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X2 on the 3.44 R&P with the stock gears (.93 4th). That's what Bridget runs and, once again for those who missed it:

1st gear is perfectly nice--neither too stump-puller nor too long.

2nd gear allows for impressive acceleration through 60 mph.

3rd gear will take the car to about 100 mph (if I want to be stupid) at the 6000 RPM redline.

4th gear gets 70 mph at 3000 RPM. (80 is still under 3500). If I were not convinced that my car would go airborne, I could leave the go roller down in 4th and see how close to 140 mph she would get. It is my feeling that she would not get much past 125 at best. That's plenty fast for a fiberglass body on a 50-year-old pan, with 165/r80s at all 4 corners. . . . 

The RPM drops between all upshifts are comfortable for the stock Subaru 2.2 and, it would appear, would be also for any knowledgeably breathed-on 2110 or larger Type 1.

Would a 5th gear be sweet? You bet! But at $3,000+ (vs $1,100 or so for the trans I have), seems an extravagance to lose 300 or 400 rpm at highway speeds.

As they say, your mileage may vary. But I'm gonna remember these ratios in case I ever have occasion to build another, similar car. The $-to-usefulness ratio of this very simple rig seems hard to beat.



TRP posted:

A little bit of internet research leads me to understand that Terry is running the following gearing:

3.88 R/P 3.80, 2.06, 1.48, 1.17, .089 


It would certainly work, Ted, although the 1.17 makes the 3-4 spread tighter than the 4-5. Normally you'd want the spread tighter as you shifted through the gears, with the 4-5 spread the tightest of the bunch., That's why most people use a 1.12 with the 1.48, and it gives a nice drop to either a .89 or .82 in 5th. The 1.48 and 1.12 have always been pretty popular with a stock mainshaft.

The 1.17 makes the 3-4 split pretty tight when you also have to figure in the spacing for 5th. Terry may have a specific reason for using it; we'll see if he chimes in.

I spend most of my time in third and fourth, Al. The roads where I live in the Sierra foothills are tight and twisty with a lot of changes in elevation. The tight 3-4 keeps the revs @ 3000 while shifting.

The gap between 4 and 5 is minimal given the torque of the 2110. While cruising in 5th, dropping to 4th for passing feels like the turbo kicked in.

All in all, gears 2 through 5 feel equal and tight. I suggest that anyone who doubts the advantage of a five speed come up and take Penny for a spin.

I know, putting up 5 large seems rediculous for a toy car. But just how rediculous is it to be driving a toy car in the first place?

Which gives you the highest cruising speed? The .89 or .82?  I drive the car on the highway about ad much as I do in the twiaties.

With as much nonsense I've already doled out on this thing, the 5 large isn't bothering me. If I'm going to do it, I just want to do it right the first time.  I'm inclined to go with what is recommended by youze experts.

TRP posted:

Which gives you the highest cruising speed? The .89 or .82?  I drive the car on the highway about ad much as I do in the twiaties.

With as much nonsense I've already doled out on this thing, the 5 large isn't bothering me. If I'm going to do it, I just want to do it right the first time.  I'm inclined to go with what is recommended by youze experts.

With any given R/P, the lower the numerical value of 4th gear, the higher the vehicle speed relative to engine RPM. That sounds great-- who wouldn't want to go faster with less RPMs? At 3000 RPM the .82 will propel you down the road faster than a .89. 

However, there's a limit here. You can buy a .77 4th gear as well, but you really don't want to if you've got a 3.88 R/P.

Think of it like this: I would imagine you've ridden a multi-speed mountain or road bike. I'm going to assume that you understand the idea behind 18-27 gears-- but to put it as simply as possible, your legs produce a specific amount of power and they do it best at a specific cadence. Keeping your legs moving at this cadence keeps you producing optimal power. The many, many gears available are to allow you to fine tune exactly how fast you can go, assuming you can keep up the cadence. If your legs start to slow down, you need an easier gear, if they speed up, you need a harder one.

