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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys

Here in Australia,many Alfa Romeo race car specialists are having gearbox selection issues with the new type syncros sold worldwide,from all the reputable Alfa resellers overseas.
Same problem using genuine Alfa syncros
A major problem is not being able to select 1 or more gears at over 80% race pace..

The issue is premature dog teeth inner circle wear and selector hub wear.
The Syncros are not wearing.

The common gearbox oils have been used including Redline 75-85 NS and Castrol,Valvoline etc.
Gearboxes are 105 + Alfetta transaxles.

I am asking this on behalf of all the serious Alfa race car mechanics in Australia.

Are there problems with race cars overseas ?

We all currently do NOT have problems with ROAD car gearboxes,just race car gearboxes.

Richard Alfa7 has been e-mailed and waiting for a reply.
P Spruell etc will also be asked.

Please,,,,only serious race car guys need reply,whos gearboxes are used and abused for race purposes only.
Hopefully,,we can all learn from this and worldwide specialist replies.

Thanks

Robert
= yes,,im an Alfa Romeo 105 specialist for over 30 years and have built hundreds of gearboxes previously without any problems
 

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yep we have experienced the same problems on our group n car (box is out again at the moment)
 

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Richard Jemison
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Gearbox issues

I emailed Robert today, But for the rest of you here is the info:

Surprised to hear that there is a general problem with the syncros in Oz. With nearly 50 gearboxes built, I get feedback from racers using my gearboxes constantly, and there really seems to be no issues with syncros, but I will share a few insights on setup.

1- your comment on oils: There is no worse gearlube for these syncros and LSD units than any of the "No-Shock " oils. It is a never use concoction. In all my build data I only recommend RedLine 75-90 NS. The additives allow more bite between syncro band and sleeve improving the RPM matching necessary to engage correctly and reduce wear on the "dog teeth' of both gear and sleeve. Other Redline gear lube is both too light and without correct additives. Other Synthetics are too slipery to allow correct functioning. They might seem OK initially but they will result in rapid wear/syncro teeth damage.

2- Components: I agree that the aftermarket parts are inferior to the OE pieces. But they can be used on 4th/5th with no issues(as they are less stressed in these gears). They are a bit balky initially if both syncro band and sleeve are used together, however mating a new non OE band with a good used OE sleeve (sharp no lip teeth) resolves that initial resistance to engage. I always use a OE 5th gear syncro sliding sleeve between 4th/3rd gears and select good used OE syncro bands for 1st, 2nd., and 3rd gears. 4th and 5th gears get new aftermarket bands and 5th slider is typically a good OE used one. Critical to my raceboxes is removal of the 1st gear one directional syncro, and it is replaced by a assembly from a donor 5th gear (dog housing, band et al.so it works as all the gears allowing engagement up or down at speed)
I commonly dress all the dog teeth (on the gear assembly) to remove any "lip" that has formed and if new to make the fit in the slider easier to engage.
When the dog teeth develop a upward and downward lip at the tooth points (from engagement issues) but are still sharp pointed, that lip can be ground away to improve release and wear on the slider and bands. The development of those lips on the teeth points is commonly what causes the hard to engage balkness and binding that might cause a syncro assembly to be pulled outward from a gear.

3- lightening gears: Because the typical transaxle (and transmissions) I build are being raced, I have stopped drilling the gears after back-cutting both sides to lighten. Holes only enhance foaming of the gearlube. In reality lightening the 1st and 2nd gears are where most of the weight loss occurs. HOWEVER the most critical piece of lightening is not in the gearbox!

4- Clutch driven disk: This is the single most critical part involved with the syncros working. It in stock form is heavy and large in diameter and it must change speeds with every shift and that is a real burden on the syncros.
Both weight/diameter and construction is at fault. The spring centers are heavy and must go. There is no need for the torque springs as all the driveshafts have at least 2 rubber giubos, including my one piece steel or carbon fiber driveshafts. I use aluminum or single piece steel centers.
As well the wafer springs in stock driven disk compress under loading of the pressure plate. As well it also expands when released, and that causes drag making the syncro`s job impossible in race applications.
The proper material bonded and riveted directly to the plate resolves this expansion and enables quick release and good shifting. Critical in a racecar.
I do not use metalic pucs (too heavy) but use high temp full circle normal lining material on disk being used in stock type flywheel/PP assemblies. The aluminum versions are 1/3 the weight of a stock clutch disk. Steel ones 1/2 the weight.

