REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- With the engine removed from the car, remove the rear wheels, disconnect the brake lines at the rear wheels and plug the lines.
- Disconnect the parking brake cables from the push bar at the frame and withdraw the cables from their conduit tubes.
- Remove the bolts at the rear axle shaft bearing.
- Disconnect the clutch release cable from the operating shaft lever and pull it from its guide plate.
- From the access hole under the rear seat, disconnect the shift rod in back of the coupling.
- Remove the nuts from the mounting studs at the front of the transmission.
- Remove the lower shock absorber mounting bolts and mark the position of the rear torsion bar radius arm in relation to the rear axle bearing housing by using a chisel.
- Disconnect the wires from the starter motor.
- Disconnect the ground strap from the frame and remove the nuts from the auxiliary spring rods (1966 Squareback and 1967-68 beetles).
- Place a suitable jack under the unit, and remove the two bolts at the transmission attachments with a 27mm wrench.
- Withdraw the transaxle toward the rear of the car. Be sure that the main driveshaft is not damaged or bent when the unit is placed on the ground.
Installation of the transaxle unit is accomplished by reversing the removal procedure. The two bolts at the transaxle carrier should be greased before being tightened. When a new rear axle is being installed, it is advisable that the retaining nuts of the transaxle cradle be tightened fully only after the front mounting has been securely tightened. This tightening sequence is necessary to prevent distortion and premature wear of the rubber mountings.
When the shift rod coupling is reinstalled, the point of the coupling screw should be correctly engaged in the recess. The screw should be secured with a piece of wire. After replacing the ground strap, install the rear axle tubes in their correct positions. The mounting bolts on the sprig plate should be tightened to a torque of about 80 ft. lbs. Tighten the lower mounting bolts of the shock absorbers securely. Install the engine and adjust the clutch pedal free-play to 2 / 5 - 4 / 5 in. and tighten the rear axle shaft nuts to 217 ft. lbs. If the cotter pin cannot be lined up, turn further until it can be inserted. Bleed the brakes and adjust the hand brakes.
When a new axle, frame, spring plate or front transmission mounting is installed, the rear wheels must be re-aligned.
A special optical alignment gauge is necessary for this purpose. An accurate setting it not otherwise possible.Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) Models
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Remove the engine, as described in .
- Remove the special 12-point socket head screws which secure the driveshafts to the transaxle. Remove the bolts from the transaxle end first, then remove the shafts.
It is not necessary to remove the driveshafts entirely from the car if the car does not have to be moved while the transaxle is out.
- Disconnect the clutch cable from the clutch lever and remove the clutch cable and its guide tube from the transaxle. Loosen the square head bolt at the shift linkage coupling located near the rear of the transaxle. Slide the coupling off the inner shift lever. There is an access plate under the rear seat to reach the coupling on Type 1 and 3 models. It is necessary to work under the car to reach the coupling on Type 2 models.
- Label and disconnect the starter wiring.
- Label and disconnect the back-up light switch wiring.
- Remove the front transaxle mounting bolts.
- Support the transaxle with a floor jack and remove the transaxle carrier bolts.
- Carefully lower the jack and remove the transaxle from the car.
- Jack the transaxle into position and loosely install the bolts.
- Tighten the transaxle carrier bolts first, then tighten the front mounting nuts.
- Install the driveshaft bolts with new lockwashers. The lockwashers should be positioned on the bolt with the convex side toward the screw head.
- Reconnect the wiring, the clutch cable, and the shift linkage.
It may be necessary to align the transaxle so that the driveshaft joints do not rub the frame.
- Install the engine.
1949-60 Transaxle Assembly
While the split-type transaxle is no longer manufactured, there are a sufficient number of units in operation to warrant the following summary of the disassembly and assembly operations:DISASSEMBLY
- Remove the gear selector housing.
- Remove clutch release bearing assembly.
- Remove the bolts holding the transaxle halves together.
- With a rubber hammer, carefully separate the case halves, then lift off the right half.
- Remove the main driveshaft (the long, clutch-driven shaft).
- With a rubber hammer, drive the axle and differential unit from the case.
