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How to keep Ring and pinions in your trans????????????????

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:32 pm
I have broke 2 ring and pinions the last 2 times that I have been to the track. The first one I can blame on having too much clutch ( I guess) , but this past weekend, I broke it in the burnout the first run on the new trans? :oops: My car has ran 12. 1 with a 1.6 60' when I can make a full pass. I am guessing that it weighs 1650-1700 lbs. I had both of the ring and pinions that i broke annealed. What are you guys doing to keep yours together?????????? I am having these built by a VW shop. :oops: I know that there are guys out there running 9 and 10's with these tranny's. My gear stack is not a prob because I have all hardened gears and a hardened mainshaft. I am also running a spool.

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 3:25 pm
by Pablo
3.88 R&P tip relieved, steel sleeved pinion bore, .003" backlash, .010" brg preload, thrust surface added to 4th gear, HD intermediate housing with thrust surface matching that on 4th gear (or bearing arrangement), quality side covers (like Weddle sells, or the old steel ones) tied together with single properly located through-bolt (possible with Rhino case) or something similar, pinion depth properly set.

No need to anneal anything, but shot-peening will certainly help. The R&P set-up as above should last AT LEAST 100 passes in the car you describe. Good luck finding a transmission builder who will take the time to build a trans like this, because it takes easily 3X as long. "Open" check book or DIY is the only way --

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 4:07 pm
by Muffler Mike
its weird how my gear box life changed dramaticly when i changed classes.
old set up. the typical pre loaded r&p set up. (dont ask me the complete specifics, thats Pablo's department) with a steel side cover in a standard rhino case.
mid to low 12's on a 4.37 r&p was 80-100 passes a year before tare down.
yes most of the time i was on DOT tires. but it was still not uncommon to carry the wheels. my last season on the 4.37, i put on slicks for the second half and purposly tried to hammer it. with no visible change in crack pattern at the end of that year.
now i did have a lot of suspension travel and kept on a stock disk.
I seem to do the impossible with a glass r&p according to a lot of people. but i guess i had enough slip and slide and a lot of energy absorbsion somewehre.
the picture on the left was on my old dot's, 4.37 and 1.51-1.53 60fts.
typically in the low 1.60's

change of class. stiffen up suspension, get aggressive on the clutch. 15 passes and the 3.88 r&p was gone. and i was only going a few tenths faster then the year before.
why i went to a screwed up stiff suspension and aggressive clutch?? i needed to make my 1900 lbs worth of tank move fast to react to a pro light.
I have since changed the rear suspension components so there is no snubber to hit. use big torsions and adjustable shocks.
my gear box guy has been watching the pattern i have put on the r&p's. and the last thing we have recently tried (last year) was to move to a tapered roller carrier bearing. (dual big side covers) Dont know if he is putting more pre load into holding the spool or not, but i do notice it spins easier.
now things look really consistant with the cracking. (yes it still does crack)
i havent gone past 45 passes yet, before chickening out and having it changed becasue i did not want to go 1100 miles and sweat the whole time. But at that time of change last year, it sounded really good. after you have done it enough times and broke a few, you get use to listening how the r&p sounds when coasting and can even make a judgement call from there. and mine sounded really good still.
this year, im short on runs, and will be going to denver on this current year's box. I will see how long it last before pulling it. I will definitly try for 50 passes, and i dont see a problem there, and then the call will be made weather its a points race or not weather i keep pushign the issue or if it starts to sound bad.
I know my guy puts a lot of time into the r&p's too. i have seen two of them that went in and the both looked like jewels.
So at the 10.90 current et level, id say if i can get a t1 box to go 50 passes, and cut down a pro light in a heavy car, im probably doing pretty good.
Im sure my home made anti shocker is helpign the situation out too.

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:41 pm
by Henryhoehandle
Berg Anti-shocker really helped mine... bad thing is the shocker loses its effect in a few months (at least 2 of mine did)

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:17 pm
by Guest
wish i could remember his name, but there is a guy that is around the forums, or use to be, that is in the hydaulic field. and he figured out some hi temp seals so its not killed so fast
or just buy the shock direct from the company and maybe try and put some sort of heat shield around it (assuming thats what killed it)

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:19 pm
by Muffler Mike
oops that was me

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:27 pm
by Henryhoehandle
I believe they were made by "Air Hydro Power" in Louisville, KY Part # MA225. I do not believe they were originally intended for what Gene Berg sold/sells them for but they did solve all of my breakage problems back when I raced. I broke 5 weekends in a row, and after I installed the shocker, I never broke again. (about 4 months and the season was over) I am sure there were other devices similar to this that will last. I could not tell the difference and my et's were just as fast as if I never had it on, but my transmission sure noticed the difference.

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:41 am
by Muffler Mike
NO, they were not designed for this application.
i know them as an equipment damper. typically designed to be hit strait on by a moving table on a cnc type machine or something similar.
The ones im playing with are manufactured from Ace Controls.
They have an MA-225 model.
the model sizes might be some generic sizing so maybe multiple companies can make em and fit the same application????
I ran one in the back for a full season, but knew about the potential heat problems that can arise.
that is why i made my own configuration up front away from the heat.
It is also a boat load bigger then the original in back. (ma-900)

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:01 pm
by Henryhoehandle
You are right.. the ones form GB did say "Ace COntrols" on them.

