Lemons/Chump problems - Page 9 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #121 of 348 (permalink) Old 11-30-2013, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Cool Transaxle

This is the follow up to my post about jumping out of gear at Buttonwillow. So we didn't find anything that we thought was causing the jumping out of gear problem so we put the transaxle back together and went to the race at Thunderhill at the end of September. Tested the car on Friday and no big surprise the tranny was still jumping out of gear. We swapped in the spare transaxle and started the race. And made TWO laps and blew up the pinion gear. I guess an Alfetta box really can't take a 24V motor. Ended up towing the 34 car 120 miles home and grabbing the 35 car which has been sitting since running three days at Sears Point. Got the car thru tech right has the day ended. The 35 car made it about two hours and then ate it's front wheel bearings. DUH, we should have repacked them after we got the car thru tech but nobody thought of it. Our worst finish in Lemons ever. Oh well.
We pulled apart the transaxle that was jumping out of gear and looked at everything. Now we've always had a problem of the tranny getting hot and having the bushings the gears ride being black but we decided that maybe we should look at them VERY closely. Turns out the .020-.030 clearance may be a little too much. Since the bushings themselves are NLA we went on a transaxle buying spree. We bought three Alfetta boxes out of LA and I pulled two Milano boxes out of Pick-N-Pull. One turned out to be Platinum LSD box. Bonus.
The Alfetta boxes were just for parts. We made a fixture for checking the clearance on the bushing and for pushing the bushings out of the Alfetta gears and pressing them back into the gears that we use. As I've posted this is our home made close ratio box so we want to keep the same gears. We also drilled the pinion shaft so that we could lubricate the bushings with pressurized oil. We reassembled the transaxle and installed it in the car and plumbed our oil cooler set up and this is what we have now. Driving the car around the parking lot it shifts great and does not jump out of gear. We didn't make the test last weekend because we were still getting the new front brakes straightened out. Brakes are good now and the car is pretty much ready to go. I'll report back after next weekend.
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post #122 of 348 (permalink) Old 11-30-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfaguy35 View Post
Was this after a pit stop? We had the same thing happen to us. The transaxle case gets so hot the it seizes the shift shafts. As soon as it cools down it will shift fine. The tranny can get to over 300 degrees F according to Greg and I know it was so hot that when we drained the fluid that it melted the plastic drain pan.
Check out the following post.
Nope- happened while the car was on the track, during an upshift. Stll wouldn't shift after an hour. I still haven't pulled it apart to diagnose.

We must have good ducting to the rear because we noticed a trans leak during a pit stop and decided to top it up. I was able to put my hand on the case and hold the plug with my bare fingers w/o permanent injury. Difference between 4 cyl and 6 cyl maybe?
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post #123 of 348 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Trans Temp

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Nope- happened while the car was on the track, during an upshift. Stll wouldn't shift after an hour. I still haven't pulled it apart to diagnose.

We must have good ducting to the rear because we noticed a trans leak during a pit stop and decided to top it up. I was able to put my hand on the case and hold the plug with my bare fingers w/o permanent injury. Difference between 4 cyl and 6 cyl maybe?
When the car stopped shifting was the shift handle where it normally is or was it a little to one side? Did it feel like the handle was connected to mush? You may have broken the finger on the shift shaft the engages the different shift forks. The finger breaks right where the roll pin is.

Trans temp is connected to ducting and how hard a braking track you are at and ambient temp. The time we melted the drain pan was with a 4 cyl. car at Sears Point which has a couple of hard braking corners in Lemons configuration and it was our Indian summer so it was a rather warm day.

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post #124 of 348 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 12:25 PM
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We were at Road America, cool fall day race temp about 50 F. It felt as if something was stuck, no mushy disconnected feeling. Waiting for a nice winter day with no honeydos to drag it over to the shop and tear it down.
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post #125 of 348 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 03:34 PM
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Transaxle temp

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We also drilled the pinion shaft so that we could lubricate the bushings with pressurized oil.
How was this done? I know of no way that the pinion shaft can be drilled to oil the bushings.

The gears can be drilled between the teeth in 3 or 4 points on each gear, to lube the bushings and pinion shaft and that isn`t difficult if you have enough carbide bits to do the work.

Commonly most temp problems are driver induced. I have suggested that the brake light switch be adjusted for sensitivity to any weight/pressure on the brake petal, and a red light connected to the system to keep dull drivers from resting their left foot on the brake petal as some "left foot brake" which causes major heat in the trans. As well stock Milano/Alfetta brakes are an absolute no use item for a race car.

Alfetta gearboxes are only good for donor gearsets as they are extremely weak and fragile.

Winglets welded to the deDion tube are good to force air up and around the transaxle and brakes. Ducts without blowers in them are a waste of effort. As well for them to be effective they need to be fitted to shrouding to blow into the center of the brake rotor from the back side (trans side).