It's like that with the car as well. The engine runs between 700 (or so) RPM and 6000 (or so) RPM, but it only produces good power within a certain band. The meat of the powerband is actually higher up in the register than any of us would like to spin our engines for hours at a time (much like your optimal bicycling cadence is spinning faster than most people feel comfortable with), so the goal is to spin just fast enough to stay in the powerband, but slow enough to make it non-stressed. That optimal point is generally 3000- 3750 or so RPM.

Racing bicycles have really, really long top gears. If you weigh 140 lbs and have thighs the size of tree trunks, it is theoretically possible to spin that gear and go 40 mph. The reality is that I have significantly less power available than Chris Froome, so I'm unlikely to be able to push that gear optimally. I might be able to push it on a downhill with a tailwind, but if the road climbs even a little (or maybe even just flattens out) or if there's a trace headwind (or maybe just no tailwind), I'm not strong enough to push it. My cadence slows, and the bike slows. I need to shift to a gear that increases my cadence and matches the bike's speed to my power output. 

Your engine is like that. If you fall out of the powerband because you have too long of a final-drive (too low numerically), you're going to slow down-- even with the accelerator floor-matted. Your only workable choice is to downshift. If 3rd gear is a long reach, you'll be screaming in 3rd and bogging in 4th.

Everybody wants that nice highway gear, but our engines generally only have 150 hp or less. I've got a couple hundred on tap, but that makes me about 1/2 as powerful as a V6 Mustang. Additionally, the heads on a Type 1 pretty much ensure that nothing much is going to happen below 3000 RPM or so. In my experience, a 2110 with a .82/3.88 feels pretty soggy below 3000 RPM, and a .77/3.88 would be way worse. You need to have a shorter gear for less motor, or more motor for a longer gear. It's super-hard to get enough motor to push a .82/3.88 in a Type 1 of any displacement.

This is because we either need more torque "under the curve". or more gears, or both. The .82 is fine... until it isn't, and then it's a loooong reach down to 3rd, and you're singing along at 3800 RPM or so. A $5000 transaxle is not cheap, but I've spent several times that trying to approach the problem from the other direction.

Back to that highway gear-- it's cool to have, but not if the gear below it is a mile away. Terry gets away with his because his 2110 is a pretty torquey mill, and he's OK spending a lot of time in 3rd or 4th. With a more highway oriented transaxle, you'll want the 3-4 (or 4-5) spread to be tighter, so you can find that "just so" gear. It's that, or just live with a highway gear that's singing along in a higher register than makes you comfortable.

I once phoned Art Thraen from I80 just inside Nevada. My over-everythinged "monster motor" was throwing oil any time I spent a prolonged amount of time above 3700 RPM. Art's advice? "Slow down". I did. I stopped throwing oil like the Exxon Valdez. When I got home I re-geared for the last time.

The difficulty is not in using the calculator and figuring it out. The difficulty is knowing what gears are available to pug into the calculators. Rancho used to have a PDF of a paper catalog with the gears in it on their website. No more. You really need to know what is possible before you start plugging numbers in.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Thanks for all the great info. Amazing what can happen when you have a bunch of options!

Based on the main shaft and R&P that I sent out, here are the two most popular choices:

 R/P 3.80, 2.06, 1.48, 1.17, .089   (The knuckles  blend)

 R/P 3.80, 2.06, 1.48, 1.12, .089  (The Alb blend)

Lucky for me, I've got a few months to figure out what that .05 means. It sounds like it goes all the way back to what Tony told me on the phone last month: "It all boils down to what 3rd and 4th you go with..." Seems like the 1.48 is the defacto replacement third. 

I'm almost afraid to ask... If I went with 10 tooth spider gears, do I need different axle end gears?

Thanks for the gearing lessons. I really appreciate the info!


    I agree with my west coast friend Jim Ignacio.

