The final piece of this little jigsaw puzzle is the transaxle. In 2005, when I had the first one built, I was convinced I knew what I was doing with gearing. I didn’t. I bought a quite expensive custom mainshaft, which turned out to be far too close to work well with a 4-speed. I’ve had several (many?) different combinations of 3rd, 4th, and R/P gears in an effort to continue to use the mainshaft I’ve got.
A 5-speed would be the best solution, but I’m not ready to abandon a lot of what makes an IM special, and fitting a Berg 5 in my car would mean cutting it up, or remaking a LOT of stuff, or both. I’ve said before, and I’ll say again-- I’m not doing it.
And so as a result, the transaxle is out at Anthony’s in Kaliforna getting a Super Beetle mainshaft, a 1.30 3rd, and I’m keeping my .93 4th and the 3.44 R/P. I’m taking out the ZF LSD, which will be used in another project, after being completely rebuilt (probably by Paul Gaurd, but we’ll see). The box will become (after 4 or 5 rebuilds) pretty much standard gearing, with a .93 4th and a 3.44-- it’s the best all-around 4-speed transaxle for what I’m trying to do. It turns out the Sainted German Engineers weren’t so far off on this one. We're using all German bearings for anything "iffy".
From a logistical standpoint, the trans is the most crucial piece of this puzzle-- I need it to do anything with the engine so I’ve been bugging Anthony to the extent that he’s probably pretty sick of me. I’m hoping to have it back within the next couple of weeks, along with my very expensive and useless to me (for now) parts.