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After using the "hourglass" search, I really hate bringing up a topic that has been covered so many times.

with that said.

I just placed my order from VMC for my speedster level 2 kit, and just about every part that he sells on his website.!! I have pretty much everything ordered that I will need to build up this car. however, I still need to order a transaxle. I'm planning on a cb 2210-2332 builders kit 170-200hp, and either a 185 65 r15 or 195 60 r15 mounted on vintage 5's. Rancho Transaxles recommended their Pro-street IRS model with a 3.88r/p - 3.11/1.93/1.22/.82 gearing.

Does anyone have something comparable that could let me know their thoughts on the drivability on the freeway, and canyons.

Thanks again!

Eric Nickell

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I have a 2,110cc coupled to Rancho's IRS 3:88 rear with the following ratios:

1'st = 3.50-somethng

2'nd = 2.06

3'rd = 1.26

4'th = 0.89

I used to have a 4:12 final up until 3 or 4 years ago and went to the 3:88 to get my highway revs down off the ceiling.  I used to be over 3,500 at 70-ish mph with the 4:12 and often found myself sitting around 4K rpm chasing down other 356 drivers.

Now, with the 3:88 it sits at 3,200 for 70-ish mph and when I get up to 4K it's takes no prisoners.

3:88 Pros:  Lower highway revs (actually, lower revs in all gears), better gas mileage, less of a "stump puller" in first gear (I can make it across an intersection before shifting).

3:88 cons:  Slightly less acceleration/torque in each gear, slightly less "oomph" in third while canyon carving so I might drop into 2'nd for a few seconds at times in really curvy roads, but most of the time, stroking between 3'rd and 4'th is fine and I find myself sitting in 3'rd gear most of the time on quieter back roads.  This was most noticeable the first few drives with the 3:88.  After that, you just accept it as it is.  3 grand rpms in 3'rd gear is a sweet spot for me.

Your transaxle, in every gear, is running higher ratios than me, so expect your revs per gear to be lower than mine, but should be mitigated by the larger engine displacement and torque, to some degree.  You should expect some 2-3-4 stroking in the canyons, too, depending on terrain.  Not a bad thing, just is.  

To answer Eric's questions regarding "drivability on the freeway and in the canyons" with a 3.11/1.93/1.22/.82 transaxle (3.88:1 R/P) and either a 2110 or 2332:

Drivability on the freeway:

  • 2332: The gearing will be close to perfect.
  • 2110: The gearing will seem a touch long, but you'll still probably like it.


Drivability in the canyons:

  • 2332: You'll spend a lot of time in 3rd and 2nd, and not be comfortable in either, unless you are OK with hearing that engine really scream.
  • 2110: You'll wonder why you went with these gears.


This assumes you drive about 75- 80 mph on the freeway, and are interested in hammering in the canyons, rather than cruising. I have gearing that is really, really close to this (but achieved differently), and I've done all of these things with both a 2110 and a 2332.

5 speeds are not overrated. I'm a motor guy, and I'd recommend a milder engine (2110) and a 5 speed.

Your mileage may vary. You do you.

Last edited by Stan Galat

3.78--2.06--1.26--.93--//--3.44 r&p

Go here and look at this vs what you've spec'd.

The main differences are in the 2-3 spread vs the 3-4 spread. Your package gives a closer 2-3 gear spread and a longer 3-4.

The other main difference is expense: The above gears are all stock late Bug ratios and only the R&P is custom. They are money now but they didn't used to be expensive and I suspect production will again catch up to demand before you're done building your car.

If you're the kind who wants to pretend you're screaming down Mulholland Drive in 1957 then maybe that tighter 2-3 spread makes sense and you won't be as bothered by the longer reach to 4th when you're spinning up the on ramp. Or if you are bothered by that, just order a .89 4th gear and live with the higher highway revs.

If you're a more typical type of driver and you want the evenest 4 gears you can get (albeit in wide-ratio format) with a 3000 rpm highway cruise then the stock gears/ 3.44 combo pack will do you. I currently have two cars with those gears: an MG replica on a full '69 Bug pan, powered by a bone-stock Subaru EJ22 (137 hp in an 1770 pound car), and a new-build 550 Spyder with a Jake Raby 1915 cc Type 1 (120 hp in a 1550 pound car). Both run 165/60-15s. Both engines max out around 5500 rpm. Both cars are plenty quick and have a good gear for any situation. Both do 70 mph at 3000 rpm which leaves plenty of top end to evade pursuit & etc.

Obviously the no-compromise play here is the Berg 5 speed, which is spendy but reportedly worth the outlay and the wait. It all depends on how you pan to drive the car.

Last edited by edsnova

@Stan Galat

"2110: You'll wonder why you went with these gears."  This made me laugh..

It sounds like no matter what I choose, I will never have the right gearing for every situation. I race Single Speed mountain bikes, so I am very familiar with these thoughts running through my head during a ride.

I am going to mess around with the ratio calculators, and maybe, see what it takes to use a reversed Subaru 5 speed, but i know the r/p ratios are limited.

@Eric N posted:

@Stan Galat

"2110: You'll wonder why you went with these gears."  This made me laugh..

It sounds like no matter what I choose, I will never have the right gearing for every situation. I race Single Speed mountain bikes, so I am very familiar with these thoughts running through my head during a ride.

I am going to mess around with the ratio calculators, and maybe, see what it takes to use a reversed Subaru 5 speed, but i know the r/p ratios are limited.

