6 speed box in a TDI 90?

Malcyb

Member
I know the general topic of 6 speed boxes has been covered widely on the forum, but couldn’t find anything that helped with my specific dilemma. Apologies if it has been done already…

Having decided not to sell Gracie (TDI 90), now my wife’s car, I’d quite like to do something to improve the obstructive gearchange, which has been my number one bugbear. It’s had plenty of attention, including a replacement selector tower, which has improved it, but still not great. The highly respected Gary (B&F Autos in Hounslow) believes the selector cables may be bent and replacement would be the only way to improve matters. He told me that the cables aren’t available new. So I was thinking that I might be able to get some cables out of a breaker, either through the forum or less reputable channels. Gary did mention that fitting them is a pretty labour-intensive job. Still, this seems like it might be a viable option.

However, I think it was @mrbroons at the recent social that mentioned replacing it with a 6 speed box. So, in the specific case of a TDI 90 that’s covered 155,000 miles, still (I’m pretty sure) on its original gearbox and DMF, would this be a better option? I don’t think the touted performance/driveability benefits really apply as these mostly seem to apply to the lower powered TDI. However if it turns out to be the most pragmatic way to end up with a slicker gearchange then I might consider it, and if it ends up being a proactive way to avoid an expensive DMF replacement down the line then that seems quite attractive.

I’d be interested in people’s opinions, especially any that have had the experience of this upgrade in a TDI 90. I’m guessing WOM would be the best candidate for this? What are the ballpark costs in total?
 

Jellybean

A2OC Donor
I know the general topic of 6 speed boxes has been covered widely on the forum, but couldn’t find anything that helped with my specific dilemma. Apologies if it has been done already…

Having decided not to sell Gracie (TDI 90), now my wife’s car, I’d quite like to do something to improve the obstructive gearchange, which has been my number one bugbear. It’s had plenty of attention, including a replacement selector tower, which has improved it, but still not great. The highly respected Gary (B&F Autos in Hounslow) believes the selector cables may be bent and replacement would be the only way to improve matters. He told me that the cables aren’t available new. So I was thinking that I might be able to get some cables out of a breaker, either through the forum or less reputable channels. Gary did mention that fitting them is a pretty labour-intensive job. Still, this seems like it might be a viable option.

However, I think it was @mrbroons at the recent social that mentioned replacing it with a 6 speed box. So, in the specific case of a TDI 90 that’s covered 155,000 miles, still (I’m pretty sure) on its original gearbox and DMF, would this be a better option? I don’t think the touted performance/driveability benefits really apply as these mostly seem to apply to the lower powered TDI. However if it turns out to be the most pragmatic way to end up with a slicker gearchange then I might consider it, and if it ends up being a proactive way to avoid an expensive DMF replacement down the line then that seems quite attractive.

I’d be interested in people’s opinions, especially any that have had the experience of this upgrade in a TDI 90. I’m guessing WOM would be the best candidate for this? What are the ballpark costs in total?
I run an MYP 6 speed in my Tdi75, but whilst the gearchange is a little better than original, its still clunky and nowhere near as smooth as my FSI's. The big advantage internally is the shorter throw.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
 

Robin_Cox

Member
Has the oil been changed in the gearbox? The reason I am asking is that my Tdi's 5-speed box (on around 140k, removed when the 6-speed was fitted) was transformed when it was swapped into my other Tdi when that gearbox failed at 287000 miles. It was refilled with brand new gear oil and had the selector had the white plastic slider replaced as part of the swap. That box is now much lighter and slicker than it ever was in its original setting.

The other thing is that there are plenty of other small parts in the gearchange linkages at gear lever and gearbox ends respectively that can be replaced that improve the quality of the gearshift including getting rid of slop and improving the smoothness if those parts (bushes of various types mostly) are replaced.

Is it one movement in particular that is difficult in your gearchange? This could at least home in on which cable - if either - is kinked if this is indeed the problem.

Finally, when my PTW was fitted, the change was incredibly tight. A simple unlock / lock of the cable ends without performing a proper reset (due to a sudden weather change necessitating abandonment of the process and putting the bonnet back on) resulted in the quality improving immeasurably and I've not touched them since.
 

