July 19 - 20, 1997

During this year's Summer Vacation to the Southwest the transmission started popping out of fourth gear. We drove home from New Mexico with a bungee cord holding the shift lever in gear. Nothing new to us VW enthusiasts but it does get a bit old after while!

Once home I e-mailed Kennedy Engineered Products at kennedy@hughes.net and asked them who they would recommend as a transmission rebuilder. They recommended:

Transaxle Engineering Inc.
"Ask for Jeff Fields".

So I called Jeff and ordered a rebuilt 1971 tranny. Several days later UPS delivered it and the weekend of July 19-20, once again, I crawled under ROADCOW and removed the engine and tranny. When I had it out, and the new tranny bolted up, I took a picture that shows what a 1981 Toyota Corolla 3TC engine adapted to a 1971 VW transmission, using a Kennedy Engineered Products adapter plate and flywheel looks like.

I replaced the starter which had been giving us trouble in hot weather. Also, when I had everything apart I put in a fresh clutch disk.

Once everything was back together I put in a fresh set of spark plugs and changed the oil, oil filter and air filter. ROADCOW is now happy.

Or, is it?

I went out on a test drive but the clutch didn't feel right. There was not near enough "free play" and the clutch engaged way too soon in the clutch pedal travel. Damn! I hate it when that happens!

I called my friend Joel and talked about the problem. It seems the 1971 bus was a year when things changed in the transmission bell housing design. 1971 and older pressure plates had a small ring in the center where the throw-out bearing made contact. 1971 and newer busses didn't need that ring Their transmissions use a guide around the impeller shaft to align the throw-out bearing . I had the wrong style pressure plate because I had been running the bus with an early 1971 transmission in it. Now it had the late style 1971 tranny. I should have known.

Back out with the engine and transmission. Unbolt the tranny from the engine and install the correct pressure plate. Then, put it all back together once again. Now the clutch has the correct free-play.

Once again I can experience "Trouble Free Motoring!".


Now what?

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