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Previous Next Up Topic Engines / Subbug - Subaru Power / converting subaru gearbox from awd to fwd (72985 hits)
By simon l 384 Date 2007-01-26 00:49
Would someone be kind enough to tell me where I can get the parts to convert a Subaru impreza gearbox from awd to fwd and instructions, or a complete box.I have tried Saker but no one will get back to me.

By @Jeff GS Date 2007-01-26 14:54

Saker is the only one I know of that had the 4WD to FWD conversion - BUT, I have a PDF file of the conversion instructions.  It lists another company Bremar Automotion who I gather is the actual manufacturer of the parts?

If you'd like a copt of the file, contact me off line: jgum "at" comcast "dot" net

It has some contact info on Bremar.

By Ross C 356 Date 2007-01-30 05:15
That is a cool looking conversion to convert the Subaru transaxle all wheel drive to Front wheel drive so it can be used as a mid-engine.  Now we just need to figure out how to flip the ring gear so it can be used in a rear engine buggy.  With my bus transmission I will need to shorten the oil pan but with a Subaru transmission the engine would sit up higher.  I am thinking because the pinion doesn't run on center, it can't be flipped or would require a custom ring and pinion??

Attachment: 0305tur_wrxgearset07_z.jpg (62.6k)
By Mel Adjusted Date 2007-04-10 19:17 Edited 2007-04-10 22:17
Thanks to Jeff and Bremar I now have my EJ20TT w/5 speed ready to install in my rail (mid-engine). Just need to fab the motor an transmission mounts. Had a bit of luck when I got my engine/trans. It came with everything needed to get it running plus a EXP Data Selector with 4 different switchable maps on the computer and a Smart Writer SW-1. The outfit I got it from were the cheapest on eBay and gave me everything in a front-end clip without the sheet metal. I'm more than happy and have some extra bucks to spend on goodies to dress it up now.
At my age.. Everything I buy comes with a lifetime guarantee..
By @Jeff GS Date 2007-04-11 00:41
Glad to hear about the conversion Lilgeico!  Did you have any trouble ordering your conversion kit?  Direct from Bremar - or did you get it from Saker?  Tell us about how you ordered the kit!

I wish I could have used the Subaru 5-speed trans in my buggy!  By the time I found about about the Bremar/Saker conversion kit I'd already comitted to using the 914 trans.  I later found out the shorter distance from the bellhousing to output shafts on the Suby trans wasn't going to work in my chassis, pretty much sealing that deal.  If I was starting from scratch though, that's definitely the way I'd go.

By Mel Adjusted Date 2007-04-11 17:11
I machined the 2 parts from Bremars install instructions and it works like a champ. The lock-up sleeve i made the same size as the splined sleeve and the plate, I made out of 3/8" aluminum. Easy as a 1 bladed jack-knife.
At my age.. Everything I buy comes with a lifetime guarantee..
By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-01-14 00:36
Hey guys, commenting on an old post here I know, but there has been much interest in getting the Subaru transaxle to work 'flipped' over the years.

FYI it has now been done.

I have manufactured a reverse-cut crownwheel and pinion (41 tooth / 11 tooth ratio) for the 8 bolt 5 speed Subaru Gearbox (99 - onwards).

We developed our own pancake forging for them, then they are CNC ground on an 'offset hypoid' capable machine, heat treated and finished. The quality of them is outstanding and they are of O.E.M. quality.

These are a bolt-in to existing 4wd gearboxes for anyone wishing to put together a 4WD drivetrain. The opposite side of the transaxle case must be clearanced with a die grinder to clear the crownwheel bolts. For those wishing to use them in a 2WD configuration you will need to lock the gearbox driven shaft together with the pinion shaft using the locking sleeve available from PPG/Saker Cars/Bremar automation. Alternatively, weld up the centre differential.

I have a number of them in stock priced at USD $1500 plus shipping from Sydney, Australia.

kind regards

Todd Triebler
Dynamic Distribution
By Paul Moran (DBA Architect) Date 2010-01-14 04:45
Hi Todd - That is really exciting news!

Is there any chance this work with an automatic transaxle? 

Do you have an idea of the shipping cost to the US or at least a shipping weight?