Malcyb

Member
Has the oil been changed in the gearbox? The reason I am asking is that my Tdi's 5-speed box (on around 140k, removed when the 6-speed was fitted) was transformed when it was swapped into my other Tdi when that gearbox failed at 287000 miles. It was refilled with brand new gear oil and had the selector had the white plastic slider replaced as part of the swap. That box is now much lighter and slicker than it ever was in its original setting.

The other thing is that there are plenty of other small parts in the gearchange linkages at gear lever and gearbox ends respectively that can be replaced that improve the quality of the gearshift including getting rid of slop and improving the smoothness if those parts (bushes of various types mostly) are replaced.

Is it one movement in particular that is difficult in your gearchange? This could at least home in on which cable - if either - is kinked if this is indeed the problem.

Finally, when my PTW was fitted, the change was incredibly tight. A simple unlock / lock of the cable ends without performing a proper reset (due to a sudden weather change necessitating abandonment of the process and putting the bonnet back on) resulted in the quality improving immeasurably and I've not touched them since.

Here’s chapter and verse on the history of the fault.

In August 2020 I had the following done…

Dismantled the original gear change rod/tower
Drained the gearbox fluid
Flushed the gearbox
Refilled the gearbox with the correct capacity of 75W90 fully synthetic
Replaced the gear change rod/tower with genuine Audi part

This improved things for a time, although it slowly deteriorated again up to December 2020, when I had the following done…

Lubricated gear selector assy in car and at gearbox.
Aligned cables and check selector assy with cables disconnected. Suspect gear cables slightly bent causing stiff selection of gears.

Again in August 2021 the cables were adjusted and bushes lubricated.

For the most part the gearchange is quite OK. However changes between 3rd and 4th can sometimes be baulky, and reverse can sometimes be hard to engage. Also (copying the description from my previous ad) there has been a second very occasional fault with the gear change which has happened about 10 times throughout the time I’ve owned the car and doesn’t seem to have been improved by the work that’s been done on the selector. On attempting to engage reverse, it goes into gear however on lifting the clutch there is a change in engine note but the car doesn’t move. I found it was almost impossible to disengage reverse until I switched the ignition off and on after which it disengaged easily and was able to re-engage reverse easily. It’s been a little alarming when it’s happened but fortunately easy to overcome and it’s shown no sign of getting worse.
 

Malcyb

Member
Been in conversation with @Cloth Ears who’s just had WOM put a MYP box in his TDI 90 and I’m inclined to think this might be the way to go for me. I’m thinking there’s definitely no guarantee that just replacing the cables will magically transform the car, and I don’t think it’ll be that cheap an option anyway. So I’m going to talk to WOM and see where we go. Want to keep Gracie for a good while so she’ll be worth it 🙂
 

TAABVW

Member
I've just stuck an MYP in my TDI90 and don't regret it. Did it myself with no great issues so cost was only the price of the gearbox. Two things I would note:

The MPY still uses the same DMF so you will have that cost to add now albeit cheaper than down the line.

If your mechanic is right and the poor change is due to the selector rods being kinked, then you may end up with 6 poorly changing gears instead of 5!

Trevor
 

Malcyb

Member
I've just stuck an MYP in my TDI90 and don't regret it. Did it myself with no great issues so cost was only the price of the gearbox. Two things I would note:

The MPY still uses the same DMF so you will have that cost to add now albeit cheaper than down the line.

If your mechanic is right and the poor change is due to the selector rods being kinked, then you may end up with 6 poorly changing gears instead of 5!

Trevor

Thanks I get the point about the DMF and I’m contemplating asking WOM to replace it at the same time. I’ll see what the costs look like. If I’m going to this trouble wouldn’t it be best to get the cables replaced too, surely wouldn’t add much to the cost?
 

Malcyb

Member
Cables are tricky to find, I believe. I understand WOM try to rescue and refurb existing cables to keep supply going.

Yes this is what Gary told me. But, and this is betraying my lack of understanding, do the cables have to be A2 ones, wouldn’t you get cables that are compatible with the MYP box, or wouldn’t they be compatible with the selector tower I’ve got?
 