5- clutch/flywheels: The front flywheels can all be lightened over 10 pounds (4 and 6 cyl) This must happen.
The greatest single thing to improve the performance of any car is reduction of weight in the rotating assembly, and with stock clutch assemblies weighing over 20 pounds the RJR 5.5 inch flywheel/input shaft assemblies, with twin disk or triple disk clutches are again 1/3 the weight of stock and only 6 inches OD for tremendous inertia losses.

Probably a little of all the above is why I don`t have gearbox comebacks for the issues you are experiencing.
Clutch disk are easy to build, and I`ve seen solid center clutches as I build offered by commercial builders.
See pics below and typical Build sheet data attached.


5.5 clutch/flywheel


lightened gearset


RJR7.25 and 5.5 flywheels/input shafts


RJR 5.5 clutch assemblt and dropped spindles


Aluminum Porsche PP and typical RJR alum center clutch







In a message dated 9/27/2011 12:14:42 A.M. Central Daylight Time, [email protected] writes:
This is a message from giulia_veloce at Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums ( Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums ). The Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums owners cannot accept any responsibility for the contents of the email.

To email giulia_veloce, you can use this online form:
Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

OR, by email:
mailto:[email protected]

This is the message:

Hi Richard

I have read and heard about you on the BB and was wondering if you can help us Australian Alfa mechanics with grearbox problems we are all having in race cars.
The new syncros that are being sold world wide are giving us selection problems including no engagement.We have all tried various gearbox oils,like Redline 75-85 NS,,,.GL5 ,,Valvoline,Castrol and other brands.

We Alfa specialists are heavily involved in circuit racing with customers cars.
I am presuming the syncros are all made in 1 factory,and the yellow banded sydncros are all dried up.
We dont have problems with road car gearboxes.just race car gearboxes.

From
Robert Panetta Vin Sharp Corse Automotive
Manning Motors P.A.C.E Competition engines Alfa Specialist
Alfa 105 Specialist Melbourne Australia Sydney Australia
Sydney Australia

And many other Alfa Specialists,Australia wide, that are asking us for solutions

Vin Sharp has has old and new syncros analysed and there is a difference.
I have read your version on the BB about using NS as opposed to lightweight shockproof.
I personally dont think its an oil issue,as the dog teeth + sliding hubs are wearing out
Looking for your thoughts

Robert Panetta
On behalf or Australian alfa Specialists
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Richard.

A super quick responce.
Will read the above a few times and consult the other Specialists.
I am presuming you are using the common abailable syncros that are available and you have no problems with them as you have not mentioned a syncro problem.
I have recently changed to 75-85 NS and will see what happens.
I have had many off line PMs from around the world with the same problems.
In my case,and Australia wide,there was never an issue till the current available syncros were purchased from all the reputable parts suppliers worldwide.
Reliablity is the issue.
My customers and I have had much racing success over the last 20 years,but this gearbox issue is just annoying.

I must thank Richard for invaluable input to many BB Alfa problems.
He is always willing to add his imput and deserves to be looked after.
I will personally look into what he has available,and hopefully get rid of the gearbox issue.

Thanks Richard

Robert
 

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I emailed Robert today, But for the rest of you here is the info:

Surprised to hear that there is a general problem with the syncros in Oz. With nearly 50 gearboxes built, I get feedback from racers using my gearboxes constantly, and there really seems to be no issues with syncros, but I will share a few insights on setup.

1- your comment on oils: There is no worse gearlube for these syncros and LSD units than any of the "No-Shock " oils. It is a never use concoction. In all my build data I only recommend RedLine 75-90 NS. The additives allow more bite between syncro band and sleeve improving the RPM matching necessary to engage correctly and reduce wear on the "dog teeth' of both gear and sleeve. Other Redline gear lube is both too light and without correct additives. Other Synthetics are too slipery to allow correct functioning. They might seem OK initially but they will result in rapid wear/syncro teeth damage.

