Here we go again

tapeworm

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Since this place has been so boring lately I’d like to rehash the old discussion of transaxles. While talking to my trans builder and some of the guys that race 1600, it has me wondering why the transmissions in these things cost so damn much. For a top of the line swingaxle I’m looking at about $6500-$7000 out the door, and for a 091 I’m looking at about $6000 with a lot less maintenance. The swingaxle trans has to come apart every race if you want to be competitive. Stock axles are only good for a race, two if you’re lucky and 300m axles are upwards of $850 a pair, so it got me thinking. What would the longevity be with a bus box in these things instead of the swingaxle?

I’d like to see stock rear arms, plating and reinforcing allowed. Same rear shock rules, still drum brakes, bus box allowed with stock 1 & 2 and close ratio 3 & 4, type 2 cv’s just like the 11 car guys run. Obviously initial costs are IRS clips, rear arms, new shock mounts and valving, axles, stubs, cv’s, mounts and a transmission, and new rear brake lines. Keep every other rule the same. Idea is to keep maintenance costs down on the trans since these motors won’t bear up a bus box.

I know SNORE has the champ car class, but that class allows a higher compression motor and up to 120 inch wheelbase. I’m just thinking if I didn’t have $1000 transmission bill every race, I might be able to rave more or throw more money into a side bet.

This is just to stir up conversation. I’m not proposing any rule changes but if this gains traction so be it. I’m going to race my car to the rules in place.
 

tapeworm

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Rhino case and weddle parts for a brand new transmission can’t even be purchased for $1800. Axles and axle tubes alone are over $1000. This isn’t even including labor. The price on swingaxle parts is high, especially for the “best of the best” parts.

I personally don’t think opening up swingaxle will decrease maintenance requirements or cost, just make them more expensive to gain a little bit of performance advantage with the same rebuild requirements. Disc brakes would be nice but you hardly use brakes in a 9 car so I don’t see them as a necessity. Aluminum rims would certainly decrease the unsprung weight and they are not much more expensive. Maybe new weight limit rules. The single seaters seem to have an advantage right now. Power steering is s game changer and would probably draw in more racers to the class
 

Grease Weed

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Opening up the trans will reduce the amount of maintenance on that trans. Aftermarket 1st & 2nd mainshaft (stock1/2 main shaft is always cracked at mag.1 race) are way stronger and you could run a 3:88 the strongest of all R/P. You could possibly run an entire season without a tear down instead of every race.
 

tapeworm

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Stock axles are still only good for one of two races unless you buy 300m from Erco which are $850 plus. People keep talking how cheap the UTV classes are to run but it’s just a matter of time before they evolve into what this class has evolved into. Stock parts were great until someone developed race parts that allowed them to drive just a hair faster and everyone that wanted to keep up had to do the same thing driving the cost of the class up. It would be nice to be able to know the trans is good to go all year long without a tear down every race
 

ACME

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No dog in this fight anymore, but been around a little while... Just remember the golden rule: EVERYTIME a major change has been made in a limited class it's alienated a number of cars/drivers, hurt car counts and cost the competitors a ton to keep up with a few that want the change. I can give numerous examples in 5/16, 16, 10, 11, 12, 7s, TL etc...

Want to make it cheaper: Keep it a swinger and allow upgraded internals. If you are tossing out IRS at least keep it apples to apples: Type 1 IRS trans would at least allow less cost in the swap. If you really want to make it cheaper and more fun, start lobbying the organizers to limit tire sizes to 37" LOL

Watching a lot of drivers over the years it seems a large number don't understand how to drive a swinger and think you just flat foot it everywhere. The talent of driving a limited class car lies in ones ability to drive it within the confines of the equipment yet go fast enough to finish and win.

As for how change affects classes: TL under the second owner is a great example. It was a spec class than this guy wanted a SCORE cage, some guys couldn't keep the shocks alive so they demanded a upgraded shock package. Another guy wanted better trans internals, another stronger uprights/spindles, then a better rear end: Result was a guy that bought a truck 2 years before had to spend $15K just to update it in a spec class, a number shelved the trucks and a gen 1 was worthless. The irony was the same guys kept winning and the only one benefitting was the parts suppliers.

Having raced and owned a few cars in various classes over the years, I believe the opposite on some points; if you want to add cost then allow alum wheels and disc brakes and you'll see it go up not down. PS serious 16 car racers still do their trans every race as well
 

tapeworm

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I understand the 16 guys getting their trans inspected every race, but they aren’t having to replace the 1st and 2nd gears every race, regardless if it was 100 miles or 300 miles.

I enjoy driving the swingaxle, I just don’t enjoy the trans bill. I’m not necessarily lobbying for change neither. I don’t want to do something that will kill entries, I’d rather see more entries. I’ve noticed a lot of people buy cars and race a few races, realize it’s too expensive to keep the transmission prepped, then sell the car or just park it and let it collect dust. Entries aren’t completely non existent but it would be nice to see at least 15-20 cars at every race.

Maybe open up the internals completely. I don’t think it would cost anymore than we are already paying for a trans, and it gives people 6 months before next year to save up and update the transmission.
 

J BomBer

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16’s don’t need the Trans gone through every race if you know how to drive, Harley won the MORE overall / 1600 points last year and we didn’t touch the engine or Trans all year.

Aside from opening the trans, changing anything else would make class 9 more like very old school 516 / 1600, and would add more cost which could be good and bad.
 

