5 - Engine & Clutch
             5.1 Manual Transmission conversion
5.2 How to connect the clutch cable
   5.3 Stick shift linkage

             5.4 Engine head
                5.5 Oil temperature and pressure
                5.6 Water Pump
             Table of contents
5.1 Manual transmission conversion


There are a number of issues surrounding a manual tranny installation I will cover them here.

The major pieces required to effect the conversion are as follows:

1- Pedal cluster from a vw rabbit or similar

2- 5 Speed transmission with rear mounting bracket, flywheel, clutch plate and related hardware.

3- Stick shift, associated floor hardware, and linkages, also from a rabbit. see details below.

4- A clutch cable or 2 if you use my examples. the second one can be an old broken one as long as the pedal end is still in good shape.

5.2 How to connect the clutch cable

The cable that connects the Clutch pedal to the transmission is an unusual length and so needs some customization in order to install it.

You can see in the pictures below the way that I have installed the clutch cable.

The clutch cable is basically to short to run from the firewall to the  clutch lever on the side of the transmission.

I spaced the cable off the firewall with a short length of aluminium EMT or conduit. The conduit is threaded at one end in order to fix it to the fire wall with a pair of conduit nuts and a washer. The clutch cable stopper which normal fits directly in to the firewall is as you can see plugs the opposite end of the conduit. Spacing the clutch cable off the fire wall like this causes the clutch cable it's self to be to short to reach the pedal. I simply spliced a short length of a second cable onto the end to make it the right length.

Length of EMT used to space the clutch cable off the firewall.
Two cables spliced together with wire nuts on the left and wire clamps on the right, either way works well, note I doubled up on them for safety. I would recommend this as the last thing you need in traffic is for it to slip, and have no way to disengage the engine. By the way I am not recommending you do any of this, you need to take full responsibility of any and all modifications you make to a motor vehicle.
You can do this at your own risk, so there.
You can see here where the hook part of the cable slips over the clutch pedal. You will notice on the 2 pictures on the left that the piece that has been spliced on is the pedal end of a 2nd clutch cable.

5.3 Stick shift linkage and related hardware

  5 Speed conversion.
Gear shift rod entering engine bay. You need to open up this hole in order for this rod to come through. This was one of the first things we did to our vehicles and I can't tell how much better a vehicle they are as a result, lower engine RPM, better fuel economy and more. Do it !

The shift linkages shown below left installed, and on the right prior to installation.    All these parts are from a VW Rabbit

A word of warning, there is at least three different shift linkages on various, rabbits and Jetta's.

I am not sure where I found all these but the fact is only one really works well.

kubvan transmission shift bracket

You can see from the picture above that some of these have a bent control arm, the one on the left is straight.

You need the straight one the others bump up against the exhaust flange and do not shift properly in to 2nd or 4th

Also note the one bracket on the right has a different rear bolt position, you will need the lower bolt position as on the two on the left.

There was also a period where the shift ball was welded to the middle of the rod, you don't want to use that one either.

5.4 Engine Head

The Head, one of the cleanest I have ever seen. No cracks between valves. This Head was acquired with an engine that was apparently, rebuilt as it turned out the block was worn out two ring sizes up.
The head was the best part.
Have not decided what to do with the block as oversize pistons are too expensive in my mind.

5.5 Oil pressure and temperature modifications

    Oil pressure and temperature mods.
Left is the oil pressure hook up to the head. On the right is a water temperature sensor screwed into the location where the over pressure switch would normally be. This runs up to a temperature gauge in the cab. Works Great. With the oil pressure gauge hooked up to the head I figured I don't need the over pressure switch.


5.6 Water Pump

vw diesel water pump

vw diesel alternator bracket modification
                                                 click on image to zoom
Despite what the Bentley manual says, and what some mechanics might tell you, in my humble opinion getting the water pump out with out first removing the injector pump is impossible. You can with a 1/4 inch drive, a swivel and an extension get the forward bolt out, but there is no way to get the back one out. I have one broken swivel to prove it. In defence of the claims however there does appear to be at least three different designs of alternator/compressor brackets in use. The best bracket to have I imagine is the old non-compressor, alternator only version.

On the left you will see my solution to not having to take the injector pump out the next time. I cut a notch in the top of the bracket large enough to get a 3/8 drive socket and extension in. (Red circle)
I then cut the entire right side of the casting off, right up to the next rib and all the way back to the back, I also cut a surplus to me bolt hole on the front (foreground) of the bracket, this allows you to comfortable get a 13mm socket and extension in under the injector pump. I am not going to recommend you do this as you are compromising the mechanical integrity of the bracket, but it seems to me that it's way over built anyway.
kubvan water pump kubvan water pump Modified alternator/water pump bracket installed with injector pump above. As you can see getting a socket onto the bolts that secure this bracket and the water pump to the engine block are now easily accessed.

Note you have to remove the little "L" bracket from the top of the bracket to the injector mounting plate.

More water pump removal and installation details to come.