Cloth Ears

Member
I think the cables are A2 specific. I didn’t get cables with my MYP gearbox And they weren’t offered. I imagine they depend on length, routing, etc which is going to be model specific. I probably wouldn’t expect Passat cables to work on an A2, or vice versa.
 

Robin_Cox

Member
I think the cables are A2 specific. I didn’t get cables with my MYP gearbox And they weren’t offered. I imagine they depend on length, routing, etc which is going to be model specific. I probably wouldn’t expect Passat cables to work on an A2, or vice versa.
The A2 Tdi cables have an 8Z code and are not shared with other VAG models ; the 2003 Polo with AMF/BNV uses 6Q gear cable parts that are also used in the A1, Ibiza, Fabia and Roomster. Cable and outer lengths may be slightly different on the Bowden cables. Might be worth someone comparing them at some stage.
 

TAABVW

Member
Yes this is what Gary told me. But, and this is betraying my lack of understanding, do the cables have to be A2 ones, wouldn’t you get cables that are compatible with the MYP box, or wouldn’t they be compatible with the selector tower I’ve got?
The MYP conversion uses the original cables. The cables are relatively easy to access on the engine side though I don't know how difficult they are to change. I'm pretty sure you don't have to have the gearbox out in order to change the cables so it might be worth going that route first.

Trevor
 

Malcyb

Member
I’ve established contact with WOM so this project is Go. Regarding cables, Rob has said he has some good used spares so can fit them if he finds there’s still a problem after fitting the gearbox.

My problem now is one of sourcing a decent MYP box. With zero experience of getting stuff from breakers I’m pretty nervous about this, and wouldn’t be able to tell a good box from junk. Has anybody any tips? For sure there are plenty of listings, I know roughly what I should be spending, and can look at seller feedback, but that’s about it. Going through current eBay ads, all but one don’t mention the mileage it’s covered, I don’t like this at all. Surely it’s pretty fundamental to have an idea of this, even though I’d have to take it on trust? And can anyone tell me roughly how heavy one of these things is? If I have to collect, would I be able to easily stick it in Gracie’s boot?

And one more… does it have to come from a Passat? There was one listing saying it came from a Golf mk 6 1.6 Tdi.
 
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Robin_Cox

Member
I’ve established contact with WOM so this project is Go. Regarding cables, Rob has said he has some good used spares so can fit them if he finds there’s still a problem after fitting the gearbox.

My problem now is one of sourcing a decent MYP box. With zero experience of getting stuff from breakers I’m pretty nervous about this, and wouldn’t be able to tell a good box from junk. Has anybody any tips? For sure there are plenty of listings, I know roughly what I should be spending, and can look at seller feedback, but that’s about it. Going through current eBay ads, all but one don’t mention the mileage it’s covered, I don’t like this at all. Surely it’s pretty fundamental to have an idea of this, even though I’d have to take it on trust? And can anyone tell me roughly how heavy one of these things is? If I have to collect, would I be able to easily stick it in Gracie’s boot?

And one more… does it have to come from a Passat? There was one listing saying it came from a Golf mk 6 1.6 Tdi.
mine (PTW) was from a 2016 Bluemotion Golf in summer 2020, on 40-odd thousand miles written off with a rear end collision. I was in the same boat - never bought something like that from a scrappy, didn't want to invest the thick end of 500 quid on something found after arrival to contain bodges etc. as you hear the horror stories. Key things I decided on were lowish mileage (I set myself the aim of <60k if possible) and hopefully something in a more acceptable price range ; MYPs were expensive generally, so I tried repeated searches for the alternative known codes (including PTW) and this one popped up about a week after I started looking, 250 quid (offers). So I offered 200, and with complete savings 10% discount it ended up being £180 paid, with £50 5day pallet shipping. I could just about absorb £230 had it gone wrong. Obviously then got a new bottle of gear oil (it had been drained for shipping anyway) and talked my local mechanic through what was needed and he did it in a few hours including swapping in the new stop-starter motor (from a CAYC 1.6tdi Seat but shared part with Q3). Apart from a slightly tight shift that I sorted out myself it was good straight away although I didn't use 6th properly until July this year due to the travel restrictions and was thoroughly impressed with it.