Thank you for picking up on this old thread.  I have a 5 speed manual 4wd transaxle from a 2000 Impreza waiting for a project and an automatic, but that's from a 1997 Legacy.

What is the best way for people to get in touch with you? 
Thank you, Paul...
Chicago, IL
EMPI Imp 1002 ('69)/Subaru EJ20 Turbo/LinkPlus ECU
By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-01-14 09:03
Hey Paul,

Unfortunately this will not work with the automatic transaxles, completely different design.
However, you can make the automatic transaxles work backwards reasonable easily if you have the later model one which has the planetary gears separate to the output gear shaft.

In those auto trannies the crownwheel shaft is driven by a pair of gears. They can quite easily be unbolted and replaced with 2 x toothed gears and a chain. This reverses the drive. It's very strong, in fact Toyota uses gears and chains to the transfer cases in their Landcruisers. Having said that, I never undertook this modification myself. Oh and it drives on the weaker side of the crownwheel and pinion gears so just be aware.

Anyway, the Subie auto doesn't fit anywhere near inbetween a type 1's frame horns. You would have to cut them off and weld them on much wider. I know. I tried.

Best way to get in touch with me is

The gears weigh a few kg (say 5) or around 10 lbs I guess. Sea freight around the world would be approx 5 weeks and probably $50 or so. Air freight is 2 to 3 days and maybe $100 or so.


By @Jeff GS Date 2010-01-15 12:40
Hi Todd,

That is a pretty neat development - though I think you should announce it under the Dune Buggy Parts Showcase?  This is a pretty big announcement and gets lost in the shuffle regarding the Bremar FWD conversion.  I presume this is related to the guy on the Samba building a 4wd system for his buggy based on a VW floorpan and Subaru drivetrain.

I think for the reverse cut R&P sales to gain any ground, someone is going to have to put together a "system" to make it more or less a bolt-in to the VW (or other) chassis - and it's going to have to be competitive (ie: less expensive) than the other options already well established and out there - like Porsche trans conversions, and Mendola, and have at least some advantage?  Either cost, strength or simplicity.

The drive output conversion flanges are out there to adapt standard VW (or SAW) axles and CV joints (T2 I believe), so it seems a shifter and adapter mounts are the big items still needed.  This would be a nice solution for folks converting their rear engine cars/buggies to all Subaru drivetrain - and get a 5 speed in the process!

You might try contacting Matt Monson at Guard Transmission - he might have some interest in developing such a "kit"?  I know Matt is very knowlegable and into Porsche (and Subaru) transaxles and high performance Subaru engine conversions.
Guard is very highly regarded in the US/Porsche world for their LSD differentials and gears.

Good luck with this - I think a competitively priced conversion package could sell well in the VW world.  With some volume, it might bring the price down a little on the gears and the output flanges.

By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-01-16 11:13
Hey Jeff thanks for the feedback! Will look into the announcement and the link you suggested.

By the way that's me on the Samba building the 4wd Manx.

I would love to offer a kit that includes a gearbox already converted, output flanges for vw/Porsche cv's, gearbox linkages and gearbox mounts. But I am a guy just building a 4wd Manx. I don't really want to enter the professional vw conversions business.

I think there are plenty of workshops there around the world that can use my crownwheel and pinion as part of a complete kit. These workshops can now offer economical, strong 5 speeds that fit in type 1's without cutting torsion bars. I have volume pricing available if a workshop wishes to take the plunge and put together a complete kit for their customers. 6 to 7 week turnaround anywhere in the world.

It's also quite achievable by the home builder. As Bremar are located in Australia I am quite prepared to supply my crownwheel and pinion set together with their locking sleeve and/or plate to help save on freight.

Hope this seems reasonable to all of you out there. Have had some interest from Europe in producing a crownwheel and pinion for fwd gearboxes. These are a different design but can likely be produced from the same forgings. The fwd is a weaker gearbox but would provide anice cheap 5 spd for std motors up to approx 130kw.

Happy to hear all feedback and suggestions.


