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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 10-17-2009, 05:51 PM   #1
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spur gears?

or in other words, straight cut gears. Anybody running them? I"m not looking into doing a fully sequential transmission or a dogbox transmission. For my next project(914 or e36), i would like to run straight cut gears from 1-4 and leave 5th normal. I have done a bit of research and think it would be a good idea non-the-less the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, other than the price.


Any input? Good places to have them done? Quite a few people recommend PPG, but I am sure there are others out there.


thanks all!
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:14 PM   #2
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or in other words, straight cut gears. Anybody running them? I"m not looking into doing a fully sequential transmission or a dogbox transmission. For my next project(914 or e36), i would like to run straight cut gears from 1-4 and leave 5th normal. I have done a bit of research and think it would be a good idea non-the-less the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, other than the price.


Any input? Good places to have them done? Quite a few people recommend PPG, but I am sure there are others out there.


thanks all!
Depending on power output, the BMW Motorsport WTCC gearbox may fit your needs. They currently run for between $7-8K used, or over $10K new. There are 3 different gear ratio sets available, so you need to be aware of this when purchasing. Under 300hp is ok, over 300hp will break them.

I don't know who PPG is, but I do know of PTG. They don't do BMW stuff anymore, but the "old" gearboxes they ran were in the $20k area.

I haven't heard of any BMWCCA or club level E36s / E46s running anything but the stock 5 speed or 6 speed gear boxes. They are good transmissions.

A fairly well established touring car team switched from OEM BMW transmissions to the BMW Motorsport transmission, then finally to bespoke sequential transmissions. I was told the switch netted a couple of tenths a lap with a professional driver behind the wheel. For this team, it was worth the costs, but you will have to make your own choice.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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I'd run a Hewland SGT gearbox. If you plan on around 450hp at the crank, go for the SGT-W (it has wider gears in it but 4th is not). You can run it either as a H-Pattern or a sequential. You'll need a different bellhousing but PTG made their own and I bet they would make one for you. EMCO does make a better input shaft for that gearbox (which works with the PTG bellhousing). Then you'll need the Tilton three disk clutch and a different flywheel. Then you'll need a different starter but you're in luck, a Tilton starter works great. If you are really looking for performance, go for the one piece Pankl aluminum driveshaft. Thing is, you'll need to line up the tailshaft of the transmission to the input shaft to the rear diff. I suggest making a special laser guide to accomplish this.

As you can see, it's all been done before. A few quick phone calls, and you'll be in business.

Note: I assume you'll be running the ignition retard or ignition cutout as to utilize those shifts.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:21 PM   #4
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Are these my only options? I apologize, despite my day's research, I meant to write "PTG."Is there a possibility to utilize the stock gearbox by having straight gears installed/matched clutch/flywheel/internals? I know they do this with the T-5 transmission from the Mustangs, and a few people whom i've talked to have had a lot of luck with it, and the cost is in a nice range. I would rather not put my all into a 10,000 transmission. Really not trying to cut any corners at the same time. All input is appreciated!
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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If your going to do a 914, then find a Hewland Mk9 gearbox out of a Ralt RT-5. They use the same VW/Porsche bellhousing mated to a typical Hewland dog ring gearbox.
http://www.hewland.com/svga/productrange/hcmk9.htm
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:22 AM   #6
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If your going to do a 914, then find a Hewland Mk9 gearbox out of a Ralt RT-5. They use the same VW/Porsche bellhousing mated to a typical Hewland dog ring gearbox.
http://www.hewland.com/svga/productrange/hcmk9.htm

although those do look enticing, I am not looking to spend that much on a transmission. I do appreciate the help. As stated before, is there a way to have the gears machined/made to be straight cut and more or less get an equivalent(more than likely less efficient than your fancy ones) gearbox?
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:09 AM   #7
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although those do look enticing, I am not looking to spend that much on a transmission. I do appreciate the help. As stated before, is there a way to have the gears machined/made to be straight cut and more or less get an equivalent(more than likely less efficient than your fancy ones) gearbox?
I know of someone that approached Xtrac about making just the internals, and the cost was just marginally less than a complete box. The other issue that was that the OEM box/casing isn't designed for the type of stress that dogrings bring, and they are prone to fail. I don't have specific examples, but this was what Xtrac commented on.

