Use of Porsche synchros - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Use of Porsche synchros

Just curious, when did Alfa start using the Porsche synchros. For the 5 spd we have the early yellow metal and late moly synchros, I think the change was 66 or 67, but what about before that, .....the 4spd and earlier boxes, which I know nothing about.
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George

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 08:14 PM
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Syncros

The overall "design" of the syncronizer was perhaps an early Porsche design.
However, there were never any "yellow" metal syncros (brass as used by many still).
All the Alfa syncros from the 4 speeds to date, were a very good steel alloy until the cheaper to produce "moly" syncros were introduced about 1964.
I attempt to build all my race transmisions with the very early original "striated" syncronizers and sliders. They work far more dependably with the correct lube (not ancient Shell lubes) than the moly replacements, and the current crop of aftermarket replacements are just trash.

The problem with the early original syncros was never the material or design, it was lubricant. And that continued as an issue with the moly syncros as Alfa "cost cut" components..

The only "yellow metal" was in the bronze shift forks.

The lube that is best for all the early and late syncros in the Alfa transmissions and transaxles is Redline 75-90 NS.

It enhances syncro action, and is "safe" with the bronze metal forks. Read the lable on the back of the bottle.

Richard Jemison
RJR Racing

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much...very interesting for me.
From what I can remember it was a Porsche design originally and I am trying to establish a date when Alfa started using it. Maybe an old R&T SZ review by K Lugwi...from late 50s or early 60s where he comments on the "yeowl" of the Porsche style syncros. Humm, I must be gettin OLD!

Anyway, thanks for correcting me on the syncro material, its been over 10 yrs since I had the tranny out of my 64 TI, 41/8 with original gearbox...I did remember yellow somewhere and it must have been the forks, but I do recall having a hard time finding 5 new non-moly rings and sleeves. I found 4 so I put the best of the old on 4th, and well, that gear has felt different since. Maybe better on 5th.
An "upgrade" I did was to put in the needle bearing for the 5th gear and the beefier 5th/ rev fork, recall the older version was rather like a flat plate.
Not knowing about oil compatibility I have always used Dentax.
Are you saying that with the Redline NS I can expect longer syncro life? Functionally the box with Dentax seems great, to me at least, but could it be better?, or is it that under racing the Dentax falls apart i.e. looses its viscosity and wears out the rings?
BTW, I have an 87 911, 1st year of the Getrag box, Borg Warner cone syncros, and the Redline NS "fixed" the truck like shift when cold, (still my old TI shifts a LOT better!) I didn`t know its also good in the old Alfa box.

Back to the Alfa, did you find a source for the striated rings and sliders?
I might have a box with several sets of used ones, I`ve had the box out 3 or 4 times in the 40yrs I`ve owned the TI.
Thanks again, maybe a web search will shed light syncro design history.
George Nunez
Miami

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Well, per Wiki, the modern syncronizer was invented by Porsche and introduced in the 356 in 1952, called the balk (baulk) ring type that Alfa must have picked up at some later time. Borg Warner developed a different type, but I don`t have the date.

George
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 12:33 AM
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The change over was in the mid 60's with the 105 cars. The problem was the use of Dentax and not readily available, and it used "whale oil" as part of its chemical make up. The switch over for the sychros allowed the later oils which were more readily available. Shell reformulated the Dentax to what it is today and available at most Shell jobber distributors. Generally it is sold in 5 gallon pails. It used to be readily used in the oil fields.

In the interim switch over some of the early transmissions got the later oil and it made them so they wouldn't shift. It was either tear the tranny down or use a diesel/oil flush to decoat the rings.

It used to be that there was a sticker on the transmissions near the drain plug: red for later oil and yellow for Dentax.
Hope this helps.

Christopher

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 06:46 AM
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Lubes etc

There is no reason to continue using the old compound lubes, when the newer Redline NS is specifically compounded to improve the syncro function.
Dentax was better than Spirax, but that was 50 years ago!

My source for the early syncro rings are from donor`s only. Commonly only 4th and 5th gears have reuable (condition) donors, although the early rings are far more durable. Its the sliders and dog assembly teeth that are the issue.
Fortunately the early rings are usable in the 105/115 dog teeth assembly and the later sliders are relatively easy to modify (machine) to work correctly with the early syncro rings.

There are two types of the early syncros rings (striated). One that is formed from the same material and length, but its "formed" diameter is slightly larger for stronger contact with the slider.
Guess which gear they are on!!
Yep, the gear with the largest ratio differential which has the hardest work spinning up all the gears and the clutch disk. (no, not 1st)
Such technical design left the building when production cost started to rule the company`s decisions on materials.

Richard Jemison
RJR Racing

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Ring wear

Thank you again,
This weekend I will go thru the box of gearbox parts and see what`s there.
So, seems like there will be an improvement in shift qual with a change to RL NS oil. I'll try it.
Could you explain what's the best way to determine ring wear, do the striations grooves wear down? or mike the o/a diameter of the ring?
Thanks
George

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 05:58 AM
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Syncro wear

Because of the forced spread caused by the internal "brake bands) Syncros wear more at the last 1/3 of each end of the ring than the center portion of it.
Using a caliper a syncro that measures .140+ at the center, might measure .110-115 at the ends. My limit at the ends is .130 (measured 1' from the opening)
Striated syncros are much harder than moly and show little taper wear other than that above.
Usually moly syncros get eaten up by the dog teeth and should not be reversed. However Striated ones can be reversed.

The way to increase syncro effectiveness is to media blast the internal parts(brake bands that contact the syncro) and the inside of the syncro band to loose the slick surface.