Many shims and special purpose washes are used in this unit. It is advisable to lay out, or otherwise identify these parts to help in assembly.
- Remove the lockpin at the reverse sliding gear shaft and drive out the shaft.
- Lift out the reverse gear.
To disassemble the drive pinion shaft:
- Straighten out the lockplate, and remove the retaining nut.
- Remove the ball bearing, fourth gear, third-fourth synchronizer hub, and the roller bearing assembly.
To disassemble the main driveshaft:
- Straighten out the lockplate, and remove the retaining nut.
- Remove the ball bearing and the high speed gear with a press.
- Spread the spacer with a prytool and press off the third speed gear.
- Remove the woodruff keys, and remove the ball bearing at the first speed gear end of the shaft.
To disassemble the differential:
- Cut the lock wire and remove.
- Remove the ring gear retaining bolts.
- Remove the differential housing cover, axle shaft, differential side gears, fulcrum plates (trunnion blocks), and the ring gear.
- Remove the lockpin, and pullout the differential shaft and the differential pinion gears.
To assemble the differential:
- Insert each axle shaft into its corresponding side gear and fulcrum plates. The play between axle and fulcrum plates should be from 0.002-0.009 in. Overside fulcrum plates are available.
- Install the axle shaft and side gear assembly, differential gears, shaft and lockpin. Stake the pin to secure it.
- Install the other axle, side gear, and housing assembly. Tighten the bolts to 43-45 ft. lbs. Safety wire these bolts as a security measure.
At this point special equipment is required to relate the ring gear accurately with the pinion. According to design, the face of the drive pinion is positioned 59.22mm from the centerline of the ring gear. This measurement must be flexible to the extent of manufacturing tolerances, and the deviation from standard is stamped on the edge of the ring gear. The ring gear and pinion gear, as on the tunnel-type transaxle, are matched in sets. Backlash value is also etched on the edge of the ring gear.
In the absence of special differential gauges and measuring equipment, the red lead tooth patterning method has been used, however, the practice is not advisable. The following is a brief description of the recommended procedure, using special Volkswagen tools:
To establish the location of the pinion in the case, install and hold the pinion in the case as far and firmly as possible. Install the mandrel of the gauging tool in one half of the case. Install the other case half and bolt them together.
Rotate the mandrel until the spring-loaded plunger of the mandrel is at right angles to the face of the pinion. Now, release the plunger to permit contact with the face of the pinion. Lock the plunger in this position, then rotate the mandrel so that the plunger is away from contact with the pinion. Separate the two case halves so that the mandrel may be removed for measurement.
Half of the diameter of the mandrel, plus the length of the extended pin, should correspond with the value etched on the edge of the ring gear. If these values do not agree, the pinion-positioning shim installed in Step 10 under To Assemble the Drive Pinion Shaft must be changed.
Carrier bearings must carry a preload sufficient to spring the case 0.005-0.007 in., while while maintaining a good tooth pattern and a backlash value corresponding to that etched on the ring gear. This is controlled by the selection of spacers used at the differential pedestal bearings. Proper thickness of spacer rings can be determined by using the special measurement tools supplied by VW.
After installing the differential assembly into its recess in the left-hand housing, install the reverse sliding gear and shaft. Insert the lockpin through the bearing recess. Bend the lockplate over the main drive pinion shaft retaining nut, then install the assembly in the case. Before the case halves are assembled, gears should be shifted to check for free and full tooth mesh. If full mesh is not made, loosen the positioning setscrew and move the shifter fork enough to centralize the gear. Reverse shaft lockscrew is accessible from inside the case, the other two being reached by removing the threaded plugs from outside the case.
To assemble the main driveshaft:
- Install the two woodruff keys and position the third speed gear on the driveshaft.
- Separate the spacer tube with a prytool and locate it over the woodruff keys.
- Install the fourth speed gear, then with an arbor press, push the gears into position until the third gear is tightly seated against the second gear.
- Install both bearings, the lockring, lockplate, and the retaining nut.
- Tighten the locknut to 30-35 ft. lbs., and bend the lockplate to secure the nut.
