Tonight I started on rebuilding the transaxle. The first step was disassembly, this is going fairly well with the exception of the release of 45 year old gear oil smell; it will take a while to dissipate. Overall everything is in great shape; I’m mainly rebuilding to clean it up and reseal everything. Even the reduction boxes at the end of the axles are in great shape. The reduction boxes allowed VW to use what is basically the beetle drivetrain in the bus, at the expense of top end speed. Reduction boxes like this are not used on any other road-legal production vehicle with the exception of the original military-derived Hummer H1; but in the Hummer’s case it’s done mainly for ground clearance.