I think most people take for granted the quality and cost of OEM gearboxes that scaled production brings. (Including myself)
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:17 PM   #8
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One thing I've discovered, if you want something made custom and it's for racing, it ain't gonna be cheap. I suggest giving some sort of budget before you ask questions like this. I know this makes me sound arrogant but the reader has no idea what you are willing to spend. It would like asking, "I want the best shocks for my E46?" Well, I can suggest some Sachs ones that will set you back $30K or a set that are $1K.

As for a straight cut, dog ring gearbox, maybe state the question like this:
I am looking to convert my gearbox to a straight cut, dog ring type. My budget is $XXK for this. Is this something that's doable for what I'm willing to spend or should I spend my money elsewhere.

If your XX number is 50, then you are in luck. If your XX number is 10, then you are not. I can convert your car to a dog ring box but you better be leaning more toward 50 to have it done.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:40 AM   #9
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One thing I've discovered, if you want something made custom and it's for racing, it ain't gonna be cheap. I suggest giving some sort of budget before you ask questions like this. I know this makes me sound arrogant but the reader has no idea what you are willing to spend. It would like asking, "I want the best shocks for my E46?" Well, I can suggest some Sachs ones that will set you back $30K or a set that are $1K.

As for a straight cut, dog ring gearbox, maybe state the question like this:
I am looking to convert my gearbox to a straight cut, dog ring type. My budget is $XXK for this. Is this something that's doable for what I'm willing to spend or should I spend my money elsewhere.

If your XX number is 50, then you are in luck. If your XX number is 10, then you are not. I can convert your car to a dog ring box but you better be leaning more toward 50 to have it done.

you really aren't being arrogant, and from being around oldschool racers for a while, I am happy you have told me this straight... one thing people on this forum take for granted. I was trying to keep the transmission budget below 2k, but I see just a good clutch/flywheel combo will have to do the trick for whichever transmission I do. Most of the money will be spent on the handling characteristics of the car + rollcage.

This was a very informative conversation and I thank you all for your help!
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:56 AM   #10
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For what it's worth, I'm currently in the midst of changing to a non-OEM gearbox myself.

My budget is $XXK for the box/bellhousing/flywheel/clutch, but this is specifically for drag racing. (No downshifting)

The next problem that gets expensive is addressing everything connected to the output shaft of the transmission. "Banging" through gears is hard on parts...
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:09 AM   #11
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For what it's worth, I'm currently in the midst of changing to a non-OEM gearbox myself.

My budget is $XXK for the box/bellhousing/flywheel/clutch, but this is specifically for drag racing. (No downshifting)

The next problem that gets expensive is addressing everything connected to the output shaft of the transmission. "Banging" through gears is hard on parts...
is that when you start to move on to CF driveshafts, custom diffs.... or are you slowly finding out which OEM parts can handle such abuse?
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:14 AM   #12
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is that when you start to move on to CF driveshafts, custom diffs.... or are you slowly finding out which OEM parts can handle such abuse?
I've had a pretty good year for carnage before my car burned to the ground:

- Broken halfshaft
- Broken output flange on the Diff
- Torn Guibo (Holds driveshaft to tranny)
- Shattered the friction surface off of the top clutch plate (Runing twin disk)
- Another Broken halfshaft

I've also left the race track 3 times with ECU related problems.

That said, I had a TON of fun this year!!! I love racing.
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:16 AM   #13
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I've had a pretty good year for carnage before my car burned to the ground:
LOL...I should put that in my sig!
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:15 PM   #14
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If you are looking for a cheap gearbox, I'd look through www.racingjunk.com. There are various used racecar sites out there that have pretty good cheap equipment. When I brought up the Ralt RT-5, I know that a few years ago, a friend of mine had one that was in a million pieces. He sold the whole thing for $5K and I remember it came with three MK9 gearboxes and about 50 gearsets (plus a bunch of dog rings, bearings and whatnot). So, there are deals to be had. Just the Bertils motor alone (brand new in the crate) was probably worth the $5K.
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