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post #126 of 348 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Drilling the pinion shaft

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How was this done? I know of no way that the pinion shaft can be drilled to oil the bushings.
We drilled the pinion shaft lengthwise to get the oil in the shaft and then radially to get the oil out to the bushings. We plugged the pinion end and then plumbed the oil cooler return into the speedo sender opening on the side of the case. Since the speedo is driven off the other end of the pinion shaft we know have oil being pressure fed into the end of the pinion and out to the bushings. I'm sure we're getting some leakage at the front bushing but what ever oil we're getting down the shaft is better than before.

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post #127 of 348 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:09 PM
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Way cool, no pun intended. BTW, what did you use to pump the oil?
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post #128 of 348 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:31 PM
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I was telling a friend in the race business about this and he said "wait a minute" and then came back with one of the shafts from a hewland transaxle / gearbox. It had the same type of gundrilled center and oil holes distributing oil down it.

The transmission had a internal gear pump.

One thing I noticed about the shaft as I looked at it was that the holes that were drilled to distribute the oil into the gears bushings were sized progressively larger as they moved away from the source of the oil. I guess the designers had tested the output at each gear and come up with the sizing.

Greg

1972 Berlina Vintage Racer, 1987 Milano Platinum (LeMons Car), 1982 GTV6 EP Race Car, 1974 GTV Vintage Race Car, 2012 VW GTI stage II, 1966 Corvette Coupe 327-350, 2007 Triumph T100 Bonneville. Dearly departed: 1971 Fiat 124 Spider, 1983 Saab 900 Turbo, 2004 Saab 9-3 Aero, 1995 BMW 540i Sport, 2014 Audi A4 (swamped)
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post #129 of 348 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 05:38 AM
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So, how did the Alfa contingent do at "Arse freeze a Palooza" at Sonoma raceway? AKA Sears point.

All the LeMons groupies are dying for the news...

Greg

1972 Berlina Vintage Racer, 1987 Milano Platinum (LeMons Car), 1982 GTV6 EP Race Car, 1974 GTV Vintage Race Car, 2012 VW GTI stage II, 1966 Corvette Coupe 327-350, 2007 Triumph T100 Bonneville. Dearly departed: 1971 Fiat 124 Spider, 1983 Saab 900 Turbo, 2004 Saab 9-3 Aero, 1995 BMW 540i Sport, 2014 Audi A4 (swamped)
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post #130 of 348 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 08:58 AM
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Retired from LeMons and Chumpcar, taking my 2 Milano's and running Tarheel Sports Car Club Rallycross with them....maybe an SCCA event if there is one close......unless someone wants to buy all that stuff from me.

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post #131 of 348 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 05:20 AM
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I tore down the transaxle that decided to stop shifting and found this:

The external shift linkage had escaped the grasp of the gear selector shafts. I'm not sure how. Has anyone else done this or am I unique?

Last edited by Eman911; 01-16-2014 at 05:23 AM.
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post #132 of 348 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 12:42 PM
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Wish I had thought to look for a thread like this before our first race in a Milano! We had a hell of a time this past weekend, but were grateful for the help from Wes and Brian and their teammates. We got to experience a seemingly unsolvable starts-then-dies condition which hadn't affected the car in a year-and-a-half of street driving (including SF to Sacto and back to get the cage installed). After swapping just about every component except the engine, we traced the fault to a bad ground from the air meter. Once on track, we experienced incredible brake fade and so much pitch and roll that we got nearly seasick!

Anyway, a great weekend, and now that we've gotten it on track, we can start turning it into a race car.

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post #133 of 348 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 12:54 PM
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And just where, pray tell, is that pesky air meter ground? Inquiring minds wish to know as we have another on the BB with what appears to be an identical problem.
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post #134 of 348 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 01:16 PM
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Oh, you want the *real* solution? We just spliced in a ground wire to the valve cover so we could get going! If memory serves, it's the thicker green wire on the end of the connector closest to the front of the car.
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post #135 of 348 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 06:37 AM
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Windy City Grand Prix Chump Report

We just returned from Autobahn CC and hands down our best weekend yet! We had a top 20 finish sewn up both days but......
A mathematical error by the the team captain (yeah, me) put our total competition value at $505 earning us a penalty lap. We ended up at P24 on Saturday, without the penalty we would have been P18. We ran Saturday's race on Kumho street tires so our first time driver would get some warning before he got to the edge.

Sunday we switched to the Star Specs and dropped our lap times by as much as seven seconds! We were running as high as P15 and moving up when the crank pulley and the lower radiator hose started arguing. The pulley won. We had to sit out for 90 minutes while parts were rounded up (my fault for not having a spare) and for the 2 trains to clear the crossing so our runner could get back to the track. We got back on course with an hour and a half left and finished strong. We ended the day at P30.

The only problem we encountered was the coolant leak. Our 2.0l pulled hard for three days straight, the Spica pump was flawless (we ran to 6k rpm and saw the AFR run from 11.7 to 12.5 WOT), we had zero defects in the transaxle, every shift was flawless. I think my drivers are finally developing the Alfa touch! Handling was consistently neutral with a touch of driver ineducable oversteer. Over the course of the off season we modified the DeDion tube to give us a couple of degrees of negative camber and moved the center pivot for the Watts link to the bottom of the tube. With these two mods we have pretty much eliminated inside wheel spin in the corners.
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