question - engine test rig using VW belhousing

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Ashley Page
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question - engine test rig using VW belhousing

#1 Post by Ashley Page » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:55 am

I have cobbled up an engine test stand using a VW bellhousing and have discovered that the section where the starter bolts up is about 10mm thicker on the VW - which positions the starter about 10mm further away from the flywheel than when mounted in the 356 bell housing. The bell housing is off of a VW bus.

Anyone else ever use this VW part for this purpose? Wondering if the bendix will still engage the starter.

Thanks for the help.

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Scott Burnett
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#2 Post by Scott Burnett » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:13 am

Use a VW starter. I have the same setup and it will work :wink:

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Ashley Page
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#3 Post by Ashley Page » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:13 pm

Scott Burnett wrote:Use a VW starter. I have the same setup and it will work :wink:
Thanks for the answer. That's where I was thinking but wanted to confirm.

So the VW starter will mesh with the 356 flywheel (62 using the 180mm clutch if that makes a difference)?

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#4 Post by Jack Staggs » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:09 pm

I assume that the bellhousing you are refering to is the VW van type that is a seperate casting from the transmission. The earlier style, '68 to ...'71??, used a flywheel/starter depth that is comperable to 356. Later styles, after VW began installing the type IV engines, used a spacing that is more similar to the 912. Another diffculty is that all these VW housings are made for 12 volt starters which have a bendix that is made for a larger diameter flywheel with a different gear ratio (more/finer teeth). The interface with the shaft support bushing is not the same making fitting of a 6v starter difficult. You are wise to be hesitant. A starter generates a few horsepower and a great deal of torque. All it can take to damage a ring gear is one bad clash.

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Ashley Page
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#5 Post by Ashley Page » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:09 pm

Jack Staggs wrote:I assume that the bellhousing you are refering to is the VW van type that is a seperate casting from the transmission. The earlier style, '68 to ...'71??, used a flywheel/starter depth that is comperable to 356. Later styles, after VW began installing the type IV engines, used a spacing that is more similar to the 912. Another diffculty is that all these VW housings are made for 12 volt starters which have a bendix that is made for a larger diameter flywheel with a different gear ratio (more/finer teeth). The interface with the shaft support bushing is not the same making fitting of a 6v starter difficult. You are wise to be hesitant. A starter generates a few horsepower and a great deal of torque. All it can take to damage a ring gear is one bad clash.
I believe I do have the later van type bellhousing. I do have a 912 starter but from what you are saying that would not work due to the different size flywheel and possibly the belhausing will not work for the same reason. Now I am guessing that I need to start over and look for the earlier bellhousing.

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Marc Graner
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#6 Post by Marc Graner » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:37 pm

Maybe these information can help:

http://356registry.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2056

http://356registry.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1332

I had the same issue 4 Month ago and finally found a
good setup with the 912 Flywheel, 12V VW starter and
a unknown bell housing ... as well a flex and a Multi
Dremel. Result:

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=PsY6NG4pc0E

Let me know if you need more pictures.
Good Luck from Germany - Marc

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Ashley Page
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#7 Post by Ashley Page » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:42 pm

Thanks for all the info.

Can anyone tell from this photo which bellhousing I have here?
Image
Image

Jack Staggs
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#8 Post by Jack Staggs » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:12 pm

That appears to be the later type with the 'ears' on top for the rear trans mount. Earlier housings did not have the ears and have the correct spacing you are looking for. Very thin 'adapter' starter bushings are available from VW parts shops to fit 6v starters to these units.

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Tom Perazzo
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#9 Post by Tom Perazzo » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:54 pm

An alternative to cobbling together VW parts is a new product pictured below.

Image

It works with your stock 356 starter and hardware.

The gear engagement is visible.

Its compact, light and strong.

Adapter rings in stock for 356 at $200.
The stand that lifts the motor off the ground is $220.

See www.ZalexIndustries.com for more info or call Tom at 858-243-0476 PCT

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