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Author Topic: GEARBOXES: Berg5 speed - lets hear what its all about, Real life experiences  (Read 13043 times)
Lee.C
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« on: April 18, 2011, 21:54:24 pm »

Well guys as always as the title says - Berg5 speed conversions for swing axle cars  - I would like to hear some REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE please from people who have used/driven/built gearboxes with this conversion  Smiley

I want to try and get as much usefull information for future reference as I hope to use one of these in PROJECT 66 using a  215/60 rear and 175/70 front tire combo,

I have a just a few little questions I have  Wink

- Can they be used with the old skool ZF LSD Diff ?
- what kinda of "set ups" do you have ?
- what kind of ratios would you suggest for this tire set up on a "street car" 175/70 front & 215/60 rear ?
- who have you used to build these conversions for you ?
- what type of mounts do you use for street use ?
- what are the body/chassis mods needed to fit the built box (if any) ?

I am sure there are a few others on hear that would also like to hear this kind of info on this conversion so thanks in advance  Smiley

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Zach Gomulka
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 02:57:48 am »

I've never owned one but I did put a few miles, and a LOT of seat time in my old roomates Berg 5, so here's my two cents for what it's worth...
Yes on the ZF (the diff doesn't care how many gears you have)
As far as ratios go, do you want a evenly spaced "factory" 5 speed, or a close 1-4 for racing and a "stock" 4th in the 5th gear location? If racing is your bag, then you need to know your powerband before you choose your gears so you can optimize your engine's power. Your tires will be pretty close to stock height, so that isn't much of an issue.
I would say there's no one better than Gary Berg to build it.
My roommate tried solid intermediate mounts once, and it made the car miserable.
If racing is your primary concern, I'd stick with a 4 speed. 5 speeds cost a lot more to fix. If sporty driving along with an occasional race is what you'll be doing, a 5 speed is perfect.

I plan on getting one built for the GTV someday (with "factory" ratios) it wouldn't be "GT" without it Smiley
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TexasTom
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 04:50:17 am »

MB,

Yes, I second most all of Zach's input.
I have 3 or 4 sets of wheels/tires and really all work out without any concern.
Currently and interestingly, I have 215/60s and 185/60s; my ratios are 3.88 r&p, 4.11, 2.47. 1.65. 1.21 & 0.93 5th.
I can cruize on the highway at an easy 75-85 mph with no overheating and that's on 10.5:1 compression. I did research my ratios and consult experts beforehand though.
Would I change anything? Yes, with a different powerband, 1st & 2nd for sure, also 5th doesn't need to be other than the 0.89 stock ... it won't break!
I will be experimenting with a higher r&p soon as well,  when the new engine is done ...

I also would highly recommend GB for the build, after all he did help design and create it! Although, I know there are others skilled in this area too.

Really, from a driving standpoint, it's FANTASTIC! Everything you think it could be and more.

As for mods, only a relatively small cutout or dimple to the torsion housing ... I run rubber mounts on the street (nice & quiet) and insert solids to the intermediate for the track, works great!

If and when you make the decision, you won't look back.
TxT
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Lee.C
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 13:44:28 pm »

Cool thanks guys this is exactly the kin of info I was hoping for  Smiley I kinda figured that about the ZF but I just wanted to check  Wink

I am not planning on doing alot of racing I really want more of a "evenly spaced "factory" 5 speed" so what kind of ratio would you suggest  Huh I plan on USING the car as much as possible  Wink

I am think it might be best to use the Grey HD stock VW mounts - best for all round use  Smiley



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Diederick/DVK
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2011, 14:08:44 pm »

how about choosing between mike billings's ratios : 4.37 - 3.78; 2.06; 1.48; 1.14; 0.89
or the berglar's : 4.37 - 3.78; 2.25; 1.58; 1,14; 0.89
those ratios are off the top of my head, so i might be wrong on the 3rd and 4th. they used a similar height rear tyre, respectively 215/60 and 185/70
plus you always change the r&p and keep the space but make the whole taller.
it's important to know what you wanna spend too, both of the above use mostly stock-ish gears, whereas the 5-speed of TxT uses at least 3 gears that will cost you a bit more.
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 15:05:40 pm »

I have a page doug berg made with my specs and rpm/mph graphed. trans is 4.12 klink with zf. 3.78 , 2.31 , 1.58 , 1.17 , .89 . With 25.78" talll tire at 7500 . mph is .. 1st 37.04, 2nd 60.61 , 3rd 88.61, 4th 119.67, 5th 157.32 .... 69.22 mph at 3300 rpm's. Will take pic of page. Current rims and tires 205/65 x 15 rear 155 x 15 front..Pics of gusset and adj braces that tie into brace bolted to rear roll bar mounts . bill
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Zach Gomulka
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 17:51:30 pm »

Damn Bill, helluva set up you've got there!

