Author Topic: Is conversion to manual possible???  (Read 2169 times)

East Bay Volksie

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Is conversion to manual possible???
« on: March 10, 2007, 12:02:26 AM »
A friend of mine is offering to sell me a 1969 Auto-stick. I've worked on the car a few times, but I find all those garden hoses for the auto-stick quite intimidating. I've had two 1970 beetles, 1969 and 1963 buses and a 1968 Karmann Ghia over the decades. I've swapped out a few gear boxes in my time and find it not the greatest way to spend an afternoon...especially when it turns into a weekend and all.
Here's my question: should the auto stick crap out on me, how possible is it to convert it over to a manual gearbox?
I have heard that some years have certain hardware, holes, conduits etc. already in place, and others do not.
It is not my intention to commit heresy on this board in my first post, and I certainly wouldn't want to alter the gearbox unless it were absolutely positively necessary.

volkenstein

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Read on Thesamba
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2007, 12:58:41 AM »
EBV,
      On www.thesamba.com in the late model (post '67) forum, there is an "index to interesting tech articles" sticky. Inside that you'll find a link for AS -> 4 speed swap. For a '69, you could be lucky and have one already but you more than likely be welding in a clutch cable guide tube will be your main problem along with time taken to hunt correct parts.


Now we'll turn into rioting villagers with pitchforks and torches!! :lol:


Regards
Volkenstein
1 Super RHD Semi-Auto "Klaus"

bookwus

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Is conversion to manual possible???
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2007, 10:48:34 AM »
Hiya East,

Welcome to the forum.

Like many other things with which we might be somewhat unfamiliar, the AutoStick (meaning its repair and maintenance) can be intimidating.  Truth be told, the system is actually pretty straightforward and not that difficult to maintain.  The actual case and its internals is rarely the source of any difficulties.  Problems are almost always handled by attending to the vacuum system (yes, those "garden hoses") and the electrics.

If, with your 69, you are looking for a good roadworthy car, I would bet that with a little preventative maintenance, you would likely be driving an AutoStick for quite some time into the future.

But, just for the sake of argument, let's assume that a good roadworthy driver is NOT what you really want.  Instead you want a street rod with a 4-speed.  Cool!  The answer to your question about conversion to a 4-speed is a simple one.  Yes.  This is a conversion which has been done many a time.  As Sean mentions, the one pitfall in this process is whether or not your car already has a clutch tube welded in place in the center tunnel.  It most likely will NOT have that clutch tube.  The earlier the AutoStick, the more likely it was built on an AutoStick dedicated pan, which means no clutch tube.  That will cost you some bucks getting that tube welded in or you might choose to go to a hydraulic clutch set-up.

My advice?  Not asked for, but here it comes anyway.......................
Try living with the AutoStick for a bit.  You may find it a good experience.  If not, THEN do your conversion knowing that you really would prefer a manual.  And, by the way, if you go the conversion route, please do take care removing your AS parts, and offer them up for sale here.
ike

70 AS Bug

East Bay Volksie

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thanks
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2007, 11:28:43 PM »
Mike,
I would be more than thrilled if the auto-stick kept on running and provided many years of faithful service. I am in no rush to get up close and personal with another transmission or to do any optional work.
My goal is to have a reliable daily driver. I keep my cars stock and only change stuff out when they become dangerous or unreliable.

I'd only convert the thing if I absolutely had to---for real. I don't want to do any unnecessary work. Just trying to see if it is possible (and what kinda hassle it would be), although the more I read the list, the more confidence I have that gear box is maladjusted and not necessarily on its last legs.

Rest assured, should that day come---and I hope it never does, I would make sure these vital auto stick organs are able to keep some other VW on the road.