Archive for transmission

A Mass Produced Magnificent Little Machine

What other machine out there can be described as Mass Produced, Economical, Beautifully Made and Iconic? This Ford 8N tractor is magnificent in its simplicity, its build quality as well as overall clean appearance with a wonderful color combination. The 8N tractors are affectionately known as “Red Bellies” because the drive-line castings are a deep vermillion red matched to dove gray sheet metal. This tractor was passed to the current owner in PA from his uncle here in VT who was the only one who ever drove it. The sheet metal is perfectly straight and all the parts like the original lights, gauges and tires are still on the tractor which is testament to the careful usage by Uncle Edward.

Well Preserved Ford 8N Tractor

Well Preserved 8N

Final drive casting 8N Ford

Ford 8N Final drive casting

Ring Gear, Diff for Ford 8N

Differential and Ring Gear for 8N Ford

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Laycock DeNormanville Overdrive Unit

We used to send these Overdrive Units off to a specialist to be rebuilt but something always went wrong on the first test drive. Come to think of it, sometimes they were leaking so badly that we had to take them apart and re-seal them before knuckle busting installation into the chassis.  Considering all the time to properly package the part, the cost to ship the 40lb crate as well as the weeks it takes to get it back, Nate decided to overhaul this Austin Healey 3000 Laycock deNormanville unit on his own. All the parts are available so once they arrive, he’ll slam it back together and test it by spinning it up on the lathe so he can be confident things are right before the installation.

Moss Gearbox

Moss Gearbox

Overdrive Repair and rebuild

Overdrive Repair and rebuild

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I just don’t get it

This is a subject that I write about frequently because I just don’t understand why Ferrari Transmissions are bigger than the engine in front of it. We just had a transmission out of a 1955 Ford Pickup that was the size of a shoe box and a 5 speed ZF transmission out of a Maserati is tiny compared to the 5 speed out of this 330 GT 2+2. If I seem frustrated it’s because getting this Parthenon out of the car is a job that only Zeus can handle.

This transmission works well but the synchronizers are worn to to point of having a chrome plated polished look instead of the required rough cast finish but all the bearings and gears are perfect. We used to replace the operating sleeves on these transmissions but they take so long to “wear in” that I feel they are doing more damage than good especially considering how well they shift with the original parts re-installed.

5-speed 330 Transmisison

5-speed 330 Transmisison

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Transmission Numbers on Ferraris

I don’t offer much helpful information on this blog but want to share some photos of the font and progression of transmission, engine, and axle number stampings on Ferrari castings. From now on, i’m going to photograph stamps on Ferrari castings as I have the ability, the transmission stamps are hard to photograph because the interior has to come out for access. These are all photographs of Transmissions from 250’s and 330’s.  As things progress, I will post photos of Engines, axles and trans-axles.

Numbers from early 330 with Overdrive

Numbers from early 330 with Overdrive

Series II PF Cab, late production

Series II PF Cab, late production

Early production GTE Ferrari

Early production GTE Ferrari

Transmission Ferrari Lusso 250

Transmission Ferrari Lusso 2505-speed 2 mount engine

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Ferrari 250 Transmission

After overhauling dozens and dozens of Ferrari transmissions I have a good idea on what to expect when the case is opened up and shafts are broken down. Whether it’s a 250 GTE 4 speed, a 246 GT Dino trans-axle or a 330 GTC/Daytona style 5 speed trans-axle,  synchronisers on Ferrari’s do not last many miles however, the rest of the components are over built and hold up well.. The bearings and gears are over built and the machined parts like flanges and shafts are impeccably machined using incredibly hard steel. The transmissions have oil pumps that pressurize the main and lay shafts to keep everything thoroughly lubricated so the bearings that the gears turn on are flooded in a pillow of oil.

This transmission out of this 250 shifted well but had the typical severely worn synchronisers so I was prepared to perform the “normal” repair of cleaning, inspecting and replacing the end bearings and synchros. This trans had been run without oil for a long time and the bearings in the photo were so wiped out that there was about .020″ clearance between the gear and bearing where there should only be about .005″. How did this thing work at all?