To assemble the drive pinion shaft:
- Install the roller bearing inner race by expanding it in an oil bath of 190°F, then sliding it over the shaft and into position.
- Install the roller bearing.
- Install the end-play shim that was originally used. However, some modifications may be necessary, as described later.
- Slide the second speed clutch gear over the splines.
- Install the synchronizer and second speed gear.
- Slide the bushing into the second speed gear, then install the third speed gear and synchronizer ring over the bushing.
- Assemble the synchronizer hub for third and fourth gears by sliding the operating sleeve onto the clutch gear, at the same time pulling the three plates into position and securing them with the two snaprings. The ring ends must be located in one sector between two shifter plates.
- Slide the synchronizer unit onto the drive pinion shaft and rotate the synchronizer ring until the shifting notches engage the slots. The top of the synchronizer hub should be even with the top end of the shaft splines by plus or minus 0.002 in.
- Place the fourth speed synchronizer ring against the hub, then slide the fourth speed gear bushing into position followed by the fourth speed gear.
- Install the thrust washer, and measure end-play of the gear train. End-play should be from 0.004-0.010 in. Shims are available in various sizes for this purpose.
- Install the double row ball bearing.
- Position and hold the drive pinion assembly so that the locknut on the end of the shaft may be tightened to 80-87 ft. lbs. Do not lock the nut at this time.
- Complete the assembly of the first gear by installing the three coil springs and shifter plates. Be sure the plates are positioned with their ends under the snapring.
- Press all shifter plates down and slide the first gear over the hub.
To assemble the case halves:
Coat the mating surfaces of the housing halves with sealer. Assemble the two halves and tighten the retaining bolts to 15 ft. lbs. The double row rear pinion bearing must be preloaded by 0.001-0.004 in. This is done by inserting shims between the bearing and the gear shift housing at the rear of the transaxle. To do this, take a depth gauge reading of the bearing recess in the gear shift housing, then measure the amount that the bearing race extends beyond the surface of the case. Paper shims are available to make up this specified preload.
Repeat the above measuring and shimming procedure at the mainshaft bearing and add enough shims to produce a 0.001-0.004 in. preload. Install the gearshift cover and test shift the unit.
Install the transaxle by reversing the removal procedure.
In the differential assembly of the VW Transporter, the ring gear is positioned on the opposite side of that in passenger cars, being on the right side of the unit instead of on the left. The reason for this difference is the presence of reduction gears on the rear of the transporter. These gears serve to make possible increased ground clearance in the Transporter and also to reduce the road speed at any given engine RPM to handle the loads allowed for in its design. If the ring gear of the Transporter is accidentally installed on the wrong side of the differential unit, the result will be a Transporter with one forward speed and four in reverse.1961-69 Transaxle Assembly
(The general automotive technician should not do extensive work on this unit unless having special tools and experience.)DISASSEMBLY
- Remove the gear selector housing and pry off the lockplates that secure the drive pinion and driveshaft nuts.
- Lock the transaxle by engaging both reverse and high gears.
- Remove the drive pinion and main driveshaft nuts, and remove and discard the lockplates.
- Remove the gear carrier stud nuts, the ground strap, and the accelerator cable retainer.
- Position the assembly so that the left-hand final drive cover faces up.
- Remove the stud nuts from the left-hand final drive cover, then remove the cover.
- Attach tool VW 297 to the right-hand final drive cover studs, and press out the differential. Note the thicknesses and positioning of the differential shims to simplify reassembly.
- Loosen the retaining ring that secures the reverse gear on the main driveshaft.
- Slide reverse gear toward the rear and screw apart the main driveshaft.
- Remove the reverse gear and the retaining ring and withdraw the rear main shaft toward the rear, taking care not to damage the oil seal.
- Remove tool VW 297 and right-hand final drive cover.
- Release the lock tabs and remove the attaching screws, then remove the drive pinion ball bearing retainer.
- Press the transaxle out of case with tool VW 296. Note the thickness of the pinion shims to simplify reassembly.
- Spread and remove the snapring, then pull off the reverse drive gear.
- Remove the woodruff key and withdraw the reverse gear shaft and thrust washer from the transaxle case.
