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Thread: Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

  1. #1

    Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    What transmissions or transaxles are available for a longitudinally mounted mid-engine car?

    I know the Pantera ZF is a popular (but increasingly more difficult to find) choice, but what else is available in both auto and standard choices?

    Seems that I've heard Audi transaxles, Toronado transmissions, and Porsche trannies. But, specifically which ones and what others can be used?

    Also, and I know this is more involved, but what are the hp limit on them?

  2. #2
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    Re:Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    The new Chrysler cars had a front engine and rear transaxle out back just autos I think. The newer ones are better have a 3.5 hp V6 motor.I think the Audi and 914 porsche are limited to around 300 Hp the 911 trans can take more but cost more, some one on this site has this info no there web site also on Lambolounge there is more information. Gene

  3. #3
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re:Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    I looked on Lambo Lounge for my information. It seems that the 914 trans will work up to 300Hp and is a 4 speed. The Audi 5000 on up Automatic and 5 speed will work and is the same transaxle as the 944 Porsche with the exception of the wider first gear of the 944 Turbo transaxle. Most Audi transaxles can be purchased for under $1,000 in good condition and will have a cable shifting set up that can be used in conjunction with a Fiero shift assembly. The 944 will need a Patrick Motor Sports Shifter, Shifter assembly for the transaxle and cables. About $650.00 in addition to the transaxle and engine adapter costs. Either transaxle will work with high torques, High horsepower engines up to about 450 HP. Maybe higher if you don't side step the clutch. You see a lot of this configuration in GT40 Kits with big Fords attached to them. The newer automatics are Tiptronic transaxles and are fun to put into anything as well.

    Hope that helps.

    Dave
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  4. #4
    Junior Member BlackRex's Avatar
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    Re:Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    How much money are you planning to spend?
    You can buy a new 6-speed ZF transaxle from RBT transaxles,
    (rbttrans.com). There is the Mendeola transaxle, mostly used in sandrails, but good for a car as well, HP from 250 to roughly 600, depending on how much money you give them.
    Hewland makes very good and very expensive boxes, which they will sell to the general public. Quaife makes midengine transaxles, good to about 600HP. (Quaifeamerica.com)
    They have a US distributor. Rumor has it Ford will use a Ricardo transaxle in their new GT, 500HP.

    Those are all manual transaxles. For automatics, there is the 1966-74? Olds toronado and 1970-76 Cad Eldorado Transaxle,
    the TH-425. Vector used this transaxle behind 700HP. Factory rated for 500 ft-lbs though. The later transaxles, the TH-325 and (80-84?) TH-325-4L (sp?) are weaker, and I wouldn't use the 4L with more than 250HP. (The 4L is a 4-spd overdrive.)
    Dodge's transaxle is good, but only factory rated for 230HP.
    There is safety factor built into all factory applications, so you can probably exceed that by a certain amount.
    I think they started that in the Intrepid 1995-present.

    I lean toward the TH-425 due to ease of finding, use and price, but you may not want an automatic.

    Hopefully this helps you,
    -BlackRex

  5. #5
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    Re:Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    Your best option for a straight bolt on solution is the Getrag 284 5-speeds that came on early 1991 - 1992 W-body cars such as the Grans Prix GTP, Lumina Z34, etc.

    Expensive and hard to find, sure... but they WILL stand up to 300+ HP. The last tranny I just rebuild for $2300, pretty steep, but stood up for 151K miles of extremely hard use. In the end, it was the 1st - 2nd synchs that died... along with a couple of missing teeth on the 3rd gear ring

    Still worked though... just couldn't quick shift from 1st to 2nd any longer. Everything else was fine though

    Good Solid transmission for a high HP Fiero Application.

    DKOV -

  6. #6

    Re:Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    Here's my $.02 for a longitudinal setup.

    Manual - Audi 5000s unless you can afford the much more expensive Porsche 915

    Automatic - Toronado TH-425
    Rick Lord<br />http://www.kingdomcustoms.com<br />http://www.desertlord.com/galleries/.../signature.jpg

  7. #7
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re:Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    I like the Audi 5 and 6 speed boxes. They are easy to locate and inexpensive to purchase. I found one in a U-Pull-It for $300 with all of the shifter stuff. It went into a Fiero with a V6, Kennedy adapter, and custom headers. Easy to do, no ring gear to flip, etc.

    Dave
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  8. #8
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    Re:Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    What about room? Did the Audi gearbax fit without major mods? I know you have no trunk, perhaps that's given you some extra room, but do you think a stock 6 speed Audi tranny will fit into an unmodified Fiero Engine bay? That sounds interesting... especially since the Audi Trannies are virtually bullet proof!

    Details... details... All the pics I've seen of your car have a Getrag in there... More pics please!!!

    DKOV -

  9. #9
    Moderator FunnyWheels's Avatar
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    Re:Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    Scott:

    I don't have any photos of the car. It was before digital. He only used my garage and engine lift for a weekend to set the engine and transaxle in place. The axles were angled ahead slightly from the transaxle and the tin in front of the engine was straight up and down, the stock Fiero has a slight angle back to the firewall were the wiring harness is located. The new firewall was out about 4 inches at its widest point on top. He thought he could get a small block Chevy in it but I have my concerns about that set up. I saw the car at Daytona in 2000 but have not seen it lately. The V6 was big enough. I have my car set up in the rear just incase I get the bug to try it. It is a lot of work.

    Dave
    If you're not confused, you're not paying attention.

  10. #10

    Re:Mid-Engine Setups: Trannies

    I don't know anything about the 6-speed Audis but to use the 5-speed 5000s tranny, you need at least a 10.5" or 11" stretch. The Toronado trans will fit an unstretched Fiero.
    Rick Lord<br />http://www.kingdomcustoms.com<br />http://www.desertlord.com/galleries/.../signature.jpg

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