Trans swap with non-Alfa trans - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #16 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 05:07 PM
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everything in this post seemed to be flameless ...However the history of flaming anyone who even suggests using non alfa parts on an alfa has been the norm....... some Alfisti on this board are a little old school and uptight about "destroying" a thoroughbred with non alfa or even worse non original parts......

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post #17 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 06:03 PM
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Pffft.

If I thought I could stuff a 6 speed box in there with little or no difficulty or not having to hack things to bits, I'd be a gear rowing fool regardless of what anyone had to say about it. (stock 5 speed would sit over there to go with the car when/if it got sold)




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post #18 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 09:21 PM
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BTW, I'm in the Austin, TX area (Jarrell). If there is an Alfa mechanic who is actually good with this stuff I may want to give a rebuild a chance . . .

================================

Contact Bob Fernald. He's been building Alfa transmissions for decades.

Jim

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post #19 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-03-2007, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Contact Bob Fernald. He's been building Alfa transmissions for decades.
****************

Is Bob on this board?

I contacted Vick Autosports in Fort Worth (I'm up that way a lot).
They phone quoted $1000-1300 to rebuild or exchange my current gearbox since I will be removing it. They said I would have it back in about a week.
I have seen that people recommend them for parts, but I haven't seen a recommendation for their service. If anyone knows about them please let me know.

I also located a 260Z gearbox already rebuilt by the shop that used to do my work on Z cars. I can get it for $850 but I'd be putting another $300 into an adapter and then have to figure out the clutch and input shaft requirements. Also, since I don't have a CAD model of any of the transmissions, I don't know how much metal I would have to cut.

I will be replacing the clutch since the tranny is out. I thought about resurfacing the flywheel but I think the car revs out too slow. Perhaps a lighter (new) flywheel would be in order to go with the rebuilt trans.

And yes, I thought about the Z engine in the Alfa engine bay. Maybe if I had a spare car I would attempt doing that. It would sound terrific (very Ferarri-like) and would shift like butter at all engine speeds. Can't get the spare car until the end of summer though.

Thanks to all of you who responded. I appreciate the opinions and I didn't see any flames.

Last item...Does anyone have any 3D CAD models available (or know where to get them) of engines and/or transmissions, especially the Alfa?

If not, I will be modelling the Alfa gearbox/bell housing while it is out of the car. This will be in either Pro/E or Solidworks, but I can convert to IGES for those who may be interested. I would do the engine, too, if I were pulling it or had a spare to measure.

Keep the thoughts coming...I am learning a lot about my Alfa.
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post #20 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-03-2007, 04:27 PM
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my recommendation is to just rebuild......(also that means the next owner of the car wont have a nightmare on their hands should something happen) .... you could get a lighter flywheel and have the gears lightened..that would definately help..

on a side note i had my tranny rebuilt last year, new synchros etc, and i can tell you even without gear lightenning, and lightenned flywheel...it shifts perfectly......especially at 5-6000 rpm......at low rpm = slow shift.........the whole system just seems to work so much better at high rpm.....besides it gives you a reason to drive these cars properly.

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post #21 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-03-2007, 04:53 PM
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dacfff,

I know I have basic engine dimentions around here somewhere. I copied it fom the internet. &%&^)* for some reason I can't remember the site where I found them. You've thrown down the gauntlet.

BTW I was looking at the engine in my Spider and thinking what I would do if it ever shoots craps. I think an "L" series Datsun/Nissan would be a shoe in if the oil pan issues can be worked out. What's great about the "L" series is that they are cheap and easy to hot rod. I put an L20 + 5 speed in a Datsun SPL311 Roadster. That car was turned into an animal.

OOOOH but who could ever give up that adorable Alfa engine.

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post #22 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-03-2007, 07:50 PM
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[QUOTE]
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Originally Posted by dacfff View Post
Re: Contact Bob Fernald. He's been building Alfa transmissions for decades.
****************

Is Bob on this board?
===================
Bob isn't on the board. He's decidedly an analog kind of guy. I talked to him this evening. He's in the process of moving/building his shop at his house. He suggested that you contact Joe Foster at Motorcar Ltd. in Austin. Joe used to work for Bob when he had a larger shop. Bob told me tonight that he's sending Joe an Alfa transmission to work on so that's a pretty good recommendation in itself.