By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2010-01-16 23:09
Good on ya mate!
Initially I thought the cost seemed high until I put things into perspective. I ended up going through 4 stock VW gearboxes in two seasons. If you consider the time involved in swapping out parts you know won't last as well as the price these old transaxles are fetching in your part of the world, that can add up quickly. I ended up going that route for 2 seasons before shelling out about 5K for a "Rancho Pro Drag Swing".

This becomes an even more economical route if you end up buying an engine/trans as a package deal such as when buying a wrecked car or sometimes even sourcing a JDM combo.

This product brings options. I wish it was around when I was doing my conversion. I would have liked to stay Subaru for the gearbox.

Am I correct in my understanding that the VW pan would HAVE to be an IRS pan? Doesn't the Subaru have IRS half shafts that can be swapped for the WV axles? It's my understanding that there is no such conversion to convert the Subaru transmission to VW swing axles at all correct?

I'm trying to understand the options available if someone tries to go this route.


change pan? limited to IRS rear?
By @Jeff GS Date 2010-01-17 15:37
Hi Jay,

My thinking too - if you could figure a way to bring this Subaru trans in at a price point of a fully "built" VW box, but stronger, I think it would be a winner (and an extra gear).  If popular enough, I'd even guess Kennedy might be persuaded to make up a "reverse" adapter kit to bolt up a VW engine to the Suby trans!  That sure would be a bit different!

A guy on 914Club periodically has a run of adapter output flanges made up.  These are a direct replacement for the Subaru output flanges and accept standard VW CV joints (T2 I believe?).  This is the easiest way to get the power to the axles - but it is solely for an IRS double jointed axle set-up.  These special flanges run around $5 bills for the pair - not cheap but the only current "bolt on" solution.  The same guy is working with one of the cable shifter companies to come up with a bolt-in cable shifter solution.  With a rear engine installation - I'm thinking a more direct shaft shifter linkage could be adopted, and probably for a lot less money.
Lets see here - 1500/R&P, 500/output flanges, 500 used trans and probably another 500 to have it gone through and new R&P installed, 400 Bremar parts - about $3500?  Doesn't sound too bad for a modern 5-speed trans that should come in a little stronger than a built up VW T1 or Porsche 901 swap.  I'm guessing about $4G's is about the upper limit of what most would likely pay for such a transaxle?

One "might" be able to convert one of these transaxles to a swingaxle configuration - but it seems to me this puts the price point out of the desirable range.  Only way I see it would be to use a version of the Folts Bus swingale conversion - which just doesn't make sense when you'd be getting into Mendola territory in in $$$ outlay at that point.  I don't know if the Subaru output stub axles could handle the side loads of a swingaxle conversion either, so both expensive and uncharted territory.

By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2010-01-18 02:02
Thanks for the clarification on the application. That was what I was wondering.... is it only worthwhile for an IRS set up. It appears then, in its most simplistic form, that any body with a battery box and/or spare tire well is not a candidate for this conversion. Additionally, any swing axle pan is not a candidate.

(I know that fiberglass can be cut, and an IRS rear torsion housing can be welded to an older pan), but for someone who is looking for bolt together parts, this would be a great option for any IRS pan with any fiberglass body that has room for the IRS A arm back there.

Still looks like a viable solution for strength and longevity. :-)

By Tom & Kathleen I 639 Date 2010-01-19 15:53
Jay - you don't have to weld a whole rear torsion housing, just the diagonal trailing arm brackets to convert swing axle to IRS.  I had my 1960 pan done this way.  Yes, I did eliminate the battery box and spare tire well.  Tom
Tom & Kathleen Manxter #16, Kick-Out SS #16 & FiberFab Buggy
Manx Club #1030, CVA, RBC, SCCA
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2010-01-20 03:41
Ahhh, Tom, thanks for clearing that up for me.
By Henrik B 2065 Date 2010-03-03 10:55
Im also going to use that type of gearbox to a midengine kitcar. Does anyone got a solution to mount some kind of limited slip differential in to the gearbox. Original there is a full slip diffenrential to the front axle.