2- Components: I agree that the aftermarket parts are inferior to the OE pieces. But they can be used on 4th/5th with no issues(as they are less stressed in these gears). They are a bit balky initially if both syncro band and sleeve are used together, however mating a new non OE band with a good used OE sleeve (sharp no lip teeth) resolves that initial resistance to engage. I always use a OE 5th gear syncro sliding sleeve between 4th/3rd gears and select good used OE syncro bands for 1st, 2nd., and 3rd gears. 4th and 5th gears get new aftermarket bands and 5th slider is typically a good OE used one. Critical to my raceboxes is removal of the 1st gear one directional syncro, and it is replaced by a assembly from a donor 5th gear (dog housing, band et al.so it works as all the gears allowing engagement up or down at speed)
I commonly dress all the dog teeth (on the gear assembly) to remove any "lip" that has formed and if new to make the fit in the slider easier to engage.
When the dog teeth develop a upward and downward lip at the tooth points (from engagement issues) but are still sharp pointed, that lip can be ground away to improve release and wear on the slider and bands. The development of those lips on the teeth points is commonly what causes the hard to engage balkness and binding that might cause a syncro assembly to be pulled outward from a gear.

3- lightening gears: Because the typical transaxle (and transmissions) I build are being raced, I have stopped drilling the gears after back-cutting both sides to lighten. Holes only enhance foaming of the gearlube. In reality lightening the 1st and 2nd gears are where most of the weight loss occurs. HOWEVER the most critical piece of lightening is not in the gearbox!

4- Clutch driven disk: This is the single most critical part involved with the syncros working. It in stock form is heavy and large in diameter and it must change speeds with every shift and that is a real burden on the syncros.
Both weight/diameter and construction is at fault. The spring centers are heavy and must go. There is no need for the torque springs as all the driveshafts have at least 2 rubber giubos, including my one piece steel or carbon fiber driveshafts. I use aluminum or single piece steel centers.
As well the wafer springs in stock driven disk compress under loading of the pressure plate. As well it also expands when released, and that causes drag making the syncro`s job impossible in race applications.
The proper material bonded and riveted directly to the plate resolves this expansion and enables quick release and good shifting. Critical in a racecar.
I do not use metalic pucs (too heavy) but use high temp full circle normal lining material on disk being used in stock type flywheel/PP assemblies. The aluminum versions are 1/3 the weight of a stock clutch disk. Steel ones 1/2 the weight.

5- clutch/flywheels: The front flywheels can all be lightened over 10 pounds (4 and 6 cyl) This must happen.
The greatest single thing to improve the performance of any car is reduction of weight in the rotating assembly, and with stock clutch assemblies weighing over 20 pounds the RJR 5.5 inch flywheel/input shaft assemblies, with twin disk or triple disk clutches are again 1/3 the weight of stock and only 6 inches OD for tremendous inertia losses.

Probably a little of all the above is why I don`t have gearbox comebacks for the issues you are experiencing.
Clutch disk are easy to build, and I`ve seen solid center clutches as I build offered by commercial builders.
See pics below and typical Build sheet data attached.


5.5 clutch/flywheel


lightened gearset


RJR7.25 and 5.5 flywheels/input shafts


RJR 5.5 clutch assemblt and dropped spindles


Aluminum Porsche PP and typical RJR alum center clutch







In a message dated 9/27/2011 12:14:42 A.M. Central Daylight Time, [email protected] writes:
This is a message from giulia_veloce at Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums ( Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums ). The Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums owners cannot accept any responsibility for the contents of the email.

To email giulia_veloce, you can use this online form:
Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

OR, by email:
mailto:[email protected]

This is the message:

Hi Richard

I have read and heard about you on the BB and was wondering if you can help us Australian Alfa mechanics with grearbox problems we are all having in race cars.
The new syncros that are being sold world wide are giving us selection problems including no engagement.We have all tried various gearbox oils,like Redline 75-85 NS,,,.GL5 ,,Valvoline,Castrol and other brands.

We Alfa specialists are heavily involved in circuit racing with customers cars.
I am presuming the syncros are all made in 1 factory,and the yellow banded sydncros are all dried up.
We dont have problems with road car gearboxes.just race car gearboxes.

From
Robert Panetta Vin Sharp Corse Automotive
Manning Motors P.A.C.E Competition engines Alfa Specialist
Alfa 105 Specialist Melbourne Australia Sydney Australia
Sydney Australia

And many other Alfa Specialists,Australia wide, that are asking us for solutions

Vin Sharp has has old and new syncros analysed and there is a difference.
I have read your version on the BB about using NS as opposed to lightweight shockproof.
I personally dont think its an oil issue,as the dog teeth + sliding hubs are wearing out
Looking for your thoughts

Robert Panetta
On behalf or Australian alfa Specialists
Hi Richard, thanks for your response.
Perhaps what we are experiencing needs further explaining; all things being the same as before and operating very well; oils, clutches, lightened gears etc, this is a promblem that has just suddenly arisen with the introduction to service of the current synchro bands.
We are not experiencing a lack of synchonizing action and "crunching" of the engagement dogs, in fact it seems that there is far TOO much friction of the band inside the slider, causing a "wear hollow" on the inside of the slider where the bands just baulks and won't continue its travel to even get to the dog teeth. From what you say about another grade of oil and additives providing more friction, this would seem to be not the direction we want to go, although I suspect trying different oils/additives is the only avenue open at this time.
I have had an NOS genuine Alfa (Goetze Germany) band compared to the current US, UK and Europe sourced ones using spectrographic element analysis and found that the current ones have less carbon and less chromium in the surface friction coating.
I feel that there is a deficiency in the surface material makeup, as if it is far too agressive in its friction characteristics; perhaps it is possible that a solution can be found in lubricants or additives, which may be the only fix if these current bands are all we are stuck with from here on.
Any further input or suggestions most welcome....
Thanks,
Vince.
 

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Current parts are manufactured incorrectly

Hello all Alfa racers,

I have been building Alfa vintage racing gearboxes for years. They used to last a very long time and even almost indefinitely if you were a habitual double-clutcher.

Recently, we have been experiencing a problem with the available syncros and sliders. Some symptoms are:

A gearbox that has drag in neutral on the syncros when spinning the box by hand during assembly.
A gearbox that feels balky engaging the gear before the engagement teeth are in contact.
Sleeves that show signs of heat where they come in contact with the syncro.
Broken and missing engagement teeth from the gear side.
Spitting the syncro off the gear entirely during a shift on the race track.

I believe the problem lies in the SHAPE of the aftermarket syncro and corresponding aftermarket sleeves:

The original Alfa Romeo moly syncro with the yellow paint stripe has a cross section view that looks something like an "A frame house". The "roof" of the syncro is sloped with a flat section on top or in the middle. The original early, non-moly syncros have the same shape but feature rib grooves instead of coating. The shape of this slope and flat top is critical.

The recently available replacement syncros do not have the same SHAPE. The diameter and thickness seem to be the same as original parts, but they are much flatter and have a more shallow roof slope with a rounded contour.

This is important because:

When a driver pushes the shift lever into gear, a few things need to happen in the right order in a small amount space. The first thing that needs to happen is the sleeve has to travel over the syncro without touching it so that it is "containing" the space that the syncro will be forced into radially. It is very important that the engagement teeth are allowed to get close to each other BEFORE the syncro feels any drag. Next, the sleeve and the syncro make contact with each other. If you think of the syncro as a drum brake shoe and the sleeve as the drum, then the two corresponding surfaces want as much surface area contact as possible. The sloped "roof" section of the syncro needs to be cut to the same angle as the corresponding surface on the sleeve. Third, this friction or "brake" application on the syncro causes the bands, straps and quadrants to apply outward force on the syncro RADIALLY. This "brake" force is captured by the sleeve (drum), and slows the parts down to the same speed. Fourth, the engagement teeth intersect at the points and then can be further slotted into total engagement.

If the syncro is worn then the engagement teeth are allowed to touch before enough or any brake force is generated. (grind)

If the inferior replacement parts are used, then the sleeve starts to apply brake force to the syncro too early. The feel of the syncro happens early in the shift lever travel. The tips of the teeth on the sleeve drag on the syncro before the sleeve is there to cover the force. The engagement teeth on the gear side are left to take the full force (RADIALLY) of the bands and straps. The engagement teeth should never have to take any force in this direction and can't be expected to keep the syncro from braking the teeth out of it's way. If they don't brake off, then the syncro is expanded and the sleeve has to compress the syncro back together in order to slide towards the gear.

Unfortunately, the same problem exists with the replacement sleeves as well. The inside angles on the aftermarket parts don't seem to right either. This just doubles the problem. I have seen a case recently (not mine) where all the sleeves were blue from heat because they were dragging on the syncros in neutral. In fact, the 3rd gear syncro failed on track before the car was ever able to get into 5th gear but the 5th gear sleeve was already ruined. It was very sad because the utmost care was taken when building this box and every part inside was new.