As others have pointed out, Alfa transmissions aren't troublesome at all. I've been involved with Alfas since 1967 and never had a transmisison problem in all that time. You just have to remember that they use Porsche style, balk ring syncros. If you learn to pause a bit when shifting, you'll never have a problem. After awhile it just becomes second nature and you can shift quite fast. People race with these transmission all the time. They're very robust and, when working right, are a pleasure to drive.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your rebuild.

Jim

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post #23 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2007, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re:...contact Joe Foster at Motorcar Ltd. in Austin. Joe used to work for Bob when he had a larger shop. Bob told me tonight that he's sending Joe an Alfa transmission to work on so that's a pretty good recommendation in itself.
*************************************

I talked to Joe Foster this afternoon. He was quite helpful with his advice, especially about using non-oem parts in the gearbox (don't!). I will be taking my transmission to him next week since they are closed Friday for Easter weekend.

This was terrific advice and is one of the reasons I really enjoy this board.

BTW, I haven't forgotten about the solid model of the transmission. I just bought my giant calipers with several sets of anvils (jaws). These calipers will measure parts up to 1 meter long within a tolerance of Ī.008 inch...good enough for a casting with some machining on it. I will let you all know when I finish the modeling for those who are playing with some design ideas. I may post a few photos of me measuring the tranny too. Should be kind of cool.
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post #24 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2007, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genericwood View Post
The beautiful thing about the Alfa tranny is that the harder you drive, the better it shifts. If you are shifting at 4K, the synchros are slow. But if you shift at 5500 or higher, it's like a knife through butter. As for downshifts, I've never had difficulty as long as I match revs somewhat close. And that includes 2nd and 1st gear.

If I were to contemplate a tranny swap, I'd change the engine too! The engine is much more a limitation on an Alfa than the tranny.

Erik
Totally agree with Erik.

Compared to the gearbox the engine is a complete piece of *****. And I am 100% serious.

Not wanting to knock, but I think you have bought the wrong car. These Alfa models are strong but Italian (you will understand that as you own a Ducati) and can do many, many millions of miles.

Just because yours has a noicy gearbox does not mean that Alfa Romeos cannot design gearboxes. They are plenty strong and can do many more miles than the engine ever will.

The only issue with them is 2nd gear synchros ... and IMO that is because people can't drive, like Erik said they are not driving their car hard enough.

So stop the crazy waste of time direction, rebuild or buy a rebuilt gearbox, give the car a proper service and get in and drive the car hard like it was meant to be.

If you want to play engineer, build your own car ... but don't use Alfa mechanicals as based on what you have already indicated they are [email protected]

Sell the car and buy something that you really want as obviously you are looking for the most minor flaws to criticise. Try driving any 1960's car and compare gearbox change, strength, mileage, etc. The 105 series will be right near the top of the crop of best gearboxes, infact road testers raved about how good they were in their day. They are now old cars ... old cars need maintenance ...

My brother-inlaw was like that when he bought a 105 series ... was so glad when he sold it. Not everybody has to be an Alfisti .
Pete

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Last edited by PSk; 04-04-2007 at 06:41 PM.
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post #25 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2007, 06:26 PM
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Totally agree with Erik.

Compared to the gearbox the engine is a complete piece of *****. And I am 100% serious.

Not wanting to knock, but I think you have bought the wrong car. These Alfa models are strong but Italian (you will understand that as you own a Ducati) and can do many, many millions of miles.

Just because yours has a noicy gearbox does not mean that Alfa Romeos cannot design gearboxes. They are plenty strong and can do many more miles than the engine ever will.

The only issue with them is 2nd gear synchros ... and IMO that is because people can't drive, like Erik said they are not driving their car hard enough.

So stop the crazy waste of time direction, rebuild or buy a rebuilt gearbox, give the car a proper service and get in and drive the car hard like it was meant to be.

If you want to play engineer, build your own car ... but don't use Alfa mechanicals as based on what you have already indicated they are [email protected]

Sell the car and buy something that you really want as obviously you are looking for the most minor flaws to criticise. Try driving any 1960's car and compare gearbox change, strength, mileage, etc. The 105 series will be right near the top of the crop of best gearboxes, infact road tester raved about how good they were in their day. They are now old cars ... old cars need maintenance ...

My brother-inlaw was like that when he bought a 105 series ... was so glad when he sold it. Not everybody has to be an Alfisti .
Pete

OUCH!!!!!!

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post #26 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2007, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
OUCH!!!!!!
Sorry, but some people appear to buy Alfa Romeos so they can knock them ... like they need something to whinge about or something.

