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Talking She's in...and she's GOOOOD!

Whelp, big thanks goes out to Pat S for his support, time and tools and to, of course, Mr. John Walker who's tolerance of me asking questions a couple times a day must have worn his patience thin.

For all of you on the fence about rebuilding your 915, know that I'm a middle-of-the-road, shade-tree mechanic who's rebuilt a few VW engines but never touched a transmission in my life. I must say that they are much easier than rebuilding an engine and really are fairly simple. I used my Bently manual which was pretty good, but left a couple of details out and also showed second gear bigger than first in their exploded-view diagram.

As far as tools goes, I really only needed the input shaft bearing pressed out (you can just heat it up and use a piece of soft wood for getting it back on) and we had to fabricate the 41mm (1-5/8") 12" deep socket for the input shaft (which holds 3rd and 4th gears) and an impact wrench which I may have been able to do without. Other than those 3 special tools, I used a vice with aluminum jaws and normal tools.

After missing a couple of things and redoing a few more, I'm fairly certain that I could teardown and rebuild the tranny in an afternoon (maybe 4 hours max). It's really that simple. I did take some pictures as I took it apart and that helped a bit in reassembling. Cool thing is that now I know how it works pretty much.

Before the rebuild, I could only get into first gear at a dead stop and it would also sometimes not go in unless I touched second beforehand. I could not downshift into 2nd unless I was under 25mph. Now, I can downshift into 1st at 25mph (maybe more) and second works great too.

I have badmouthed the 915 several times on this board, but I must say it works well when in good repair. What a fun project, good luck to all and to all a good shift!

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Old 03-11-2004, 07:22 PM
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Heck Iím only 5 not 68!
 
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Glad to here you are happy with your work and it all turned out well. How much did you spend as a total for the rebuild?
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Old 03-11-2004, 09:30 PM
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Lightbulb Rebuild costs...

It really depends upon what you need, but here's what I've got:

1/2 shift sleeve $129
3/4 shift sleeve $114
gasket set $32
1st teeth $92
2nd teeth $98
1st syncro $53
2nd syncro $58
3/4/5 syncros $53 each X 3
1st brake band $30
2nd brake band $30
3/4/5 brake bands $9 each X 6
--------------------------------------
41mm socket + pipe $15
Locktite 574 $?
Swepco $35
Copper gasket spray $6
punch nuts $15
6 cans of brake cleaner $12

optional:
compressor $100
1000lb engine stand $40
powder coating mix $25
bead blasting of fan stuff $50

The PARTS totaled ~$900, but this is a very complete rebuild. I chose not to replace 5th syncro as I could not tell the difference between the new syncro and the existing one. Brake bands and shift sleeves are judgement calls.

In retrospect, I would do all syncro bands, both sleeves (definitely 1-2) and any teeth. If you were just concerned about 1st and 2nd, that's the easiest stack to rebuild as you dont need ANY special tools for it.
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:05 AM
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Thanks for the info.

Loctite = $574 ~ WOW?
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:13 AM
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Loctite 574 is the grade of Loctite he used. Not the cost.
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:24 AM
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Congrats. I think that's a job that a lot of us on the forum have considered at one point or another, been scared off, and swapped in a rebuilt unit. I know I did. Glad to hear it's shifting smoothly.
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by n8marx
Loctite 574 is the grade of Loctite he used. Not the cost.

Now that's a relief. I am still on my first cup of coffee. I should have read that and understood what it meant. I have used locktite 574 myself. For some dumb reason I interpeted the $ in front 574. I must be still asleep and this is just a nightmare.
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:34 AM
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That is a relief. Only $900 for a fairly complete rebuild? I was thinking it would be much more than that. I am going to tackle this project at the end of the summer. I want to get some warm weather driving out of it first. I have helped my father rebuild a few VW engines, and never found it to hard, so it sounds like the tranny is very doable. For some reason, I have always been scared to tear into a tranny.
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Old 03-12-2004, 07:03 AM
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Ya, transmissions have scared the hell out of me too until I tore mine down. You just need good diagrams and someone to help you when needed. You will probably redo parts of it when you realize you missed something, but that's part of being an amateur.

Funny story, when I originally put the mounting plate on backwards on the input shaft, I had to take it in and get it pressed out a second time to turn the plate around. The mechanic said "looks like amateur hour again".

he he he
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Old 03-12-2004, 08:57 AM
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One other thing, I did spray the seals (a bit heavy) with the copper gasket spray, but I also locktited them with an acid brush as my local wrench suggested. He said these things leak like a seive and you cant be too sure. BTW, he does not use the copper gasket spray, so maybe that's why he insisted on the Locktite. He kinda looked at me like I was nuts, but JW recommends it and he's da man!
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Old 03-12-2004, 09:04 AM
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I'll add that after doing a 2.7 rebuild this summer and helping Matt over the past week... They tranny is waaaaaaay easier than the engine. I can now see why Wayne hasn't written a 915 book yet. I had never even seen the inside of a tranny until this and I'd agree with Matt, excluding the drop and install, If you have the right tools and parts, it's a 4hr job.

Now Matt, Are you coming over this weekend to install that Gate Shift Kit and make it the ultimate 915
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Old 03-12-2004, 09:43 AM
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Heh, hopefully. I fixed the fast idle...SOMEBODY didnt screw in the cruise control in all the way and it was pulling on the throttle cable Good help is hard to find! But now she's popping and missing. I'm not sure but maybe it's a spark plug wire because the timing looks good. I'll check it out tonight.
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Old 03-12-2004, 10:16 AM
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Re: She's in...and she's GOOOOD!

Quote:
Originally posted by UTKarmann_Ghia
Before the rebuild, I could only get into first gear at a dead stop and it would also sometimes not go in unless I touched second beforehand. I could not downshift into 2nd unless I was under 25mph. Now, I can downshift into 1st at 25mph (maybe more) and second works great too.

I have badmouthed the 915 several times on this board, but I must say it works well when in good repair. What a fun project, good luck to all and to all a good shift!
Great Post!

You provide hope that I too may one day shift without hesitation. That I can take off from a stop with the confidence that shifing to second will not take what feels like minutes. That when I when I slow for a light I don't have to hope that it doesn't quickly change to green forcing me chug away in second. Best of all you did it yourself and it changed your perspective on the 915.

Thanks, I needed that.

Gordo
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by UTKarmann_Ghia
Heh, hopefully. I fixed the fast idle...SOMEBODY didnt screw in the cruise control in all the way and it was pulling on the throttle cable Good help is hard to find! But now she's popping and missing. I'm not sure but maybe it's a spark plug wire because the timing looks good. I'll check it out tonight.
Damn that cheap labor...
Old 03-12-2004, 07:26 PM
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Nice work UT.... gives all of us future 915 rebuilders some hope...and something to look forward to.
Old 03-12-2004, 07:36 PM
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OH, lemme tell ya Sonic, she's shifting like a dream now. VERY predictable now and she gets smoother every time I drive her. She's breakin in!

PS. my cheap labor missed the lambda connector behind the engine also which is why I had no power and bumpy idle

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Old 03-12-2004, 08:14 PM
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