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Old 11-14-2008, 11:04 AM   #101
jhargis
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went back to the track yesterday again! trans held up great, now my exedy twin disk gave out! still went 11.001 @127
Haha, I can already see the threads starting: "Don't get an NAE transmission reinforcement, it makes the case so strong that the clutch blows up!"

Anyway, good to hear that the gearbox held up, too bad about the clutch though, that's a bummer.

Note to anybody following this project: I will be out of town, and probably out of cell phone range for a couple of days (camping/shooting trip in the mojave desert). If Dylan hasn't recieved his sample yet, it should be there today hopefully... Dropped it off @ the post office on Monday morning, so I'm hoping he'll chime in on this some time next week.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:13 PM   #102
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Alright, just another quick update so you folks don't start thinking that I've forgotten about this project:

Dylan recieved the sample reinforcement and ran the material/design through solid works (computer modeling) to perform some structural analysis. We both came to the conclusion that, if anything, the current design is a little over engineered and probably wildly stronger than it needs to be. Long story short, I'm currently revising/simplifying the design a bit to balance affordability with function. I'm also looking into adding a sharp-looking logo placard or engraving for aethsetitc purposes. Once everything is in order, I'll be sending Dylan another sample to get his blessing, and we should be pretty much ready to go at that point.

As for a release date, it will probably have to be pushed out a bit, doubt I'll be able to get anything production-ready this month. However, I would like to stress that I'd really rather take the time to make sure that the reinforcement is a well designed and balanced product instead of rushing it to meet an early release date.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:24 PM   #103
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Not that there's much doubt in the thread, but I personally vouch for jhargis's work and attention to detail and ability to solve problems with ingenuity (and guts...he used to drive a 4000lb car around with no power brakes). But that's getting off topic.

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If you plan out every little detail first, you can produce a much better product at the same cost as a far inferior product which doesn't have the initial planning behind it
That's what Gordon Murray did with the mcLaren F1 (except for the cost part)
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:52 PM   #104
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Wayne! Long time no speak man! Thanks for the kind words. Yes... 4,000lbs., 5.7 liters, 2 turbochargers, no power brakes, and a British-made Lucas electrical system... I'm truly lucky to still be alive, that thing didn't really accelerate so much as just rotated the earth under it very quickly, but that car taught me how to make parts that handle scary levels of torque and stress for pennies on the dollar

In any case, back on topic. I'd like to let Dylan mess around with the original sample for a few more days to see if he comes up with any other pointers. In the mean time, I'll probably get to work on the next sample this weekend and start getting some initial materials orders going soon after.
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:53 AM   #105
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I just read through this thread. Having been through 4-5 Subaru 5MT's myself, ranging from RS transmissions to JDM 4.11 WRX/Legacy TT, I have been looking for a way to beef up the transmission to prevent case flex, which I have long known can contribute to failure of the Subaru 5MT. I can't justify spending $4-5k on PPG's or buying a 6 speed yet. I'll be watching this thread closely.

Out of curiosity, what transmission is in your car jhargis? Since you said it was JDM and from 1997 and non-RA, I'm assuming you have a Ver. 3 STI 4.44 box, which is basically exactly like my Ver. 4 STI 4.44 non-RA. Will your bracing developed for the 02+ WRX box also fit the older style GC8 box?
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:01 AM   #106
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You are correct. I have a 4-bolt Ver. III 4.44:1 gearbox much like yours.

The good news is that when I lined the main reinforcement up against the side of my trans the other day, it looked like it should fit perfectly on the older transmissions, plus it appears that the bolt lengths are the same as well, though I need to actually measure those. The main differences in the newer 8 bolt cases can be found along the top and bottom of the case, where the bolts are a bit longer and there is a bit more material, but the main reinforcement does not use any of those bolts as mounting points.

I was going to take some measurements on my case yesterday, but I walked up to my car in the driveway with a busted driver's side window and a missing stereo yesterday morning, so I became unexpectedly occupied with getting a new window

The diff brace, however, will only fit on the 8-bolt cases since the bellhousing bolt that it attaches to does not exist on the older transmissions

I'm not sure if there are any differences in this part of the case on the push style clutch gearboxes (old or new), but I'll be getting in touch with Dylan to confirm exactly which models it will fit on... I'd imagine that the main reinforcement will pretty much fit any 5mt as that part of the case really didn't change much over the years, but I'd like to get a confirmation on that before I go preaching it as truth .

Last edited by jhargis; 11-21-2008 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:29 AM   #107
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when you develop it, I want to be the first with one! LMK as soon as you are releasing these. Did you decide against the first version in your original post and go with that plate type one?
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:14 AM   #108
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Both are in the plans! The first one is actually a brace for the front differential housing which goes on the driver's side of the transmission, while the plate reinforcement goes on the passenger's side.

