01E swap into B3

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01E swap into B3

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:51 pm

I'm currently in the middle of a swap, I thought I would take the opportunity to add some info and pictures as I go along. I'm going to try to give a lot of info that most of you probably already know, just in case it helps someone down the line, so it may be a bit tedious. This post is specifically about my car, which is a 1988 80q with a 3B 20vt swap. But I'll try to add info that should be helpful for people with other B3 cars with various engines. Hopefully, reading this writeup will give you all the info you need to swap an 01E into a B3 car.

Alright, so as most of you know, the B3 cars in the states had two engine options: the 10v naturally aspirated NG found in the 80s and early 90s, and the 20v naturally aspirated 7A, found in the later 90s and coupes. All B3 cars came with the same transmission and drivetrain. They all had 01A transmissions with 4.11 final gearing. The 01A transmission is closely related to the 01E, which makes the O1E a relatively easy swap. The 01E transmission bolts right up the any 5 cylinder block, so no need for any sort of bell housing adapter or anything like that, other than the bell housing spacer which was installed in the factory on the 01E cars.


If you have an NG: first off, why the hell are you swapping a 6 speed into an NG? :barf: I believe you can keep your stock flywheel, but you might be the only person to ever attempt this swap.

If you have a 7A: you can keep your flywheel. You can also keep your clutch, or use an upgraded 7A style clutch.

If you have a 3B 20vt swap: your 3b was paired to an 016 transmission, which has its pilots bearing in the crank. The O1A/O1E have their pilots bearings in the flywheel. You cannot use an NG flywheel unless you insert a timing pin. A 7A flywheel and clutch fits the 3b, has a timing pin, and has the pilot bearing in the flywheel, so 7A flyhweel/clutch is a good solution.

If you have an AAN swapped into your B3, the AAN already had an 01E, so the AAN flywheel/clutch will work just fine.


The axle cups are the part which spline into the transmission, which you physically bolt the axles to, shown here:

Audi used 2 different size internal splines on their transmissions, as well as two different sized axles. The large spline is a little over 29mm, the small size is a bit smaller(I didn't measure). The large axle size, seen here, is 108mm:
The small axle size , seen here, is 100mm:
The 01A in all the b3 cars uses the small spline with 100mm axles. The 01E uses large spline and 108mm axles, meaning the transmission will not bolt up as-is to the smaller axles in a B3 car. Luckily, the 4000 quattro used an 016 transmission, which uses large splines, and the car itself was fitted with 100mm axles. You need these axle cups if you want to use an 01E with your stock axles.
(I believe the B3 cars also use this size cup on the right rear of the differential, so if you have a couple spare B3 diffs, you can use those)

As you can see here I have the 01E axle cup comparing it to the axle cup from the 4000q.

Same internal spline size:

Different axle sizes:

These fit with no modification into the 01E, but keep in mind you need the bolts from the 4k! The bolts are not the same, you cannot use the bolt from the 6 speed, and the 01As don't have any bolts, so be sure to keep the bolts from the 4k! You can see the differences here:
The 6 speed bolt is the shorter, square shoulder bolt. If you try to use the 6 speed axle cup bolt with a 4k axle cup, you won't even make it out the back of the axle cup, shown here:
In case you need to source a similar bolt:


The 01E is physically longer than the 01A by about 1 inch. This means your driveshaft is too long as is. Luckily, the same 4KQ you got your axle flanges from has a driveshaft that just so happens to be 1 inch shorter, and bolts right up! :woowoo:

Here is an 01A driveshaft next to a 4K driveshaft:


It's worth mentioning that the UrS cars came with an 01E, but it was a 5 speed. People can and do swap those into B3 cars, but this post is specificlly about the 6 speed version which was found in a few cars. People mostly associate the 6 speed 01E with the b5 S4, but it was also found in the C5 A6 manual, as well as the C5 allroad. Unfortunately, the allroad does NOT have 4.11 front final drive, so you cannot use it as-is in your B3. The 6 speed 01E was also used in the RS2, but those are hard to find and quite expensive, so chances are good you'll be looking for eiher a B5 S4, or a C5 A6 2.7t. I found mine in a local picknpull. It cost $99 plus a $30 core, with a 30 day warranty.

Here is an 01E(top) next to an 01A(bottom):

Note the 01E uses a stabilizer bar which bolts to the floating shifter assembly in a B5/C5. I won't be using this, so it's simply removed and discarded.

