master cylinder two days ago. I still thank I'am going to research into it more. I like my van except for the auto. I got a good deal on it in New Bern NC about four years ago. I did have a '71 westy but my wife had me sell it, worst mistake I ever made, loved that bus. Sorry got carried away. :D
 
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Kool912

New member
I currently drive a '78 Auto Westy with all original factory equipment and 139K miles.
In the event the auto trans would need replacement, would an auto unit from a '91
Westy be a drop-in fit? Or is it not realistic to consider? Hope I got this in the right section...
 

kenneth g

New member
total swap of drive chain

does any one know if changing a 1990 drive chain into a 1983 can be done or are there major changes to the body of the westy. do mounting points line up for motor mounts? or any other major things that I am not seeing?
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
The physical fit of engine block & tranny is not the biggest task. Go to your dealer and look at the parts fiche -- this should confirm most of the mounting hardware (carrier & tranny bearing supports) are the same. Carry the VIN #'s of both. There is an excellent primer on the 1.9 to 2.1 engine change under that topic in ENGINE CONVERSIONS. From a tranny point of view, bigger obstacles than fit are going to be the electrics, vacuum system, hydraulic clutch/brake system integration and the shift linkage. Since you have the complete '91, I would presume all of the mechanical parts other than the frame are available to transfer but changing all -- especially wiring and the FI interaction -- will be difficult.
 
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kenneth g

New member
Thanks Capt. Mike Yes I thought that installing whole components would solve a lot of the problems that are covered in the primer you pointed to . there is as you pointed out the electric and hydraulic . thats why I was wondering if any one on the sight had done this it seems like a more complet way of upgrading the 1.9 . Also I need motor and trany and want to convert to 4 sp. so it seems to make sence. love the car but don't want to spend more than the car is worth.
 

TonyMadrid

New member
auto transmission question

Hi everyone, I'm new here and hopefully someone here can help me with some information.

I have a 1973 beetle chassis with a 1600cc engine and an autostick transmission. I am planning to use the chassis to build a street usable dune buggy. Today I spoke with a techie at a dune buggy outfit in San Diego and he suggested that instead of using the autostick transmission I should consider using an automatic transmission from a Vanagon. He said that the housings are about the same size with the Vanagon transmission being a little chubbier, but it could be adapted with some modification to the chassis horns.

Does anyone have any information regarding a conversion like this?
Will the Vanagon auto trans easily mate up to the beetle engine?
What about the torque converter?
What about the transmission mount to the beetle chassis?
What about shift linkage?

I did some internet searching and apparently I would need a 1980 air-cooled transmission.

[Moderator Note: Site does not support dune buggys, but since Vanagon A/T's could theoreticlly be swapped into early Bay Windows with the upright engine, some of the questions might be of interest to bus owners.]
 
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