    Other being irritated by a short short first gear I simply enjoyed being behind the steering wheel of my speedster...easily keeping up with traffic, or pushing it to the edge of comfort on the twisty New England country roads without a thought as to what's going on in the gear box.  I'm simply not capable of understanding/evaluating the available gearing combinations and options, and the preferences and opinions expressed in this thread. Although it probably would be nice to know the ratios in my 4speed 'freeway flyer' tranny so I can kibbitz intelligently over beers with you guys... I'm not losing sleep over my ignorance! 

    BTW, I've had no luck in Goggling ratio information on the stock 5speed 901 in my 912 so I can compare it to preferred combinations in this thread. Does anyone (Blanchette?) have that information?? 

This thing comes up enough that it'd be really useful to have some links in the knowledge-base (or somewhere)

  1. All of the available VW gear ratios: stock, Weddle and Erco. It'd be nice to have them classified as such (these gears are cheap and available, these are available but expensive). Rancho has some of them listed, but they are kind've a mess on their current site. 
  2. Some favorite gear ratio calculators. Action VW was always a favorite of mine, but it's only a 4-speed calculator. There is one that is commonly used that has room for 6 (I think) speeds, and has a cool chart as well. 

PERMANENT LINKS: that would be sweet.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Stan- go to Weddle Industries tech info page  scroll down to "other downloads" and the first listing is "Weddle Gear Inventory a current list of Weddle gear ratios in stock". I haven't been able to directly bookmark this page.

Here is the gear calculator that I use-

 I like it because you can compare 2 gearsets side by side. You can't directly access the M Factory gear calculator from the main page, but if you click on any of the "vehicle fitment" options, click on "about us" at the top of the page, scroll down and click on "support", you'll find the gear calculator at the bottom of the drop box. 

Stock gears-                                                                                                                                   3.80/2.06 1st/2nd mainshaft (early)                                                                                          3.78/2.06 1st/2nd mainshaft (late- considered stronger)                                                     Some type 1 auto stick gearboxes have a 2.25 2nd gear, and Berg can splice that on to your 4 or 5 speed mainshaft (I don't know how much it costs). It shortens up the 1-2 shift by 150 or 200rpm when shifted at 3500, and people I've met with their transaxle equipped thus really like it. If you find one of these gearboxes- take the time to take the mainshaft (and matching 2nd gear) out of it or give it to someone who will. Don't just throw it out!

1.31 (early) or 1.26 (late) 3rd gears- I'm not exactly sure when VW started using the 1.26; it was sometime around late '72 or 1974.                                                                      0.89, 0.93(or .94?)- most type 1 transaxles will have the .89, although when VW started using the 3.88 r&p they used the .93(4) in the beetle boxes. Karmann Ghias got the .89 with the 3.88.

Ring and Pinions-                                                                                                                         4.375- 1961-1966 beetles (12 & 1300cc engines)                                                                    4.125- 1967- mid '72 (I believe)                                                                                                 3.88- that point on.

There are keyed and splined versions of the mainshfts, pinion shafts and gears- I don't remember the details, but if you're piecing a trans together from parts (or buying stuff from someone), take note of what you need (eg- a splined 3rd or 4th gear WILL NOT fit on a keyed main or pinion shaft)

Last edited by ALB

Sometime, when you get a chance to watch the Tour de France, first, watch the course explanation for the day at the beginning of the stage - it will show a course elevation map showing the hills and their relative elevation over that race stage.

Then, scope out the rear wheel gear cluster you'll see on the rider's bikes (they always show them if you look closely).  For those days when it's relatively flat, the rear gear clusters are tiny, meaning that they are geared relatively higher (smaller numerically) in overall range so they can go faster with the less effort needed for flat running AND don't bother with gears for the hills they won't see.  It's not unusual for 45mph sustained for the peloton on the tidal flats of Brittany (with no tail wind).  Any crashes at that speed are spectacular, to say the least.

On days when there are a lot of hills (and particularly when it's very hilly), that rear wheel cluster will be a whole lot bigger, giving the riders the power needed for the hills, but the overall speed might average 10mph or less.  