- Remove the security screw of the needle bearing spacer sleeve from the reverse gear shaft.
- With a suitable drift, drive out the reverse gear shaft needle bearings and spacer sleeve.
- Remove the security screw from the needle bearing of the main driveshaft.
- With a suitable drift, drive out the main drive shaft needle bearing.
- Press out the ball bearings from both final drive covers, and remove the clutch release bearing and operating shaft.
Clean and inspect the case and all components for wear, damage or any indication of malfunction, and replace as necessary. The starting motor armature, brushes and bushings should be inspected and dealt with accordingly. The clutch operating shaft and bushings should be checked and, if necessary, replaced.
- Press the ball bearings into both final drive covers.
- Insert the needle bearings for the reverse gear shaft and spacer sleeve, then secure them.
- Install the main driveshaft needle bearing with a suitable drift, then secure.
- Install the reverse shaft, woodruff key thrust washer and gear, then secure with a snapring.
- Locate the drive pinion shims over the bearing, then turn the two 4 in. guide studs into the bearing retainer to assure retainer and shim alignment during transaxle-to-case assembly.
- Push the reverse selector and the sliding gear onto the reverse lever and engage the reverse gear.
- With a new carrier gasket in place, carefully insert the transaxle into the case (the 4 in. guide screws will help at this time).
- Remove the guide screws, then install the transaxle-to-case attaching screws and lockplates. Tighten them to 36 ft. lbs.
- Lubricate the lip of oil seal, and install the rear half of the main driveshaft.
- Screw both halves of the driveshaft together.
- Back them off until the splines of the reverse gear are aligned, then install the reverse gear snapring.
- With a new gasket in place, install the right-hand final drive cover and tighten to 18 ft. lbs.
- With the shims properly inserted, install the differential in the case.
- Install the gear carrier nuts and tighten to 14 ft. lbs.
- Lock the transaxle by engaging both reverse and fourth gears at the same time.
- Tighten the main driveshaft nut to 87 ft. lbs., then loosen the nut and retighten to a final 43 ft. lbs. Secure with lockplate.
- Tighten the drive pinion nut to 43 ft. lbs. and secure with lockplate.
- Remove the reverse selector fork including the reverse sliding gear from the reverse lever.
- Remove and note the thickness of the drive pinion ball bearing shims.
- Clamp the gear carrier in a vise equipped with soft jaws.
- Loosen and withdraw the shifting fork lock screws, and remove the first-second shifting fork.
- Withdraw the shifting fork shaft from the third-fourth shifting fork.
- For security, place a strong rubber band around the first-second operating sleeve and main shaft, mount the assembly in a press, case end up, and press on the main shaft to remove the transaxle from the gear carrier.
- Remove the screw that holds the drive pinion needle bearing, and press out the bearing.
- Press out the main driveshaft bearing.
- Clamp the gear carrier in a vise with soft jaws, and remove the reverse lever guide screws.
- Withdraw the reverse gear selector shaft and remove the reverse lever guide.
- Withdraw the first-second selector shaft and remove the reverse lever from support.
- Withdraw the third-fourth selector shaft.
- Remove the plungers and detent balls, and hook out the detent springs with a small prytool.
All components should be checked for damage and wear, and replaced if necessary. Free length of detent springs should be 1.0 in. The wear, or fatigue, limit is 0.9 in. A force of 33-44 lbs. applied to the ends of the selector shafts should be required in order to unseat the detent balls when shifting.
- Insert the detent springs through the selector shaft holes.
Due to design, the springs for first-second and reverse gear detents can be more easily installed by inserting them into the top halves first.
- Install the reverse selector shaft, including the reverse lever and the reverse lever guide.
- Install the selector shafts for the first-second and for the third-fourth gears. Do not forget the two inter-locking plungers. This is a safety assurance against shifting two gears at the same time.
- Check the drive needle bearing and the main driveshaft ball bearing for wear and damage, and replace them if necessary.
- Secure the drive pinion needle bearing in the gear carrier.
- Position the gear carrier on a suitable support and press the main driveshaft ball bearing into position.
