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1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Rabbit TDI Project Part 14: 6 speed 02A transmission and brakes
Or: bullet proof the transmission and make sure you can stop

Maybe it's time for an update.

My first thread was April 2003. Almost 10 years ago. Wow.

My swap now has over 250,000kms on it since the engine went in.
All of that on an 020 transmission....

Since I'm assuming that not everyone would go back to read all of the threads, let's sum up:
1982 Rabbit Pickup
ALH TDI from 2002 Jetta/Golf.
0.205 injectors
rocketchip stage 3
149whp, 276 torques
020 transmission with VWMS 3.42 final drive, FN gearset (0.715th)
GTI 210mm clutch

So 250,000kms on an 020 behind 276 torques? And it didn't blow up?
Yes. Don't drive like an idiot.
Smoothly lay down the power, and with the OEM type clutch, the clutch will slip if the wheels don't spin.

But then it was time for a major service, I've had an 02A trans sitting on the shelf for years, plus my brake booster had a nasty vacuum leak, so for the past number of months I've been driving on manual brakes.

So here's the list from the major service:
Scirocco2 16V front hubs
Scirocco2 100mm axles
CTN 02A trans from A3/mk3 TDI
EuroTuning 6spd conversion kit for 02A (0.71/0.59)
cable shift, cable clutch, 02A starter
G60 flywheel, VR6 clutch
home-built 02A to A1 mounts
late Cabriolet brake booster and master cylinder
rear disk
mk4 aluminum rear calipers
shotgun shell brake bias
Jman ebrake cables for pickup

You notice what's in the middle of the list? Yeah, 6th gear.
It's a kit out of Czech Republic, take a look over at TDIClub.
These guys are just starting to sell into North America.
Nice well built stuff, so much better than that VLEnt Option6 020 kit I had years ago.

For more on the kit, see here:

The 0.59 6th with the 3.16 final of the CTN puts me below 1900 rpm at 110kph. Nice and low. Very long legs.
Possibly too low, we'll see how it goes. Regardless, 0.71 5th is great.

There are other options, like a 0.75 5th, 0.65 6th, or just replace 5th in the CTN with a different ratio (0.71/0.68/0.65/0.62/0.59), but the 6speed gives better options for driving, without the long drop between 4th and 5th if you only changed 5th. Would the 3.16 final and a 0.71 5th been enough? Probably. But why settle for stock?

The 6spd 02A box is physically shorter than the regular 020 box, so no body modifications were necessary, unlike that Option6 which didn't clear the inner fender on my '84 Jetta.

I mounted the cable shift box below the tunnel, but it's a bit too far back, 2nd gear hits the driver's seat, so I'll move that soon. I'll probably install a mk4 shift tower, shifter and cables. They're much easier to align and get setup. The clutch cable is from a Honda CRX, I had a self adjusting eurovan cable to start with but on installation it overextended and borked itself and I'd rather not have the automatic adjust cable anyway. I'm running the mechanical clutch actuator from a Eurovan.

just a quick comparison:

at 110 kph (68mph):
020 trans, 3.42 final drive, 0.71 5th: 2460 rpm
02A trans, 3.16 final drive, 0.75 5th: 2400 rpm (stock CTN trans)
02A trans, 3.16 final drive, 0.71 5th: 2275 rpm
02A trans, 3.16 final drive, 0.59 6th: 1890 rpm

As for making the speedo and everything work, I was running the 020 with 3.42 R&P, electronic mk3 020 style VSS, and a mk4 cluster. Now I'm running an 02A with 3.16R&P, mk3 02A style VSS, and a mk4 cluster. I installed a Dakota Digital SGI5 way back in the beginning to make it all work. Reset to a 1x multipler, go for a drive with the GPS, tweak the dip switches, and my speedo is now accurate. For the record, with the mk3 02A VSS and the 3.16 with the mk4 cluster, my speedo was off ~46%. Officer....

As for the brakes:
rear disk for show, and I don't like working on drums. I used mk4 alum calipers and the OEM mk4 brake lines which I was able to stretch out to connect to the stock brake connections at the middle of the rear axle. Front calipers are unchanged, I could have installed the 16V's 10" front brakes, but I still want to run 13" wheels. The cabriolet master cylinder and booster were a happy accident. I had 3/4 of a cabriolet shell squirreled away in the back of the garage that I had originally picked up for body panels. Cost me nothing, I just had to get it out of the guy's garage. When I dug into the garage to make space and clear it out this summer, though the cabriolet had been totally stripped, the booster and master were still there. Fabulous. Not sure if it's a 20mm or 22mm. Not too worried either way.

So, almost 10 years later and I'm finally taking care of things that should have been done way early on. What took so long?

Life, work, other projects. And basically, once I got the engine in the pickup, it was such a blast to drive, effortless, and useful, that it became hard to park it and take it out of service for any length of time. Or my garage was full. Or I was just too busy. You know, life and things. I did build up a syncro Corrado. But it's a Corrado. What a time siphon. If anybody is looking for one, I'll part with it so I can move on to other things. Located in Canada. Build thread link

AWD donuts FTW.

So what's next:

I hit a deer, the front fender needs to be replaced and the core support needs to be tweaked, paint, that sort of stuff. I should also really take a close look at the inner fenders and the floor, make sure everything is ok, fix what isn't.

If I can ever stop driving it for long enough to fix and paint it.

And once upon a time I managed to see how this stuff fit together:

For the uninitiated, it's a syncro transmission attached to an ALH with VNT15
If only I had time and money and more time and more money and.....

summary: lots of kms on an 020, 02A 6 speed for the win, brakes are a good thing


Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Installing the Engine
Part 3: Transmission
Part 4: Wiring 1
Part 5: Speedometer and Cluster
Part 6: ImmobilizerIII
Part 7: Drive By Wire
Part 8: Intercooler
Part 9: Intake and Exhaust
part 10: MFA and Cruise Control
Part 11: The Dash
Part 12: The Little Things
Part 13: The End (for now)
Part 14: 6spd transmission and brake upgrades
One Year Later
Dyno results
Who Needs a VR6
TDI Rabbit

407 Posts
So how are you liking the sixth gear? 1900 rpm @70 mph sounds good for the stock tdi torque band, but what about with your mods? Have they moved the band to where you need to downshift to overtake?

I'm just starting to think about a mk2 swap after being out of vw's for a good few years and any real world info I can glean is helpful. Thanks also to G60ing for the massive read this first thread on tdiclub as well.:thumbup:

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm still running the stock VNT15, so there aren't any issues with turbo spooling at low RPM.
The only real issues I've had are that my modified mk1 motor mounts aren't too happy with running at lower rpm, there are some noticeable vibrations. The vibrations were worse before the exhaust fell off...

The second issue I had was fitting the civic clutch cable. The top of the rabbit clutch pedal is wider than the narrow end on the cable. I widened the cable end, but not enough, it stuck on the pedal, and caused excessive bending on the cable. The cable snapped at the pedal. Not fun. I narrowed the top of the pedal so it's no longer going to be an issue.

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