Recreational riders typically have a pedal cadence in the mid 70's.  Very fit riders and casual racers tend towards the mid-upper 80's.  Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Team developed the 90 rpm cadence as an art form - they would hold that pedal speed throughout the entire race stage and, as a team, were like a freight train (of course, drugs might have helped, but you had to admire their power at the time).

I've got a couple of rear wheels and can swap a cluster (or individual gears) in a few minutes and everything Stan mentioned is right on - Getting the gear splits right, especially on a bike with 22+ gears to choose from - so there's no overlap or big gaps between gears - is crucial to effort-less riding.  Most of the time, I ride the same split set as I'm used to it, but if I know I'm doing a day of hills I might pop in a set for an overall lower range.  It makes the day a lot easier.  

I wish it was that easy to change the Speedster gearing, but you've got a bit more power to deal with to cover weird gear splits - and a MUCH wider power band!

90 rpm is really hard to get to on any bike. I have made bicycle blenders and have one in my bar/restaurant in Loreto which is used by the customers to make their own Margaritas. On the occasions I have actually watched and counted their pedal RPM, I don't think anyone got much past 70 RPM.  Armstrong and team doing 90 is phenomenal !  The overdrive on my blender is around 50 to 1.

When I worked on bikes a lot, a 7-speed cluster was the generic "go-to". I got a Campagnolo Chorus gruppo in '93-ish: it was the first nice thing I'd purchased since I got married 8 years before. It had and 8 speed cluster, as did Record, Dura-Ace, and Ultegra. 105 was still 7-speed, I believe.

I've been out of the game for a while. When I bought the speedster, I got fat and turned my attention to beating the wind with this stupid car. I stopped working on/riding bikes. That was stupid.

Last time I checked, Record and Dura-Ace had 10 sp clusters. That's a lot of little-bitty gears back there, and a pretty thin chain (to say nothing of a wheel without much dish).

My point is: even at the height of my power/weight ratio, pushing a 53/12 was ridiculous, but that's what all high-end bikes came with. I had much better success with a 53/13 top gear, and at this point I'd probably use a 50 tooth big-ring if I could find one.

VW gears are a lot like that. 1st is generally unusable for most folks, then they stick in a 4th that is too long for 90% of what they use if for. That's asking 2nd and 3rd to bridge some pretty yawning gaps. If you want to make do with 4, you're going to need to give it up on the top or the bottom, because trying to bridge those gaps with a Type 1's torque curve is a fools errand.


Stan, what the hey am I reading here?

Longer and longer expositions on the merits and wisdom of five speeds? And from a guy who already has a dry sump and twice as many plugs as the rest of us?

I think things are stirring in Stanistan. I can just smell it. There's a Gene Berg conversion in your future if there's a god in Zuffenhausen.

But Stan is Stan. If the rest of us have five speeds, Stan will be thinking more is better. The hell with Gene Berg, I think Stan is dreaming of a Dave Dudley conversion.

Every time I read about your solo weeks on the road, crossing the desert with eyes on the horizon and tach pegged, this song goes through my head.

Before you go with ten forward speeds though, consider experimenting with the Georgia Overdrive.




Yeah. I need to just step away from the keyboard.

No 5-speed this year. I'll be building Stanistan 2.0.

It's substantially smaller, but I'm tracking hard towards a Bend-Pak 2 post lift for the garage, and I received this lil' feller last month:

5 hp, 2-stage, 175 psi working pressure, 15.4 CFM Quincy pump. If that won't take care of the blast cabinet, I'll always think it should've.

I know the "stump puller" 1st is not loved by those Speedster owners with more power (and not looking for stop light performance), but remember where the core transaxle comes from- an economy car with 40 to a maximum of 60 hp (real life production figures for the dual port 1600 were 52-55). Ist gear had to be able to get the car moving under all conditions (with 4 people on board), steep hills included, and it had to be able to run highway speeds as well. As has been said before, a custom mainshaft with a longer 1st gear is expensive- about $1,000 for all 3 pieces.