Other key thing was that it was from a smaller-sized general dismantler, not one of these pile-them-high gearbox specialist ("refurb") places. I don't know whether this contributed to the pricing being more competitive, but they had good photos (that looked tidy as well, not scruffy), were easy to deal with and I was very satisfied with the result. Given that it was lower mileage - a refurb would be un-necessary (in my thought processes), which meant that it was less likely to have been messed with. How many "refurbisher" places really do more than give it a steam clean to add £200 to the price anyway?
 

dj_efk

A2OC Donor
@Malcyb

If you have a TDI90 definitely go for a PTW, take a look at my recent posts in my “adventures” thread where I compare Audrey’s (PTW) gearing with Akoya’s (MYP) - the fact that a PTW seems to be cheaper (or was when I looked - I too went for a very low mileage box and I paid under £300 delivered) is a Brucie Bonus!

Top tip: use redline MT-LV gear oil, it improves the gear change when cold. Opie oils recommend this oil for the six speeds due to its excellent wear protection properties coupled with lower viscosity (should help fuel economy too)
 

Malcyb

Member
@Malcyb

If you have a TDI90 definitely go for a PTW, take a look at my recent posts in my “adventures” thread where I compare Audrey’s (PTW) gearing with Akoya’s (MYP) - the fact that a PTW seems to be cheaper (or was when I looked - I too went for a very low mileage box and I paid under £400 delivered) is a Brucie Bonus!

Yes I discovered that earlier thanks, sounds like an excellent option. I’ll need to check with WOM but hopefully wont make a difference to them.
 

Malcyb

Member
Spoken to Rob this afternoon, his strong recommendation was for a MYP. This seemed to be more because it was the only one they’d had real experience with on the TDI 90 rather than any criticism of the PTW. So while I might be passing up a slightly better option I’m going to go with their recommendation, feels like the safer bet that they fit something they know.

In the meantime I’m booked in for 8th November so the clock’s ticking on the search for an MYP (plus a starter motor which, unsurprisingly from what I’ve read, they recommended replacing at the same time). Are there other good places to search besides eBay? Gumtree and FB marketplace don’t look that fruitful. Are any of the other VAG forums worth joining to search their for sale boards? Re my earlier comment about so few listings quoting the mileage, I don’t see much point about contacting sellers to ask the mileage as I’m sure it means they genuinely don’t know or they’re hiding something, so either way I need to be sceptical.
 
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dj_efk

A2OC Donor
The PTW is identical externally to the MYP, it is simply the gearing that’s different.

It’s your choice, but there are enough of us on here with an ATL and a PTW for it to be considered tried, tested and approved. Honestly coming from someone who has one of each - whilst both are a serious upgrade, my preference would be PTW every time due to the third and fourth gears being subtlety longer and hence the revs are more usefully appropriate for built up areas.
 

Malcyb

Member
The PTW is identical externally to the MYP, it is simply the gearing that’s different.

It’s your choice, but there are enough of us on here with an ATL and a PTW for it to be considered tried, tested and approved. Honestly coming from someone who has one of each - whilst both are a serious upgrade, my preference would be PTW every time due to the third and fourth gears being subtlety longer and hence the revs are more usefully appropriate for built up areas.

I hear what you’re saying but really it’s not my choice, I’m not installing it. However I did rather spring this question on him this afternoon, so I’ve pinged him some more info on it from the forum thread to consider.
 

Robin_Cox

Member
Worth pointing out that mine is a BHC (Tdi slightly more than 75) with a PTW, but even so it works perfectly for me. I only really use 6th on longer motorway journeys but prefer the way the rest of the ratios drive as well - they match the torque curve perfectly, especially 2nd and 3rd. Used with 195/55/16 tyres which put it at the upper end of the speedometer accuracy margin (ie the needle indicates your actual speed), so possibly geared slightly higher in real terms than @dj_efk 's car. Some time soon going to be swapping over to some refurbished 17s with slightly lower profile tyres (more conventional circumference) so it will be interesting to see if that makes it feel even livelier.

As commented above, externally it is the same box as a MYP - we even used the MYP cribsheets downloaded from here to explain the bracket adapters made to make the existing gear cable routing compatible with the slightly different positions of the bracket support mounting points, as well as swapping over the A2 driveshaft flanges from my old box.
 
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