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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, since I got a new camera for Christmas and I've been trying to document my preparations for Sno*Drift so far, I figured that I might as well post up some of the workings.

This is probably the single most expensive and time consuming improvement of all my preparation.


I would be a lot further in it's installation but I got strep throat just before Christmas so I ended up not making any progress toward the end of last year and this is how the car looked for about a month.


Transmission in the car


Transmission out of the car


Immediately after I took that picture my apartment manager drove by. Oops, busted. It's a good thing she didn't see where it ended up next.


My kitchen table has more or less turned into a work bench, collecting various rally related items. The nuts on the ends of the primary and secondary shafts in the picture above ended up being the bane of the case split. Of course the shafts are on bearings so if you put a wrench on there it just spins the shaft. This required the nuts to be unstaked then hit with an impact wrench.

We had to drill the stake off of one of the nuts so that meant a trip to the dealer (since the auto parts stores don't sell those nuts) and if I had to order one, I might as well order both. They were about $20/each.

I finally got around to reading part of the Mazda3 build thread on specialstage.com which has the same differential. Apparently the trick to getting the nuts off is to shift the transmission into 1st or 2nd, then remove the roll pin from the 5th/Reverse shift fork (the exposed shift fork in the picture above) and manually shift the the fork into 5th jamming the transmission since it's in 2 gears at once.

Here is where I would show the break down pictures but I forgot my camera when I brought my transmission to my friend's house. After getting the lock nuts off of the primary and secondary shafts, the transmission actually came apart really easily. Since I was only working on the differential, teardown was pretty limited. The gearsets had to be removed because they were in the way of the ring gear but they just slid out.

The ring gear removal was a bit more problematic. The ring gear is riveted onto the differential so all of the rivets had to be drilled out. The rivet material was pretty soft so they came out fairly easily. Then we found out that the ring gear is pressed onto the diff housing. With a little heat, that came off pretty easily too.



New diff w/ the ring gear


The next hangup that occured was the fact that the ring gear holes were too small for the attachment bolts to fit through. The gear appears to be made from unobtanium and ruined the drill bit we tried to widen the holes with. This is going to have to go to a machine shop where they can hit it with carbide or something.

The next order of business was to remove the speedometer gear from the old diff and put it on the new one. Again, easier said than done.

We had to make a few of our own tools



In the end, we were unable to pull that bearing off and resorted to this


So that's as far as the build is. Advance sold me the wrong bearings so I'm waiting for the right bearings to come in along with the primary and secondary shaft nuts and the machine shops to open so I can go get my ring gear cut.

Paul
The Paul Donlin Experience
Driver, Owner, The Experience
 

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Sweet man. I don't have the confidence yet to tear into a transaxle. They look scary and complicated.

Good luck with your build. Any more pics of the car?

That's a sweet work space by the way lol
 

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nezwick said:
Sweet man. I don't have the confidence yet to tear into a transaxle. They look scary and complicated.

Good luck with your build. Any more pics of the car?

That's a sweet work space by the way lol
yea, transmissions make engine rebuilds seem like a walk in the park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Doing transmission work helps when you've got a friend who wants to dive right in and have the factory service manual incase you get stuck. We managed to pull the whole thing apart without having to force anything that wasn't supposed to be forced. It probably helped that we are both engineers.

Anyway, I talked to the machinist I brought my gear to and he said that he's getting a carbide drill bit in tomorrow and should have it done by Monday. In the mean time, there are some other things that I needed to take care of.

Since you get very little traction racing on the snow and ice, it was necessary to lighten up the suspension a little. The fronts were pretty easy to pull, there wasn't too much hammering. Generally on the bottom end everything kind of falls apart but the top mounts had to be hammered out. Of course, this camera thing is still a little new to me and I forgot to take pictures of the removal.

The rear struts out of the car.



The left side with the softer springs and dampers installed. Normally things come out easier than they go in but for some reason this went in really easy.



The right side. In case you were wondering: yes, those are stock springs and struts.



For some reason I thought it would be cool to take a picture of the back end of my car. I guess I was trying to catch the hammer that's hiding behind the fender.



Now that the rears were installed I packed up all of my toys and headed back up to my apartment for the part that was really a pain in the ass, swapping all the springs around.

Pre-disassembly



The plan was to disassemble both pairs of struts and move the rear springs to the fronts. The springs in the rear are ~175 lbs/in. HotBits is Malaysian so naturally everything is in metric units of measurement and don't convert easily to English.

All together



This is really what makes my car what it is, heavy duty suspension. Those are the Cusco camber plates by the way. Thanks to Derrick Ambrose at Corksport for putting up with me for the 3 or 4 times I tried to order those. Sorry dude, I had no idea you were a rally guy.



I thought I had ordered extra length on those rods.



This will give you an idea of how hard I am on my car and why the top mounts are such a pain in the ass to get in and out.



Aren't those supposed to be straight?

Anyway, that's it for now. Suspension is really one of the easiest things to do on these cars. To me, there's no reason why anyone should be driving around with a broken spring or blown dampers. On my list yet is to replace the timing belt, alternator belt, replace the valve cover gasket, the oil pan gasket, weld up my header where it cracked, get some snow tires mounted, paint and install the skid plate brackets I got from Piercemotorsports.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
New final drive gear on the way. Huge thanks to Jon Rood (jrally) for helping me out on that one. Also, big thanks to Jon Riel (therieldeal) and others on ClubProtege.com for advising me on what equipment to use and for replying in a speedy manner.