For a "factory" 5 speed, I think every gear change should have a little less rpm drop than the last. I plan on using a 4.12 r+p (I like the "eagerness" of a 4.12, not as lazy off the line as a 3.88 or as aggressive as a 4.37), a 3.78, 2.25 (or was it 2.21?) main shaft, 1.48 3rd, 1.04 4th, and a .77 5th. The 4.12 x .77 comes out to the same final drive as a 3.88 x .82, and with the little 165's I'll be using (along with driving the fan faster) highway cooling shouldn't be a problem. I think it's something like 3250rpm @ 75mph. I've done a lot of math figuring these ratios out, and on paper everything looks fantastic. I've talked to Gary Berg and Steve Hollingsworth about it, and they both think it will be a great set of gears (although 5th was a bit low for their tastes, which I figured). The 1.04 4th also gives me decent speed, need I ever change down to pull a big hill (or do some aggressive passing!) I wont get run over in the slow lane. I think 3500rpm is right around 65mph.
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Lee.C
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2011, 20:48:50 pm »

I have a page doug berg made with my specs and rpm/mph graphed. trans is 4.12 klink with zf. 3.78 , 2.31 , 1.58 , 1.17 , .89 . With 25.78" talll tire at 7500 . mph is .. 1st 37.04, 2nd 60.61 , 3rd 88.61, 4th 119.67, 5th 157.32 .... 69.22 mph at 3300 rpm's. Will take pic of page. Current rims and tires 205/65 x 15 rear 155 x 15 front..Pics of gusset and adj braces that tie into brace bolted to rear roll bar mounts . bill

Wow looks like you have ever type of "extra mount" possible  Undecided is this all on a street car Huh

Thanks for all the idea's/info/PM's guys - I still wanna know more about the body mods needed for the nose cone area  Undecided
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bodgit
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2011, 12:30:34 pm »

Thanks for all the idea's/info/PM's guys - I still wanna know more about the body mods needed for the nose cone area  Undecided

This is how The Paintbox guys sorted that problem on my Oval:



HTH

Matt
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glenn
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2011, 12:52:07 pm »

Mine is a IRS built by Gary Berg.

3.78/2.06/1.58/1.21/0.82 with a 3.875 r/p and ZF Tires are 205/60-15

I can cruise all day at 80mph with the engine turning 3500rpm.

Here's a Excel spreadsheet you can download and it will graph your ratios.

http://www.glenn-ring.com/tech/tranny_calc.xls

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Glenn
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BeetleBug
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2011, 13:55:59 pm »

Interesting thread. Can someone explain how they manage to build it as strong as a ordinary 4 speed? I would suspect that the longer main shaft would make it weaker.

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glenn
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2011, 16:14:43 pm »

Interesting thread. Can someone explain how they manage to build it as strong as a ordinary 4 speed? I would suspect that the longer main shaft would make it weaker.


The ERCO one piece shaft is plenty strong... and not cheap.
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Glenn
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2011, 17:16:30 pm »

Interesting thread. Can someone explain how they manage to build it as strong as a ordinary 4 speed? I would suspect that the longer main shaft would make it weaker.


The ERCO one piece shaft is plenty strong... and not cheap.

So you need to cut your car and make sure you're Berg 5 has a Erco main shaft just to have a original 4th gear ratio for the 5th gear? Sorry, I just don't get it.
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Zach Gomulka
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2011, 17:27:36 pm »

Interesting thread. Can someone explain how they manage to build it as strong as a ordinary 4 speed? I would suspect that the longer main shaft would make it weaker.


The ERCO one piece shaft is plenty strong... and not cheap.

So you need to cut your car and make sure you're Berg 5 has a Erco main shaft just to have a original 4th gear ratio for the 5th gear? Sorry, I just don't get it.

You don't get the advantages of closer gears Huh
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glenn
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2011, 17:31:51 pm »

I have closer gears than stock and a taller 5th so I can cruise ad highway speeds.

BTW... I get 28mpg on the interstate with 48 IDAs. 
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Glenn
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Fastbrit
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2011, 18:04:40 pm »

I have 3.78/2.35/1.58/1.21/0.89 with a 3.88 – a 1.21 4th would be a pain in the neck with a four-speed, cruising at 50mph, ears ringing, head aching etc etc. The extra gear certainly makes driving a car with a close-ratio trans a lot more pleasurable. Honestly, I never believed how much better life is with a five-speed until I tried it.

