VW Freeway Flyer

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    Anybody hear from anyone using the Freeway Flyer transmission for their car (VW based)?

    Larry Murphy


     My understanding is that the freeway flyer transaxle is found in the super beetle and is geared higher than the reg. beetle.I have a friend who made the swap and is happy with it. PinkMG [Mark] had one in the TD he sold to Bill Collins.

    Paul Mossberg


    I’ve heard good and bad.

    The biggest downside I have heard is the possibility of running too hot on the highway because of the lower RPM. Remember, the fan speed is directly related to engine speed.

    Now it would seem lower engine speed, lower heat, which would offset the reduced air flow. But I know guys that will not run a freeway flyer.

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    edward ericson


    Lower engine speed only means less heat if there is less load on the
    engine. If the load is the same, the heat will increase because of the
    fan spinning more slowly. Is this likely to matter much in a TD
    replica? I’d think not, unless you’re also loading the nose with iron
    barbells and towing a trailer with it. We’re light, so we get some
    leeway. Then again, we’re also bricks, aerodynamically-speaking, and
    that matters a lot at 60 mph.

    So should you get a “freeway flyer?” Yeah, probably, but it depends on which version of “freeway flyer” you’re wanting. You want the higher ratio ring and pinion, the higher 4th gear, or both?

    Gear Ratios of the Mofoco Freeway Flyer (swing axle):

    • 1st gear: 380
    • 2nd gear: 206
    • 3rd gear: 132
    • 4th gear: 0.89
    • Ring and pinion (final drive ratio): 3.88


    Or this combo (samba):

    Freeway Flyer Irs Transaxle. I rebuilt this with the
    intentions of using it in my own car but have changed directions with
    my project. It has a 4.12 R/P 3.80 1st, 2.06 2nd, 1.21 3rd, and a .82


    Or put the .82 4th with the 3.88 final and really get those RPMs down…and really have to wind up 3rd to get your 4th step.

    I’d say (with my vast experience) you should probably run a stock tranny with anything under a 1500 sp. Revs at 60 will be in the 3300 range–not really that high–and these engines don’t mind 5000 rpm or even a little more.

    I think either the 3.88 R&P OR the .82 4th gear will get you into the 3000 RPM neighborhood at 60 mph. That’s what Bridget does and she seems content with that. Bridget is a single port motor of indeterminate size.

    I’d say, if you’ve got an engine with any kind of legs–a dual port, a 110 cam, ratio rockers, 1641 cc or bigger–and the thing is properly cooled (that is, good tins, good fan, stock sized crank and alternator/generator pully and proper* oiling)–you should have no issues running taller gears in these cars. The Speedster people all seem to run versions of the FF transaxles, and while they have plenty of mechanical issues, most of them seem to center on the folly of trying to get 200 ft-lbs torque out of these little mills. Many of those dudes are running 2.2 liter Type 1 engines with monster cranks, big cams and the rest, and they seem to have shorter shelf lives and higher maintenence requirements, generally speaking. The guys running 1915s, 1776s, etc. mostly just cruise around happy–albeit with a bit of horsepower envy.

    *proper, in this case being a full-flow cases with an aftermarket cooler/filter combo that works.




    I have a (sort of) freeway flyer in my 74 Ghia. Gear ratios are great for the freeway but the not as much as the Freeway Flyer. And the RPMs on mine are higher. What I’ve heard mostly is that running a freeway flyer is about the same as a running a power pulley. More HP but lower fan speed. And less fan speed = a hotter engine. I even drive in 3rd gear most of the time around town because the traffic here is horrendous and you’re lucky to get up tp 40 MPH. A stock 73-74 IRS transaxle will get you plenty of speed on the freeway (I cruise at 75 MPH with no problem from here to Atlanta) and you won’t have to worry about overheating. Plus there are other ways to increase MPG besides a freway flyer. My .02 worth anyway.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    Mark Hendrickson


    Not wanting to break the bank on a Gene Berg 5 speed for my VW based TD replica. I opted for a Freeway Flyer. I was VERY happy with it. The nearly 500 pound lighter vehicle made the higher 4th gear a joy at highway cruising speeds.  Freeway Flyer is a great thing for open road cruising IMHO.

    Around town it was not a problem either as 40 mph and under I usually run my VW’s in 3rd gear anyway. The motor was NOT stock. It was a MOFOCO Streetwise 1776 with dual Kadrons. It had a stock VW hydraulic cam and made low-end power up the wahzoo!

    I am currently building a straight axle Volksrod. Although it’ll be gutted and fenderless with some main body parts also removed, I’ll probably be no where near 500 pounds lighter than a stock Beetle. But, it’s “hot rod” 1776 should be able to handle the higher 4th gear.

    With a VW, the fan/engine speed are a constant ratio…more rpms more fan speed required/less rpms, less fan speed required. So, a Freeway flyer is not going to affect cooling unless you seriously overload the car and short shift in 4th. I had NO overheating problem with my VW TD.

    Pink MG40696.5569097222



    Hey thanks everyone for the info!

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