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Hi all, bought a 2l petrol beetle on a 2001 plate and I am looking to swap the 5 speed gearbox to the 6 speed version. I do a lot of motorway miles and I am hoping with the sixth gear it might ever so slightly improve the mpg.

Is this an easy swap and has anyone on the forum carried it out? What gearbox code would I be best going for and what parts would be required for the change?

Thanks
 

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Best bet is to use a5 speed gearbox out of a diesel car. MKIV Golf, Jetta, New Beetle. The diesel gearbox has a higher final drive ratio. That is the ring and pinion gear. I am pretty sure the diesel gearbox has longer legs than even the six-speed in top gear...

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Here are the ratios in top gear for possible transmissions:

2.0 5 speed 3.55:1, 3500 rpm @ 70 mph
1.8T 6 speed 3.00:1, 2975 rpm @ 70 mph
TDI 5 speed 2.56:1, 2524 rpm @ 70 mph
TDI 6 speed 2.11:1, 2080 rpm @ 70 mph

The TDI 5 speed would be a direct swap. Only the transmission is needed. A 2000-2003 or so should work. Older ones have a different shift tower.

Either 6 speed will require: Trans, both axles, starter, flywheel, clutch, pressure plate, slave cylinder, line from slave to master cylinder (can bend existing line to work), mounts, bolts.

The TDI 6 speed can be sourced from Europe as a kit ~$1700 or more.

John
 

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I've thought about doing this to my 99 2.Slow. I've found a few 99 1.9 5speed Trannys. If its really just a simple bolt-up, I am totally game!
 

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I've thought about doing this to my 99 2.Slow. I've found a few 99 1.9 5speed Trannys. If its really just a simple bolt-up, I am totally game!

The 1.9 5 speed bolts right in. Same starter, axles, clutch, slave cylinder, etc.. I used the existing 2.0 flywheel and a new clutch. If you get a 98-99 5 speed it is a direct swap. If you get a 2000+ trans. then the shifter will need to be from the 2000+. The speed sensor plastic top needs to be swapped and the reverse light switch connector is different. I just cut the wires and spliced them to the new plug. The hardest part was removing the downpipe. I did the swap my 98 2.0 about a year ago. It drives so much better.
 

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I can't understand why they just didn't go with the TDI ratio in all the manual transmissions. The 3,500 rpm's just killed the mileage in the one I had. I couldn't get more than 27 hwy mpg with the 70 mph speed limits we have now. I was getting 28 mpg out of my 2002 Ford Escape 3.0L V6 4X4 hwy and it drove me nuts! What kind of mileage do you get after the swap?
 

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I pulled 30mpg easily on the highway in my 2.0 5-speed at 70mph and that was with no cruise control. Once I hit 75, then it would drop to 27-28, but it certainly wasn't a problem.

I think the issue with the TDI transmission is the lower gears. The 2.0 doesn't have the torque to make use of the lower gears very well. Which is why a lot of people just swap in the 5th gear from a TDI transmission...better for highway but you still get the usefulness of the original transmission gearing for around town. You don't want to lug the engine in everyday driving, which I imagine you'd be doing with the TDI transmission as a whole.
 

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I can't understand why they just didn't go with the TDI ratio in all the manual transmissions. The 3,500 rpm's just killed the mileage in the one I had. I couldn't get more than 27 hwy mpg with the 70 mph speed limits we have now. I was getting 28 mpg out of my 2002 Ford Escape 3.0L V6 4X4 hwy and it drove me nuts! What kind of mileage do you get after the swap?
In mixed driving 60% hwy, 40% city and cold winter temps I'm getting 32 mpg. I just did a 400 mile tank. In the summer I get 34+ mpg in mixed driving. I usually cruise at 70 mph on the hwy. It doesn't lug the engine with the taller gears. I have had to downshift to 4th on some hills if I get under 55, but 4th is similar to the old 5th gear.
 

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Has anyone on here swapped in a 5th gear from the tdi into their standard 5speed transmission? I'd be pretty interested in doing that with my car. I drive a straight 50/50 mix between mountain roads, and highway and I think that would give me the ability to get better gas mileage on the highway and not have my Bumblebee dogging out on the hills. Also that whole sitting at 3500 rpms I never liked. The car was meant to have a higher gear or a 6th gear.
 

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I just scored a TD I transmission off of car-part.com.
It was at a yard in Florida for over 40 months so they let it go for $103! With the $50 core fee and $75 shipping to Dallas total bill is 228 dollars.
Can't wait to drop that thousand RPM's on the highway!
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