I have been looking for new old stock syncros but, they are hard to find. I have had good luck using old style used non-moly synros in race cars. They don't seem to wear at all and have a nice hard feel to the shift in racing applications. In that case, I do then use the old Dentax oil.

I hope we can solve this problem soon. I would love to explain my findings to the current supplier and have them fix the design. It seems to me a company like Centerline, International, Spruel, Alfaholics, etc. could do a production run of correctly engineered parts and supply the rest of the world.

Any further information most welcome,
Tom Nuxoll
 

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This is a comment on my research. Several years ago I was contacted to research the build of new original quality transmission components as discussed above. As I have also done this with Ferrari trans-axle components with some success, I had a go. At some point in time ZF was the supplier of these parts for both Alfa and Ferrari, and they did ongoing R & D to get these bits correct over time. When Alfa stopped sourcing them from ZF, the Alfa community had problems. The ZF R & D was missing. I contacted ZF both locally here in Illinois, and through an Illinois ZF contact, Italy. I was offered a very attractive price of USD60 per assembly in a lot of 5,000. That is $300,000 USD, and was the smallest lot they would offer. Probably also the reason FIAT backed away. ZF has all the drawings and technical specifications, and is willing to make these in a quantity of economic production for ZF. ZF no longer warehouses stock. This became too expensive years ago, and as such production is delivered as produced, to the ordering source. FIAT does not want to warehouse this large a quantity of "slow selling" components. ZF will not set up to make less. So there is my research if it has any value. Obviously ZF will not sell the research acquired over 40 + years production to a small lot manufacturer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Tom + Gordon for your valueable contribution to this topic.

I will go and re-inspect the current available syncros + sliding hubs etc with the information listed above and re-evaluate.

Many have said its an oil problem,but I was never convinced.
I am feeling better now,,,after all the road + race 105 gearboxes I have rebuilt + reconditioned over the years,that it is a parts problem .

Even after 30 years of playing with 105 cars,,the Alfa Bb is generally a great source of valuable information.

Robert
 

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Richard Jemison
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Syncro issues

I fully understand the technical issues, and have to say, that failures and issues are the result of lack of attention to fitment and assembly. If rebuilding these transmissions were a simple matter of "parts changing" (which seems to be the issue here) everyone could do it.
I have to use the same parts as everyone else and my gearboxes work without syncro failures, most of which are in serious competitor`s racecars.
I reinterate(from my original post here, which tells you how to avoid these issues):
2- Components: I agree that the aftermarket parts are inferior to the OE pieces. But they can be used on 4th/5th with no issues(as they are less stressed in these gears). They are a bit balky initially if both syncro band and sleeve are used together, however mating a new non OE band with a good used OE sleeve (sharp no lip teeth) resolves that initial resistance to engage. I always use a OE 5th gear syncro sliding sleeve between 4th/3rd gears and select good used OE syncro bands for 1st, 2nd., and 3rd gears. 4th and 5th gears get new aftermarket bands and 5th slider is typically a good OE used one. Critical to my raceboxes is removal of the 1st gear one directional syncro, and it is replaced by a assembly from a donor 5th gear (dog housing, band et al.so it works as all the gears allowing engagement up or down at speed)
I commonly dress all the dog teeth (on the gear assembly) to remove any "lip" that has formed and if new to make the fit in the slider easier to engage.
When the dog teeth develop a upward and downward lip at the tooth points (from engagement issues) but are still sharp pointed, that lip can be ground away to improve release and wear on the slider and bands. The development of those lips on the teeth points is commonly what causes the hard to engage balkness and binding that might cause a syncro assembly to be pulled outward from a gear.

3- lightening gears: Because the typical transaxle (and transmissions) I build are being raced, I have stopped drilling the gears after back-cutting both sides to lighten. Holes only enhance foaming of the gearlube. In reality lightening the 1st and 2nd gears are where most of the weight loss occurs. HOWEVER the most critical piece of lightening is not in the gearbox!

