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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:34 pm 
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Some "V8-capable" road-going (helical gears and syncro) transaxle sources.

Nothing much low cost here, except maybe the Kennedy adaptor route with a VW transaxle for a low torque engine. The rest is pretty much for heirs, bank robbers, lottery winners, and those who could buy a new exotic car but would rather build their own. Or just some fantasy material. 8)


Kennedy Engineered Products

They don't sell transaxles, but they adaptor kits (about $500 for adaptor & flywheel) to adapt nearly anything (incl. Viper V10) to VW and Porsche transaxles... as well as HD clutches and custom starters where needed.

"We manufacture over 60 different kits to fit 100 different engines to rear engine Volkswagen or 911, 914, 915, 930 & G50 Porsche and all gear boxes styled after these transaxles."

http://www.kennedyeng.com
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Renegade Hybrids

Kits to put SBC or LSx engines in Porsche 911, 914, 944, and 928... or Turbo Subie in 914. They also sell rebuilt and converted (mid-engine and/or inverted) Porsche transaxles to specialty car builders ( ~ $4,700 to $11,900)... and cable shifters ( ~ $800). Tons of info about pros and cons of the various transaxles on their site... they've been in this niche for 25 years.

"With 25 years worth of roots firmly planted in Porsche to Chevy conversions, Renegade knows how to connect the correct combination of horse power, gearing, clutch components and shifters, for almost any mid or rear engine Kit Car design. Super cars like the GTM from Factory Five, or the GTR from Ultima, and even GT-40s, Diablos, and the occasional home built replica, all seem to find the Porsche transaxle design, coupled with the Renegade custom accessories, a fantastic solution to the missing link between the motor and the rear axles.

Porsche's G-50 transaxle, the most popular kit car transmission, can now be shifted using a custom Side Shifter assembly. Add the new billet rear plate with custom mounting tabs, and you have a more compact, easy shifting, quick mounting, kit car tranny, with few adaptations to your chassy. Going REALLY big? ...Coolers, pumps, filters, spray bars, and even the fittings, can be purchased from Renegade (seen here with the side shifter and rear plate). A custom high quality cable shifter, that is adaptable to just about any application, is also available (seen here)."


http://www.renegadehybrids.com
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Mendeola

Manufacturers of high-end off-road racing transaxles for years, Mendeola is now making a road-going (helical gears and syncro) mid-engine sports car transaxle ( ~ $11,500 for 550 ft-lbs or ~ $13,500 for 650 ft-lbs as I recall). Another company, Hargett Precision, makes high quality cable shifters for them ( ~ $500).

http://www.mendeolatransaxles.com
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RBT Transmissions

Bought rights to ZF (Pantera, BMW M1) 5-speed transaxle (now RBT-5) and they make a new 6-speed (RBT-6). They also have parts and service for the ZF if you can find one.

http://www.rbttrans.com
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X-trac

Long-time racing transmission manufacturer, they are now making a road-going (helical gears and syncro) 811 ft-lb mid-engine sports car transaxle (longitudnal engine, but with the gearbox portion transverse for much less rear length)... (~ $15,000)... cable shifters and paddle shift systems available.

http://www.xtrac.com
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Quaife

Long-time racing transmission manufacturer, they make several road-going (helical gears and syncro) 450 & 650 ft-lb mid-engine sports car transaxles... ( ~ $15,000 w/cable shifter?).

http://www.quaife.co.uk
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:31 am 
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Wasn't there some mythical Audi piece that was supposed to be ideal for this purpose?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:14 am 
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One of those transverse xtracs, with an EZ36D plus a couple of turbos would be major sex.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:37 am 
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chetcpo wrote:
Wasn't there some mythical Audi piece that was supposed to be ideal for this purpose?

Yes, the Audi 5000 and 5000 Turbo (1976-88, renamed 100 & 200 for 1989-92) had longitudnal-engine FWD transaxle that have been the basis of many mid-engine kit cars, and their price usually reflects it. Kennedy has adaptor kits to use the Audi (manual OR automatic) with various V6s and V8s. I've seen a lot of comments that first gear is way too low (5th gear too) and strength-wise the trans is similar to the early 911 transaxle (901), suitable only for small displacement V8s and you must avoid abusing it.

Just saw that Renegade sells a rebuilt 914 transaxle (901) with improved ratios for V6/V8 use... they also block off the useless 1st gear, making it a 4-speed. For $2700, it's almost a reasonable solution for a lightweight V6/small V8 locost middie :idea:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:44 pm 
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from what I've read, the audi 5000 gearbox is almost indestructible. its the earlier audi units that you need to be gentle with.

the porsche 924, 944, and 944t all use these gear boxes with great success.
it has even been bolted up to BMW v12's for diablo kits cars,like the pic below from lambo lounge.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:44 pm 
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Can someone explain something about the Audi/Porsche transaxles? In this picture it appears to have a huge bellhousing.

What does the setup look like when you have a front engine with a rear transaxle? ( Like a 944 ) Don't the clutch and flywheel stay up with the engine?

I have an old Hewland Mk 9, and at least fantisize about putting it in the rear of a Locost. But guessing it's better sold to pay for the project. Still, I so used to love using it. I wonder how much power they can take. Less than a Formula Atlantic, I guess...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:16 pm 
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I assume you only want longitudinal engine mounting.

How about a NV3550 5 spd with a adapter to bolt directly to the irs pinion flange? It should be very compact. Due to the ratios (4:1 first), a 3.08 or numerically lower r&p should be chosen. The trans and irs should be precisely aligned and rigid to each other, with isolators similar to a miata (2 at the diff, 2 at the engine).

