My ongoing saga with V.L. Enterprises
This page will serve as a regularly-updated history on my attempt to
have my Scirocco's 5-speed transaxle converted into a 6-speed transaxle.
The Idea - The Plan - The Latest - Summary
Details of my saga - Other Customers
Last update: August 14, 2005
My 1984 VW Scirocco Wolfsburg Edition came equipped with an 020 4k
transaxle. This is a "close ratio" gearbox, which allows for quick
acceleration. The downside to this great transaxle is that any cruising at highway
speeds is done at a rather high RPM.
Most people with close ratio gearboxes swap out the fifth gear for a
taller one. This makes highway cruising much more comfortable, but can cause an
awkward drop in RPMs shifting from 4th into 5th.
My solution: get a 6-speed conversion done on my 4k transaxle, keeping
the stock 1st through 5th gears and employing a tall 6th gear for highway speeds.
What the heck--this is my project car, so it's cool to drop insane amounts of money into
it, anyway. Besides, the cool factor of having a 6-speed transaxle is just another
bonus. (I've even purchased a used Audi TT 6-speed shift knob to swap out the
trashed stock shift knob with.)
V.L. Enterprises in Hillsboro,
Oregon advertises their own Option-6 Speed kit. This kit was designed by owner (and
only employee as far as I know) Vince Locicero. Basically, Vince *is* V.L.
Enterprises. He's the man doing the work, he's the man who answers the phone, he's
the man responsible for how the business is run.
The Option-6 Speed may be purchased as a kit, for you to install yourself
(or take to a trusted tranny shop). Conversely, you can pay Vince for the labor to
install the kit--as well as other services, such as rebuilding your transaxle while he's
got it apart.
I thought I might as well let the man who knows the kit inside and out do
all the work. I also decided to let him rebuild my Scirocco's 4k transaxle and
install a Quaife differential I bought through
a group purchase.
03/30/03 - Many miles and the tranny is still working great. It has loosened up
nicely, and having the tall 6th gear makes highway cruising a joy.
I have received numerous e-mails asking me where an Option-6 transmission/conversion
can be purchased (hence this final update to this page). It is my understanding that
V.L. Enterprises no longer exists. However, Vince has opened up a new internet-based
If you are interested in an Option-6 of your own, go to that web site and e-mail
Vince. The last time I e-mailed Vince, he was not actively making the Option-6
anymore, and was uncertain if he ever would again. This is an awful shame, because
Vince's kit was the most affordable one on the market (all others costing twice as much,
if not more!). Perhaps if he gets enough requests, he'll find a way to start making
the Option-6 again. Otherwise, your only hope is to find an already existing
Option-6 tranny for sale used.
11/30/01 - I've put over 500 miles on the tranny with no problems to date. My
car will be in storage this winter, so I won't put many more miles on it until next
spring. So far, so good... <knock on wood>
9/7/01 - I stopped by Autopia on my way out of town for a weekend road trip to look at
my new Option-6 tranny. It looks great! Looks like Vince did an outstanding
job rebuilding it. The tranny casing has been re-painted black and the Option-6 end
cone is a nice brushed aluminum color. Can't wait to get it installed!
9/6/01 - IT'S HERE! AT LAST! Delivered at 1:19PM. :D
Through an unfortunate chain of events, Vince screwed up about 6 orders, including
mine. He realizes that he screwed up, and he has apologized to me repeatedly.
He has expressed that he has no ill will against me or any of his other customers who got
caught up in this, and he understands that we were just trying to do whatever we could to
get our stuff back. He says that his goal is to make sure he makes things right with
us before he closes his doors. I believe he was being honest with me when he told me
all this. I also think he's proving himself to be a responsible man for owning up to
his mistakes and trying to correct them.
If you really want to convert your VW 020 transaxle to a 6-speed gearbox, the V.L.
Enterprises Option-6 Speed kit is/was perhaps the least expensive way to go. Vince
has indicated that he may close V.L. Enterprises' doors once his remaining customers are
taken care of. I honestly hope he can hang in there, because I know there are a lot
of VW enthusiasts out there who lust after having a 6-speed gearbox in their cars. I
may want another 6-speed some day in the future, as well, and I'd hate to think that the
options to pursue that would be limited and overly expensive.
These are my opinions based upon my experience. It is not my intent to
slanderize Vince Locicero or V.L. Enterprises. I'm merely documenting my experience
and the conclusions I have drawn as a result.
If would like to share your experiences with V.L. Enterprises (and/or Vince)--whether
they're good or bad--then send me an e-mail
and I'll post 'em here. I'm all for giving the man a fair chance at representation.