By Mel Adjusted Date 2010-03-03 11:34
You might try Brett Longhurst at: Bremar Automotion ( phone: +61 3 9029 3323
At my age.. Everything I buy comes with a lifetime guarantee..
By @Jeff GS Date 2010-03-04 11:56
All the Subaru aftermarket suppliers have limited slips available for the Suby gearbox.  A quick Google with Subaru and Limited Slip Differential should bring up plenty to choose from.

By Charles W 2165 Date 2010-05-06 18:14 Edited 2010-05-06 18:17
Hey guys, I haven't been here for awhile. Got a new e mail addy and couldn't get the transitiion working quickly so I just registered my new email addy and un and started over. I spend most of my time on 914 world as the dune buggy radiator deal has me stumped for a nice looking solution at this time. Aaaanyway, there is a thread on the world that shows how to take the centerdiff apart on the suby awd tranny and make your own splined adapter part to lock the shafts together. The block off plate is very easy as the shifter shaft is sealed by the case. I'm pretty sure mel adjusted talked about this a long time ago. Also the suby guys on nasioc have been using the obx helical lsd for a pretty good while and it seems to be holding up pretty good. The obx is reasonably priced. The story on the bolts that hold the ring gear on though is to get better bolts although I don't remember any failures, the bolts that come with it do look kind cheap though. I really came back here to check the ms progress as thats a growing item on t4's at the world site. The t4 uses a d-jet or l-jet original setup and the parts are getting old. My interest is using ms on most everyone of my old toys once I get to know it. Gm sensors and throttle bodies and suby stuff is easy to come by.

Old un was charles w 309, new is charliew just like on the other forums

not sure whats up about the charles w 2165?
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2010-05-07 12:38
The 2169 is your (new) member number. You are the 2169th membership to the DBA. Maybe Paul would be able to change your member number from 2169 back to your good old 309.

By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-05-08 00:33
Hi all, thought I'd provide an update of what's been going on in reversed subaru gearbox world.

The demand for these things has been nothing short of amazing and we've got 6 cars in the build around the world. I built my own 2wd demo box and it's in the process of being fitted to a buggy here in Sydney, powered by an EJ25 n/a. We hope to have this finished in time for the Australian VW nationals on Sunday 23rd May and show off a completed, driving conversion.

Other cars in the build : EZ30 3.0 6 cylinder n/a Kombi, EJ25 n/a Vanagon, 2 x Beetles with EJ20 (1 a race car), 1 x Syncro 4WD. As these builds are finished by their various owners I will have them documented and shared on the website

We have also started production of all the accessories that go with these conversions - we do the 2wd locking sleeves and 2wd blanking plates for $175 usd each shipped anywhere in the world or combine shipping with reversed gearsets. As of next week we will also sell the Subaflange in type 124 and type 930. These are output flanges to go from Subaru splines to vw or Porsche cv's, providing direct bolt on. Width of the Subie box with these fitted is the same as a Kombi box with vw flanges or type 1 box with vw flanges (2 mounting lengths). As these are finished next week I will have details and pricing up on the website.

By far the most exciting development however is our ability to supply fully remanufactured reversed Subaru transmissions, in 2wd and 4wd. There are a range of transmission styles available depending on your vehicles weight, power, application and clutch requirements. Yes we have cable clutch and hydraulic clutch versions. I'll be updating the site with a matrix this weekend but to give you some idea, an entry level box for a buggy/beetle up to 1000kg running EJ18/20/22/25 in n/a form will cost USD $3500 including output flanges. For overseas customers we can crate and ship these as well.

I hope that gives you all a good update on progress, I look forward to seeing many more of these conversions on the roads and tracks of the world in the near future.
By Mel Adjusted Date 2010-05-12 05:38
Am I missing something or something? How do you get hold of Todd? I need some parts/
At my age.. Everything I buy comes with a lifetime guarantee..
By @Jeff GS Date 2010-05-12 11:31
Hey Mel,

Yea, Todd should stick his website address in his signature line!  Especially for such cool products.

By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-05-17 09:24
Sorry guys, should have posted it.
By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-05-18 22:17
Product update : We now produce the Subaflange, an output flange that converts the Subaru box splined output to VW CV's.

Subaflange type 124 allows VW type 1 (94mm), type 2 and type 4 (100mm) CV joints
Subaflange type 930 allows Porsche 930 (108mm) CV joints only

The width is adjustable to be the same as either 091 box with vw flanges or type 1 irs box with vw flanges. This way you can retain your current cv and drive shaft installation.