As Stan and Ed have said- for a car with a 2 liter (or larger) engine, going to a 3.44 r&p with the stock gearstack comes really close to a 356 1st/r&p combo, and at about 40% of the price of the mainshaft. Leave 2nd and 3rd alone, replace the .89 with a .93 (later stock, so shouldn't be that much) which gives the same final drive as a .82/3.88. You get shorter 3-4 spacing out of the deal as well, which will make the car ultimately more fun to drive, and since you're doing the rebuild anyway....

For those that are thinking the Berg 5 may be an option, they've just done a production run. No one knows if (or when) they'll do another run- it's years between 5 speed runs and I've heard through the grapevine that they might not be around that long. Rancho may take over production, but when it all happens will be the question. Even if you're not in the position to do it all right now, if you think a 5 speed is in your future it might be an idea to buy the kit now (if they have any left). 

Carl- You were asking about the gearing for your 912- I don't know what the ratios are (never seen them published, although that doesn't mean they aren't out there somewhere). All I can tell you is that 1st is taller than what's in your Speedster, but you already knew that. Al


Last edited by ALB

Al- Yes, the 1st in the 912 is noticeably taller. I can easily bumper-hug Miatas through the widest four lane intersections in 1st without resorting to screaming rpm's. Most of my experience in the 912 is comfortably torquey in 3rd and 4th which nicely handles everything I've fact I can count on my fingers  the number of times I've loafed along in 5th. (Downshifting into 4th to pass tractor trailers is an adrenalin kick in the butt!)

Now, the 912/911 people numerically identify their gearing alphabetically!...I haven't found information that converts A, B, X, etc. into numeric ratios., but I suspect that stock 901 gearing in the 912 would compare favorably to 'ideal' conversion combination$$ this thread is promoting.

For that reason I've got a 901 (pulled from a 912) collecting dust, alongside a complete IRS to bolt it up to,  patiently waiting for me to acquire the knowledge, balls, and confidence to tackle such a conversion!!!...Audacious considering that when I purchased the VS my entire 'tool kit' consisted of a few wrenches, a couple of screw drivers and a cartoonish 437 page John Muir manual "step by step procedures for the complete idiot"...Ironically very appropriate.  

Thanks for the info Ted. I've got it bookmarked.

Carl, I believe the 3.09 first/4.43 ring & pinion combo is the same as what a lot of original Speedsters (and probably coupes, as well) came with. As you can see by clicking on the link below, we could set up a VW 5 speed almost exactly the same, with the added benefit of another 5mph in cruising speed.

And if you wanted to imitate the 901 spacing exactly, substitute 1.69 for 3rd, 1.26 in 4th and put a 1.00 in 5th in the VW gears. I will stay with the 3.88 r&p with the 3.78 1st, though; I like the car to be faster off the line (even the 3.88 is a compromise, as a 4.125 would be faster, but I'm no longer the immature young man I once was). This is the 5 speed gearset I'm putting in my car (first gearset is stock VW, and probably what a lot of guys have in their Speedsters if the trans was used out of a donor car)-

Looking at the different variations of the 901 trans, you can see Porsche really understood the benefits of the right gearing, and wasn't afraid to use it to their advantage...

Last edited by ALB

When I bought the 3.78/2.25 mainshaft, Berg had it on special (don't remember why, it was quite a few years ago) and I was more interested in my car being quicker off the line with an overdrive 5th. Originally I bought a 1.21 for 4th (which makes the 4-5 spacing about the same as stock 3-4 with a .82 as 5th), but someone has convinced me that since I'm no longer as interested in bracket racing as I was that the 1.12 (which I have out of another gearbox) would be a better "fit" and actually be more fun, and he's right. He's also trying to convince me to replace the 1.58 that I have for it with the 1.48 that I also have (from the same trans) but that ain't gonna happen. The idea of the shorter than stock 3.78-2.25 spacing, coupled with the 2.25-1.58 (very similar to stock 2nd 2.06-1.48, which I've driven and LOVE!is too much to resist. It's staying!

