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F77393E3-7F0C-472C-860F-7471CFF54CCBScott Sebastian at Metalcraft in central California is the “go to” in my book.  He is thorough, professional, and above all else: honest!  He’s been building aircooled motors and all manner of transaxles for decades and ships worldwide, literally.

If you let him know where you are looking to go with your vehicle, he will tell you what transaxle you need to get there.


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Lane Anderson posted:

x2 for Rancho.  Theirs are the best in my book.

Rancho is where I would send almost anybody. They are perfectly adequate. I've had them build 4 transaxles for me. 

But the "best" is such a big statement. They're by far the best value, and have the largest selection of used OG gears out there. But for absolute, spare-no-expenses, all new parts quality, I'm not sure about that. Clyde Berg seems to be a name that comes up a lot in conversations, and I'm sure there are guys even more anal. It's possible to spend a fortune on a transaxle-- single gears can cost >$300 from Erco or Weddle.

I had Justin at Blackline Racing do my last couple boxes, and felt like I got a level of custom care and concern I didn't necessarily see with my last Rancho-built box, as it should have been for the price. Still, at the end of the day, I wouldn't call Blackline "the best". @DannyP did his own-- I wish I had the time, inclination, and fixtures to get something like that done. I can guarantee that he cared more than a guy standing at a workstation in California.

It's probably just semantics. I'd have Rancho build another box. I'd just know it was a good value- not necessarily "the best".


Because of Rancho's size and depth of services that they provide and probably will be around for many more years, I would recommend them. The small one-man shops often have a really knowledgeable, skilled expert to give you what you want, but they are also fragile. Many things can happen to that person or his business that may cause you problems before, during and after you have selected them do work for you. It looks as if that's what's happening to you right now. I'm sorry for that Mr S6WIDEBODY !...Bruce


You can't go wrong with Rancho.  They've done a couple of transaxles for me and their customer service has been great.  The shipping to the West Coast is around $100 each way (if you ship out a core).  

Since you're in New York, I would try emailing Adam Wright at Unobtanium in Ravena, NY, up near Albany.

Tell him what you have for an engine (that 2332 will get his juices flowing) and what you're looking for in a transaxle and ask if he knows a reputable shop in the Northeast you might use.  If anyone knows of a good shop, it's Adam.  Tell him Gordon the replica guy from the Northeast TYP356 club sent ya (he's a member).  Just remember that he deals in original 356A/B/C stuff but may know about shops who also work on Type 1 stuff (not all do).

I think that the guy who built @Al Gallo an engine also does gearboxes and has a great reputation.  He's about an hour from Boston, near me.  Wouldn't take much for me to go over and visit for you, either.  Might even pick it up and meet you half-way in Waterbury or something.

Good luck.

Jimmy Sartwell is still around—or was last fall—just outside of Baltimore. He rebuilt my Spyder's box last year and he did Bridget's trans a few years ago for the Subie. He still does transaxles and other stuff for drag racers. He's a good man and he does what he says he'll do, but his personal life is a mess. I could probably find him if someone wants to contact.


I bought the Rancho Pro Street with super diff and HD aluminum side cover a few years ago and I'm pretty happy with it.  Could be over kill with my 1904cc torque monster, but it should be strong enough to handle more hp if necessary. You can get the "freeway flier" but I did not per their suggestion.

In my experience, Rancho is very easy to work with and will build you what you want. All it takes is money.  Best of luck .

I live on the Wet Coast, so I can't really help you. What I can tell you- as said above, Rancho, Scott at Metalcraft or Gary Berg all can build a serviceable gearbox, but if any of the somewhat more 'local' recommendations work out it's the better route to go. You'll save the freight ($200?) each way across the country and that freight charge (each way) will be there AGAIN should it have to go back (and even Rancho doesn't get it right EVERY time).

Dealing with someone more local can be more satisfying, as well- if he's close enough you may get to see it go together and may even help with disassembly and inspecting/washing parts, your money will stay in the local economy and you're helping build the local scene. There are guys in your area that know their way around these things- you just have to find them. Check out the local VW clubs and shows, as they're out there.  Al


I used Mike Gagnier in North Carolina. Very honest, reasonable, knowledgeable and he will build it exactly the way you want it. My Tran works very well and looks like a work of art. I sent the trans that came with my VS to him to change final drive and I don’t know where it came from but it was garbage. Supposed to be a freeway flyer but it was a stock 4.12-.89 4th trans, junk bearings, galled shafts you name it. I did get a $400 refund though.  The amazing thing was it shifted great!  Anyhow give Mike a call. You will like him. (704) 528-4479

Last edited by Fpcopo VS

My best friend here just bought a stock 4:12 from Rancho through MOFOCO for his '67 Bug that he's bringing back from the dead; literally. This poor car was going to end up in the scrap yard if it weren't for him. We're in the middle of the swap, trying to get all sorts of things right after 53 years of wear tear and abuse. It's quite an undertaking. The trans came well packed in a wooden crate but we still haven't really inspected it; I could see that it has new gear selectors (we need to install a nosecone as well as the axles and axle tubes from the original transaxle). Will let you know how it goes.

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