- Check the selector forks for wear. Fork-to-operating sleeve clearance should be 0.004-0.012 in. Greater clearance warrants parts replacement.
- Position the selector fork for the third-fourth gears.
- Press transaxle into the gear carrier. While pressing, take care that the third-fourth selector fork does not become jammed. Also, with a heavy rubber band, secure the first-second gears to the main driveshaft.
- Install the first-second selector fork.
- Attach the reverse gear fork with the reverse sliding gear onto the selector lever and adjust the selector forks, as described in the following section.
In order to adjust the selector forks, special equipment is required.
- Place the transaxle, drive pinion shims and gasket for the gear carrier on test tool VW 294 and secure the gear carrier with the four screws.
- Tighten the drive pinion bearing retainer with two screws located diagonally, to 36 ft. lbs. torque.
- Push the crank of the test tool onto the splines of the main driveshaft so that the main shaft is locked by the crank.
- Engage the first and second gears.
- With a torque wrench, tighten the main driveshaft nut to 87 ft. lbs., then loosen the nut and retighten to 43 ft. lbs. and lock it.
- Attach the gearshift housing and shifting handle. By attaching the gearshift housing, the correct seating of the main driveshaft bearing in its recess in the gear carrier is guaranteed.
- Position the first-second and third-fourth selector forks so that they move freely in the operating sleeve while in Neutral, and when various gears are engaged.
- Position the reverse gear selector fork so that the reverse sliding gear is centered between the operating sleeve and the second gear of the main driveshaft with the second gear engaged. The fork must also engage properly in reverse gear of the drive pinion when reverse gear is engaged.
- Using a T-handle torque wrench and socket, tighten the selector forks locking screws to 18 ft. lbs. Tighten the reverse lever guide screw to 14 ft. lbs.
- Remove the gearshift housing and transaxle from tool VW 294.
- Press out the inner race of needle bearing and fourth gear, then remove the woodruff key from the shaft.
- Remove the spacer sleeve, concave washer shims and the concave washer.
- Remove the second and third gears with the needle cage and second gear synchronizer stop ring.
- Remove the clutch gear for first and second gears, including springs, shifting plates and operating sleeve.
- Disassemble the parts.
- Inspect all components for wear and damage; replace as necessary.
If the pinion and ring gear require replacement, a matched set is in order. (Note matching number on both gears.) If the drive pinion or ball bearing is replaced, the drive pinion and ring gear must be adjusted. Whenever a damaged gear is replaced, the mating gear should also be replaced. Worn or otherwise damaged first and second speed gears require a replacement of the front main drive shaft.
Clean and check all synchronizer components for wear. Clearance between the synchronizer stop ring face and the clutch teeth of the corresponding gear should be about 0.043 in. If the wear limit of 0.024 in. has been reached, the stop ring should be replaced. If a gear will not engage, even though the clutch is fully released, the probable cause is wear in the slots of the stop ring. Worn parts should be replaced.ASSEMBLY
In preparation, the inner races of the ball bearing and the needle bearing inner race for first gear should be heated in an oil bath to approximately 194°F.
- Slide the ball bearing onto the drive pinion.
- Slide the second inner race on, so that the bearing parts numbers are exactly opposite each other.
- Slide the first gear thrust washer and needle bearing inner race onto the drive pinion.
- With the components mounted in a press, press all parts into correct position.
- Tighten the round nut to 108-144 ft. lbs.
- Install the shims for first gear.
- After the clutch gear for first and second gears has been installed, check for end-play of 0.004-0.010 in. between the thrust washer and first gear. Correct if necessary; shims of various thicknesses are available for this purpose.
- Position the first speed stop ring on the cone surface of the gear. (First and second synchronizer stop rings are not interchangeable.)
- Assemble the synchronizer unit for first and second gears.
- Slide the operating sleeve on the clutch gear so that its shifting plate slots are in line with the slots in the clutch gear.
- With the shifting plates in position, install the two snaprings, offset to each other.
- Slide the synchronizer assembly onto the drive pinion. The longer hub should be toward the face of the drive pinion splines.
- Turn the first speed stop ring until shifting plates engage with the slots.