Never use lubricant other than Redline 75-90 NS.
If you have used a different lube. drain it and put in 2 quarts of diesel, kerosine or gasolinr and let the car idle in neutral for 5 minutes then drain and refill with NS.

Richard Jemison
RJR Racing

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 07:33 AM
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Is the drain and purge with kerosene/diesel, etc necessary if replacing Dentax in an old 102 box, or just when someone has previously filled it with an incorrect EP oil?

Don P
Carson City, NV

Past Alfas...
59 102 Touring (first Alfa $500 running)
65 Sprint GT (2nd Alfa, $500 daily driver)
102 Sprint (never did anything with it, but wish I had)
74 Berlina (first new car - now certainly rusted into oblivion)
61 Giulietta Spider G-Prod Race Car (where is it now?)
84 Spider Veloce (rarely drove it, so sold it)
86 Quadrifoglio (Dull car - no more 115s for me)
1971 Montreal "The Full Monty". Fair winds and following seas

Current Alfas
59 102 Touring Roadster - restoration complete, enough Alfa for any rational man. Or irrational, for that matter
Oops. Add to the "present" list, 10204 01488, 2000 Touring Roadster project

And past...
Two 1946 Stampe SV4C (c/n 294 "Rocinante" - wife's favorite airplane. RIP), and c/n 235 "La Bon Temps Femme" (gone to a new home, but never forgotten)
Zlin 50LA (+9 -6 gees, titanium spar, 1200 lbs, 260HP rumored to now be in Brazil)
1946 Luscombe 8A
Starduster Too (recently spotted at the Nevada City, CA airport - over 20 years and an entire continent separating it from our stewardship in Binghamton, NY)
1955 Cessna 170B (wife taught me to fly tailwheel in this)

And present...
64 Mooney M20E ("Rambo". My faithful steed for over 40 years) Over 55 years old, and just returned from a trip to Argentina in him
Newest in the fleet
1967 Piper Super Cub on Wipline amphibious floats (a true "all terrain vehicle")
2010 Triumph Thunderbird


You can snap roll an Alfa only one time...
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 10:25 AM
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Dentax

I don`t think it ever hurts to clean the old stuff out.
The "cleaning" fluids are more effective in getting the stuff out of the syncros internals.

The old GL3 & 4 lubes were not as bad on the syncros as EP lubes and GL5 common lubes, buy why not clean it out?
Wait till you see the after mess that comes out!.

Richard Jemison
RJR Racing

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Dentax flush

Thanks for all the details. This kind of info was not readily available 15/20 yrs ago. But it gives me the willies putting diesel in the old tranny just to get rid residual Dentax, like D. P. says its Dentax not GL 5.
George

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganunez View Post
Just curious, when did Alfa start using the Porsche synchros.
According to Alfa published parts manuals, the change to the Porsche type syncros occurred with the change from the tunnel case gearbox to the split case gearbox during Giulietta production. Comparing the chassis numbers in the parts books when the change occurred to the chassis numbers and chassis build dates listed on the Veloce Register, this happened sometime in 1958. Inquiring with the Alfa Archives in Italy on the build dates of specific chassis numbers listed in the parts books may narrow down the time frame further.

Jim

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Tunnel case no syncro

So the old tunnel case was a crash box, dogs only?

George
64 TI (the violin), 87 911 Carrera coupe, 89 Peugeot 505 Turbo Wagon sleeper
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 03:42 PM
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The tunnel case is a constant mesh fully synchronized box (except reverse, of course). Going by the parts book drawings, it used a cone style baulk (or blocker) ring. A Borg Warner type synchronizer if you will.

Jim

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 04:37 PM
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I started with Alfas in about 1971, with a 102 being my first step into the dark side. I worked for Southwest Motors, under Joe Locario. As kind a man as he was, when he looked down from his considerable height and said "be sure to use ONLY Dentax in your transmission" it sort of scared me into compliance. If RJ says try NS, I'm game to try, but I'll have cold sweat running down the back of my neck. Pretty soon my spare box will be coming down there for a go-through, so I'll have a back up at some point.

Don P
Carson City, NV

Past Alfas...
59 102 Touring (first Alfa $500 running)
65 Sprint GT (2nd Alfa, $500 daily driver)
102 Sprint (never did anything with it, but wish I had)
74 Berlina (first new car - now certainly rusted into oblivion)
61 Giulietta Spider G-Prod Race Car (where is it now?)
84 Spider Veloce (rarely drove it, so sold it)
86 Quadrifoglio (Dull car - no more 115s for me)
1971 Montreal "The Full Monty". Fair winds and following seas

Current Alfas
59 102 Touring Roadster - restoration complete, enough Alfa for any rational man. Or irrational, for that matter
Oops. Add to the "present" list, 10204 01488, 2000 Touring Roadster project

And past...
Two 1946 Stampe SV4C (c/n 294 "Rocinante" - wife's favorite airplane. RIP), and c/n 235 "La Bon Temps Femme" (gone to a new home, but never forgotten)
Zlin 50LA (+9 -6 gees, titanium spar, 1200 lbs, 260HP rumored to now be in Brazil)
1946 Luscombe 8A
Starduster Too (recently spotted at the Nevada City, CA airport - over 20 years and an entire continent separating it from our stewardship in Binghamton, NY)
1955 Cessna 170B (wife taught me to fly tailwheel in this)

And present...
64 Mooney M20E ("Rambo". My faithful steed for over 40 years) Over 55 years old, and just returned from a trip to Argentina in him
Newest in the fleet
1967 Piper Super Cub on Wipline amphibious floats (a true "all terrain vehicle")
2010 Triumph Thunderbird


You can snap roll an Alfa only one time...
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