In the mean time, I'm in a bit of a lull, call it the calm before the storm. I've gotten almost all the stuff done that I can do before the transmission gets installed. Here is a pic helping work on Positrac out of a 72 Corvette



I finally got some pictures of the actual transmission apart.





The transmission made a whole lot of sense once everything was apart and I got to play with it a little. The two shafts with the gears on them sit in the two bearing races in the case, the other shafts with the shift forks and the reverse idler gear and such fit into the other holes machined in the case. Line everything up, and there ya go.



That magnet is a little furry. There has been some gear grinding in this box for sure.



Skidplate supports. A demonstration of the excellent work from Piercemotorsports. I should have paid extra and had Jim paint them because my crappy Krylon job looks horrible up close.



Belts installed. New timing belt. Not really a big deal if it went other than the fact that we'd be stopped but it's nice having a non-interference motor. BTW, the timing belt was way easier than I thought it would be.



Awesome rally suspension.





I had some other odds and ends that I didn't take pictures of. This is it for now. The next pictures should be installing the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, this might be the last update to this thread. Sno*Drift is next week, the car is pretty much finished other than some odds and ends.

This stuff is awesome. $14 for that little bottle and it comes only half full but it's made specifically for bearing retention, it's basically fluid proof, and it take whatever heat is in the transmission.



There were some people wondering about how much wear my pinion gear had. The shiny part is where the final drive gear had been mating with this gear. I couldn't feel anything when I ran my fingernail across the shiny/dull boarder so I'd say, little to no wear.



Prepping the rivets on the Kia diff for removal.



Excited about having limited slip, I put the diff into the carriers and watched it spin for a while. I also checked for play and there wasn't any so shimming wasn't necessary.



We were having some trouble getting the rivets out so we had to drill from the other side too. We ended up drilling out most of the meat of the rivets then put the whole thing in the press to pop everything out the rest of the way.



Kia gear on the new diff.



I needed to convert the torque value to something we could use since our torque wrenches had in-lb and ft-lb. Fortunately the numbers were in arabic numerals and had SI units and not Kanji like my camber plate instructions.



Test fitting the diff and secondary gear set.



This guy was the biggest pain. It's a ball bearing that's loaded with a spring and it's used to hold the shafts in place when a gear is selected. That plus the fact that the diff, the primary gear set, and the secondary gearset, along with the shift fork shafts all have to go in at the same time made it kind of a nightmare. Our way around it was to remove the roll pin holding the thing that the ball bearing goes against, line up the gear sets and everything, then install the ball and move the other jigger back into place.



Everything back in it's home.



With the new diff.



Another "goddammit" as Bill had started to call them. This one holds the reverse gear idler arm in whatever position is selected. i.e. holds the reverse idler gear engaged or disengaged. We just gobbed it up with assembly grease and set it in it's spot. I found out after we got the transmission together that there's a way to get it in from the outside but we didn't really have any problems with this piece.



It took us 2 tries to get the case halves together. The first time we had an extra screw that we didn't know where it came from. and I also almost stripped the reverse gear support shaft hole. That would have been bad; fortunately, Bill had a metric set of taps and dies so I filed the burr off of the screw and we ran a tap through the hole and went for round 2. Bill was very impressed by this transmission though. For the most part, it is well thought out and engineered very well. As for our struggles with assembly, sometimes there's only one way of doing it.

Fast forward to Friday night. We got the transmission mounted onto the engine without much trouble. I was happy that I got to use my 20" extension again.



It's getting there.



Transmission installed. This picture looks suspiciously like the before picture in my first post. I will admit that it looks rather boring.



New motor mounts.



Camber plates, sweet. Matt took this picture so blame him for the redundancy.



I got yelled at by the prudes at my apartment complex again. I think they're going to try to make me stop working on the car and make me get rid of my truck. They clearly don't understand.

Pressing on regardless, I finished the car up Saturday evening and went to go break in the diff. After breathing in fumes from the oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid I spilled; running on energy drinks since 6 o'clock (Monster M-80, if you must know. Ken and Dave, ask for more money); and the dizzying trials of driving in hard figure 8s for a half an hour, I almost threw up.

At that point I decided to go to my usual haunt, Larry Bud's. I know most of the wait staff and I have shown up there before looking dismal after working on the car but I couldn't figure out why they were giving me weird looks. Then I found another mystery injury.



I suspect it was from when I rocked my head on the hood but I didn't notice any blood at the time. By the time I made it to the bar, it had been running into my eyebrow.

Here is the car, finished and moving under its own power. I've got a few odds and ends to finish up, stickers, new windshield, driving lights, but those will be taken care of tomorrow.



I love limited slip. My tires, don't. I almost went through the pair on the front in the last 2 days and I haven't been driving much or hard, other than the break in.



Thanks again to Jon (jrally) and Jon (thereildeal) and the others that helped me with thiss. I owe the completion of this car to you guys.

Paul
 

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Hey, I have to do a clutch this weekend in my car so the trans will be out. This transmission looks pretty simple. Do you need a press to get to the synchros? My second gear grinds. I'm guessing yes, but compared to something like a Tremec or Munci this looks a lot easier.
 
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