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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Perhaps a bit soon ... but here is the path least traveled.

More to follow as things develop.

Yes, this is meant to be a teaser...

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Long live Monty Python!!!

And yes, that badge is real and in my posession, not photo shopped.

Fortells of good things to come!

I'd be lying if I said the big bore 24v engine is the pinnacle of this project. No doubt, it's a huge portion of it, but many other parts to integrate/solutions to be had ...

Yowzah!
 

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Your penchant for the little details, is always very striking Mr. Ron! Well, the thing is going to SHIFT as well, but that's all that I am permitted to say...
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
OMG... what is going on here?... what are these parts?!....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Something a little closer to home...domestic even. Brought to you by the letter 'Z' and the numbers 0 and 6.
 

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Awesome!!! I happen to follow your shop on Instagram and just today saw the pic of the Corvette C5 Z06 torque tube. Being a longtime Porsche 944 guy, and not a fan of the driveshaft setup of the transaxle Alfas, I had dimly wondered if a torque tube would work with the GTV6 DeDion setup (I think not).

This looks like a great project, please keep us posted. My junkyard GTV6 is staying as the factory intended, but I had no idea the Z06 torque tube was aluminum and only 53 lbs . . . . I have a Porsche 944 Turbo that is mostly a track car now, and that gives me something else to dream about :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I don't have much time tonight to share... but I will say that a good ~7-8 years ago I decided to upgrade my 1984 GTV6 to a 12v 3L 164S engine with some nice sub-system upgrades to compliment. During this ensuing time period, 'scope creep' has taken over (to say the least!). Along the roller coaster ride to arrive where I am at, I've bought, sold, traded and bartered many, many parts. A great deal of the hardware is purchased now, parts upgraded or rebuilt. Definitely engineering and body/chassis work to be done to integrate these parts from a 2004 Z06 Vette (That's the C5 platform). Exciting times as I launch in to the real 'meat & potatoes' part of this project, where the rubber literally meets the road. One thing to buy parts, make initial plans... another to actually execute and discover unforseen challenges that need creative solutions.

Jungle Justice/Group2 Motorsports will carry most of the technical discussions and timeline of this project. I will share insight into my reasoning (or lack thereof according to some I'm sure) as to how I arrived at this fork in the T/A road, and other facts, hurdles, and developments.

I used to post a lot, but job change has me much too occupied with work. Will post when I can... but I will say this from the start... and it was the same thing I said when I went through modifications for my 1994 164LS... and that is I'm not going to accept arguments/defend my position on costs of mods vs resale potential. Its all a loosing battle as an 'investment.' This is a work of passion/lunacy/curiosity/insert your positive/negative description here.

I wanted to attempt something different (check thread title)... something only discussed 'ad infinitum' on this BB - how to bullet proof the driveline & T/A of these 116/119 cars - with only that crazy (Dutch?) dude with the hella expensive Drenth box showing one path forward. Well, here's another path that has been discussed, dismissed, and re-asserted many times. Let's see where this leads...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The original goal was actually to upgrade the entire GTV6, bow to stern. Not just the engine, but every system, take a comprehensive approach as a whole. As a starting point, my plan was to make the best 12v 3L engine I could. I had gathered a used 164S 12v 3L with just a ‘minor’ issue of a dropped valve and resulting piston with a hole in it (great CL find- hah!) … nothing insurmountable, especially since I had planned to do a complete rebuild of the engine. As I gathered parts and planned my engine rebuild with upgraded heads & cams, a few other items fell in to place… full stainless CSC exhaust system, a Jemison close ratio gearbox with lightened gears & tightened LSD. I already had a GyroDisc T/A Big Brake kit from a previous Verde, along with bigger anti-sway bars and torsion bars to boot. From another source I obtained a HP Clutch assembly with lightened clutch flywheel & strengthened pressure plate. Was able to barter some parts to obtain a RSR front coilover set, and then purchased RSR rear springs & shocks from another source. Things were coming together nicely when….

… in passing, I spoke with Jungle Justice about my project… and he just mentioned nonchalantly … 'well if you’re trying to build the best… why stop at a 12v…and at 3 liters?' Now then, I already had a 24v 164LS… and I’m not going to launch in to the whole 12v vs. 24v diatribe (both engines have their +’s and –‘s) … but having driven cars with both engines I knew exactly what he was getting at. And, add those extra CC’s and it’s a temptation hard to resist. Turns out he had a 3.45L 24v engine available, and because I have incriminating pictures he doesn’t want published, we were able to strike a deal! Suddenly, with that big bore 3.45L 24v engine in my possession (something I never thought I'd obtain) it got me to re-thinking my whole approach to the driveline… especially because of T/A & 2-piece driveline ghosts, past and present… problems and annoying compromises I’ve endured collectively from ownership over the years of 5 Alfettas and 3 Milanos. You T/A owners know exactly what I mean... those 'character quirks' we forgive for the love of the marque and everything else these cars deliver for us.

