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Old 10-08-2004, 09:25 PM   #1
Hotrodguru
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Default Tranny Gurus- 5 speed MT + ebrake + engaged clutch while driving = disastrous?

This question is for tranny gurus or rally racers. For the longest time I've been under the understanding that if you have a 5 speed manual tranny you can't pull the e-brake while rolling. If not mistaken you can do this with the 6 speed manual from the STi due to the the center diff being electronic. Well today ALL OF THIS LOGIC and THINKING WENT OUT THE WINDOW. I would like to test this out but without the $$$ for a new tranny I'm searching for more concrete answers.

What made me wonder if this was actually possible was the arrival of a friend in town, a Pro Rally driver from Belgium named Joost Boxeon (see pictures). I'm in Houston, TX and have road raced for about 20 or so years. Anyway, I helped a driver by the name of Davy Jones open an indoor karting center here and this is how I came to know Joost. My friend Davy sold the place to Joost and he just happened to be in town today. He has a close relationship with Marlboro and owns 1 WRC Prodive 2003 Subbie and 2 group N cars. He's having the cars shipped here for business purposes. Anyway, we were out today looking for some possible land to do testing and setup on the cars and met with some land owners of a big previous WWII blimp base and came to an agreement.

Anyway, while surveying the land I was hauling a$$ on some gravel and came to a right 90 degree turn and Joost sitting in the passenger seat went to grab the E-Brake. I said 'NO!' and he said it was ok as long as you had the clutch engaged. This started a long conversation. Now from what I know, you can't even tow a subbie unless it's a flat 4 wheel tow or on a flat bed. He said he had tested an exact 02-03 Subaru and put over 100,000 HARD miles on it and never broke the stock tranny doing this. He said alot of other things went, but not the tranny. He said he was 100% even 200% sure this was possible.

Now here's the question, is it possible that the japanese version being sold in Europe has a different tranny? He assured me it was a regular WRX and not a STi or RA model. So while rolling, can you pull the e-brake as long as the clutch is engaged?

Sorry about the long read, Guru





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Last edited by Hotrodguru; 10-09-2004 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 10-09-2004, 04:25 AM   #2
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Damn....Didn't know that it was bad to pull the ebrake while rolling in an awd vehicle if the clutch was in...
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:05 AM   #3
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You can do it. It's not easy on stuff obviously but as long as it's an instant thing to get the car unbalanced it's not going to destroy your center diff. Just don't leave it engaged for too long.
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Old 10-09-2004, 04:21 PM   #4
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Full on race car does not equal a street car.

Why not aks him how often the gearbox gets rebuilt on his race car.
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Old 10-09-2004, 06:02 PM   #5
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This thing has been brought up many times. No one really seems to have a concrete answer for it though. Some say NO! it will destroy your diff/tranny, etc... but others say it's fine...for short durations as to not build up too much heat. This second one is what I follow. I've used the e-brake several times at speed, not 50-100mph or anything, but for tight corners on gravel at 40mph or below. I do push in the clutch when doing it, seems like common sense. Otherwise, I do nothing else special. It works like it should, no strange things happening, no noises, no damage.
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Old 10-09-2004, 06:07 PM   #6
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The clutch in means absolutely nothing to your center diff. It is not a good thing to do while moving PERIOD. Being a race car driver doesnt make you a race car mechanic.
That said, I do it all the time, I put down over 300whp, and I beat the living daylights out of my car and my tranny is fine at 45k miles.
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Old 10-09-2004, 06:38 PM   #7
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I highly doubt pulling the e-brake a little every now and then will detonate your center diff as the front/rear speeds don't have to be perfectly in line. I bet you anything though that extensive use will screw something up.
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Old 10-09-2004, 09:10 PM   #8
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I pull my e-brake when I'm on the dirt roads and having a little fun. I've done it on drive pavement as well. It's only at lower speeds though. I only do quick pulls. If it were as weak as 'some' people say it is, every winter and you'd be raplacing a center diff.
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Old 10-10-2004, 02:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotrodguru
He said he had tested an exact 02-03 Subaru and put over 100,000 HARD miles on it and never broke the stock tranny doing this. He said alot of other things went, but not the tranny. He said he was 100% even 200% sure this was possible.

Now here's the question, is it possible that the japanese version being sold in Europe has a different tranny? He assured me it was a regular WRX and not a STi or RA model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaslayer
Full on race car does not equal a street car.