The Subaflanges are made from 709m billet and will withstand any punishment. Here's the computer simulated strength analysis, notice there are no red hotspots :

Here's a couple of pix of the final product :

By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-08-17 10:28
Update : Here's the video of our test buggy cruising down the freeway. Subie ej25, entry level subie 5 speed with vw cable clutch and bowden turbe retained, subaflanges and short vw beetle axles /type 2 cv's. Pulls strongly and smoothly in all gears and a wide rev range.
By Richard T 2430 Date 2010-10-29 02:51
Hi Mel,

I'm new to this board, but from what I've read you seem to be the go to guy for mid engine Suby power using the stock 5 speed.  I'm currently in the  custom design phase and have more than a few questions.  Would it be possible to give you a call at your convenience as I type about the same speed as my old 36hp VW. 

By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-11-01 06:04
Mid engine, rear engine, whatever kinda Subie box you're looking at I try to have most of the answers as I've seen a few of them now. International telephone number is +61 419 243275. You can call anytime you like, if it's the middle of the night here in Australia when you call just leave your international number on my voicemail and I will call you back when it's daytime here.
By Richard T 2430 Date 2010-11-02 17:42
Thanks Todd.  It takes 24 hr for them to set up my international calling so I will give you a call Wed or that would be Thurs your time.  Looks like we are 18 hrs behind you.  If this keeps up we may get lapped.  :-)
By Richard T 2430 Date 2010-11-03 23:08
Tried calling several times today and got busy signal.  The one time it rang thru, but there was no answer or message machine.  I was calling between 3-4pm US Pacific time which by my calculations would be 9-10am your time.  My number is 001 541-439-3438 if you want to give it a try.  I will try again this evening.

By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-11-04 23:46
Hey Richard, glad I could call you and get through straight away - thanks for the time on the phone!
I hope that the information I gave you is useful for your mid engine build.

For anyone trying to get through to me you need to dial your international code, I think in the USA it's 00 to dial international, then the Country code for Australia is 61 then my number is 419 243 275. So should be 00 61 419 243 275 from the USA or email website
By herman p 2488 Date 2010-11-29 01:38
Is 41/11 (3.72) the lowest R & P ratio available for the Subaru transaxle?
I currently use 31" paddles and 33" off-road tires with my turbo'd 1997  2.2 Impreza 1400# sand car.
I believe the VW 091 we are trying to replace has 4.57 or 4.86 for the R&P and 3.78 for 1st gear.
How do the Subaru Transaxles hold up and ratios compare?
Thanks Herman
By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-11-29 09:28
Current ratios available are :

Subaru transaxles are factory rated to 280hp for the later model 5 speeds and 350nm for the 2010 6 speed (non STi 6 speed). I would say they would be more than up to the task.
By ramir m 2456 Date 2010-12-04 05:20 Edited 2010-12-07 18:18
is it really possible to convert sabaru gearbox from awd to fwd? this is my first to heard about this. but any way isn't it that two are same transmission? is there an available cheap car transmission[/url] for the awd and fwd?
By Todd T 1990 Date 2010-12-07 00:19
Yes it really IS possible to convert a Subaru transmission from 4WD to FWD.
You remove the centre differential and output gears/yoke.
Then lock the pinion shaft to the gearbox driven shaft with my Subaspool ($175 USD inc shipping) - this is what makes it 2WD. Check out for pictures on how it's done.

You're correct, the 2WD and 4WD transmissions are essentially the same item but with one key difference.
The 2WD version has a pinion shaft which is thicker and has the driven gears mounted directly on it.
The 4WD version has a pinion shaft that is thinner and spins inside another shaft that has the driven gears mounted directly on it. The 4WD pinion shaft is usually driven by the centre differential, thus needs to be locked together with the driven shaft (using a Subaspool) to create a 2WD box.

Hope that is a reasonable explanation.


Todd Triebler
Previous Next Up Topic Engines / Subbug - Subaru Power / converting subaru gearbox from awd to fwd (72985 hits)

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