If I was really going to enjoy the power and performance of what a big bore 24v engine with 300+ hp could deliver, could I settle for current compromises and potential reliability risks that high HP & torque would present to the rest of the drive train? Why always have a ‘concern’ buzzing around my brain, like an annoying fly, wondering if I do this or that, would the guibos explode, or the Diff split, never mind the normal slow and vague shifts, and having sufficient balance so you don't start to get growing vibrations north of 6K rpm? For the direction I was embarking on with this big bore, I didn’t want these worries.

So what are the solutions available that would ‘bullet proof’ the driveline aft of the engine?
 

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The mentioned white, later red GTV6 3,2 single turbo was Norwegian and participating in a local racing series in class 1. Sometimes I met him on track and had a talk. I think the driveline solution was simple and good as it was upgraded propeller shaft which in that form can take a lot of abuse and then a modified Drenth(from Holland) box at the rear with integrated clutch and an added Volvo differential. The time I saw that car in action it still used the original drive shafts which were considered safe enough, but at second Automatic launch start, all the ball bearings from the drive shafts popped out on the asfalt. Obviously disappointing for that race, the drive shafts were changed to something more solid.
Actually he said the drive shafts were the only Alfa parts left in the drive train, so probably the propeller shaft was changed also!
However I think the engine finally could not cope with the 600+ HP evet though experts were building it. Those experts were used to closed deck engines with much more power than this, and possibly overerestimated the limits of the Alfa engine?

I think the Drenth solution was nice and light and at the same time gave push/pull stick shift solution to this car, very nice to hear the quick shifting compared to gear stick shifting snd scractching on other cars!

Here a drift demo, absolutely not normal use of this car as it was for racing!


Another guy with big 700 hp power ambitions also was interested in the Norwegian car with Drenth solution, but then, being an Australian he dicided to go for an Australian racing gearbox for transaxles. The factory was willing to modify it to fit the Alfa position so that was done and we wait for the continuation of that project. Very nice solution, expensive also like the Drenth solution, but interesting to see this running also!

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/engine-conversions/264169-alfa-supercharged-turbocharged-phase-3-700hp-10.html

So there you have as I know, could be more! :)

G.
 

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That is so cool! I see where your going and it's should be quite a monster when setup right. It seems like it will be a bit over powered, and is the drive shaft tunnel going to work as is or will you need to adjust the length? I wish you great success with the project and look forward to seeing the video of the road test.
 

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This will be really interesting.
I love the idea of 6 gears in a basically unbustable transaxle. And if you find the limits somewhere, then there will be a readily available upgrade.
Dog ring engagement, close ratio gears with a push/pull sequential upgrade??? Done!
Match that with a flatshift feature from a suitable programmable engine management system and your acceleration times will plummet!

But 700+hp from an open deck alloy block engine seams a bit optimistic, tho. Maybe a mono-sleeve for each bank???
Block distortion from high combustion pressures and/or high engine speeds equals rapid bearing wear.
"Bearings??? Where???" >:)

Overpowered is an understatement! A proper 400hp with a big fat torque curve (a good turbo set up), in car that weighs around the 1250kg mark would be [email protected] fast on road tyres (traction, or lack there of).
I hope you plan to have some decent anchors and plenty of rubber on the road.
Chassis rigidity............ No, your (basically) rubber mounted torque tube doesn't increase it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks for sharing that video Gabor. Yes the Drenth is one viable direction, and early on, after his thread was posted, I actually reached out and contacted the manufacturer in Europe. It was a while ago, and now my brain is filled with C5 stuff... but if I recall correctly, the Drenth box was a $14K+ USD proposition a couple years back. I'm in to the Z06 transaxle, torque tube, and rear suspension assembly for about $2k... and that was eBay 'deal'watching and CL haggling. Fab costs will be much more for integrating the Vette pieces for sure, so where I come out in the end will be interesting to see. For me, its always easier to put some $$$ up front, and then 'bleed slowly' vs. putting a huge lump sum at the start.

Other viable options to consider were, as JJ had mentioned, the Getrag transmission (used in the M3) up front with conventional diff in the back... but I wanted to keep the transaxle arrangement, try to hold true to the overall design layout as much as possible.

