Saturday, June 30, 2007

Gearbox Rant

so today we are going to make fun of american culture, people in jeneral, big companies that like to pretend thay are good but not really, etc etc etc.

Transmission is like riding a 18 speed bicycle and pedaling up a hill, you are the engine, the Chain is like the gears in your transmission, and the speeds you select are short or long - easy to pedal or hard. If you have to pedal up too steep a gear with too long a gear and have too much power........ the chain will break.

subaru + wrx + turbo + RA gearset in a google search natural window pops up a huge list of whatnots. Lets summarise the situation:

Sti-RA GEARS can be found most easily in a Sti-RA car.

an STi-RA car (availible from version 1-6) can be most easily found in JAPAN on the streets or in the used car lots or at the dealership.

so, the most ideal representaion of a STi-RA gearbox would be:

take 1 sti-ra car, extract gearbox - give customer gearbox. customer is HAPPY :)

in america, automotive enthusists are differnt. in Japan, they break gearboxes - its not liek nobody in japan drag races. Japan has differnt crowds to market to, differnt driving speeds/styles, differnt measures of performance.

in america, the usa WRX was released in 2001 as an 02 model. full line change, chassis, everything updated. weird weird stuff - like 3.54 rear diff with a 1.1:1 center spider to a 3.90 front diff. weird.
in usa subaru had to get by emissions and fuel consumption standards for various reasons so they went with shitty performance gearing, 100mph 3rd, low compression motor without AVCS to save money, small turbo to compensate, but un-compensated due to 4 cats....

basically it works like this. Long gears speced to get super low rpm exhuast emissions at spec'ed test speeds, low compression bad response, lower overall output motor so u have to drive it harder (more throttle more wasted heat, more abuse on driveline). IF all sports cars were designed like that, no problem. we can all be slow, but chasing V8's down isnt that easy, and so abuse happens, the 5mt breaks, everyone blames subaru for making a shitty gearbox. Gearbox is not shitty, the conditions of its environment were just not yum.

SO, a very USDM solution came along.

- replace gear tree of usdm wrx transmission with gear tree from Japan specific STi-RA OR STi OR wrx. Label it as RA gearset, because its the most blanket term ever. the only differance between a WRX and WRX RA and WRX STi RA gear is the teeth and ratio. one is not stronger or bigger than another in the JDM world. Perhaps in weird american edition runs, but not in japan that i know of.

- reported issues with "RA gearset" installation or american RA 5mt's, etc; Shift forks bending - some were aluminum, some were supposed to be steel, spacing on shims/fitament were off, and catrostropic failures happened, etc etc. alot of very amusing failures.

- approximate cost: $2300 installed or so, average $1400 for the gears, $700 or so for labor.

The proper solution?

- dont abuse the car. drive it smoothly and nicely, deal with having poor gearing for 85% of courses, hope you have a 03 wrx box with revised guts, get mad skils so u pull fast lap times anyway
- get a big turbo and have the magical skills to do the above with a big turbo. be faster than balls.

- replace complete usdm WRX 5mt with a JDM wrx 5mt. perfect gearing. not overstressed , its great.

- if you are a baller, buy the newest. its the best. 2006/7 jdm 6mt will rock your world. cost alota dough too.

-- Next time.... DCCD rant.

No comments: