Beetle vs Bus Transmissions - How Tell The Difference - Air-cooled VW Tech Tips

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Here are some quick tech tips showing you how to tell the difference between a VW Beetle transmission and a VW Bus transmission on your Air-cooled VW Beetle or Dune Buggy.

Beetle transmissions - also known as a Type 1 Transaxle - are identified by the non-removable bellhousing. They are available in Swing Axle and IRS (Independent Rear Suspension) variants. Type 1 IRS transmissions use Type 1 90mm CV joints and typically have taller gearing - great for vehicles that will see highway use.

Bus transmissions - known as a Type 2 Transaxle - are identified by the removable bellhousing and large square nosecone. They come in 3, 5, and 6-rib variants, counted by the number of ribs on the top of the transaxle case. 3 and 5-rib transmissions are known as a 002 transaxle, and 6-rib transmissions are known as a 091 transaxle, or a 094 side-shift from a VW Vanagon. Bus transmissions use stronger 100mm Type 2 CV joints.

Bus transmissions have stronger internals, larger CVs and lower gearing, making them a popular aftermarket choice for an off-road buggy.

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