I did ponder and look a bit to see if a Porsche 944 or 928 transaxle would be viable. Certainly they would be lighter and more compact I thought. I decided to skip the 944 (though the later Turbo and 968 variants did have higher power thresholds) and researched the 928 since it was designed to handle the hp and torque of the Porsche 5L V8 at just over 300hp in its final form. Funny thing is that as I researched, I ran across this: https://928motorsports.com/parts/transaxle_upgrade_kit.php A website for Porsche T/A to Corvette C5 T/A conversion! Hah!! Seems Porsche owners were suffering certain ails, lack of parts, and the costs of those parts. Why not solve it all with the strength of the Vette T/A and a host of available parts, tech knowledge and upgrades available on this side of the pond?!

With that I decided to venture forth in to Chevy land. I figured that if this really wasn't going to fly, I could almost as easily sell the parts off as it was for me to buy them in the first place.

I was able to strike a deal for a Z06 tranny and torque tube combo from a Salvage yard in Denver. The Z06 is significant because it has the better gear ratios.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Z06 : 2.97:1 2.07:1 1.43:1 1.00:1 0.84:1 0.56:1
Reg : 2.66:1 1.78:1 1.30:1 1.00:1 0.74:1 0.50:1


The manual boxes come with a 3.42 rear end as standard. There are other (aftermarket ring & pinion) options available - 3.72, 3.90? and a 4.10 at least. After using a gear ratio-diff calculator, given the smaller engine & torque of the Alfa V6... I could definitely benefit from a 3.90 or 4.10 rear end... but first things first.

I knew the Vette transaxle was going to be bigger, but initially I held out hope that there might be some way to install and integrate it with the Dedion still in place. With a physical T/A in my possession for eyeball and measurements/comparisons against my GTV6 I could readily see that there didn't appear to be a viable way to save/use the Dedion with the Corvette T/A. I would need to use the Vette's IRS assembly. While part of me was sad I had to give up the Alfa's distinctive and unique suspension solution, another part of me was actually kind of excited about what a modern IRS system could bring to the handling characteristics and limits of the car. And before you disparage the rear suspension of a C5, please do some research. They are quite capable. Granted there's a leaf spring in the OEM basic set up - which seems like a neanderthal throwback - but there are a host of reasons why GM engineers selected that compromise. It can be easily removed and replaced with available aftermarket coilovers, which is what I plan to do.

Before I decided to get too deep in to all of this though (as I stated - T/A and torque tube could be easily sold) there was one riddle that needed to be solved, before even thinking about rear suspension, or how the underbody might need to be cut to accommodate these 'furrin' parts. How the hell was I going to mate the 26-spline GM driveshaft to the a$$-end of an Alfa engine? The Alfa flywheel is much too small diameter wise (~11") for the standard Vette Clutch assembly to be used (12"+). I wanted to use the OEM Alfa starter which meant keeping the OEM flywheel basic dimensions & starter ring gear. (Yes, the clutch moves up front, attached directly to the engine's flywheel in the Corvette driveline configuration.)

One thought off the bat was going to a Tilton racing clutch... they make a sturdy, high capacity 7.25" racing clutch... only problem is I wanted something that could be easily used on the street. Something that was progressive, could be used in stop and go traffic, and wouldn't make the car a bear to drive. I reached out to Turbonutter (who did that fantastic Lancia Stratos Replica using an Alfa Busso engine). He used the Tilton and his advise was, that if I could avoid it, use another solution. The Tilton couldn't be feathered ... its either fully engaged or not. Not a good solution for daily driving.

My clutch search was on....
 

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Renaldo: You could contact the Sellholm Company in Sweden who arranged the use of the Drenth gearbox in the GTV6 3,2 turbo. I think they can mate anything to anything, also they know the GTV and american cars. Asking for solutions cost nothing.

Transmission/Växellådor | Sellholm Tuning AB

With regards to the Norwegian GTV6, well its a serious project and also the most powerful GTV6 racer in the world as I know!

Here a possiblity to hike a trip with it on track. The inside footage unfortunately ended with a breakdown of engine, they talk about too lean mixture and overheating. The engine was rebuilt(or another engine was built up) to spring 2016. The data on the engine was given to 640Hp, 730 Nm at 1,6 bar. nice figures. As I know the engine and drive train will be transferred to a completely tube chassied 75, while the GTV6 body will have new race life with a tuned, aspirated 3,2L engine. So it seems thats it!

Well, enjoy the ride! :)
G.


 

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Well, as Ron had stated - he's pretty far down this path now and we're just here to support this innovative approach to solving the known issues with the stock Alfa transaxle layout, and see it through to it's crazy resolve.

Initial findings are promising - total overall weight increase is negligible for a street-track car (only 107 pounds), with ALL of it situated at the center of the car longitudinally and ALL of it positioned between the front and rear axles - ahead of the differential and rear axles.
 

