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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

Well, the Rhode Island Bikeway is relatively safe (until my group of Geriatrics show up!), but since “Olga’s Cup and Saucer Cafe” closed in East Providence as a caffeine destination, we’ve been back on the streets.  Fortunately, I ride a LOT of back roads near me where there’s not much traffic around the upper Blackstone Valley.

This really made me chuckle, though>. “I commuted to work on bicycles for 15 years and only had a few accidents.”

Yeah, me too....for 12 yeahs.  I only remember the two bad ones (well, the worst one I can’t remember much of).  The four or five minor ones were mostly getting car doored by parallel parkers and besides buckling their door hinges, they got a severe tongue-lashing from me (it was usually epic and highly un-printable).  

BTW @Michael Pickett you can now ride the Blackstone Valley Greenway from downtown Worcester all the way down to Newport via the Rhode Island Bikeway.   A long way to go for a lobstah roll, but a very nice ride.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Good for you Stan, 18 pounds is well on your way.  Have you tried a carnivore diet? Or just some variant of keto? I wanted to come out of COVID minus 19 to 30 lbs myself  see what I did there .  
IMHO carnivore is the only satiating way to eat, but any way you lose it and keep it off is great.

I miss my custom made Marinoni super record 1983 version a lot these days, As I live near a bike path for the first time in my Life my mountain bike gets little use though.

Well, the Rhode Island Bikeway is relatively safe, but since “Olga’s Cup and Saucer Cafe” closed in East Providence as a caffeine destination, we’ve been back on the streets. 

BTW @Michael Pickett you can now ride the Blackstone Valley Greenway from downtown Worcester all the way down to Newport via the Rhode Island Bikeway.   A long way to go for a lobstah roll, but a very nice ride.

Sad to hear about Olga's. I spent many an hour there. It's really cool that the Worcester to Newport bikeway is in place. I bet it's a beautiful ride these days (if it has stopped snowing).

@Eric N posted:

. . . . 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.



Eric Nickell

IRS ???   Are you sure you want a IRS transaxle, not a swing-axle setup?

And, at 170-200 hp I think you'd be happier with 3.44 r&p.

Last edited by RS-60 mark

I have 3 hobbies that my money gets used on, biking, kayaking and my Spyder. I got a job in a bike shop as a wrench to help support one of them. I want a new boat, but I also want to dry sump my car. What to do, what to do.... I live in the mountains next to Pisgah National Forest, close to a river, a few lakes, and lots of curvy tight mountain roads.

I don't do the road bike thing. That scares me. But I do have a gravel/adventure bike that I'll ride on backroads, gravel and light trail. For the trails I have a Specialized Stumpjumper carbon long travel. I also have 7-9 other misc bikes, but they only get brought out on special occasions. @Gordon Nichols I still have a 1989 Trek 950. It's on my trainer. I'd probably die if I rode it on the trails around here, but it was my adventure bike for most of it's life.

To add some transaxle content. Like I said, I live in the mountains so I need a tighter gearset. I hardly ever use 4th and I don't care to ever drive this car on a highway. All I know is it has a 3.44 ring and pinion. So when Danny moves on down here, he'll help me switch them out. Bwahahahaha.

Last edited by Carlos G

I was actually shocked to see that I kept my weight stable during our 2020 trip to Hawaii (157, for you guys counting) and then as the Pandemic started we both dropped 4 to 5 pounds.  We thought about it and because we were getting groceries via "Instacart" (still do), rather than wandering the aisles of "Market 32", we weren't picking up impulse-buy snacks to eat.  Don't buy 'em, can't eat 'em.

So we've stayed +/- a couple of pounds for the past year.  I'm currently up 2 (at 155) but that'll come down by next week as I see a couple of good riding days coming up and some yard work.

I usually drop 2 - 3 pounds on a ride and gain back 75% of that overnight so I can run it up or down 3-ish pounds per week, depending on food intake (more salads for lunch = down) or miles ridden (less miles = up).  It's easily managed once you get used to the process and you know how much riding does what.

Just like deciding on transaxle gearing!

And yes, everyone should have an IRS rear, but those who don't can say that they're true to the original 356, right?  

Last edited by Gordon Nichols
@Stan Galat posted:


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

Aw thanks @Stan Galat! I bought a Peloton bike right before the pandemic hit (Dec. 2019) and with work travel cut and a healthy diet change I managed to drop 50lbs. I have been able to keep it off and ride about 350 miles per month. At some point I will dust off my Trek hybrid and get outside but I have a really nice set up and it works with my schedule. The treadmill and marathon medals are the wife's, I am definitely not built to run long distances.