I had a single speed 29er(still do kind-of). I took the rear wheel off and bought a Nu-Vinci stepless internal hub and some spokes. Laced up a 5 pound hub(yes it's really that heavy) but now I have infinite gears and a pretty usable rig with no derailleurs or dropped chains.

Beware the fitment of a Subaru transmission in a VW-based car with VW engine. The input shaft is higher than a VW trans, it may raise an aircooled motor too much to fit under the engine cover. Obviously not a problem for a watercooled car.

I know people have also installed 901 transmissions in Beetle chassis, that's probably a better bet as the VW engine bolts right up with no adapter, as do the CV joints(with the proper flanges).

"I race Single Speed mountain bikes, so I am very familiar with these thoughts running through my head during a ride."

I ride a 22-speed Trek road bike and hardly ever get on my mountain bike, although I'm a member of the Blackstone Valley Mountain Bike Association, part of the NEMBA, which I joined when they were looking for funding for a land purchase.  They're a big group that bought their own chunk of land (47 acres) and turned it into a technical bike park that they named "Vietnam".  I rode it with a small group once - Once was enough for me - and then went back to my road bike!

https://www.nemba.org/trails/m...etts/vietnam-milford

Oh, and @DannyP - You're right.  I checked my spec sheet and my 1'st is a 3.78.  I was right on the other gears.  gn

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I found a bunch of gearheads, and mountain bikers!!

I definitely landed in the right spot!

I have been racing bikes for the better part of 20 years. It has been my go-to hobby/madness for a long time.  I retune/rebuild/service bikes, and the suspension components for others in my area. Chain Breakers Cycling (@chainbreakerscycling) • Instagram photos and videos and, I also put together a cycling team.

I found this site by accident, and seeing the amount of friendships, and support being offered here, was a large factor for me to venture into another hobby, with Speedster ownership, and dial back my bicycle madness. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of you at future shows, and cruises. My 2-3 week countdown for my materials, couldn't  come soon enough!

I started out in my mid-teens on Trials Motorcycles and pretty much wrecked my body.  Turned to road bicycles as a way to help rebuild (it worked) and then just kept riding.  Commuted to work by bike (12-17 miles) for over ten years racking up 30,000 miles and just kept riding.  Now ridden over 65,000 road miles in three countries and another 2K on gravel trails on supported trips.

One of the Carlos' on here is a similar rider to you:  He lives in the Great Smokey Mountains and works in a bike shop (and also drives a Spyder) and we have a number of active bikers on here, both road and trail.  BTW, my trail bike is a mid-1990's Trek 950, while my road bike is a Trek Madone 5.2 - I love it.  My last road bike was a 1980 Takara Professional (I tend to keep them for a long time).

Welcome to the Multi-Verse Madness!

@Eric N posted:

I found a bunch of gearheads, and mountain bikers!!

I definitely landed in the right spot!

I have been racing bikes for the better part of 20 years. It has been my go-to hobby/madness for a long time.  I retune/rebuild/service bikes, and the suspension components for others in my area. Chain Breakers Cycling (@chainbreakerscycling) • Instagram photos and videos and, I also put together a cycling team.

I found this site by accident, and seeing the amount of friendships, and support being offered here, was a large factor for me to venture into another hobby, with Speedster ownership, and dial back my bicycle madness. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of you at future shows, and cruises. My 2-3 week countdown for my materials, couldn't  come soon enough!

Be careful.

I was riding 2500+ mi/year, rebuilding a bike/week, working 50+ hrs/week running a 24/7/365 service business, and raising 3 kids when I bought my first speedster in December of 2000.

Fast forward to March 2021 - kids grown, still running the business (but really, mostly half-timing it in the field), and 65 lbs fatter than when I bought the speedster. I haven't ridden more than 50 miles in 10 years.

This hobby is ridiculous amounts of fun, and the people are fantastic... but it's a time-sink, and will take over your life if you let it.

I'm down about 18 lbs in a month, and hope to lose another 35+. Once I hit 230, I hope to swing my leg back over the Eddie Merckx/Campy Ti bicycle and start trying to ride again in earnest. I don't want to crush parts of me that are still important to my enjoyment of life, so the bike will have to wait until I drop another 15lbs - but things are finally trending in the right direction.

FWIW, @Joe Fortino was influential in finally getting me off my butt.

@Stan Galat great job, on the 18lbs.! Your story sounds really similar to mine. 3-4k a year on the bike, Three kids in multiple sports, full time job install manager for a commercial automated storefront company, and cars/bikes once the kids go to bed. My passion is fueled off of caffeine, and a solid five hours of sleep.. My plan is to have my kids help with the build, to get the best of both worlds.

@Stan Galat congratulations on the 18 pounds. That is a huge accomplishment. I commuted to work on bicycles for 15 years and only had a few accidents. In all, my pride was hurt more than my body.

We biked a lot after retiring but after a few years I noticed a lot of uncomfortably close encounters (few bike lanes and lots of traffic). A neighbor had her back broken after being hit by a car.  We decided that we had reached that delicate age where we'd rather be injured chasing a grandbaby than by a distracted driver (you would not believe how small the swimsuits are around here).

Short comment, be safe. Stanistan needs you. I already know the route that @Gordon Nichols rides and it's about as safe as it gets. Congrats and take care!

Last edited by Michael Pickett

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