- Adjust the concave washer to produce the prescribed spring travel of 0.0066-0.0074 in.
- Heat the fourth speed gear and needle bearing inner race in an oil bath to 194°F. before pressing into position.
- Insert the woodruff key for fourth gear into the drive pinion.
- Slide the fourth gear onto the drive pinion, with the wide shoulder facing the spacer sleeve.
- Press the fourth speed gear and needle bearing inner race fully into position.
- Remove the thrust washer, fourth gear, needle bearing cage and stop ring.
- Remove the fourth speed needle bearing inner race, clutch gear for third and fourth speed and third gear.
- Remove the needle bearing cage for the third gear.
- Strip down the synchronizing unit for the third and fourth gears.
- Clean and inspect all parts for wear and damage.
- Place the front main driveshaft between the two centers and, with a dial indicator, check for run-out at the contact surface of the third gear needle bearing. Run-out must not exceed 0.0006 in.
If excessive run-out warrants replacement of the front main driveshaft, the gear wheels for first and second speeds on the drive pinion must also be replaced at the same time.
- Check the clearance between the stop ring face and the clutch teeth of the corresponding gear with a feeler gauge. Normal clearance is 0.043 in. If a wear limit of 0.024 in. has been reached, stop rings need replacement. If a gear resists engagement, even though the clutch is fully released, it may be due to misalignment of the teeth of the stop ring with the splines of the operating sleeve. This is caused by wear in the slots of the stop ring.
- Check fourth gear thrust washer for wear, and replace if necessary.
- Assemble the synchronizing unit for the third and fourth gears. To hold the lash between the clutch gear and the operating sleeve to a minimum, the sleeve and clutch gear are matched and etched for identification.
- Position the shifting plates and install the two snaprings, offset to each other. Be sure that the ring ends engage behind the shifting plates.
- Insert the clutch gear woodruff key into the main driveshaft.
- Place the third gear synchronizer stop ring on the cone of the gear.
- Press the clutch gear for third and fourth gears into position. The identifying figure 4 on the clutch gear must be toward the fourth gear. Third gear is lifted slightly and turned until the stop ring engages in the shifting plates.
- Press the fourth gear needle bearing inner race into position.
- Put the differential into a holding fixture.
- Cut and remove the safety lockwire and the ring gear attaching screws.
- Lift off the ring gear.
- After driving out the lockpin, push out the differential pinion shaft, and remove the differential pinions.
- Check the differential pinion concave thrust surfaces in the differential housing. If scored or worn, replace the differential housing.
- Install the differential pinion gears and shaft, then install the pinion shaft lockpin and peen it into place.
- Examine the ring gear for wear or damage. If necessary, replace it. Ring and drive pinion must be replaced only in pairs, which are matched.
Replacement of drive pinion and ring gear or differential housing requires readjustment of the transaxle.
- Install and tighten the ring gear attaching screws to a torque of 43 ft. lbs.
- Insert the ring gear attaching screws safety wire to effect a clockwise force on the attaching screws. Twist ends of the safety wire and cut off.
Quiet operation with minimum wearing of the final drive is directly dependent upon pinion and ring gear relationship. For this reason, drive pinion and ring gears are produced in matched pairs and are so identified. Silent operation is obtained by adjusting the drive pinion endwise with the ring gear lifted enough out of the fully engaged position (without backlash) to ensure backlash being within the prescribed tolerance of 0.0067-0.0098 in. Any tolerance difference from standard is measured and marked on the pinion face.
Normally, it is necessary to readjust the ring gear and drive pinion only if parts have had to be replaced which directly affect the adjustment. It is satisfactory to readjust the ring gear if the differential housing, a final drive cover or a differential bearing have been replaced. The pinion and ring gear must be readjusted if the transmission case, the gear itself, or the drive pinion ball bearing have been replaced. To be sure of silent operation, the pinion must first be adjusted by installing shims between the ball bearing and the contact surface at the transaxle case. This is to reestablish the factory setting of distance from the center line of the ring gear to the drive pinion face.
Both final drive covers must be installed with a preload of 0.0055 in. After determining the thickness of the shims, a preload of 0.0028 in. must be considered on both sides.