You can see the transmission shift levers have very similar "shifter ends," (and by that I mean the part of the lever that bolts to your shifter, as opposed to the part that bolts to the transmission) but the 01E has a "cupped end" which is concave down, whereas the 01A that cam out of your car is concave up, shown here:

You may have read about "cup flipping," this is what they are referring to. The end of the 01E shift lever is cut off, and rotated 180 degrees to allow it to be bolted up to your stock shifter assembly. I have normally used the 01E shifter assembly and modified it to fit in my car, but I'm trying the cup flipping for the first time here.
When you cut the shaft, you should be aware that the tube is hollow, and completely filled with about a pound of buckshot, or something similar. It's purpose is to add weight to the shaft to improve shifter feel, similar to a weighted shift lever. If you're using an angle grinder, wear safety glasses or a face shield, and be sure that your shaft is positioned in a way that the buck shot doesn't all come falling out, hitting the grinder, and shooting red hot buck shot straight into your eyeballs.
Here's a picture of the weight.

Now I was told the end simply gets cut off and flipped 180 degrees, which is what I did first, and here is where I cut.

However, when I tacked it up and compared it to my 01A, I found that the cupped end angled up towards the ceiling by about 30 degrees. This may or may not have worked, but I wanted it to more closely resemble the 01A, which was fairly parallel to the floor. I end up bending it down to match, but did not change the clocking of the cup end. This is what I ended up with:
As you can tell they look quite similar, but I'll be sure to update how it all fits in the car.

After you've swapped axle cups and modified the shift lever, the transmission is ready to install.


You'll need new mounts, neither the 01E mounts nor the 01A mounts will work. You can use OEM RS2 mounts, but they are quite hard to find and quite expensive. Luckily, a number of people now sell replica RS2 transmission mounts. Keep in mind the RS2 was a b4, not a b3, which means it had a different subframe. If you want to use RS2 mounts on a b3, you need to use 40mm spacers on one mount, other than that, they are a direct fit. I will be making my own mounts, because I don't want to spend $300. I'll post pics of the mounts as I make them. That's as far as I've gotten, I'll be posting more as I make progress. Hopefully this will be helpful to someone someday!
Last edited by maverick on Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby Grillage » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:59 pm

This is super helpful! thanks for the documentation.

I'm going to tackle this in my B4
1995 90 Quattro
1994 Cabriolet - 5 speed
1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder
2011 A4 Avant

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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby speeding-g60 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:15 pm

right rear axle cup from the rear diff. the left rear is the locker side and looks nothing like the other.

carry on then.
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:34 pm

speeding-g60 wrote:right rear axle cup from the rear diff. the left rear is the locker side and looks nothing like the other.

carry on then.

Fixed! Thanks man.
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby PRY4SNO » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:19 pm

Great thread! The one on MG got quite cluttered, nice to have a nutshell resource.

A few observations, posted for posterity.

-- B5A4 rear diff flanges also work.

-- B4 90 front subframes from the 12v 2.8L v6 will work without the 40mm spacers.

-- 6sp linkages from S2/RS2 also work with no modification, but are rare & $$$.
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby Lucky » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:22 pm

Nice write-up! I'm actually doing this swap right now to my 88 b3. I'm adding this to my bookmarks for reference material.

What did your shift linkage come from? From what ive read the cup flip usually only works with the linkage from a b5 s4. I think the other linkages are shaped differently.

A few extras you can add in if you want. You are able to use the rear diff cups from a b5 a4. They are the 100mm versions and you can use both sides. The b5 s4 cups won't work, they are the larger 108mm.
You can find a version of the 6 spd 01E in b6 a4's specifically the 02 and 03 year V6 models, the other years and engines are different transmissions.

Edit: PRY4SNO beat me to the rear diff point. Slow typing on a cell phone lol.
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby varia » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:52 am

corresponding bolt can be shortened (by 3mm). the section that comes out of the flange needs to be exact.

IMG_20180102_092859.jpg (511.08 KiB) Viewed 1550 times

4000, B3 diff, pass side or a4b5q diff, both side can be used, once its shortened

IMG_20171209_150718.jpg (534.23 KiB) Viewed 1550 times

if you use the stabilizer arm, you wont have problem finding gears like my friend Selmir has with his shifter in his cq, i believe you did it at 2B

8.jpg (76.41 KiB) Viewed 1550 times

Rotaru Sorin on s2 forum/FB sells these mounts, they are designed to work with B3q subframe without the spacer
3.jpg (183.68 KiB) Viewed 1550 times

2.jpg (179.5 KiB) Viewed 1550 times

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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby lorge1989 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:18 am

Good info here. Just want to echo the B6 3.0 O1E option, with slightly shorter ratios as well.

