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...

Title: Re: Rebuild transmission or not?
Post by: Tom K. on 21 February 2020, 22:21
The bottom of page 3 of this thread documents the things I did to my transmission while it was on the bench.
Title: Re: Rebuild transmission or not?
Post by: 68autobug on 31 March 2020, 09:21
The auto stick transmission is an excellent made piece of machinery....  You can have problems with brass bushes in the transmission but other that the seals it is usually OK....   You usually replace the torque converter seal every time You remove the engine so long as some time has passed...  as I believe the TC seal goes hard and works OK, but once the engine is moved... the Torque converter seal is moved and leaks.....

Lee in Australia..