VW Automatic Register

Technical forum => Technical => Topic started by: Hbroberts@live.com on 22 August 2019, 16:27

Title: Rebuild transmission or not?
Post by: Hbroberts@live.com on 22 August 2019, 16:27
Hello everyone,

This is my first post. I bought a 1972 Beetle autostick last year and have been restoring it since then.  I removed and rebuilt the engine. I recently removed the transmission and cleaned it up.  My question is what should I do before reinstalling the transmission?

The car had 115,000 miles on it.  I donít know whether to have the transmission rebuilt or is there something I should look at before going to that expense?  I know I can replace seals, but beyond that I am wary of getting into the guts of the tranny.  A rebuild will cost about $800. All the related autostick parts are in good shape with the possible exception of the ATF tank.  I will replace the vacuum hoses and will have the atf lines rebuilt.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Title: Re: Rebuild transmission or not?
Post by: sb001 on 23 August 2019, 08:44
Welcome to vwar!

Is there any particular reason you feel the transmission needs a rebuild? Unless there is some sort of specific trouble you are having I say no reason to rebuild it. The main reason I say that is that most on here will agree the autostick transmission is virtually bulletproof. The immediate "on-off" of the internal clutch with no slipping, plus the far less frequent shifting, means it wears WAAAYY slower than a conventional 4 speed clutch. Grinding gears, etc in the autostick system are usually a result of the clutch arm being out of adjustment or the clutch servo not working properly- NOT something internal to the transmission.

My family has owned my 69 autostick since it was new and both me and my two sisters learned to drive on it and I ragged it out (as much as you can do that to a bug) in high school. The autostick didn't miss a beat through all that- we only replaced it 5-6 years ago when the clutch had gotten worn enough to where it wouldn't hold against the pressure plate any longer. That's 40 years with the same transmission  :D

The only thing I would recommend is draining the old gear oil out and replacing with new oil and a new pan gasket. vwnos has good German Goetz pan gaskets for only $5 + low shipping cost, a fantastic deal:


Regarding the gear oil, make sure it is STRAIGHT GL-4. There are whispers that the new GL-5 spec gear oil will damage the softer brass synchros in these older cars. GL-4 can be tough to find, but Napa sells Sta-Lube 85W-90  GL-4 gear oil for a decent price that should be fine.

Other than that I say leave it and put the $800 toward other parts of the car and enjoy driving it once it's back together! I'd estimate a good long while before you have to worry about the autostick.
Title: Re: Rebuild transmission or not?
Post by: Hbroberts@live.com on 23 August 2019, 10:44
Thanks for the reply. The reason I asked is because the car was not running when I bought it. The engine had seized. I was told that it ran well before it was parked in a field for a few years.
Title: Re: Rebuild transmission or not?
Post by: sb001 on 24 August 2019, 03:54
I'd bet if you just replace the gear oil and pan gasket you'll be fine, although obviously there's no telling how the transmission was maintained beforehand.
Title: Re: Rebuild transmission or not?
Post by: volkenstein on 28 August 2019, 02:58
A rebuild will cost about $800
. Don't believe everything you are quoted when it comes to these transmissions.  That is probably the lowest spec "rebuild" possible.  What sb001 has said. I would pay attention to the starter ring gear on the Torque Converter and toss the ATF as well. Because it has been sitting for years - seals may go hard. Find out when you eventually get it running...