4- Clutch driven disk: This is the single most critical part involved with the syncros working. It in stock form is heavy and large in diameter and it must change speeds with every shift and that is a real burden on the syncros.
Both weight/diameter and construction is at fault. The spring centers are heavy and must go. There is no need for the torque springs as all the driveshafts have at least 2 rubber giubos, including my one piece steel or carbon fiber driveshafts. I use aluminum or single piece steel centers.
As well the wafer springs in stock driven disk compress under loading of the pressure plate. As well it also expands when released, and that causes drag making the syncro`s job impossible in race applications.
The proper material bonded and riveted directly to the plate resolves this expansion and enables quick release and good shifting. Critical in a racecar.
I do not use metalic pucs (too heavy) but use high temp full circle normal lining material on disk being used in stock type flywheel/PP assemblies. The aluminum versions are 1/3 the weight of a stock clutch disk. Steel ones 1/2 the weight.
 

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Richard,
With respect, I think you are missing the point; you say you use combinations of OE pieces both new or used in your boxes and no problems, which is fine and most of us would agree. I don't think anyone is having troubles with proper OE stuff, except it's hard to get, new or good condition used.
What the problem appears to be is with the NON OE stuff that is available new now.
I would pretty much agree with Toms take on the issue, as he describes exactly the symtoms and end results.
I suspect that if you build a test 'box with all current aftermarket stuff , which is what we are being sold, then fit it into a hard used track car, I reckon you will probably experience what people are talking about.
Remember that others of us have been also doing these things since the '70s, and in some cases for ex-F1 champions (Alan Jones GpA GTV6) treating and Alfa 'box like it was a Hewland, and THAT was seriouusly tough on the components, but with the OE synchro stuff at least survivable. We didn't all suddenly forget how to build these boxes one morning......and this emerging pattern of sub-standard aftermarket components is now appearing from all corners of the world.
Thanks for your valued input anyway, many of the things you say can and should be applied to any attempt to make the best of the situation, however I reckon we are all starting on the back-foot with what we can currently buy.
Regards,
Vince.
 

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this is why i dumped my stock alfa tranny for a t5, better shifts,, 1-2-3 gears are carbon duel cone synco's.. easy to find parts, uses atf4 fuild,and diff. ratios, and very easy to re build..and the t5 weighs a bit less than the alfa tranny..
 

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this is why i dumped my stock alfa tranny for a t5, better shifts,, 1-2-3 gears are carbon duel cone synco's.. easy to find parts, uses atf4 fuild,and diff. ratios, and very easy to re build..and the t5 weighs a bit less than the alfa tranny..
Well that sounds like a really nice modern 'box, however it doesn't help those who are locked into the Alfa 'box for originality, car values or class regulations.....
Vince.
 

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Assuming what Tom and Gordon say has some merit (and it sounds to me like it does), who is the manufacturer of the current synchro's we are buying from Alfa and reputable after market suppliers? Is there an appropriate channel through which we can discuss these issues and hopefully get rectified at the same source?
 

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Richard Jemison
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Gearbox build issues

What the problem appears to be is with the NON OE stuff that is available new now.
The entire point is there are no OE parts, and we are all buying the same stuff. What is different, and what I tried to point out is application, and assembly, to have parts that work together correctly!
Even the original OE syncros and sliders result in some balkiness when first assembled, but it resolves itself over time.
Perhaps rather than taking the approach that all the problem is "Parts" you should re-read my post and assemble toward end result, not just change parts.
Most of my transmissions and transaxles are run in on the big lathe and some are taken apart afterward when syncros were to tight and modified. Time consuming, but my customers don`t have transmission issues...
Gordon`s GTA box and the RJR close ratio are examples. Both werebuilt more than once to get them right.
Pic is of Andy Menapace`s close ratio 4 speed being tested...
 

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The entire point is there are no OE parts, and we are all buying the same stuff. What is different, and what I tried to point out is application, and assembly, to have parts that work together correctly!
Even the original OE syncros and sliders result in some balkiness when first assembled, but it resolves itself over time.
Perhaps rather than taking the approach that all the problem is "Parts" you should re-read my post and assemble toward end result, not just change parts.
Most of my transmissions and transaxles are run in on the big lathe and some are taken apart afterward when syncros were to tight and modified. Time consuming, but my customers don`t have transmission issues...
Gordon`s GTA box and the RJR close ratio are examples. Both werebuilt more than once to get them right.
Pic is of Andy Menapace`s close ratio 4 speed being tested...
Hi Richard,
Obviously doing all the build detailing and test running re-built trans before sending them out is the most thorough way of getting a good result.
SO; the simple answer to the original question of if anyone is having problems with the non-OE parts is YES!... So much so that they get bench run and then possibly pulled down again and re-modified then re-built again to fix the very problems we are seeing!
And in my experience this has never been the case with the OE ZF or Goetze parts when the proper re-build detail is done, so it still comes down to inferior parts that are now available. So, we may just have to live with them at vastly more time and expense, or perhaps come up with some joint plan to cover the cost of an OE production run of parts?
Cheers,
Vince.
 