The thing is, Ted, I got the 2.25 mainshaft on a clearout deal from GBE that I couldn't refuse. If you're interested it's a great way to go, but you'd have to track down a beetle semi-automatic transaxle (hoping it's the right one, as not all of them have the 2.25 for 2nd- some have the 2.06) and pay to have it grafted on your mainshaft, or find one already done, so it's at least another ??? hundred dollars. It just depends on how far you want to go with it. If you stick with the 3.78-2.06-1.48, either 1.18 or 1.12 and .89 for 5th you won't go wrong. I would choose the 1.12 because then the splits get progressively smaller as you upshift, which for straight acceleration is important, but Terry has chosen to shorten up the 3-4 split a little more ( I can see it being fun for canyon carving). 

You talked about being able to do 75 for hours at a time in a previous post- look at the 2 gearsets below. Using the .82 instead of the .89 allows you to cruise all day at 3200rpm, which even in the summer heat should be doable.

The first is Terry's gearset and the 2nd what I've suggested. Change 5th in either of them and see what it does to the recovery rpm. You're going to have to decide what you want. Whether you go with Terry's or my idea for 4th and either 5th, this thing's going to be fun!. Al

PS- Sorry I didn't ask earlier (and I know you've told me before) - What r&p is in the car right now?


Last edited by ALB
TRP posted:

R&P is 3.88. 3.78 main shaft. Most likely stock 1st and 2nd. The rest of the gears are undecided. Most likely stock sedan (not bus) 4th becomes the 5th.  

He's got a 3.88 R/P, Al.

I love the .93/3.44 final drive. After checking again: Al was right, the .93/3.44 (I love) is for all intents and purposes the same gear as a .82/3.88 (I hated). I'm not sure why I had such an issue with the .82/3.88 and love the .93/3.44. It had to be the 3-4 gap I had with the stock 3rd.

Anyhow if I was doing it over again (or if I were Ted doing it right the first time), I'd work pretty hard to keep the stock (and cheap) main-shaft. If I was locked in to a 3.88 R/P, I'd use a .82 5th. That makes 3rd and 4th pretty important.

Using a stock main-shaft and a 3.88 R-P as the constants, and knowing your desire for a good highway gear (75-80 mph), a guy could do a lot worse than this:

3.78, 2.06, 1.39, 1.04, .82, 3.88:1 R/P

With a 195/60/15 tire, 75 mph is about 3200 RPM. As I said, that's almost exactly like my .93/3.44 final drive. That'd be pretty close.


Last edited by Stan Galat

The custom mainshaft combos are a great way to go when looking for that holeshot from a dead stop and having closer ratios. The lower second gear (2.35, 2.25) has the feel of a close ratio, but from my experience most speedster owners are not looking for a drag race combo out of the hole. The berg five allows the driver an extra gear to down shift from fifth to past a car or be in the torque curve of the motor why cruising the twistys. I have ran several five speed combos.  With a 4.12 r/p and 3.88. The 4.12 combo  worked good with a .082 fifth. It was a stop light to stoplight runner with a 1.70 third and 1.30 or 1.21 fourth. That same r/p worked well with a 1.54 third. This is with a 3.78/2.06 mainshaft.

the 3.88 combo  worked fine with .089 fifth, 1.14 fourth, 1.48 third. I had it with a 1.54 third but it worked better with the 1.48.

I like the gearset you've created with the 1.04 4th, Stan, although (if starting with a clean slate) I'd use a 1.44 for 3rd.

What you didn't like, with the 3.88/.82, was definitely the lower recovery rpm with the stock 3rd and longer 4th. I've never driven it, but have talked to guys that have tried it and everyone says the same thing- there's the 5-6mph dead spot between the 2 gears that makes driving at those speeds so awkward! Otoh, with the same final drive in 4th and shorter 3-4 spacing you love it. You'll like close gears and a 5th. Call Berg. You know you want to...

PS- fixed the link.


