Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Discuss VW transaxles and transmissions. Gearheads wanted!

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Khill
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Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by Khill » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:21 pm

Have 20+ yr old Spra Coupe 230 was backing up today and couldn't get out of reverse. Shifter ball sometimes pops out of socket assume the bottom 1/4 of the ball not supposed to be flat?? Got the ball back in but still can't get to move acts like stuck in 2 gears now won't move just pulls down engine when let clutch out. This thing is new to me have ran about 30hr. since April. Shifter always a little weird have to hunt for gears 2nd and 4th so close. the rod from shifter to trans is new but never had rubber bushing under the shifter on it when I got it, put a new one on about a month of go, it's looking pretty rough. This thing has always had some drag in neutral, you let clutch out at idle and engine labors slightly and it kind of leans forward. Located 50mi. east of St. Louis in southern IL if any capable mechanics on these near or far? No problem getting somebody to charge me to look at it but knowing what they're doin seems a little foggy LOL. Have a tech manual on it but don't like tearing into things haven't been in before. This thing needs to be rolling a couple more days and fast if any tricks to this. Thanks in advance to any who can help. Ken

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Marc
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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by Marc » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:35 pm

I've never seen one and don't know it they use a Type I transaxle or an IRS Bus type. Either way the fact that it wants to creep in Neutral is disconcerting, that's not normal behavior and may indicate that one of the forward gears has run out of endplay and is trying to weld itself to its clutch hub...if that's the case, when that gear is selected there should be no binding up, while when in any other gear the disparate ratios will be fighting each other and the trans will effectively lock up. I'd get the wheels off the ground and try all gears to see if there's one that seems OK (ironically, that's the bad one if this is what's going on).

The IRS Bus transmission uses a relay lever setup to translate the shift rod motion into a normal H-pattern (the 1/2 and 3/4 rails on those boxes are "out of order" and without that 1 & 2 would be to the right of 3 & 4. It's a common problem area but repairs are usually pretty straightforward once you have the nosecone off (which I presume means removing the trans on your rig). There are several variations of the IRS Bus trans but they all look roughly like this one, bigger & blockier-looking than the Type I: http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r301 ... 2631PM.jpg

If it's the Type I transmission there can still be problems in that area if the business end of the selector lever and the bores in the gear-carrier housing which guide the shift rails develop enough slop to allow the lever to cross over to another rail without making it all the way to Neutral on the one it's leaving. Usually it's possible to "fix" that situation with the trans still installed, although until the slop is corrected it could happen again (consciously shifting deliberately in a nice square H will help it last). Another frequent issue on some of those which have brass 1/2 shift forks is that one corner of the fork breaks off, leaving just two spots ~90° apart to move the slider - it then tilts and binds like a stuck bureau drawer, in order to shift you have to be very gentle and sort of "jiggle" it between those gears. Requires full teardown to fix "right" with a different sleeve that accepts a narrower steel fork, or you can shortcut the process by simply throwing another brass fork at it...even that isn't really a DYI job though. Typical Type I trans: http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r301 ... 5111PM.jpg

Anyway, back to that creeping in Neutral. With either type of trans that's not something you can fix without major surgery. In the early stages you might be able to buy a little time by switching to a synthetic gear lube (or that may do nothing beyond lightening your wallet). So before getting too wrapped up in linkage problems I'd try to elaborate the symptom as described above.

Khill
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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by Khill » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:05 pm

Thanks Marc, Think I can pull a crossmember and get nosecone off, have to look at my my service manual it tells how to rebuild but nothing about "symptoms". It's same transaxle as a bus only sold in South America, Spra Coupe was only application in US that I know of, mated to a 1.8L liquid cooled industrial engine. It has quick disconnect driveshaft to tow behind trucks so no prob there and it has 50" ground clearance. Will see tomorrow what I can do.