The one thing I will point out is that the shift into fifth gear isn't the slickest, so don't expect to 'bang gears' all the way up through the ’box.
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2011, 02:00:35 am »

The one thing I will point out is that the shift into fifth gear isn't the slickest, so don't expect to 'bang gears' all the way up through the ’box.

I've done it ... those 'ricers' like to go top end
I gave up @ 6100 in 5th ... running out of road and foresaw the impending doom of 145s and drum brakes.
Of course, he stayed in it and blew past me after I hit the brakes ... he was 2 car lengths behind, prior ...
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glenn
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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2011, 02:41:11 am »

I throw 5th at 105mph and it's still pulling. (front disc and 195/55-15 front tires Wink )
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Glenn
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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2011, 07:58:01 am »

I have a ZF in my 5 speed- feels great. But they are not as strong as a Quaiffe. Grin

Engine mods covered above- although I did see a takeaway box used once rather than sheet metal to cover the "hump" Huh

To protect mine while I have some strip fun it is in the garage and I run a close ratio 4 speed which is cheaper to replace if I choose to run sticker rubber and launch harder.

Cant wait to get the 5 speed back in next year though and can see why a large number of DKP cars run 5 speeds.

Enjoy it when you get it.
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Bruce
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2011, 18:56:20 pm »

Can someone explain how they manage to build it as strong as a ordinary 4 speed? I would suspect that the longer main shaft would make it weaker.
So you need to cut your car and make sure you're Berg 5 has a Erco main shaft just to have a original 4th gear ratio for the 5th gear? Sorry, I just don't get it.
It's because you haven't looked at the 5 speed's internals.  The 5 speed shafts are supported in exactly the same position as a 4.  A stock 4 has all 4 gears between the supporting bearings.  The 5 uses these same positions, placing 5th on the other side of the forward bearings.  Thus, the deflection of the two shafts is exactly the same between the two gearboxes.

The shafts are the same as a 4, except that they are extended.  If you built a 4 using a stock 3.78 and you broke it, you'd break that same stock 3.78 in a 5, if you went that way.  Buy an ERCO mainshaft for your 4, it's the same as the mainshaft for the 5.  
You don't have to use an ERCO mainshaft.  You can use the stock one, extending it is part of the kit.

Then there's the pinion.  It's the same as a 4, neither stronger nor weaker.

If you have a late car, you don't cut anything on the body.  It's only the really early cars that require cutting and welding to the package tray.

The only disadvantage with a 5 is that IMO it's kinda foolish to drag race with one.  Not because of the strength, it's the cost when you break things.  If you break the R&P, not only do you have to get another R&P, but you have to send it to Berg to be lengthened.  Last time I checked (4 yrs ago) it was around $200.  Then you have to wait until they do a batch of them.
Oh ya, they're quite a bit heavier too.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 19:01:07 pm by Bruce » Logged
glenn
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2011, 19:17:04 pm »

If you have a late car, you don't cut anything on the body.  It's only the really early cars that require cutting and welding to the package tray.
True... I only had to whack the right torsion tube a few times for it to fit. No cutting needed.
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Glenn
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Lee.C
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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2011, 19:36:30 pm »

Hmmmm thanks for all the input guys BUT I do have to agree with Kalle/beetlebug  Undecided

You HAVE to modify your car even if it is just some trimming of the framehorns etc (more on an early car)  - its cost ALOT - its NO stronger than a standard 4 speed - and worst of all you still only get a STANDARD 4th ratio as your new 5th  Sad

Can someone please tell me why there is not a longer 5th gear used  Huh Because at the moment I would be spending ALOT of money and I would still be cruzing at the same speed/RPM as my old manx with a stock 4speed Undecided
(3250rpm = 75/80mph)

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« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2011, 21:12:28 pm »

and worst of all you still only get a STANDARD 4th ratio as your new 5th 
You can put any gear at 5th, i have a bus 4th (0.82) in my 5th gear for highway cruising.
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Glenn
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Lee.C
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« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2011, 22:51:27 pm »

and worst of all you still only get a STANDARD 4th ratio as your new 5th 
You can put any gear at 5th, i have a bus 4th (0.82) in my 5th gear for highway cruising.

