[ba] Question about Automatic-> 5 speed conversion

Buchholz, Steven Steven.Buchholz at kla-tencor.com
Tue Aug 20 16:40:56 EDT 2002

Welcome to the SF Bay Area ... and to this list!

The interesting thing here is that the least of your worries should be
bolting the tranny onto the engine and hooking up the half shafts.  Do your
homework here before getting too involved though ...

The two main issues I had on a similar project on a FWD '84 5k were
unanticipated bodywork changes to accomodate the shifter and pedal cluster.
For the pedal cluster the problem was that the auto tranny tunnel was
significantly larger than that for the MT cars ... I ended up using a BFH to
reshape the tunnel ... I removed some of the padding underneath the carpet
and hacked the throttle pedal a little to make it all work, but it still is
apparent when you look down there.  For the shifter, the interface between
the MT and the AT were considerably different ... you couldn't just enlarge
the hole and bolt the 5-speed shifter in the same place.  The best way to do
this is to have a 5-speed donor from which you can remove the body part
which holds the shifter down and swap it into the recipient.  You will also
have a cable clutch ... not sure if this makes any difference or not, but on
the 5k the clutch master cylinder is part of the pedal cluster so it was
pretty painless.  Also be sure to know whether or not you need to find an MT
flywheel for your engine ... and put together a list of wear parts to
replace ... e.g. clutch and pressure plate, pilot bearing, throw out
bearing, TO bearing sleeve, final drive seals, CV boots for the outer CVJs,
clutch cable, etc. ...

Notice that while most of my comments are in the past tense, I still need to
complete the project to get my BiL's car back on the road ... once I get all
of MY cars back into running shape!

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)

 >  Hey, I am new to Audis, but not to VW's.  I am a long time
 >  Rabbit head and
 >  just moved to the Bay from Vermont.  I recently picked up a
 >  1986 4000CS
 >  (1.8, non-quattro) that is in GREAT shape.  The only
 >  problem is, after my
 >  Rabbit, it is not much fun to drive because of the crappy
 >  automatic.  I was
 >  wondering how much of a pain the conversion to 5 speed
 >  would be?  Anybody do
 >  this locally?  How hard is it to switch the pedal clusters?
 >   Do I have to
 >  swap Axles?  How much crossover is there?  Will my console
 >  work (inside the
 >  car) with a new trim plate?  Just curious.  My gut feeling
 >  is that I would
 >  do better to sell the car and buy a 4000 Quattro with a 5
 >  cyl and a 5 speed.
 >  But you never know.  I do love pain!
 >  -Dan
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