There are many better cars, so just buy one of them .

EDIT: I did not read the complete thread and it sounds like we are progressing with a sensible gearbox rebuild ... excellent, and I'll shut up now :embarrassed:. Please though lets accept all old cars for what they are ... old cars. That perspective makes a huge difference .

Reminds me of a chat I was having with a Holden fan (GM) a while ago and he had once owned or club raced or something a Ford and kept blowing up gearboxes or diffs. He went through quite a few, and amazed the wreckers where he was getting them from. I simply asked him if he ever rebuilt them after purchase ... and he said 'gee I had never thought of that'. Thus these poor old stuffed gearboxes lying probably submerged in a wreckers yard were not lasting very long ... der! I bet he would have saved a lot of money if he had just rebuilt the first replacement he bought with new bearings, etc.

/EDIT

Pete

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post #27 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2007, 07:20 PM
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I talked to Joe Foster this afternoon. He was quite helpful with his advice, especially about using non-oem parts in the gearbox (don't!). I will be taking my transmission to him next week since they are closed Friday for Easter weekend.

Good. Joe's a good guy and I'm sure he'll do a good job for you. You'll find that there's an active Alfa club in Austin and an even larger community of Alfa enthusiasts. Most of this is the result of Fernald's various shops. He's been in business there since the early '70's.

If you can imagine, his first shop (6th and Rio Grande) was called "Zephyr Auto Paddock". The front of the bldg. was baby blue w/ a Peter Max style ranbow surrounding the shop name. Surrounded by all manner of Alfas and just about everything else Italian, Bob managed the whole thing like a slightly off key conductor. It was hard to believe this was the middle of Texas in 1972.

Halcyon days. Definitely a hippy mechanic shop. Well, you had to be there. :-)

Jim

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post #28 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-05-2007, 10:25 AM
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I don't know if this is wandering from the original intent of this thread but hey I'll join in the faray.

As we all know an Alfa is metal, plastic, & rubber that happens to have the soul of an Italian. Good or bad is a matter of opinion. I personally like the cars that's why I have had them in the past and have one now. But Alfa's are certainally not sacred by any means.

That being said, the auto hobby perhaps, the entire world wide auto industry has it's roots in experementation. Wanting to improve one's ride is not defiling the car it's just personalizing the car to suit one's wants or needs. Heck there's an entire section on this BB devoted to engine swaps. What that does to the resale value may not be of concern to the owner.

Now I will admit to defiling many cars in my more checkered past. Some turned out to be great and some were turds. That was the risk that I was willing to take. As an example I was displeased with the peformance of a Toyota Landcrusier. So what did I do? I changed it. When I was finished the car did exactly what I wanted it to do. Now the poor soul who bought it had an adventure on his hands but I gave him a list of modifications and he was pleased.

So the point here is if someone wants to change their ride, I say go ahead and have some fun. There's nothing that money can't fix if it dosen't work out. Or who knows he may just find a fix that the rest of us will be lusting over next year.

dacfff,

I'm with you man. Let us know how it works out.

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post #29 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-05-2007, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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David here (dacfff) -

Here is what I decided to do:

I am pulling the engine & transmission. I will have the current Alfa transmission rebuilt by Joe Foster (next week).

This weekend (Easter) since I'm driving to California anyway, I am picking up the following:

1) The rebuilt 280Z 5-speed transmission (fully rebuilt, but I haven't checked ratios yet).

2) A 260Z engine that I have left over from a Chevy V8 conversion (its in storage)

3) A Tremec 5-speed from a V6 Mustang (1800 miles then got rear-ended).

When I get all of these in my garage I am going to measure EVERYTHING and put it in 3D CAD.

Only then will I decide what route to take for the finished build. I would like to have a reliable car on the road by the end of May, but will stretch another month if I have to.
Maybe if I find a good shell I will do one stock and one modified. That would be the most fun project!

Now a quick question for those in the know...
What size bolt(s) are used to hold the A/C compressor bracket on the engine? Somehow mine are missing and my A/C compressor is resting on the oil pan. Luckily, I took the belts off since they showed signs of cracking. My intent is to put in locking helicoils (I know, Kato), then reinstall the screws (that I have to buy).

Thanks everyone!
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post #30 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-05-2007, 03:53 PM
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measure twice .......install engiine once........ sounds like an interesting swap....what's that sr20det that would be nice tooo..and its been done

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