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@Joe Fortino - your best advice was, "it's OK to be hungry sometimes, I don't ALWAYS have to eat when I'm a little bit hungry". The thing that motivated me was when you said, "Once you start seeing results, it becomes a game - a challenge".

Both have proven to be 100% true.

So far, this is 100% diet related. I'm looking forward to being able to add the exercise component once I'm to a point where I can get on my bike again. Running is impossible - even walking is miserable (like most aging/fat tradesmen, my knees are shot).

50 lbs is a huge accomplishment. Most excellent, man.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Good for you all Joe, Stan and Michael.

My daughter a kinesiology grad and says to me dad, diet is 80% of weight loss and control, exercise is the icing on the cake.  She uses MyFitnesspad to track everything.

Being hungry a bit is sometimes needed, but if you never feel satiated, Carnivore will get you there and you will not feel your going crazy with hunger.  Just saying.

When I broke my arm in spring 2016 I ballooned in the stratosphere range and have been slowly going down using an on and off Keto diet but after Xmas I decided to go for it again and I have been on a carnivore only diet for a month now and I feel satiated pretty much, when I get hungry I have steak  

Maybe after we all get slim, we will get jacked

I'm up a few pounds this last year. But I'm also riding my bikes less, with all of the kids activities. I fast everyday for 18-20 hrs. This helps keep my hands out of the cookie jar, somewhat.

I also dont ride on the road often, too many people driving distracted.  Road is great for base miles, but its a bigger time suck for a good workout. I do have a Ti gravel bike, with a second road wheelset if I have the itch. I also have a 2000 Specialized Sworks mtb, that I have as a garage ornament. It is flawless and maybe has been ridden a couple of times. Its a neat conversation piece. My main mtb is a 2020 ibis Ripley v4. If I'm only able to get out once during the week. I have a 2020 Santa Cruz Chameleon carbon, setup as a Single speed that I ride for the best workout.

When Covid restrictions closed the gyms, my wife couldn't do her spin classes, so we bought the Peloton, and I converted a corner of the master into a workout area. This was the best decision, I got many kuddos from the wife on this one.

In addition to everything else, I also do my own house remodels / improvements (just ordered kitchen cabinets yesterday). This was my bargaining chip for the car purchase. I build her the kitchen- I get a car

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Sigh...

Meanwhile my poor '12 Trek Domane sits in the garage and grows cobwebs.  For a number of years I rode 3-5 days a week at lunch on the Joint Base Charleston Weapons Station, which was a great way to get in shape (safely), but the folks I rode with dropped off and eventually I did as well.  Now that I'm not on base anymore I should be riding in my neighborhood, but the construction trucks and my work schedule have conspired to make that difficult.  So COVID-19 added about 19 that I have been struggling to rid myself of.  I have been doing resistance training 3 days a week and can see results, but that alone will not get rid of the padding around the middle.  Every time I walk by my poor, neglected bike I hear it call out to me.

Sigh...

I think I peaked out at 173 when we were down in South Carolina (on a 5'6" frame).  Lazyness, beer and a diet of processed foods did me in.  When we moved back to Massachusetts and I interviewed a new Gastroenterologist  (I had Ulcerative Colitis since 1993), he recommended this book to me:

https://www.amazon.com/Plan-El...ital-text&sr=1-1

Once I went through the book's discovery process and knew which foods weren't working for me and eliminated all of them, we ended up on what is basically the "Mediterranean Diet" with a few twists to accommodate our (slightly different) food allergies.  Dropping bad reactionary foods was huge for us.  I went from 173lbs. to 150 in about a month and then stabilized at 153 since then.  The whole process took less than three months and we ended up on a MUCH better diet: No processed foods, No beef or milk (we're lactose intolerant, so we use almond or coconut milk and sheep or goat chesses), lots of pan roasted veggies, little red meat (and then, just Bison), moderate fish (no shell fish for Kathy), minimal salt and sugar and so forth.  It is a very easy and fulfilling diet that we're certainly living well with.

Oh, and after three years on "The Plan" and being on our new diet, I had my every-other-year colonoscopy and my doc could find no indication of ulcerative colitis at the microscopic level (except for past scarring) so he pushed me out to 5-year scope intervals.  That's a pretty good endorsement, in my book.  For about 15 minutes I was a celebrity patient at UMASS Medical Center's Gastroenterology department for having beat Ulcerative Colitis.

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