250 GT transmission overhaul

250 GT transmission overhaul

Transmission overhaul bearings

Transmission overhaul bearings

Bearings Ferrari transmission

Bearings Ferrari transmission

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911 Porsche Transmission Buttoned Up

I got the transmission all buttoned up. It is in the car and I will get it on the road tomorrow AM. It shifts well from my little test on the lift, hope it feels as good on the road!

915, 911 transmission

915, 911 transmission

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915 transmission for Porsche 911

When I first drove this 1983 Porsche 911, I found the shifting to be difficult and it was grinding gears badly. My suggestion to the owner was to get in and replace the synchronizer bands before something breaks.

After taking it apart I couldn’t see much wrong and the synchros seemed used but not totally worn out. Like many other car manufacturers, the synchro for 2nd and 3rd gear is different than of the other gears and maybe someone put the incorrect part on the gears.

It wasn’t until re-assembly that I noticed that the dog teeth on first gear were chipped and remembered that the slider (operating sleeve, shift sleeve) for 1st gear has asymmetrical internal teeth to meet up with the corresponding dog teeth on 1st gear. The operating sleeve can be reversed  so the side that should engage 1st gear is incorrectly jamming into 2nd which makes engaging into either of these gears while under motion nearly impossible.

Lucky for the owner, I located a shop who can replace just the dog teeth (engagement teeth) for short money without having to spend the $2000 that Porsche quoted to get the parts. We sent 2nd gear  from a 901 transmission to the same guy for repair and cannot wait to see how they look and more importantly how they perform.

Transmission repair Porsche 911, 915, 901

Transmission repair Porsche 911, 915, 901

901, 915, G60 transmission for Porsche repair

901, 915, G60 transmission for Porsche repair

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Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 transmission

Still looking for someone to explain to us why Ferrari went from the compact light weight and wonderful shifting transmissions in the early 166/195/212/225 cars to enormous and heavy cast iron transmissions on the later 250/330/365′s. Here are photos of the 330 2+2 5-speed and a 166 5 speed. There is about 100 lbs difference in weight and a considerable size difference. Did Ferrari use some truck or tractor transmission for these later cars?

The blue 330 GT 2+2 that came in earlier this year ended up needing an engine overhaul but I was fortunate to be able to drive the car prior to breaking it down. The transmission shifted perfectly but on acceleration/deceleration the shift lever moved back and forth significantly. As some may remember, this same thing happened to a 330 GTC transmission a few years ago and it turned out to be a loose ring nut on the main shaft.

I was certain that we had the same issue on this 330 2+2 and when I took off the top cover, it was instantly obvious that the ring nuts at the back of the main shaft holding the gear cluster on were totally backed off. They are doubled up to jamb together to prevent loosening plus there is a locking tab for extra protection on backing off… but still, someone managed to mess this up. Thankfully no damage was done to the internals.

Huge Ferrari transmission

Huge Ferrari transmission

Early Ferrari 5 speed aluminum transmission

Early Ferrari 5 speed aluminum transmission

loose ring nuts on a Ferrari transmission

loose ring nuts on a Ferrari transmission

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Ferrari GTE transmission 250

Here are some more photos of the GTE transmission that I am overhauling. Everything else looks fine inside, we are replacing all of the bearings and synchroinzer bands. The main shaft and lay shaft gears are all in excellent condition.

Transmission

Transmission

Gears for mainshaft and layshaft

Gears for mainshaft and layshaft

but the gears and spacers are all good.

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GTE Transmission

Last month we removed the transmission on a 250 GTE to have the overdrive that was inoperative inspected and rebuilt. When our friend John returned it to us, he mentioned that the filter on the overdrive was packed with metallic fragments that must have come from the transmission since nothing metallic matching this debris came from the overdrive. He told me that without removing, inspecting and super cleaning the transmission, there is no way the overdrive would last more than a few thousand miles.

I could not imagine what could have been a problem since it shifted well and was quiet when I drove the car prior to the tear down.

Yesterday I began to take the transmission apart and found that the Boccola ingranaggio, or 1st, 2nd and

250 Transmission gear

250 Transmission gear

Bushing for 2nd gear

Bushing for 2nd gear

3rd, gear bushing style bearings are all torn up and the lead/tin coating has been wiped off the surface, probably from a low oil condition. I bet there was a pound of metallic sludge in that overdrive brass screen filter.

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