Last edited by ALB

I plugged those ratios in Anthony. Have you ever tried that combo with a 1.09 fourth? It tightens up the 4-5 shift, or it looks like it anyhow. Regardless, keeping the stock mainshaft with a 3.44 or 3.88 depending on where you live is where the smart money is.

I think if I lived in the mountains, I'd look pretty hard at Anthony's recommendation.

If I were doing a 5-speed, I might do this:

3.78, 2.06, 1.47, 1.14, .93, 3.44:1 R/P

but the one I put up a few minutes ago seems pretty good as well. I guess I need to start getting parts together...



OK...So this is what I have for gears. 4:12 R&P ...1st is 3.78...2nd is 2.06, 3rd is 1.26. and 4th is .82......Engine is a CB Builders Performance 2110 cc Kit.  Dyno- tested at 136H.P.@5861rpm....It really "Hauls the Freight" when I want to play stoplight to stoplight with some other willing drivers. It's what I planned my gearing for,  but also to have an overdrive for when my wife and I just want to cruise.  Mountains are an issue.  It seems that the difference between 3 and 4 is an issue with a lot of us. That choice has to be made with each of us as to how, where, and when we will be driving our cars most of the time.   OK ...So stoplight to stoplight is what I do the most of here in So Cal, and then Cruising. I'm happy with my choice and it fits my needs... BUT ....that means that I have to shift more or rev higher in the mountains. I can live with that and I really have enjoyed the 2500 or so, miles on "Rhonda" so far.

Another comment....On this engine, (CB Kit) I also bought and installed Total Seal piston rings. The Total Seal ring kit for my 2110 is only the oil control ring...(the lowest one on the piston). WHAT a Difference !  I have virtually no blow-by evidence in my breather box ! If I take off a hose from my breather box and connect it to my Manometer, I get little or no reading ! The water lifts but doesn't go over  1/4 "! ...Does anyone of you out there have any experience with Total Seal Rings good or bad??

I'm going to the Finals of the Winternationals at Pomona FairGrounds tomorrow. I still love feeling the concussion and eye-watering seconds as the Top Fuelers blast by while controlling the explosion of Nitro Glycerin to their advantage !

I have been to every Winternational Event since 1966....Comments please.....Bruce

Didn't see what you'd written before my last post, Anthony. I agree with you; a 4.12 r&p with stock 1st, 2.25 2nd, and 1.70 3rd would be a blast on the street! With those gears and a 2 liter (or larger), once the word got out all the ricers in town would fear you. You are right though; this is not the kind of performance your typical Speedster owner is looking for (I believe we've had this discussion before), and most would be happy with a stock mainshaft (and it's much lower cost), allowing more leeway with the 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 spacing.

Any r&p or gear ratio will work in the mountains (or anywhere else) Stan, as long as the spacing keeps getting smaller with every upshift. And yeah, the stock mainshaft, 1.48 3rd, 1.12 4th and .93 5th with the 3.44 would give a reasonably longer 1st, great spacing from 2nd to 5th and the cruising speeds you're looking for. Call Berg. Get the parts and put them away. It will be next winter's project. You'll be ripping across the continent like there's no tomorrow.

Glad to hear the Total Seal rings work, Bruce. And you're getting away with the wider 3-4 spacing because the later 1.26 (vs earler 1.31) is just that little bit closer to 4th, and you've adjusted and are willing to work around it. Just think of what you could do if there was an extra gear, though...

Enjoy the Winternationals! Never seen a meet that big. It just dawned on me- you would have been there when the VW's were scoring big in the sub compact and gasser classes during the '70's. You lucky dog! I'm jealous now...

Last edited by ALB

AL....Yeah.......I'd like to get a Five Speed. After following all the dialog  on here I can see how close you can get to all of our "G-Spots"!!  Maybe later when I change "preferences" on what gets me excited while out cruising, I'll move "up a notch"

Winternationals are still fun. I was just looking at a photo of the Trophy Queen of the "66" Event. She was all really cute and all that but what caught my eye in this photo was how LARGE the TV camera was that was recording for the local news stations. In this case it was ABC or CBS. Now it's not a 1/4 mile race. Not 1320 feet but 1000 feet for safety reasons. Still spectacular watch though.