Why not aks him how often the gearbox gets rebuilt on his race car.
Please read why I copied above again, maybe you missed it the first time . He did actual testing for Subaru on various stock models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenow
Being a race car driver doesnt make you a race car mechanic.
Does putting in 2 WRX shortblocks make me a mechanic or doing MoTec engine management for a GT2 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Team, just curious?


Guru

P.S. Thanks for all the input everyone.
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenow
...my tranny is fine at 45k miles.

I thought you said it was time for a new one...
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Old 10-11-2004, 01:16 PM   #11
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Well I don't know about e-break turns but I do know you can drive with the ebrake on in a WRX. I was on the PA turnpike when I stopped for gas I put the ebrake on and didnít notice it when I left. Probably drove a couple miles down the highway before I realized it. The car was fine for the rest of the time I owned it (~5,000 miles) Unfortunately, keeping the ebreak on while parked will not prevent flooding and that car is now owned by the insurance company.
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Old 10-11-2004, 04:47 PM   #12
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The only thing your going to damage is you ebrake cable. A brief yank on the ebrake to bring the car around isn't going to damage you car.
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenow
The clutch in means absolutely nothing to your center diff. It is not a good thing to do while moving PERIOD.
i agree.


i dont use my Ebrake at all in my rally car, of course we do not do Tarmac events here in the USA... if we did, i'd have to sort out how to turn on Tarmac without utilizing the Ebrake!!!

but during the course of my racing i have learned to set the car up for the corners utiliting the momentum of the car, and left foot braking - even on the tightest of turns if i WAS to use the Ebrake, all it would do is slow me down - not to mention it's hell on your center diff

I'll soon be upgrading front and center diffs to full STi LSD's... so this rule will go out the window for me personally- yet i do not see myself yanking at the EBrake handle anytime soon. In my opinion, it just slows the car down - does not contribute to carrying speed through the turn - but that's another debate altogether

so yeah in conclusion?
it's BAD to use your Ebrake whilst in motion.

hope this helps
Jamie
www.subiegal.com
2003, 2004 NorPac PGT Rally Champion
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:45 AM   #14
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Jamie,

If you would run LSPR you would get to go up Brockway, a tarmac stage
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Old 10-12-2004, 12:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Back Road Runner
This thing has been brought up many times. No one really seems to have a concrete answer for it though.
How's this for a concrete answer...
the center differential is essentially a mechanical device designed to keep the front axles moving at the same speed as the rears. It is designed to allow some slip before "locking up"...even though it never truly locks like the differentials in a rock crawling 4X4 would "lock". If your front wheels are on glare ice and your back wheels are on a surface with more traction, your center differential will go to work. A similar thing would happen when you pull the e-brake, your front tires will be momentarily spinning faster than your rears and the fluid inside the center differential heats up, causing the clutch packs in the unit to grab one another. Of course, if you yank the e-brake at 30mph, the speed differential between the two axles is much greater than trying to get the car moving under the conditions noted above.

Bottom line - pulling the e-brake on a WRX with MT will put unnecessary wear on your center differential and is likely outside the design parameters of the unit at speeds above 10 or 15 mph. It's probably not going to "destroy" it if you do it once or twice at reasonable speeds, but if you do it all the time, you are going to wear out the center diff.
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Old 10-12-2004, 02:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaslayer
Jamie,

If you would run LSPR you would get to go up Brockway, a tarmac stage

been there done that and didnt need the ebrake
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Old 10-12-2004, 02:14 PM   #17
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My '88 Suby had eBrakes on the front wheels.....no fun....
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Old 10-12-2004, 02:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subie Gal
been there done that and didnt need the ebrake

No need for the e-brake, but Brockway is a ball to drive!
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Old 10-12-2004, 04:44 PM   #19
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Thanx for all the feedback everyone. I'm not desiring the whole e-brake thing, just wanted to know just incase Joost tries to slip behind the wheel next time he's in town .

Haha, Guru
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Old 10-13-2004, 01:02 PM   #20
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I believe my '95 has e-brake on one front and one rear wheel. therefroe pulling lever would likely not be hard on the center diff but would do little to help turning.(I know it has e brake on the right front as i had to change that tire and pulled the brake to jack it up and it locked that wheel, and it also seemed to keep the car from rolling back so i assume one of the rears has a brake, prob left rear.)
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