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syncro rings

SYNCRO RING PROBLEMS

We were an Alfa shop before becoming a dealer. As Paul Spruell Alfa we sold some 5000 new and used Alfas. We had MANY gearbox warranty claims. New and rebuilt gear boxes were stiff and balky for a long period of time. The texture of the sintered material on the replacement syncro rings was extremely coarse. When gearlube was changed after the 500 mile interval the magnetic plug would have a long beard of ferrous filings from the syncros.

For years in the Alfa repair business, I had scavenged good used syncros in the shop and reused them in my race gearboxes with great success. So, why not do a few strokes with some 100 grit sand paper and smooth off the new syncros? Our service department gave it a try and it was snick-snick from the get go. By artificially breaking in new syncros the gearboxes lived happily ever after. Without the extreme coarseness syncro life was remarkably improved.

Spruell Motorsport currently sells several hundred reproduction syncro rings each year. With all syncro sales we furnish GB rebuild instructions that include our syncro modification procedure. There has been no negative feed back. We furnish free syncros with OS Giken gearsets and there has been ZERO syncro failures in some 30 sets. Then last week a customer’s new GB blew up really big time. A world renowned race parts vendor talked him into using genuine Alfa syncros with the little yellow stripe instead of our proven quality reproductions that came with the gearset. The builder also ignored the instructions we furnished. It was stiff as hell through the gears and after five laps the 4th syncro pealed off totaling the gearset and exploding the case. The twin plate race clutch probably contributed.

One would think that our syncro modification procedure would have made it around the globe by now. For decades our shop successfully used modified yellow striped syncros. From what we are hearing, the current “Alfa” manufacture may indeed be defective. These failures are likely due to some combination of surface texture, different ferrous coating and not enough strength/spring in the ring. With that said, this Alfa parts vendor recommends that you scrap your yellow stripers and order some of our reasonably priced reproductions…..and, of course follow instructions.
 

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I was at the SEMA show in Vegas a couple of weeks ago and visited the OS Giken booth. THey had a protype Alfa tranny with their gears on display that was made to use Nissan synchros due to the problems with the synchro's that are now being supplied.

Stu
 

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Absolutely great!!!! The OSG people told me that because the available standard syncros were in question, they were working on an upgrade, but I did not expect it to be announced so soon. These are really good people. They listen to their dealers and take product development very seriously.
 

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I would like to toss in a few things I have seen, I have built hundreds of gearboxes over the last 25 years by far 99% street cars. Tom is totally correct about the shape of current available syncro rings and sliders, I have bought rings from many suppliers hoping for something good and am not real happy with any. I use ones from a certain supplier that are the closest in shape. The 4 varieties I have recently purchased vary by shape, Moly color, texture, bevel cuts or Not, and interior steel finish/color from each other. I have come across new rings with a very soft steel ring that gets gouged up by the lock and appeared they were not even that old. Some new rings just drop into the carrier, don't need to be slightly compressed when installing the snap ring. Basically every "Good used/checked" transaxle and transmissions we sell, I go though to be sure it will work well, that includes a new second gear syncro at the minimum along with some good used original parts. I have examined alot of them.

Back in the day real NOS Alfa syncros had a yellow dot. The first series repros were the yellow band and were good, everything now is plain. I have heard every story of who made what and who doesn't anymore. Hard to tell whats true, all I know is that we are left with low cost supplier, nobody will notice quality. Oh for the days of little orange boxes with some brown paper surrounding a shiny new ring.

For race boxes I currently lean toward using original used syncros, but takes a lot of cores to support that.

I usually recommend Shell Spirax, but I used lightweight shockproof in my 3.0 V6 105 GT at the track and It worked great, but my box has NOS rings from my stash.

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