The Rabbit TDI Project
Part 3: Transmission
Or: You can bolt a 20 year old transmission to a brand new engine?
A buddy of mine is into Mopar. He wanted to change the engine in his 30 year old whatever-the-heck-it-is. He had to change the engine mounts, change the suspension to clear the engine, change the bellhousing, shorten the driveshaft,
modify the shifter, all kinds of fun.
I simply had to bolt my old transmission to my new engine.
On the A4 cars, and the A3 cars for that matter, the TDI transmission is a cable shift and hydraulic clutch.
I'm working off a limited budget, so I don't have the funds to change over the transmission at this time.
I'm currently running the truck with the stock FF 020 transmission that came with the truck.
I'm running a stock 210mm flywheel, clutch and pressure plate.
Yes, I went kinda cheap. Since this is a project, I'm planning to change out the transmission and clutch later on, but I currently need to drive the vehicle, so you make do with what you have.
If I drive it hard, I fully expect to blow up the tranny, or grenade the clutch, but there are 200+ HP 1.8T cars out there running stock 020 transmissions.
What about the gear ratios?
No, the 020 FF is not optimum for this engine. It's a 3.89 final drive.
Ultimately, I'd like to install a European 6spd, but that's going to be much later in life.
Until then, the next transmission for this beast will likely be an 020 with a 3.67 final, or if I can find one of the rare 3.42 finals, or even the rarer 3.29.
If you have one, or know someone, send them my way.
I'm told the 3.29 came in the 020 4S transmission.
In order to make the front engine mount fit, I had to rotate the oil cooler about 180 degrees. To make that work right, I had to reroute it's coolant hoses. No problem.
Here's a picture of the original oil cooler orientation.
I've owned my GLI for 12 years, and have blown up a number of transmissions. The usual failure is baking 5th gear. The transmission leaks from the axle seals, and eventually 5th gear runs dry, bakes and fails. For this transmission, I mounted a VDO oil temperature sender in the 5th gear endcap, under 5th gear.
To date, I have yet to see the needle budge on the gauge (minimum reading is 50 Celcius). Maybe the gauge will give me a warning when things start getting hot. Maybe I'll never see anything. We'll see what happens.
Yes, I'm running Redline MTL.
summary: old transmission bolts up, rotated the oil cooler, tranny temp gauge
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Installing the Engine
Part 3: Transmission
Part 4: Wiring 1
Part 5: Speedometer and Cluster
Part 6: ImmobilizerIII
Part 7: Drive By Wire
Part 8: Intercooler
Part 9: Intake and Exhaust
part 10: MFA and Cruise Control
Part 11: The Dash
Part 12: The Little Things
Part 13: The End (for now)
Part 14: 6spd transmission and brake upgrades
One Year Later
Who Needs a VR6