The plate reinforcement is pretty close to being production-ready, just need to iron out a few last details with DS1, and then I should have the diff brace ready for production a few weeks after that.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:16 AM   #109
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I foresee a lot of us old school GC8 guys will be interested in these. I'm pretty sure the RS 4.11 and the old school JDM WRX/STI 4.11 boxes use the same case, don't they? It might be worth it to come up with a design for the diff brace to function on the old 4 bolt case as well.

But I understand that you would want to target the 02+ WRX guys first, as they seem to be popping more transmissions than us, and there are certainly more of them generally, thus giving you a bigger market.

If you can show that this whole idea will have any impact on the case flex of the transmission (which I never believed to be a myth, especially since all my transmissions broke while in gear and driving, leading me to believe it was case flex/gear fatigue and not bad shifting on my part, and I only make about 300 WHP to boot), then I really think you'll have a product that sells well. Hell, even if it mitigates some of my concern I'd buy it.

Its just unfortunate that Subaru has been using essentially the same gear box design seemingly forever, but never did much to change it once they started building cars with more power off the shelf. It does surprise me that more gearboxes let go in the US than in JP it seems, but maybe we just don't really hear about catastrophic failure over there. The design is no different between JDMland and the US markets.
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:05 PM   #110
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I foresee a lot of us old school GC8 guys will be interested in these. I'm pretty sure the RS 4.11 and the old school JDM WRX/STI 4.11 boxes use the same case, don't they? It might be worth it to come up with a design for the diff brace to function on the old 4 bolt case as well.

But I understand that you would want to target the 02+ WRX guys first, as they seem to be popping more transmissions than us, and there are certainly more of them generally, thus giving you a bigger market.

If you can show that this whole idea will have any impact on the case flex of the transmission (which I never believed to be a myth, especially since all my transmissions broke while in gear and driving, leading me to believe it was case flex/gear fatigue and not bad shifting on my part, and I only make about 300 WHP to boot), then I really think you'll have a product that sells well. Hell, even if it mitigates some of my concern I'd buy it.

Its just unfortunate that Subaru has been using essentially the same gear box design seemingly forever, but never did much to change it once they started building cars with more power off the shelf. It does surprise me that more gearboxes let go in the US than in JP it seems, but maybe we just don't really hear about catastrophic failure over there. The design is no different between JDMland and the US markets.
-They changed over to 8 bellhousing bolts at some point in 1998, so anything before that will be a 4-bolt case design.

-I've been looking for a workaround to fit a diff brace to the old 4 bolt case, but the problem is that I would have to add a significant curve to the shape of the brace for it to snake around the axle while still clearing the lower subframe/crossbember under the engine... I don't know that it would be possible to make a diff brace that will be sufficiently strong to make much of a difference on the 4 bolt cases given the packaging limitations, at least not for a reasonable price.

-My data suggests that it definitely reduces torsional flex and expansion... Whether or not that leads to a stronger gearbox remains to be proven, but I can't imagine that it wouldn't at least help. I went through 2 used '02 gearboxes in quick succession myself... I did a lot of research before buying my car and was WELL aware of the 5mt's proclivity toward failure, so I was always mindful of dropping the hammer on the clutch pedal, and even though I never stripped a gear, I still ran into 5mt problems.

-I agree, seems like they would have a more modern 5 speed by now, but alas, no real major changes have been made to the core design for decades. Everybody pops these transmissions. Take a look at the SIDC or MRT forums, they manage to blow up the marginally stronger JDM/EDM Sti boxes with some regularity. Human beings are human beings, and it really has nothing to do with us Americans, we just get more local exposure to the problem, that's all.
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Old 11-21-2008, 02:02 PM   #111
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Both are in the plans! The first one is actually a brace for the front differential housing which goes on the driver's side of the transmission, while the plate reinforcement goes on the passenger's side.

The plate reinforcement is pretty close to being production-ready, just need to iron out a few last details with DS1, and then I should have the diff brace ready for production a few weeks after that.
want to throw me on the list to recieve on first? I'm ready as soon as they're proven and in production! I can test one out if you want, too.
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:10 PM   #112
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Well, I'm not a vendor, so I can't technically make a waiting list on nasioc or really deal with sales at all, however, DS1 Motorsports will be handling the distribution side of things... Perhaps you can get in touch with Dylan or Jeff @ DS1? We haven't nailed down how many will be made for his initial order, still getting a feel for demand and working out final pricing, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to give DS1 a call.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:43 PM   #113
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quite intersting. How much do the brackets weigh? asking from a track racing perspective.
Also, how precise is the fitment of the self tapping screw to the flange that it bolts through? does it taper at near the shoulder to center and lock the brackets location? also same for the rear bolt?
what is keeping them form shifting? simply coefficient or friction/pressure?
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:51 PM   #114
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The entire sample + hardware that I sent off to DS1 was something like 5.2lbs. if I remember correctly. The bolts should be pretty similar in weight to the stockers, so maybe an addition of 4 and half pounds or so?