Re: How to keep Ring and pinions in your trans??????????????

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:00 pm
by Bruce2
DRAGRACR wrote:I have broke 2 ring and pinions the last 2 times that I have been to the track.
What R&P ratios are you using? How is the R&P lash/preload set? What's your suspension/tire setup?

Sleeved Bore and Through bolt pics from Pablo

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:16 pm
by Henryhoehandle
Photo #1 shows how the pinion bearing bore must be steel-sleeved for maximum service life in a dragrace transmission.

Photo #2 shows how a single 10mm through bolt can be installed in a Rhino case to "tie" the side covers together. You can see from the left-hand side cover why it's necessary to use "full-circle" swingaxle side covers, not the cheap-o version sold by most companies.



Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:54 pm
by Pablo ... _id=296539
... the low quality "left-hand side cover" being on the right in the photo.

Steel-sleeved case: ... _id=287985

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:14 am
by boredandstroked
This subject is almost as bad as religion and politics... All I can say is a properly done trans will last a very long time in a beetle thats only capable of 12s, even if its a fat chick. I had what I am confident is the worst string of trans luck in VW history. It took lots of information gathering and hard work to come up with a luck defying solution to my problem. While the saying goes "I'd rather be lucky than good" somedays you had better be prepared to be good. Speaking from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE if you follow Pablo's advice and execute it properly you will be in the department of good when the luck runs out. A solid foundation is key. If you have a lot of movement going on the R&P will break. I honestly belive there is an invisible line that once you cross it is the end all line. You can be right at the line .000000000000000000000000001 to the good side but once that last one turns into a zero the easy way just wont cut it anymore. Thats when having a properly done box makes all the difference. There are many tranny bulders out there who CAN make excellent boxes. But when you try to get them to do this and that extra they will usually say yeah that works but it only gives about 10% more life. Well if you keep adding the 10% improvements up they can mean the difference between breaking in one day or serviceing the box at the end of a full year of racing just to be "safe".

I dont want to sound like I am discrediting Muffler Mike in any way here but I wouldn't soften up your launch as a first resort. Nobody likes to go slower. A proper set up in the suspension department and clutch department is critical to MAXIMUM life. But unless you are really fubared on the set up it wont be the thing that makes 1-2 passes turn into 100-200. Dont get me wrong there is way too hard, but it is usually obvious, like a 2600# plate and a 3 puck. That will smash the best of trannies with out help from a clutch slipping device or some other form of compensation. The idea in my mind is to have a set up that doesn't need compensating. When trying to save a R&P and messing with clutch and suspension, if you start slowing down 60' times you are compensating, if your picking up 60' times you likely fixed a problem

As to treating the R&P. Annealing is a no no... There is a way to take hardness out of the surface, reduce the case, but annealing is far to aggressive and is probably one of your biggest problems. The surface of a factory r&P is hardend to reduce wear and give a long service life with high milage longevity. High miles is not reality in a drag trans. So we can reduce the surface hardness. The harder a steel is the more likely it will develop cracks, call it brittleness, cracks lead to critical defects that cause failure. Too soft a steel will be too ductile and the teeth will just break like laffy taffy. I think there are some V8 type shops that are using an annealing and shotpeening type process. This was tried by a friend of mine and lead to instant failure, the gears were obvioulsy way to ductile when examined after failure. So what to do... We want to prevent cracks, removing places for cracks to start is the first step. Cracks like to start at surface imperfections. Avoiding techno mumbo jumbo will just say that a rough finish aint your friend. Deburring is the first step and then a polishing. What quality of polish is needed is depatable. Basicly it is hard to know when it is polished enough, however I cant imagine an argument that you could over polish. There are mechanical tumblers and chemically excellerated polishing processes. I prefer to have it as fine a finish as I can get, and don't like to use any elbow grease, so I have been using a process called REM (a form of isotorpic normalizing which was recommended to me by Pablo) to do the polishing. I also have em cryoed since the shop that does the REM for me does that to, and its cheap. I cant say it is a valid improvement but I put it in the can't hurt anything but your wallet column.

Well I've been typing for too long so I'm gonna quit and see where the topic goes from here.

BTW I go low 1.4 60' at 1800# with a NA engine and stock style suspension and don't have any neat tricks for the clutch(even though of all the setups out I like MMs the best and think it has validity for reliability over absolute performance). I get plenty of R&P life(now, knock on wood) so I know it can be done to at least that level.

Re: Sleeved Bore and Through bolt pics from Pablo

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:16 am
by boredandstroked
Henryhoehandle wrote:Photo #1 shows how the pinion bearing bore must be steel-sleeved for maximum service life in a dragrace transmission.

Photo #2 shows how a single 10mm through bolt can be installed in a Rhino case to "tie" the side covers together. You can see from the left-hand side cover why it's necessary to use "full-circle" swingaxle side covers, not the cheap-o version sold by most companies.



As described by Pablo above.

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:31 am
by Bruce2
boredandstroked wrote:. I get plenty of R&P life(now, knock on wood)
How many runs per R&P do you get? I assume you use a 3.88?