I will be doing this swap soon hopefully. My thought on the mount was something similiar to a DTS bar you have seen made by aftermarket companies for the B5 platform. Many peoply only use this to mount the trans, in conjuction with the bellhousing bolts. To do this you would need to find a way to tie into the floor, which could be too much for many. Making your own mounts for the B3 subframe would proably be just as much work though.
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby maverick » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:51 pm

varia wrote:corresponding bolt can be shortened (by 3mm). the section that comes out of the flange needs to be exact.

I appreciate the tip, I shortened it by 3mm.

varia wrote:if you use the stabilizer arm, you wont have problem finding gears like my friend Selmir has with his shifter in his cq, i believe you did it at 2B

Nope, wasn't me.
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby maverick » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:10 pm

Success! The car is back on the road with a 6 speed and it works flawlessly. :drive: ,
I took a before pic of my car at 70mph with the 5 speed. As you can see it was just a hair under 3300 rpm.

Now in 6th gear at 70mph it's about 2900 rpm. Should help a bit with mileage, and it just feels like a much better cruising rpm.

So as pointed out by a couple of you, I did shorten the axle flanges and bolts by 3mm. The axles were a bit difficult to install (with the axle nut on) so I drooped the subframe a bit and they popped right in.

I ended up making my own mounts out of 3/8 steel. Total cost was under $20. $12 for steel(only used half of a 12x24" sheet, and $8 for a 10 pack of harbor freight cutoff wheels for the angle grinder. Granted, the mounts aren't going to win any beauty contests, but they fit nicely, and should be able to take the abuse. Mounts were made with a drill, an angle grinder, and a shitty old welder.

Couple progress pics of the mounts.

Here it is in the car.

I ended up having to extend my b5 shift linkage about an inch in order to get my stock shifter assembly within adjustment range. I forgot to take any pictures. But it's in, and it works!
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby maverick » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:32 pm

I had a HELL of a time chasing down a problem after I got the transmission physically mounted. I wanted to start the car and check for exhaust rattles, but the engine wouldn't fire. I pulled out the laptop and opened up VEMStune where I saw 86 configurations errors. It seems my software updated, and the newest version was throwing me a ton of configuration errors, and mentioned something about "safe mode" on the ecu. After some reading, I saw safe mode was associated with an ECU firmware update. Well I definitely didn't update the firmware, but I figured if I updated, it might help get me out of safe mode. What I didn't realize at the time is that I'm just an idiot and pinched my crank angle sensor wire with the bellhousing, and the software errors were just coincidental. Probably would have started just fine if I had noticed the sensor. So I update the firmware on the ecu, and part of the process involves removing the fuel pump relay. Well the 30 year old relay was pretty stuck, and I ended up cracking a solder joint in the relay as I wiggled it out, breaking the relay. But I didn't know that at the time. So after updating the firmware, still nothing. Now is when I find the broken sensor, and I replace it. I crank the car, still nothing, but I can hear the fuel pump cut in and out. I pull out the relay and open it up. I see the cracked solder and loose pin. Try to repair it but have no luck, so I replace it. I crank the engine, and success! The car starts. But it dies after about 10 seconds. Every. Single. Time. It seems like my fuel pump primes, but won't stay running when the car is running. So of course I think the replacement relay isn't working. Try a couple more. Same issue. I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what I might have done. I pulled out my fuse box to max sure I didn't damage wiring or anything. I search VEMS for any possible settings for the fuel pump relay, but there are only two settings, how long it primes, and how long it stay on after inactivity. After a TON of head bashing against a wall, I find out that the newest version of VEMS firmware has an option for PWM of the fuel pump relay, which for some reason is automatically turned on after a firmware update... And the icing on the cake is that the "latest stable version" available from VEMS is not new enough to recognize the PWM option on the ecu. So my ecu automatically turned on an option that would never work for a relay, and my software couldn't even see that option, let alone turn it off. And since I physically damaged my relay, I thought for sure I was chasing a physical problem, not a configuration error. Took me a couple days before I figured everything out and got it all working again. I had to download a non stable "nightly release" from VEMS. After the software update, it showed up right away that PWM was enabled, and turning it off fixed it right away. Definitely a pain in the ass, but it's all sorted and back on the road!
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby Juizer » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:09 am

Would this apply to a typ44 as well with 016 tranny?
I have 01E DQT on the floor here and it will go into my 200 at some point in time..
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby stin » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:33 am

You could use audi v8 4.2 6 speed parts like I did.
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Re: 01E swap into B3

Postby pilihp2 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:56 pm

stin wrote:You could use audi v8 4.2 6 speed parts like I did.

where'd you find any of those parts...?
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