Perhaps different ratios are available for the trans.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:58 pm 
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violentblue wrote:
from what I've read, the audi 5000 gearbox is almost indestructible. its the earlier audi units that you need to be gentle with.
the porsche 924, 944, and 944t all use these gear boxes with great success. it has even been bolted up to BMW v12's for diablo kits cars,like the pic below from url=http://www.lambolounge.com/Chassis/Engine/BMW-V12/BMW.asp]lambo lounge[/url].


I had a 924 and a 944. The 924 had a distinctly different, delicate transaxle. A friend rebuilt two of them and I saw them; looked Beetlish. The 944 looks like the 944T outwardly, but the 944T has different details that make it stronger. Renegade says the 944 (with SBC) is "OK for a street-driven car, but the 944T is stronger." I'm not sure where the "related" Audi 5000 fits in there. Details matter. I guess that's the big problem with making generalizations about transmission families. I worked QC in transmission manufacturing for 13 years... we had 3,4, or 5 versions of most of our transmissions. Depending on their intended application, they not only had different ratios, but often had many minute detail differences to beef them up. Additionally, running changes (tolerances, radii, heat treatments, etc.) are often made in response to problem reports in the field, either immediately or at model year increment. To the junkyard shopper, the how, why, and when of those changes, often undocumented (publicly), is a mystery. It's probably best when adapting a trans, if possible, to try to get a trans you know was from the highest torque of the engines it was available with, and the latest model year. Or cross your fingers if that info isn't available.

There seems to be a wide range of opinions of the Audi 5000. True believers (and people that want to sell you a kit car) claim it can handle anything. The Lambo guy repairing his 5th broken transaxle (all broken in the cast iron part of the case ironically) thinks different and devised a steel reinforcemnet plate and hopes it'll help. I don't know who to believe, you can never know about internet info, but if it's bulletproof that must be one unlucky guy. Wish trans manufacturers' max torque specs were more readily available. Apparently you can find bargains, might depend on your location. I'd still lean toward the hot V6/stock 5L V8 rather than modded 350/LS7... if you need that much power, your car's too damn heavy. :P

Update:
944 engine max torque 150 to 207 ft-lb (various models, years)...
944 Turbo engine max torque 240 to 258 ft-lb (various models, years)...
Modifications were made to strengthen the trans for the turbo... that should be some indication of the torque limits capabilities of this transaxle family.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Amazing that Kennedy has the nerve to offer (seriously?) a Viper engine adapter to a VW transaxle?! Incredible - from the shear lack of any sort of life expectancy from that box.

At the other end we have the $15,000 solution, and I'm sure they're great, but they live in a different world than the one I live in, pricewise.

Seems like the Audi or Porsche box is the only possibility for us mortals.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:19 am 
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KB58 wrote:
Amazing that Kennedy has the nerve to offer (seriously?) a Viper engine adapter to a VW transaxle?! Incredible - from the shear lack of any sort of life expectancy from that box...


If you bolt a stock 40 horse transaxle to a Viper, sure. But the VW transmisison world isn't all wimpy, lossless gearboxes these days. The sandrail and desert racing world has been strong enough to keep refining those boxes. The Kennedy adapter would be used to bolt the Viper block to the Mendola transmission, or to a beefed up Vanagon box.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:54 am 
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A nice thing is if you can run the transaxle upside down. I don't know if you can do that with all of them. But it lets you run the engine a few inches lower in the chassis. This is nice for a Ford xflow, with it's compact size and inexpensive dry-sump setup.

Still struggling to understand what it takes to connect a front engine to something like a Vanagon transaxle in the rear.

A steel bellhousing, with a plate and tube welded to the rear housing a splined shaft with a pair of bearings in the tube to maintain alignement and
then a CV joint driveshaft to the transaxle?

Seems this would lower CG, make smaller drive tunnel, move weight to rear, and provide inboard brakes in one fell swoop.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:25 pm 
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horizenjob wrote:
Still struggling to understand what it takes to connect a front engine to something like a Vanagon transaxle in the rear.

A steel bellhousing, with a plate and tube welded to the rear housing a splined shaft with a pair of bearings in the tube to maintain alignement and
then a CV joint driveshaft to the transaxle?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torque_tube


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:54 am 
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The Renault UN1 gearbox as found in the Renault 25 and 30 is also a good transaxle and can stand up to some serious abuse. It also can have the ring gear flipped so can be used in rear or mid engined configurations.
There are still many of these still on the road in France today. I believe the Renault 25 was sold in the US as the Eagle Medallion.
I researched this way back when I had an alfa romeo boxer in a VW bus. There is heaps of info around the GT40 forums.

These boxes can be found for next to nothing, even with shipping to US the price could be reasonable

Rob

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:27 am 
Years ago I built a V8 Corvair using the Corvair transaxle with a new input shaft and adapter bellhousing. This was my DD with the trans initialy having about 60k on it then ran backwards with 400 hp thru it for another 60k when a bearing froze on the mainshaft. The repair was replace the hollow mainshaft and one syncro, not bad for 120k half with twice the hp the factory offered. This trans is for sale if any takers 0 miles since rebuild.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:12 am 
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Last time I saw a V8 Corvair was in the seventies. It had a really cool engine cover made out of a pyramid of old fashioned suitcases with leather straps stacked where the old rear seat was.

That sounds like it might be a good transaxle for a Locost. With a removable bell housing it sounds like it would be easier to attach, space wise, to the space frame. It should also handle more power then something VW based?
I know they came with 140 HP engines...

Really great handling cars, the head driving instructor at our club had one for many years...

Any chance you could upload a picture and approx. weight for that unit?

Sounds hard to get parts for, but I might be interested in another month or two.

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