I'll probably just end up including a tap with the diff brace (easier/more reliable tool with which to the thread the already existing hole). All that bolt does is hold the brace snuggly against the side of the diff housing, there should be no lateral force applied there as the side of the diff housing pretty much expands directly toward the diff brace.

As for the main reinforcement plate, the bolts fit pretty snuggly through the holes in the plate. The case has dowel pins that keep the halves from sliding past each other and the stock bolts are much smaller than the holes in the case. Basically the reinforcement is held in axactly the same way the bolts hold the case halves together, just with the clamping force provided by the bolts themselves.

Last edited by jhargis; 11-24-2008 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:19 PM   #115
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Now to find out how I can use these bolts/plates legally in ESP class for autocross.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:51 PM   #116
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awesome. Great thread. Giving the 5mt guys a little ray of hope... and added strength!!!
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:47 PM   #117
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Now to find out how I can use these bolts/plates legally in ESP class for autocross.
Dunno if they would let you run the plate and brace, those are pretty big and not-factory looking. But is there a resriction on aftermarket hardware? And even if there is a restriction, I mean, it would take a seriously trained eye to recognize a difference in bolt grade under a car. +1 for under-the-radar mods
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:16 PM   #118
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must have the case reinforcement!
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:49 AM   #119
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Dunno if they would let you run the plate and brace, those are pretty big and not-factory looking. But is there a resriction on aftermarket hardware? And even if there is a restriction, I mean, it would take a seriously trained eye to recognize a difference in bolt grade under a car. +1 for under-the-radar mods
Yeah, I don't think there's anyway I can realistically do this. Just wishful thinking.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:01 PM   #120
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Yeah, I don't think there's anyway I can realistically do this. Just wishful thinking.
I am not terribly familiar with the differences in rules between the various autocross classes, but you might want to look up whether or not you are allowed to have non-factory made bolts on your car... Wording can sometimes be kind of generalized in rule books, so it may not be particularly clear. Though I do plan on having a 5mt bolt kit available not too long from now, and the class 10.9 bolts are a heck of a lot stronger than the stock hardware as far as yield strength goes.

On another note to keep everybody updated, I had a very constructive discussion with Jeff @ DS1 today. He's graciously spent some time running a few different design modifications through testing via computer modeling, and has provided some very valuable input, so we're getting closer and closer to a really refined final design. I apologize that the release has been creeping back lately, but I'm very excited to be working with a vendor that really knows their products and are quite mechanically knowledgable... I think the finished product will really be worth the wait

Last edited by jhargis; 11-25-2008 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:51 PM   #121
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Quick fun fact: To give you guys an idea of how strong the 1/4" base plate material is, I just sacrificed an 8x8 blank to see what kind of force it can withstand. I have access to a 150 ton CNC press-brake with adjustable tonnage to play with

Using a 2" wide die and and a punch with a .20" bend radius, I had to sink just shy of 20 tons into the 8" wide plate to give it a good clean bend! Strong stuff
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:55 AM   #122
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I am still looking forward to seeing the finished product. Any installed pics yet or anything?
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:48 AM   #123
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very interesting, damn looking forward to this product mann!!!!!!
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:28 AM   #124
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since this is the topic of discussion, would it really make a difference in case strength for different years? Say I had an 02 trans case, would i be any stronger if I started with an 04 trans? Not gears wise, the actualy housing....

How close are we to being able to purchase these? I don't want to forget about them!
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:56 PM   #125
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Any trans made after 1998 is for the most part going to be the same as far as case strength goes. There would be absolutely zero difference in case strength for '02-'05 boxes. The newer boxes look pretty darn similar too other than being set up for push-type clutches. Pre-1998 transmissions are at a disadvantage with less webbing, 4 fewer bellhousing bolts, and less material surrounding the bellhousing.

We're getting there. I've been playing around with a couple of suggestions from Jeff @ DS1 to see if they are feasible. We were looking at using a thinner plate (7 gauge instead of 1/4") and re-working the webbing to save about 12 ounces to 1lb. over all, but unfortunately my steel supplier does not offer a hardened/cold rolled 7 gauge stock. So while the 1/4" plate is overkill, I'm going to stick with it... That much more resistance to flex, and I think it just has a better more solid feel/look to it with the thicker plate. A lot of how folks percieve quality is tactile, not just visible, and I really want customers to not only know that this thing is strong but also get a sense that it is solid when they hold it. Over all weight for the thing is under 5 pounds anyway, which is pretty negligible. I'm really aiming to get the main reinforcement ready for production in the next 2-3 weeks, and it looks like I'm on track. Sorry to keep you guys waiting, but I really want this product to be as refined as possible .

Last edited by jhargis; 11-28-2008 at 03:01 PM.
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