Ok but again 0.89 or 0.82 are the only ones you hear of people using  Undecided

what gear would you need to come down to say 2500rpm at 75mph (sorry I didn't pass maths Cheesy) this would be a much better rpm and if needed you always drop down a gear for big hill's and over taking  Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2011, 23:22:03 pm »

Not advisable with an air cooled engine. Remember, you need to keep that fan turning to cool the engine. You can get a 3.44 r&p to lower the final drive even more, but unless an aggressively geared mainshaft is used, it will feel like a dog off the line.
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Lee.C
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« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2011, 23:27:24 pm »

yeah yeah yeah I know  Roll Eyes Wink Smiley

I am sure we have talked about this before BUT I would really like to see a 5th gear that could at least bring the rpm under 3000 at 75mph - surely this would be ok with a properly set-up and correct tuned aircooled bug motor  Undecided
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« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2011, 00:05:31 am »

You HAVE to modify your car even if it is just some trimming of the framehorns etc (more on an early car)  
This is called Cal-Look.  Modifying our cars is what we do.  If you don't want to modify your car, then you're free to leave.
- its cost ALOT  
So does a full tilt 2332 engine, a set of real BRMs or early Fuchs.  What's your point?
 - its NO stronger than a standard 4 speed -  
It's also no weaker than a standard 4 speed, yet there are thousands of guys on this forum using a VW 4 speed.  What does that tell you?
- and worst of all you still only get a STANDARD 4th ratio as your new 5th  
 As Glenn stated, you can pick any ratio you want for 5th.  The reason most gearboxes get built with a .89 or a .82 is because that's what works.  Taller doesn't work in a Beetle because it slows down the cooling fan too much.
Here are some ratios you can put in 5th gear:
1.65
1.59
1.56
1.50
1.47
1.44
1.42
1.40
1.37
1.35
1.30
1.22
1.21
1.19
1.17
1.13
1.09
1.04
1.00
0.96
0.93
0.89
0.85
0.82
0.77
0.70

Take your pick.  
The Berg 5 is so flexible you can swap the position of 4th and 5th!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 00:07:57 am by Bruce » Logged
Zach Gomulka
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« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2011, 00:38:39 am »

A 5 speed's biggest attribute isn't a taller final drive, you can do that with a normal 4 speed. The biggest advantage is it makes it easier to keep the engine in its power band no matter what your road speed is.
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Lee.C
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« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2011, 06:34:46 am »

You HAVE to modify your car even if it is just some trimming of the framehorns etc (more on an early car)  
This is called Cal-Look.  Modifying our cars is what we do.  If you don't want to modify your car, then you're free to leave.
- its cost ALOT  
So does a full tilt 2332 engine, a set of real BRMs or early Fuchs.  What's your point?
 - its NO stronger than a standard 4 speed -  
It's also no weaker than a standard 4 speed, yet there are thousands of guys on this forum using a VW 4 speed.  What does that tell you?
- and worst of all you still only get a STANDARD 4th ratio as your new 5th  
 As Glenn stated, you can pick any ratio you want for 5th.  The reason most gearboxes get built with a .89 or a .82 is because that's what works.  Taller doesn't work in a Beetle because it slows down the cooling fan too much.
Here are some ratios you can put in 5th gear:
1.65
1.59
1.56
1.50
1.47
1.44
1.42
1.40
1.37
1.35
1.30
1.22
1.21
1.19
1.17
1.13
1.09
1.04
1.00
0.96
0.93
0.89
0.85
0.82
0.77
0.70

Take your pick.  
The Berg 5 is so flexible you can swap the position of 4th and 5th!

Hey bruce - Thanks for the info especially the ratio list  Smiley

I think you have taking my points a little out of context though  Undecided I wasn't really "having a go" at the berg5 its just when you sit there and try to explain this to a non -vw guy (ie my girlfriends dad) you start to realise that even after alll the effort/expence of getting a Berg5 speed you still only have a Standard 4th gear as your "top gear"  Undecided I understand that the "idea" of this conversion is to have a closer set of 1-4 gears and still have a cruzing gear (as zach also mentioned) BUT......... I am really looking for that Longer 5th/top gear/final drive

I am fully aware of the "cooling issues" etc (I am not new to all this Wink) but I am only talking about losing 500 more rpm so that when you cruzing on the highway at 75/80mph you would be doing under 3000rpm (something like 2800rpm) surely this would be ok  Undecided Huh

I am thinking the 0.77 might be a good 5th Undecided Huh

Any thoughts  Huh Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2011, 07:42:42 am »

you can change your cruising rpm by changing the size of rear tire.!!!
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