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Replacing The Rear Gear-Box Mounts + Carrier Bracket

As part of our Type4 Engine installation we opted to replace our gearbox mounts with something fresh and more in-line with taking a 2.1 litre engine.
The old mounts were original factory installed 1970 items so they were allready worn and distorted from nearly 40 years of use anyway.!!

We had spotted a re-enforced gearbox carrier bracket (made by EMPI) on the shop wall of a VW store : so we figured we would install this item such that the frame-horn ends had some extra stiffness between them.
The (yellow Eurathane) gearbox mounts used in this article are the 'Rhino' mounts from CB Performance.

To remove the old gearbox mounts you need to remove the engine so you can gain access to the 4 nuts inside the bell-housing.

There are 8 nuts that hold the rear gear-box mounts to the gearbox and the carrier - 4 per mount. (pointed to AND ringed in Orange in the below picture).

To free the mounts to remove them you need to place a trolly-jack underneath the gearbox to jack it up such that the gearbox is lifted up off the cradle until the studs on the gearbox mounts are cleared - thereby freeing the mount to be removed.
The 2 bolts that hold the gearbox cradle to the ends of the frame forks are arrowed in blue.

As can be seen above, we test fitted the new CB 'Rhino' mounts with the original VW engine carrier in place to check the fitment and alignment of the new parts against the genuine mountings...we took some close up pictures of the bolt-up holes for refererence in this 'how to'.

With the fitting studs threaded into the gearbox bellhousing and the parts re-seated into the cradle with the weight of the gearbox sat on them, the above pictures show that we had some alignemnt issues to resolve on the new parts.

Next : re fitted the new EMPI gearbox cradle \ carrier : a simple job - undo the two big bolts - take out old carrier - insert new carrier - re-insert the big bolts and then tighten.

With the CB 'Rhino' mounts in position and the gearbox dropped back onto the cradle \ carrier as before, we found the following :

Middle picture shows that we still have alignment issues with the gearbox mounting blocks.
Right hand picture shows how the construction of the EMPI cradle interferes with fitting the CB 'Rhino' mount.

It should be noted that the Genuine VW mount is bonded to a flat steel plate - the CB 'Rhino' mount is pure Eurathane with significant extra thickness presented to the cradle in the outer mounting positions : the EMPI gearbox cradle would not interfere with a Genuine VW mount as the only thickness presented would be the steel sheet.

The CB mounts also fell out of alingment with the edge of the bellhousing (pictured below).

The alignmemt issues were soon resolved via some judicous filing of the fitting holes in the gearbox bellhousing - though not ideal this was the quickest and most practical way to get the CB Mounts flush fitted into place.

We could not file the CB mounts as the Eurathane has steel ferrules pressed into it : filing would have destroyed the furrules. Without the ferrules the steel mounting bolts would have ripped the Eurathane to shreds in-service as the Beetle was driven.

On final tigtening we found a few smacks with a hammer persuaded the gearbox mounts to stay flush with the lip of the bellhousing..!

Without this fine-tuning there may / would have been issues drawing the face of the engine case onto the bellhousing when the engine was fitted. This would be a bad thing. A quick look back at the previous photograph of the VW mounts shows how they flush fit with the lip of the bellhousing....

The finished job is shown below : the strap that goes over the top of the gearbox (as shown in the picture) would not fit over our gearbox - so we ditched it. On reflection this strap would not do anything useful anyway... We want the load of the gearbox \ engine to feed through the engine mounts ONLY - the strap would help by-pass their cushioning effect and feed vibration etc. into the frame horns \ chassis.
In the long term - the frame horns can be tied to the top shock absorber mounts to provide extra torsional stiffness to the frame horns and chassis. The EMPI mount has some useful looking bolt-up holes (via not using the strap) that will help us to sort this out at a later date.