by Jason McDaniel
Larger brakes Cheaper brake parts (slightly cheaper wheel cylinders if you compare German ATE cylinders) Easier to find (and correct for that late split bus) More expensive bearings Much more difficult to rebuild (remember that darn *freeze plug* and the big soft shallow nut) Are higher geared than earlier boxes (you can use a stock transmission and achive decent highway speed) You have to find/use a 46mm socket to remove the axle nut
Smaller brakes (this is actually more important on the front, but every bit helps). More expensive brake parts (Chinese repro parts are not available, you are forced to purchase German parts) Harder to find, but correct for your early bus (which was also hard to find) Cheaper bearings (3 of the 4 per side are the same bearing as the beetle, HD versions of this bearing are available) Easier to rebuild (with a proper bearing puller, I've done both sides in less than 3 hours!) Lower gearing (for highway speed, use a custom built transmission with a higher ring and pinion gear) You can use the same 36mm socket that is *commonly* available to remove the axle nuts.
Both boxes have their application, you decide which is correct for you. I have buses with early, late and no reduction boxes and they all have their place.