Cheers to you and all...............Bruce

aircooled posted:

AL....Yeah.......I'd like to get a Five Speed. After following all the dialog  on here I can see how close you can get to all of our "G-Spots"!!  Maybe later when I change "preferences" on what gets me excited while out cruising, I'll move "up a notch"


The first example is a stock 4 speed with the early (1.31) 3rd. Note the engine speed ( or recovery rpm) when shifting from one gear to the next at 3500rpm- shift from 1st to 2nd and the rpm drops to just below 1900, 2nd- 3rd, the rpm drop is to 2250, 3rd to 4th and engine speed drops to 2395. When looking and trying different gearsets in the calculator, use these figures (1900, 2200, 2400) as a guide- any time the gearset you're trying makes the recovery rpm drop below the appropriate figure for the next gear this will create an awkward spot and make the car difficult to drive at that point!

The next example is what you have now, and you can see that the recovery rpm in 4th is about 100rpm lower, and this is what you're having to work around. It works out to only 3(?) mph where the engine speed is too fast in 3rd yet just a little too slow in 4th, and fortunately the torque of the 2110 helps make up for it a bit, but it's still a pain in the a**! (as you already know)

Here are 2 examples of 5 speeds using the 4.125, 3.78 and .82- the first uses a stock mainshaft, 3 and 4 are split more or less equally (or where they should be) between 2nd and 5th, allowing again for the recovery rpm to come up slightly with each successive shift. Example 2 uses a 3.78/2.25 (close ratio) mainshaft, which for the stoplight racer WOULD BE A BLAST TO DRIVE AROUND TOWN! The 4-5 shift is a little longer (compared to the example 1), but still significantly shorter than the stock 3/4 split, so this gearset might not be the perfect canyon carver, but read the highlighted words above again...

I'm saying the same thing to you as I said to Stan above- Call GBE, buy the kit (you don't have to buy all the gears right now), put it away and let it be next winter's project. Who knows when (if ever) it will be available again. If, in a year or 2 you don't want it, you'll probably get more than you paid for it.

PS- If the gear ratio links aren't working, say so and I'll do them again later. Al


Last edited by ALB

All this talk about 5 speeds gave me the motivation to forget the brisk 50 degree sunny morning and go for a spirited drive in Penny yesterday.

I know that the extra gear isn't a necessity to enjoy driving one of these plastic gnomes but, man! just the sound of the engine as it spools up through the rpms and the shifts through the tightly spaced gears, maintaining the revs @ 3,000...

Nirvana on a country road, fellas. 

Just to add to ALB comment on winter project. I have 3 friends and customers that I recommended to buy it in stages. Send berg a deposit. They average 2-3 months before they complete the kit. One must decide on what mainshaft gear combo and ring and pinion. Then your third and fourth gears, shifter, berg mount, core trans, axles, diff? And so on. Once your at the point of the kit being ready your trans builder will be needing a few weeks. A year goes by and enjoying that extra gear.

I decided to stuff the new gauges in. I had plans to color sand the dash and buff it before I put them in, but I realized it was going to be a big mess. Screw it. I put 'em in. I was going to put the speedo on the right and I think the cable is long enough, but it would require lengthing a bunch of wires.  Left side? Right side? Heh... So long as it works.


In the process I learned that Kirk bends the fuel sending unit float the opposite direction to work with the replica gauges. My fuel gauge reads R when full and Full when empty.   I need to pull the float and Rebend the wire.

I also learned that my old replica gauges are Brazilian, not Chinese. They were installed in 2000 when Kirk finished the car for Al (previous owner). When I purchased the car in 2014, the car had only traveled 1750kms after it was completed. Since then, I put over 11000kms on it.

The original knockoff set... I need to clean up the chrome rings and post 'em for sale. 



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