Speedingjake

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I know very little about the VW transaxle but I do know its stupid money cost to maintain them and this makes no sense for an entry level class. Trans builder and 9 guy, if they opened up the rule so you could run any transaxle type rear suspensions but you could not exceed 8 or 9 inches of travel ( or what ever they are averaging) and you could not widen the rear stance. What would you build, how much would it cost and how long would it be expected to last .......not foot to the floor driving but trying to finish a 1000 mile race driving........
 

tapeworm

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I understand that obviously it costs money to convert a car from swingaxle to IRS, but ignoring those costs and comparing maintenance costs versus the two is what I’m trying to compare. I’ve never maintained a race car with a bus box so I’m not sure the maintenance costs on one. Obviously CV’s, stubs, and axles have to be inspected every race but those are much easier to remove from a car than an axle from a swinger. So far it seems as though it’s about $800-$1000 a race to run a swingaxle trans competitively. From the people I’ve talked to it’s not as expensive to run a 1600 trans every race.

Would opening up the internals on a swingaxle to any manufacturer and size reduce maintenance costs?
 

3 Amigos Racing

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Reading the post and the car you descibe brings back memories of writing the same thing in this forum many moons ago for all the same reasons.. The idea has been around for years and could create an interesting limited suspension class.. Keep the current engine build specs and the claimer rule and pump gas and a bus box on type 2 cv,s, run 4 lug drum brakes and current single shock rule but allow a thing beam BJ up front.. No power steering. Keep it simple and go for reducing race to race costs.
 

Grease Weed

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A good set of VW Type 3 or thing drums will set you back $300 if you can even find them. 4 to 6 races on them before the centers crack on them. The aluminum centered drums $800 for a complete set up.
Jamar 4 piston rear swingaxle setup $800.
And maybe only rear disk, no more searching for decent 60 year old parts. Lol.
Steel wheels are almost as expensive as aluminum. Aluminum wheels are all over RDC classifieds. Bonus, less weight, easier on the Trans.
Yes Tapeworm opening up the trans would reduce the cost of maintenance.
 

tapeworm

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I have a set of lightened type 3 drums I’m trying to get rid of and multiple pairs of thing drums. Drums aren’t killing me yet, but I know that day is approaching soon.

If any class rules are changed, they need to be established before the next years racing season because it just leaves teams scrambling to get something together for the first race or two of the year.

I am very interested in seeing what the cost would be to convert a car and pay someone else to do all of the work, that way whatever work one can do themselves is money saved.
 

J. Peel 916

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Jefe & Joel, with all do respect because both of you have been successful and know what it takes.

Kingpin - you’re correct, people do not know how to drive a swinger! And I personally am footing the bill to try and give my son the opportunity to learn how to. It’s so expensive that we are racing once a year. That as you know is hardly enough to retain what you learned. So ..... that leads me to Joel

Based on the fact that Jeff pointed out, I am going to promise you that you could not maintain my sons transaxle for $800. Again, I mean no disrespect at all. I’ve bought the best money can buy and it’s not holding up for more than 140 miles. My son is third generation and my main passion in life is keeping this tradition alive. But at some point I have to think about life after work. Again when so much time between races lapse he’s not able to learn from the last race. Therefore, his passion dies. I have seen a lot of people come and go as both of you have. People running 3-4 races, get discouraged from the cost and zero success and we lost another.

I know people say you have to put time in searching for these stock parts, some of us do not have that opportunity due to work. Therefore the cost ARE astronomical. Today’s world is different with the expectation of instant gratification and the need to spend so much time at work. Keeping people interested in class 9 is more than difficult with all of these things considered. I realize the argument of “its a drivers class and you have to learn to drive the car”. I promise you the cost to learn far exceeds the majority of the budgets that are currently here. It truely bothers me that we cannot adjust this class to use parts that will last, are readily available and limit to the speed capabilities as to not over drive the readily available components.

Note: Ideas get lost in text, an in person meeting with people who know and a big ass white board is needed. I have not read most of these post but I get the general arguments of both sides. Sorry for the long winded ramble. Joel Peel
 

Bro_Gill

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Spice it up a bit. Add linkpin front with 8inch shocks, allow aftermarket arms, 100inch wheelbase and the rear allows 002 with close 3-4 type 2cvs onstock boxed arms. The wheelbase keeps it honest and these parts should go 3-5 races without much upkeep.
 

J BomBer

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Adding link pin arms and boxed rear arms you’re moving it into a old school 1600 car, taking away what the class is. I have seen how guys drive 9 cars and it’s no wonder they rip front ends off and ruin the trans, it’s not a 16 car, a lot of the guys have way to much droop in the rear, doing the folkrum plates no good and is no wonder the trans doesn’t last, if you eat a trans in 140 miles you either are running a puck clutch or need more seat time shifting, no reason a swing axle trans won’t hold up like a irs.
 

Racer_X

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My vote would be to leave the class alone. We still are getting excellent car counts at three or four races a year (BAP, RATR, and a couple MORE races). Further, I don't know who most of you are based on your user names but I do know some of you and know that you have hardly raced the class and want to change it already cuz you can't manage to drive your car without breaking it. This is a learning class- which means you gotta learn how to work on and prep a basic offroad racecar (learn how to set your car up and get the most out of it), and you have to learn to drive desert racing (look for smoother lines, don't smash big holes, etc.). The trans is the relatively expensive part for a budget guy, but cheaper than the next step up which is 1600 car parts.
 
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