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The peripheral design gains are massive! The brakes move outboard for easier pad changes (and where much larger discs can live than what the standard layout allows.) Sloppy shifting and the weak 2-piece driveshaft goes away. The engine and transaxle are now connected and remain aligned via a torque-tube and suddenly infinitely variable gear rations and final drive ratios and LSD setups become available!

We will be dropping the Corvette's single carbon fiber leaf-spring and shocks, for full coil-overs at the rear (with appropriate chassis reinforcement at the top on the GTV6 side of the coil-overs.) The DeDion is wonderful for what it was and these cars can be made to handle exceptionally well however, for better or worse, now you have an independent rear suspension!
 

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One of the most stroking things that we noticed from our initial measure-up was how close the forward and aft distances are! I mean, the combination of the Corvette transaxle and torque tube (with the transaxle positioned about where the axles would exit to the sides), places that bloody torque tube bell-housing plumb bloody flush with the rear of the Alfa block!!!

The Corvette setup is WAY wide! The INSIDE of the rear brake calipers, fall on the OUTSIDE of the GTV6 tires, so we will be narrowing the Corvette's rear cradle by a totla of six inches (each axle / side-shaft will be shortened by 3" and we'll need a custom sway bar solution.)
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Clutch Search:

I used a combo of Google search and Corvette forums to gather names and info, and then went to websites to gather specs to see if any would fit.

The 'usual suspects' were easy to find... RAM, Centerforce, Exedy, Advanced Clutch Technology, Monster Clutch, Hays, Fidanza etc... But all of them were too wide to integrate to the Alfa's somewhat diminutive V6 flywheel (~11 inch diameter). Tilton racing clutch was a last resort (not good for a DD), but I didn't want to play that card if I didn't have to.

All clutches that mated with the GM 1.125" 26 spline drive shaft were too wide as they were all targeted for Chevy V8 use. Then someone on one of the forums mentioned a 'new kid on the block' from Australia, Mantic Clutches and their Mantic 9000 Dual clutch kit. (This hadn't appeared in my generic google searches) Sure enough, 9" wide clutch, capable of handling up to 900-1000 ft lbs, depending on configuration/disk composition. Seems like it would do the trick, and then some! Did some more research and found overall packaging/mounting would fit within the Alfa flywheel specs, but it would necessitate a custom flywheel machining to mate the clutch.

First order of business was to try and just buy the clutch... as all of the Mantic kits I saw included a LS1 V8 flywheel too... at considerable costs. Finally got a response from the Aussie mothership, who pointed me to the US Technical Director out of Atlanta. Geoff said they were working on a special kit sans flywheel but it would take a bit of time before he could offer me one.

In the meantime I needed to track down someone who could fabricate a custom Alfa V6 flywheel to the mounting specs I had for the Mantic. Again, talking with Turbonutter, he passed a long a person in the UK who had machined a new flywheel for him for his 24v Busso engine with Tilton clutch. Initial contact seemed positive and then the guy stopped communicating... as things moved forward on the actual purchase of the clutch assembly, things dried up for this UK contact. So I started searching US speed shops and all. Contacted a good 20-30 I think before Group2 found/provided a shop out of SoCal that was willing to take on the work. Phew!

While all that was coming together... needed to figure out how to connect the forward part of the Chevy torque tube bell housing with the back of the Alfa engine. What I really needed was an Alfa Sei bell housing that I could use to interface with the Corvette bits. But those just don't fall from the sky....or do they? Again, doing some searching I came in contact with the Euro/UK president of the Alfa Sei club.. who was more than willing to sell me a bell housing... for a very high price. For that price, I figured I might be money ahead to just fab something directly. Then not more than a few weeks later I went to the NWARC's 50th anniversary party, held at one of the founding members house/garage-mahal (2LiterLover). I was talking to another member who races Alfas & Bimmers. In mentioning my project and all, and that I was in need of a Sei bell housing, he immediately informed me that not only did he have one he was thinking about selling, but it was in the trunk of his car, not more than 30 yards away! After some more talking and pleading, it was mine for a very, very reasonable price. Manna from heaven. Sei bell housings really do fall from the sky!

Here's a pic of the Mantic with the V8 flywheel that it normally comes with. Pics of mine with the custom flywheel will be provided later on.
 

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Even with a narrowed stance, the GTV6 will still be getting some flared fenders... Perhaps something custom - similar to what we are doing for the Monster Milano's as seen here...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Was down in Texas last week on business, and nothing further to report. We were waiting on some additional interface parts for the Corvette IRS and should have more to report shortly. Still in a 'ramp up mode' as we piece together critical parts, make more refined measurements and plot a focused plan of attack on how to make this all fit.
 
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