Khill
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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by Khill » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:10 pm

Marc one more thing this is seldom shifted when moving, think it runs 16-18mph at full throttle in 4th, 3rd is probably the most wear. I've used all gears but 50% time has been 3rd and probably 25% 2nd assume about same most of it's 2100hr. on meter.

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Marc
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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by Marc » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:35 pm

Still concerned about the creeping in Neutral, that shouldn't be happening from lube viscosity-drag alone at normal ambient temperatures.

The IRS Bus shift linkage's weakest points are the "donut" on the end of the hockey stick (there's a nylon and a metal version, the metal holds up better) and the bracket that carries the shaft for the relay lever - those have been known to crack at the ends. There's just enough room to add small gussets across the 90° bends if you want to add some strength (or can't source a new bracket and must weld up the cracked one). If that's where your problem lies it should be evident once you get the nosecone off.

http://www.type2.com/rvanness/images/nosecn.jpg
https://weddleindustries.com/product/1002085
https://weddleindustries.com/products/1000169/1000741

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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by Khill » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:52 pm

Marc, didn't get to it today, too many hats to wear this time of year LOL. Probably Fri./Sat. before back to it. Thanks so much for your time. If you'd like a pic of something or numbers just ask. Hopefully I can attach, new here. Yeah I'll agree the creeping is too much, however realize it's really geared down thru drop box final drives.... 4th gear at 3500rpm or so is 16mph or so.... don't remember actual but it's can look it up in manual. Ken

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Marc
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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by Marc » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:32 pm

I suppose with that much gear reduction it could be possible for the viscosity-drag in the trans to produce slight motion in Neutral so perhaps there's no cause for alarm about a serious internal problem...it just seems unusual, ordinarily you don't get that at above-freezing temperatures. I wonder if someone put 85W-140 lube in it, that "tar" could be responsible (should be 80W-90 GL-4, or Gl-5 that meets the MT-1 spec)

H2OSB
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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by H2OSB » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:39 pm

Wow, a Spra Coupe. Years ago, when Superman (James) and I started Super Beetles Only! I made my name H2OSB because I was installing a watercooled VW GTI engine into my '75 1303. I tried very hard to get a hold of a Spray Coupe gearbox because it is a type 1 gearbox with the bell housing bolt pattern of a watercooled VW engine. After months of searching to no avail, I gave up and ended up finding, on German eBay, what turned out to be a rare engine adapter made by a company I'd never heard of called CSP...course, that was 1999.

Good luck with your gear box issue.

H2OSB

Khill
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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by Khill » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:18 pm

Marc,
Got nose of trans, top shaft pushed in, center shaft in neutral, bottom shaft out. Looks to be in 1st and reverse to me. OIl is like roofing tar. I have 85-140 and 80-90 and both pour easily in our 85-90 temps right now nothing like this mud so think wil let it drain tonight and try to get some synthetic in AM. Sure this sludge is part of hard shift problem. Another thing that bothers me is oil light is slow to go out on cold start, sending unit next to impossible to get to due to fan support bracket. From what I read on web assume pan is full of sludge from 20yrs. of off season storage so may soon do an oil pump and gauge for preventive maintenance too. Pan "looks" easy to get off. Back to trans any ideas if it would be safe to fill with diesel fuel or mineral spirits and let run in neutral a few minutes to flush some crud and old oil out? Not asking you to be liable for outcome just asking for opinion.

Khill
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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by Khill » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:37 pm

H20SB,
1999 Coupes were still pretty valuable. Might be easier now LOL. I've always heard this transaxle was used on a bus in Brazil do you know or is that just a rumor? The nosecone has Brazil on it but don't know if that means anything..... could have been manufactured there. Thanks Ken

H2OSB
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Re: Spra Coupe stuck in 2 gears????

Post by H2OSB » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:06 pm

Well, I didn't know much back in those days. Probably was better in the long run I didn't find one. They're mighty expensive these days (gear box I mean)...and I CAN find them now.

H2OSB

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